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12.06.14

Links 7/12/2014: Typhoon Hagupit, AURORAGOLD

Posted in News Roundup at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Separating The Opportunities From The Obstacles In Open-Source Networking

    Open standards have driven the networking market since the earliest days of the Internet. While the use of open source for networking is a more recent phenomenon, it is no less important. A major industry transition to open source for software-defined networking (SDN) is under way, and users and vendors stand to benefit. Some expectations, however, may need to change.

    While the original idea behind SDN — separating the control from the data plane in network switches — has turned out to be just one of many architectural approaches that have emerged, it did catalyze massive interest in software and open source within the networking world. Things like APIs and DevOps tools became relevant to network engineers, and open source movements emerged to fulfill the need for increased automation and flexibility as organizations moved deeper into the cloud.

  • Google’s New Open Source Project Lets You Add Live Streaming to Your App

    The numbers all point to the same conclusion: When it comes to modern communication mediums, videoconferencing is becoming increasingly popular.

  • 11 open source tools to make the most of machine learning

    These 11 machine learning tools provide functionality for individual apps or whole frameworks, such as Hadoop. Some are more polyglot than others: Scikit, for instance, is exclusively for Python, while Shogun sports interfaces to many languages, from general-purpose to domain-specific.

  • Samsung’s strategic commitment to upstream open source development

    The Linux Foundation’s Linux.com website reports that Samsung’s open source group is now “hiring aggressively” and plans to double the size of the group in the coming years.

  • The 10 Coolest Open Source Apps of 2014
  • Open-source tools will benefit military and Wisconsin vehicle makers

    All of the software Negrut’s team develops will eventually be made publicly available through a website. “We believe making it all open source is the best way to ensure this transfer of technology from us to industry, where people can take advantage of the techniques and the software that we develop as part of this project, so as to foster innovation here or elsewhere in industry,” Negrut says.

  • Intel announces new Stephen Hawking speech system will be open source
  • Hawking’s speech software goes open source for disabled

    The system that helps Stephen Hawking communicate with the outside world will be made available online from January in a move that could help millions of motor neurone disease sufferers, scientists said Tuesday.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • HP Steps Up Big Data Game with Cloud-Based Helion Offering

      Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) made another significant move within the Big Data market this week with the announcement of Haven OnDemand, which brings the data analytics and app development features of the company’s Vertica and IDOL platforms to the cloud.

      The tools, which are hosted on the Helion cloud, provide access to Vertica’s data analytics functionality, as well as the capabilities of IDOL, which is designed to assist developers in building apps that leverage big data.

    • Mirantis Targets Developers with Hosted OpenStack Solution

      Mirantis is betting that ease of use and simple documentation will speed OpenStack adoption. That’s the goal behind the new “Developer Edition” of Mirantis OpenStack Express, which the company calls “the fastest and easiest way to get an OpenStack cloud.”

  • Databases

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Reclaiming the PDF from Adobe Reader

      In October, it was discovered that Adobe had removed the link to download Adobe Reader, its proprietary PDF file viewer, for use with a GNU/Linux operating system.

      While it is still possible to install Adobe Reader on GNU/Linux, Adobe’s attempts to hide access to the product for certain users is only one example of its systematic neglect of its GNU/Linux user base, and falls in line with many others as a demonstration of the importance of free software–software that no company or developer can neglect or hide. As the Windows and OSX versions of the software were developed through version 11, the GNU/Linux version was long stuck at version nine. For several years the software has lacked important features, security improvements, and support against malware attacks and other intrusions. Yet, by “locking in” Adobe Reader users and making it difficult for them to migrate to a free software PDF viewer, Adobe has, in effect, degraded the power of the PDF as a free document format, a standard the purpose of which is to be implemented by any potential piece of software and to be compatible with all. The company has abandoned the principle of program-agnostic documents, bringing about a lose-lose situation for all.

      By being led to rely on the proprietary software for tasks like sharing documents and filling out forms without the option to use a free software reader in its place, entreprises, the public sector, and institutions of higher learning have also fallen victim to this neglect, all as Adobe insidiously seeks to maintain a hold on its market share. Within institutions such as government–institutions that ought not to rely on any proprietary software, to begin with–it is concerning that Adobe Reader has often been taken to be the only option for interacting with PDF files and for communicating with the electorate.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Valve and Steam broadcasting, Dolphin emulator, and more

      Hello, open gaming fans! In this week’s edition, we take a look at Steam Broadcasting beta, the open source Dolphin emulator, QEMU’s advent calendar, and game releases for Linux.

    • An open source future for synthetic biology

      If the controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) tells us something indisputable, it is this: GMO food products from corporations like Monsanto are suspected to endanger health. On the other hand, an individual’s right to genetically modify and even synthesize entire organisms as part of his dietary or medical regimen could someday be a human right.

    • Open-source gadget lets you invent your own Internet of Things

      This is why Ville Ylläsjärvi thinks Thingsee One, the open source, Internet of Things gadget his company is Kickstarting, will have staying power. Thingsee One isn’t just a sensor-stuffed piece of hardware, it’s a developer kit for other hardware makers. “We’re solving the hardware equation for them,” he says. “Startups can develop their solution using Thingsee One, get on with tests and pilots on the field using Thingsee One, and in many cases get their first customers using Thingsee One.”

    • Open Data

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fox’s John Stossel Thinks Secondhand Smoke Isn’t Deadly

      Fox’s John Stossel claimed that “there is no good data showing secondhand smoke kills people,” ignoring years of studies and a 2014 Surgeon General report that determined millions of Americans have died as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.

    • Monsanto Seeks to Bring GM Corn to the Ukraine

      Monsanto has been making headway toward bringing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) into Ukraine. Former Ukraine President, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a proposed $17 billion loan to Ukraine from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in late 2013, because the loan required the introduction of GMO seeds and Ukrainian law bars farmers from growing GM crops. Long considered “the bread basket of Europe,” Ukraine’s rich black soil is ideal for growing grains, and in 2012 Ukrainian farmers harvested more than 20 million tons of corn.

  • Security

    • Report: 31 percent of detected threats in 2014 attributed to Conficker

      Six years after first being spotted in the wild, Conficker is still making its rounds online, and new research suggests that 31 percent of this year’s top threats involved the worm.

      Conficker capitalizes on unpatched machines that are still running Windows XP, as well as systems operating pirated versions of Windows, according to F-Secure’s Threat Report H1 2014, which identifies the top 10 threats of the first half of 2014. The countries most at risk for the worm are Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Malaysia and France.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • “U.S. Drones Kill 28 ‘Unknowns’ for Every Intended Target”
    • U.S. drones kill 28 innocents for every ‘bad guy’
    • November Drone Report: Strikes Spike in Yemen, Children Reportedly Killed in Pakistan
    • Arithmetic of Precision Drone Strikes: Kill 28 to Eliminate 1 Target
    • The Drone War: Mitigating Collateral Damage
    • A “Precise” U.S. Drone War? Report Says 28 Unidentified Victims Killed for Every 1 Target

      A new report finds U.S. drone strikes kill 28 unidentified people for every intended target. While the Obama administration has claimed its drone strikes are precise, the group Reprieve found that strikes targeting 41 people in Yemen and Pakistan have killed more than 1,000 other, unnamed people. In its attempts to kill al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri alone, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults; al-Zawahiri remains alive. We are joined by Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve and author of the new report, “You Never Die Twice: Multiple Kills in the U.S. Drone Program.”

    • Obama’s Drone Campaign: Portrait of a Failed War on Terror

      Murderous US Foreign Policy Only Recruits More Terrorists

    • Shaky drones

      The US has always dodged questions about the legality of its drone strikes by arguing on grounds of efficiency.

    • The dirty consequences of our clean wars

      The fact that only 25% of airstrikes in Iraq and 5% of airstrikes in Syria are pre-planned, with the vast majority being undertaken by aircraft and drones ‘on the fly’ (i.e. when a ‘target of opportunity’ is spotted) will no doubt impact on the number of civilian casualties killed in this air war.

    • In Yemen, al Qaeda’s Greatest Enemy Is Not America’s Friend

      Locals describe Manasa as a village, but it’s little more than a complex of houses loosely clustered around an earthen courtyard at the end of a bumpy dirt track five hours from Yemen’s capital of Sanaa.

    • Former PM slams US Vice President for comments on M’sian judiciary

      Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix) slammed US Vice President Joe Biden for his comment on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial in which he said that the appeal against the conviction was a chance for Malaysia to “promote confidence” in its judiciary.

      “The Vice President needs to look at his own country first. In America, citizens are given life sentences and they do not even know about it, the government sentences them and uses drones to kill them.

      “This is the country that is advising us about the sanctity of law? It seems that they have an ulterior motive for Anwar to become the Prime Minister,” said Mahathir.

      Biden was unusually direct about his remarks on Twitter recently saying that the Malaysian government’s use of legal system & Sedition Act to stifle the opposition raises rule of law concerns.

    • From Ferguson to Yemen: What If We Aren’t So Different After All?

      While saddened by the news out of Ferguson, Missouri this past week, I am not surprised. Once again an unarmed black teen was shot dead by an “other than” black man, and the legal industry was used to exonerate the killer. I say legal industry, because it is no longer a system of due process and equal protection, and no longer seeking justice. It is merely an industry which allows experts and insiders to use the law to further their own agenda.

    • Drone strikes kill nine in Yemen

      A suspected US drone strike in Yemen killed nine alleged al-Qaida militants early on Saturday, a security official said, as authorities continue their search for an American photojournalist held by the extremists.

    • War by media and the triumph of propaganda

      Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

      Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information, but power?

      These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.

      The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an “invisible government”. It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.

    • Navy Seeks to Practice Using Electromagnetic Radiation Weapons Over U.S. Soil

      It is estimated that enough electromagnetic radiation will be emitted to melt human eye tissue and cause breast cancer, not to mention the damage to the environment and wildlife on lands ostensibly under federal protection. The Growler planes employ electronic technology to jam enemy radar. Navy officials aim to fly training programs over U.S. lands some 260 days a year. As Jamail writes, “What is at stake is not just whether the military is allowed to use protected public lands in the Pacific Northwest for its war games, but a precedent being set for them to do so across the entire country.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The Vatican has found hundreds of millions of euro “tucked away”

      THE VATICAN’S ACCOUNTS czar said last night that he had stumbled across hundred of millions of euros “tucked away” in various accounts, describing the windfall as a relic of the papacy’s medieval but soon-to-be reformed financial set-up.

      “We have discovered that the (Vatican’s financial) situation is much healthier than it seemed,” the Australian cardinal Pell told Britain’s Catholic Herald.

  • Censorship

    • Russia Threatens To Ban BuzzFeed

      Russia has warned BuzzFeed that it will ban access to the entire site over a post published on Wednesday about a deadly gunfight in the capital of Chechnya.

      BuzzFeed received an email on Friday from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal communications agency, saying that the post “contains appeals to mass riots, extremist activities or participation in mass (public) actions held with infringement of the established order.” It cited statutes laid out by the prosecutor general’s office and said access to the site “is restricted by communications service providers in the territory of the Russian Federation.” It has given BuzzFeed 24 hours to remove the post or face a total ban.

    • Chaos Computer Club on the blocking of our website in UK

      A significant portion of British citizens are currently blocked from accessing the Chaos Computer Club’s (CCC) website. On top of that, Vodafone customers are blocked from accessing the ticket sale to this year’s Chaos Communication Congress (31C3). [1]

      Since July 2013, a government-backed so-called opt out list censors the open internet. These internet filters, authorized by Prime Minister David Cameron, are implemented by UK’s major internet service providers (ISPs). Dubbed as the “Great Firewall of Britain”, the lists block adult content as well as material related to alcohol, drugs, smoking, and even opinions deemed “extremist”.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Green activists from Ecuador harassed by police on way to climate summit

      Activists say their presence at the meeting in Peru would be embarrassing to President Rafael Correa, who wants to drill for oil in the Amazon

    • If Eric Garner’s killer can’t be indicted, what cop possibly could? It’s time to fix grand juries

      Grand juries were designed to be a check on prosecutors and law enforcement. Instead, they’ve become a corrupt shield to protect those with power and another sword to strike down those without. And it’s now all too obviously past time the system was overhauled to fix that.

    • British military base in Bahrain is a ‘reward’ for UK’s silence on human rights, say campaigners

      The Royal Navy will set up a permanent base in Bahrain, to the dismay of human rights campaigners who say the base is a “reward” for the British’s government silence over torture, attacks on peaceful protesters and arbitrary detention in the tiny kingdom.

    • Rookie NYPD officer who shot Akai Gurley in Brooklyn stairwell was texting union rep as victim lay dying

      In the six and a half minutes after Peter Liang discharged a single bullet that struck Gurley, 28, he and his partner couldn’t be reached, sources told the Daily News. And instead of calling for help for the dying man, Liang was texting his union representative. What’s more, the sources said, the pair of officers weren’t supposed to be patrolling the stairways of the Pink Houses that night.

    • SAFE hosts de-hired professor from University of Illinois

      Salaita, who was set to begin a tenured position at Illinois this fall, had his job offer retracted after a number of donors, students and faculty at the school contended that he was anti-Semitic.

    • The Police in America Are Becoming Illegitimate

      Nobody’s willing to say it yet. But after Ferguson, and especially after the Eric Garner case that exploded in New York yesterday after yet another non-indictment following a minority death-in-custody, the police suddenly have a legitimacy problem in this country.

    • Man who filmed Eric Garner in chokehold says grand jury was rigged

      Ramsey Orta — who recorded the July 17 incident in which Officer Daniel Pantaleo put Eric Garner in a chokehold shortly before he died on his cellphone — told the Daily News the grand jury ‘wasn’t fair from the start,’ and claims his testimony only lasted 10 minutes. ‘I think they already had their minds made up,’ he said.

    • Sunday Explainer: The unprecedented immigration powers awarded to Scott Morrison

      In the words of Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir, the upper house was faced with a choice between a “bad decision or a worse decision”. He opted for what he decided was the former, and gave the government the final vote it needed for the controversial Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment bill to pass the Senate, 34 votes to 32. The amended legislation was then rushed through the House of Representatives, which was due to have its final sitting day of the year on Thursday, but returned on Friday to pass it into law in just 12 minutes.

    • Stephen Colbert Slams Fox News’ Willful Ignorance On Race Relations

      Colbert: Non-Indictments For Police Shootings Could Be Seen “As Part Of A Larger Troubling Trend. Or, You Could Be Fox News.”

    • Violence erupts in Greece

      A march through central Athens to mark the sixth anniversary of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager quickly turned violent Saturday, as marchers damaged store fronts and bus stations, and set fire to clothes looted from a shop.

      Clashes also broke out between police and demonstrators marching through the northern city of Thessaloniki. At night, police fired tear gas and stun grenades after a crowd of marchers beat up two plainclothes policemen there.

    • As protests mount, Athens braces for the worst

      For more than 20 days now, 21-year-old anarchist Nikos Romanos has been on hunger strike, demanding prison leave to attend lectures after he passed university entrance exams.

    • Theresa May’s child sexual abuse inquiry faces new storm

      Two members of Theresa May’s panel inquiring into child sex abuse are facing calls to resign after being accused of sending threatening or insulting emails to victims who had criticised the inquiry.

      Lawyers for one abuse survivor have written to the home secretary to complain of a string ofunsolicited communications, including an allegedly threatening email sent two days before an official meeting that both panellists and an abuse survivor were due to attend.

    • Body Cameras Worn by Police Officers Are No ‘Safeguard of Truth,’ Experts Say

      Michael Brown’s family, on the night of the Ferguson grand jury decision, called for all police in the United States to wear body cameras.

      Mayor Bill de Blasio, in announcing that some of New York’s police officers would begin wearing them, said “body cameras are one of the ways to create a real sense of transparency and accountability.”

      And on Monday, President Obama said he would request $75 million in federal funds to distribute 50,000 body cameras to police departments nationwide, saying they would improve police relations with the public.

    • Kerry Puts Brakes on CIA Torture Report

      Secretary of State John Kerry personally phoned Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Friday morning to ask her to delay the imminent release of her committee’s report on CIA torture and rendition during the George W. Bush administration, according to administration and Congressional officials.

      [...]

      But those concerns are not new, and Kerry’s 11th-hour effort to secure a delay in the report’s release places Feinstein in a difficult position: She must decide whether to set aside the administration’s concerns and accept the risk, or scuttle the roll-out of the investigation she fought for years to preserve.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

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