EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.24.14

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

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • MakerBot Offers Lessons in Open Source Innovation with Linux

    Earlier this month, Home Depot began selling MakerBot’s Linux-based 3D printers in a handful of stores across the U.S. after a 3-month trial run online. The big box pilot is not only testing consumer appetite for 3D printing hardware, but also the viability of open source design among a general population of consumers.

    Together with the Replicator printers’ relatively small size and price tag, MakerBot’s design software and online Thingiverse community lower the barrier to creation and sharing for thousands of professionals and hobbyists alike. As a result, the MakerBot open source design community has quickly grown – though not without some difficulties.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS to get comple overhaul with ‘Project Athena’

      If Google have not had their hands full with the official announcement of the soon-to-be released Android L, as well as Android TV, Auto and Wear it now seems Chrome OS is also on the agenda to receive a full overhaul.

    • Chromebooks are freaking out Microsoft in a very big way
    • Schools Are Gobbling Up Chromebooks: 1 Million Sold in 3 Months

      Schools purchased more than 1 million Chromebooks — budget laptops that run Chrome OS — in the second quarter of 2014, Google announced on Monday.

    • Bridgeport Public Schools chooses Google for Education to bring affordable technology to their students

      Schools bought more than 1 million Chromebooks in the second quarter of 2014. Today’s guest blogger, David Andrade, the CIO for the Bridgeport Public Schools district, which serves 23,000 students in Connecticut, shares why they selected Chromebooks. Learn more about going Google and follow our Google for Education Google+ page to see a selection of tips from David.

    • Freeing Education Via GNU/Linux
    • Why Chromebook Sales Are Surging in Schools, Enterprises

      Chromebook sales have risen sharply over the past several months, according to a recent report from research firm NPD. Chromebook sales in the commercial channel increased 250 percent compared with the prior year and accounted for 35 percent of all U.S. channel notebook sales during the January-May period. Chromebooks, in other words, were extremely popular during the period and continue to be so. Exactly why and how Chromebooks have been achieving such sales success, however, are not so readily known. When the devices, which run Google’s Chrome OS Web-based operating system, were first announced, many market observers believed that they had little chance of winning a significant share of the PC market. And that seemed to hold true in the first couple of years after Chromebooks hit the market in mid-2011. But the latest data shows that Chromebook sales are adding to the competitive headwinds that Windows notebooks are experiencing these days. This eWEEK slide show looks at the impact that rising Chromebook sales is having on the U.S. PC market.

    • Google Chrome takes big chunk of commercial notebook sales

      Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Chrome operating system has grown to become a legitimate third platform in the personal computer market behind Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac OS, new data show.

  • Server

    • QEMU 2.1.0-rc3 Has More Bug Fixes

      If all goes according to plan the QEMU 2.1 release will happen next week but before that can happen some last-minute testing is encouraged with the new release of QEMU 2.1-rc3.

    • ‘Munich city council shields Limux against Mayor’

      The council of the German city of Munich continues to support the city’s open source IT strategy, and opposes the newly elected mayor and a deputy mayor, reports Heise, a German IT news site. CSU party members of the deputy mayor shrug off his negative comments as “an irrelevant individual opinion”.

    • Docker acquires London startup Orchard Laboratories

      The open source engine Docker announced Wednesday that it has acquired London-based Orchard Laboratories, makers of the Orchard and Fig applications. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17 To Fix Up ASPM, Bring Other PCI Changes

      Bjorn Helgaas, the PCI subsystem maintainer for the Linux kernel, sent in a very early Linux 3.17 kernel merge window pull request due to being on holiday the next few weeks.

    • Development Continues For Supporting EXT4 On NVDIMMs

      The large set of 22 patches for supporting the EXT4 file-system on non-volatile DIMM memory is now up to its eighth revision.

    • diff -u: What’s New in Kernel Development

      Once in a while someone points out a POSIX violation in Linux. Often the answer is to fix the violation, but sometimes Linus Torvalds decides that the POSIX behavior is broken, in which case they keep the Linux behavior, but they might build an additional POSIX compatibility layer, even if that layer is slower and less efficient.

    • Kernel 3.16 RC6 Has Been Released. And Linus Torvalds Is Unhappy, Again!

      For now, the kernel patches are not that big to make the Linux godfather too unhappy, but Linus Torvalds has announced that he will keep an eye on the development process and he will call the developers names, if things go on the wrong way.

    • CPUFreq Ondemand Could Be Faster, Use Less Power With Linux 3.17

      Improvements to the CPUfreq ondemand governor could lead to faster performance in low to medium workloads with the Linux 3.17 kernel while also consuming less power overall.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10

        For those wondering about the modern performance cost of using KVM on Ubuntu Linux for virtualizing a guest OS, here are some simple benchmarks comparing Ubuntu 14.10 in its current development stage with the Linux 3.16 versus running the same software stack while virtualized with KVM and using virt-manager.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE’s the Best, Wallen Interview, and Why Linux Rules

        Today in Linux news, Bruce Byfield says the best Linux desktop continues to be KDE’s Plasma. Steven Ovadia at My Linux Rig snagged a short interview with Jack Wallen. eWeek has nine reasons Linux rules on supercomputers. And venture capitalist Sonatype says most companies don’t audit Open Source software components they’re using for vulnerabilities and security flaws.

      • KDE’s semantic desktop: Nepomuk vs. Baloo

        One of the most disliked features of the early KDE SC 4 releases was the developers’ attempt to establish the semantic desktop. The tools to further this goal are Nepomuk and Akonadi. While Nepomuk tries to interconnect meta data from different desktop applications, Akonadi is a service that stores and retrieves data from PIM applications like mail, calendar and contacts. Together, they pave the road to allow users to find data, structured and connected by tags, ratings and comments, covering different file formats. On top of that, Strigi performs the indexing that enables users to find data with simple search terms in KDE’s file manager Dolphin.

      • Netrunner 14 – KDE for the Everyday Linux User

        There are two versions of Netrunner available. This article looks at the Standard Release which is based on Kubuntu 14.04. The other version is a rolling release based on Manjaro.

      • KDE 5 Delivers New Linux Desktop Environment

        The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is among the most popular and long-lived open-source desktop environments for Linux and Unix users. Dating back to 1996, KDE is one of the earliest Linux desktop environments, predating the GNOME desktop environment, which got started in 1999. KDE has gone through multiple evolutions, the most recent being KDE Plasma 5, which was officially released on July 15. With the Plasma 5 desktop, KDE is providing users with both under-the-hood enhancements and user-facing improvements. Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.

      • It’s Aliiiiive!

        On February, I wrote a blog post entitled “Leveraging the Power of Choice“, in which I described an idea I had discussed with Àlex Fiestas about making it easy for users to choose between different Plasmoids for the same task (e.g. different application launchers, task managers, clocks, …). At the time of my writing the blog post, Marco Martin already had ideas about how to implement the feature, though he said that he wouldn’t have time to implement it before the Plasma 5.0 release. Shortly after Plasma 5.0 was released, Marco started implementation as promised. We decided it would make sense to start a thread in the VDG forum to collect ideas for the UI’s design. Together with several other forum users (most notably rumangerst and andreas_k) we fleshed out the design, which currently looks like this:

      • What’s new in kf5 porting script: port_to_autogenerate_export_header.sh and others :)
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha 2 Gets Firefox 31 and VLC 2.1.3

      Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha 2, a distribution that aims to rival Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, is now ready for testing.

    • Quelitu 14.04 Devs Think Their OS Can Replace Windows XP or Windows Vista

      Quelitu, a multilingual operating system based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Lubuntu LTS, which aims to power antique computers and to replace all the recent Windows releases, is now at version 14.04.

    • Updated xorg, linux kernel, systemd and graphics driver groups of packages …

      This move includes updates or rebuilds of the packages that are related to xorg, the linux kernel and graphics drivers, as well as various other packages that were updated in the meantime and are made available now. In total, more than 400 packages are moving to stable.

    • OpenELEC 4.2 Beta 2 Is Now Based Linux Kernel 3.15.6

      OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has advanced to version 4.2 Beta 2 and is available for download and testing.

      OpenELEC devs usually wait until a new version of XBMC Gotham is officially released, but this time they have jumped the gun a little and they’ve released an update for their distro. Interestingly enough, it’s based on XBMC 13.2 Gotham Beta 2, but regular users will have to wait for the official announcement on that one.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • EPEL 7 now contains syslog-ng
      • Oracle Linux 7 Released Today As Its RHEL7 Clone

        In case you didn’t hear already, Oracle announced the release of Oracle Linux 7 as the latest version of its Linux OS cloned from the open-source Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 code-base.

      • Oracle showcases its Open Source prowess with Oracle Linux 7
      • Oracle Linux 7 released

        Oracle has supported Linux almost from day one. But it wasn’t until 2006, when Larry Ellison got into a disagreement with Red Hat, that Oracle decided it had to have its “own” Linux distribution — a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone, Oracle Linux. It’s eight years later, and Oracle is still copying RHEL with its release of Oracle Linux 7.

      • Attack of the clones: Oracle’s latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives

        For each new Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, a new version of Oracle Linux is never far behind, and RHEL 7 is no exception.

      • Oracle Linux 7.0
      • Clone Attack, Tails Rebased, and Banana Pi?

        Today in Linux news, Oracle Linux 7 was released today. Softpedia.com reports that Tails now features a “Windows 8 camouflage mode.” MakeUseOf.com has five reasons to love Deepin and LinuxUser & Developer has a review of the Banana Pi. This and more in tonight’s Linux news review.

      • In odd coupling, OpenStack purist Mirantis join with Oracle against common enemy Red Hat

        The move seems odd at first glance since the Mountain View startup fashions itself as the “number one” pure-play provider of software and services for OpenStack, a community-led project aimed at establishing a common standard for cloud environments. That goal runs counter to Oracle’s vertically integrated platform approach, which consists primarily of homegrown components. To make matters more confusing, Oracle recently introduced its own distribution of the free platform that competes directly with that offered by Mirantis.

      • Red Hat and Cisco extend cloud collaboration in India

        To provide customers and partners with an opportunity to review their cloud frameworks and experience how they can deliver cloud innovation within their organizations

      • Fedora

        • Users Warned About Possible Regressions With DRI3

          Users of Fedora 21/Rawhide, Arch Linux, or other bleeding edge distributions where DRI3 is in play with the Intel Linux graphics driver, be forewarned about possible regressions.

        • Elections Results for Summer 2014 FESCo Special Election

          The elections for the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) Summer 2014 Special Election have concluded, and the results are shown below.

        • The ARM Arc

          Beginning in 2011, Red Hat began providing assistance to the fledgling Fedora ARM distribution. I was Red Hat’s project manager for this initiative. Back then it was a humble secondary architecture under the stewardship of Seneca College. Seneca was working on an OS distribution for the Raspberry Pi, a promising educational tool. Red Hat partnered with Seneca, provided resources to advance development and helped build a community, the open source way. Though Linux had been used on ARM for many years, kernel ports tended to exist in different source trees. Likewise, many userspace packages had been written without multi-core, thread-safe ARM code, so there was a lot of work to be done.

        • Fedora 21 Has Been Delayed By Three Weeks

          Due to many of the Fedora 21 changes/features not being ready in time, the release schedule has been pushed back by three weeks.

    • Debian Family

      • Two Years With Debian GNU/Linux – An Average Guy’s Verdict

        I used to be quite the Linux enthusiast, trying new distributions almost daily, keeping up to date with news and software versions, just generally participating in the whole scene, though as a technical know-nothing really. I kinda got tired of it after a while and decided to settle on one distribution that would be low on bandwidth needs, extremely stable, and able to do all the things, admittedly a rather limited array of things, that I need it to do. I had been playing with Debian GNU/Linux’s Wheezy iteration (yes, they use “Toy Story” character names) since late 2011, when it was still the “testing” version, and noticed after a year or so that it was in a frozen state, largely set for final release, which ultimately happened, in typical molasses-slow Debian fashion, in early May of 2013. So I guess I’ve been using it as my one and only OS for the better part of two years, rarely if ever booting into any of the dozen or so other distributions I still have installed or into Windows 7. I have it fine tuned to my liking and it does every single thing I need it to do. It’s been reliable and stable, exactly as expected.

      • Tails 1.1
      • Testing PHPNG on Debian/Ubuntu
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Microsoft imitates Ubuntu, will create one Windows to run on all screens

            Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, for long pursued a single dream — that of acheiving a unified family of experiences on smartphones, tablets, PCs, and TVs through one operating system and one interface, Unity, which will adopt to the connected device. As Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu’s founder said at last year’s OSCon, “Convergence is the core story. Each device is great, but they should be part of one family. On any device you’ll know what you’re doing. One device should be able to give you all the experiences you can get from any one of them.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Exclusive interview with Agustin Benito Bethencourt on joining Linaro

      Linaro is growing fast so I am currently focused on management and development processes. Together with the technical leads and the project managers, my goal is to keep high levels of efficiency within the Group while growing, keeping the Free Software culture that has made Linaro so successful.

    • Banana Pi review – tastier than Raspberry?

      Does the first of the true Raspberry Pi clones have what it takes to come out from the shadow of its highly-successful inspiration?

    • Phones

      • It’s now easier to install SailfishOS on Android devices

        Sailfish OS is a new venture by ex-nokia employees which aims to bring a new independent partner friendly mobile operating system to wireless devices. However, as the mobile ecosystem today is quite fragmented, a new OS brings in a lot of work for developers to port the new OS in their existing devices. The Sailfish OS team knew this problem and have come out with a Hardware Adaptation Dev kit which will help developers to port and run Sailfish OS on any device capable of running Cyanogen Mod 10.1.x.

      • Android

        • Android Open-Source for ARMv8-A Starts 64-Bit Avalanche

          I have no doubt that the next generation of premium smartphones and tablets will be based on 64-bit processors. To provide the power and features needed for new features such as UltraHD video, LTE-Advanced, and 3D products (such as Google’s Tango), mobile devices will need a big boost in processing power.

          New 64-bit SOCs such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor are expected to begin shipping this year, and the first products are expected to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2005, just in time for the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.

        • Best Android Camera Apps 2014

          Taking photos with an Android phone can be a very satisfying endeavor. Or it can be a study in frustration and ruined photo opportunities. Why? Because while all Android devices are powered by Google’s GOOGL +0.33% OS, phone makers are free to develop their own camera apps, adopting or omitting photo features as they see fit. Simply put, some companies do this better than others. One of the best ways to improve your photography experience then, is to use a third party camera app instead of the one that came installed on your phone.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • What kind of tablet do you use?

        There are also a number of other Linux-based tablets out there which do not rely on Android. Most any tablet computer which is capable of running an x86 version of a Windows operating system, for example, can be upgraded to a Linux distribution of your choice, with a number of graphic interface options available. Some distributions are now targeting other architectures as well.

      • Nvidia debuts Shield tablet for gamers
      • Gaming oriented Nvidia Shield Tablet wins early praise

        The Android 4.4.3-based Nvidia Shield Tablet won early praise with its Tegra K1 SoC, Kepler-based graphics, new stylus, and WiFi Direct gaming controller.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The VAR Guy Poll: Cloud Computing, Open Source a Good Team

    In our most recent The VAR Guy poll, we asked you whether you thought open source would take on a larger role in cloud computing. Based on reader responses, it looks as though open source has a bright future in the cloud computing sphere.

  • How open source launched my small business

    Open source hardware has truly changed my life. It allowed me to launch my own business. “How so,” you might ask? Well, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane, shall we?

  • Here’s a low-barrier way to help improve FLOSS apps – AppStream metadata: Round 1

    Do you love free and open source software? Would you like to help make it better, but don’t have the technical skills to know where you can jump in and help out? Here is a fantastic opportunity!

  • This is the golden age of open source

    Matt Asay is dead wrong to call the current era of the software industry “post open source,” as he did in InfoWorld last week. We are currently in the open source age, enjoying all the practical flexibility that open sources licenses bring. What may be confusing him is that people are no longer obsessed with arguing about software freedom — they take it as given.

  • Big Switch Unveils Big Cloud Fabric for Data Center SDN

    Company officials want to bring the benefits of networking innovation from Google and Facebook to the broader enterprise space.

  • Open-source Approaches To Ensure IoT Success

    Certainly, the Internet of Thing goes beyond connected television, surveillance cameras, smart gadgets and wearable technology. And as the adoption of the Internet of Things increases and becomes widespread in several different markets, issues on its lack of interoperability and integration cost have been raised along with its consistent escalating growth. Nonetheless, innovators from all over the world try to create different solutions such as Hypercat, in an attempt to bridge these gaps. At the IoT 2014 Conference held in Singapore, Juha Lindfors, Co-founder of OpenRemote USA, spoke about a case study on Open Source Approaches to IoT Solutions. During the presentation¹, Linfords pointed out three points that prove the value of this openness in ensuring the success for the IoT – Interoperability, Integration and Ecosystem.

  • Lessons from an open source entrepreneur

    Like many of the great games programmers from the 1980s, when open source software entrepreneur Freddy Mahhumane describes his background formal education doesn’t really play much of a part in it.

    “I wasn’t good at much at school,” he says, “Except for computers and programming.”

    Born in Mpumalanga, Mahhumane moved to Gauteng at the age of six and lived variously in Kempton Park and Thembisa while he was growing up. Sitting in front of a group of business hopefuls at the inaugural Startup Grind Johannesburg, he sounds almost embarrassed by the trappings of success.

  • Open Source and the Challenge of Making Money
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Catbird 6.0 Provides OpenStack Cloud Security Policy Automation

      Enterprise adoption of OpenStack is taking off, and value-added security solutions for the open source cloud computing operating system are close behind. This week, Catbird announced version 6.0 of its cloud security platform, which it describes as the channel’s first “security policy automation for private and hybrid cloud environments.”

    • Take control of your ‘cloud’ with ownCloud 7

      The best cloud is the one that you own. Once ownCloud was founded I never used public cloud offered and hosted by a company to keep my files. I do use Dropbox and Google Drive, but the primary purpose is to share files with a set of people. With each release ownCloud is becoming a very serious contender to these commercial offerings when it comes to file storage, syncing and sharing. OwnCloud Documents are already an impressive alternative to Google Docs and offer full ODF support which is missing from Google Docs.

    • ownCloud 7 Brings Server-To-Server Sharing

      The seventh version of ownCloud has been released this morning with some interesting new features for this personal, open-source cloud software.

    • ownCloud 7 is out!
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Education

    • The Modernization Of Computer Science Education

      Working on open source puts CS students at the heart of the software industry. Open source enables everyone involved to work in development and create new infrastructure and designs without being forced to start from scratch. And unlike in school, where a project might just be theoretical, or relevant only in context of the class, an open-source contribution makes immediate impact on the ecosystem.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Open-Source Projects Failing To Pass IRS Nonprofit Muster

      Though organizations that produce nonprofit software have long been granted tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service recently denied it to two applicants. One had waited more than four years for a determination—and found the reasons for denial alarming.

      [...]

      The report comes a few months after OpenStack Foundation was denied a nonprofit 501(c)(6) designation. (A 501(c)(3) designation is generally set aside for groups with charitable, literary, or educational goals; a 501(c)(6) generally applies to business groups.)

    • PredictionIO Raises $2.5M for Open Source Machine Learning Software

      PredictionIO, the open source machine learning platform, has received a big boost with the announcement of $2.5 million in seed funding, which it plans to use to make its automated data interpretation and prediction platform widely available to open source developers.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Icecat, the big absent

      GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser, a lot of people know this browser but it seems few used. It is a free software like Mozilla Firefox but Icecat main advantage is the ethical one because does not distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France parliamentary committee: ‘encourage European open source software market

      Europe should encourage the market for free source software solutions, using public procurement and by making open standards mandatory, recommends a French parliamentary committee. Using free software is strategic as it increases IT security, reduces economic dependencies and fights rent-seeking by closed source software vendors. To avoid straining innovation, the committee also advises against European patents on software.

    • European Citizens’ Initiative: public demo available for the Online Collection Software.

      The ECI Register lists all Open Initiatives. Each Initiative promotion site provides a link “vote” that point to an OCS in production. The ECI Register provides also detailed information about how to launch an Initiative and the requirements to prepare your Online Collection System.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tesla, pharma, and the state of open source patents

      In a shocking move last month, Tesla “open sourced” its patents, while more recently, pharmaceutical companies have adopted aggressive patent lawsuits reminiscent of the tech industry.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Wireless Garden Kits: Cooking Hacks Open Garden

        Open Garden is an Arduino-based DIY kit that has everything you need to create a connected, automated garden. It’s a product of Cooking Hacks, the online IoT component store and open source hobbyist community run by Libelium (See our interview with Alicia Asín Pérez the CEO and co-founder here).

      • Develop & Share Open-Source Hardware Projects
      • Open-Source Could Be A New Avenue For Manufacturers

        Open-source means that a program, firmware, or hardware is free to the public, with the encouragement to improve the product, so long as they don’t sell the improved/updated version and continue the openness. While this seems counter-intuitive to making money, many companies have found success in the model – I would argue that manufacturers could see a new market open up from business models like this.

      • 3D printed humanoid robot goes open source

        Small, child-like Poppy robot takes two days to assemble and program from open-source, off-the-shelf and additive manufactured components.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • WI GOP Endorses Basis for Walker Criminal Probe

      For months, supporters of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have insisted the John Doe criminal probe into his 2012 campaign is “baseless,” because the alleged coordination under investigation did not involve ads that expressly told viewers to elect Walker or vote against his opponent. As long as an ad doesn’t include such express advocacy, Walker and his allies have claimed, it is beyond the reach of Wisconsin campaign finance law.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Cowbuilder and Tor

      You’ve installed apt-transport-tor to help prevent targeted attacks on your system. Great! Now you want to build Debian packages using cowbuilder, and you notice these are still using plain HTTP.

    • The world’s most secure OS may have a serious problem

      The Tails operating system is one of the most trusted platforms in cryptography, favored by Edward Snowden and booted up more than 11,000 times per day in May. But according to the security firm Exodus Intelligence, the program may not be as secure as many thought. The company says they’ve discovered an undisclosed vulnerability that will let attackers deanonymize Tails computers and even execute code remotely, potentially exposing users to malware attacks. Exodus is currently working with Tails to patch the bug, and expects to hand over a full report on the exploit next week.

    • RT Breaking the Set — interview about spies with Abby Martin
    • Why Dropbox Is Tying Its Future to Microsoft Office

      Hot startups don’t often stake their reputation for innovation on how well their technology works with Microsoft Office, but that’s exactly what Dropbox is doing today. The file-syncing service, one of the most valuable venture-backed private companies on the planet, is rolling out several Office-related features for businesses, including full-text search of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, among other file types, and the ability for multiple users to simultaneously edit Office documents via Dropbox.

  • Civil Rights

    • Government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots

      In particular, Human Rights Watch examines the extent and impact of law enforcement’s use of terrorism informants, who can both steer people into attempted acts of violence and chill religious or civic behaviour in the communities they penetrate.

    • France’s New Anti-Terror Bill: All Presumed Terrorist Until Proven Guilty?
    • The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

      The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

      The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

    • Can Twitter activism #BringBackOurGirls?

      Three months ago, the conversation about Nigeria’s kidnapped girls was electric online. Now, much of the digital chatter around the girls has faded. On April 15, more than 200 girls were taken from their school in Chibok by the extremist group Boko Haram. Nearly 60 girls have managed to escape their captors since then, but the majority of them are still being held.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Adobe Says Piracy is Down, But Photoshop Still Rules Pirate Bay

        Last year Adobe announced a shift away from boxed products in favor of a cloud-based subscription model. Now the U.S.-based company says that not only does it have more than 2.3 million cloud subscribers, but it has also seen a drop in piracy. Exactly how much is “hard to measure” but Adobe products still lead the way with pirates.

      • Colombian Student Faces Prison Charges for Sharing an Academic Article Online

        In many parts of the developing world, students face barriers to access academic materials. Libraries are often inadequate, and schools and universities are often unable to pay dues for expensive, specialized databases. For these students, the Internet is a vital tool and resource to access materials that are otherwise unavailable to them. Yet despite the opportunities enabled by the Internet, there are still major risks to accessing and sharing academic resources online.

      • Porn studio sues immigrant who has “no idea how BitTorrent works,” wins big

        Lawsuit-happy porn studio beats a “poor sap” whose pleas of ignorance fail.

      • Megaupload Wants to Freeze MPAA and RIAA Lawsuits Until 2015

        Megaupload’s legal team has asked the federal court of Virginia to place the cases filed by the music and movie companies on hold till April next year. The request comes after the extradition hearings of Kim Dotcom and his colleagues were postponed in New Zealand.

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

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Valerie Strauss

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

THE Gates Foundation is pretty clever scam which is not used for much other than tax evasion and lobbying, as well as tax-exempted investment in companies which it lobbies for, under the guise of ‘charity’. Gates is not unique in that regard; other plutocrats, including the Koch Brothers, use similar loopholes that are accommodated by a government they habitually bribe (the Republic is plutocrats-led). There is a new article titled “The Koch Brothers vs. Bill Gates” and it says: “The Gates Foundation is the world’s largest, at $37 billion in assets, according to its tax filings. That number alone makes it far, far larger than any single or cumulative Koch gift. Some may argue Gates spends money on philanthropy, not politics; but Gates has actually perfected the practice of using nonprofits to influence politics. Leftists claim to hate this tactic—witness the manufactured rage and proposed Internal Revenue Service regulations aiming to curb politics-minded conservative nonprofits—but it seems they actually just hate when it’s used against them.”

What has been quite evident is that Gates bribed lots of nonprofits in order for them to help him lobby for a profitable (to him) agenda, not only in education but in many other areas. Dealing with education for the time being, Salon has published the article “Bill Gates needs to drop his Common Core obsession”. It says: “The billionaire’s latest little fixation is catching hell on all sides. Here’s why he’s better off simply moving on”

Well, it’s all about profit, using (exploiting) “the children”. We have written about this for years and now it has become acceptable to speak about it in corporate media. Valerie Strauss from the Washington Post (where Gates’ close friend and wife used to be on the broad of directors) explains “How Microsoft will make money from Common Core (despite what Bill Gates said)” and other sites cover that also. To quote: “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has used up over $200 million in an effort to push the Common Core Standards Initiative in the last couple years.

“On the Microsoft Web site, a webpage dated April 22, 2014 entitled “Tech Essentials for Testing Success” describes in considerable detail how schools using computer-based, Common Core-aligned tests will now need to spend a bunch of money — on Microsoft products.”

Here is an article which names American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one among very many groups that Bill Gates bribed in exchange for lobbying. To quote: “Though the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) received millions of dollars in funding from the private Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development of the Common Core standards, the union will begin its annual convention in Los Angeles Friday with the announcement that it will award grants to assess the standards and write others to replace them.”

This is what the Gates Foundation is for. It’s for lobbying, with profit at the bottom line.

The plutocrats’ rag, Forbes, almost properly explains that ‘charity’ by plutocrats is tax evasion with PR (aside from ‘charity’ for PAC). Read this between the lines:

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s latest gift of more than 21.7 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway class B stock — valued at $128.98 per share at Monday’s close — decreases his personal fortune from $65.9 billion down to $63.1 billion. He slips one spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, moving into 4th behind clothing and real estate magnate Amancio Ortega.

So it’s the virtual giveaway, it is a game of stocks/shares. To people like these, it it important to be perceived as generous whilst actually hoarding ad infinitum. With publications like Forbes (glorifying the super-rich) they actually succeed at fooling a lot of people. Let’s hope this will change in the coming year. Their perception management Jihad sure faces obstacles in the age of the Internet.

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

Posted in Patents at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Going back to physical, backing away from “abstract”

Bulb

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

DESPITE the CAFC‘s push for expanded scope of software patents, the SCOTUS ruled in favour of new limits, whereupon the USPTO began rejecting software patent applications, among other things like rejection of software patents in the courts. This was wonderful news!

An article by Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice Group (i.e. patent lawyers) said that the USPTO had “Preliminary Examination Guidelines” for software patents after the SCOTUS ruling. To quote:

Following closely on the heels of the Court’s decision, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued guidelines for the examination of patent applications claiming abstract ideas. The guidelines are preliminary and the USPTO indicates that it will issue additional guidance after further consideration of the Court’s decision and public feedback.

This article was also published here.

Holland & Knight LLP (patent lawyers publishing behind paywall) wrote that the US “PTO Provides Examiners with Guidance on Software Patents in Light of U.S. SC Ruling” and Glaser Weil IP File said: “Though recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have not provided much help, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s efforts to more closely scrutinize software patents is reducing the incentive for patent applicants to seek vague, broad claims, experts told USPTO officials at a forum Tuesday.”

There are also new articles about it, written not by patent lawyers.

The signifiance of the above articles is that even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that software patents are facing news limits. Weeks ago they worked hard to deny it (we gave dozens of examples), hoping that the SCOTUS ruling would go away or go unnoticed.

Steph writes about the patent lawyers’ propaganda rag, IAM ‘magazine’, calling them “silly”. She says: “A while back you published this article about a study that came out, touting the damage that patent trolls do to start ups. OK, not necessarily start ups, but “entrepreneurial activity”. And not necessarily “patent trolls”, but NPEs/PAEs/Euphamisms-of-the-Month.”

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

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML at 1:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Folder

Summary: Only “Microsoft as the standard” is the ‘standard’ Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office’s judgment reveals

AT THE BEGINNING of this week we learned that the British (UK) Cabinet Office, a highly influential department with technology imperatives, did the correct thing by no longer requiring British citizens to become clients of Microsoft (and users of expensive spyware) to merely communicate with their government. The Cabinet Office “goes open source” is how one news site put it, but ODF, the OpenDocument Format, is not necessarily about Free/Open Source software. ODF is about many applications working together, not via formats that are designed around a single application and its various versions (that’s what OOXML is).

Techrights did not break this news. It was Andy Updegrove who did, along with Cabinet Office. Quoting Updegrove:

The U.K. Cabinet Office accomplished today what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts set out (unsuccessfully) to achieve ten years ago: it formally required compliance with the Open Document Format (ODF) by software to be purchased in the future across all government bodies. Compliance with any of the existing versions of OOXML, the competing document format championed by Microsoft, is neither required nor relevant. The announcement was made today by The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.

The Cabinet Office stated:

The open standards selected for sharing and viewing government documents have been announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.

Not too shockingly, as one ought to expect, the following day Microsoft attacked this decision. despite claiming to have ‘embraced’ ODF. “Microsoft attacks UK government decision to adopt ODF for document formats” said one headline, stating: “Microsoft has attacked the UK government’s decision to adopt ODF as its standard document format, saying it is “unclear” how UK citizens will benefit.

“The Cabinet Office announced its new policy yesterday, whereby Open Document Format (ODF) is immediately established as the standard for sharing documents across the public sector, with PDF and HTML also acceptable when viewing documents.”

“Turning its back on Microsoft Office’s native formats, the UK government has adopted the Open Document Format for all its sharable documents,”
writes Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, but if Microsoft is really all about openness, then Microsoft should welcome this decision, not attack it. It is quite revealing that Microsoft is not really interested in fair competition, interoperability, and openness.

“UK government makes “big step forward” on open document standards,” said the headline from Opensource.com (Red Hat).

We already wrote so much about it and warmed the Cabinet Office about Microsoft’s abusive responses, which include trying to get people fired, bribing some other people, using (or exploiting) disabled people to attack people’s rational decisions, and so on.

Dr. Glyn Moody wrote about “Massachusetts ODF fiasco a decade ago” and said about this important milestone: “Let’s Not Mess it up””

While celebrating this great news, I really want to emphasise Bracken’s point about managing the switch properly. We can be absolutely certain that Microsoft will fight this decision in every way possible. It will certainly seize on any problems that arise during the implementation as “proof” that it was the wrong choice. That makes it crucial that the open source community do everything in its power to aid the Cabinet Office here.

One particular area that concerns me is cross-compatibility. I’m hearing stories about difficulty in transferring ODF files from LibreOffice to Apache OpenOffice, with formatting of things like tables being messed up in the process. This is completely unacceptable: one of the benefits of adopting an open standard is the ability to swap in and out different applications. If that theory proves impossible in reality, we have a huge problem.

I would therefore like to entreat all the open source projects and communities that work on ODF to get together and sort this out. In the wake of the fantastic – and brave – move by the Cabinet Office, providing full interoperability among open source implementations must be a priority.

Yesterday’s news is truly a unique opportunity to show the power of open standards, to promote the benefits of open source, and to bring about its wider dissemination both in government, and among home users. The price of failure here would be extremely high: yet more years in the wilderness, as happened after the Massachusetts ODF fiasco a decade ago. So let’s not mess it up.

The Mukt, which covered this important development. delivered yet another call for Google to adopt ODF as the default document format, ending Google’s cowardly approach towards document formats.

We feel as though we played some role in the above (being among hundreds of people who wrote to the Cabinet Office). We not only wrote a lot about it and also wrote to the Office itself almost a dozen times, engaging in a discussion with members of staff.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts