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09.26.14

Links 26/9/2014: LibreOffice Celebrations, Betas of *buntu

Posted in News Roundup at 7:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source tools to prepare your ebooks for publication

    Self publishing a book has never been easier. There are numerous open source tools that you can use to create a book.

    Having published three ebooks, and being in the process of putting together another one, I’ve learned that after writing a book there are a few more things that you need to do before sharing your book with the world.

  • Hadoop Developer Cask, Formerly Continuuity, Goes Open Source

    Continuuity Inc., whose software makes it easier for developers to build applications that run on the big-data storage and analysis system Hadoop, has changed its name to Cask and will put its technology into open source.

  • Joint Staff Dumps Oracle and PeopleSoft Planning Software for Open Source

    The Joint Staff currently uses Oracle and PeopleSoft for strategic planning software through a contract managed by a division of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

    The Joint Staff runs the software on the Joint Organization Server and a server covering the Office of Secretary of Defense.

    NAVSEA said in a contract notice it plans to issue a new contract to MYMIC LLC of Portsmouth, Virginia, for open source planning software to “reduce the high cost of licenses, technical support and custom modifications” with Oracle and PeopleSoft.

  • Open Source email solution ownCloud Mail is coming!

    The only solution is self-hosted, fully open source email services. Kolab is one such service and now ownCloud team is also working on offering mail to users.

    ownCloud is actually more aggressive and is working on a replacement for Google Map, called ownCloud Maps. It is built on Leaflet, using Open Street Map data says an ownCloud blog. The project has just started and you can test and contribute on GitHub.

  • Back to the Source: Why FOSS is More Important Than Ever

    In the olden days the topic of software freedom was central to Linux and free/open source software. Software freedom needs to remain front and center. Remember Richard Stallman’s Four Freedoms?

    “Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four freedoms that every user should have:

    the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
    the freedom to change the software to suit your needs,
    the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors, and
    the freedom to share the changes you make.”

  • Hijacking Open Source

    There is a way for open source to actually win. We simply have to put the power of choice and control back in the hands of the consumer. I say simply because it’s an easy thing to say, and an easy concept to understand, however we all know full well that implementation is much, much harder. We can start by not giving up on the Linux desktop. We can take the next step by investing in an open mobile platform that respects our privacy. Finally, we can continue building the free, open, and distributed Internet that the world needs.

  • Twitter’s Mesos brainbox joins data centre OS venture

    Benjamin Hindman, the co-founder of open-source cluster manager Mesos – which runs at large web properties including Twitter and Airbnb – has joined VC-backed Mesosphere. The startup was founded in 2013 to drive a paying business around the cluster manager he built as a student.

  • Events

    • The Big Value of Small Open Source Conferences

      Historically, the computer industry has been impressed with big things. In the early decades, the mainframes and supercomputers were all the rage. Even as the technology began to shrink, big rollouts supplanted the big machines. And now you can find powerful technology which easily fits in the palm of your hand — but you’ve probably only heard of the brands which sell in huge numbers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firejail – A Security Sandbox for Mozilla Firefox

        Firejail is a SUID sandbox program that reduces the risk of security breaches by restricting the running environment of untrusted applications. The core technology behind Firejail is Linux Namespaces, a virtualization technology available in Linux kernel. It allows a process and all its descendants to have their own private view of the globally shared kernel resources, such as the network stack, process table, mount table, IPC space.

      • Pale Moon Shines for Classic Firefox Fans

        Much of the good stuff about Pale Moon is under the hood. Taken together, all of it contributes to a more efficient performance. For example, Pale Moon is optimized for modern processors such as SSE2. A lot of the built-in bloat of the Firefox code is removed. That gets rid of things like accessibility features and WebRTC. The social API code is disabled by default.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 Re-Fuels Cloud Server

      The open-source OpenStack cloud platform only has major milestone releases every six months, but that doesn’t mean there are aren’t incremental updates. One of the leading vendors in the OpenStack community is privately-held Mirantis, which updated its OpenStack Distribution to version 5.1 this week.

    • Deploying OpenStack and Trove (DBaaS) at eBay
    • Rackspace Delivers Managed OpenStack Private Cloud and Services

      Rackspace has announced the release of its latest Rackspace Private Cloud offering, built on OpenStack and designed for enterprises. The platform now includes a 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee, and is more scalable. Customers can deploy Rackspace Private Cloud in their own data centers, or have their deployments run at Rackspace or run in both locations. The Private Cloud platform also includes Rackspace’s “fanatical support.”

    • Eight Up and Coming OpenStack Cloud Projects

      When the open-source OpenStack cloud platform first got started back in 2010, there were only two components, with Rackspace bringing in the Swift storage project and NASA contributing the Nova compute piece. Over the last four years, OpenStack has expanded significantly beyond its initial two core contributors and two primary components. OpenStack now counts many of the world’s leading technology vendors—including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Cisco, Intel, Dell, VMware, AT&T and Comcast—among its many supporters.

    • OpenStack day two operations tools

      This is the third part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. In part two, I covered workload deployment tools. Today, we’ll look at tools for day two operations.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3.2 Is Out, The Document Foundation Celebrates Four Years

      The Document Foundation has announced that the final version of LibreOffice 4.3.2 is now available for download.

    • LibreOffice 4.3.2 Hits The Marketplace Just Before The Fourth Anniversary Of The Project

      LibreOffice 4.3.2 hits the marketplace just before the fourth anniversary of the project on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The community has been growing for the past 48 months, attracting at least three new developers per month plus a larger number of volunteers active in localization, QA and other areas such as marketing and development of local communities.

    • LibreOffice will turn four this year

      The Document Foundation was formed back in 2010, when a team of OpenOffice developers forked the project and created LibreOffice. Since then while Oracle unloaded the OOo burden on The Apache Foundation and the project continued its decline, LibreOffice experienced a steep growth.

    • LibreOffice’s superlow defect rate puts proprietary software to shame

      The LibreOffice team has analyzed more than 9 million lines of code to find and fix 10,000-plus defects of all types, including some with the potential to impact security and many that affected stability and memory use. The team working through the Coverity results is led by Caolán McNamara of Red Hat and includes Stephan Bergmann, Noel Grandin, Norbert Thiebaud, Julien Nabet, and others.

    • LibreOffice Celebrates – and Does Something Unusual

      LibreOffice is thriving, and trying something bold

    • Reuniting LibreOffice and AOO – a personal take

      As we are approaching the 4th anniversary of the LibreOffice project in just a few days, an old theme has been reappearing on the Internet: Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice should reunite. I would like to share my perceptions on this topic although I think it is not a really important one, at least as long as the LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice do not officially call for such a reunion. Before I start, let me remind everyone that what follows is my own opinion and neither the one of the Document Foundation, nor the one of the Democratic Party, the one of my Government, nor, at last, the one of Bob’s Shipping and Handling Company.

    • Oracle OpenStack for Linux Arrives, As Competition Heats Up

      In case you thought the OpenStack cloud computing race wasn’t crowded enough, Oracle has just made its Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux distribution generally available. Based on the OpenStack Icehouse release, it allows users to control Oracle Linux and Oracle VM through OpenStack in production environments. It can support any guest operating system (OS) that is supported with Oracle VM, including Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Microsoft Windows,and other Linux distributions.

    • Nuage Networks Adds SDN Support to Oracle OpenStack

      Nuage is also pitching the integration as a win for open source within the cloud and SDN ecosystems. “We’re pleased to work with Oracle on this Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux integration. It provides choice in an open cloud solution, optimized for enterprise workloads to mutual customers worldwide,” said Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Nuage Networks. “This is great news for the OpenStack community as we continue to show momentum with OpenStack in enterprise and cloud provider deployments.”

    • Oracle Linux 5.11 Features Updated Unbreakable Linux Kernel

      The new Oracle Linux update is probably the last one in the series. This operating system is based on Red Hat and the company has just pushed out the last update for the RHEL 5x branch, which means that this is the end of the line for the Oracle version as well.

      Oracle Linux also comes with a series of features that make it very interesting, like zero-downtime kernel updates with the help of a tool called Ksplice that was originally developed for OpenSUSE, inclusion of the Oracle Database and Oracle Applications, and it’s used in all x86-based Oracle Engineered Systems.

  • Education

    • Open source tools help kids discover digital creativity

      Youth Digital just moved into their new offices, tucked away in a nondescript office park in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s a big step up from their humble beginnings, when company founder and director Justin Richards hauled a laptop to his students’ houses, tutoring them on web and graphic design. Their first office was barely more than a closet, and now they have an expansive space complete with conference rooms, recording studio space, and their own 3D printer.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF Issues Statement On Shellshock Bash Vulnerability

      The Free Software Foundation has issued their response to this week’s news of the “Shellshock” bug that affects Bash.

    • Free Software Foundation statement on the GNU Bash “shellshock” vulnerability

      A major security vulnerability has been discovered in the free software shell GNU Bash. The most serious issues have already been fixed, and a complete fix is well underway. GNU/Linux distributions are working quickly to release updated packages for their users. All Bash users should upgrade immediately, and audit the list of remote network services running on their systems.

      [...]

      Proprietary, (aka nonfree) software relies on an unjust development model that denies users the basic freedom to control their computers. When software’s code is kept hidden, it is vulnerable not only to bugs that go undetected, but to the easier deliberate addition and maintenance of malicious features. Companies can use the obscurity of their code to hide serious problems, and it has been documented that Microsoft provides intelligence agencies with information about security vulnerabilities before fixing them.

    • Linux Shellshock’d, Pale Moon Rising, and LibO 4.3.2 Released

      Today in Linux news, The Document Foundation celebrates four years with the release of LibreOffice 4.3.2. Bash exploit “Shellshock” is making more headlines today as servers and devices are under attack. Bruce Byfield looks at the thankless job of community managers and Jack Germain test drives the Pale Moon Web browser. And finally today, Jack Wallen explains the difference between LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

    • Hanoi SFD 2014 Report

      On Friday morning we went to the VAIP office and had a Fedora APAC ambassador meetup the whole day. The meetup was set up for APAC ambassadors to discuss critical tasks. EMEA has had a lot of similar meetups, but for APAC, it was the first to my knowledge. (It was at least the first in this year.)

    • Open source proponents in Trivandrum celebrate Software Freedom Day

      The Software Freedom Day was celebrated in the capital city last week at an event organised by Zyxware Technologies, a Thiruvananthapuram based IT services company, in association with the International Centre for Free & Open Source Software (ICFOSS) and the Free Software Users Group (FSUG-Tvm).

      The theme for the day was ‘Government Organisations and Free Software in Kerala’, in the light of the government order asking all departments to migrate to Free Software. At the event, experiences of government organisations who have successfully migrated to Free Software was showcased.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Another Open-Source Developer Claims Hyperkin is Illegally Using Code for Retro Console System

      The makers of the open-sourced emulation software program, RetroArch are the latest to say that video games accessories company Hyperkin is using its program in violation of the GPL license. RetroArch uses a development interface called “libretro” that allows for the “easy creation of emulators and games that can plug straight into this program called RetroArch.” It supports 15 different hardware platforms including Android.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Constructing an industry, open-source style

      That open source philosophy will benefit Stefannuti Stocks in the long run, because other companies may devise some improvements. Then, if the demand increases, the units could be built more cheaply in bulk rather than individually crafted.

    • Better open source security, learning to code, open home design, and more
    • Open Data

      • The changing tide of open government and open data

        There is definitely something different about the Code for America Summit this year. It’s still got the family feeling and warm welcome that I’ve come to expect each year, but the tone is a little more serious. The civic projects being worked on are having a bigger impact on society. The projects highlighted during the first day of the conference are saving people time and improving our experience with government. The tide is on the rise and so is the impact of open government and open data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Save money with open-source textbooks

        It’s hardly a secret that the price of new college textbooks has risen 82% in the last decade, forcing students to find cheaper alternatives or forego course materials altogether.

        Rentals, buybacks and used textbooks are part of the solution, but they still involve textbooks from the three major publishers that control the market. Experts say the next disruptive force in the textbook market could cut out these “big three” altogether.

  • Programming

    • APIcon UK: Open Source Fuels the API Economy

      Industry leaders say open source is the backbone of the software infrastructure required to fuel the API economy. At APIcon UK, Simon Phipps, president of the Open Source Initiative, explained why open source licensing will enable the API and Internet of Things economies to grow.

    • HHVM 3.3 Implements More PHP Language Functionality & Faster Performance

      A few days ago the Facebook developers working on the HipHop Virtual Machine — that serves as a faster implementation of PHP and it also serves as the basis of their Hack language — released HHVM 3.3.0.

Leftovers

  • Apple

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Rush to Violence

      Between 4 and 20 August the Saudi Arabian government beheaded 19 people. Saudi Arabia, which has funded and armed ISIS from inception (initially with CIA support), is now bombing alongside the USA in Iraq and Syria.

      Forget the war technology porn regularly being broadcast by western media, with those spectacular photos of missiles erupting from ships into the night sky. Those missiles and bombs eviscerate and maim innocents as well as combatants, children as well as terrorists. The West always first denies, then regrets, “collateral damage”. The propaganda can be laughable. During the invasion of Iraq I remember a news propaganda item about how a cruise missile can enter a specific window, being followed by the next item – the US had apologised to Syria for two missiles aimed at Iraq which had hit Syria by accident.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Interview with Bitcoin Armory

      In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Alan Reiner, core developer of Bitcoin Armory, a bitcoin wallet focused on security. Bitcoin Armory is licensed under the terms of GNU Affero General Public License version 3, or (at your option) any later version.

  • Finance

    • Washington Post Slams Venezuela for Electing ‘Former Bus Driver’

      It’s no secret that the Washington Post editorial page was quite alarmed by Venezuela’s shift to the left under former President Hugo Chavez. The Post–like the rest of elite US media (Extra!, 11/05)–was an unrelenting critic of Chavez’s policies.

      Some things haven’t changed.

      In a scathing editorial (9/20/14), the Post went after Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro, calling him an “economically illiterate former bus driver” because he “rejected the advice of pragmatists” and will continue to pursue policies that are ruining what was “once Latin America’s richest country.”

    • Jeff Bezos Takes WaPo’s Advice, Rips Off WaPo Workers

      Now, that’s a rotten thing to do–taking away large sums of money that you promised people for their retirement after years of service. Where could Bezos have gotten the idea that it was OK to act that way?

      Well, maybe he reads the paper he just bought.

      The Washington Post has a long tradition–in its news reports and its editorials–of calling on politicians to treat public employees and their pensions the way that Bezos is treating the Post’s.

    • RT America Interview: Sweden Said Good Riddance to Austerity – When Will America?

      Professor Wolff joins host of RT America Thom Hartmann. Sweden has said good riddance to austerity. On Sunday – the country’s voters chose a group of left-wing and center-left parties -led by the Social Democrat party – to head a new government. In total – left wing parties won 43.7 percent of the vote and 159 seats in parliament. When all is said and done and the Social Democrats have formed a government – it will mark the end of Sweden’s short-lived experiment with austerity. In the eight years since outgoing prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s right-leaning Moderate Party took control of parliament – Sweden has seen huge tax cuts and a flurry of so-called “pro-market reforms” – a change that many in the country saw as a a betrayal of a decades-long tradition of social democracy. With Sunday’s elections – though – it looks like the Scandinavian Model is back in business – and will be for quite some time.

    • The Green Tea Party and The Fight for Affordable Housing in America’s Most Expensive Community

      An alliance of tea party activists and some misled progressive liberals has united to defeat affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. In a concerted effort to protect property values and a perceived quality of life, the Koch Brothers’ libertarian think tanks have developed strategies, talking points, and tactics to repel any efforts to provide affordable housing.

    • WSJ’s Misleading Defense Of ALEC Doesn’t Disclose Its Parent Company’s Membership

      The Wall Street Journal editorial board defended the corporate bill mill American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in an editorial whitewashing the organization’s climate change denial and vindicating their one-sided attacks on renewable energy, without mentioning that the Journal’s parent company News Corp. is an ALEC member.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • After Koch-Tied Judge Is Reversed, Walker Probe Rests with Conflicted WI Supreme Court

      A federal appellate court has shut down Judge Rudolph Randa’s decision halting the criminal probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and allied groups, rejecting Randa’s interpretation of campaign finance law and declaring the investigation best resolved by state courts.

      The investigation remains halted by a state court decision from January, and the probe’s future now rests with Wisconsin appellate courts. However, some justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court could have a conflict of interest: the four-justice Republican majority was elected by millions in spending from the same groups under investigation in the coordination probe, calling into question whether they can be impartial.

  • Censorship

    • When can a High Court grant an injunction to trade mark holders against ISPs to block access to “infringing” websites?

      The question before the Court is whether the owner of a trade mark can obtain an injunction – not against an alleged counterfeiter, or even against the owners and operators of the websites on which counterfeiters sell their items. The Court is instead being asked to grant an injunction against the internet service providers (ISPs), so that websites alleged to be infringing the trade marks are blocked to ISP subscribers.

    • Trade mark case could set a precedent for website blocking

      For the first time ISPs are being asked to block websites on the basis of alleged trade mark (rather than copyright) infringement. Whilst ORG takes no view on the merits of the trade mark claims in the current case, we believe the outcome of this case will have implications for future trade mark blocking applications, which could potentially threaten the legitimate interests of third parties.

  • Civil Rights

    • Attorney General Eric Holder to step down

      Attorney General Eric Holder, who has addressed questions about drones, cybersecurity, marijuana legalization, and other issues during his time in the Obama administration, is stepping down. NPR first reported the news today, saying that Holder would leave as soon as the Senate confirmed a successor, which could happen as late as next year; the White House has since confirmed the news in a statement. Holder took office in 2009, appointed by President Barack Obama in his first term. NPR quotes a former official as saying that Holder wanted to leave before being committed to staying the rest of Obama’s second term; he’s already one of the longest-serving US attorneys general. This spring, he said he would stay “well into 2014,” but declined to be more specific.

    • Fox Report Cherry-Picks Immigration Data To Stoke Terrorism Fears

      Fox News hyped fears that an influx of immigrants from the Middle East could pose a terrorism threat for the U.S., advocating for greater immigration from English-speaking countries. But Fox’s report parrots a study released by the anti-immigration group, the Center for Immigration Studies, and ignored the fact that the growth of Middle East immigrants in the U.S. was modest when compared to other regions.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Web Inventor Tim Berners-Lee Gets To The Core Of Net Neutrality Debate: You Need An Open Internet To Have A Free Market

      The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has now spoken out strongly in favor of net neutrality in an interview with the Washington Post. The headline and much of the attention are going to his quip that what the big broadband providers are doing is a form of “bribery” in trying to set up toll booths to reach their users. And that is, indeed, the money quote, but it’s not the most interesting part of what he’s really saying. It’s in the context that he gets to that, where he’s countering the bogus arguments from folks who insist that we don’t need net neutrality rules because that would mess with “the free market.” That’s wrong for a whole number of reasons that we’ve discussed previously, but Berners-Lee points out that to have a free market, you do need some basic accepted rules, and that’s where some basic regulations are useful: regulations to keep the market free and open. And that’s true of most “free markets.”

    • My visit to the US – ICANN, net neutrality, women in ICT and more

      I was very pleased to meet Tom Wheeler, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Tom and I had a very fruitful exchange, particularly on “Net Neutrality”. We are on the same line about preventing blocking and throttling of Internet access; but it’s clear that our approach to specialised services is quite different; in Europe we have been clear that they must not slow down or hinder the quality of access to the open Internet. I was also struck that the FCC received almost four million comments on its own proposed net neutrality rules: and in a way that is unsurprising, as our own consultations and analyses for the Connected Continent proposal show just how important this topic is to citizens, businesses and governments alike.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Bill Designed To Stop Bogus Copyright Claims From Stopping You From Selling What You Own

      We just wrote about an audio equipment manufacturer trying to argue that it was criminal for someone to resell their products. While this was obviously crazy, never underestimate the lengths that some companies will go through these days to try to block people from selling products they (thought they had) legally bought. And guess what tool they’re using to block you from actually owning the products you bought? Why copyright, of course. It’s yet another example of how copyright is often used to block property rights rather than to create them.

    • Questions for the 2014-2019 European Commissioners

      Starting from Monday, September 29th, the nominees intended to constitute the future College of Claude Junker’s Commission, will face a full parliamentary hearing, in view of the definitive confirmation of their appointment. La Quadrature du Net invites any Members of the European Parliament to question the candidates on their views and positions on the protection of European citizens’ digital rights. In particular, the set of questions, that La Quadrature du Net provides, covers a broad range of issues that are essential to guarantee people’s rights to access a free and open Internet, as well as to protect their personal data. Most of the questions directly relate to the portfolio of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for Digital Single Market. Other Commissioners designate, whose Directorate-General is competent for specific issues, are indicated below.

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  29. Qualcomm's Nightmares Are Getting Worse as Antitrust Questions Are Raised and Assessed

    Qualcomm is getting itself deeper in trouble as fines pile up and its multi-billion dollar dispute with Apple isn't getting it anywhere



  30. Forget About Apple; Two of the Leading Phone Makers (Samsung and Huawei) Are Bickering Over Patents

    Massive Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung, are in a big patent dispute and this time, for a change, China is a legal battleground


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