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11.13.14

Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

Posted in News Roundup at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source assumes growing role in data center transformation

    The acceleration of cloud computing as a model for modern IT infrastructure is causing massive transformation in data centers today. The largest data centers in the world run by Google, Amazon and others are super-efficient, automated, dynamically scalable and operate on seamless virtualized platforms often running on open source systems.

  • Australian news agency joins open source project

    Open source software developer Sourcefabric has signed Australian Associated Press to help develop an end-to-end news creation, production, curation, distribution and publishing platform.

    The two parties are inviting other news publishers to participate in the project, called Superdesk.

    AAP editor-in-chief Tony Gillies said, “Over the past 10 years, our existing editorial platform has proven increasingly inflexible.”

    “The time is right for some true innovation in this area and we believe that Sourcefabric will set us on the right path.”

    Sava Tatić, Sourcefabric managing director, said he was thrilled to be partnering with Australia’s national news agency.

  • Extra extra! How to use the press to promote open source

    This is a report from the All Things Open conference, held this year at the Raleigh Convention Center. I attended Steven Vaughan-Nichols session on marketing and using the press in open source—this is a recap.

    Before Steven was a journalist, he was a techie. This makes him unusual: a journalist who actually gets technology. Steven is here to tell us that marketing is a big part of your job if you want a successful open source company. He has heard a lot of people saying that marketing isn’t necessary anymore. The reason it’s necessary is because writing great code is not enough—if no one else knows about it, it doesn’t matter. You need to talk with people about the project to make it a success.

  • GraphHopper: a fast and flexible open source trip planner

    Route planning is an essential part of the connected and mobile world. Many people use commercial solutions on a daily basis to avoid traffic jams when heading home or when they plan their next business or outdoor trip. It is also a crucial part in many business areas like for garbage collection, pizza delivery, or ride sharing where speed is important to calculate thousands or even millions of high quality routes within a short time.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Lightweight Web Browser Midori Arrives with Lots of New Features

      Midori, a lightweight web browser that features full integration with GTK+ and fast rendering with WebKit, is now at version 0.5.9 and it should arrive in all the major repositories pretty soon.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Develops a Case of Selective Amnesia

        Roughly 10 years to the day after the release of Firefox 1.0, Mozilla on Monday announced an updated version of its open source browser complete with a new Forget button aimed at protecting users’ privacy.

        “Forget gives you an easy way to tell Firefox to clear out some of your recent activity,” explained Firefox Vice President Johnathan Nightingale. “Instead of asking a lot of complex technical questions, Forget asks you only one: How much do you want to forget? Once you tell Firefox you want to forget the last five minutes, or two hours, or 24 hours, it takes care of the rest.”

      • Firefox 10th Anniversary and new Firefox

        The celebratory Firefox release that puts the users more in control of how they browse

      • Firefox 33.1 Debuts With Security, Privacy and Developer Focus

        Ten years after the first Firefox 1.0 release, Mozilla emphasizes its core strengths of privacy and developer focus.

      • Mozilla Launches MozVR, Moves Toward Virtual Reality

        For some time now, Mozilla has been focused on making virtual reality come alive in browsing experiences. In June, the company delivered builds of Firefox that supported the Oculus Rift device and platform, and now the company has delivered a new site that demonstrates the virtual reality promise of the Web.

      • Firefox 33.0.3 Has Fixes for Conflicts with Graphics Drivers

        Mozilla has announced that Firefox 33.0.3 has been officially released and is now available for download. It’s just a maintenance version, but users should still upgrade.

      • Firefox Leans Towards the Vertical

        A couple of months ago, I wrote about the tremendous potential for Mozilla to change the world by putting smartphone capabilities in the hands of hundreds of millions of people with its Firefox OS. That’s an example of the project moving its focus away from the traditional desktop to a sector that is likely to become the dominant one in the next few years.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Postgres and MySQL: EnterpriseDB unveils new way to link these open source databases

      EnterpriseDB says a tool unveiled today that connects Postgres and MySQL databases strengthens the position of Postgres as an alternative standard database.

      The MySQL foreign data wrapper allows remote data from Oracle’s open-source database to be defined as a table in Postgres, so firms can run SQL queries across it along with local Postgres tables as if they were all local.

    • Why MongoDB Embraces Open Source

      “If I were starting something new today that was software as a business, I would make it either open source or SaaS or freemium,” he said. “I would definitely not make it closed source if I’m starting from day one, ’cause I don’t think it works anymore. I think you’re going to have competition. There’s going to be stuff out there. It’s going to be tough. If you’re starting today, it’s sort of what are people doing five years from now would be the question.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF & Conservancy Launch Copyleft.org To Promote Licenses Like The GPL

      Copyleft.org is intended as a project to promote copyleft licensing, especially the GPL. There’s guides, information on the licenses, and analysis of such licenses. There’s also a mailing list, IRC channel, and other resources for those wishing to learn more about these friendly licenses.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK Ministry of Defence opens up to FOSS, a bit

      Earlier this year Computer Weekly reported news of the MoD’s £2m in sponsorship for a competition to find innovative ways of automating cyber defences.

    • The US Government’s Tenuous Relationship With Open Source

      The government has been involved with open source software since before the Internet — but it is only recently that government use of open source really has come into vogue, observed GitHub’s Ben Balter. “A big reason for this is that open source used to be inaccessible to outsiders and didn’t have the quality and support large organizations like government have come to expect.”

    • Indonesia tax agency saves 90 per cent with open source

      The open source community in Indonesia is still small and this has discouraged the Indonesian tax agency from moving some big systems to open source, its Transformation and ICT Director told FutureGov.

      Open source is usually used by universities in Indonesia, he said, and the source code is not published so “it’s in a small group”, said Harry Gumelar.

      “Our difficulty right now is that we don’t know who to contact if we have a problem,” he added. The tax agency has asked for help in the past, but not received any response from the community.

    • Government logs into open source policy to use as Digital India drive, cut software costs

      Indian government software applications are set to make the shift to open source, potentially boosting the pace at which such programmes are developed, and leading to millions of dollars in savings by moving away from proprietary systems.

  • Licensing

    • How to choose an open source license

      Open source license management provider Protecode has put together a simple overview (and accompanying infographic) on choosing the best open source license for a project.

      [...]

      The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a copyleft software license, which guarantees end users the freedoms to use, study, share (copy), and modify the software as long as they track changes/dates of in source files and release their code and any modifications under GPL. They can distribute their application using a GPL commercially, but they must open-source it under the same GPL license.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • You don’t know Javascript, but you should

      Thank you all for having me. I’m Kyle Simpson, known as “getify” online on Twitter, GitHub, and all the other places that matter. I was here in Rochester teaching a workshop for the Thought @ Work conference this past weekend, and figured I’d stick around to check out some JavaScript (JS) and Node classes here in the New Media Interactive Development program, so thank you for having me.

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Russia — once again Public Enemy No 1

      The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, said at the cel­eb­ra­tion of the fall of the Ber­lin Wall last week­end that we are facing a new Cold War. What are the geo­pol­it­ical real­it­ies behind this statement?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Zealot of US climate change sceptics Jim Inhofe to determine environmental policy

      Ever since he became a US Senator in 1994, Jim Inhofe has been among the most prominent climate-change sceptics in Washington. The Oklahoma Republican, who turns 80 next week, once compared the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Gestapo.

      Now, the man who also compared the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to “a Soviet-style trial, in which ideological purity trumps technical and scientific rigour”, is in line for one of the most important environmental jobs in Congress.

    • G-20 nations spend $88 billion a year propping up the fossil fuel industry

      Or it would be, at least, were it not for the enormous amounts of subsidies bestowed on the industry by G-20 nations, which seem to be reneging on their 2009 pledge to phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies. According to a new report from the Overseas Development Institute, G-20 nations spend $88 billion per year supporting oil exploration. That’s twice the amount the industry itself spends, and, according to the report, almost twice what the International Energy Agency estimates we’ll need to meet heat and electricity demand by 2030. And it definitely contradicts the IEA’s contention that, if we’re to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, two-thirds of our remaining fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground.

    • Rich countries subsidising oil, gas and coal companies by $88bn a year

      US, UK, Australia giving tax breaks to explore new reserves despite climate advice that fossil fuels should be left buried

    • Dead whale on French beach could explode

      Officials in France are racking their brains about how to deal with a dead whale washed up on a beach on the south coast of France. The decaying carcass is a ticking time bomb, with the possibility it could explode.

  • Finance

    • New EU migrants add £5bn to UK, report says

      Immigrants from the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004 contributed more to the UK than they took out in benefits, according to a new study.

    • Activists Stopped From Feeding the Homeless in Fort Lauderdale
    • Global Displacement: A Result of Climate Change and War

      June 20, 2014 marked World Refugee Day, the first World Refugee Day during which global forced displacement was the highest since World War II. The Global Trends report, compiled by the UNHCR(United Nations High Commission for Refugees), established the figure of 51.2 million globally displaced people at the end of 2013, an increase of six million from the 45.2 million at the end of 2012.

    • Global Killing of Environmentalists Rises Drastically

      “Deadly Environment,” a report by the non-governmental organization Global Witness. revealed that from 2002 to 2013 at least 908 people were killed globally due to their environmental advocacy, with the rate of murder doubling in the last four years. Latin America and the Asia-Pacific show the highest rates of violence as tensions over limited natural resources in these regions escalate. Will Potter writes for Foreign Policy that, today, “Brazil remains overwhelmingly more dangerous for environmentalists than other countries.” Twice as many environmentalists were killed in Brazil as in any other country. However, this problem is just part of the global trend that reveals an increasing number of such deaths.

    • The Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Failures of Actually Existing Economic Systems

      Hype went wild coming into last week’s 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. “Freedom” had been achieved. The German Democratic Republic (GDR), or what Western media preferred to call communist East Germany, had been rejected. Its hated official spying on its people – the massive “Stasi” apparatus – could not continue. Liberty and prosperity would and did arrive as the country rejoined the “free world.” The people had peacefully overthrown actually existing socialism and returned to capitalism. No one could miss that (officially hyped) interpretation of the fall of the Wall. Yet it is hardly the only one, although that was rarely admitted.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Facebook Messenger hits 500 million users after becoming mandatory

      FACEBOOK MESSENGER has hit the 500 million monthly user milestone after the social network forced users to download the app.

      The figure is more than double the 200 million the firm claimed in April, but doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

      The social network made it mandatory in July for iOS and Android users to download Facebook Messenger in order to use it, removing the chat functionality from the main Facebook app.

    • FBI’s “Suicide Letter” to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

      The New York Times has published an unredacted version of the famous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, recently discovered by historian and professor Beverly Gage, is a disturbing document. But it’s also something that everyone in the United States should read, because it demonstrates exactly what lengths the intelligence community is willing to go to—and what happens when they take the fruits of the surveillance they’ve done and unleash it on a target.

      The anonymous letter was the result of the FBI’s comprehensive surveillance and harassment strategy against Dr. King, which included bugging his hotel rooms, photographic surveillance, and physical observation of King’s movements by FBI agents. The agency also attempted to break up his marriage by sending selectively edited “personal moments he shared with friends and women” to his wife.

    • Senator Reid Moves Forward With NSA Reform Bill

      We’re pleased to see Sen. Harry Reid move toward a final vote on the Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act, S. 2685. EFF has consistently urged the Senate to move forward on the bipartisan bill since it was first introduced in July.

  • Civil Rights

    • Boyfriend of woman shot by Ann Arbor police: ‘Why would you kill her?’

      The boyfriend of the 40-year-old Ann Arbor woman who was shot and killed by police Sunday night said he doesn’t understand why police had to use lethal force to take down the woman who had a knife in her hand as she confronted officers.

    • Brazilian police kill 11,000 people in five years

      Brazilian police killed more than 11,000 people between 2009 and 2013 for an average of six killings a day, a public safety NGO said Tuesday.

      The study by the Sao Paulo-based Brazilian Forum on Public Safety said police nationwide killed 11,197 people over the past five years, while law enforcement agents in the United States killed 11,090 people over the past 30 years.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Obama thrills left with Web fight

      For his first battle against a Republican-controlled Congress, President Obama has chosen the Internet.

      Obama on Monday released an unusual video statement urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enact the toughest possible rules on Internet service providers, thrilling liberal activists who have long pushed him to take a firmer stand on net neutrality.

    • Anti Net Neutrality Crowd Reaches Deep For The Craziest Possible Response To President Obama’s Call For Real Net Neutrality Rules

      Well, we already wrote about President Obama’s somewhat surprising decision to come out strongly in favor of Title II reclassification for broadband (with strong forbearance) to setup some real net neutrality rules. We also covered the unhappy response from the big broadband players who are just repeating the same talking points from the past year, claiming that they’ll suddenly stop investing in broadband and how this will kill the internet (ignoring that they already rely on Title II for a number of things, including internet infrastructure).

    • Obama tells the FCC uphold net neutrality and reclassify the internet as a utility

      US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has come out in favour of reclassifying the internet as a public utility.

      The president has stayed fairly quiet on the matter since the Open Internet Order that made up part of his election pledges was shot down in a courtroom battle with Verizon at the start of the year.

      But in a statement on Monday he said: “I’m asking the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] to reclassify internet services under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunications Act.

    • Obama shows the way on Net neutrality

      If you’ve been reading these parts for even a little while, you’re sure to have come across one of my many Net neutrality discussions. As tiresome as it has been to pound on the same podium over and over, it has been necessary — and President Obama’s very public statement asking that Internet service providers be classified under Title II is a major step in the fight for an open Internet.

      [...]

      Of course, that didn’t stop Sen. Ted Cruz from coming out with a pants-on-head stupid comment about Net neutrality being “Obamacare for the Internet.” Making a statement that amazingly dumb in public would probably have found him signed up for forced sterilization in the 1950s. It’s this kind of blatant, arrogant, willful ignorance that undermines our democracy. But enough about the dim, let’s look at the future.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XLII

      The problems of TTIP are so many – total lack of meaningful transparency, the unnecessary inclusion of an ISDS chapter, the threat to Europe’s high standards governing health, safety, the environment, labour etc. – that the agreement’s supporters have been forced to fight back with the only thing they claim to offer: money. TTIP, they argue in multiple ways, will take us to the land of milk and honey, boost the GDP massively, and lead to lots of extra dosh for every family in the EU.

    • Copyrights

      • Dotcom Loses Lawyers – Then They Erase All History of Him

        Kim Dotcom is looking for a new legal team in New Zealand after a high-profile lawfirm withdrew its services. However, what’s especially unusual is that Simpson Grierson has not only pulled out, but is also removing all references to Dotcom and Mega from its corporate site.

      • Internet Pirates Always a Step Ahead , Aussies Say

        Almost three-quarters of Australians believe that using technical measures to end Internet piracy are doomed to fail and will only lead to higher ISP bills for consumers. Those are just two of the findings of a new survey carried out by the Communications Alliance, the industry body for the Australian telecoms industry.

      • ISP Protects Subscribers From Piracy “Fishing Expedition”

        Atlanta-based Internet provider CBeyond is protesting a DMCA subpoena from the anti-piracy monitoring outfit Rightscorp. The ISP is refusing to hand over the identities behind more than a thousand IP-addresses connected to copyright infringement while declaring Rightscorp’s efforts as a frivolous fishing expedition.

      • Copyright Holders Want Pirate Bay Blocked in Sweden

        Several major movie studios and record labels have filed a lawsuit against the Swedish ISP B2, demanding that the company blocks access to The Pirate Bay. The lawsuit, which also calls for a blockade of the streaming site Swefilmer, is the first of its kind in The Pirate Bay’s home country.

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