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Links 1/10/2014: OPNFV Goes Public, PDF Reader Pullout

Posted in News Roundup at 4:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • An open source networking ecosystem shapes up

    Open source networking is becoming a reality now that standards bodies, vendors and development communities are working together. Yet these players face a slew of challenges.

  • Facebook has over 200 open source projects on GitHub

    Facebook. It’s one of the world’s most well-known tech companies and on the forefront of open source technology. Just take a look their portfolio of over 200 open source projects on GitHub.

  • Learn how to support women in open source

    Women are an underrepresented group in the open source world. According to data from the FLOSS 2013 survey, a little more than 10% of open source developers are women. Recently, there have been several attempts to make open source more welcoming to women contributors and supportive of their accomplishments. Two good examples of these efforts are GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women, an internship program designed to welcome women into the open source community and provide them with mentoring, and Red Hat’s Women in Open Source Award.

  • Open source is starting to make a dent in proprietary software fortunes

    Open source has promised to unseat proprietary competitors for decades, but the cloud may make the threat real.

  • The Path to Full-time Open Source

    Three months ago I quit my job to work on Sidekiq and build a brand new OSS project and commercial product. Tomorrow I want to introduce it to you.

  • Apache Storm is ready for prime time

    What do you do when you have terabytes and more of data and you want to work it with in real time? Well, one solution is to turn to Apache Storm.

  • Events

    • Next-Generation Email Platform Inbox Rolls Out Open Source Apps, Details Its Hosted API Pricing

      Inbox, the email startup founded by Dropbox and MIT alums offering modern APIs that allow developers to build new applications on top of email’s aging underpinnings, is today taking steps to make it even easier for developers to get started with the launch of open source email apps. The company is also announcing the pricing for its hosted version of the Inbox API for the first time publicly.

  • Web Browsers

    • Firefox, Google Chrome Updates Fix BERserk SSL Flaw

      Both Mozilla and Google updated their Web browsers on Sept. 24 for a vulnerability that had been present in all prior releases. The updates fix a single issue in the core Network Security Services (NSS) library that is present in both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The new Mozilla update is Firefox 32.0.3, and the Google Chrome update is version 37.0.2062.124.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Funding


    • Dear clueless assholes: stop bashing bash and GNU.

      This is a defense of the most prolific and dedicated public servant that has graced the world in my lifetime. One man has added hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars of value to the global economy. This man has worked tirelessly for the benefit of everyone around him. It is impossible to name a publicly traded company that has not somehow benefitted from his contributions, and many have benefitted to the tune of billions. In return for the countless billions of wealth that people made from the fruits of his labor, he was rewarded with poverty and ridicule. Now that the world is done taking from him, they are heading to the next step of villifying him as incompetent.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Small firms and open-source software put Spine back into NHS after IT fiasco

      Without the fuss and delays that have plagued so many large government IT projects, a key part of the NHS digital infrastructure was recently migrated and updated in a single weekend.

      The collection of applications and directory services known as the Spine connects clinicians, patients and local services to core NHS services such as the GP2GP patient record transfer, the Electronic Prescription Service, patients’ Summary Care Records, and the Choose and Book service. More than 250,000 health service staff connect to it every day, sending more than 400m messages each month.

    • England’s Healthwatch switches to open source CRM

      England’s Healthwatch organisations are now using CiviCRM, an open source solution for customer relationship management. “Open source affords access to a wide community of developers, which means that the software continues to develop and security updates and bug fixes are regularly rolled out”, explains Tim Schofield, the organisation’s interim systems manager.

    • Udine city struggles to remove IT vendor lock-in

      The Italian city of Udine is ‘gradually and painfully’ removing all the ties that bind the city’s ICT systems to the usual proprietary operating systems and office productivity solutions, reports head of the IT department, Antonio Scaramuzzi. The city aims to slowly introduce more free and open source software alternatives.

      Unhurried, the municipality is implementing open source technologies where feasible, avoiding big migration projects, Scaramuzzi writes to the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR).

      Earlier this month, IT trade news site Zdnet that the town is making Apache OpenOffice the default office suite. The software is already installed on all of the city’s 900 PCs. ZDNet writes that this switch will save the city about 400 euro per PC in proprietary software licences.

  • Licensing

    • Open source history, present day, and licensing

      Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don’t care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there’s a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained.

      On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, “If I am open, you need to be open.” So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it’s great if all software becomes open.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Humanitarian applications in OpenStack, the Rosetta Stone of the cloud, and more
    • The geocaching experience is catching

      What does the above have to do with open source? Do you use tools like c:geo? Then, you are using open source to go geocaching! Geocaching is an offline scavenger hunt, out in the real world, with the help of GPS coordinates. The person who hides the “cache” is the owner and prepares it by finding a nice hiding spot and putting sheet of paper, the log book into a cache container. Cache containers come in different kinds sizes and forms. The most popular kind is a 35mm film container. There are others that look like old rusty screws, parts of a tree, bird houses, or look-a-like rocks. The owner then hides the container, records its GPS coordinates, and makes it available to other geocachers so that they can go find the cache and sign the log book to record the finding.

    • Jazz is the music of open source
    • Open Data

      • France appoints Chief Data Officer

        France is the first country to appoint a Chief Data Officer (Administrateur Général des Données, AGD), to ensure open data reaches its full potential in improving government services. On 17 September, France appointed Henri Verdier, director of Etalab, which runs the Inter-ministerial open portal, data.gouv.fr. Verdier is to coordinate government actions aimed at inventorying, governing, producing, circulating and using government data. With the CDO, France aims to enhance evaluation of government policies, increase government openness and boost research and innovation.

    • Open Hardware

      • Axiom crowdfunding campaign to develop open source camera

        For almost three years a community of independent filmmakers called the apertus project have been developing an open source digital cinema camera with Axiom, which would allow filmmakers the ability to modify, repair and create their own custom cameras. After creating a proof-of-concept prototype, the Axiom Alpha, the group launched a crowd-funding campaign on indiegogo.com in September 2014 to raise further development funding for the Axiom Beta, a second model which will allow the team to test and advance the product further.

      • Build-a-Bot Kit Makes Robots Open Source

        A new toolkit could help veteran and beginner roboticists design, create and assemble a variety of soft-bodied bots. The online resource, which includes a trove of blueprints, tutorials and how-to videos, could spur the development of new robots to operate in the medical industry, disaster relief efforts or an array of other applications.

      • Open source hardware pumpkin-puppet

        David writes, “A year ago I pledged to make a fully interactive version of my augmented jack-O-lantern, Gourdy; I’ve finally gotten around to doing it, and I’m releasing him free for anyone to use.

      • Arduino to sell 3D printer—$800 in kit form or $1,000 pre-assembled

        Open source hardware maker unveils Materia 101, a “precision 3D printer.”

  • Programming


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Other Kind of Climate Change Denial

      Whew. Back on planet Earth, burning more fossil fuels is going to have at least one consequence: It will continue contributing to the heating of the planet. But Samuelson never mentions climate change, which is too often treated as a non-event in coverage of energy (FAIR Blog, 5/15/12; 9/9/14).

      In a way, this is merely a different type of climate change denial, one that wishes away the consequences of continuing to burn fossil fuels. Interestingly, the Samuelson column has a “Read more about this topic” link at the bottom, which takes readers to a Post editorial on the same subject, headlined “Commerce Dept. Should Allow Exports of US Crude.” This is notable because the Post editorial page has drawn attention for a series they’re calling “A Climate for Change,” which is supposed to represent the paper’s decision to take the climate crisis seriously. Except, apparently, when the same editorial page is making the case for drilling for more oil.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Darkcoin Releases Open Source Code, Exits Beta Stages

      Privacy-centered digital currency Darkcoin (DRK) is now a fully open-source cryptocurrency as it unveils its source code and moves out of the beta stages of development.

    • Darkcoin 2.0 Open Source – Interview With Darkcoin’s Duffield

      If you don’t already know, Darkcoin was released in the first quarter of 2014, and it’s unique selling proposition as a digital currency was it’s enhanced privacy and security structure relative to the almighty Bitcoin. A minor-league detective can figure out the transaction origins made on Bitcoin’s Blockchain, and mine your privacy, in effect. Darkcoin aims to take your financial dealings into total darkness, with a security-centric design language.

    • Darkcoin Solves Bitcoin Privacy Challenges; Releases Open Source Code

      Darkcoin is a revolutionary new cryptocurrency which offers privacy and fast transaction speed. Four years ago, the mysterious and brilliant Satoshi Nakamoto developed a revolutionary piece of software called Bitcoin. In doing so, Satoshi created both a digital currency (so-called “cryptocurrencies” are decentralized and secured by cryptography, rather than by a government) and an inexpensive payment network. Bitcoin uses a decentralized financial ledger called a “blockchain” to keep track of everybody’s balances and to transfer money from one bitcoin address to another.

    • Darkcoin Releases Darksend’s Open Source Code

      As scheduled during the release of RC5 last week, the Darkcoin Foundation today open-sourced Darksend. The code of this anonymity-offering platform was kept closed-source since the time of its launch. The reasons given for hiding Darksend’s source code were the unsureness of its functionality in mainstream market, due to which the platform had to go through some really rigorous testing and audit procedures.

    • Saving Face and the threats to privacy in our society

      Now this argument has been solidly debunked in various articles, breaking down to these main reasons:

      You don’t know what you have to hide

      You should have something to hide

      Privacy is a basic human need

      On the first two, security researcher Moxie Marlinspike wrote for Wired Magazine.

    • ORG responds to calls by Theresa May for new communications data bill

      Open Rights Group has responded to the Home Secretary, Theresa May’s call for a revival of the snoopers’ charter to give the police greater powers to access communications data.

      Open Rights Group’s Executive Director, Jim Killock said:

      “We already have GCHQ engaging in illegal mass surveillance justified by the investigation of terrorism. Why exactly does Theresa May need to revive the snoopers’ charter which would give the police the same powers to infringe our liberties? We need targeted surveillance not data trawling and population profiling.”

    • Theresa May’s call for new Snooper’s Charter can launch a national debate

      The Conservatives have made a clear offer to the public: they are saying that they will, if elected, revive plans for the Snooper’s Charter. Massive data gathering and analysis of your online habits would become available to the police and a range of public bodies. Powers that are currently being challenged in the courts, but are in practice available to GCHQ under programmes like TEMPORA, would become an everyday policing tool.

    • Holder urges tech firms to cooperate with law enforcement

      Wading into a fight that’s about to get more interesting, Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday urged tech firms to cooperate with law enforcement.

      “We would hope that technology companies would be willing to work with us to ensure that law enforcement retains the ability, with court-authorization, to lawfully obtain information in the course of an investigation, such as catching kidnappers and sexual predators,” Holder said.

    • Security doesn’t discriminate

      That was all too typical in Holder’s call to tech companies to leave device back doors open to police.

  • Civil Rights

    • Oettinger’s Hearing: All for the Industry, Nothing for Citizens

      The European Union’s “Digital Agenda” should not only be about digits and economy. It is also about rights and freedom. After several hours of hearing of Günther Oettinger, the designated EU Commissioner for the “Digital Economy and Society”, one question remains unanswered: what about the protection of fundamental rights in the digital environment?

    • Life Sentence For Sulaiman Abu Ghaith Discredits Guantánamo’s Military Commissions

      Last Tuesday, in a courtroom in New York City, a long-running chapter in the “war on terror” came to an end, when Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, 48, a Kuwaiti-born cleric who appeared in media broadcasts as a spokesman for Al-Qaeda the day after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, received a life sentence based on the three counts for which he was convicted after his trial in March: conspiracy to kill Americans, providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

    • Fixing the internet for confidentiality and security

      A fair society is one where laws are clear and crimes are punished in a way that is deemed fair. It is not one where thinking about crime is criminal, or one where talking about things that are unpalatable is criminal, or one where everybody is notionally protected from the arbitrary and the capricious. Over the past 20 years life has become safer, not more risky, for people living in an Internet-connected West. That’s no thanks to the listeners; it’s thanks to living in a period when the youth (the source of most trouble in the world) feel they have access to opportunity and ideas on a world-wide basis. We are pretty much certain to have hard challenges ahead in that regard. So for all the scaremongering about Chinese cyber-espionage and Russian cyber-warfare and criminal activity in darknets, we are better off keeping the Internet as a free-flowing and confidential medium than we are entrusting an agency with the job of monitoring us for inappropriate and dangerous ideas. And that’s something we’ll have to work for.

    • Holder’s inconsistent constitutional legacy

      The American Civil Liberties Union and other activist groups denounced a speech that Holder gave at the Northwestern University School of Law in 2012 in which he argued that Barack Obama’s administration had the authority to engage in targeted killings anywhere in the world without judicial review, a critical check on executive power. In May the District of Columbia Court of Appeals upheld deference to the administration in a case brought by the family of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone attack in Yemen in 2011 after he had been placed on a kill list. Journalist Jason Leopold recently obtained a copy of a DOJ memo about the justification for extrajudicial assassination that was heavily redacted, and the human toll of both intended targets and civilian casualties remains shrouded in secrecy.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXXVIII

      In my last update, I mentioned plans to organise a European Citizens’ Initiative, a formal petition against both TTIP and CETA. I think everyone assumed that the European Commission would just ignore this when it was presented, but in fact it has done something rather more spectactular – and stupid: it has refused to allow the ECI to go ahead at all.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright exceptions for parody and format shifting become law

        After nine years of campaigning, Open Rights Group is delighted that copyright exceptions for parody and format shifting have passed into law.

        Executive Director Jim Killock said:

        “It has been a long, drawn-out campaign but we’re delighted that people who contribute to the rich creativity of the internet by creating parodies will now have protection under the law. It’s also right that copying our own legally bought music or books for personal use will no longer be illegal.

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