12.14.14

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Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Highest Performance ARM Desktop Ever

      That’s the claim CompuLab (the folks who gave us TrimSlice) makes about their Utilite2 device. I think they are very close to being truthful. Performance is not just about the network, the CPU, the graphics, and RAM. It’s about how it all works together. TrimSlice has a winner every way except in RAM. These days, 2gB is limiting, even for browsing the web. Modern browsers like FireFox and Chrome cache so much stuff and Chrome preloads pages that a user might click, that the browser takes all available RAM and performance drops off in 2gB. On my system, with 4gB RAM and hundreds of processes, Chrome is taking gigabytes of virtual memory and sometimes causes swapping if I have a dozen pages open.

  • Kernel Space

    • MIPS Has An “Unusually Large Pull” For Linux 3.19 Kernel

      The MIPS architecture improvements and new features for the Linux 3.19 kernel are aplenty due to many MIPS patches not being merged for Linux 3.18 and then aside from that a lot of developers sending in lots of new work.

      Among the MIPS changes for Linux 3.19 are:

      - Debug improvements like better backtraces on SMP systems and improving the backtrace code used by oprofile.

      - Octeon platform code clean-ups.

    • XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do

      It seems that a good number of Linux users who despise systemd as an init manager have a lot of time on their hands… From making websites bashing systemd, forking distributions over their position of using systemd, personal attacks against systemd developers, to writing page after page of forum comments about negative points of systemd. There’s now even an anti-systemd game.

      XLennart is the anti-systemd game that’s a modification of the XBill game. The game is self-described as “a hacker named, ‘Lennart’ who has created the ultimate computer virus that is cleverly disguised as a popular init system. XLennart is commentary on a certain Linux/Unix topic, but I’ll let you figure out which one.”

    • Blk-mq Gets Further Improved With Linux 3.19, NVME Gets Ported

      On Saturday, Jens Axboe then sent in the block driver updates for Linux 3.19. After having gone through many code revisions, the NVMe block driver was converted to being a blk-mq driver. The blk-mq-based NVMe driver implementation is simpler and will hopefully offer greater performance too. The NVMe Linux kernel driver is responsible for supporting storage devices using the NVM Express specification with solid-state drives attached via the PCI Express bus.

    • Btrfs For Linux 3.19 Has Improved RAID 5/6 Support

      Btrfs maintainer and Facebook employee Chris Mason sent in his Btrfs file-system updates for the Linux 3.19 merge window.

    • STI DRM Improvements Coming For Linux 3.19

      Beyond the DRM graphics improvements for Linux 3.19 affecting the most common kernel graphics drivers, the STI driver will too see improvements for this next kernel version.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krita 2.9: First Beta Released!

        Last week, the first preparations for the next Krita release started with the creation of the first Krita 2.9 beta release: Krita 2.9 Beta 1. This means that we’ve stopped adding new features to the codebase, and are now focusing on making Krita 2.9 as stable as possible.

        We’ve come a long way since March, when we released Krita 2.8! Thanks to the enthusiastic support of many, many users, here and on kickstarter, Krita 2.9 has a huge set of cool new features, improvements and refinements.

      • Krita 2.9 Is Now In Beta With Many Improvements

        KDE’s Krita graphics editing / digital painting program is now in beta for its upcoming v2.9 series.

        Krita 2.9 Beta 1 marks the end of feature development with now the focus on being stability ahead of the official Krita 2.9 release.

      • Calligra 2.9 Beta Released

        We’re pleased to present you the first beta release in 2.9 series of Calligra Suite for testing! We will focus on fixing issues including those that you’d report. All thus to make the final release of 2.9 expected in January 2015 as stable as possible!

        When you update many improvements and a few new features will be installed, mostly in Kexi and Krita as well as general ones. Finally in 2.9 a new app, Calligra Gemini, appears. Read below to see why it may be of interest to you.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Tanglu 2 (Bartholomea annulata) released!

        We are glad to announce the availability of the second release of Tanglu, codename “Bartholomea”.

        This release contains a large amount of updated packages, and ships with the latest release of KDE 4 and GNOME.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux across heterogeneous environments

        In 2014, Red Hat launched Red Hat® Satellite 6, a new version of its classic Red Hat Enterprise Linux® life-cycle management solution. It includes some of the best in open system-management technology and a flexible architecture to manage scale from bare-metal to virtualized environments, and in public and private clouds.

      • Fedora

        • New Features Proposed For Fedora 22

          Beyond the potential feature of Fedora’s X.Org input stack using libinput, there’s been several other features proposed for the next Fedora Linux release.

          Among the proposed Fedora 22 changes that have to still be approved by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) include:

          - Upgrading to Ruby on Rails 4.2 but that might even change to be a request for Ruby on Rails 5.

          - The ability to provide UEFI Secure Boot Blacklist Updates.

        • How to install Fedora: Hands-on with Anaconda installer

          Fedora 21 was released this week and it looks like a great release so far, but one area where Fedora can be challenging for a new user is installation. Fedora developers decided to move away from the time-tested wizard-like installer where the user takes various steps in linear order ensuring none of the important steps is missed, instead adopting the hub & spoke model.

          While I appreciate the good intentions of UX designers and developers there are a couple of flaws in the installer that make the whole process a bit, I would say, complicated.

        • 5tFTW: Five Fedora 21 FAQs

          After Tuesday’s awesomely successful launch of Fedora 21, this Five Things in Fedora This Week covers a few questions that I’ve been asked a lot, by the press and by users who haven’t been following Fedora development closely. I hope this will clear up some of the concerns, and as always I’m happy to discuss further in comments, email, IRC, social media, or in person.

        • Heroes of Fedora QA: Fedora 21

          With Fedora 21 out the door and into the wild, I’ve finally had time to gather stats on who contributed to the Fedora QA efforts. With each milestone release (and usually each quarter), QA likes to give a big shout out to those who made things possible. Fedora 21 was a departure from past releases and gave the whole of the Fedora community a lot of new processes to create and improve. Instead of one single release product, we tested and released 3 products – Workstation, Server and Cloud. Each of these required some additional testing which QA hadn’t had to do for previous releases.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.0 Jessie – GNU/Linux vs. GNU/kFreeBSD Benchmarks

        Here’s our latest benchmark results comparing the performance of Debian Jessie GNU/Linux vs. GNU/kFreeBSD — the Debian port that uses the FreeBSD kernel rather than Linux.

        The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port is now shipping with the FreeBSD 10.1 kernel by default and aside from that has most of the standard GNU utilities and user-land supported by Debian GNU/Linux. GCC 4.9.1 is the default compiler and UFS is the default file-system for GNU/kFreeBSD.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Using encryption on Android – A rant

          Not every email client for Android out there supports encryption; and when it does, it does not work like Enigmail: you must first install the email client, set it up; then install an app that enables the use of GPG (APG or GnuPG for Android); then you have supposedly and through a reasonably secure process sent your full GPG keys to your phone (SD card or the internal memory).

Free Software/Open Source

  • How And Why The World Is Trending Towards Open Source

    So, what is the big deal with open source software? Besides the fact that it’s free, and it gives you all of the freedoms without all of the licensing restrictions. The business agility open source offers is quickly eroding the main stream. In a 2013 survey with over 800 participants from both vendor and non-vendor communities it was reported that open source software has matured to such an extent that it now influences everything from innovation to collaboration among competitors to hiring practices.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open or Fauxpen? Use the OSS Watch Openness Rating tool to find out

        This is the question that OSS Watch, in partnership with Pia Waugh, developed the Openness Rating to help you find out.

        Using a series of questions covering legal issues, governance, standards, knowledge sharing and market access, the tool helps you to identify potential problem areas for users, contributors and partners.

        Unlike earlier models designed to evaluate open source projects, this model can also be applied to both open and closed source software products.

        We’ve used the Openness Rating internally at OSS Watch for several years as a key part of our consultancy work, but this is the first time we’ve made the app itself open for anyone to use. It requires a fair bit of knowledge to get the most out of it, but even at a basic level its useful for highlighting questions that a project needs to be able to answer.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Backed Pack: An open source platform, sensor & tablet

      Mono is an open source, programmable platform designed to test ideas out on. The tiny device comes equipped with a 2.2″ TFT touch display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an accelerometer, and a temperature sensor. Mono is a gadget as much as it is a development platform. As such, it can act as an interface for other custom ideas, or act on its own. By downloading tailored apps from the MonoKiosk app store, Mono can act as a one-touch light for Phillips Hue connected bulbs, or can display weather forecasts, for example.

  • Programming

    • Sharing What You Love Or Hate About PHP

      I largely agree with both aforementioned articles about the PHP. Many of those reasons are why Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org are written in PHP and those together amount to well over one hundred thousand lines of code. I’ve also written many other projects in PHP from PHXCMS that powers Phoronix.com to Reside@HOME. Other things I like about PHP is the easy deployment across platforms, PHP being widely packaged by many distributions/OSes, the built-in web server, it easily allows for sharing code for CLI programs and web processes, etc. Facebook’s HHVM also makes things even more exciting with improvements to the language itself while being delivered at faster speeds, etc.

Leftovers

  • Amazon 1p glitch: Software error sees hundreds of items sold for fractions of their value

    A software error on the Amazon website has seen hundreds of items sold for just 1p, potentially costing retailers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    The glitch affected prices between 7pm and 8pm on Friday, and involved firms who use the tool RepricerExpress.

    On its website, the software company promises to “auto-optimise” prices on behalf of retailers, allowing them to “sell more and keep listings competitive 24/7 without constant attention”.

  • Science

    • Artificial life expert: We are in danger of losing control of our technology and our lives

      Future technology will be more intelligent and more living than most people can imagine today. We need clear guidelines on how to implement and use technology, or else citizens will lose their rights to their identity and their life. This is the prediction by Danish professor and expert in artificial life in a new international book about the future of technology.

      It is already happening every day: States, intelligence services, Facebook, Google and smartphones collect detailed data about everything in our lives: Our job situation, our sexual orientation, which movements and political views we support and what events we participate in. Governments and security services store our emails and phone calls and they know where we are and when. Authorities monitor how much we pay in taxes and have access to our medical records.

    • FACT SHEET: New Commitments to Support Computer Science Education

      Last year, to kick off Computer Science Education Week, President Obama issued a call to action to students, teachers, businesses, foundations, and non-profit organizations to join the growing grassroots campaign to support computer science education in K-12 schools.

      The President encouraged Americans from all backgrounds to get involved in mastering the technology that is changing the way we do just about everything, and he encouraged millions of students to learn the skills that are becoming increasingly relevant to our economy.

  • Security

    • Sony Was Hacked in February and Chose to Stay Silent

      Sony says the recent breach of its servers and weeklong cyber humiliation is an “unprecedented” strike and an “unparalleled crime.” If they’re shocked by these events, they’ve been shocked for almost a year: leaked emails obtained by Gawker show security troubles dating back to February.

    • Sony Planned to Flood Torrent Sites With “Promo” Torrents

      Sony Pictures’ TV network AXN developed a guerrilla marketing campaign to convert users of The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and other torrent sites to paying customers. The company planned to flood torrent sites with promos for the premiere Hannibal disguised as pirated copies of the popular TV-show.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • You fly over foreign lands, maybe kill people, then drive home for dinner

      It’s an odd quirk of modern warfare than when a bomb falls in Yemen or Iraq, the person who dropped it might be able finish her mission and be back home for dinner — in Nevada.

    • America Trades Torture for Drones
    • The Senate Is Done Investigating Torture. Will Drone Killings Be Next?
    • After Torture, Will the Senate Begin Investigating Drone Killings?
    • Will Congress Investigate Drone Killings Next?

      In the aftermath of the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report focused on Bush-era techniques, the Obama administration’s own counterterrorism practices are coming under increased scrutiny.

      Gruesome details of forced rectal feedings without medical necessity, waterboarding, and sleep deprivation were chronicled in the report’s executive summary, dredging up harsh practices employed during the George W. Bush administration. But on Capitol Hill, Republicans charge that the Central Intelligence Agency’s approach to counterterrorism has not grown more humane—it’s merely shifted.

    • How U.S. Officials and Congress Have Defended Drone Strikes in Light of the Torture Report

      Q: And finally, has the President ever sought a formal assessment from the intelligence community about whether the drone program is a net asset, either because of our moral authority, or in terms of creating more enemies than it takes off the battlefield?

      MR. EARNEST: Well, I’m not aware of any intelligence assessment like this. You can certainly check with the office of the Director of National Intelligence to see if they’re aware of anything like this that they could talk to you about.

      QUESTION: Your agency is involved in overseeing the drone program in which we know, from the government’s own statements, you know, that there have been some civilians, innocent civilians, killed alongside terrorists. I’m wondering if you feel that there’s enough control over those programs and that we’re not going to be here in a few years with another director having to answer these same questions about the loss of trust from the public, from policymakers.

      BRENNAN: I’m not going to talk about any type of operational activity that this agency is involved in currently. I’m just not going to do it. I will tell you, though, that during my tenure at the White House, as the president’s assistant for counterterrorism, that the use of these unmanned aerial vehicles that you refer to as drones in the counterterrorism effort has done tremendous work to keep this country safe. The ability to use these platforms and advanced technologies, it has advanced the counterterrorism mission and the U.S. military has done some wonderful things with these platforms. And in terms of precision of effort, accuracy and making sure that this country, this country’s military does everything possible to minimize to the great extent possible the loss of life of noncombatants, I think there’s a lot for this country and this White House and the military to be proud of.

    • Torture “Architect” Mistaken in Claim Nobody’s Punished for Drone Murders

      A psychologist who played a key role in a U.S. torture program said on a video yesterday that torture was excusable because blowing up families with a drone is worse (and nobody’s punished for that). Well, of course the existence of something worse is no excuse for torture. And he’s wrong that no one is punished for drone murders.

    • One of The Stringer’s peace activist writers sentenced to a Missouri prison

      A Missouri judge convicted and sentenced two peace activists for protesting drone warfare at Whiteman Air Force Base. In Missouri’s Jefferson City, on Human Rights Day, December 10, a federal magistrate found Georgia Walker, of Kansas City, and Kathy Kelly of Chicago guilty of criminal trespass to a military installation as a result of their June 1 effort to deliver a loaf of bread and a citizens’ indictment of drone warfare to authorities at the Whiteman Air Force Base.

    • How to Lose a War on Terror

      The good news is that, to win, we need only to be our best selves. The things that we bring to the table—respect for human rights, dignity, compassion, and the rule of law—are the things that most people want. They are the values that millions of people in the Arab world have so recently fought for and demonstrated to achieve. We cannot afford to treat as casualties of a phony war the very principles through which we might someday win the real one.

    • America Is Nigeria’s Enemy

      In any case, Prof. Akinyemi and Ambassador Keshi, by virtue of their service at senior levels of the diplomatic corps and their international contacts, are well-placed to know what sort of duplicitous game the US is playing with the Boko Haram situation.

      So, it is not just about me or my taxi driver sitting in the relative comfort of a “tokunbo” car, driving on a well-made road coming up with conspiracy theories. The facts are self-evident: when it comes to the war the Nigerian state is currently fighting with the Boko Haram terrorists, the United States of America is not our friend, but a dangerous enemy trying to achieve its prediction of Nigeria disintegrating by 2015.

      It is now left for all Nigerians to stand together and speak with one voice against our common enemy. The US will continue using groups like Amnesty International to flog its biased human rights violations stories, but Nigerians must remember if we allow the US to succeed in its plan to disintegrate Nigeria, we will no longer have a country to call our own and at that point all of us will have absolutely no rights whatsoever! As such, we must stand united against this common enemy.

    • U.S. SCUTTLED NEGOTIATIONS TO FREE AMERICAN KILLED IN YEMEN

      But according to several sources in Yemen, Somers was not in immediate danger prior to the first raid launched to free him last month. Two of those sources also claim that the United States thwarted attempts by a meditator to negotiate his release by paying a ransom.

    • Times Writers Group: America’s intervention yields hate

      Some nations and organizations negotiate release of their hostages and sometimes pay ransom. The United States does not.

      [...]

      Not negotiating with hostage takers and not paying ransom have not discouraged hostage-taking either.

    • Why are Americans such cowards?

      Drones are the ultimate manifestation of America’s newfound risk aversion. After more than 12 years of remote-controlled aerial killer robot warfare, the statistics are undeniable: Unmanned aerial vehicles are an ridiculously sloppy assassination method that kills anywhere from 28 to 49 times more innocent civilians than targeted alleged terrorists. With the myth of accuracy thoroughly debunked, drones remain popular with the public for one reason: They don’t expose American soldiers to return fire.

    • If you are the US, you can get away with anything. Even torture.

      States exist for their own well-being. They have their self-interests. Domestic and foreign policies define and dictate state acts and omissions on the world stage. In the post 9/11 order, state-to-state interaction has undergone an incredible amount of change with the entire gamut of international relations now at the mercy of a few role players. The United States of America, of course, holds the centre stage, in a global effort against the spread of religious fanaticism and waging a war on terrorism.

    • How the US provides inspiration for terrorists groups like ISIS

      “Therefore the people need to know what is being done in their name so that the people, the citizens, can maintain a certain value system in public life that reflects what is written in their Declaration of Independence,” Khouri says, “so it’s a very difficult but very important moment for the United States. This is a very American moment.”

    • Cheney on torture report: Saddam Hussein ‘had a 10-year relationship with al-Qaida’

      His statement runs counter to at least two major official inquiries.

      The 9/11 Commission, an independent, bipartisan body created by Congress and Bush, had the job of writing a complete account of the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Among its tasks: Examine the ties between al-Qaida and Hussein’s regime.

      The commission found isolated contacts over the years between Iraq and al-Qaida terrorists but nothing more. The commission released its report in 2004.

    • Cheney: ‘I’d do it again in a minute’

      Former Vice President Dick Cheney unapologetically pressed his defense of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques Sunday, insisting that waterboarding and other such tactics did not amount to torture and that the spy agency’s actions paled in comparison to those of terrorists targeting Americans.

      “Torture, to me … is an American citizen on his cellphone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York on 9/11,” Cheney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “There’s this notion that there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stop short of torture.”

    • Dick Cheney Says Forced Rectal Feedings Were for “Medical Reasons”

      On Sunday, former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to variously claim that the CIA’s torture program wasn’t torture, that he’d do it again “in a minute,” and that 9/11 was the real torture.

      He also defended the forced rectal feedings detailed in this week’s shocking Senate report (and denounced by one physician as “sexual assault masquerading as medical treatment”), saying, “I believe it was done for medical reasons.”

    • Dick Cheney insists ‘rectal feeding’ was for medical reasons, not torture in defence of CIA
    • Cheney on CIA interrogations: ‘I’d do it again in a minute’

      Senior Bush administration officials Sunday slammed the Senate study on the CIA’s use of brutal interrogation tactics and defended the techniques as necessary to get information from senior Al Qaeda operatives who had stopped talking to interrogators.

  • Finance

    • Bernie Sanders unveils plan to break up Wall Street banks

      Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to introduce new legislation to break up Wall Street banks and prevent them from using the the House-passed spending bill to engage in the kind of investments that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

      The Independent senator from Vermont used Saturday’s Senate session to outline a proposal that he believes would combat spending bill provisions meant to “gut” financial reforms passed by Congress in 2010.

  • Privacy

    • How Much Will Facebook’s TOS Change Affect You?
    • UAV industry awaits FAA rulings

      The FAA is working on rules that would establish conservative regulations on commercial use of UAVs (the industry would prefer that no one call them drones any more), but those working to develop the industry in Nevada say they’re not worried.

    • Big Brother & Smartphone Driver’s Licenses

      Sure, the phone license app might be offered as a option at first, but how long until it becomes a requirement and old fashioned plastic licenses are no longer available? This would mean that anybody who wants to drive a car, at least in Iowa, would have to invest in a certified NSA ready smartphone and data plan. If this sounds far fetched, think of the amount of required government paperwork that’s now only available online and sometimes must be filled in and filed from a computer.

    • Secret surveillance of Norway’s leaders detected

      Norway’s major secrets are being administered here, right in the centre of Oslo. A number of the most important state institutions are situated within a radius of one kilometer: The Prime minister’s office, the Ministry of defence, Stortinget (parliament) and the central bank, Norges Bank. Ministers, state secretaries, members of parliament, state officials, business executives and other essential staff engaged in protecting the nation’s security, our military and our oil wealth – totalling more than 6000 billion kroner (NOK) – are working within this area.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked to Block Competitors

      A former iTunes engineer testified in a federal antitrust case against Apple Friday that he worked on a project “intended to block 100% of non-iTunes clients” and “keep out third-party players” that competed with Apple’s iPod.

      Plaintiffs subpoenaed the engineer, Rod Schultz, to show that Apple tried to suppress rivals to iTunes and iPods. They argue that Apple’s anticompetitive actions drove up the prices for iPods from 2006 to 2009; they’re seeking $350 million in damages, which could be tripled under antitrust laws.

      Schultz testified in an untucked dress shirt and leather jacket, saying he was an unwilling witness. “I did not want to be talking about” his work on iTunes from 2006-2007, part of which was code-named “Candy,” he said.

      The plaintiffs sought to submit a 2012 academic paper Schultz wrote citing “a secret war” Apple fought with iTunes hackers. In the paper, he wrote, “Apple was locking the majority of music downloads to its devices.” Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers did not admit the paper as evidence in the case.

      Outside the courtroom Schultz said the early work of his former team reflected the digital-music market’s need for copyright protections of songs. Later, though, he said it created “market dominance” for the iPod. Schultz left Apple in 2008.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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    Sirius Open Source is nowhere as popular as it wants people to think



  30. Sirius 'Open Source' Lists 15 People as Staff, But Only 6 Work in the Company

    Sirius Open Source is nowhere as big as it wants people to believe (like it is a trans-Atlantic thriving firm, the “Sirius Group”)


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