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09.02.14

Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

Posted in News Roundup at 7:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux @ About.com

    During the past month I have been in discussions with a number of people at about.com.

    I have been provided with the opportunity of writing articles on the linux.about.com subsite and I am in full control of all the content that will appear on that site.

  • Best Linux and Web-Based Alternatives to Final Draft

    As far as writing screenplays is concerned, Hollywood has only one standard: Final Draft. For years, much like Microsoft’s monopoly with Windows, the software had no big competitors. From big Hollywood directors like Spielberg to small independent studios, everyone considered Final Draft the gold standard of screenwriting software. In many ways, it still enjoys the same monopoly; however, the stronghold it had over the screenwriting industry isn’t the same as before. With its high price, clunky UI, and lots of persistent bugs, Final Draft is slowly being taken over by lesser-known tools in this huge shift that is happening in the screenwriting industry.

  • Mindshare-Momentum For FLOSS

    That’s the reason I got away 15 years ago. It’s too bad the world has endured so much harm all these years before coming to its senses. The world now sees that FLOSS works. Just about everyone has used Android/Linux and knows it works. Just about everyone has used web applications running on GNU/Linux and knows it works. The poor souls still using that other OS are locked in miserable dark damp cells peering at a vibrant world outside.

  • You have your Windows in my Linux

    Although there are those who think the systemd debate has been decided in favor of systemd, the exceedingly loud protests on message boards, forums, and the posts I wrote over the past two weeks would indicate otherwise. I’ve seen many declarations of victory for systemd, now that Red Hat has forced it into the enterprise with the release of RHEL 7. I don’t think it’s that easy.

  • Windows XP: Your upgrade experiences

    I think more media attention needs to be brought to Linux [an open-source operating system] nowadays. I’ve tried many platforms and have found Lubuntu in particular to be a very sophisticated and extremely lightweight operating system. Even on computers with as little as 512MB of RAM the system boots, runs programs and shuts down like a bullet.

  • Eventually Revolution Is the Easier Route To Escape An Oppressive System

    The FUD doesn’t work. The world sees M$ as the cancer, not GNU/Linux and FLOSS. The world sees Android/Linux systems working smoothly for more folks and at lower cost and complexity. The world sees that depending on M$ for anything in IT is difficult, expensive and a nightmare waiting to happen.

    The result is that consumers are switching to Android/Linux and governments, businesses and large organizations are switching to GNU/Linux, in droves. Governments are banning M$’s standards and protocols. The OS itself is next. Already huge segments of humanity know that a web browser and the Internet will do a lot of what they want done. There’s just no need for a lot of what M$ offers and it’s more efficient to go elsewhere for software. Enter FLOSS, the most efficient means of creating and distributing software. It’s time is now.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel developer Dmitry Monakhov arrested for protesting Ukraine invasion

      Linux kernel developer Dmitry Monakhov was detained for 15 days for disobeying a police officer on Saturday. The debacle came about when Monakhov decided to protest the recent invasion into Ukraine by Russian armed forces.

      This was not the first incident of aggression towards Monakhov. During a rally in July of 2013 he was reported to have been beaten in one of the police vans most likely for participating in expressing his discontent with Putin’s policies regarding human rights.

      According to Monakhov’s tweet the day before his most recent run in with the authorities, he announced, “I am a Russian. Not cattle. Not a killer. And it is not the occupier. I am ashamed that my president Putin. At 9.00 I go to Manezhku [Manezh Square] against the war.” after this tweet, pictures surfaced a day later of four Russian policeman arresting him.

    • Overturning The Distro

      One idea is that they will choose a single file-system, btrfs, and use some of its features/complexity to standardize the GNU/Linux file-system, versioning of software, production, distribution and installation of software. They seem to want to turn the GNU/Linux PC into something more like Android so that developers will have a standard target and more control over the run-time environment.

    • boycott systemd

      systemd0 is a replacement for the sysvinit daemon used in GNU/Linux and Unix systems, originally authored by Lennart Poettering of Red Hat. It represents a monumental increase in complexity, an abhorrent and violent slap in the face to the Unix philosophy, and its inherent domineering and viral nature turns it into something akin to a “second kernel” that is spreading all across the Linux ecosystem.

    • The Companies That Support Linux: SanDisk Advances Storage Industry

      A growing dependency on digital data has spurred new interest in flash storage technologies along with cloud-based services and storage. With the broadest portfolio of flash-memory based solutions in the industry, SanDisk is on the leading edge of this transformation, with Linux and open source at the heart of its innovation. By working with hundreds of open source projects in compute, storage, and networking, SanDisk can help enable software stacks to take advantage of flash’s behavior and performance, says Nithya Ruff, director of the SanDisk Open Source Strategy Office.

    • Sony Joins AllSeen Internet of Things Alliance

      The Linux Foundation’s Allseen Alliance has a new member today. Sony has announced that it is joining AllSeen in a bid to bolster its Internet of Things (IoT) presence.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Marek Lands Radeon Gallium3D HyperZ Improvements

        Well known open-source Radeon driver developer Marek Olšák has landed a number of commits today inside mainline Mesa Git for improving the state of HyperZ for AMD hardware, a feature that remains disabled by default for the open-source Radeon Linux driver due to stability and artifact issues.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ondemand vs. Performance CPU Governing For AMD FX CPUs On Linux 3.17

        In the tests shared yesterday of looking at the AMD FX-9590 CPU on Linux and other CPU benchmarks from this weekend, some Phoronix readers raised concerns about the CPU scaling governor differences between the AMD and Intel hardware. The AMD FX CPUs continue to use the CPUfreq driver by default to handle their scaling while modern Intel CPUs have the new Intel P-State driver. Beyond the Intel-specific P-State vs. CPUfreq, the AMD CPUs generally default to using the “ondemand” governor while with Intel desktop CPUs on P-State it generally ends up with the “performance” mode. Some Phoronix readers found performance vs. ondemand differences to be unfair, but for AMD FX CPUs, there isn’t much of a difference in our common CPU torture test benchmarks found in the Phoronix Test Suite.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Thank You Akademy 2014 Sponsors

        Akademy is a non-commercial event, free of charge for all who want to attend. Generous sponsor support helps make Akademy possible. Most of the Akademy budget goes towards travel support for KDE community members from all over the world, contributors who would not be able to attend the conference otherwise. The wide diversity of attendees is essential to the success of the annual in-person Akademy conference. Many thanks to Akademy 2014 sponsors.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Neptune 4.1 Release

        We are proud to announce the first maintenance release of version 4 Neptune 4.1.

        This release fixes some bugs in the installer, bluetooth, plasma & systemd and also provides updated software.

        KDE Applications & Platform 4.14 was packed in with a new kernel 3.14.13. We added the bfq (budget fair) I/O scheduler to improve desktop responsiveness even on heavy disk I/O usage.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Camera Pi – How Raspberry Pi can see

      Robots provided with autonomous operation capabilities and, particularly, those sporting sense organs similar to the human ones, have always tickled the fancy of science fiction writers and screenwriters.

      As always happens, from a certain point in history, even official science has started to deal with the subject, at first with the so-called “strong theses”, whose objective was to reproduce, to substitute, the capabilities that are typical of humans.

    • Phones

      • Who’s to blame when products fail?

        Recently a major publication house published an article about how the Tizen smartphone “flopped – and open source is to blame” [1]. If you did read the article, however, you found that even the author did not really believe open source was “to blame.” The author blamed the companies behind the projects for a lack of commitment to the use of Open Source, which created a lack of follow-through and (given the number of alternative closed and partially open operating systems they could use) the final use of either Android or Microsoft instead. Of course, this headline particularly infuriated me because even iOS is based on FreeBSD, and both Android and Firefox OS use kernels “based on” Linux. So, “Open Source Failed”?

      • Android

        • Google Sends Invites for September 15 India Event; Android One Launch Likely
        • 7 Things You Can Do With The Xposed Framework on a Rooted Android Phone or Tablet

          The Xposed Framework is a way to make system-level changes to your Android operating system without installing a custom ROM. All you need is root access. Here’s a look at what you can actually do with the Xposed Framework.

          You’ll find all of these modules listed in the Xposed Framework itself. Install the Xposed Framework, open it, and use the Modules search to browse, search, and install modules.

        • Make Firefox for Android Yours: Switch Languages Easily, Customize Home Screens and Clear History

          Now, you can make Firefox for Android your own in any of 55 languages, regardless of the language you originally downloaded your favorite browser in. With the new language switching feature, you can easily choose between and set a language without restarting your browser. You can switch between all of the languages Firefox for Android offers regardless of the locales supported by your Android device. Today, we have added Armenian, Basque, Fulah, Icelandic, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh language support to the languages Firefox for Android offered before.

        • Android 4.4 mini-PC packs 64-bit quad-core Atom punch

          Minix is prepping a sub-$150 mini-PC running Android 4.4 on a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F and featuring WiFi, Bluetooth, IR, Ethernet, and USB connectivity.

          Intel’s Atom Z37x5 system-on-chip, the second generation of its 22nm Z3000 (Bay-Trail-T) family, is beginning to appear in Android- and Windows-ready tablets such as the Toshiba Excite Go, as well as a “Sharks Cove” single board computer from Intel and Microsoft. Now we’re starting to see mini-PCs built on the tablet-focused SoC. Last week Zotac unveiled a tiny Zbox P1320 Pico computer that ships with Windows 8.1, and now Minix is prepping a Minix “Neo Z64″ miniPC for those who would prefer to run Android 4.4.

        • Google’s sub-$100 ‘Android One’ devices said to be unveiled on September 15

          Devices will land in the sub-$100 price range, making them highly desirable in the emerging markets, not limited to Brazil, India, China, and Russia — so-called BRIC nations.

        • Google plans multiple Android Wear updates as Apple’s wearable looms

          Google’s first update to Android Wear is coming this week, and several more will follow it before the end of the year as Google moves to quickly iterate on its new wearable software platform. In an interview with CNET, two leading Android engineers lay out what we should expect to see in some future updates. This first one sounds as though it may not be much — just some navigation and voice control improvements — but a few useful features are coming down the road. That includes Google officially beginning to support custom watch faces from third-party developers: some developers have already figured out how to build them, but Google is working on a toolkit for developers that will allow watch faces to easily be made. Google previously teased details of this in a Google+ post.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source for slow food and small farms

    Looking at the challenges—and opportunities—of FarmBot, I’m reminded a bit of the factors that played into the origin of the world’s first open source company, Cygnus. That history traces back to 1987, the year that Richard Stallman released version 1.0 of the GNU C compiler. At that time, compiler ports cost millions of dollars and took years to deliver. I was very interested in writing compilers, but I saw no prospect for doing so because (1) there were very few compiler companies in the world, and (2) they employed a very small number of people—most of whom were famous for having written the few compilers I’d ever heard of. Who would hire somebody with no commercial compiler experience to work on something so rare and valuable?

  • Top 4 open source invoicing tools for freelancers and small businesses

    Small business owners and freelancers put a lot of work into their businesses. They do that not only because they’re passionate about what they do, but they also have the goal of getting paid.

  • Healthdirect Australia sees value in open source for security solution

    Commonwealth and state/territory government funded public company, Healthdirect Australia, has used open source software to build an identity and access management (IAM) solution.

    The IAM solution allows users to have one identity across all of its websites and applications. For example, users can sign in using their Facebook, LinkedIn or Gmail account.

  • For 50 percent of developers, open source is a 9-to-5 job

    As much as we may like the myth of the hobbyist developer, no one codes for free anymore. Well, not quite “no one,” but according to Dirk Riehle’s recent academic research, at least half of all open-source software is written by paid developers during work hours. And if Linux is any indicator, the percentage of 9-to-5 open-source development is only going to increase over time.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Some Mac Users to Be Boxed Out By Chrome

        As we’ve been reporting, Google is embracing the 64-bit future with its Chrome browser, having just elevated the 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows to its stable Beta distribution channel, while also elevating Chrome for Mac OS X’s 64-bit version to Canary and Dev builds. In some ways, 64-bit versions of Chrome represent a game of catch-up for Google, because Mozilla has offered 64-bit versions of Firefox for Mac OS X and Linux for a long time.

      • Opera 24 Released With Tab Preview for Linux, Mac and Windows

        Opera Software on Tuesday announced the latest version of its browser for Linux, Mac and Windows – Opera 24. The browser introduces the tab preview feature, and the company alongside announced the milestone support for 1,000 extensions for the first time since it shifted to the Chromium engine.

        With Opera 24, the company introduced tab previews – aimed at helping users figure out what a tab contains just by hovering their mouse over it. The new feature gives an inside preview of the opened tab upfront in the form of the most recent snapshot of the site.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 32 Surfaces With HTML5, Developer Changes

        If you checkout the Mozilla FTP servers tonight the official 32.0 builds have surfaced for the Firefox web-browser.

      • Firefox 32 Stable Has Been Released + Installation Instructions For The Most Popular Linux Systems

        Among others, Firefox 32 comes with an improved generational garbage collection, HTTP caching v2 has been enabled by default, the login metadata viewable is now viewable in the password manager, public key pinning support has been added, the number of found items in the find toolbar is now displayed, just like in Chrome, Scratchpad has received code completion and inline documentation, support for connectiong to the HTTP proxy over HTTPS has been implemented and both the Password Manager and Add-on manager have received improvements and a big number of security and bug-fixes have been implemented.

      • Mozilla’s $33 Firefox OS Phone Draws Notice in India

        Mozilla recently announced that the first smartphone running its Firefox OS mobile operating system is now on sale in India, following earlier reports that a low-cost phone would arrive there in July. One of the big surprises with the Cloud FX phones is that, while the rumor mill had set the price at $50, these phones are actually priced at a rock-bottom $33. In India’s fast-growing mobile market, that could put phones in the hands of many new users and help Firefox OS become entrenched.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Manila project Approved for Incubation

      The first time I ever heard of the Manila project was at the recent OpenStack Atlanta summit. I had planned to sit in on the Manila session, but the room was overflowing and I wasn’t allowed in, which was very disappointing.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 4 preview

      GhostBSD is a desktop distribution that’s based on FreeBSD. The project started out with support for several desktop environments (Gnome, Mate, XFCE, LXDE, and Openbox), but has since become a MATE-only distribution.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Folks Still Working On Their “FreeDink” Game

      GNU FreeDink is still going on as an GPL-licensed portable and improved upon version of the Dink Smallwood game engine.

      Dink Smallwood is the Zelda-like RPG game title from the late 90′s that still has a small following of gamers. GNU FreeDink meanwhile is an official GNU project that frees up the title to more platforms. The GNU FreeDink engine runs the original game and its mods while supporting multiple platforms and supporting newer technologies like SDL from what was originally available when the game was originally developed. This GNU project also frees up the sound/music replacements with other assets via the freedink-data component. The game also avoids MP3 files in favor of Ogg Vorbis audio.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format

      We often wish to share electronic documents with friends, colleagues, business or government, and the software application we use to prepare these documents will save them in a particular format.

      Any application that later loads the document will also need to be able to understand this format. If an organisation can control the format, and convince people to use it, then they can use this as a very powerful tool to create a monopoly in the market.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • AMD Launches New FX CPUs, Cuts Prices On Existing Processors

      AMD today is rolling out three new FX-Series processors (the FX-8320E, FX-8370E, and FX-8370) while cutting prices on their existing Vishera AM3+ FX processors. AMD sent over the new FX-8370 and FX-8370E CPUs last week to Phoronix (the FX-8320E is still forthcoming) so we are here with the rundown on the Linux performance of these new FX CPUs compared to a wide variety of other Intel and AMD Linux systems with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Nude photos leak in massive celebrity iCloud hack

      Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, among others, leaked online Sunday in what appears to be a massive celebrity hacking scandal. The racy photos surfaced online Sunday and had the Internet buzzing.

      A representative for Lawrence has since confirmed the images are real.

      “This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” the actress’ spokesperson said in a statement. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

    • Naked celebrity hack: security experts focus on iCloud backup theory
    • Apple Investigating Reports of iCloud Vulnerabilities

      Initial media reports suggested that the hacks stemmed from individual accounts on iCloud, an online service to store photos, music and other data from Apple devices.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse

      The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.

      It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.

  • Censorship

    • Indonesian student faces hearing over ‘Yogyakarta is stupid’ social media post

      n Indonesian student, who could be jailed for comments posted on social media, is facing an ethical hearing at her university.

      An Indonesian student, who could be jailed for comments posted on social media, is facing an ethical hearing at her university today.

      Postgraduate law student Florence Sihombing, 26, was arrested on Monday after a message she sent to friends on social media went viral.

      In her post, Ms Sihombing called the central Java city of Yogyakarta “poor, stupid and uneducated”.

  • Privacy

    • The Times of India just instituted a bizarre Twitter and Facebook policy

      Hundreds of journalists working at the Times of India and its sister publications have received a peculiar request from their employer: hand over your Twitter and Facebook passwords and let us post for you.

    • Indian Media Giant’s New Policy For Employees: Hand Over Your Social Media Passwords
    • No to police drones [Letter]

      Regarding your recent editorial on drones, while there may be benefits of using unmanned aerial vehicles in less populated areas, I oppose providing Baltimore City police with drones for any purpose (“Eyes in the sky,” Aug. 28).

      Drone manufacturers and operators hope to create thousands of jobs and earn billions of dollars with this technology. But as with any quasi-military device there is a need for civilian oversight. It’s time the City Council takes up the matter.

    • Cities scramble to upgrade “stingray” tracking as end of 2G network looms

      Documents released last week by the City of Oakland reveal that it is one of a handful of American jurisdictions attempting to upgrade an existing cellular surveillance system, commonly known as a stingray.

      The Oakland Police Department, the nearby Fremont Police Department, and the Alameda County District Attorney jointly applied for a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to “obtain a state-of-the-art cell phone tracking system,” the records show.

    • Surveillance, where do you draw the line?

      The Don’t Spy On Us campaign is coming to the Labour party conference in Manchester and asking the question “Surveillance, where do you draw the line?”

  • Civil Rights

    • Cameron poised to unveil powers making it “easier to take people’s passports away”

      David Cameron will make a statement to the House of Commons later today on proposals for new legislation which will “make it easier to take people’s passports away“.

      This comes after a fortnight during which senior Tory, Labour and UKIP figures, as well as the Met police commissioner and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke in favour of increasing the government’s ability to remove the passports of those with British citizenship who go abroad to fight with extremist groups.

    • Coalition to propose new powers to stop citizens returning to UK

      The Coalition is proposing new discretionary powers to stop terror suspects returning to the UK, David Cameron announced today.

      The move is designed to thwart court challenges to Home Office attempts to remove passports of suspected terrorists while they are abroad.

      In a wide ranging Commons statement responding to crises in Ukraine and the Middle East as well as an increased terror threat at home, the prime minister also unveiled plans to give border police temporary powers to seize the passports of those who they suspect are travelling abroad to fight with terrorist groups.

    • Homeland Security was built to fend off terrorists. Why’s it so busy arming cops to fight average Americans?

      From Ferguson’s military police to loaning drones and tracking your every move, the agency’s expensive, violent sinkhole of bureaucracy needs reform – now

    • ’60s activist Tom Hayden to donate papers, FBI file to U-M

      One of the leading activists of the 1960s and beyond will house his papers, including his extensive FBI file, at the University of Michigan.

      The collection of Tom Hayden’s papers will be open to the public, starting in the middle of September.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • UK Police Make Third ‘Pirate’ Streaming Arrest

        The UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit arrested a man yesterday believed to have operated streaming sites that provided illegal access to subscription-only sports TV services. The arrest marks the third carried out by PIPCU in the streaming sector.

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