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10.24.14

Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google’s Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • oVirt Node: hosted-engine

      oVirt Node 3.5 contain ovirt-node-plugin-hosted-engine available which make possible setup oVirt Node run oVirt Engine as virtual machine with HA (more then one node required).

    • Cumulus Linux 2.5 adds mainstream L2 features to bare-metal switching

      As Cumulus Networks attempts to expand beyond the early adopters of its Cumulus Linux bare-metal switch operating system, it is adding Layer 2 networking features aimed at making it easier for enterprises to make the transition from legacy environments to the IP fabrics that most cloud computing customers operate.

  • Kernel Space

    • MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux

      For Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Linux testing I originally bought an MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard as it was one of the most interesting, lowest-priced boards available at the time of the Intel X99 chipset debut. While I initially ran into some problems, those issues have now been confirmed to be isolated, and with a replacement X99S SLI PLUS motherboard I have been stressing it constantly for the past few weeks on Fedora and Ubuntu. The X99S SLI PLUS has now proven itself to be a reliable motherboard that’s still among the least expensive X99 ATX motherboards on the market.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The Linux desktop-a-week review: LXDE

      Over the last two weeks I’ve run nothing but LXDE as my primary Linux Desktop Environment (other than a few excursions into Android land). Been using LXDE. Been enjoying LXDE.

      But I have practically nothing to really say about LXDE. I feel like, after all this time, I should have something interesting to talk about. But I just plain don’t.

      It’s fast, blisteringly fast. And it’s damned lightweight too. After that, things get pretty boring.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu Shirts are Back

        Kubuntu T-shirts and Polo Shirts are available again. This time our supplier is HelloTux who are working with the Hungarian Ubuntu LoCo. $3 from each shirt goes to Kubuntu and $1.5 to the Hungarian LoCo team.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Introducing Gthree

        I’ve recently been working on OpenGL support in Gtk+, and last week it landed in master. However, the demos we have are pretty lame and are not very good to show off or even test the OpenGL support. I’ve looked around for some open source demos that used modern GL that we could use, but I didn’t find anything that we could easily use.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Neptune OS 4.2 Features a Refreshing KDE Desktop

        ZevenOS-Neptune 4.x branch is called “It’s all about you” and it was initially made available back in June. This is the second update for the distribution and the devs have refined some of the features and have added some new packages into the mix.

        The system is based on KDE, but don’t expect to find a regular stock version implemented. It’s clear that the devs have put a lot of effort into making the DE experiences unique. Users can immediately recognize what distribution they are looking at just with a glance, and that’s always a good sign.

    • Arch Family

      • Diary of a new Arch user, week two

        So, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and installed Arch Linux. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. For those of you who haven’t come across this distro before, it’s built on the idea that the user should have full control of their system. This means that the basic install is just the Linux kernel and a few essential utilities. In order to create a fully working system, you need to choose what bits you want to install on top of that yourself. There’s no installer to guide you (but there is a package manager and a wiki to help you).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Video: Getting Ready for systemd (in RHEL7)

        I found the link to this video (Getting Ready for systemd) on the systemd documentation page. It is a Red Hat “Customer Portal Exclusive” and “Not for Distribution” but it is ok for me to provide a picture that links to it… that looks like a video-ready-to-play.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 22 Could Get the Desktop from elementary OS

          The Fedora Linux distro is an operating system with a very rich history and it comes with all sorts of desktop environments. A proposition has been made now to give users a new desktop environment to play with, Pantheon.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Make Your Own Wireless Printer With A Raspberry Pi

      Wireless technology is perhaps the best improvement to home printing for years. Fewer cables, flexibility about where you can put your printer – it’s win-win. Unless you have an older printer.

    • Google’s Nest buys Linux automation firm, adds five partners

      Google’s Nest Labs acquired Revolv, a maker of Linux-based home automation devices, and announced five new Nest-compatible devices. including the Pebble.

      After Google acquired Nest Labs in January $3.2 billion, placing a stake in the fast-growing home automation business, Nest acquired home surveillance camera maker Dropcam in June for $555 million. Now Nest announced it has acquired another major home automation company in its purchase of Revolv. The acquisition, which was announced with no dollar amount, came shortly after the Boulder, Colo. based company announced compatibility with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect CO/smoke detector.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai 2014 #TDS14SH

          At the Tizen Developer Summit shanghai 2014, Brian Warner kicked off the Keynote sessions to a packed Chinese crowd, which was a great sight to see. He drew attention to the fact that there have been releases several Tizen products this year, which hasn’t been the case in recent times.

        • Is the Tizen Samsung Z Alive and running Tizen 2.3 SM-Z910F ? #TDS14SH

          At the Tizen Developer Summit 2014 Shanghai, Samsung were showing off the Gear S, and also the Samsung Z Smartphone. Taking a further glimpse at the settings we can see that it is listed as running Tizen 2.3, which recently saw the release of the Tizen 2.3 Beta SDK. As a recap, the Samsung Z was the Tizen flagship Smartphone that Samsung were due to release at the Tizen developer summit in Russia, but cancelled the launch with only 48 hours to spare.

      • Android

        • How to Get Open Source Android

          Android is an astonishing commercial success, and is often touted as a Linux success. In some ways it is; Google was able to leverage Linux and free/open source software to get Android to market in record time, and to offer a feature set that quickly outstripped the old champion iOS.

          But it’s not Linux as we know it. Most Android devices are locked-down, and we can’t freely download and install whatever operating systems we want like we can with our Linux PCs, or install whatever apps we want without jailbreaking our own devices that we own. We can’t set up a business to sell Google Android devices without jumping through a lot of expensive hoops (see The hidden costs of building an Android device and Secret Ties in Google’s “Open” Android.) We can’t even respin Google Android however we want to and redistribute it, because Google requires bundling a set of Google apps.

        • Another Tor router crowdfunding project nixed by Kickstarter

          Kickstarter is apparently not the place to go if you’re trying to crowdfund privacy hardware. Just days after the Anonabox project, a highly criticized effort to package the Tor privacy protection service into a portable miniature Wi-Fi router, was suspended by the crowdfunding site, another similar project has met its demise—and its founder’s account has been deleted.

        • LG’s first SoC debuts on 5.9-inch G3 Screen phone

          LG announced its first SoC, a Cortex-15 and –A7 octa-core “Nuclun” with LTE-A Cat.6 tech that debuts this week in a Korea-bound LG G3 Screen Android phone.

        • Google CEO Page appoints Sundar Pichai as product boss

          Google Inc. CEO is handing over responsibility for the company’s products to a key lieutenant, Sundar Pichai, putting him in charge of research, search, maps, Google+, commerce, ads and infrastructure, Re/code reported.

Free Software/Open Source

  • LinkedIn and Twitter Contribute Machine Learning Libraries to Open Source

    Twitter’s engineering group, known for various contributions to open source from streaming MapReduce to front-end framework Bootstrap recently announced open sourcing an algorithm that can efficiently recommend content. This is a really important problem for Twitter as it helps promoting the right ads to the right users and recommending which users to follow. The algorithm, named DIMSUM, can pre-process similarity data and feed the actual recommendation algorithm with a subset of users that are calculated to be above a similarity threshold.

  • Why Open Source Is Becoming A Big Developer-Recruiting Tool

    Most companies are just coming around to the idea that open source can help lower costs and boost innovation within their organizations. But Web companies like Netflix, Twitter and Facebook understand that open source can be more: a powerful weapon for recruiting and retaining top engineering talent.

  • SimplyTapp launches open source tokenization project

    “We don’t want to put any hindrance in the way of a bank launching cloud-based payments because they have to buy or rely on another ecosystem player for new technology and so we thought it was a perfect use case for an open source project. Open source allows a perfect line of audit where you can actually see the source code, modify the source code and make updates to the source code for your environment before you’re running it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • MozFest 2014 begins today

        More than 1,600 participants from countries around the globe will gather at Ravensbourne in East London for a weekend of collaborating, building prototypes, designing innovative web literacy curricula and discussing how the ethos of the open web can contribute to the fields of science, journalism, advocacy and more.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache CloudStack Arrives in New Version, Stays Popular

      The Apache CloudStack project has released version 4.4.1, the new version of its private, public and hybrid cloud software. The latest revision of the open source CloudStack platform has “dozens of new features and improvements,” as noted in an Apache Software Foundation release.

    • HP Launches Helion OpenStack Build/Services, to Take on AWS

      HP has steadily been making a lot of noise about its commitment to cloud computing overall, and the OpenStack platform in particular. And, back in May, HP chief Meg Whitman announced the cloud-focused Helion brand, and pledged to commit $1 billion over the next two years on products and services surrounding OpenStack.

  • Databases

    • eBay open sources a big, fast SQL-on-Hadoop database

      eBay has open sourced a database technology, called Kylin, that takes advantage of distributed processing and the HBase data store in order to return faster results for SQL queries over Hadoop data.

    • What you missed in Big Data: Oracle, eBay join Hadoop open-source party

      The past week has seen not one but two technology giants take on a bigger role in the open-source community’s efforts to bring modern analytics within the grasp of the traditional enterprise. Online retail giant eBay Inc. led the charge with the contribution of a homegrown OLAP engine that it said makes querying Hadoop both easier and significantly faster.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Swiss crowdfund pays for signed PDFs LibreOffice

      In just three days, the Swiss open source community Wilhelm Tux reached its crowdfunding target of 10,000 CHF (about 8000 euro) to add support for digital signatures in PDF documents. The feature will be added to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The project is awarded to Collabora, an open source IT service provider, which will deliver the new functionality in April.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Guardian launches open-source data journalism tool

        Collaborative data journalism platform Swarmize has launched today to offer editors and journalists better tools for the use of data, including real-time visualisation.

        Swarmize, now in alpha, won funding through the Knight News Challenge in June, and has been built at the Guardian over the last four months.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • America, The Defensive: Wars, Terrorism And Thirty Years Of Perpetual ‘States Of Emergencies’

      If there’s anything our government can do well, it’s take a word loaded with tension and abuse it to the point of abstraction. First, we had “war.” The word described the hellish events of the First and Second World War, along with armed, bloody conflicts dating back to the rebellious creation of the nation itself. Now, it’s simply a term applied to any conflict with the weight of a self-serving bureaucracy propelling it. A “war” on drugs. A “war” on illiteracy. And so on.

    • Canada’s war on terror: Fear runs high, but evidence often lacking

      Homegrown. Lone wolf. High-risk traveller. These words are now part of the lexicon of a renewed war on terrorism, a vocabulary Ottawa officials use as they grapple with extremism inside Canada’s borders.

    • Canada’s Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame

      Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world.

    • Valerie Plame on the New Age of National Security

      In 2002, the CIA asked Plame’s husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, to investigate claims that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore for weapons of mass destruction. Wilson told the agency that the claims were “highly unlikely.”

      Nevertheless, in his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush reiterated the claim that Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy uranium from contacts in Africa. Wilson accused the Bush Administration of lying to the American people to drum up support for the invasion of Iraq.

      A few months later, Plame’s name—and her secret identity as a CIA officer—appeared in a column by Bush supporter Robert Novak. Plame and Wilson believe Novak leaked Plame’s identity in retaliation, though a special prosecutor declined to prosecute federal officials for the crime, apart from charging Lewis Libby with obstruction of justice.

      In an interview with The Takeaway’s John Hockenberry, Plame reflects on the state of Iraq today. “Certainly, if we had not invaded Iraq on intelligence that was clearly manipulated and cherry picked, we would be in a different position today,” she says.

      “There is no question that what we are seeing—the horrible advance of ISIS—goes back, if you will, to the original sin of the invasion of Iraq,” Plame continues. “I think the Bush Administration was bound and determined on regime change, and we will be paying the price of that for some time to come.”

    • Special report: America’s perpetual state of emergency

      The United States is in a perpetual state of national emergency.

      Thirty separate emergencies, in fact.

      An emergency declared by President Jimmy Carter on the 10th day of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 remains in effect almost 35 years later.

    • Jury returns guilty verdicts for all 4 former Blackwater guards charged in Iraq shootings
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Rick S. Piltz, whistleblower on federal climate policy, dies at 71

      Rick S. Piltz, a longtime climate policy analyst who exposed how top-level George W. Bush administration officials edited scientific reports to minimize the link between human activity and climate change, died Oct. 18 at a hospice center in Washington. He was 71.

  • Finance

    • OMB Director Sets a Low Bar for Deficit Reform

      The national debt, which was about $5.7 trillion when George W. Bush entered office and $11 trillion when he turned the White House over to Barack Obama, is now at just a shade under $18 trillion. And the director of the Office of Management and Budget declares that a “return to fiscal normalcy.” Where is Warren Harding now that we need him?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Big Problem With Time’s Teacher-Bashing Cover Story

      Time reports that Welch and his ilk were able to find “a flood of new academic research on teacher quality ” to back up their hunch that bad teachers are the problem. One research team relied on a “a controversial tool called value-added measures (VAM)” to measure teacher effectiveness, and they “found that replacing a poorly performing teacher with an excellent one could increase students’ lifetime earnings by $250,000 per classroom.”

      So there’s a technique that supposedly measures teacher quality, and you can sue public schools that fail to adopt it. Does anyone have a problem with this approach? Of course. Teachers, for example, and their unions–who are, shockingly, never quoted in Time’s piece.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Support the right for journalists to protect their sources

      Today we have also released a report on how police forces are using ‘directed surveillance’ powers permitted under RIPA, calling on the government to introduce judicial authorisation for all use of surveillance powers, increased transparency around how the powers are being used, and for the right of redress for those who have been spied on.

    • Former NSA Official: Anyone Who ‘Justified’ Snowden’s Leaks Shouldn’t Be Allowed A Gov’t Job

      A few days ago, the FTC announced that it had appointed Ashkan Soltani as its chief technology officer. Soltani is a well-known (and often outspoken) security researcher who has worked at the FTC in the past. Nothing about this appointment should be all that surprising or even remotely controversial. However, recently, Soltani had been doing a lot of journalism work, as a media consultant at the Washington Post helping Barton Gellman and other reporters really understand the technical and security aspects of the Snowden documents. His name has appeared as a byline in a number of stories about the documents, detailing what is really in those documents, and how they can impact your privacy.

    • FTC hires new CTO with deep links to Snowden documents
    • Federal Trade Commission Appoints Ashkan Soltani as Chief Technologist
    • MI5 spied on leading British historians for decades, secret files reveal

      MI5 amassed hundreds of records on Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill, two of Britain’s leading historians who were both once members of the Communist party, secret files have revealed.

      The scholars were subjected to persistent surveillance for decades as MI5 and police special branch officers tapped and recorded their telephone calls, intercepted their private correspondence and monitored their contacts, the files show. Some of the surveillance gave MI5 more details about their targets’ personal lives than any threat to national security.

    • Exclusive: Shakeup At NSA After BuzzFeed News Reports On Potential Conflict Of Interest

      Top National Security Agency official Teresa Shea is leaving her position after BuzzFeed News reported on her and her husband’s financial interests. The move comes as the NSA faces more questions about the business dealings of its former director Keith Alexander, and potential ethics conflicts. This post has been updated to include a response from the NSA.

    • US Government Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit Against ‘Suspicious Activity’ Program Which Keeps Files on Innocent People

      The United States government has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of five US citizens who say they were victims of a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.

    • How Congress supports the NSA by doing nothing

      It’s been almost a year and a half since whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk and warrantless surveillance programs were first brought to light. Since then, we’ve learned more disturbing details about the NSA’s programs: The NSA has collected emails and other Internet data directly from companies’ fiber optic cables, built backdoors into encryption software, and partnered with other intelligence services around the world to collect and share private information.

  • Civil Rights

    • Roca Labs Story Gets More Bizarre: Senator Threatens Bogus Defamation Lawsuit, While Nevada Quickly Rejects Bogus Bribery Charge

      If you thought the Roca Labs story couldn’t get any more bizarre, well, then you haven’t been paying much attention, because no matter how bizarre the story was the last time you looked, it seems to get even more bizarre with the next step. We’ve already gone through the Roca gag order, lawsuit against PissedConsumer, lawsuit against unhappy customer, threats against witnesses, and weak attempts to use the fame of Alfonso Ribeiro and Tommy Chong in implied endorsements. Oh, and also the threat against us and the fact that a main “doctor” backing their product was a pediatrician who lost his license due to child porn claims.

    • Homeland Security confiscates Royals underwear in Kansas City

      Peregrine Honig says she just wanted to help celebrate the hometown team when she designed Lucky Royals boyshorts.

      The panties, with “Take the Crown” and “KC” across the bottom, were set to be sold in Honig’s Birdies Panties shop Tuesday. But Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.

    • DHS Agents Raid Lingerie Shop, Save America From Unlicensed Underwear
    • Attorney General Holder ‘exasperated’ by Ferguson grand jury leaks, source says

      Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has told Justice Department lawyers that he is “exasperated” with leaks emerging from the grand jury involved in investigating the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, according to a Justice official.

    • In a federal trial examining a classified military deal, don’t mention the Navy SEALs

      Witnesses, attorneys and even the judge took special care not to let the phrase “Navy SEALs” pass their lips during a federal criminal trial in Alexandria this week, further cloaking an already mysterious case involving the purchase of hundreds of unmarked rifle silencers for the military.

    • Justice Department Rejects Key Reforms to FBI Whistleblower Regulations

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation is considering an array of new procedures that may modestly improve protections for whistleblowers, however, the Justice Department rejected a number of key reforms that “whistleblower advocates” have urged the agency to adopt.

      Under a presidential policy directive President Barack Obama issued in October 2012, which applied to whistleblowers with “access to classified information,” Attorney General Eric Holder was required to deliver a report within 180 days that assessed the “efficacy” of the FBI’s regulations. But it was not until June 2, 2014, that Holder delivered this report that was long overdue.

    • Senator Blasts CIA for Censoring ‘Torture’ Report

      Sen. Ron Wyden says the CIA is trying to blunt the impact of an upcoming Senate report examining the harsh treatment of al-Qaida detainees by insisting on censoring the pseudonyms used for agency officers mentioned in the document.

      “The intelligence leadership doing everything they can to bury the facts,” said Wyden, D-Ore., a Senate Intelligence Committee member who has been a frequent critic of the spy agency.

      The Senate, the CIA and the White House are negotiating over what should be blacked out for national security reasons in the 600-page summary of the report that is set for public release sometime after the November elections.

      President Barack Obama and other senior officials have said the CIA’s use of waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation and other harsh techniques on some detainees constituted torture. Many current and former CIA officers dispute that.

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