06.27.14

Links 27/6/2014: New Mint 17 Variant, OwnCloud 7 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 4:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux is the quiet revolution that will leave Microsoft eating dust

    But the fact is, even if you think you are bound to Windows or some other proprietary operating system, you are probably already a Linux user too. When you visit a website, the chances are that it is using an Apache2 webserver. This is free and designed to integrate with the security and operating system features of Linux. Currently more than 60% of webservers are known to be hosting via Apache.

  • Desktop

    • xGNU/Linux Is Not That Other OS, Again…

      I came across a post in a forum challenging GNU/Linux experts to find a file-manager in GNU/Linux that would allow the authour to use GNU/Linux exactly the way he uses that other OS:“1. Search selected network drives / partitions / directories for files by name using wildcards

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernels 3.15.2, 3.14.9, 3.10.45, and 3.4.95

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of four stable kernels: 3.15.2, 3.14.9, 3.10.45, and 3.4.95. As usual, they contain changes throughout the tree and users of those kernel series should upgrade.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Haswell HD Graphics Benchmarks With Linux 3.16

        While nothing was explicitly stated with regard to 3D performance changes with the numerous Intel DRM improvements for Linux 3.16, I ran some basic OpenGL benchmarks on a Intel Core i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon box with Ubuntu 14.04 to look out for any performance changes when using the latest drm-next code merged into Linux 3.16.

      • X.Org Server 1.15.2 Released
      • Sadly, Two X.Org GSoC Projects Already Failed

        At the X.Org Board of Directors’ meeting yesterday, it was confirmed about two projects already failing. “Unfortunately we had to fail two students, one that disappeared right after the program start and one who failed the mid-term evaluations.” Sadly, this isn’t too uncommon for these student open-source projects funded by Google.

    • Benchmarks

      • Mac OSX 10.10 Yosemite beta vs 10.7.5 vs Ubuntu 14.04 on Macbook Air 2011

        The new OSX will be released this fall but a Mac OSX Yosemite beta is already available online. I don’t care much about the “wow” effect around the new Apple products, so I tested this new Operative System comparing the old OSX Lion 10.7.5 and the current Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS for the stuff I care: the UNIX and the Web performance part, because I fear the upgrade OSX dilemma.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • UT Update and the Futures of Fedora and KDE
      • Randa Meetings Interview Three: Vedant Agrawal

        Thanks again for your further support of the Randa Meetings fundraising. We have now reached almost 40% of the our goal and there is still time to go. Please help even more and spread the word. If we reach our goal we can have an even more stable Kdenlive, more applications ported to KDE Frameworks 5, further progress on Phonon, a look at Amarok 3, even better KDE educational applications, a finished port of GCompris to Qt and KDE technologies, an updated KDE Book, more work on Gluon and a new and amazing KDE SDK!

      • Where are my systray icons?

        One of the features no longer available in the upcoming Plasma 5 release is the xembed based system tray (for explanation see my previous blog post). This can result in some applications missing a system tray icon, but it shouldn’t happen. There are patches around for various toolkits which will turn the xembed icon into a status notifier item. Our KDE packagers were informed back in March about the upcoming change and which patches should be applied to which components.

      • Kubuntu 14.10 Alpha 1 (Utopic Unicorn) Is Out, Users Can Test the Plasma 5 Desktop

        Kubuntu14.10 Alpha 1 (Utopic Unicorn) is based on KDE 4.13.2, but the developers are tracking the upcoming KDE Frameworks 5, which is now in the works. It’s been a long time since a Kubuntu development version didn’t integrate an unstable version of KDE, but it looks like users will still be able to test what the makers of this distro are preparing.

        “Plasma 1 is our recommended stable offering and what you get from the default download, but is now in maintenance mode. It runs the software you are familiar with and will be getting updates and bugfixes but not new features from now on.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.13.3

        I’ve done the release team duty for the GNOME 3.13.3 release this week. As I often do, I took some screenshots of new things that I’ve noticed while smoketesting.

        There is quite a bit of good new stuff in this release, starting with an rewritten and improved Adwaita theme that is now part of GTK+.

      • The GNOME 3.13.3 Changes Are Exciting
      • In praise of Jim Hall | As far as I know

        Fast forward to the present day, and Jim has conducted a set of user tests on GNOME 3.10 and 3.12, which he has analysed and presented to Jakub and me. I have started filing bugs so we can fix the usability issues he discovered. More bug reports are on their way, and we’re pushing to use Jim’s testing data to increase GNOME’s usability for the next release. (Check out the bugs if you’re interested in helping out with this!)

      • The GNOME Shell Challenge

        The mission: use GNOME Shell as the primary desktop for an entire week. Do I choose to accept it? Yes. It’s easy enough to try something for a short time and discard it in a negative manner, which has been the case for me with GNOME Shell in the past, but perhaps it can be fun to challenge yourself to try something properly and for a longer time. Or perhaps you’re a masochist! Either way, feel free to join me…

  • Distributions

    • Is Antergos Arch Linux Really Faster Than Ubuntu, Fedora?

      Frequently within the Phoronix Forums it is requested to do benchmarks with Arch Linux since its users tend to be adamant that it’s the fastest Linux distribution. In the past I’ve run benchmarks of the Arch-based Manjaro to look for speed differences as an easy and quick to deploy variant. Today the latest Arch Linux variant I am benchmarking is Antegros Linux.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Preview: Running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 In Amazon’s EC2 Cloud

        For those in need of a quick and easy place to experiment and trial Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0, which was released as stable earlier this month, it’s easy to do so within Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. It’s running well using a Xen HVM instance and so I have run some preliminary benchmarks against SUSE Enterprise and Ubuntu Linux.

      • The curious case of why Red Hat won’t certify on HP’s OpenStack distro

        HP has the ability to run Red Hat’s distribution on its Helion OpenStack platform and welcomes a certification for it. So, why won’t Red Hat certify it on HP? At HP Discover 2014 in Las Vegas earlier this month, Saar Gillai, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for HP Cloud, joined John Furrier and Dave Vellante on theCUBE and talked about his bewilderment of why Red Hat won’t certify on HP’s platform.

      • Red Hat’s OpenStack strategy progresses with eNovance buy

        Red Hat has made a series of moves in recent months to make headway in the cloud as it once again seeks to successfully productize an open source platform.

        Red Hat Inc. has agreed to acquire Paris-based OpenStack cloud integrator eNovance. The new acquisition will help customers architect a cloud strategy, as well as set up, deploy and manage private clouds, according to the Raleigh, North Carolina-based company.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) alpha-1 released!

            The first alpha of the Utopic Unicorn (to become 14.10) has now been released!

            This alpha features images for Kubuntu, Lubuntu Ubuntu GNOME, UbuntuKylin and the Ubuntu Cloud images.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” Alpha 1 Released
          • Ubuntu 14.10 Alpha 1 Flavors Officially Released

            Unlike the previous development branch for Ubuntu 14.04, fewer developers chose to participate in the first Alpha release of 14.10. This is not something to worry about and it’s likely that the second Alpha will have more exposure.

            Canonical stopped releasing Alpha versions for its operating system for some time now, and only a few of the flavors have decided to keep doing this kind of releases. Ubuntu 14.10 will only get a Beta version right before launch so, until then, users can only expect the flavors to have intermediary builds.

          • Canonical Supporting IBM POWER8 for Ubuntu Cloud, Big Data

            If Ubuntu Linux is to prove truly competitive in the OpenStack cloud and Big Data worlds, it needs to run on more than x86 hardware. And that’s what Canonical achieved this month, with the announcement of full support for IBM POWER8 machines on Ubuntu Cloud and Ubuntu Server.

          • Ubuntu’s Ties to OpenStack Bring it to IBM’s Servers and Beyond

            POWER8 is IBM’s platform for wooing enterprise users interested in Big Data and fast performance. In early June, Canonical announced the official general availability of Power8 servers running Ubuntu.

          • Linux Format 186 – Fix Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn Alpha 1 released

            The next version of Ubuntu is due out in October, but you can take an early build of the open source operating system for a test drive at any time by grabbing the latest nightly.

            Or you can try the first Alpha release of Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn. While there’s not an official Alpha build of the main branch of Ubuntu with the Unity desktop, there are builds for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Cloud, which are all variations of Ubuntu with custom desktop environments and other features.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Smartwatch Battle: Pebble Steel vs. Galaxy Gear 2

      Before Google comes in with its own smartwatches, consumers have two mainstream devices to choose from. On one hand, there is the Galaxy Gear 2, coming from a reputed brand like Samsung and there’s Pebble Steel by Pebble Technology Corporation that gained popularity after a successful Kickstarter funding campaign for their first watch.

      When we consider the turf of wearable devices, there’s nothing much to boast of, except, of course, Google Glass. Apart from Pebble and Gear, the tech industry is impatiently waiting for the Motorola smartwatch, which will be made in collaboration with Google. The wait, however, doesn’t have to be this hard. If you are someone who wants to get their hands on a smartwatch right now, both the Pebble and the Gear 2 are excellent choices. Both have their own merits, and also their own demerits. But then, which to choose between the two? Well, that’s why we are here. In this article, we’ll be doing a quick comparison between the Pebble Steel smartwatch and the Galaxy Gear 2. Let’s see who wins.

    • Rugged, shape-shifting handheld runs Android

      Motorola Solutions unveiled a rugged, enterprise handheld that runs Android 4.1, 1D or 2D scanning, and offers a choice of brick, gun, or turret styles.

      When Motorola split into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions back in 2011, Motorola Mobility was supposed to be the Android company and Motorola Solutions the Windows company. Yet, the latter, which produces a range of enterprise solutions including 4G wireless equipment, has done quite well with its Android-ready enterprise handhelds.

    • Raspberry Pi motion controller
    • Yocto part IV – going on a diet
    • Raspberry Pi becomes an industrial web server

      A Polish start-up company is claiming to have created the first industrial computer based on the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module.

      Techbase, said the device which it has dubbed ModBerry is designed to be used in automation and installation markets providing multi-level user access cloud management.

    • Phones

      • Flashing Tizen Common on to the Intel NUC

        Exciting times are ahead of application and platform developers with the release of Tizen Common as it has the ability to run on the Intel NUC DE3815TYKHE, which was one of the giveaways at the Tizen Developer Conference (as well as the Samsung Gear 2)

      • Android

        • Google I/O 2014 keynote shows why Android should replace Chrome OS on Chromebooks

          The keynote of Google I/O was only and only about one thing – Android. This Linux-based operating system has become the center of Google’s universe. From cars to smartwatches, it was only about Android. That makes one wonder where was the other Linux-based platform, Chrome OS, Google has been developing for a while!

          Chrome was not absent, Google did talk about Chrome OS at the event, but it was more about Android than the Chrome OS. You can see Sundar Pichai talking about Chromebook at the event, but was more about Android than Chrome OS.

        • Android apps are coming to Chromebooks
        • Android apps are coming to Chromebooks, but there’s a catch

          Google’s Sundar Pichai had a lot to share on stage the Google I/O 2014 keynote on Wednesday. Between Pichai and another half-dozen Googlers, the keynote ran for about 2.5 hours, bombarding attendees with information on new features for Android, Chrome and other initiatives. So it makes sense that some things only got a few minutes of attention, and one of items that was actually the most interesting came when Pichai said Android apps are coming Google’s Chrome OS.

        • Google will NOT discontinue its Nexus devices

          There have been rumours doing rounds suggesting the end of Google’s Nexus line of Android devices. Well, here’s some piece of ‘real’ news for those who are worried about this. Google will be launching a new Nexus device along with the release of its Android L by the end of this year.

          It is also a fact that Google is reforming the way it will be rolling out high-end Android devices. Reportedly, the search giant is progressing on a new program dubbed Android Silver, as part of which, Google will be paying big manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Motorola to make Android smartphones according to the specifications it offers. They will then be sold via cellular carriers like AT&T and Verizon. This is expected to materialise by next year.

        • Google Gives Developers Early Access to Android L

          Android developers are getting their first look at the future with the new Android L Developer Preview edition of the mobile device operating system, which was unveiled by Google on June 25 at the Google I/O 2014 developers conference. The early preview version provides developers and users with glimpses of the evolution of Android as it approaches its seventh birthday in September 2014. Android L marks the first time that Google has ever provided early access to a development version of the OS to device and application developers, according to a June 25 post by Jamal Eason, an Android product manager, on the Android Developers Blog. The preview version, which is available for use as of today, will allow developers to explore many of the new features and capabilities of the next version of Android while providing tools to allow development and testing on the new platform, wrote Eason.

        • Android ‘L’ Keyboard, Wallpapers and Fonts available to download

Free Software/Open Source

  • Teradata Lifts the Limitations on Open Source R Analytics
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Linux 7.0 RC Uses XFS Filesystem and Has UEFI Support

      It’s been a couple of months since the latest development release for Oracle Linux, but the developers have had enough time to prepare the distro for the final release, although a precise date hasn’t been put forward.

      “It’s an exciting day for the Oracle Linux team because the Oracle Linux 7 release candidate is now available for download from Oracle Technology Network! Head on over to the OTN Oracle Linux downloads page and have a look at the Oracle Linux Beta Programs section to get it right now,” said the developers in the official announcement.

    • Oracle Linux 7 RC Released – Another RHEL 7 Clone

      Oracle is a little different – First of all, I’m not even sure what the name of the thing is. I’ve heard of OEL (Oracle Enterprise Linux), Oracle Linux, and a few other names. I think I’ll just call it OEL. OEL is a pay distro *BUT* they do offer free downloads of their install media as well as updates. Originally updates were pay-only but they opened that up a while back when they had a promotional campaign claiming they were faster with updates than CentOS (turns out they aren’t but close). I guess their business plan is you can use OEL for free and have updates… but there are some value add features (like Ksplice and Dtrace, etc) and support that cost extra. To download their iso install media you have to have an account on their system but that is cost-free and it just so happens I already had one because I’ve downloaded previous releases like OEL6.

  • Healthcare

    • Free software for healthcare facilities in need

      GNU Health is a free software tool for healthcare facilities in rural areas and developing countries, licensed under the GNU GPL. The project got its start in 2006, and at the time of my interview with Falcon, GNU Health had evolved into a health and hospital information system used by the United Nations, public hospitals and Ministries of Health in countries like Argentina, and private institutions around the globe. Today, GNU Solidario is planting their free software and health administration system into facilities in need in countries all over the world.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 4.0 Beta 2 Released With MATE Goodness

      GhostBSD 4.0 continues moving along as the FreeBSD operating system focused around the MATE Desktop Environment.

      GhostBSD 4.0 Beta 2 was released and it features various bug-fixes and other minor improvements over the earlier development versions.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.5.14 Officially Released

      PHP, an HTML-embedded scripting language with syntax borrowed from C, Java, and Perl, with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in, has been updated to version 5.5.14.

      The PHP 5.x branch includes a new OOP model based on the Zend Engine, a new extension for improved MySQL support, built-in native support for SQLite, and much more.

Leftovers

  • Scottish independence: Miliband raises border post prospect

    Ed Miliband has said a Labour government at Westminster would consider building border posts if Scotland voted for independence.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • How will the US react if someone made a film around a plot to assassinate a real US president?

      What is common between The Conspirator, Death of a President, JFK, The Day of the Jackal and Shooter? Full of twisted plots, these movies are based on President Assassination plots. A similar plot is bearing the wrath of the government of North Korea, which has taken serious offense to Seth Rogen’s upcoming film titled The Interview.

      The American action-comedy is about two journalists that are given the task of assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and is now being called as an “act of war” by the government. The movie stars Rogen and James Franco as the two journos who are instructed by the CIA to assassinate the leader. In a statement issued by a local KCNA news agency, a spokesperson from the foreign ministry called Rogen as a “gangster filmmaker” and has asked for the ban of the film, reported AFP.

      [...]

      This makes me wonder if there are any Hollywood films that show the assassination of a real and not a fictional US President. Or are there films that revolve around the plot of murdering the current US President? However, what I do remember is that the US Army banned the sale of Medal of Honor video game as the game allowed you to play as an Al Qaeda member and attack US troops. Do you think a writer can ever dare to work on a film plot about the assassination of the current US President?

    • ISIS Cashing in on Looted Antiquities to Fuel Iraq Insurgency
    • This Sunday, a Different Kind of Iraq War Booster: Bill Clinton

      Is Clinton trying to pull this trick all over again? Who knows. But what’s clear is that proponents of the Iraq War are still the kinds of people that corporate media are seeking out as experts now. Getting pro-war Democrats to balance out the pro-war Republicans isn’t exactly a broad debate.

    • Google withdraws its robots from military contest

      Remember Schaft? The dextrous little robot that previously grabbed the top prize at DARPA’s $2 million Robotics Challenge. Google acquired the Japanese robotics firm in 2013, and reports emerged soon after that Mountain View was planning to pull its team from the DARPA robotics competition. The reason being the company is not keen on pursuing military contracts.

  • Finance

    • Millions in Poverty Get Less Coverage Than 482 Billionaires

      Poverty continues to be a pressing social problem– but it’s hardly mentioned on the network newscasts, according to a new study by the media watch group FAIR.

    • Marty Bennett

      Peter Phillips with guest host Marty Bennett Co-Chair, North Bay Jobs with Justice, examine the significance of the $15 an hour city-wide minimum wage recently approved by the City of Seattle and we will discuss the minimum wage and living wage campaigns across the SF Bay Area that are part of the national “Fight for $15″ campaign. Our guests include: Jahmese Myres, Policy Associate and Organizer, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Gordon Mar is Executive Director of SF Jobs with Justice, Derecka Mehrens, Executive Director, Working Partnerships USA (Santa Clara County) and Paul K. Sonn, General Counsel & Program Director National Employment Law Project

    • China building World Bank rival

      Owing to its concerns over western (mainly US) dominance on the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, China is working towards establishing a global financial institution. According to two sources familiar with the matter, Beijing has proposed to other countries to double the size of the registered capital for the bank to $100bn, FT reported.

      The bank, which will be named Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has so far garnered attention from 22 countries including Middle East. Initially, the model will be focusing on a revised version of the ancient trade route that connected Europe to China- silk road.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Nigerian man is locked up after saying he is an atheist

      Campaigners call for release of 29-year-old Mubarak Bala, who lives in Kano in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north

    • The Insane Clown Posse’s lawsuit against the FBI: how does it work?

      The Department of Justice has asked a Detroit-area federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit against the department and the FBI filed by local horror-rap group the Insane Clown Posse and four of its fans, with the assistance of the ACLU. That’s a real thing that’s happening in the world we all inhabit. Here, watch ICP’s Joseph Bruce (aka Violent J) introduce the lawsuit on January 8:

    • FBI vs. ICP: Juggalos say gang designation caused harassment; Feds say document only reported trends

      U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland on Monday heard arguments on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Insane Clown Posse and a group of fans against the FBI.

      ICP, a Detroit music duo known for explicit lyrics, face paint and a diehard following that created the “Juggalo” subculture, claim a 2011 FBI report caused their fans to be detained, questioned and harassed by law enforcement agencies across the country. (View the complaint here.)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Father of Net Neutrality Returns to Do Battle With Comcast

      Fifteen years ago, he landed a marketing job with a network equipment maker called Riverstone Networks. Riverstone made network routers, among other things, and it sold many of these to Chinese internet service providers who then used them to block traffic on their networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court Uses The Bizarre ‘Looks Like A Cable Duck’ Test To Outlaw Aereo

        As you may have heard, this morning, the Supreme Court effectively killed off Aereo with an unfortunate and terribly problematic 6 to 3 ruling that can be summarized simply as the “looks like a duck” test. If you’re not familiar with the history, decades back, when cable companies were first around, they started rebroadcasting network TV to cable subscribes, and the Supreme Court (rightly) ruled that this was perfectly legal. The broadcasters ran screaming and crying to Congress, who changed the law to create a retransmission setup, saying that if cable companies wanted to retransmit broadcast TV they had to pay fees. Aereo got around that by setting up a very different system — or so we thought. The majority decision, written by Stephen Breyer, really just keeps going back to the fact that Aereo looks just like what those cable companies used to do… and therefore, given that Congress changed the law to outlaw that, Congress must have meant that Aereo should be illegal as well. The majority seems to view things as a black box, ignoring everything in the box. It just says “well, to end users and to networks, this is identical to the old cable systems.” As for the very careful steps that Aereo took to comply with the law? The majority just brushes that off as meaningless.

06.26.14

Links 26/6/2014: Linux is Everywhere; A Lot of Android News

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Get what you paid for with open source

    That right there is the beauty of open source and the benefit of ‘paying’ with your time. We get so used to software that forces us to just deal with the menus and settings they provide that we don’t think to suggest new features when we switch to open source, but if you do you might just get what you’d paid for.

  • Cisco open sources cloud-centric block ciphers

    Cisco is open sourcing block cipher technology to, the company hopes, better protect and control traffic privacy in cloud computing systems

  • With LINCX open source SDN switch, who needs ASICs?

    This past year, Stu Bailey, founder and CTO of network management company InfoBlox, led a research team in developing a fully programmable, open source SDN switch that is not ASIC dependent. The LINCX switch runs on any off-the-shelf Linux or Xen server or on a white box switch and is not network ASIC dependent.

  • Ceph Turns 10: A Look Back

    Although many people at this point have heard Sage’s history of where Ceph came from, I am still often asked questions like “what was the original use case for Ceph?”

    So, in honor of the 10th birthday of Ceph, I thought it might be helpful (and hopefully interesting, given how much I love to hear Sage tell the story) to share Ceph’s origin story and the road to where we are today.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Education

    • Why Raspberry Pi is still the white knight of education

      Two years ago, when the Raspberry Pi launched, it was with the intention of improving IT education in the UK. Since then more powerful, better connected or cheaper boards have come onto the market, but the Pi retains its position as the white knight of ICT teaching.

      Why? Because of the community of users that has grown up around it. To find out more we travelled west to Manchester, venue for the second annual Jamboree—a festival of educators, makers and messer-abouters focussed on highlighting how engaging the Pi can be. There, we met 75% of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s education team—Ben Nuttall, Clive Beale, and Carrie Anne Philbin—to discuss IT teaching in the UK.

  • Business

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Critique of Gedit Syntax Highlighting + PHP Color Schemes

      I’ve always liked PHP’s default syntax highlighting, that is to say the color scheme used by highlight_file(). I’ve often found myself easily grokking code examples on PHP.net when, say, looking up the parameter order for something like imageconvolution(), only to suffer some frustration once going back to Gedit.

    • Eclipse Luna Release Train Now Available

      The Eclipse Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of the Luna release, the annual release train from the Eclipse community. This year 76 projects are participating in the release that includes 61 million lines of code and was developed by over 340 Eclipse committers. This is the ninth year the Eclipse community has planned, developed, and delivered a coordinated release that allows users and adopters to update their Eclipse installations at one time.

    • Intel MIC Run-Time Offload Library Close To Entering GCC

      Intel’s MIC run-time offload library will likely be added to the GNU Compiler Collection in the very near future.

      This month the GCC steering committee approved adding Intel’s offload library to GCC that provides run-time support for their MIC architecture, which is what makes up their high-end “Xeon Phi” hardware.

Leftovers

  • The Muddle of Cameron

    Personally I am very pro-EU. But whatever your stance on the EU, the outright dishonesty of the Cameron approach must be condemned.

    I published a couple of weeks ago that Juncker does not share Barroso’s hostility to Scottish independence: as a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg he does not see the problem with small nations. The British media has been extremely keen to puff up the opposition to Scottish independence by foreign leaders. Cameron and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have invested huge diplomatic capital into persuading Barack Obama and Li Keqiang to make statements against Scottish independence, while standing next to Cameron for the cameras.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Samba Exploits Fixes in All Ubuntu Supported OSes
    • Risk of DDoS Amplification Attacks on NTP Servers Declines

      At the beginning of the year, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warned of the dangers of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that were leveraging Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers to amplify attacks. Apparently, that warning did not fall on deaf ears, as most vulnerable NTP servers have been patched in the last six months, according to a new report from NSFOCUS.

      In December 2013, NSFOCUS found that 432,120 NTP servers around the world could potentially be leveraged in a DDoS attack. In a new analysis released today and conducted during the month of May, NSFOCUS only found 17,647 unpatched servers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • It’s the Oil, Stupid! Insurgency and War on a Sea of Oil

      Events in Iraq are headline news everywhere, and once again, there is no mention of the issue that underlies much of the violence: control of Iraqi oil. Instead, the media is flooded with debate about, horror over, and extensive analysis of a not-exactly-brand-new terrorist threat, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). There are, in addition, elaborate discussions about the possibility of a civil war that threatens both a new round of ethnic cleansing and the collapse of the embattled government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    • Fracking May Pollute Groundwater with More Chemicals Than Previously Thought

      It turns out that there may far more contamination from fracking than once thought. Scientists have found that the oil and gas extraction method known and hydraulic fracturing may contribute more pollutants to groundwater than previous research has suggested.

  • Finance

    • The living wage offers a better future for the UK’s one million working poor
    • NYT on Student Loan Crisis: What Crisis Is That?

      Leonhardt dismisses these concerns over debt as “scare stories.” He seems to think that the proper message to give indebted graduates is: Don’t worry, be happy.

    • Skyhook Ships 150 Open-Source Bitcoin ATMs in First Month

      Open-source bitcoin ATM manufacturer Skyhook has announced that it has shipped 150 units since its May launch, and that 70 units have been sent to customers since the beginning of June alone.

    • Congressional Candidate Loves Bitcoin, Attends Bitcoin in the Beltway

      B.J. Gulliot is a Republican running for Washington State’s 2nd Congressional district, and he wants your Bitcoin.

      Gulliot doesn’t appear to be a run-of-the-mill Republican. First off, he is a Republican in Washington State, which just legalized marijuana. He also drives the 100 % electric Nissan Leaf and loves to travel outside of the country. Not exactly the image that comes to mind when you think of the grand ole party.B.J. Gulliot is a Republican running for Washington State’s 2nd Congressional district, and he wants your Bitcoin.

      Gulliot doesn’t appear to be a run-of-the-mill Republican. First off, he is a Republican in Washington State, which just legalized marijuana. He also drives the 100 % electric Nissan Leaf and loves to travel outside of the country. Not exactly the image that comes to mind when you think of the grand ole party.

    • Obama’s Latest Betrayal of America and Americans in Favor of the Big Banks: TISA

      Professor Jane Kelsey of the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland prepared an analysis of the leak that I recommend that everyone read. She, appropriately, emphasizes that any analysis must be tentative because we have only a partial, stale draft through the whistleblower(s).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Google Search Removal Lets Europe Purify Its Past

      Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols reports on Google removing search results following a privacy ruling from the European Union and looks at the excitement in Germany for today’s match between Germany and the United States. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

    • Obvious Child: NBC admits error over alleged censorship of abortion comedy

      US TV network concede online advert to promote Sundance hit had removed the word ‘abortion’

    • Censorship laws not needed to tackle prejudice

      On the one hand we have racism, with special legal privileges to censor offensive comment.

      On the other we have sexism and homophobia that do not enjoy the same protections.

      Yet even without them the preparedness of Australians to tackle sexism and homophobia has been on full display.

    • Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Defendant Must Decrypt Data

      Encryption software has been enjoying a prolonged day in the sun for about the last year. Thanks to the revelations of Edward Snowden about the NSA’s seemingly limitless capabilities, security experts have been pounding the drum about the importance of encrypting not just data in transit, but information stored on laptops, phones and portable drives. But the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court put a dent in that armor on Wednesday, ruling that a criminal defendant could be compelled to decrypt the contents of his laptops.

      The case centers on a lawyer who was arrested in 2009 for allegedly participating in a mortgage fraud scheme. The defendant, Leon I. Gelfgatt, admitted to Massachusetts state police that he had done work with a company called Baylor Holdings and that he encrypted his communications and the hard drives of all of his computers. He said that he could decrypt the computers seized from his home, but refused to do so.

    • Make No Mistake, the Risen Case Is a Direct Attack on the Press

      On June 2nd, the Supreme Court rejected New York Times reporter James Risen’s appeal of a 4th Circuit decision that ruled the government can compel him to reveal his source under oath. The case, one of the most important for reporter’s privilege in decades, means that Risen has exhausted his appeals and must now either testify in the leak trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, or face jail time for being in contempt of court. Risen has admirably vowed to go to prison rather than comply.

    • Six flaws in the case against three jailed al-Jazeera journalists
  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • CIA Hit With Two New Lawsuits Over Its Hostile Response To Basic FOIA Requests

      I guess it’s no surprise that the CIA would be institutionally against things like transparency and freedom of information. However, in the last couple weeks there have been two separate lawsuits filed by well known Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) activists over the CIA’s general bad behavior in response to FOIA requests. First up is Michael Morisy and Muckrock, who have sued over a variety of failures by the CIA to adequately respond to a long list of FOIA requests that really should not be problematic at all.

    • A Brief History of the Bipartisan Erosion of Civil Liberties

      Six to 18 hours later you arrive at a military base and are water boarded, sensory deprived, and stress positioned at the very least. You are held indefinitely and without due process. Being stripped of due process can include:

      No formal charges will likely ever be filed against you.
      No right to call a lawyer, your family, or your pastor.
      No judge or magistrate will ever see you.
      No right to remain silent.

      And best of all, as the law reads, you are held, “until the end of hostilities.”

    • UN International Day In Support Of Victims Of Torture
    • Exclusive: Scapegoating the whistle-blower

      How a former CIA officer’s efforts to get Congress to investigate the rendition and torture of a CIA captive failed

    • Problems at the CIA are systemic and reflective of a total lack of leadership and initiative at its senior most level
    • CIA Told To Hand Over Torture Accounts
    • International Day Against Torture: 10 Brutal Techiques that Must be Banned [GRAPHIC CONTENT]

      Water boarding was one of the six CIA’s approved torture methods during Bush’s administration.

    • Guantánamo judge stands firm on CIA ‘black site’ order

      A military judge isn’t backing down from his order to the U.S. government to give defense lawyers details of the accused USS Cole bomber’s odyssey through the CIA’s secret prisons, but may let prosecutors shield the identities of some agents, according to people who have seen a secret Guantánamo war court order.

    • Judge upholds order demanding release of CIA torture accounts

      US government loses attempt to keep accounts of torture of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri secret

    • Exclusive: CIA Sued For Info Over Spying on Senate Torture Investigation

      Today Jason Leopold and Ryan Shapiro, commonly known as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) warriors, upped the ante in their fight for more transparency from the CIA relating to its Bush-era torture and rendition program. Leopold, a freelance investigative journalist, and Shapiro, a researcher at MIT, have filed a lawsuit against the CIA compelling the agency to release documents about their spying on Senate lawmakers who were tasked with investigating CIA torture.

    • KFC: No Proof Worker Asked Scarred Child to Leave

      Fried chicken chain KFC said two different investigations have not found any evidence that an employee asked a 3-year-old girl and family members to leave because injuries she suffered in a pit bull mauling disturbed customers.

      KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said Tuesday the company considered the matter closed after an internal investigation by the franchise restaurant in Jackson and an independent probe. Maynard said the company would honor its commitment to donate $30,000 to help with medical bills for Victoria Wilcher.

    • Pentagon Official: The Obama Drone Kill Memo Is Out And Libertarians Were Right — It’s Murder

      On Monday, the White House memo used to justify drone attacks on U.S. citizens was released, and it appears to confirm the worst suspicions of its libertarian critics. The Obama administration had sought to keep the memo secret, and now we know why: Because there are no checks and balances; there are no classified courts. Indeed, the memo reveals that the president of the United States ordered the targeting killing of U.S. citizens overseas — in violation of their constitutional right to due process — sans any type of oversight outside of the executive.

    • Comment: On Assange anniversary, press freedom held hostage

      Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, has begun his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange and Ecuador are on record that he was willing to go to Sweden, he feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States. A US grand jury has been investigating him for four years in relation to the case against Chelsea Manning, who was convicted in July 2013 for leaking a massive trove of secret diplomatic documents to Wikileaks.

    • Maverick Filmmaker Says America Destroying The World!

      Last Saturday night I attended one of the most invigorating talks combining my two passions – politics and film – with Hollywood film legend Oliver Stone, the man behind some of the most seminal American films like JFK, Platoon, Born On The 4th of July, Salvador and On Any Given Sunday! Stone is a complete package – a great, firebrand filmmaker, a man of the world, a former Vietnam war veteran who’s turned anti-war and a fierce critic of American imperialism and exceptional ism seeped in bloodshed and killing of innocents around the world!

    • 4 Ways Your Constitutional Right to Privacy Has Been Gutted Since 9/11
    • Four Ways the Fourth Amendment Gets Shredded
    • Abu Qatada: Radical cleric acquitted on terrorism conspiracy charges by Jordan court

      His removal – which followed a treaty between Britain and Jordan guaranteeing his right to a fair and open retrial – won widespread plaudits for Theresa May, the Home Secretary.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • 6 Reasons Broadband Should Be Reclassified (& Regulated) as a Utility

      In order to restrict what you can do and where you can go online, ISPs would need to watch what you do online.

    • ‘Internet’s Own Boy’: Why Aaron Swartz’s story matters
    • Noah Swartz: My Brother Aaron Changed the Internet Forever

      So when mere months after his death Edward Snowden released his cache of internal NSA files, and we the public and the media all struggled to understand it and figure out what to do, it was hard not to miss Aaron immensely. It was a surprise of sorts seeing that I wasn’t the only one who looked to Aaron for guidance, and that I wasn’t the only one having a hard time without him. Remember when Wikipedia blacked out to protest SOPA/PIPA? A lot of people wondered why something similar didn’t happen in protest of the NSA, why something similar didn’t happen more recently in the fight for net neutrality. The answer, in large part, is because Aaron isn’t around anymore to do these things. To motivate and guide us.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court puts Aereo out of business

        Aereo, a TV-over-the-Internet startup whose legal battles have been closely watched, has been ruled illegal by the Supreme Court today. If the company survives at all, its business model will have to change drastically, and it will have to pay fees to the television companies it has been fighting in court for more than two years.

        In a 6-3 opinion (PDF) written by Justice Stephen Breyer, Aereo was found to violate copyright law. According to the opinion, the company is the equivalent of a cable company, which must pay licensing fees when broadcasting over-the-air content. “Viewed in terms of Congress’ regulatory objectives, these behind-the-scenes technological differences do not distinguish Aereo’s system from cable systems, which do perform publicly,” reads the opinion.

      • MOVIE BOSS LOSES THE PLOT OVER ISP PIRACY LIABILITY

        The fight between a movie studio and an Australian ISP has today taken another odd turn. Village Roadshow’s co-CEO now suggests that iiNet must take responsibility for piracy in the same way a car manufacturer apparently would if one of its vehicles killed someone while being driven by a customer. Except they don’t, of course.

06.25.14

Links 25/6/2014: A Lot of Android News, Peppermint Five

Posted in News Roundup at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • LinuxQuestions.org Turns Fourteen
  • Server

    • OpenStack chair: Linux at the cutting edge of the cloud

      The cloud-dominated world of modern IT is the perfect breeding ground for the spread of Linux in particular and open-source software in general, according to the man responsible for guiding one of the most important open-source projects.

    • The People Who Support Linux: Systems Engineer Teaching Himself Python

      Systems engineer Renault Ellis started using Linux five years ago when he was enrolled in a security and forensics program. He was studying IP tables and read the C Programming Language manual by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie along with Cliff Stoll’s The Cuckoo’s Egg.

      “I was hooked,” Ellis said via email. “I knew then I wanted to be a Linux Engineer.”

      Ellis is now a Senior Linux and Unix Engineer at electronics distributor Premier Farnell in Chicago, Illinois, where he creates, tests and deploys scripts in an eCommerce environment. He works with Apache and several different monitoring tools, both open source and commercial, and leads a lot of the DR (disaster recovery) and PCI (payment card industry) processes in their Unix environment.

    • Linux dominates supercomputers as never before

      For years, Linux has ruled supercomputing. So, it came as no surprise to anyone at the Linux Enterprise End-User Summit near Wall Street that once again the Top500 group found in its latest supercomputer ranking that Linux was the fastest of the fast operating systems.

      [...]

      In the latest contest, not only did Linux dominate, but Linux showed that is slowly pushing out all its competitors. In the June 2014 Top 500 supercomputer list, the top open-source operating system set a new high with 485 systems out of the fastest 500 running Linux. In other words 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world are based on Linux.

    • Linux Domination, Ubuntu Uncertainty, and Nerdy Enlightenment
    • Smooth like btrfs: Inside Facebook’s Linux-powered infrastructure

      Facebook engineer Chris Mason is unequivocal about the primacy of Linux in Facebook’s storage infrastructure.

      “If it runs on a computer, and it’s storing important data,” he said, “it’s running Linux.”

      Mason, speaking at the Linux Enterprise End-User Summit on Monday in New York, joined Facebook just six months ago in order to spearhead the social network’s move to btrfs (usually pronounced “butter eff ess.”), the Linux-based file system that he created in 2008 while working at Oracle.

    • Why Linux on Power?
  • Kernel Space

    • The OpenStack and Linux developer communities compared

      The kernel has roughly twice as fast of a release cycle as OpenStack. In the kernel’s case, there are roughly 2-3 month release cycles containing a two week merge period with six to ten week of stabilization work. OpenStack’s cycle is six months, made up by a four week planning window, 14 weeks of code merger, and six weeks dedicated to stabilization. The result? Faster releases for the kernel, but perhaps less significant changes per release.

    • Linux 3.16: Deadline I/O Scheduler Generally Leads With A SSD

      There’s been numerous requests lately for more disk I/O scheduler benchmarks on Phoronix of the Linux kernel and its various scheduler options. Given that there’s routinely just speculation and miscommunication by individuals over the best scheduler for HDDs/SSDs, here’s some fresh benchmarks for reference using the Linux 3.16 kernel.

      This early Linux 3.16 testing was just some simple and straight-forward tests I got done with a spare system I maintained access to while in Russia. Once returning to the US this week and then settling into the new Phoronix office I’ll run some more Linux 3.16 benchmarks using the latest Git snapshot at the time and use both hard drives and solid-state drives.

    • Linus Torvalds to developers: Make it personal

      “It’s not that Linux was new from a technical standpoint. It was new because it was done differently,” says Linus Torvalds in his interview with the IEEE Computer Society. “Linux made it clear how well open source works, not just from a technical standpoint, but also from a business, commercial, and community standpoint.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • Celebrating 30 Years of the X Windows System

        Where were you when you first learned about open source software? If you’re under, say, the age of 40, your answer will probably be, “Come again? I’ve always known about it!” But if you’re older, you may recall the first time you ever heard the phrase. Maybe it was when Netscape announced it was going to “open source” its Navigator Browser, or perhaps when you heard the name Richard Stallman for the first time. It may also be the case that it was some time before you really got your arms around what open software (or Stallman’s Free and Open Software) really meant in all of its various connotations – license-wise, commercial and community.

        Or maybe you got involved before the phrase “open source software” had even been coined (in 1998, by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond) to describe what it was they were doing.

        That’s what happened in my case, when one day I got a call from one of the great unsung heroes of the open source movement – Bob Scheifler, of MIT. Bob is not only a wizard with code, but he did for the X Window System – the code that enabled the GUI for the then dominant non-desktop operating system (UNIX) and is still used in Linux today – what Linus Torvalds later did with Linux itself.

      • Intel Broadwell Graphics Names Revealed Via Linux Driver

        For what it’s worth, the marketing graphics product names for Intel’s upcoming Broadwell processors have been revealed.

      • Mesa 10.2.2
      • Mesa 10.1.5 & Mesa 10.2.2 Released
      • Drawing Tablet Support Being Figured Out For Wayland

        Chandler Paul has published a draft specification of wl_tablet that covers support for drawing tablets (i.e. Wacom-like tablets) to the Wayland protocol. Tablet support is already present within libinput as the common, abstracted input library but now it’s time to add the necessary support to the Wayland protocol.

      • Wayland’s libinput 0.4.0 Released
      • XWayland GLAMOR & DRI3 Support Added In Mainline X.Org Server
    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Qt 5.3.1 Released

      I am happy to announce that today we released Qt 5.3.1. Qt 5.3.0 has been well received with over 500.000 downloads in the first 5 weeks of release. I believe this new patch release is even better offering many improvements over Qt 5.3.0. As a patch release, it does not add new features, but various improvements and fixes. Qt Creator version 3.1.2 also released today, is packaged into the installers. For Qt Enterprise users we are providing a fully supported Qt Quick Compiler 1.0.0, as well as updates for Data Visualization (version 1.1) and Charts (version 1.4).

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • [Calligra] My new feature- Highlight changes in the cell
      • Porting plasmate to kdevplatform

        Plasmate’s goal is to help people create/test and deploy plasma packages. Originally in KDE4 we offered a clear way on how to use the plasma tools like the embedded plasmoidviewer. But we were aware that people might not want to use plasmate and instead use the plasma tools as standalone applications like they used to before the release of plasmate so we were still offering the option of using another IDE and the plasma tools. Also for every single new feature that we added to plasmate(like the kconfigxteditor) we also provided a standalone application because we wanted to give people the option to continue use their favorite IDE and the new plasma tools. In my opinion the purpose of a software application is to make the life of its users(people) easier. For the ones who don’t use plasmate if we didn’t offer those tools as standalone applications we wouldn’t fulfill our purpose. But it can also get better

      • Linux Gaming Benchmarks With Plasma-Next, KDE Frameworks 5
      • Kdenlive at Randa

        Further integration of the refactored code. The plans to rework our codebase were first discussed in 2011. In 2012 thanks to your generous donations major parts of the code could be rewritten. However they are still not being used in a released version of Kdenlive since since then developer activity was unfortunately rather low. In Randa we want to work out a plan to continue the efforts step by step and start implementing it.

      • Neptune 4.0 Wants to Be the Best KDE-Based OS

        ZevenOS-Neptune 4.0 has been dubbed “It’s all about you” and is the first release in a new series. The last update for a Neptune Linux distribution was made all the way back in October 2013, but the developers have made some great progress since then.

        “This version is aimed for creating a fast running Linux Live System for USB Sticks and offering the best out of the box experience for hard drive installations. Therefore we developed easy to use applications like USB Installer aswell as a Persistent Creator that allows you to store changes to your system on your live usb stick.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • New icon browser tool for GTK+ developers in development

        As someone that has dabbled from time to time making small GTK applications for Fedora, one of the pain points when making an interface was just figuring out what specific icons were named, and what they looked like. My previous workflow was to open up /usr/share/icons/ in Files, and search for the icon and the icon name.

      • Touchscreen Support Added To GNOME’s Mutter On Wayland

        With today’s release of Mutter 3.13.3, GNOME on Wayland has support for touchscreen support.

        The Mutter 3.13.3 release brings touch support on Wayland along with improved behavior of window buttons with comoositor menus, updated window shadows, support for keeping windows on the preferred output and various bug fixes.

      • Whats that icon ?
      • GNOME Shell 3.13.3 Features Improved Behavior of Window Buttons

        This is the second update for GNOME Shell in the current 3.13.x development cycle, and it looks like some interesting changes have been made, although there is no major feature to be observed.

        According to the changelog, closing windows with attached modals is no longer allowed, GNOME Shell is no longer self-restarting on OpenBSD, and the behavior of window buttons with compositor menus has been improved.

        Also, a workaround has been implemented for an atspi-related performance regression, numerous smaller bugs have been fixed, and a handful of translations have been updated…

      • Help Test New Font Manager Vala/GTK3 Alpha Version

        The application is not new and you’ll find it in the Ubuntu (and Fedora, etc.) repositories but it hasn’t been updated in about 4 years. Recently, the Font Manager developer started working on a new GTK3/Vala version and he needs you to test it and post feedback.

      • GNOME’s Orca Screen Reader Receives Major Changes and Improvements

        Orca works with applications and toolkits that support the Assistive Technology Service Provider Interface (AT-SPI), which is the primary assistive technology infrastructure for Linux and Solaris.

        The developers are making some very big changes to Orca and it looks like GNOME 3.14 will feature several important new features. This is the second major overhaul done by the Orca devs, but they are not stopping here.

      • GNOME Control Center 3.13.2 Finally Gets HiDpi Support

        The GNOME Control Center allows users to configure various components of their system using a vast collection of tools. It’s the hub for all the major settings that can be done in a GNOME environment, so it’s easy to see why any update for it might be considered important.

        In fact, the GNOME Control Center didn’t see many changes in the previous GNOME 3.12 release, besides the regular updates and new features. Some changes have been made, but nothing really stood out.

      • GTK+ 3.13.3 Now Features Adwaita Theme by Default
  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha Ditches Mac OS Look

      Black Lab Linux is a distribution designed for general desktop and power users that comes with a lot of applications and features. In the past, the developers tried to market this distribution as a replacement for Windows and Mac OS X systems and they even tried to make it look like those OSes.

      It turns out that users didn’t really go for that look, so the makers of Black Lab Linux had to change gears and make some important modifications. The current build of this Linux distribution looks very different from the previous editions, but that might turn out to be a good thing…

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Closes OpenSSL Regression in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

            Canonical has published details about an OpenSSL regression in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems.

          • NEW CINNAMON STABLE UBUNTU PPAS [UBUNTU 14.04 AND 12.04]

            If you use Ubuntu 12.04, use the second (Cool PPA below. For Ubuntu 14.04, you can use any of the two PPAs below.

            [•••]

            Tsvetko’s stable Cinnamon PPA provides the latest Cinnamon for Ubuntu 14.04 (2.2.13) and Cinnamon 2.0.14 for Ubuntu 12.04 (that’s because newer Cinnamon versions don’t work in Ubuntu 12.04) as well as all the required packages like Nemo, cinnamon-screensaver, etc.

          • Canonical: A company in dire need of a clear objective

            Who remembers the Ubuntu Netbook Edition or UNE (formerly Ubuntu Netbook Remix)? At about 2009/10, netbooks were all the rage. The technology produced, low powered, low cost, and extremely portable PCs. The netbook (and Microsoft marketing) would eventually drive hardware vendors to produce the Ultrabook. Many distribution spins were created to accommodate this netbook market and that included Ubuntu. Canonical would even work closely with Dell, to deliver a Moblin flavored distribution. As soon as it appeared, it disappeared, although all was not lost. The fundamental design for the UNE would inspire Unity.

          • My new feature- Highlight changes in the cell
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint KDE 17 review; is this the Plasma you were looking for?

              The Linux Mint team has announced the release of the Plasma Desktop edition of the popular GNU/Linux based operating system – Linux Mint KDE 17. Being a Plasma user myself, and since I keep a close eye on what this team is doing, I was obviously interested in testing it out.

            • Resurrect Your Old Computer with Emmabuntüs 1.08

              The Emmabuntüs distribution is intended to be sleek, accessible, and equitable, but above all, it’s designed for old computers.

              “It was designed to make the refurbishing of computers given to humanitarian organizations easier, especially Emmaüs communities (which is where the distribution’s name comes from), and to promote the discovery of GNU/Linux by beginners,” reads the official announcement.

            • Peppermint Five is Live
            • Peppermint Five released
            • Peppermint OS Five [screenshots]
            • An Everyday Linux User review of Lubuntu 14.04

              This is one of those reviews that should be really easy to write. Just last week I wrote an article listing 5 reasons why Lubuntu would be good for Windows XP users. Therefore with this in mind you might think that this review would list all of Lubuntu’s good points and paint a positive picture.

              Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. As far as I am concerned Lubuntu 14.04 feels like a step backwards when compared to Lubuntu 13.10.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • My first Linux based robot
    • I just got my BeagleBoard Black, now what?
    • Automation controller taps Raspberry Pi Compute Module

      Techbase has designed a Raspberry Pi Compute Module into a Linux-based “ModBerry” automation computer backed by an “iMod” cloud platform for remote control.

      The computer-on-module version of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, which began shipping this week, was anticipated by many, but perhaps nowhere so acutely as in Poland. First, we heard about A Sherlybox private cloud storage device based on the module from Polish startup Sher.ly, and now Gdansk-based industrial computer manufacturer Techbase has opened pre-orders for an automation computer called the ModBerry 500 based on the COM.

    • This is the Gear Live, Samsung’s $199 Android Wear Smartwatch

      Wearables were everywhere today at Google I/O, but there was only one truly new product announced: the Galaxy Live, Samsung’s Android Wear-running smartwatch. And we’ve had a chance to spend a few minutes playing with a demo unit — it’s only able to do a few things right now, but we have our best sense yet of what Android Wear hardware and software will look like. This is one of the key devices for Android Wear, one of the watches being given to all attendees of the conference, and at first glance it’s quite nice.

    • Tizen Samsung Z Unpacked Event – Russia July 10, 2014
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google I/O Offers Devs Big Bonanza

          Google on Wednesday kicked off its I/O conference in San Francisco, presenting devs with a dizzying array of possibilities: a new design language for Android L; a boatload of new apps, APIs and SDKs; and expanded support for a variety of architectural and hardware configurations. “If I were a developer, I would feel real good about opportunities today,” said ABI analyst Jeff Orr.

        • Windows wars? The Android and Chrome OS Alliance

          Linux may rule in most places — supercomputers, mobile, and Wall Street to name a few — but the Windows empire has still held on to the desktop, despite Windows 8.x’s failure to grab marketshare quickly. Now there’s new hope: At Google I/O, Sundar Pichai, Google’s head of Chrome and Android, said during the opening keynote that Google will be giving Chrome OS the power to run Android apps.

        • Android TV hands-on: Google makes a new play for the living room

          Google hasn’t exactly been successful at taking over the living room — Chromecast aside, its previous efforts have failed to capture much consumer interest. However, during the I/O 2014 keynote today, the company showed that it is ready to start fresh with Android TV. It’s a new platform that combines live TV via your cable box or even an over-the-air antenna along with Android apps and services like Google Play to offer up a more simplified way to get content to your TV than the older Google TV model.

        • Android boss envious of Apple, but says open source is best

          What Pichai didn’t say was that Cook was at all wrong. Android’s variety naturally leads to issues in various areas, security being one of them. It’s also why popular chipset maker Qualcomm has come on so strongly with their Snapdragon series. Though they’ve varying degrees of prowess, Snapdragon chipsets all have the same basic security layers intact.

        • Exclusive: Sundar Pichai, Head of Google’s Android, on Apple, Samsung, and Amazon
        • Quit the madness, iOS is not more secure than Android!

          The misconception that Apple’s products are somehow more secure has carried from Macbooks to iPhones. This may sometimes be a true statement, but it’s usually due to external factors, not actual security procedures or OS advantages. Such has been found to be the case with iOS when compared to Android, according to Marble Security Labs.

        • Cyanogen Expands Team in Push for Open Android

          Cyanogen is a for-profit business built around the CyanogenMod project, which is used by hobbyists to unlock their phones in order to get quicker updates and remove the types of interfaces installed by their device maker and carrier. It offers its own flavor of Android — one designed to offer users more choice while at the same time remaining fully compatible with the official Google version.

        • Last Nexus 6 coming later this year with a 5.5-inch screen

          A source within Google tells Ausdroid that “a new Nexus phone is definitely in the works, with the big feature of the new Nexus phone tipped to be a very LG G3 sized 5.5″ screen. While the screen size matches, no mention was made of whether the resolution of the panel would be equal to the QHD display on the LG flagship.”

        • Android and New Device Types to Share Spotlight at Google I/O

          The Google I/O conference begins today, and it’s already clear from advance notice on the sessions and discussion topics that Android and new device types for Google’s platforms will share the spotlight at the event.

        • Huawei Honor 6 Review: new flagship smartphone with Kirin 920 octa-core processor

          After we’ve covered the news about the official lauching about the new flagship smartphone, the Huawei Honor 6, is now we have a review about the phone. The new Huawei Honor 6 is packs with 5 inch screen, 3GB of RAM and this is the first smartphone that powered by Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 920 octa-core processor made of four A15 cores and 4 A7 cores which Huawei thinks compares to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset.The Huawei Honor 6 has officially release in Beijing on June 24th, 2014. Before now, the Huawei Honor 6 has spread as a rumors, and now this phone is come to the market and ready to beat the other flagship smartphone, such as Samsung Galaxy S5.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Analyst Unveils Open Source Model for NFV-SDN Management

    In short, the CIMI Corp. president is essentially trying to provide a path to deployment for NFV and SDN, believing strongly that without high-level orchestration and management and an operations framework, virtualization in the telecom sector could be spinning its wheels for some time to come.

  • Use Software Defined Networking to optimize your IaaS

    Explore Software Defined Networking (SDN) — network management via software abstraction layers — as a method to enhance and optimize your Infrastructure as a Service in the areas of interoperability, user and provider expectation management, developer and administrator requirements, and effective risk mitigation.

  • 5 assistive technology open source programs

    Assistive technology software is any program or operating system feature designed to let a user with cognitive, sensory, or physical impairments use a computer system. Innovations in assistive technology software can make a huge difference in the daily lives of these people.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox and GTK+ 3

        The issue we had to solve is that GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 cannot be loaded in the same address space. Moving Firefox from GTK+ 2 to GTK+ 3 isn’t a problem, as only GTK+ 3 gets loaded in its address space, and everything is fine. The problem comes when you load a plugin that links to GTK+ 2, e.g. Flash. Then, GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 get both loaded, GTK+ detects that, and aborts to avoid bigger problems.

      • Mozilla Delivers Built-in HTML5 App Development Tool for Firefox

        If you work with web content at all, you’re probably familiar with doing debugging and content editing directly from within a browser. If you’re a Firefox user, you may also be very familiar with tools such as Firebug, which lets you do extensive debugging and development from within Firefox.

      • HDMI-stick runs Firefox OS, acts like Chromecast
      • Mozilla to cram a full web-dev IDE inside Firefox browser

        All of the major web browser vendors now ship developer tools with their products, but Mozilla is planning to go whole hog by building a full integrated development environment (IDE) for web apps right into its Firefox browser.

      • Firefox Release Engineering

        Recently, the Mozilla Release Engineering team has made numerous advances in release automation for our browser, Firefox. We have reduced the requirements for human involvement during signing and sending notices to stakeholders, and have automated many other small manual steps, because each manual step in the process is an opportunity for human error. While what we have now isn’t perfect, we’re always striving to streamline and automate our release process. Our final goal is to be able to push a button and walk away; minimal human intervention will eliminate many of the headaches and do-overs we experienced with our older part-manual, part-automated release processes. In this article, we will explore and explain the scripts and infrastructure decisions that make up the complete Firefox rapid release system, as of Firefox 10.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Deeper, Better, Farther: Growing the Community & Improving LibreOffice

      There is something truly comforting in observing vibrant communities such as the one of LibreOffice. The project is growing, not just in developers but in adoption as well: more users as well as more localizations are a visible sign inside the project. All this is not only thanks to our good name and reputation; it is because as we are well into our fourth year of existence, it is important to realize that communities scale as much as their production and communication infrastructure is able to grow and perform its duties. Two words are of peculiar importance here: Production & Communication. In a Free and Open Source Software project, these two functions are tightly connected. The project enables the software production at the same time it enables communications between its members. Conversely, you cannot have a developers, users, or QA mailing list for instance, without relying on an existing code repository of some sort, otherwise you’re only doing vapourware (and vapourware only needs a database of press contacts, but no real mailing list).

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 5 myths about working collaboratively

      I’m a big believer in collaboration. It’s one of the main tenets of the open source way and a huge part of the design process. When done right, collaboration is about finding the right and diverse mix of people, collectively defining the problem and goals, and then collectively doing the work: researching, listening, thinking, sharing, tinkering, doing more research, more thinking, more tinkering, and more sharing until you get to a strategy that has conviction and truth.

    • Open Hardware

      • Intel Corporation (INTC) Futurist Brian David Johnson Demonstrates 3D-Printed Open Source Jimmy Robot
      • Printrbot Begins Putting Their 3D Printer Files Up on YouMagine for Free Download

        Open source, you either love the idea or you hate it. It it weren’t for the open sourcing of 3D printer files, the industry would not be nearly where it is today. It allows for individuals and companies to take someone else’s ideas and designs, improve upon them, use them, and redistribute them. When done in a truly open source manner, this creates an exponential rate of innovation, whereas there could be thousands of people improving a design, only to have a thousand more come along and do the same to their own. We’ve seen 3D printers evolve at tremendous rates over the past couple years, and a large part of the credit belongs to the open source movement that a great deal of the designers and manufacturers have supported.

      • Meet the M-One, the latest open source SLA 3D printer

        Stereolithographic 3D printers, which use light to harden liquid resin into 3D objects, are dropping in price. And their price tag will likely continue to fall after two open source printers enter the market this year, one of which went up on Kickstarter today.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Creates Working Group for Open Source Science Research Software

      The Eclipse Foundation’s annual Release Train will be in the spotlight later this week, but first a bit of that metaphorical illumination should fall on a new Foundation project. Announced on Monday, the newly organized Eclipse Science Working Group (SWG) is being described as “a global collaboration for scientific software.” It aims to bring together groups from academia, industry and government to create open software that can be used in basic scientific research.

    • The New asyncio in Python 3.4: Servers, Protocols, and Transports

      In a previous article on the new asyncio module introduced in Python 3.4, I explained simple use of event loop functions that register, execute, and delay or cancel calls. In this article, I demonstrate more-advanced examples that explore asyncio’s support for server and client programming, protocols, and transports.

Leftovers

  • Fifteen Months Later

    Unfortunately, when you have been accused of rape — even provably falsely as I have been — there’s no way to “win”. For the rest of my life, when someone searches my name on the internet, the word “rape” will appear somewhere among the results. And that person will always wonder whether or not I was capable of such a heinous act.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Scary New Congressional Bill Would Force Medication on Some Mentally Ill People

      According to a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the NRA’s proposals a year later, “the initial fervor for increasing armed security in schools has died down” and the video game industry has “been upping its political profile with significant campaign contributions to Democratic members and a seven-figure lobbying budget”. While those two areas were stuck in the mud, “the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that a years-long trend of diminishing budgets for mental health had reversed in 2013, citing Newtown as a key mitigating factor”. The trend spread to more than budgets: Nevada and Nebraska established programs to provide for more screening and mental health training for children. Despite successes on the state front, the NRA still struggled: a quick search of it’s press releases show it mostly playing defense on a variety of bills, and it’s NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013 (a direct attempt to create the “active national database” LaPierre spoke of) went nowhere.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Time on Iraq War: What Did We Do to Deserve This?

      We offered them the spirits of cooperation and liberty and the modern heart, and this is the thanks we get. It’s almost as if some people don’t appreciate being invaded.

    • An appeal to the Quartet on the Middle East to sack Tony Blair

      In reality, the invasion and occupation of Iraq had been a disaster long before the recent gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The sectarian conflict responsible for much of the war’s reprehensible human cost was caused in part by the occupying forces’ division of the country’s political system along sectarian lines.

    • Paul: ISIS emboldened after US armed its allies in Syria

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Sunni militants taking over Iraq have quickly gained power because the United States armed their allies in Syria.

      “I think we have to understand first how we got here,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think one of the reasons why ISIS has been emboldened is because we have been arming their allies. We have been allied with ISIS in Syria.”

      Paul was asked whether the U.S. should shift its focus to Syria.

      “We have been fighting alongside al Qaeda, fighting alongside ISIS,” he said. “ISIS is now emboldened and in two countries. But here’s the anomaly. We’re with ISIS in Syria. We’re on the same side of the war. So, those who want to get involved to stop ISIS in Iraq are allied with ISIS in Syria. That is real contradiction to this whole policy.”

    • Judge who ordered Saddam’s death executed by ISIS
    • Gas Prices ‘Skyrocketing’? You’d Better Duck

      You’re not supposed to talk about oil and Iraq–but corporate media can’t stop talking about oil and Iraq.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • German Gold Stays in New York in Rebuff to Euro Doubters

      Surging mistrust of the euro during Europe’s debt crisis fed a campaign to bring Germany’s entire $141 billion gold reserve home from New York and London. Now, after politics shifted in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, the government has concluded that stashing half its bullion abroad is prudent after all.

    • Judge Baugh to vandal: Get a ‘real job’ and repay victims

      A Billings judge on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old man for a 2012 vandalism spree and suggested he replace his fast-food job with a “real job” so he can better pay restitution to his victims.

      District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Brandon Daniel Turell to 10 years in custody of the state department of corrections, with five years suspended, and ordered him to pay about $13,600 in restitution.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • US Embassy In Berlin Offering Cold, Hard Cash For People To Create Pro-TAFTA/TTIP Propaganda

      We’ve been writing about the big US/EU “free trade” agreement negotiations (which aren’t really about free trade at all), variously named TAFTA or TTIP (negotiators prefer TTIP, to avoid comparisons to NAFTA) for quite some time now. If it were really about free trade, there might be some interesting elements to it, but it’s much more about the standard issues like providing corporate sovereignty over national sovereignty, and other things like ratcheting up copyright and patent laws in secret. All this “democracy” is all done very much behind closed doors that won’t be opened until many years after the agreement is already reached.

    • Murdoch Tabloid Editor Found Guilty In UK Phone Hacking Trial

      Andy Coulson, a former editor of the now-shuttered Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid News of the World, was found guilty of conspiring to intercept communications, concluding a lengthy trial focused on criminal activity at the British paper. According to the Associated Press, fellow News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Stuart Kuttner were acquitted.

    • WSJ Upset Supreme Court Didn’t Destroy Class Action Lawsuits In Halliburton

      Contrary to right-wing media misinformation, corporate fraud on the stock market remains a real problem that class actions continue to correct through restitution and deterrence.

    • Rebekah Brooks Escapes Jail, but Questions Linger for Murdoch

      Rebekah Brooks likes to tell this story about herself. How, as a junior reporter on Rupert Murdoch’s London tabloid The Sun, she stuffed her flaming red hair under a head scarf, dressed up as a cleaner and smuggled herself into the offices of the Sun’s stablemate, The Sunday Times. When all the Times’s editorial staff had gone home, she sat herself at a computer and calmly stole their scoop.

    • The (not so) secrets of promoted Tweets and Twitter accounts

      Putting aside that the “Business Twitter” page can’t spell “someone”, in light of there being no opt out feature, I don’t know what else to do. I’m fed up with having to block these accounts. Twitter may make money from adverts, but no product that promotes its tweets gets business from me – its a point of principle. A product invades “my space” – I boycott that product. There are many other users who think the same way.

  • Privacy

    • It’s Official. SCOTUS Considers Small Cheap Computers As Computers

      The Supreme Court has just ruled that smartphones and other electronic gadgets are worthy to require search warrants to search just like real computers. Their big issue is the depth, breadth and volume of data stored on smartphones but that is just one function of a smartphone. The Supremes also mention browsing histories, and “apps”, all providing information about people to police just like other evidence.

    • ‘Get a warrant’ – Supreme Court rules against cell phone searches in ‘big win for digital privacy’

      The Supreme Court of the United States said Wednesday that police officers must have a warrant before searching the cell phone contents of an individual under arrest.

      In a unanimous ruling announced early Wednesday, the high court settled two cases surrounding instances in which law enforcement officials scoured the mobile phones of suspects in custody and then used information contained therein to pursue further charges.

    • Supreme Court limits police right to search cell phones

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that police officers usually need a warrant before they can search an arrested suspect’s cellphone.

    • Theresa May Calls For More Surveillance Powers

      Theresa May has used the annual Lord Mayor’s Defence and Security Lecture to call for changes to the law to give new powers of surveillance to the government. Despite the extensive coverage given to broad range of programmes revealed in by Edward Snowden, she claimed the UK’s lack of technological capability presented a “great danger”.

  • Civil Rights

    • Detroit has cut off the water supply to thousands of residents – and now activists have taken their fight to the UN

      Activists angered by the closing of water accounts for thousands of people behind in their payments have taken their fight to the United Nations.

    • App turns power button into panic button for activists at risk

      Amnesty international has launched an open-source ‘Panic Button’ app designed to help human rights activists at risk from attack, kidnap or torture.

    • A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old son (UPDATE)

      After our house burned down in Wisconsin a few months ago, my husband and I packed our four young kids and all our belongings into a gold minivan and drove to my sister-in-law’s place, just outside of Atlanta. On the back windshield, we pasted six stick figures: a dad, a mom, three young girls, and one baby boy.

    • Aaron Swartz Wanted to Change the World, Says Director

      When news broke early last year that Internet activist Aaron Swartz had been found dead, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger was already deeply immersed in the hacking and computer programming world. Fresh off the release of a documentary about the Anonymous movement, We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, the filmmaker had been following the ongoing lawsuit against Swartz, who faced charges related to illegal access of the JSTOR academic-article service.

    • Stinking Hypocrisy

      The BBC thus seeks to square the circle of supporting the release of Peter Greste and at the same time taking the British government line of supporting the Egyptian dictatorship’s elimination of its political opponents.

      The truth is that Peter Greste is only superficially the victim of an Egyptian dictator. At root he is the victim of a western foreign policy that believes the interests of Israel outweigh all other interests in the Middle East.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • European roaming charges to plummet 50 percent from 1 July

      ROAMING CHARGES across Europe will drop more than 50 percent from 1 July, as the European Union (EU) works towards eliminating roaming charges altogether.

      Following similar price cuts that took place this time last year, the European Commission (EC) announced on Tuesday that in its effort to put an end to roaming charges, prices are set to drop by “over 50 percent” from 1 July.

    • 5 Bullshit Lies Cable Companies Are Feeding You Right Now

      As you may have heard, the nation’s cable companies have suddenly found themselves cast as villains, simply because of that little “trying to kill the Internet” thing. They’re working hard to get rid of net neutrality, the basic principle that they can’t charge extra to sites or services to make them load at a non-infuriating speed. But don’t worry: In order to clear their good names, Verizon, Comcast, and their ilk are doing their best to address their customers’ concerns … by using the time-honored tradition of feeding us bullshit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Patent Lawyers Fail to Grasp That Software Ideas Rather Than Code Are Abstract and Hence Cannot Endure a Proper Court’s Test

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Patents at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The LLP echo chamber

Businessman

Summary: Heaps of editorials and analyses from patent-centric firms pretend that nothing has changed after the Supreme Court abolished patents on “abstract ideas” (as opposed to working implementations)

POTENTIALLY substantial patent changes are afoot, especially owing to a decision from SCOTUS. A new article by Timothy B. Lee chastises this court for not understanding technology, which is a typical problem with judges. “The Supreme Court doesn’t understand software, and that’s a problem,” says Lee. “Patent litigation has become a huge problem for the software industry. And on Thursday, the Supreme Court could have solved that problem with the stroke of a pen. Precedents dating back to the 1970s place strict limits on software patents. The court could have clearly reiterated that those old precedents still apply, and that they rule out most patents on software.

“Instead, perhaps fearing the backlash from invalidating billions of dollars worth of patents, the court took an incremental approach. It ruled that the specific patent at issue in the case was invalid. But it didn’t articulate any clear rules for software patents more generally. In effect, the court kicked the can down the road, leaving a huge question mark floating over most software patents.”

SCOTUS can hardly distinguish between UML, pseudo code, and source code. The ambiguities left behind are already being exploited by patent lawyers and here is a new example from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, another from Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C., and one from Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, to name just three (these flood the media these days, day after day). Well, at first came lots of media reports (written by journalists) declaring a lot of software patents dead and later came (and still comes) the flood of “analyses” by lawyers, rewriting the history to assure their clients that it is worth patenting software and that nothing has really changed.

In recent days we found more examples from Proskauer Rose LLP, saying that “Applying this rationale, the Court found that the claims at issue recited computer steps that are “purely conventional” and a “basic function[] of a computer.”15 The Supreme Court therefore affirmed the Federal Circuit and held the claims were ineligible under § 101.”

The SCOTUS decision was too weak in some sense and law firms are spinning it in their favour. Here is an example where the title says “Supreme Court silent on general eligibility of software patents” (not entirely true). Cooley LLP , Fenwick & West LLP, Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Lathrop & Gage LLP also try to assure their clients that patenting more algorithms is OK, as if nothing has changed. “Although the Court’s decision provides some clarity concerning the inventive effect of reciting computer implementation within patent claims,” says the last analysis, “there remains some ambiguity concerning how courts will define “abstract ideas” moving forward (indeed, the Court stated that it “need not labor to delimit the precise contours of the ‘abstract ideas’ category in this case”).”

Code is already copyrighted, so one might argue that patenting anything but code would be patenting “abstract ideas”. Suffice to say, this is not what greedy patent lawyers are going to tell customers for whom they produce useless papers that the USPTO almost blindly stamps for approval.

Patent lawyers continue to rely on the ignorance or gullibility among judges (who are themselves lawyers and are rarely technical enough to grasp programming). Perhaps any court that deals with patents should have an imperative to be technical. CAFC, for example, needs to be abolished for being corrupt and also utterly dumb on technology.

Facebook and Microsoft Openwashing Alert

Posted in Microsoft at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Incredible Hulk and Facebook

Summary: Countering the very disturbing marketing illusion that Facebook and its (in part) owner Microsoft are warming up to FOSS while in reality they hoard patents and use them offensively

Surveillance giant and meta-advertising company Facebook has been running an effective campaign to openwash its data centres, hardware, programming tools, and software, despite the fact that Facebook is proprietary and very malicious. Facebook is also partly owned by Microsoft and passes its data to Microsoft, which uses people's data against them. Facebook, like Microsoft, is close to the NSA and we noted in daily links, there is a high-profile European court case dealing with it.

Facebook not only started with misappropriation of source code (Mark Zuckerberg took over people’s work that they had paid him for) but also with unoriginal ideas. There were sites like Facebook before it (far less privacy-infringing), well before Zuckerberg scraped people’s faces off Web sites to make his first controversial site that got him in a lot of disciplinary trouble.

There is a patent case underway, potentially showing Facebook’s lack of originality. The plaintiff is a Dutch programmer, not a patent troll. It is going to be interesting to see how it ends up, not just because it involves darn patents but because it may teach Facebook, which hoards patents, a lesson about the harms of software patents. While Facebook tries to openwash its operations it is a usually patenting a lot of basic software ideas and also using these to sue companies. How ‘open’ is that? Patent extortion, just like Microsoft.

“Facebook is also partly owned by Microsoft and passes its data to Microsoft, which uses people’s data against them.”The UBM-run Dr. Dobbs continues its campaign of openwashing of Microsoft, especially courtesy of Mono and .NET booster Andrew Binstock (he is the Executive Editor of the site). Here he is paying lip service to Microsoft again, giving it much needed help it by using the “.NET section” of a news site to openwash .NET. “How far the company has come from its early dismissal of open source,” says Binstock, but has he really paid attention? The very fact that Andrew Binstock is the Executive Editor should say a lot about whose agenda is served at Dr. Dobbs these days (after the acquisition).

Microsoft’s Android pretense, as mentioned the other day, is that it is actually a backer while in reality it extorts Android and runs a program for ‘licensing’ Android (which is not a Microsoft product). When Microsoft ‘tips’ an Android phone it should not be shocking because it is part of the plan to legitimise extortion, pretending (e.g. to regulators) that Microsoft is not a hostile actor. At the same time as this article there is an unusually high volume of articles with Microsoft revisionism along those lines.

Overall, these campaigns of openwashing and especially the efforts from Microsoft boosters like Binstock ought to remind us to keep our eyes open and our brains working. There is a deception endeavour going on. In some internal documents that came out through legal action Microsoft speaks very explicitly of the needs for such endeavours.

Financial Perspective of Patents Misses the Reality of Patent Monopolies

Posted in Patents at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Obsession with shares instead of sharing

Stocks

Summary: Deviation from the mentality which says ideas should be patented and ‘protected’ (meaning that others are prevented from using similar ideas) based on new examples from the media

THE world of MBAs is vastly different from that of engineers. When all that matters is oneself (financially), then the notion of sharing makes little sense, as long as one can exploit or hoard others’ work (the selfish approach). This is why, despite engineers’ spirit of sharing (wanting to show their achievements), many companies continue to embrace secrecy and isolation.

Bloomberg (Wall Street-friendly press) gives its press platform to a famous patent troll, Jay Walker. This grooming piece is highly disturbing as it helps the likes of Walker (patent trolls) and the USPTO make patents seem almost synonymous with innovation (classic lie). Monopoly and protectionism are being spun as a wonderful thing. That’s what corporate media likes to do. It’s repeated so often that many people actually believe it without questioning.

“Monopoly and protectionism are being spun as a wonderful thing.”We recently countered the marketing nonsense that associated/conflated de-weaponising patents with becoming “open source”. Tesla did not open up designs of cars and make them downloadable or anything, but the corporate press sure helps Tesla’s marketing by stating that “Tesla founder has given away patents on electric car technology” (not given away actually). This is shameless PR for reasons that we highlighted before. “Elon Musk took the decision to invest heavily in patent protection. Without patents, Tesla won’t have any control over the commercial opportunities of its inventions,” says this generally poor coverage from the financial press (equating patents with currency). A Red Hat site did yet another article about this, saying that “Elon Musk and crew at Tesla Motors made some big waves last week. In case you missed this recent news roundup, it was announced that Tesla is effectively relinquishing their patent portfolio—particularly around charging stations.”

Here is a VC (venture capitalist) who opposes software patents (Fred Wilson is one of several) weighing in again. To quote: “If you did a topic analysis on AVC over the past 10+ years that I’ve been blogging, I suspect patent reform would rate highly. I’ve been advocating for eliminating software patents and cutting back patent protection broadly as loudly and frequently as I can. I believe that sharing intellectual property will lead to way more innovation than hoarding and protecting it. I’ve seen a huge amount of pain and agony inflicted on innovative companies by trolls and “inventors” who never did anything other than write their ideas down on paper. Having ideas is not innovation. Making something new and different and putting it into the market is innovation.”

So basically, several VCs too want to see a society that shares ideas. Patents may not be needed at all. Even investors can reject them. Patents are a threat when counterparts and trolls use them. Here is a post titled “What If Drug Patents Were Written Like Software Patents?” To quote: “Not happening, that one, and it’s a good thing. But stuff nearly that vague and idiotic is all over the software patent landscape. Such patents list a superficially impressive amount of detail about how their “invention” is to be implemented, but all too often, that scheme turns out to mean something like “Someone uses a computer to contact a web server” or “Someone turns on their mobile phone”. It would be as if we in the drug industry could enable our compounds by citing a few synthetic organic chemistry textbooks – that’s how you make ‘em, right there!”

In general, much of the whole patent hype is inherently bad, as it encourages isolation. Tesla is at least realising this after it wasted a lot of money patenting a lot of stuff. For that Tesla deserves some credit. It acknowledges its wasteful mistakes now, grasping a culture of sharing instead. The lesson we should learn from Tesla is not patents giveaway; we should learn from Tesla’s error and avoid this error by never patenting stuff in the first place. Tesla merely gave back what it took away.

06.24.14

Distortion of Facts in Microsoft-Friendly News Sites

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The press is awash with Microsoft propaganda that negates truths, such as Microsoft as having “warmth towards open source” (like lawsuits), Microsoft having big share in virtualisation (based on revenue/sales alone), and Microsoft “continu[ing] Android push” (actually, extorting and derailing Android)

EVERY now and then we see some Microsoft openwashing that we are urged to respond to. There are some propaganda agents out there (some working directly for Microsoft) whose aim is to portray Microsoft as privacy-respecting, Open Source-friendly, law-obeying/abiding, and competition-respecting. Earlier today we saw a pro-Microsoft site saying that “Microsoft Refuses To Open Source VB6″, then issuing the following revisionist nonesense: “With Microsoft’s new warmth towards open source it seems a small thing to ask for VB6 to be open sourced.”

There is no “new warmth towards open source”, there is openwashing and propaganda, that’s all. Microsoft pretended to have open-sourced some very old software a few months ago, but that was a sheer lie, promoted for the most part by Microsoft-friendly sites that disregard facts. We need to keep track of such lies, which usually come from sites that have historically been linked to Microsoft (sometimes their writers come from Microsoft).

Here is the MSN-connected (Microsoft, and Microsoft Windows-run) Fool.com belittling Red Hat by warping the way one counts share in virtualisation (they count sales, but Free software is rarely actually sold). It’s the same propaganda line that Gartner and IDC use when it comes to servers share. They give the illusion that proprietary software dominates virtualisation, but that’s nonsense. VMware is linked to the NSA through RSA, and it is run by people from Microsoft (the NSA’s #1 PRISM partner and more). Like Hyper-V, VMware is proprietary and it probably facilitates back door access like Hyper-V does (Hyper-V runs on Windows, which has back doors, hence Hyper-V and every guest VM under it has an NSA back door). We need to find back against disinformation that belittles the share of GNU/Linux and Free software by framing it as a purely financial question.

The third example for today comes from an Android-hostile site. It now gives the illusion (again) that Microsoft supports Android rather than what it actually does. Microsoft extorts Android and derails it by trying to turn a portion of it into a Microsoft surveillance platform.

All the examples above show us not journalism but agenda disguised as reporting. Please report such coverage to us so that we can counter it.

Microsoft’s OOXML Crimes Prevent Companies, Governments, and People From Exploring Alternatives to Microsoft

Posted in Fraud, Microsoft, Open XML at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML: When crime pays off

Drug deal

Summary: Reports from the European Commission’s Web site reveal the degree to which OOXML is successfully derailing migrations to Free/libre software in the public sector

SOME of the criminals involved in the OOXML festival of corruption have already left Microsoft (e.g. Oliver Bell, who joined a Gates-funded Gates grooming operation) or joined Microsoft (e.g. Peter O’Kelly), so holding them accountable would be hard, especially now that years have passed and conditions have changed. Microsoft got away with a lot of crime, including bribery. Nobody was sent to jail or even put on trial. Microsoft is above the law, no doubt. It’s an international problem that we find also in the case of large banks, not just software companies with strong ties to the NSA for example.

According to this new report from the European Commission’s Web site, “Open source [is] hindered by OOXML incompatibilities” (as intended and planned by Microsoft). To qoute: “The mixing of outdated and incompatible versions of OOXML, an XML document format, is hindering implementation in open source office alternatives, according to a study published on the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) today. The different OOXML versions also pose difficulties for public administrations that use different proprietary office suite versions, and the inconsistencies are causing problems with older documents. The OOXML document format is hindering the interoperability of suites of office productivity tools.”

There is also this accompanying report titled “Complex singularity versus openness”.

“Does not even mention ODF,” pointed out one of our readers about this article. “When M$ forced it’s XML file-format on the world for office suites it deliberately created lock-in,” wrote Pogson.

This once again reminds us why Microsoft went as far as criminal activities. It sought to prevent people all around the world from taking their data to better platforms or even create new data in formats that would continue to make the data accessible. To us at Techrights is has always been somewhat of an outrageous mystery that nobody was sent to jail for it. It shows that the system which purports to uphold justice is very arbitrary and unjust, with Microsoft positioned on the side of immunity while it helps secret agencies illegally violate rights of citizens.

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