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10.03.14

Links 3/10/2014: 700 GNU/Linux Games in Steam, Hamburg Greens Want Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 5:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Learn GNU/Linux the Fun Way

    Sometimes a gift just falls in your lap. This month, it came in the form of an e-mail out of the blue from Jared Nielsen, one of two brothers (the other is J.R. Nielsen) who created The Hello World Program, “an educational web series making computer science fun and accessible to all”. If it had been just that, I might not have been interested.

  • Windows 10 doesn’t matter to the future of Linux

    Ugh, here we go again with the Windows versus Linux desktop blather. I hate having to wade through this stuff, but it’s necessary because articles like this continue to promote the idea that the desktop is of primary importance to Linux and that simply isn’t true. Usage habits have shifted considerably from desktop computers to mobile devices.

    Linux will always be around on the desktop, it may or may not have a sizable percentage of market share, but it will always be there as an alternative to Windows and OS X. And Windows 10 (or 11 or 12 or 13) isn’t going to change that, no matter what Microsoft does to improve its desktop operating system.

    The real action is in mobile devices and in that arena Linux has utterly smashed Windows and Microsoft into oblivion. You see Linux in Android phones and tablets, Chromebooks, Kindle ebook readers and in many other devices. The article grudgingly notes the success of Linux in mobile at the very end but otherwise seems totally focused on a pointless desktop horse race between Linux and Windows.

  • Server

    • Infographic: Three Facts About the Open Source Cloud

      With CloudOpen Europe now less than two weeks away, we took another look at the data from the recent open cloud survey, conducted by Linux.com and The New Stack. Three surprising conclusions emerged that aren’t necessarily obvious on a quick read through the survey results.

    • Cumulus Linux: First Impressions

      One company looking to benefit from this trend is Cumulus Networks. Cumulus does not produce or sell hardware, only a network operating system: Cumulus Linux. The Debian-based OS is built to run on whitebox hardware you can purchase from a number of partner Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs). (Their hardware compatability list includes a number of 10GE and 40GE switch models from different vendors.)

    • In Support of Open Source

      The most obvious of these is the Linux operating system, used by almost all HPC systems. MPICH, OpenMPI, and their variants are examples of other open source tools that “facilitate scalable, distributed computing and have supported decades of research, including spinning off multiple derivatives that have made their way into commercial offerings by big name vendors such as Cray, IBM, and Intel,” says Schroeder.

  • Kernel Space

    • Actions have consequences (or: why I’m not fixing Intel’s bugs any more)

      Recently, as part of the anti-women #GamerGate campaign[2], a set of awful humans convinced Intel to terminate an advertising campaign because the site hosting the campaign had dared to suggest that the sexism present throughout the gaming industry might be a problem. Despite being awful humans, it is absolutely their right to request that a company choose to spend its money in a different way. And despite it being a dreadful decision, Intel is obviously entitled to spend their money as they wish. But I’m also free to spend my unpaid spare time as I wish, and I no longer wish to spend it doing unpaid work to enable an abhorrently-behaving company to sell more hardware. I won’t be working on any Intel-specific bugs. I won’t be reverse engineering any Intel-based features[3]. If the backlight on your laptop with an Intel GPU doesn’t work, the number of fucks I’ll be giving will fail to register on even the most sensitive measuring device.

    • Indian Developers Redesigning Linux Kernel With OOP, C++ Support

      DOS Lab IIT Madras and CDAC Chennai out of India are aiming to redesign the Linux kernel as MOOL, or the Minimalistic Object Oriented Linux. The project site explains, “MOOL (Minimalistic Object Oriented Linux) aims at redesigning the Linux kernel to reduce coupling and increase maintainability by means of OO (Object Oriented) abstractions. Excessive common coupling prevails in existing kernel. Studies have shown that common coupling is increasing in successive versions of Linux. This will make maintainability of Linux difficult in coming years. As a starting step we have tried to reduce the number of global variables of the kernel. Some global variables are used only by two or three kernel modules. These are passed as function arguments. The performance of the modified kernel is measured with the standard performance analysis tools. The modified kernel performs almost same as original. MOOL features a device driver framework to write drivers in C++ and insert them as loadable kernel modules.”

    • BOSSMOOL is an Object Oriented Linux kernel from India

      The primary reason behind using a procedural language like C for writing the Linux kernel was efficiency. However, this resulted in higher degree of dependencies (or coupling) among different parts of the Linux kernel and makes it difficult to maintain. A touch of object-oriented design may make things easier.

    • Graphics Stack

      • FOSDEM15: Graphics DevRoom: call for speakers.

        At FOSDEM on the 31st of january and the 1st of February 2015, there will be another graphics DevRoom.

      • 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17

        For those that have been mailing in requests for benchmarks of Mesa 10.3 with Linux 3.16~3.17 given that’s what most Q4’2014 Linux distributions are setting to ship, here’s a 15-way graphics processor comparison on this stack.

        Using the Mesa 10.3 packages that recently landed in Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn are some fresh benchmarks of the latest Ubuntu 14.10 state but with switching to the mainline Linux 3.17 kernel. All tests were done from the Intel Core i7 4770K system with Gigabyte Z97-HD3 motherboard, 8GB of RAM, and 140GB Western Digital WD1500HLHX HDD. Ubuntu 14.10 was in its updated state as of a few days ago with Unity 7.3.1, X.Org Server 1.16.0, xf86-video-ati 7.4.0, xf86-video-intel 2.99.914, and xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.11. Mesa 10.3.0 was present while as said we upgraded to the Linux 3.17 Git kernel as Ubuntu 14.10 by default is shipping with Linux 3.16; there’s a few DRM driver improvements in 3.17 worth testing.

      • A Multi-Year Effort Has Started To Better Document Intel’s DRM/KMS Driver

        One of the most frequent reasons we here when it comes developers not getting involved with the open-source Linux graphics driver development (or even just driver bug-fixing) comes down to the high barrier to entry due to a lack of comprehensive documentation, etc. As one step towards improving the driver documentation situation, Daniel Vetter has begun a long process of documenting the Intel (i915) DRM/KMS kernel driver.

      • Other Projects Participating In This Winter’s Women Outreach Program

        So far it looks like there’s just 2~3 women interested in the X.Org program but there’s also a lot of other projects involved for Phoronix readers that were assigned female at birth or anyone who identifies as a woman, genderqueer, genderfluid, or genderfree regardless of gender presentation or assigned sex at birth.

    • Benchmarks

      • Fedora 21 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 Development Benchmarks

        With the very latest development packages for Ubuntu 14.10 and Fedora 21, here’s some new Linux benchmark results when running from the Core i7 5960X platform and using the new MSI X99S SLI PLUS.

        The MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard played well with both Ubuntu 14.10 and Fedora 21 that are powered by the modern Linux 3.16 kernel. As a quick comparison just for kicks I ran some benchmarks using all of the same hardware and the stock settings for each of F21 and Ubuntu Utopic on this system with the latest packages as of yesterday~today.

      • 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17

        For those that have been mailing in requests for benchmarks of Mesa 10.3 with Linux 3.16~3.17 given that’s what most Q4’2014 Linux distributions are setting to ship, here’s a 15-way graphics processor comparison on this stack.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • API Design Part 1: Impact on the Performance (Qt vs STL example)

        First of all, this post is not meant to criticize Qt in any way, just to raise some thinking points for people who create libraries.

      • Marvelous Marble

        OSMhyd showing hydrants in Wennigsen (Deister) I’m one of those persons that always prefers a native application over some web stuff. Usually this comes from some things I want to have, may it be speed, offline capabilities or just hacking possibility. So as a long-time user and contributor of OpenStreetMap as well as an active firefighter I of course know about OpenFireMap. And of course I want a local version of it.

      • Kubuntu: KDE 4.14.1 on Trusty released.
      • KDE Applications and Development Platform 4.14.1

        Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.14.1 are available for Kubuntu 14.04LTS and our development release. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA.

      • Porting Muon Discover to KF5

        Muon has been a project that I’ve been very eager to port and iterate for a longtime. I’m happy with the 2.0 series, lots of changes were made and it has served us well. More importantly though, we have a solid technology to keep pushing our work on.

      • Yet another static code analyzer run

        Looking for the answer to a 64-bit build question I ran into a news item titled “The Unicorn Getting Interested in KDE“. Since I never saw an unicorn before this made me curious.

      • Putting the code where it belongs

        I have been working on better ways to write asynchronous code. In this post I’m going to analyze one of our current tools, KJob, in how it helps us writing asynchronous code and what is missing. I’m then going to present my prototype solution to address these problems.

      • KDE will be at Qt Developer Days in Force

        Qt Developer Days Europe is next Monday to Wednesday in Berlin. It features tutorials and talks on making the most of the Qt toolkit most KDE Software is based upon. Since Qt opened up its development process a large part of KDE Frameworks development has been to ensure close cooperation between the two projects. This has succeeded spectaularly well and at this Qt Dev Days an incredible over 50% of the speakers are active or past developers with KDE.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • How GNOME 3.14 is winning back disillusioned Linux users

        GNOME 3.14 is now out. It’s a release full of polish from the desktop environment once preferred by most Linux distributions—and almost a story of redemption. After arguably losing its way around GNOME 3.0, GNOME is back with a vengeance.

        GNOME Shell has matured immensely since their immature launch. Thanks to solid releases like GNOME 3.14, GNOME will once again be the default desktop on Debian, pushing out Xfce. GNOME 3’s “classic mode” offers enough familiarity to be the default desktop on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, too.

      • GNOME 3.14 Improves Linux Desktop Visual Detail, Other Features

        The open-source GNOME 3.14 desktop release is the second major update to the popular Linux user interface in 2014. Version 3.14, which the GNOME Project released Sept. 24, follows in the footsteps of GNOME 3.12, which debuted March 26. As was the case with GNOME 3.12, as well as GNOME 3.10, the emphasis is on the refinement of features and function as opposed to any larger-scale desktop overhaul. That doesn’t mean that there are not a whole lot of changes in GNOME 3.14. According to the GNOME Project, the new release includes 28,859 changes that 871 contributors made. While many of the changes are bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements, there are also a number of user-facing feature and function improvements. GNOME 3.14 offers a renewed emphasis on multi-touch capabilities, including improved gesture support. Window animations have also been improved giving the overall desktop more polish and refinement. Within GNOME, the included bundled applications also have been updated with the new release. Among the updated applications is the Maps tool, which now gains an integrated navigation capability. eWEEK looks at new and enhanced features in the GNOME 3.14 release.

  • Distributions

    • Netrunner Rolling 2014.09 review

      Ok, that’s just about it for the features of the manual partitioning tool. The next two screenshot shows what happened when I tried to install Netrunner Rolling 2014.09.1 on real hardware. The computer is an all-in-one system with a 320 GB hard drive. I had two Linux distributions installed in dual-boot mode on the hard drive, but the computer is my crash-and-burn system, so I didn’t have to keep whatever data was on it.

      Everything I’ve written so far about the computer should tell you that it has existing partitions on it. However, when I started the installer and navigated to the manual partitioning tool, it failed to detect any partitions on the hard drive. In other words, it detected it as a brand new drive. I wasn’t about to create new partitions manually, so I tried the default automatic partitioning option.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • 15 years of whois

        Exactly 15 years ago I uploaded to Debian the first release of my whois client.

        At the end of 1999 the United States Government forced Network Solutions, at the time the only registrar for the .com, .net and .org top level domains, to split their functions in a registry and a registrar and to and allow competing registrars to operate.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 7.4.2 Arrives with Linux Kernel 3.16.3, Shellshock Patch, and More

          Knoppix, a bootable Live CD/DVD made up from the most popular and useful free and open source applications, backed up by automatic hardware detection and support for a large number of hardware devices, is now at version 7.4.2.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Netflix Working on Ubuntu Touch Native App – Softpedia

            Netflix recently got in touch with the Ubuntu developers to ask them to update a library in the latest 14.04 LTS release that would allow for native playback on that platform. Now, it looks like they are also working on an app for Ubuntu Touch.

          • Developers Can Publish Apps for Ubuntu Touch in Just 60 Seconds

            The Ubuntu Touch platform is preparing for its release in December and it really needs a powerful ecosystem of apps to succeed. A Canonical representative has revealed just how fast a developer can submit an application to the store and how fast it will be available for download.

          • How to Log in Ubuntu Without Knowing the Password

            This is a very useful method to employ if you forget your password and need access to the operating system

          • People Still Want Ubuntu Edge to Happen

            Back in July 2013, Canonical proposed a new type of smartphone, an extremely powerful device that would be built with the best the industry had to offer at that point. It’s safe to say that it attracted a lot of attention and that people keep wondering if there still is a chance to see something like it.

          • Ubuntu MATE Will Steal the Show of the Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn Launch

            Ubuntu MATE is a new flavor based on Ubuntu that will see an official launch alongside all the other regular ones on October 23, and it’s very likely that it will steal the show.

          • Ubuntu Touch RTM Video Tour

            The Ubuntu Touch operating system has just received a new RTM branch and the developers are working hard to provide a stable and good operating system. We’ve put together a video tour of Ubuntu Touch.

          • IBM Expands POWER8 Server Portfolio with Ubuntu Linux

            IBM today is expanding its POWER8 server lineup as part of the company’s continuing effort to provide a competitive alternative Intel x86-based server systems.

            The Power8 silicon and server system first debuted in April. One of the new systems is the IBM Power S824L server.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Elementary OS ‘Freya’ Is Worth the Wait

              The 2013, or Luna, version of Elementary OS is a very solid Linux distro. Its pending replacement, Elementary OS Freya version, will push the unique desktop design to a new level of dependability. However, one question left unanswered is whether this new Linux distro will give seasoned Linux users enough configurability to be more than just a pretty desktop face.

            • Elementary OS Freya: The Next Major Update To A Rising Linux Distro

              Elementary OS is a Linux distribution that has been making waves as of late. For a lot of people, including our own Akshata, it made them switch to Elementary OS full-time from Windows. However, the latest stable release, “Luna”, is becoming quite old. Now, we’re getting a glimpse at the first beta of the next released, codenamed “Freya”.

              What’s new in Freya, and is it worth upgrading or switching to it from other distributions? Let’s take a look.

            • elementary OS Freya Beta 1 is Looking Sparse But Fast and Sleek

              elementary OS is a GNU/Linux distribution that you will either adore or on the other hand, find isn’t for you. Fast, tight and favouring beauty and a logical simplicity over the ability to customize every little thing, eOS takes a different approach to many Linux distributions. In this article we shall take a look at elementary OS Freya Beta 1, a preview of the upcoming Freya release.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Atmel revs up Cortex-A5 SoC with video decode, security

      Atmel is sampling a Linux supported, Cortex-A5 based SAMA5D4 SoC that bests the earlier SAMA5D3 with new NEON, L2 cache, 720p decode, and security features.

      Atmel announced the SAMA5D4 system-on-chip at ARM TechCon 2014, which is underway this week in Santa Clara, Calif. The SAMA5D4, builds upon the foundation of the earlier SAMA5D3 SoC, and similarly uses ARM’s Cortex-A5 processor. It supports Internet of Things (IoT) applications including control panels, communication gateways, and imaging terminals, says Atmel. The SAMA5D4 is supported with an Atmel Xplained development kit, as well as a mainline Linux BSP, with Android support coming in December.

    • Slide Show: 11 Smart Eyewear Devices Running Android or Linux

      Google Glass wasn’t the first eyewear computer, but it achieved several technological breakthroughs, especially in its sleek, lightweight construction. The much maligned device has spawned a growing industry of head-mounted smart eyegear. Our slide show of 11 Android and Linux eyewear devices includes simple Bluetooth accessories for notifications, full-fledged industrial headgear, sports gear for bikers and skiiers, and even a motorcycle helmet (click Gallery link below).

      Like Glass, eight of the 10 other devices listed in our slide show are based on Android, while two — Laforge’s ICIS and Tobii Glasses 2 — use embedded Linux. Almost all the devices are open for pre-orders at the very least, and most are shipping, although sometimes only in beta form. Several are OEM-focused devices. Glass only recently became publicly available for $1,500, and sales are still controlled by Google, with restrictions in terms of age (18+) and a requirement that you live in the US or UK.

    • Gallery : 11 Smart Eyewear Devices Running Android or Linux
    • LG is working on a webOS SmartWatch

      The world’s favorite abortive mobile operating system, webOS, refuses to go away quietly. After being open-sourced by HP and then sold off to LG, webOS is now apparently returning to mobile devices in the form of a new LG SmartWatch. A developer website hosted by LG teases a software development kit for a webOS SmartWatch, while the familiar Bean Bird from LG’s webOS TVs also shows up, this time supporting a classically styled analog wristwatch.

    • pcDuino SBC adopts i.MX6 Quad, loads up on storage

      LinkSprite unveiled a “pcDuino Acadia 1″ SBC that runs Linux or Android on a 1.2GHz Freescale i.MX6 Quad SoC and features eMMC flash and dual microSD slots.

    • Tizen Smartphone powers a Robot using WiFi and NFC

      Using input device / control events in the Tizen Linux they were able to control mouse and keyboard events. You can charge the Tizen phone when it is place inside the robots head, and notifications messages are displayed in the robots LCD screen. You can also perform file transfers between devices and even use the robot as a media output device.

    • Linux micro computer runs Android and Ubuntu

      We have discovered another Linux computer module, the HummingBoard from Israeli firm SolidRun.

      The HummingBoard allows you to run many open source operating systems – such as Ubuntu, Debian and Arch, as well as Android and XBMC.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android L build for Samsung Galaxy S5 gets previewed

          By all accounts, Android L’s release is coming soon, perhaps even this month (or in November). We’ve known for months what Google wants its next mobile OS version to look like, since the company’s already presented its new Material Design. But what about the different phone makers? They’ve so far gotten used to modifying the looks of stock Android quite a lot, so it’s interesting to see how they’ll approach this version.

          And now we can get a look at what Samsung’s interpretation of Android L will look like, as someone got their hands on a pre-release build of the new OS for the Galaxy S5. This build is said to be very slow and buggy, so there’s clearly a lot of work that Samsung still has to do (and this is the reason why it hasn’t been made available for download).

        • Google reportedly tried to buy Cyanogen

          A report from The Information (subscription required) claims that Google tried to buy Cyanogen, Inc, the maker of the custom Android ROM CyanogenMod. According to the report, Cyanogen’s chief executive told shareholders that Sundar Pichai, the head of Chrome and Android at Google, met with the company and “expressed interest in acquiring the firm.” The report says Cyanogen Inc. declined the offer, saying that it was still growing.

        • Why Google is pushing Android One at the expense of open source

          I have somewhat mixed feelings about Android One, but I can completely understand why Google has created it and why it’s so important to them. It might help them maintain and grow profits by making sure that their applications and services are in as many Android devices as possible. Google is a publicly traded company so they have a responsibility to maximize profit for their shareholders.

        • Nvidia Tegra rides shotgun on Honda’s Connect IVI system

          Nvidia announced that its Tegra SoC will run Android on a newly tipped Honda Connect IVI system in 2015 Honda Civic, Civic Tourer, and CR-V cars in Europe.

        • Cyanogen Spurns Google Acquisition Interest, Seeks $1 Billion Valuation

          A startup that distributes smartphone software based on Google’s Android mobile operating system recently drew attention from Google’s rivals, including Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo. Now it’s gotten Google’s attention, too.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Will Run The Internet of Things? Hint: It’s Fully Open

    As you may have noticed, the Next Big Thing is the Internet of Things. It’s certainly true that in addition to computational capabilities, connectivity is also being added to an ever-wider range of everyday objects. On the other hand, in the light of Snowden’s leaks about pervasive surveillance of our online activities, you might have thought people would be a little more cautious about wiring up even more of their lives.

  • DARPA joins math-secured microkernel race

    In a discussion that will sound familiar to Australian readers, US military development agency DARPA wants to create provably-secure software.

    According to Threatpost, DARPA director Arati Prabhakar told a Washington Post security conference that embedded systems are among the kinds of applications for which it’s feasible to create such OSs.

    [...]

    In July of this year, NICTA open-sourced the code for its seL4 microkernel, identifying DARPA among the software’s users.

  • Project OpenDaylight Brings Open Source SDN Close for MSPs

    An open source approach to software-defined networking (SDN) moved several steps closer this week to becoming a de facto standard. Here are the details.

  • Replace Microsoft Small Business Server with this open-source solution

    Zentyal is one solution. Zentyal Community Edition is a free, open-source all-in-one server that includes all of the features listed above. Plus, you get Samba4 integration, so it’s a perfect replacement for that aging Active Directory server. One of the best parts about Zentyal is that you can take advantage of less powerful hardware. Even though there’s a graphical interface, the server is fully administered via a web browser (which means you can manage it from anywhere on your network).

  • ARM’s Mbed falls short of true open source

    ARM hasn’t been paying attention. While the rest of the world has turned to open source for essential infrastructure software, ARM’s Mbed operating system for the Internet of things (IoT) is proprietary, with just enough open source sprinkled in to attract developers.

    ARM insists this is necessary to prevent Mbed from becoming fragmented, which is a reasonable concern. What may not be reasonsable, however, is relying on a proprietary operating system to dominate IoT.

  • Ericsson releases WebRTC browser and framework as open source

    Ericsson is resurrecting its WebRTC-based browser, Bowser, to help spark the development of more websites and apps that embrace voice, video and messaging features.

    WebRTC (Real-Time Communications) is a technology designed to help developers add real-time communications features to Web browsers and apps via JavaScript APIs.

  • Guest View: How to build a flourishing open-source community

    The type of license you choose for your open-source project is paramount. Some licenses are very rigid, while others are more flexible. It is advisable to tap into the developer community for their feedback to find out what will work best for your target audience.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS-based Chromecast Competitor Will Attract Business Users

        Google has has achieved more success than many people thought it would with its Chromecast dongle, which performs many of the tasks that set-top boxes do, but the Chromecast dongle is headed for some competition. And, given the historical competition between the Chrome and Firefox browsers, it’s fitting that the dongle that is poised to compete with Chromecast is based on the Firefox OS.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • TokuMX 2.0 released

      TokuMX is a MongoDB distribution from TokuTek, a company headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts (USA).

      TokuMX is a drop-in replacement for MongoDB, the most popular NoSQL database. It is to MongoDB what MariaDB is to MySQL.

      TokuMX is said to offer 50x performance improvements and 90% reduction in database size over MongoDB. And it has support for ACID transactions and multi-version concurrency control (MVCC).

    • Master the Cloud with Free OpenStack Training Tools
    • 7 new tips, tricks, and tutorials for OpenStack

      Interested in building an open source cloud using the latest and greatest that OpenStack has to offer? You’re not alone. We’ve collected some of the best howtos, guides, tutorials, and tips published over the past month into this handy collection. Take a look, get ready to learn, and when you get stuck, remember that he official documentation for OpenStack is your friend, too.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Questions on Ubuntu Touch, GNOME and Oracle

      Seriously? Quickly, am I the only one who laughs when I hear the words Oracle OpenWorld spoken aloud, the name of Oracle’s conference now being held in San Francisco? Can I at least see a show of hands of people who find this expo’s name even the slightest bit ironic?

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 4.0-RELEASE finally ready

      GhostBSD 4.0-RELEASE is now available for the amd64 and i386 architectures, it GhostBSD 4.0 can be installed from bootable ISO images or from a USB memory stick. The required files can be downloaded via SourceForge or TorrentFTP as described in the section below.

      MD5 and SHA256 hashes for the release ISOs and memory stick images are included the bottom of this message and in Download page.

    • GhostBSD 4.0 Defaults To Clang Compiler & MATE Desktop

      GhostBSD 4.0 highlights include replacing GCC with the LLVM/Clang compiler by default (as many other BSDs are also doing), make has been replaced by NetBSD’s bmake, pkg is now the default package management utility, NetworkManager is enabled by default, and MATE is now the default desktop environment. This is a pretty big shake-up for the GhostBSD 4.0 release codenamed Karine.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Hamburg Greens call for a switch to open source

      The German city of Hamburg should do like Munich, and switch to open source, says the city’s Alliance ’90/The Greens (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). Switching to free and open source software enables innovation and increases security, and the city administration should emphasise this when selecting ICT solutions. “We want to lead by example”, says Farid Müller, spokesperson for the party in Hamburg. “We want an exit strategy for proprietary software used by Hamburg’s administration.”

    • Hamburg Greens spearhead switch to open source

      Hamburg’s local Green party has expressed that it wants to see the city follow the lead of Munich by adopting free and open source software. Citing innovation and increased security, the Greens want to make sure that the city has an ‘exit strategy’ from using proprietary software.

    • Tyrol government shares test tool with industry

      An open source solution developed for the government of South Tyrol (Italy) to automatically test government websites and services is now also being used to probe sites of the region’s tourism sector. The software will help avoid double bookings and lower the costs of building and maintaining tourism portals, the government expects.

    • Genoa gradually switching to open source tools

      The Italian city of Genoa will continue to use open source where possible, says the city councillor responsible for IT, Isabella Lanzone. A pilot with Linux PCs is underway and the city is also gradually moving to LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools that is being installed side by side with a aged version of the ubiquitous proprietary alternative.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Google’s open source blueprint lets connected devices commune without specialized apps

      A new Google project aims to create nothing less than an open standard for the entire “Internet of Things,” which the company’s Chrome team is calling the Physical Web.

      The idea is to create a comparatively simple system, using a subscribed discovery service, of beacons broadcasting URLs to smartphones in a given area, allowing users to interact with vending machines, posters, and bus stops in a location-aware, organic way, using only Bluetooth and web technology – no specialized app required.

    • Firefox OS streaming video, Arduino to sell 3D printers, and more
    • Open Hardware

      • 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.

      • Arduino adds affordable 3D printing to its open source hardware model

        Arduino may be known for revolutionizing open source hardware platforms, but this week enters the 3D printer market with the small and (relatively) affordable Materia 101. Produced in partnership with fellow Italian company Sharebot, the printer is targeted towards educators, beginners, consumers, and makers.

  • Programming

    • PHP As A Next-Generation Programming Language?

      Frank Karlitschek, the founder of the ownCloud project, is making the case that PHP isn’t that bad of a scripting language and should be taken to the next level with its shortcomings addressed so it can regain some of its popularity.

Leftovers

  • Rwanda’s Untold Story Documentary

    Former close associates from within Kagame’s inner circle and government speak out from hiding abroad. They present a very different portrait of a man who is often hailed as presiding over a model African state. Rwanda’s economic miracle and apparent ethnic harmony has led to the country being one of the biggest recipients of aid from the UK. Former prime minister Tony Blair is an unpaid adviser to Kagame, but some now question the closeness of Mr Blair and other western leaders to Rwanda’s president.

  • Science

    • Why do honeybees die when they sting?

      When a honeybee stings, it dies a gruesome death. The bee’s stinger is structured in such a way that once it punctures human skin, the bee can’t yank it out without self-amputating. As the honeybee tries to pull out the stinger, it ruptures its lower abdomen, leaving the stinger embedded, pulling out instead a string of digestive material, muscles, glands and a venom sac. What results is a gaping hole at the end of the abdomen.

    • Head Of ALEC: ‘I Don’t Know The Science’ Of Climate Change

      The person who runs the American Legislative Exchange Council, a free-market lobbying group that opposes policies to fight climate change, is not sure whether humans actually cause climate change, according to an interview with the National Journal published Wednesday.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Understanding The Xen XSA-108 Security Issue

      Many Phoronix readers likely heard of Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, and other hosting providers rebooting their clouds in recent days as a result of a Xen security issue. If you’re not yet familiar with this XSA-108 security issue, our friends at Xen Orchestra have a nice write-up covering the issue.

    • Open source’s “shallow bugs” theory hasn’t been Shellshocked

      It hasn’t been a good year for open source. Not for its generally golden reputation for software quality and security, anyway. But in a rush to lay blame for the Bash Shellshock vulnerability (and previously for Heartbleed) some, like Roger Grimes, want to dismantle some of the cardinal tenets of open source, like the suggestion that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Exclusive: U.S. Special Ops Readied Syria Attack in June

      Months before the U.S. started bombing Syria, American commandos made detailed plans to hit al Qaeda planners there. But the targeting packages weren’t even sent to the White House.

    • Fifteen dead in blast at Bulgarian explosives factory

      Inspectors had found that outdated tools were being used to dismantle ammunitions and that explosives were not being stored properly, the labour ministry said. It has now closed the plant, where 150 people worked.

    • America at War by Perry Diaz

      America has been at war since the “War that will end all wars” or World War I…

    • US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

      KILIS, TURKEY- Syrians fleeing their homes have suffered nearly four years of devastating civil war and now a U.S.-led coalition is launching airstrikes on jihadists in their country. But at least 20 non-combatants appear to have been killed in the early raids and civilians seeking sanctuary in Turkey are asking why.

    • September 2014 Update: US covert actions in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia
    • Records of two high court’s decisions need to be attached in drone attack case

      Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the petitioner to attach all the record of decisions given by Peshawar High Court and IHC in drone attack cases with the petition filed by him for registration of murder case against former president Pervez Musharraf in respect of people killed in drone strikes.

    • IHC moved against Musharraf for allowing drone attacks

      A petitioner Mian Zahid Ghani here on Wednesday filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the registration of an FIR against former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for allowing US drones to operate in Pakistan.

    • Pak reservations to get adequate attention
    • There’s more we need to know before going to war

      Stephen Harper’s heritage minister, Shelly Glover, says the Islamic State “are people who are violent and brutal and they have decapitated journalists, they have raped and brutalized women. That is all we need to know…” in order to start bombing. With respect, let me suggest what else we might need to know.

      Harper himself, who’s been channelling his inner Churchill (“when we think something is necessary and noble we don’t sit back and let others do it”), lacks Churchill’s direct experience of war. When he was young, in Sudan, Churchill felt the “exhilaration” of being shot at and missed. He didn’t experience the obverse (being killed) but that’s what made a lot of upper-class Brits effective officers and war-makers: their snobby sense of invulnerability.

    • Obama Policy in Syria is Same One He Opposed in Israel

      The Obama Administration has acknowledged that its strict policy of preventing civilian deaths does not apply to American airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

      The statement confirming the loosening of high standards pertaining to minimizing collateral damage comes amid reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and children, were killed by a U.S. strike on a Syrian village.

    • Fox Pundit: Civilians Die–Get Over It!

      A familiar critique of corporate media is that journalists too often avoid discussing one grim reality of US wars: the innocent civilians who die from American bombs and missiles. But one Fox News regular isn’t ducking the issue: Not only is he not afraid to talk about civilians deaths in Syria–he complains that there aren’t enough of them.

    • Drone protest scheduled in Ipswich

      The North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice, Chapter 45 of Veterans for Peace and the House of Peace will sponsor a protest against the U.S. use of drones to attack and kill and for surveillance in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other parts of the world 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the intersections North Main, South Main, Central and Market streets Saturday, Oct. 4.

    • What Laws Of War?

      In a perverse way, maybe it’s progress that the US is now admitting that it doesn’t really care about how many civilians it kills in its efforts to “decapitate” a few suspected terrorist leaders.

    • US War against the People of Syria and Iraq

      The statement coincided with the heaviest attacks so far in the air war in Syria and Iraq, with US and allied countries launching 24 strikes, 12 in each country on Tuesday, with British warplanes making their first attacks.

    • US Relaxing Standards for Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria

      Yahoo News reported Tuesday that Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told the news outlet that a standard imposed last year by President Obama, which requires “near certainty” that civilians will not be harmed in drone strikes, does not apply to the expanding war on Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria.

    • 79-year-old Hancock drone protester sentenced to 90 days in jail

      A man convicted on several charges resulting from a drone protest last year was sentenced in DeWitt Town Court Wednesday evening.

      Jack Gilroy, 79, was sentenced by Justice Robert L. Jokl Jr. to 90 days incarceration in the Onondaga County jail and three years probation in Broome County, where he resides. Jokl also fined Gilroy $1,000.

    • Ithaca Drone Protester Appeals Sentence

      Peace activist Mary Anne Grady-Flores is out on bail pending an appeal of her conviction for violating a court order of protection set up for the commander of Hancock National Guard Air Base in Dewitt. She was arrested in February while protesting at the base, where weaponized drones are piloted by remote control to target and kill people on the ground in Afghanistan.

      She has been an activist for decades and now sees the connections among many injustices. “The issue of what’s being done to people of color here and around the world, and to the poor, it’s all related,” she said. “Drone warfare intersects with the militarization of the police. [Using drones] is the same as us being global cops.

    • US could topple my government, kill me: Argentina’s Kirchner

      Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner charged in an emotional address that domestic and US interests were pushing to topple her government, and could even kill her.

      Domestic business interests “are trying to bring down the government, with international (US) help,” she said.

    • As Afghan security pact signed US drones kill 4 civilians

      Ashraf Ghani, the newly inaugurated Afghan president, has signed a bilateral security agreement(BSA) with the US to allow US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the end of 2014 when the present agreement will expire.

    • Agreement in Afghanistan

      The very first act of the unity government of Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah was to soothe frayed American nerves and sign the Bilateral Security Agreement. Hamid Karzai, erratic to the very end, had eventually left the decision to his successor. This is why the US was so involved in hashing out an agreement between Ghani and Abdullah over the disputed election. It was worried about the possibility that the agreement would not be signed before the troop withdrawal began at the end of the year. The BSA itself, and a similar agreement with Nato, is hardly what either Afghanistan or the US needs. It would extend what is already the longest war the US has ever fought by another 10 years. US troops, ostensibly staying on to train the Afghan army and security forces, will still control all their bases in the country. Most scandalously, these troops will have immunity from prosecution under Afghan law. It was that very point which scuppered a similar agreement when the US withdrew from Iraq – and it should have signalled the death of the BSA too. US troops have killed and tortured their way through the country, indefinitely holding thousands of Afghan citizens in secret prisons without charge. They can now continue doing that with impunity till 2024.

    • Reaper Drones – Sowing the Seeds of Revenge

      I won’t say that drones have not killed militants. But was that worth taking hundreds of other lives? Was there no other alternative? North Waziristan is an area where there is no major war or military offensive going on. They could have used assassins with precise ground intelligence to find militants without indiscriminately bombarding areas and causing civilian causalities. Such attacks are helping create dozens of suicide bombers, including young girls and women. These attacks are also creating local facilitators, collaborators and sympathizers against those who are supporting or siding with this senseless war on terrorism.

    • Nine world issues that are still going on, but we forgot to care about [Murdoch-owned media makes up numbers]

      American drone strikes have killed over 2000 people, many of whom were civilians and children.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • CIA Inspector General Can’t Find A Single Example Of CIA Overclassification

      A few days ago, we wrote about the CIA redacting information regarding the price it paid for a single Amiga computer back in 1987. After such news reports came out, the CIA admitted that this was an error and shouldn’t have been redacted. Of course, the only reason the documents with that information came out in the first place was because of the efforts of former CIA agent Jeffrey Scudder, who had come across a bunch of classified documents internally that he realized should no longer be classified. Based on that, he filed a FOIA request for those documents — leading the FBI to come after him and end his CIA career (despite his actions being entirely legal).

    • Inspector General Claims to Have Found No ‘Instances’ Where CIA Over-Classified Secrets

      The inspector general for the CIA conducted a review of whether the agency was keeping information secret that should be public and found “no instances of over-classification.”

      The Reducing Over-Classification Act, signed into law on October 7, 2010, requires the inspector general for each United States department or agency with an officer who makes classification decisions to evaluate whether information is being appropriately classified. The inspector general is also to assess policies, procedures, rules, regulations, etc, to reduce “persistent misclassification of material.” This is to be done in “consultation” with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO).

  • Finance

    • $600 Billion ‘Fat Finger’ Causes Deals Worth More Than Sweden’s Economy To Be Cancelled

      Naturally, the most striking feature of this particular fat finger is its size: $600 billion, bigger than Sweden’s economy ($552 billion). The second unusual aspect is that this error cancelled sales by mistake, rather than make them. That was fortunate for the company concerned, since it probably limited the damage caused.

    • PBS Goes Easy on Paul Ryan

      As for being “against doing programs for the poor,” that was one of the knocks on Ryan’s budget proposals that made him a national star even before he was named Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate. This characterization of Ryan’s policies was, as his critics often pointed out, accurate; his plans called for deep cuts in spending paired with tax breaks for the wealthy.

  • Privacy

    • Join ORG to fight increasing surveillance and attacks on our human rights

      The ECtHR has recognised the importance of this case by giving it priority status. The case is currently adjourned pending judgment in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) case brought by other human rights NGOs. We expect it to proceed in 2015 following the judgment in the IPT case.

    • The NSA and Me

      The solution is not to jail the whistleblowers, or to question the patriotism of those who tell their stories, but to do what Attorney General Edward Levi courageously attempted to do more than a third of a century ago – to have the criminal division of the Justice Department conduct a thorough investigation, and then to prosecute any member of the intelligence community who has broken the law, whether by illegally spying on Americans or by lying to Congress.

    • Darkcoin Price in Decline after Open-Source Release

      After enduring a tumultuous cooling period in August, Darkcoin’s prospects were beginning to look up. Kristov Atlas’ review of Darkcoin’s source code was mostly positive, and developer Evan Duffield announced Darkcoin would soon become open-source. Moreover, the Darkcoin price increased during the first half of September. After declining a bit from its mid-month highs, the Darkcoin price rallied before Darkcoin’s open-source release. However, the Darkcoin price has declined since the actual release. Nevertheless, Darkcoin investors should not panic-sell yet.

    • Nobel Peace Prize nominees: who’s missing from the list?

      Norwegian Nobel Committee will soon decide this year’s winner of the peace prize from a list of nominees including Edward Snowden, Jose Mujica and the International Space Station partnership. Who would you add to the list?

    • Another Police Chief Says Phone Encryption Is A Pedophile’s Best Friend

      More law enforcement officials are coming forward to express their dismay at Apple’s and Google’s decision to encrypt cellphones by default. And the hysteria seems to be getting worse. As was recently covered, FBI director James Comey stated that no one was above the law, while failing to realize there’s actually no law preventing Apple or Google from doing this.

  • Civil Rights

    • On Occupy Central’s Ties with the NED

      Numerous alternative media outlets, including WikiLeaks, have pointed out the connections between Occupy Central and the United States government through an organization called the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). I am not surprised at this, nor do I welcome it, given the United States’ questionable record (to put it nicely) at bringing “democracy” to countries where it has intervened in the past. It is most likely in Hong Kongers’ best interests that the US withdraw its monetary support for Occupy Central, as unlikely as this is to happen.

    • Women wearing jeans is against Indian culture: Yesudas

      Sparking a controversy, singer K.J. Yesudas on Thursday resented women wearing jeans, saying this went against Indian culture.

      “Women should not cause trouble to others by wearing jeans,” Mr. Yesudas said at a function organised by a voluntary organisation in connection with Gandhi Jayanti celebrations in Thiruvananthapuram.

    • Why is the European court of human rights hated by the UK right?

      Amiran Natsvlishvili is not complaining about the kidnapping. Nor about the brutal beatings, or the huge ransom his family had to pay for his release. The former managing director of a state car plant in Georgia is not bitter, either, about the accusations of embezzlement and misuse of public funds.

    • Ex-NATO chief Rasmussen opens consultancy advising governments, companies

      The European Commission, NATO’s neighbour in Brussels, has a code of conduct barring former commissioners from lobbying the EU’s executive body for 18 months after leaving office.

    • Killing Americans on the White House Lawn Is Wrong

      America’s forever war has come to this — the front lawn of the White House may become a kill zone. That’s crazier than whatever prompted Iraq war veteran Omar J. Gonzalez to jump the fence on Pennsylvania Avenue two weeks ago, running for the Oval Office.

    • Al-Qaida’s icon cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was FBI informant: New documents
    • FBI Documents Suggest al-Qaida Terrorist Was Informant

      A radical Muslim cleric who bought plane tickets for three of the Sept. 11 terrorist hijackers was communicating with the FBI for years afterward as a likely informant.

      Newly released internal documents indicate that Anwar al-Awlaki, also known as the “bin Laden of the Internet,” was emailing and leaving voicemails with an FBI agent in 2003 and 2004, after having been captured at JFK International Airport in 2002 but released at the instruction of the agency.

    • Disclosures Pried From Government Strongly Suggest Terrorist Awlaki Was an Informant
    • Enemy or Asset? FBI documents show radical cleric Awlaki communicated with federal agent in ’03
    • New Documents Show FBI Kept Channels Open to Al-Aulaqi Despite Terrorist Designation
    • Folk International Law and Syrian Airstrikes

      Earlier this year, I published an article called “Folk International Law,” in which I argued that there were many unappreciated and little understood costs to the convergence of LOAC and international human rights law. I suggested that the legal debate over targeted killing had driven US-based human rights advocates to contribute to and participate in a bizarre legal admixture of IHRL, IHL and jus ad bellum in order to attempt to impose some legal regulation on the seemingly extra-legal lethal strikes on targets outside of situations of armed conflict. I suggested that many lawyers seeking to influence the Obama administration’s decisions had accepted an approach to global NIAC that treated distinct bodies of international law as a policy toolkit that could be used to create “folk international law” norms that were not recognizable to most international lawyers outside of the immediate US conversation.

    • Killing Trayvons

      Summer 2014: a year since George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin. Another summer of violence and justification: US shells incinerating Palestinian children, devastating UN refuges in Gaza, pounding Afghan villages, again. Another trial of another white man who says he was scared, who had to defend himself with a blast of ammunition against an unarmed black teenager – a womanchild this time, 19, in Michigan this time, shot through a locked screen door. Another police killing on the front pages of the New York tabloids: a big man, a black father, put in a choke hold, kneed in the back as he gasped for air, as he told cops he couldn’t breathe; extinguished for passing a cigarette to someone on a street in Staten Island. He may have been selling looseys, police said, and he refused to submit; they had to bring him down. Then they watched as he expired. “The perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious,” one stated.

    • Dozens of Libyan troops killed in Benghazi attacks, clashes

      Dozens of soldiers were killed and more than 70 wounded in car bomb attacks and clashes between troops and Islamists around Benghazi airport, a Libyan army spokesman said today, as the UN threatened sanctions.

    • Is Obama Regime Planning Mass Arrests?

      Is the Obama regime preparing for mass arrests of American civilians? Some indicators suggest this is a real possibility.

      It has all the laws it needs to imprison anyone should it plan to make mass arrests (thanks, Congress, for the unconstitutional Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act).

      It has illegally compiled lists of some 8 million names, (thank you, FBI and NSA).

    • Sheriff Slams EFF As ‘Not Credible,’ Insists ComputerCOP Isn’t Malware & Would Have Stopped Columbine

      Okay, so we thought the response from San Diego’s District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis was pretty bad to the revelations about ComputerCOP. After all, she was responding to the news that she had purchased and distributed dangerous spyware masquerading as software to “protect the children” — and the best she could come up with was that her “security” people still thought it would protect kids? But apparently Damanis has nothing on Sheriff Mike Blakely of Limestone County, Alabama.

    • Limestone Sheriff clashes with activist group over computer program

      Limestone County’s Sheriff is clashing with an activist group over a new computer program to protect children online.

      Sheriff Mike Blakely started offering the program “Computer Cop” for parents to better protect their kids from predators or inappropriate websites.

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