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Covert Apparatus Still Under Fire: Surveillance, Interventions, Drones and Beyond

Posted in Site News at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Interventions and Ukraine

  • When Lavrov Was Right

    There is no sign of any referendum on self-determination for the people of Chechnya and Dagestan.

  • Double Standards and Hypocrisy: Where are the Sanctions against the West?

    As the US and the European Union impose sanctions on 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine for helping the people of Crimea to make a democratic choice to become a part of the Russian Federation, one specific question arises – where were all the sanctions when the West was carrying out genuinely illegal wars and interventions that resulted in destruction and thousands of innocent civilians being killed?

  • Russophobia and Islamophilia

    At the tactical level, US policy has devolved to “regime change.” At the strategic level, US policy is simply incoherent, if not nihilistic; swapping corrupt oligarchs for neo-fascists or religious zealots. The logic for supporting recent coups have little to do with common sense — or democracy. And with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and now the Ukraine, language needs to be coined to avoid words like coup.

  • If Mankind Is To Survive It Must Prosecute US NATO Genocide

    Sooner or later, leaders in nations cleverly slandered by a monopolized media and brutally attacked by USA covert violence and murderous interventions will defeat this evil by quoting to the world the outraged words of famous Americans who bravely condemned their nation’s many atrocities – the most recent three of whom were shot to death.


  • Obama’s Drones Made Simple
  • The New Center of Obama’s Drone War
  • Column: The new center of Obama’s drone war shifts locations

    Last month I noted that we’re in the midst of the longest pause in drone strikes in Pakistan since the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency. The pause corresponds with the Pakistani government’s halting efforts to hold peace talks with the Taliban, but also reported discussions within the U.S. government about whether to kill a U.S. citizen accused of collaborating with al-Qaida in the country.

  • Operation Peace: Drones’ real calling to help civilians instead of striking them dead
  • CODEPINK Snow Day at the Department of Homeland Security

    When the documentary ended, to our surprise, Johnson himself came out to talk to us. After an intense discussion about the ethics and efficacy of drone warfare, he invited us for a follow-up meeting once he was confirmed at the DHS.

  • Our nation on the hot seat

    On March 14 the U.N. Human Rights Committee meeting in Geneva began a two-day examination of the U.S. human rights record, its first since 2006. The Committee is charged with upholding the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a U.N. treaty that the U.S. ratified in 1992. At this meeting the U.S. came under sharp criticism for its counter-terrorism tactics of using unmanned drones to kill al-Qaida suspects, its transfer of suspects to other countries that practice torture, and its failure to prosecute any of the officials responsible.

    The U.S. rejected this criticism, however, stating its belief that the rights treaty “imposes no human rights obligations on American military and intelligence forces when they operate abroad.” “The United States continues to believe that its interpretation—that the covenant applies only to individuals both within its territory and within its jurisdiction—is the most consistent with the covenant’s language and negotiating history.”

  • Exclusive: U.S. Boycotts U.N. Drone Talks

    Pakistan is trying to push a resolution through the United Nations Human Rights Council that would trigger greater scrutiny of whether U.S. drone strikes violate international human rights law. Washington, though, doesn’t want to talk about it.

  • US seek to hide deadly drone attacks in Yemen, civilians killed by mistake

    The almost weekly US anti -terror attacks in Yemen and Pakistan rarely make American newspapers’ headlines. But when there are claims that innocent civilians have died in a drone strike mistake it creates news around the world. In one of those deadly drone attacks in Yemen on a convoy of 11 trucks carrying 60 men to a wedding, between 12 and 17 people were killed in four vehicles and many others wounded turning the wedding procession into a slaughter.

  • Four U.S. citizens killed in Obama drone strikes, but 3 were not intended targets

    As LaRouche Democrat and U.S. Senate candidate Kesha Rogers of Texas calls for the impeachment of Democratic President Barack Obama, she lists among her reasons the “assassination” of U.S. citizens.

    Rogers says on her campaign website that Obama violated the Fifth Amendment “with the avowed assassination of at least four American citizens, Anwar Al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son, Samir Khan, and Jude Mohammed, without benefit of due process of law. Indeed, the death warrants against these individuals were effectively signed in secret, in a committee which is overseen directly by the president.”

  • U.N. Urges Probe of Drone Strikes

    A new United Nations report has called for independent probes of a series of drone attacks that have killed civilians around the world. Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights, identified 30 drone strikes – most of them by the U.S. – in which civilians were killed, badly injured or threatened. They include a U.S. drone strike on a wedding party in Yemen that killed as many as 12 civilians in December. While drone strikes in Pakistan appear to have declined, strikes in Yemen increased and civilian casualties tripled in Afghanistan last year.

  • Drones: Obama’s dirty war
  • Locations of drone attacks changing to Afghanistan and Yemen
  • Drone sculpture construction begins

    DeLappe is hoping not only to memorialize those killed by American drones, but also to bring attention to America’s drone policies.

  • Adhere to U.N. report and lift veil on drone policy


  • Army Makes Case Against Enlisting

    Jacobus claims that members of the military are not disproportionately from poor backgrounds, and indeed some studies seem to back him up. And, indeed, most members of the military, when asked if they joined to “serve their country” answer yes. But three-quarters also say they joined for education benefits, which makes one wonder what the impact on recruitment would be if the United States made education free or affordable the way other nations do. And, if that happened, what would be the further effect on susceptibility to Pentagon propaganda of a populace with a higher education level?

  • Why US Journalists Have Blood on Their Hands
  • The Air Force Isn’t Ready to Replace the A-10

    The less expensive option is using drones for close air support. The cost per flight hour of a Predator drone is just $3,769. However, as Cockburn’s piece illustrates, drone technology and cameras just aren’t there yet.

  • The Air Force Wants to Replace the U-2 with a Drone Program It Tried to Kill
  • Obama’s Imaginary Foreign Policy ‘Caution’
  • The Iraq War: Forgotten in Plain Sight

    This decontextualized rendering of violence in Iraq as a sort of atmospheric condition of the country is, sadly, typical of much of the reporting in Iraq today. It not only fails to explain political divisions and struggles in Iraq in a meaningful way for US readers. It also fails to explain how this violence is a direct consequence of the US invasion and occupation, blaming the victim for the violence that is our sour bequest to them.


Civil Rights

  • Convicted Hacker ‘Weev’ Gets Another Chance At Freedom

    Weev Appeal Andrew Auernheimer Appeal Identity Theft AT&T Ipad Hacker Technology News Cybersecurity Weev Auernheimer Weev Andrew Weev Auernheimer Hacker Ipad Hack Andrew Weev Auernheimer Goatse Security Security Researchers Andrew Auernheimer Technology News


Reforming Copyrights and Challenging Copyrights Stigma With Free/Libre Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Intellectual Monopoly at 4:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freedom revolutionises not only software

Revolution OS

Summary: How the “Revolution OS” (GNU/Linux) and Free software in general help change perceptions around copyrights

LAST NIGHT when watching “Revolution OS” (again) I was reminded of the connection between software freedom and copyrights, more so than patents. In fact, the movie hardly mentions patents at all. This movie, which is in principle copyrighted and is not free to watch, remains on Google’s YouTube. There was no takedown request on the face of it — probably a conscious decision in fact from the makers of a movie that’s centred around Richard Stallman and the FSF’s role, with big mentions (but not too big) of Linux. If it wasn’t immediately available on YouTube, my wife and I would not have watched it. This is one of those cases where copyright maximalism proves to be counter-productive. Permissive copyright policy leads to free publicity and it helps reaching those who have pricing and availability issues (official link for ordering the DVD). The Internet has changed many things, so laws need to adapt accordingly — according to people’s needs that is.

“Public domain means any use allowed,” says iophk about [1], “even distasteful or commercial ones.” What we increasingly find is that copyright law changes, and it typically changes to benefit corporations (very rich people), not 99% or more of the world’s population. This trend ought to change and it all starts with education because there is plenty of indoctrination out there, even in state-funded schools. At Apple, shows a new article [2], the idea that “copying is theft” gets explicitly promoted. This is wrong. And since Apple has been “shamelessly copying” many other companies, according to Steve Jobs himself, that may simply imply that Apple itself if a “thief”, based on Apple’s own standards. If lies are manufactured and promoted as “Truth”, then justice will never triumph.

Right now there is a struggle between politicians who serve corporations’ interests in copyrights (and parrot propaganda [3]) and those who are doing the opposite [4] (yes, they exist, but they are a minority in politics). Earlier this month we saw several stories about censorship using “copyrights” [5,6], where the claims of copyrights themselves were bogus (fraudulent piggybacking on DMCA). This in itself is a breach of human rights and free speech. It’s a serious case demonstrating how broken today’s copyright laws are, especially Hollywood export like the DMCA.

Last week Red Hat dedicated at least 2 articles to permissive licensing that challenge copyrights [7,8]. OpenSource.com itself has just embraced the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. That’s fantastic. It wasn’t really surprising, however, because wherever Free software goes there tends to be an atmosphere of sharing and collaboration. The licences on text tend to be liberal and minimally restrictive (usually just attribution is needed).

This leads us to the final case of point. Last week we mentioned a new application called “Popcorn Time”. It is basically an application for streaming videos over torrent. Nice idea; friendly to networks (reduces loads on backbones), privacy-preserving, robust, and decentralised. What’s not to like?

What’s not to like? It’s competition for the copyright cartel/monopoly.

Not too shockingly, the developers abandoned the project just days later [9] (reasons not known), but it soon got embraced by other developers [10], only to be portrayed as “Netflix for piracy” by corporate British press the following day [11]. Remember that here in Britain ISPs are now being pushed to block (censor) almost everything which even challenges the status quo on copyrights. Even new sites like TorrentFreak get censored by some ISPs like Sky.

What we really need right now is a challenge to the stigma that torrents are all about copyright infringement, that FOSS is facilitating copyright infringement, and generally that decentralised communication, which makes surveillance difficult for the likes of NSA and GCHQ, is somehow for “terrorists” or “paedophiles”, as the copyright cartel wants people to believe.

After the events surrounding Popcorn Time we should become better aware that copyright law — not just patent law — remains a serious threat to software freedom. We gave other examples of this before.

According to OpenSource.com, “vague patents” are now under threat again because the SCOTUS is taking another look at them. To quote: “You’ve probably realized this by now, but the Supreme Court is having a very busy term when it comes to patent cases. In Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc.—scheduled for oral argument on April 28—the Court will consider whether to hold vague patents to a more exacting standard.” There are other such ongoing cases at the SCOTUS, but when will copyright law, including failures such as the DMCA (widely abused), be challenged at this high level?

Intellectual Monopoly as a whole (“Revolution OS” sparingly uses the term “Intellectual Property”) is a real problem; it is all about protectionism and it retards society.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Sweden Invokes Little-Known ‘Perpetual Copyright’ Clause Against Mercedes Ad

    Sweden has invoked a previously-unknown “Perpetual Copyright” clause against carmaker Mercedes-Benz, who recited a public-domain work by the poet Boye in a recent ad. The legal threat was brought by the Swedish Academy, which is tasked with overseeing the clause. This has severe chilling effect on culture even 70 years past an artists’ death.

  2. Copying is theft of hours and hours of struggle, says Apple’s Jony Ive

    In a detailed interview with the Sunday Times, he said, “Copying is theft … what’s copied isn’t just a design, it’s thousands and thousands of hours of struggle. It’s only when you’ve achieved what you set out to do that you can say, ‘This was worth pursuing.’ It takes years of investment, years of pain.” The sharp views on copying followed when he was indirectly asked about its competitor (read: Samsung) mimicking the work of his team.

  3. Lawmakers Get Caught Parroting Copyright Lobby

    Last year Finland wrote history after it became the first country to vote on a “fairer” copyright law, crowd-sourced by the public. Now that the vote is near, several lawmakers have warned against the disastrous effects of the proposal, by parroting a memo handed to them by the copyright lobby.

  4. Digital Rights and Dismal Governments – Senator Scott Ludlam
  5. Time to Punish DMCA Takedown Abusers, WordPress Owners Say
  6. Chilling Effects DMCA Archive is ‘Repugnant’, Copyright Group Says

    If it wasn’t for the Chilling Effects DMCA clearing house the actions of those abusing the DMCA would go largely unreported. Still, the Copyright Alliance doesn’t like the site, this week describing the information resource as “repugnant” to the DMCA. Unsurprisingly, Chilling Effects sees things differently.

  7. Recording open culture songs

    My friend Mary, a folk singer, stopped by to visit spontaneously this evening. “What are you up to?” she inquired.

    “I’m recording a music video for a new folk song,” I explained. “The Firefox Phone was announced last week, so I need to compose a song about it.”

  8. Opensource.com now using Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license

    Opensource.com is now using the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license as our preferred license for all original content. You are still responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary permission to reuse any work on this site.

  9. Popcorn Time Is Dead

    Hollywood won. The open source project called Popcorn Time is dead after just four days. It’s not really surprising.

    “Popcorn Time is shutting down today. Not because we ran out of energy, commitment, focus or allies. But because we need to move on with our lives,” reads the website and a post on Medium.

  10. Popcorn Time Is Back

    YTS developer Jduncanator told TorrentFreak that they are in a better position from a copyright standpoint because it’s built on their API. “It’s as if we have built another interface to our website. We are no worse off managing the project than we would be just supplying the movies. It’s our vision at YTS that we see through projects like these and that just because they create a little stir in the public, it doesn’t mean they are shut down.”

  11. Popcorn Time: ‘Netflix for piracy’ back up and running after going open-source

    Popcorn Time’s closure lasted just two days, with the site allowing users to watch movies free online being picked up by other developers.

Free/Open Source Software News: Beehives, Neuroscience, Video Editing, Events, Services, Databases, CMSs, and Funding

Posted in News Roundup at 3:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Open Source”

  • Qualcomm’s Liat Ben-Zur: Open Source Collaboration Works

    Earlier this year, Qualcomm wowed technology industry executives and analysts with a tour of its smart connected home at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The tour demonstrated how the Linux-based home automation platform AllJoyn connects all of the various in-home devices from appliances and lighting to TVs and talking teddy bears.

    “As they walked through the home, you could see the executives truly understand the power of various devices across brands and verticals and visualize the potential for collaboration,” says Liat Ben-Zur, senior director at Qualcomm Connected Experiences and chairperson of the AllSeen Alliance, in the interview below.

  • Founder Stories: When It Comes To Open-Source Technologies, Reverb’s Tony Tam Has A Word For It

    Have you ever watched a TED talk and thought, “That should be a company!” Well, that’s happened a few times, I’m sure, and one of them is right here in Silicon Valley. Years ago, wordsmith Erin McKean delivered a TED talk on her vision around the lexicography and meaning of words. This particular talk struck a chord with an investor named Roger McNamee, who in turn encouraged the team to build a company around this. Hence, Reverb Technologies was born.

  • This Open Source Coder Wants to be a Congressman

    The patent system. Online privacy law. Bitcoin regulations. Net neutrality rules. In the coming years, policy makers may have as much influence on technology as the world’s hackers do — if not more. So it should come as little surprise that a hacker is running for Congress.

    Twenty-eight-year-old software developer David Cole spent over two years working for the White House as the deputy director of new media, where he helped build the White House website, and now, he wants to make the switch from crafting code for the government to crafting policy. He’s seeking the Democratic nomination for his home district in New Jersey, which includes Atlantic City. If he wins, he’ll challenge the incumbent Republican, Frank LoBiondo, who has represented the district since 1995 — and is not a hacker.

  • Dutch greetings card firm goes open source to cut database licensing cost
  • Measuring Success in an Open Source Project

    Is Linux a success? Certainly. The Apache Web server? You betcha. Firefox, sure. But, what about smaller or newer open source projects? How can you tell if they’re on the right path or if they’re slowly spiraling into failure? This is a subject that was discussed at great length at the recent OpenDaylight Summit in Santa Clara, California.

  • Buffalo Tech: New 802.11ac router with Open Source firmware
  • How you can help encourage open source in the International Game Developers’ Association
  • Open source developers must examine the past to invent the future
  • Consume open source responsibly

    It is also the time when skeptics started sharing their doubts on the success of the open source model, stating that the security vulnerabilities that come from community contributions are a barrier for the project’s reliability. Some were and still are even more pessimistic and claim that financial institutions cannot assume the potential risks that come with adopting an open source solution for critical parts of their business.



Video Editing


  • Open source forum 2014, a first

    The first enterprise forum about open source ever held in Sri Lanka, ‘Open Source Forum Sri Lanka 2014’ took place at Hotel Galadari, Colombo recently. Participants included top executives and corporate leaders from Sri Lanka’s business community and the Government sector. The objective of the event was to maximise the value of big data, cloud computing, virtualization, content management systems and business intelligence through the adaptation of open source. This is aimed at bringing in affordability, control and openness.

  • SpinachCon Wants You: To Help Make Free Software Better

    Do you ever wish the free software was just a little bit better? As a longtime free software advocate, I certainly have had this thought many times. Sometimes nothing can be done because a particular feature is patent-encumbered, but sometimes clear user feedback is all that’s needed. Enter SpinachCon — it’s a hackfest for users. The idea is that sometimes free software “has a little spinach in it’s teeth” and it needs it’s friends to let it know in a friendly way. People try the software, answer a few questions and get a free lunch in return.

Services/Fog Computing


  • Open source has its place in the enterprise database management systems world
  • NoSQL vendor Basho restaffs executive team
  • How times have changed for PostgreSQL

    When I started teaching PostgreSQL education courses in 2001, PostgreSQL was the ugly one in the data center. Many of the people who were learning how to work with it were doing so grudgingly because of some specific requirement. They had inherited a PostgreSQL database, for example. As a result, many of them tried to learn just enough to do what they needed to do. The other population of students were serious technologists, die-hard open source devotees who wanted to use only open source solutions and were learning PostgreSQL because they needed a relational database for their operations.

  • PostgreSQL Gains Support For Logical Decoding

    PostgreSQL has picked up a new feature of logical decoding.

    This new PostgreSQL database feature adds over ten thousand lines of new code to the open-source server and allows the write-ahead log stream to be decoded into a series of logical changes, per this commit.

  • Bruce Momjian: PostrgreSQL Prefers the Scenic Route

    “Development is slower because we do not take shortcuts, but over the years, we have made a name for the [PostgreSQL] database as a product that is reliable and is backed by communities and companies that felt strongly about the value they were providing its users. … We have played the long game in not taking shortcuts and focusing on making the best database possible.”

  • GoGrid wants to be your open source alternative to Amazon’s cloud databases

    Amazon Web Services is a juggernaut in the infrastructure as a service market, but GoGrid, a midsize IaaS competitor that aims to be the cloud for big data, says it wants to offer an alternative to AWS’s platform. And it’s hoping to do so through open source databases.

  • 2013 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Award Winners

    Desktop Distribution of the Year – Ubuntu (23.59%)
    Server Distribution of the Year – Slackware (31.83%)
    Mobile Distribution of the Year – Android (59.15%)
    Database of the Year – MariaDB (36.41%)
    NoSQL Database of the Year – MongoDB (46.15%)
    Office Suite of the Year – LibreOffice (85.50%)
    Browser of the Year – Firefox (63.54%)
    Desktop Environment of the Year – KDE (35.77%)
    Window Manager of the Year – Openbox (18.88%)
    Messaghng Application of the Year – Pidgin (47.83%)
    VoIP Application of the Year – Skype (44.95%)
    Virtualization Product of the Year – VirtualBox (54.38%)

  • VoltDB looks to gain ground in crowded in-memory database market

    The company offers a community edition of VoltDB under the GNU Affero General Public License Version 3, but it omits a number of features found in the commercial version.

  • MariaDB Open-Source Database Gets Enterprise Release

    The open-source MariaDB database has emerged in recent years to be a real competitor to MySQL from which it was forked. Now at long last there is a generally available version of MariaDB Enterprise edition.


  • Zimbra Updates Community Groupware Collaboration Suite

    Zimbra has rolled out a new version of its cloud-friendly groupware collaboration software. Titled Zimbra Community 8.0, the release introduces a free edition of the platform, which the company is offering to businesses and individuals alongside the standard and professional editions it traditionally provided.

  • Why Not Diaspora?

    Diaspora really could be the answer. It’s open source, it’s decentralized and it has Aaron Swartz in its DNA. Its security people are answerable only to the community. Because it’s decentralized, there’s a node or “pod” element. Different servers offer users slightly different experiences, sort of like neighborhoods within a city. This is much different from Facebook where everything is the downtown business district.

Content Management


GNU News: What’s New in GNU

Posted in News Roundup at 2:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software Freedom

  • Live Stream: Richard Stallman, A Free Digital Society

    Tonight, Dr. Richard Stallman is presenting a talk titled A Free Digital Society. Dr. Stallman will address the many threats to freedom in our digital society. He’ll focus on issues of digital surveillance that undermine the foundations of democracy, including massive surveillance, censorship, digital handcuffs, non-free software that controls users, and the ‘War on Sharing’.

  • Free software and ethical consumption

    In September 1983, the GNU Project was born. GNU was to be a new kind of operating system: the first one with an explicit ethical goal.

    Perhaps a little background is needed. GNU stands for “GNU’s Not Unix.” Unix was an operating system (OS) that was in common use at the time, and the recursive acronym is a bit of programmers’ humour. The project emerged from the hacker culture at MIT, which had collapsed at the end of the 1970s when a technology company hired all but a few of the programmers.

  • What Happened to the Vision in Open Source?

    Last week, I was writing about MediaGoblin when I was struck by a sudden realization: the project was not about code for its own sake. Instead it was about the sort of vision that seems to be disappearing recently from free and open source software (FOSS).

    What makes MediaGoblin stand out is not just the idea of an all-in-one file-sharer, as convenient as that might be. Rather, the code is an explicit critique of centralized web services like Instagram, which require users to communicate through a single web site rather than directly with each other. As events of the past few years have proved, such centralization threatens privacy and makes surveillance all too easy.

FSF Internal


Popular GNU Programs

  • GNU Guile 2.0.10 released
  • grep-2.17 released
  • GNU Guix Package Manager Looks To Grow

    The GNU Guix package manager / distribution system is still active in development and the developers have planned a road-map to reaching version 1.0.

  • GNU Hurd Is Enjoying User-Space Device Drivers

    As some other good news for GNU Hurd, around 79% of the Debian archive is now building for GNU Hurd, including the Xfce desktop and Firefox web-browser. Future work planned for this GNU project is Xen PVH support, working x86_64 support, language bindings for translators, read-ahead, HDD/Sound/USB DDE support, and having a full GNU system with Hurd.

  • GIMP free alternative to subscription model Photoshop updated

    That would be the oddly-named GIMP (acronym for: GNU Image Manipulation Program), an open source, high-end image editing and creation alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop and its now open-ended, monthly wallet-siphoning distribution mode for tasks like photo retouching, image editing and composition, and image authoring.

  • You Say GIMP Was Right

    The split was the result of GIMP’s concern over policies at SourceForge, primarily SourceForge’s use of DevShare, an installer for Windows that bundles third party software offers with FOSS downloads. In addition, the GIMP folks had reservations about potentially deceptive “download here” buttons on ads being served by the likes of Google’s AdSense.

  • Announcing GNU ease.js v0.2.0 and the Importance of Free JavaScript
  • Updated GNU Framework Tries To Push “Free JavaScript”

    Out this Sunday is a major update to GNU ease.js, which relicenses this JavaScript framework to the GPLv3 and has several other changes. GNU ease.js helps the Free Software Foundation’s case for the “importance of free JavaScript” on the web.


  • Possible Summer Improvements To The GCC Compiler

    For any students looking to get involved with this year’s Google Summer of Code, the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has several interesting projects that are looking to be tackled.

  • GCC 4.9 Is Working Towards A Possible Release In April

    While GCC 4.9 is running behind schedule compared to where GCC 4.8 was at this time last year, open-source developers banding together still might get out the GNU Compiler Collection 4.9 release in early April with its many new compiler features.

  • Samsung Brings OpenACC 1.0+ Support To GCC Fortran

    Samsung is still working towards bringing OpenACC support to GCC. We’ve seen Samsung developers working on OpenACC for GCC over the past several months — along with other OpenACC initiatives out of CodeSourcery, etc — and now there’s some new OpenACC GCC Fortran patches.

  • Clang’s Competition For GCC On Intel Haswell

    This testing is quite simple and straightforward as it’s intended to just complement the AMD A10-7850K compiler benchmarks of the previous days. The processor being used this time around was the Intel Core i5 4670 that is a true quad-core CPU with a 3.4GHz base frequency and 3.8GHz Turbo Frequency. Being a Haswell CPU, it supports SSE 4.2, AVX 2.0, and all of the other latest-generation Intel extensions.

  • GCC & LLVM Developers May Begin Collaborating

    Renato Golin of Linaro volleyed an interesting message to the GCC mailing list on Friday about “LLVM collaboration?” While controversial, he suggested LLVM and GCC developers begin collaborating due to an “unnecessary fence” between the competing compilers and decisions that need to be shared. He acknowledges while there’s licensing differences (GPL vs. UIUC / BSD) there’s differences between the compilers and their stacks that really shouldn’t exist as it hinders the users and developers.

  • GCC, LLVM, Copyleft, Companies, and Non-Profits

    Most people know I’m a fan of RMS’ writing about Free Software and I agree with most (but not all) of his beliefs about software freedom politics and strategy. I was delighted to read RMS’ post about LLVM on the GCC mailing list on Friday. It’s clear and concise, and, as usual, I agree with most (but not all) of it, and I encourage people to read it. Meanwhile, upon reading comments on LWN on this post, I felt the need to add a few points to the discussion.

  • Beignet Is Now Friendly With LLVM/Clang 3.5

    Intel’s Beignet open-source OpenCL implementation for their Linux graphics driver now switches to LLVM/Clang 3.5 as its preferred version.

  • LLVM Leaps Ahead With Its Migration To C++11


  • LulzBot TAZ 3 3D printer now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the TAZ 3, the fifth model in the LulzBot line of 3D printers by Aleph Objects, Inc. The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy.

  • Coreboot Gets Ported To The Lenovo X230 Ultrabook

    Lenovo’s X230 is an “ultraportable business laptop” with 12.5-inch display, 2.96lb weight, and other modern features while boasting an Intel Core i5 series processor.


  • Cryptography Apps: How To Keep Your Personal Info Private

    As consumers living in a post-Edward Snowden world, we should remain aware of what cryptography applications are out there, and how we can utilize them to keep our information (and thus, ourselves) safer. This article is intended to discuss some of the more practical usages of cryptography in modern computing, including PGP/GPG encryption, encrypted chat programs such as Cryptocat, the anonymous Tor browser, and will touch on a major buzz item of 2013, Bitcoin.

Kernel Progress: Linux 3.14 (Final) Imminent, More DRM Code Expected in Linux 3.15

Posted in News Roundup at 2:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux 3.14

  • Linux Kernel News – January and February 2014

    Linux 3.13 was released on Sunday January 19th 2014. Please read What is in Linux 3.13. 3.14-rc5 was released on March 2 2014. Based on the rc release progress so far, it is looking very likely that the Linux 3.14 release will be out before the end of March 2014.

  • Linux 3.14-rc7

    Now, things might change, and maybe next week ends up being another ugly week, but with some luck that won’t happen and this is the last rc.

    Go out and test. It all looks good..


  • Linux 3.14-rc7 Released, Linux 3.14 Might Come Next Week
  • Recapping The Top Changes Of The Linux 3.14 Kernel

    In talking about the Linux 3.14 kernel on pretty much a daily basis now for the past few months and already having run dozens of benchmarks from Linux 3.14 in its Git state, here’s a recap of some of the most exciting work for this new kernel:

Linux 3.15


  • OpenDaylight Developer Spotlight: Madhusudhan Ananderi Kandadai
  • Linux Kernel Developer Panel Preview: Introductions and Projects

    The Linux kernel developer panel at Collaboration Summit in Napa, Calif. next week is our first opportunity this year to hear directly from Linux kernel developers about which issues and features are top-of-mind for the kernel community now and in the year ahead. Kernel developers Jens Axboe, Matthew Garrett, Mel Gorman, Greg Koah-Hartman, and Dave Chinner will take the stage for a technical discussion moderated by Jon Corbet. Here, the panelists have answered a few of Corbet’s preliminary questions to get the conversation started.

Graphics Drivers/Cards



Desktop Environments: GNOME 3.12, KDE Wins Award, Enlightenment Updates

Posted in News Roundup at 2:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • New in GTK+ 3.12: popovers

    One of the nice things about popovers is that they are just normal containers – you can put any widget into them, and keyboard navigation and input works like everywhere else. This is a marked contrast to menus, which are very specialized. Attempts to put entries, sliders or buttons into menus usually end badly.

  • Setting Up GNOME Is Easier With Version 3.12
  • More HiDPI Changes Land For GNOME 3.12

    As a quick update to the HiDPI support on top of yesterday’s article about GNOME Shell 3.12 getting last minute HiDPI improvements, more work has landed today for supporting high-resolution Retina displays within this next GNOME desktop environment update.

  • TARBALLS DUE: GNOME 3.11.92 release candidate + HARD CODE FREEZE

    Here comes the 3.11.92 release candidate, last stop before 3.12. Tarballs are expected on Monday, this is the last chance to get your fixes in, we will then enter the hard code freeze, and you will need a big bunch of approvals to get changes in. Let’s repeat, tarballs are due on 2014-03-17 before 23:59 UTC for the GNOME 3.11.92 rc release, which will be delivered on Wednesday. Please make sure that your tarballs will be uploaded before Monday 23:59 UTC: tarballs uploaded later than that will probably be too late to get in 3.11.92.

  • App folder configuration

    GNOME has been moving away from hierarchical menus for applications. It is problematic for many reasons. One problem is the need for a global, hierarchical classification (‘categories’) – the world is just not that simple, and applications don’t always fit into these predefined categories. Another problem is that menus don’t really scale beyond a single level of submenus or beyond more than 10-15 items per menu. Not to mention that menus are hard to use on touch devices.


  • KDE wins Linux New Media Readers Choice Award 2014

    Last week at CeBIT, KDE won the Linux New Media Readers Choice Award 2014 (link to German language Linux Magazine) for the best Linux Desktop Environment. 46% of the readers of Linux New Media’s global publications voted for KDE. Runner-ups were GNOME with 18% and XFCE with 13%. Other awards went to CyanogenMod, Raspberry Pi, Bitcoin, Puppet, Tor and Git.

    Cornelius Schumacher, President of KDE e.V. received the award on behalf of the KDE Community from Mathias Huber, Editor at Linux Magazine. The video of the award ceremony will be available on the Linux Magazine web site later.

  • Second beta of KDE 4.13 Applications arrives, install it on openSUSE, Arch Linux
  • KDE Ships Second Beta of Applications and Platform 4.13

    The KDE community today released the second beta of Applications and Development Platform 4.13. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. We kindly request your assistance with finding and fixing issues.

  • Plasma/KDE: Progressing towards Next

    In the Plasma team, we’re working frantically towards the next release of the Plasma workspaces, code-named “Plasma Next”. With the architectural work well in place, we’ve been filling in missing bits and pieces in the past months, and are now really close to the intended feature set for the first stable release. A good time to give you an impression of what it’s looking like right now. Keep in mind that we’re talking Alpha software here, and that we still have almost three months to iron out problems. I’m sure you’ll be able to observe something broken, but also something new and shiny.

  • Applications 4.13 Coming Soon, Help Us Test!

    Some of your existing data will need to be migrated from the current Nepomuk backend to the new ‘Baloo’ backend. Running the nepomukbaloomigrator should take care of that. The old Nepomuk support is considered “legacy” (but it is still provided). The programs that have not yet been ported to the new architecture have Nepomuk integration disabled. One significant regression is file-activity linking, which will not work until KDE Applications and Platform 4.14. If you rely on this feature, we recommend not upgrading at this time. For the final release, distributions might choose to optionally have the old search (Nepomuk) available.

  • KDE Works On Input Redirection, Wayland Cursor Themes

    The initial release of KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma Next will likely not have perfected Wayland support but many components should be usable within Weston and other improvements — including KWin as its own Wayland compositor — will come with time.

  • MyKolab.com users: As green as you can be.

    Here at MyKolab.com we are often surprised when companies flaunt having turned to green energy to power their services. We always considered this the lowest bar of sustainability everyone should meet. After all, this is the 21st century and we have known for decades the damages and risks of fossil and nuclear energy. That’s why for all of MyKolab.com’s history, every server and all of Kolab Systems have run on green energy. Our energy mix is mostly hydroelectric, some solar, and a little bit of wind, due to the geographic conditions in Switzerland.

  • Overview of Kate Editor in KDE 4.12.3

    Kate (the KDE Advanced Text Editor) is the well know, powerful text editor that ships by default in KDE, and has plenty of powerful features for both simple text editing as well as programmers. Some of the well-known functions that it offers include indentation, syntax highlighting for hundreds of programming languages, block-selection mode or check-spelling.

  • KDE Commit-Digest for 9th February 2014
  • Desktop Effects Control Module in KWin5

    KWin5 will feature a new configuration module to control Desktop effects. KWin5 will be a part of the upcoming Plasma Next Workspace. The control module is rewritten with QtQuick controls.The focus of the control module will be on Desktop Effects.

  • making friends with kontact again


  • Enlightenment Foundation Libraries Application Round Up

    Most folks who have been around Linux and/or open source software for awhile are aware of what GTK and QT are – tool kits for building applications. Something that not as many may be aware of is that there is another open source tool kit out there – the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries. These serve as the building blocks not only for the Enlightenment desktop, but also for a growing number of applications.

Servers and Networks: GNU/Linux Still a Leader

Posted in News Roundup at 2:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • Cumulus Lands Another SDN Supporter for its Linux Offering

    SDN company Midokura this week said it will support for Cumulus Networks’ Linux network operating system in its network virtualization software.

    The combination will enable customers to manage workloads on virtual and non-virtualized infrastructure using Midokura’s MidoNet product. MidoNet is a distributed network virtualization system that is designed to allow service providers and enterprises to build flexible and easier-to-manage virtual networks.

  • Everyone wants open source SDNs
  • SDN, NFV, and open source: the operator’s view

    Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) represent two of the more dramatic oncoming technology shifts in networking. Both will significantly alter network designs, deployments, operations, and future networking and computing systems. They also will determine supplier and operator success (or failure) over the next five to 10 years.


  • CASE STUDY: Kiwi fruit distributor freshens up with Linux

    T&G, whose majority stakeholder is German agricultural giant BayWa, has a network of over 41,000 square metres of storage facilities, a global distribution network covering sales, marketing, and logistics, and a passionate, experienced team, who are intent on ensuring that the produce that customers receive, are as fresh as the day it was harvested.

  • March of the penguins: how we migrate from UNIX to Linux

    Multiple CIOs have told me they planned to modernise all of their databases, but — constrained by cost and time — only managed to tackle the 20% that yielded 50% of the value. The remaining 80% remains a major drag to IT; we’re kicking the can down the road.

    UNIX platforms such as Solaris on SPARC and AIX on Power store data in a different format than Linux on x86 (big-endian versus little-endian).

  • Panasas Update Unifies Windows and Linux Storage

    Once upon a time, IT organizations tended to treat systems based on different OSes as completely different stacks of compute resources that pretty much ran in isolation from one another. But as pressure to become more cost efficient has mounted alongside the rise of application workloads that span multiple systems, the need for storage systems that can play well across both Linux and Windows systems has become more acute.

  • Interview with Igor Seletskiy from CloudLinux

    CloudLinux is a great technology implemented on all our shared and premium shared servers, and is available for our managed dedicated servers. It essentially protects your site from other websites on your server. It means fewer servers go down and you’ll have a faster, more consistent website experience. We spoke to the man behind the technology, founder Igor Seletskiy.

  • DigitalOcean Raises $37.2M in New Funding to Build Cloud

With Quick Growth Comes Demand for Skills

GNU/Linux Rising: Relevant News Items From March

Posted in GNU/Linux at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • 2014 is the year of the Linux desktop

    I’m sure there will be objections from people who want to define “the year of the Linux desktop” differently. There will be those fans of GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu who will object that the Linux Desktop has not arrived until we’re all running KDE and Gnome. I fear those folks have a while to wait. Others will object because there are still so many copies of Windows and new PCs are still shipping with Windows. That’s a fair point, but I believe even those users are actually Linux Desktop users. As I argued last year, Linux has already won on the Windows desktop.

  • LinuxQuestions Counts 33 Million Downloads Of GNU/Linux
  • Eurocom Begins Offering Linux High Performance Laptops

    Eurocom sent out a news release that beginning today they will be offering choices of operating systems in their line of GPU-upgradeable, high-performance, professional laptops. Besides the high-end laptop line-up, they will also be offering Linux options for their lightweight notebooks.

  • The ultimate guide to migrating an entire office from Windows to Linux

    If your office runs 24/7, you’ll have to do the migration in stages. You may have to migrate servers one at a time, and migrate departments group by group. So, some work gets paused, but most of your business will run during the entire migration process.

  • 3 easy Linux alternatives for Windows XP refugees who don’t want a new PC

    Linux has a reputation for being designed for geeks only, but that’s old history. Many modern Linux distributions exceed the user-friendliness of XP, and they’re free to download. If you don’t like the feel of one, you can easily switch to another. What’s more, each Linux distribution comes loaded with useful software such as productivity suites, modern browsers like Chrome or Firefox, and photo and music management apps.

  • Decking Out Linux for the Senior Set

    “This is a subject very near and dear to me,” Linux Rants blogger Mike Stone told Linux Girl over a fresh Tequila Tux down at the blogosphere’s Punchy Penguin Saloon.

    Though Stone spent several years teaching “how to” computer courses for faculty and staff at a local university back in the 90s, “all those years barely prepared me for my greatest challenge: my own mother,” he said.

    To wit: After buying his parents a Windows 95 computer way back when, “I sat her down and showed her how to use the basic hardware,” he explained. Yet “even after hours a day over the course of weeks, the computer was too much for her. Windows just had too many options, and she kept getting herself into places she couldn’t get out of.

    “I literally spent years looking for environments that would make her comfortable,” Stone went on. “She went through the Windows OSes (95, 98, ME and finally XP) and some Linuxes — Red Hat first and then a couple variations of Ubuntu. She always found ways to get herself into trouble.”

  • Why I Use Linux and You Should Too

    I’ve been a computer user since around 1991, when we got our first PC, a Tandy from Radio Shack (almost $1,000), which came with Windows 3.1. Since then I’ve used each and every version of that operating system (OS), and still do. But at home and for personal use, it’s Linux for me. Why? Well that’s a question with many answers.

  • Raising Linux to Grow Open Source

    The biggest driving factor for software developers to work together with open source is cost. It is much cheaper for them to cooperate through open source than it is to remain isolated with proprietary software, asserted Inktank VP of Product Management Neil Levine. “You can no longer rely on one particular vendor to provide everything you need with regard to technology.”

After the Desktop

  • A Tablet You Can Finally QOOQ With In The Kitchen?

    QOOQ is a durable tablet designed for use in then kitchen. It’s even got its very own Linux-based OS…

  • What Operating Systems Do You Use?

    There was a time, back before smartphones and tablets, when most of us used, at most, only three operating systems.

  • MiracleCast: Miracast / WiFi Displays Come To Linux

    For months now David Herrmann has been working on a new project known as OpenWFD for open-source WiFi displays on Linux. OpenWFD is an open-source implementation of the WiFi Display Standard / Miracast. That work is now showing success and as part of that Herrmann has just announced Miraclecast as a component to providing open-source Miracast/WFD support on the Linux desktop.


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