10.21.14

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Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Contribute to an Enterprise Open Source Project?

    It would be difficult to find a better example of the former scenario than the OpenDaylight project. With a focus on software-defined networking and network functions virtualization, OpenDaylight launched in April 2013 as a collaborative open source project hosted by The Linux Foundation. Since then, it’s taken off like a rocket.

  • Events

    • Asia’s Largest Convention on Open Source is Back

      The much-awaited convention on open source technology, Open Source India, fondly known as OSI Days, is back and registration for passes has begun. The 11th edition of Open Source India will be held at the NIMHANS Convention Center, Bengaluru from 7th to 8th November, 2014.

    • A Seat at the Big Kids’ Table at Ohio LinuxFest

      Ohio LinuxFest isn’t just another excuse to travel. It’s a means for us to fulfill ourselves, and to get honest, tangible feedback for what we do and for what others are doing. It’s a place where ideas are sounded, bent, crumpled and turned until they either come out of the crucible perfect…or useless.

      That’s what our gatherings are about.

      They are about excitement and promise. They​ are about making sure the next generation has a real chance to put the first human footprint on Mars. They are a chance to insure they have the tools and the curiosity to take something apart and then make it better. This next generation will cure diabetes; they will make cancer an inconvenience and not a death sentence.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Juno is out, Debian (and Ubuntu Trusty ports) packages ready

      This is just a quick announce: Debian packages for Juno are out. In fact, they were ready the day of the release, on the 16th of October. I uploaded it all (to Experimental) the same day, literally a few hours after the final released was git tagged. But I had no time to announce it.

    • How OpenStack powers the research at CERN

      OpenStack has been in a production environment at CERN for more than a year. One of the people that has been key to implementing the OpenStack infrastructure is Tim Bell. He is responsible for the CERN IT Operating Systems and Infrastructure group which provides a set of services to CERN users from email, web, operating systems, and the Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud based on OpenStack.

    • Creating scalable, intelligent storage solutions with OpenStack

      Managing complexity and the sheer volume of storage requirements within the corporate environment today is one of the greatest challenges facing IT departments. The growth of business data and the insatiable demand for storage has been a catalyst for developing a new approach to enterprise storage in the cloud.

  • Funding

    • Mirantis Pulls Down Huge $100 Million Funding for OpenStack Efforts

      Mirantis, which has steadily remained a nimble player in the OpenStack cloud computing arena, has just nailed down a massive $100 million Series B funding round led by Insight Venture Partners. The financing is being billed as the largest Series B open source investment in history.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source baby robots – a moonshot project

      In his TEDx Talk Fabricating open-source baby robots, Oudeyer explains that scientists also use fabrication to build new knowledge of the world around us. Scientists build large scale aquariums to understand ocean behavior and construct large computer simulations to understand spiral galaxies.

    • Democracy And FLOSS

      How can you have transparency with non-Free software running the system when you can’t see the code? How can there be accountability with non-Free software when you can’t see the code? These things are about more than source code, but to really start being accountable and transparent, the code has to be trusted by everyone. Only opening the code can do that. Free Software is also about the rights of the user of the software. Non-Free software always restricts what a user can do with his own hardware and how a user uses the software on his hardware and the information therein. FLOSS acknowledges the ownership of the hardware and data. For real democracy, governments and citizens should use Free Software, FLOSS, Free/Libre Open Source Software. Nothing else will do.

    • Open Access/Content

      • 5 open access journals for open source enthusiasts

        The ever rising cost of academic journals is a major burden for researchers. Academic libraries cannot always keep up with increases in subscription fees causing libraries to drop journals from their collection. This makes it harder for students and professors to quickly and easily access the information they need. Inter-library loan requests are an option but they do take time. Even if it only takes a few days to fill an inter-library loan request, that is still time wasted for a researcher that has a deadline. While there is no single, quick fix to the problem with the academic journal prices, there is a movement applying the open source way to academic research in an attempt to solve the problem—the open access movement.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Facebook’s Hack Language Making Progress To Advance PHP

      Earlier this year Facebook launched the Hack language powered by their HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) and being based off PHP. Good progress is being made on enhancing the language with interest in the project continuing to grow inside and outside of Facebook.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Malayalam opentype specification – part 1

      This post is a promised followup from last November documenting intricacies of opentype specification for Indic languages, specifically for Malayalam. There is an initiative to document similar details in the IndicFontbook, this series might make its way into it. You need a Malayalam unicode font supporting traditional orthography to correctly display most of the examples described in this article, some can be obtained from here.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Mac Mini receives lower repair score than 2012 model after iFixit teardown

      THE IFIXIT TECHNICIANS have torn open the 2012 Apple Mac Mini and given it a lower repairability score than the previous generation of just six out of 10.

      The 2012 Mac Mini was awarded eight out of 10 by the iFixit handymen, but the updated model received two fewer points because the machine cannot have its RAM upgraded as the unit is soldered fast to the logic board inside.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • When ‘Washington Is Broken’ Isn’t the Story

      There’s no real reason to think that the US Surgeon General could do much to calm people’s irrational fears about Ebola. Nonetheless, the wall-to-wall coverage of Ebola on TV news has served as a reminder that the country does not currently have one, thanks to so-far successful efforts to block the nomination of Vivek Murthy. But explaining his nomination as a problem of “Washington dysfunction” misses the point.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Athens v Munich: why homelessness hits rich cities as hard as poor ones

      In Athens, it’s caused by an economy in crisis; in Munich, by an economy that’s booming. The result, though, is the same – a worsening homeless problem that doesn’t reflect a city’s wealth

      [...]

      Through seven years of deep recession, Greece’s GDP has sunk by a quarter. The official unemployment rate here is 27%, including 52% of under-25s. That means some 180,000 (probably many more) of Athens’ 670,000 residents – and maybe more than 1 million of the 4 million-odd people who live in the greater Athens urban area – are now without work.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Spending for ALEC Member Tillis Breaks All Records in NC Senate Race

      The Koch brothers’ new Super PAC, Freedom Partners Action Fund (FPAF) — launched this summer — has announced a huge new seven-figure ad buy attacking Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC). The ad buy makes the North Carolina Senate race between Hagan and Republican state Speaker of the House Thom Tillis all-time number one in outside spending, at $55.7 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

      Spending is on track to surpass $100 million, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Nearly $8 million was spent there (in party and non-party independent spending) just in the last week, according to the Campaign Finance Institute.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • How Edward Snowden Changed Journalism

      “Citizenfour,” the new documentary about Edward Snowden, by Laura Poitras, is, among other things, a work of journalism about journalism. It opens with quotations from correspondence between Poitras and a new source who identifies himself only as Citizenfour. This source turns out to be Snowden. Soon, Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, at the time a columnist for the Guardian, travel to Hong Kong to meet Snowden in a hotel room.

    • Apple May Want To Protect Your Phone Data From Snooping, But It’s Snarfing Up Your Local Desktop Searches

      So, Apple got plenty of kudos from security and privacy folks in deciding to encrypt mobile phone data, but over on the desktop side, apparently the message hasn’t quite gotten through. Instead, it appears that the latest Mac operation system has the company automatically sending all of your desktop searches back to Apple. These aren’t internet searches, but just what you’re searching for locally.

    • Apple’s Mac computers can automatically collect your location information

      Apple has begun automatically collecting the locations of users and the queries they type when searching for files with the newest Mac operating system, a function that has provoked backlash for a company that portrays itself as a leader on privacy.

    • Australian spookhaus busted for warrantless tap of own phones

      Australia’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (AIGIS) has found that the nation’s Australian Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO) spied on itself in contravention of local laws.

    • FBI Wants To Know If Applicants Have Been Downloading Unauthorized Content

      Earlier this year, FBI Director James Comey suggested that the FBI might consider backing off its policy of refusing to hire anyone who has used marijuana in order to find competent computer folks who can deal with online crimes. After some backlash (and some support) for those statements, Comey quickly backed down, claiming it was all just a joke.

    • Everybody Knows FBI Director James Comey Is Wrong About Encryption, Even The FBI

      FBI Director James Comey is apparently a likable guy, but if he’s going to attack encryption, it might help if he actually understood it better than, say, the editorial board of the Washington Post, who recently argued against “backdoors” in technology, and for a magical “golden key” — as if the two were somehow different. We wrote a quick take on Comey’s Brooking’s talk last week, but the deeper you dive into his talk the more and more evident it is that he not only doesn’t quite understand the issues he’s talking about, but that he doesn’t even seem to understand when his own statements conflict with each other.

    • FBI Director Continues His Attack On Technology, Privacy And Encryption
    • New Zealand Police Raid Home Of Reporter Who Embarrassed Gov’t Officials & Was Working On Snowden Documents

      Over at The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher note that Hager was also working with them on some Snowden documents as they concerned what was happening in New Zealand. As you may recall, right before the election, Greenwald had used some Snowden documents to show that Prime Minister Key had lied about mass surveillance — leading Key to petulantly lash out with ad hominems at Greenwald, referring to him as a “loser.” Greenwald made it clear that they would likely be revealing more about New Zealand’s activities — and now wonders if that might be another reason why Hager was raided, once the government figured out who Greenwald was working with.

    • Police in Washington, DC Are Using the Secretive ‘Stingray’ Cell Phone Tracking Tool

      Back in 2003, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC was awarded a $260,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to purchase surveillance technology called Stingray — a contraption the size of a suitcase that simulates a cell phone tower and intercepts mobile phone calls and text messages.

    • Chinese government launches man-in-middle attack against iCloud

      GreatFire.org, a group that monitors censorship by the Chinese government’s national firewall system (often referred to as the “Great Firewall”), reports that China is using the system as part of a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack on users of Apple’s iCloud service within the country. The attacks come as Apple begins the official rollout of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on the Chinese mainland.

    • Who’s Lying About Whisper?

      The denials are strong, but 1 & 2 above can’t both be true. That means someone is lying, and based on what I’ve seen so far, and looking at who has what incentives, that someone is Whisper.

      The additional information about Whisper working with the Department of Defense, and likely the Chinese government, are also huge stories on their own.

    • RT interview about GCHQ

      Here is my recent inter­view on RT dis­cuss­ing the UK listen­ing post, GCHQ, its pros­ti­tu­tion to America’s NSA, and the fail­ure of oversight…

  • Civil Rights

    • FF Launches Updated Know Your Rights Guide

      If the police come knocking at your door, the constitution offers you some protection. But the constitution is just a piece of paper—if you don’t know how to assert your rights. And even if you do assert your rights…what happens next? That answer may seem complicated, but protecting yourself is simple if you know your rights.

    • Know Your Rights
    • Police Officer Blames Everyone Else But Police Officers For The Public’s General Distrust Of Law Enforcement

      The cop who always laid a few extra licks on an “uncooperative” arrestee still does so… only there’s a good chance the punches/baton swings/taser bursts have been captured on “tape.” The cop who always performed a little extracurricular searching during routine traffic stops continues to do so… only now he’s being served with civil rights lawsuits and the dashcam recording of his illegal efforts is splashed all over the news thanks to the plaintiff’s lawyer.

      If the public no longer implicitly trusts the police to be the “good guys,” the problem isn’t the public. It’s the cops who take money from citizens just because local laws say they can. It’s the multiple agencies who feel the only way to handle the drug problem is as violently as possible. It’s cops who shoot people’s pets, rather than allow the animals’ owners to restrain them. It’s officers who constantly “fear for their lives” endangering the lives of citizens around them with careless use of deadly force. This is what’s changed the public’s perception of law enforcement. Sure, some of it may be based on bad info and careless hyperbole, but a majority of the damage done to the reputation of law enforcement has been inflicted by the officers themselves.

    • Parents May Be Liable for What Their Kids Post on Facebook, Court Rules

      Parents can be held liable for what their kids post on Facebook , a Georgia appellate court ruled in a decision that lawyers said marked a legal precedent on the issue of parental responsibility over their children’s online activity.

      The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that the parents of a seventh-grade student may be negligent for failing to get their son to delete a fake Facebook profile that allegedly defamed a female classmate.

    • Dangerous Rulings: Georgia Court Says Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook
    • Cops Won’t Help You: 7 Things I Saw as a Real Slasher Victim

      Maksim Gelman, noted crack addict and man-about-town, flipped out in February of 2011 and stabbed his stepfather to death over an argument about a Lexus. During the next 28 hours he would fatally stab two more people (a woman he had a crush on and her mom), kill a fourth by running him down with a car, and wound several more innocent New Yorkers via random stabbings.

      [...]

      We still weren’t moving. The cops told me it was because there were other officers on the tracks so they’d had to cut the power. But, again, none of them came near me to render first aid. The only guy who did was a passenger named Alfred Douglas. He stuck his bare hand on the biggest wound, on my head, and staunched the bleeding. Eventually, somebody gave him napkins. I’m not sure how much those helped, but I am sure Alfred saved my life.

    • How to Drive a Colleague to His Grave and Sleep Easy at Night

      Walter Pincus, the Washington Post’s long-time CIA correspondent–he makes it clear to Grim that he doesn’t appreciate it when people refer to him as a “CIA stooge”–knows quite a bit more about drug-trafficking and Latin America, enough that he knows how to greet charges that CIA assets were running drugs–not with denial, but with a blithe shrug…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Google Continues To Try To Appease Hollywood, Though It Is Unlikely To Ever Be Enough

        But, here’s the thing: as we said when Google first came out with this report, it will never be enough for the legacy guys in Hollywood. That’s because they incorrectly blame Google for their own inability to adapt to the changing market. They blame their diminishing revenue on Google, and even as Google makes it harder and harder to find unauthorized content, that revenue isn’t going to come back… so they’ll still blame Google. But Google was never the problem. The legacy entertainment industry and its political supporters will continue to point to search results that don’t exist and search terms that are never used as some sort of “proof” because that’s what they do. Rather than adapt, they really just want Google to do things for them. And for whatever reason, Google is doing more and more… and it’s unlikely to ever please the likes of James Murdoch, because Google “not doing things” was never the real problem.

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