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10.16.14

Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

Posted in News Roundup at 3:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • New platform for open source in SA

    A new organisation wants to promote the use of open-source software in South Africa’s public and private sectors.

    “Not using this software in South Africa is detrimental to our economy and skills development,” says Open Source Software for South Africa (OSSSA) founder Charl Botha.

    Open-source software is software that does not conform to traditional software licence models and can be used and distributed freely.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 33 Has Been Added To The Default Repositories Of Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04 And Derivatives

        And it has been already added to the default repositories of Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, being available for both the two systems and their derivatives: Linux Mint 17 Qiana, Linux Mint 13 Maya, Pinguy OS 14.04, Elementary OS 0.3 Freya, Elementary OS 0.2 Luna, Deepin 2014, Peppermint Five, LXLE 14.04, Linux Lite 2.0 and others.

      • Mozilla to Disable SSL 3.0 in Firefox, Heralds “the End of SSL 3.0″

        “Another day, another vulnerability found in a critical piece of Internet infrastructure,” reported Jon Buys here on OStatic this week, as news arrived that Google has found that SSL 3.0 is vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack, which means someone could possibly snoop on secure communications between browsers and servers. The report detailing the POODLE vulnerability was published by Google last month, but is making headlines this week.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Juno Brings Big Data to the Cloud

      The 10th milestone release of the open-source cloud platform debuts with 310 new features and 3,200 bug fixes.

    • A cultural shift towards dynamic cloud environments

      Mark Hinkle is on the forefront of all things open source and cloud. He is currently responsible for Citrix efforts around Apache CloudStack, Open Daylight, Xen Project, and XenServer. At the All Things Open Conference, Mark’s Crash Course In Cloud Computing will teach how to pragmatically adopt cloud practices and gain cloud value.

    • Hortonworks Data Platform 2.2 Sharpens Focus on Enterprise Needs

      As the Strata Conference kicked off this week, Hortonworks announced its HDP 2.2 platform with general availability next month. HDP version 2.2 lets organizations adopt a modern data architecture with Hadoop YARN at the core.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • New OpenJDK 7: Update 71 with lots of fixes

      Oracle’s patch & release cycle culminated in two updates of their Java (runtime and development kit) since the last release of OpenJDK for which I provided packages. Today, we can enjoy a new IcedTea and therefore an updated OpenJDK which synchronizes to Oracle’s October security patch release (which offers Java 7 Update 71).

  • BSD

    • Linux-Turned-FreeBSD Distro Comes Up With A New Software License

      While the likes of SprezzOS as the “most beautiful and performant” Linux and OSu as the ultimate operating system have disappeared at the end of the day and are no longer providing comic relief or interesting ambitious debates to Linux users, that other distribution based on Ubuntu and then turned into a FreeBSD distribution is still standing. They’re out with an update today and have introduced their own open-source license.

    • Changes Coming For OpenBSD 5.6

      OpenBSD 5.6 is expected to be released at the start of November and with this release will come a large number of changes.

    • Quick look: PC-BSD 10.0.3

      PC-BSD 10.0.3 is based on FreeBSD 10. This release of PC-BSD includes Cinnamon 2.2.14, Chromium 37.0.2062.94, Nvidia driver 340.24, bug fixes for the AppCafe UI, support for full disk encryption, and a number of other bug fixes and improvements. You can read a full list of changes in the PC-BSD 10.0.3 release notes.

    • FreeBSD 10.1 RC2 Moves the Project Closer to Stable Release

      A new Release Candidate for FreeBSD 10.1, an operating system for x86, ARM, IA-64, PowerPC, PC-98, and UltraSPARC architectures, is now out and ready for testing. The developers are getting really close to the final versions, which should land very soon.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • man-pages-3.75 is released

      I’ve released man-pages-3.75. The release tarball is available on kernel.org. The browsable online pages can be found on man7.org. The Git repository for man-pages is available on kernel.org.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Fallout From Munich
    • Munich sticks with Free Software

      On Tuesday, Munich’s first mayor finally reacted to an inquiry by the Green Party (in German) related to rumours regarding a possible switch back to a Windows-based desktop environment. The answer to the inquiry shows that there is no factual basis for the claims made by first mayor and second mayor. An evaluation of the IT infrastructure and -processes is underway. FSFE calls on the city council to include vendor independence as well as interoperability as factors in the investigation, since they were central reasons for Munich to switch to Free Software in the first place.

      [...]

      In this manner, the employee-survey “Great Place to Work” from late 2013, used by Reiter and Schmid in their criticisms towards the Free Software used in the city, included various facets of the IT structure not related to software, ranging from hardware to support and telecommuting. It does not, however, offer any information on a possible relation of the employees’ problems with Free Software. This information is currently unavailable, as Reiter says within the answer.

    • Munich Mayor Still Wants to Find Out If Linux Is Economical

      Munich finished the transition to Linux from Windows and everything seemed to work just fine, at least until the current Mayor made a few comments about the possibility of returning to proprietary software. He has detailed some of his opinions and he appears to be a lot more moderate towards this issue.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why Hardware Wallets are the Future (And Why They Have to Be Open Source)

      Your computer isn’t secure. Those of you reading this from your fortified Plan 9 Tor Box can stop reading here, but for the rest of you, it’s simply true. Your computer is riddled with security vulnerabilities, and so is your phone. If an attacker wants access to your machine, or if you download even one piece of software that either is or is carrying malware (see: any download from cnet.com or its ilk), you’re in an enormous amount of trouble.

    • The value of an open source dividend

      James Love, one of Managing IP’s 2014 most influential people in IP, explains why paying innovators to share knowledge, data and technology makes sense for business and society

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Khronos Adds GLUS 2.0 To The OpenGL SDK

      GLUS is short for the Graphic Library UtilitieS and is a cross-platform, cross-graphic utility library. The open-source GLUS C library provides hardware and operating system abstractions plus other functionality. GLUS isn’t limited to OpenGL but also targets the OpenGL ES and OpenVG APIs too.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Fox’s The Five Distorts History On Bush Administration WMD Claims

      The hosts of Fox News’ The Five distorted the history behind the rationale for the U.S. war in Iraq by reshaping an investigative report by the New York Times.

    • Drone Strikes in Afghanistan Are Killing Civilians: They Must Not Remain Secret

      After exhaustive research and interviewing more than 50 sources Unama found 11 civilians were killed in a drone strike. Despite this compelling evidence, Isaf data shows only three civilians died.

    • Use has risen dramatically since 9/11

      In their book, Hill and Rogers dramatically recount a March 2011 drone attack in Pakistan which killed 42 people and injured 14. Though later claimed by U.S. officials to be a meeting of terrorists, what had been targeted was in fact a jirga – a consensual decision-making meeting in which the local community had gathered to discuss a dispute over a local mine.

    • Shenstone: Act of Witness against drones

      As part of the International Week of Action Against Drones, members of Pax Christi and Friends of Sabeel UK joined with staff and students from Queen’s Theological College, Birmingham, and members of Birmingham churches in an ‘Act of Witness’ outside UAV Engines, the Elbit Factory at Shenstone, near Lichfield. The Israeli owned factory manufactures the engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) which are used for military purposes. The group regularly meet there to protest against the use of these military drones to kill innocent people. They were also used in Israel’s recent war on Gaza, where the loss of life and devastation have shocked many throughout the world.

    • ‘Drones shouldn’t decide who lives or dies’

      University of Johannesburg law Professor Hennie Strydom on Wednesday advised against the use of programmed drones and robots during conflicts.

      “The concern is that the critical functional use of force is controlled by a computer,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

    • SA professor warns against drone, robot attacks

      University of Johannesburg law Professor Hennie Strydom on Wednesday advised against the use of programmed drones and robots during conflicts

    • John Oliver, Ben Affleck and the Game of Drones: Part II

      As a talk show host and stand-up comedian, Bill Maher pushes the envelope to stay topical, relevant and interesting. He never issued a blanket fatwa on all Muslims, but correctly pointed out that some-if not most-of the major conflicts in the world are rooted in Islam.

    • Another Attempt to Prostitute Religion in the Service of American Hegemony

      Rather than joining this governmental initiative—which conveniently serves to blur cause-and-effect—America’s clergy and their laity should be forming a nationwide interfaith justice movement to confront the “intolerance, division, and hate” sown by our government in our name. It is our government’s violent imperialistic policies that have sown “hate” and bred militant groups like the Islamic State and blowback violence. The need for such a clergy and laity movement is painfully clear, and long overdue.

    • Comment: If drone strikes continue in Afghanistan, the lack of transparency must not

      Afghanistan is the most drone bombed country in the world. The US has been using its Predator and Reaper drones to kill people in Afghanistan since November 2001.

    • US citizen shot dead in Riyadh

      A gunman has opened fire on two American employees of a US defence contractor, killing one and wounding the other at a petrol station in Saudi Arabia’s capital.

    • War without end: 12 years of US drone strikes in Yemen

      The “Yemen model” is one of perpetual violence. The limits of what can be done in the name of “counterterrorist” action often appear boundless.

    • Yemeni sues Germany over US drone strikes

      A relative of two men killed by a US drone strike in Yemen has brought a court case against the German government, alleging it was complicit in the attack by allowing a US air base on German soil.

    • Yemeni sues German government over US drone strike
    • Drone victims sue German government for facilitating strikes in Yemen

      A Yemeni man, whose nephew and brother-in-law were killed in a 2012 drone strike, has travelled to Germany to sue the government for facilitating drone strikes of the sort in which his relatives died.

    • Yemeni man sues Germany over U.S. drone strikes
    • Yemeni man sues German gov’t over US drone strikes
    • Yemeni man sues German government over base used for US drone strikes that killed 2 relatives
    • Yemeni man sues Germany over deadly drone strike

      A Yemeni man has filed a lawsuit against Berlin for facilitating deadly assassination drone strikes carried out in his country by Washington.

      The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by Faisal bin Ali Jaber, who claims his brother-in-law, Salim bin Ahmed Ali Jaber, and nephew, Waleed, were killed in a U.S. assassination drone strike in a Yemeni village in August 2012.

    • UK To Fly Reaper Drones Over Iraq To Battle IS

      The drone is being deployed outside Afghanistan for the first time, as the Kurds call for support in the Syrian town of Kobani.

    • Qualifying Child Labour

      Children should be in schools learning to be fit to face the big bad world when they become adults. When they are not studying, they should be playing and discovering that life can be fun too. Extreme poverty however still deprives a great many children from these privileges and pleasures of life, and no effort can be nobler than to try and end this miserable predicament. Two cheers then for the Nobel committee for bringing the focus back to fighting child labour. The last cheer we will hold back for the committee`™s unwarranted political bias in choosing to condemn only the atrocities against children by the Talibans, and not show equal concern or condemnation at the killing, maiming and terrorising of numerous other unnamed children in these same battlefields by Drone raids by the armies of the West fighting the Talibans. Malala richly deserves the award, but we also wish in commending the girl for her bravery in her fight against the savagery of the Talibans, the Nobel committee also had at least a word of condemnation against the Drone raids which have killed and terrorised indiscriminately.

    • Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi, and the four Nobel truths
    • In Malala’s hometown not everyone likes her fame

      Ahmed Hayat Yousafzai, a Birmingham-based Pakistani lawyer hailing from Swat, says that Malala’s story appears to be eyewash. “By championing the case of Malala, the West has tried to cover many of its human rights abuses, like killing and maiming scores of children and women in drone attacks in the tribal regions,” he said.

      So far, Yousafzai argues, neither the western powers nor Malala and her advisor father have spoken about hundreds of kids being killed in drone strikes.

      “What to talk of drone victims, they did not even speak about the 15-year old Aitzaz who had saved lives of hundreds of students by stopping a suicide bomber from attacking his school,” he added. Knowing about the prevailing resentment against Malala in Swat, her family members and school management feel uneasy to talk on her behalf. “It really hurts to hear people talking so critical of her.

    • Pakistan, U.S. appear once again to be cooperating on drone strikes

      A series of CIA drone strikes launched last week against Taliban insurgents in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas provide the clearest demonstration yet that the U.S. intelligence agency and Pakistani security forces are once again cooperating on defeating the insurgents.

    • Bureau project wins bronze at Lovie awards

      Bureau project Where The Drones Strike has won bronze in the ‘Best News Website’ category at the fourth annual Lovie awards.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Swedish energy giant reveals reward wish

      UPDATED: Sweden’s state-owned energy company Vattenfall says it wants 43 billion kronor in compensation from Germany, after nuclear power provided by the firm was phased out by Angela Merkel’s government.

  • Finance

    • Governments are souring on treaties to protect foreign investors

      IF YOU wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do: give foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever a government passes a law to, say, discourage smoking, protect the environment or prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Yet that is precisely what thousands of trade and investment treaties over the past half century have done, through a process known as “investor-state dispute settlement”, or ISDS.

    • International trade ISDS provisions make a mockery of nation’s laws

      One of the public policy paradoxes of the past quarter-century is why the centre-left governments of advanced economies have supported trade policies that undermine the very environmental and labor protections they fight for at home. Foremost among these self-subverting policies have been the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions included in every significant trade deal the United States has signed since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Under ISDS, foreign investors can sue a nation with which their own country has such treaty arrangements over any rules, regulations or changes in policy that they say harm their financial interests.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fabrication in BBC Panorama’s ‘Saving Syria’s Children’

      On further viewings, however, this scene in particular is strikingly odd. The young men are quiet and mostly static until spotting the camera upon them, at which point the central figure (Mohammed Asi) raises his arm and the group instantly becomes animated and begins groaning in unison.

      Mohammed Asi begins to sway and lurch, the boy in the black vest suddenly pitches onto his side, the boy in red raises his head and peers quizzically around, while the boy in the white shirt rises effortlessly to his feet. As the camera pulls back a boy in a yellow ‘Super 9′ t-shirt rises from the floor, flailing his head and torso and rolling his eyes as a team of medics sweeps dramatically in.

    • BBC Propaganda

      Please read and consider very carefully this brilliant dissection of the BBC’s propaganda blitz on Syria, at the time when the security establishment were trying to propel us into war against Assad, before they decided it was just as profitable to have a war against Assad’s enemies. For the security establishment and arms industry, any dream will do.

    • Chuck Todd Disqualifies a Senate Candidate

      Bad campaign journalism can be bad in a lot of different ways. It can tell us, based on this or that poll, that there are “top tier” candidates deserving our attention. It can focus on “gaffes” and advertising instead of the issues. It almost always refuses to acknowledge the existence of candidates not affiliated with the two major parties.

    • Fox Attack On Obama Administration For Not Saying “Jihad” Ignores Similar Bush Policy

      Fox News’ Megyn Kelly dishonestly criticized the Obama administration for allegedly endorsing an anti-terror handbook which advises against referring to terrorists as “jihadis,” as it “emboldens them,” failing to mention that the Bush administration made a decision to stop using the word “jihadist” to describe terrorists in 2008.

  • Privacy

    • Tor Weekly News — October 15th, 2014
    • Anonymous Browsing: Open Source Tor Project Router Wins Kickstarter, Now Give One to Every American

      Anonabox is an open source networking device that you plug in to your router or modem that will anonymize all your network traffic through the Tor Project anonymity network. The Kickstarter for Anonnabox has 8,490 backers as of Wed., with $552,620 pledged against a $7,500 goal. It seems people want this product.

    • ‘Hostile to privacy’: Snowden urges internet users to get rid of Dropbox

      Edward Snowden has hit out at Dropbox and other services he says are “hostile to privacy,” urging web users to abandon unencrypted communication and adjust privacy settings to prevent governments from spying on them in increasingly intrusive ways.

      “We are no longer citizens, we no longer have leaders. We’re subjects, and we have rulers,” Snowden told The New Yorker magazine in a comprehensive hour-long interview.

    • UN Report Finds Mass Surveillance Violates International Treaties and Privacy Rights

      The United Nations’ top official for counter-terrorism and human rights (known as the “Special Rapporteur”) issued a formal report to the U.N. General Assembly today that condemns mass electronic surveillance as a clear violation of core privacy rights guaranteed by multiple treaties and conventions. “The hard truth is that the use of mass surveillance technology effectively does away with the right to privacy of communications on the Internet altogether,” the report concluded.

    • Australia’s defence intelligence agency conducted secret programs to help NSA

      Australia’s defence intelligence agency has conducted secretive programs to help the US National Security Agency hack and exploit computer networks, according to documents published by the Intercept.

    • Cognitive Dissonance about the FBI and NSA at 60 Minutes

      60 Minutes, which has been harshly criticized for running puff pieces for the NSA and FBI recently, is at it again. Last night, they ran two unrelated yet completely conflicting segments—one focusing on FBI Director Jim Comey, and the other on New York Times reporter James Risen—and the cognitive dissonance displayed in the back-to-back interviews was remarkable.

    • Here are Snowden’s first emails about the NSA leaks

      Six months before the world knew the National Security Agency’s most prolific leaker of secrets as Edward Joseph Snowden, Laura Poitras knew him as Citizenfour. For months, Poitras communicated with an unknown “senior government employee” under that pseudonym via encrypted emails, as he prepared her to receive an unprecedented leak of classified documents that he would ask her to expose to the world.

    • These Are the Emails Snowden Sent to First Introduce His Epic NSA Leaks
    • GCHQ more dangerous to privacy than NSA – Snowden

      Edward Snowden has warned that Britain’s GCHQ spy agency is a bigger threat to privacy than the NSA, as it uses illegally collected information in criminal prosecutions and, unlike in the US, has relatively few constitutional checks on its activities.

      Speaking by Skype video linkup to a London festival, Snowden also emphasized why it shouldn’t be up to the citizen to justify why they need a right to privacy – something that forms the core of his beliefs and decision to go against the law.

    • NSA Documents Suggest a Close Working Relationship Between NSA, U.S. Companies
    • FBI Director: Encryption Will Lead to a ‘Very Dark Place’

      FBI Director James Comey says the spread of encryption, aided by Apple and Google’s new security measures, will lead to “a very dark place” where police might not be able to stop criminals.

      To avoid that, tech companies need to cooperate and build surveillance-friendly systems when police comes knocking at their door, Comey said on Thursday during a speech in Washington, his first major speech since becoming director last year.

    • New Zealand Cops Raided Home of Reporter Working on Snowden Documents

      Agents from New Zealand’s national police force ransacked the home of a prominent independent journalist earlier this month who was collaborating with The Intercept on stories from the NSA archive furnished by Edward Snowden. The stated purpose of the 10-hour police raid was to identify the source for allegations that the reporter, Nicky Hager, recently published in a book that caused a major political firestorm and led to the resignation of a top government minister.

      But in seizing all the paper files and electronic devices in Hager’s home, the authorities may have also taken source material concerning other unrelated stories that Hager was pursuing. Recognizing the severity of the threat posed to press freedoms from this raid, the Freedom of the Press Foundation today announced a global campaign to raise funds for Hager’s legal defense.

    • Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users

      The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be the “the safest place on the internet”, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed.

      The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

    • Banks harvest callers’ voiceprints to fight fraud

      You hear it every time you phone your bank about a lost credit card or an unexpected charge. You may realize your bank is recording you, but did you know it could be taking your biometric data, too?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • 2015 will be the year you can buy HBO content without a TV subscription

      HBO CEO Richard Plepler told investors attending a Time Warner meeting today that the company will begin offering an online-only subscription for its content in 2015. Unlike the HBO Go service that the company currently offers, a TV subscription wouldn’t be required to access shows under the new plan.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirates Become Biggest Political Party in Local Czech Election

        The Czech Pirate Party has booked several surprise wins in the local elections. The party gathered 5.3% of the total vote in the capital city of Prague and became the biggest political party in Mariánské lázně, with 21%. As a result, there is a good chance that the city may soon have a Pirate mayor.

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