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12.16.14

Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ten Linux Desktops Showing How Windows and Mac OS X Designs Are Trapped in the Past

    When people think about Linux, they usually imagine old desktops and terminals running in full screen. The truth is that the platform has evolved tremendously in the past few years and it’s safe to say that it’s well above anything done by Microsoft and Apple.

  • Linux Malware vs Phishing Schemes

    For years now, we’ve been told about the dangers of how various types of malware like worms and other threats were going to catch the growing Linux user base off guard. As of the year 2014, nothing remotely close to this has happened. Malware exists, but for desktop Linux users, it’s a non-issue.

    Despite this fact, there continues to be rumors that malware “could” affect desktop Linux users. It seems the mere “threat” holds greater proof of concept than the reality that no one is actually seeing malware threats on their Linux desktop.

    In this article, I’ll examine current threats to the Linux desktop and explain why I believe phishing is far more dangerous to most Linux users than malware.

  • Turn Your Old Computer into a Gaming Console with LinuxConsole 2.3 OS

    LinuxConsole is an operating system built for older computers with the aim of transforming those PCs in Linux gaming consoles. A new upgrade for this distro has been made available right now and it comes with a number of important updates.

  • 2015 will be the year Linux takes over the enterprise (and other predictions)

    Jack Wallen removes his rose-colored glasses and peers into the crystal ball to predict what 2015 has in store for Linux.

  • Welcome to the 2014 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards

    Welcome to the 2014 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards. The categories have been chosen, the nominees have been posted and I’m happy to announce that the polls are now open. To vote, visit http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi…ce-awards-113/ and select your entry in each category. If you have any suggestions for additions or modifications to poll nominees, please post in the thread for the poll in question. Any general suggestions should be posted in this thread.

  • What will happen to Linux in 2015?
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.19 Features Set to Surface in 2015

      Linux 3.19 will be the first new Linux kernel of 2015 and it’s already shaping up to be chock full of interesting bits. The merge window for Linux 3.19 hasn’t yet closed, but the first set of Git Pulls shows lots of activity.

      Human Interface Devices (HID) get a boost in the Linux 3.19 release cycle. Among the interesting bits is support for Microsoft’s Surface Pro. This isn’t full support for running Linux on a Surface Pro device.

    • BLD Kernel Scheduler Updated For Linux 3.19

      The Barbershop Load Distribution (BLD) CPU load distribution technique has been updated for the mainline Linux 3.18 kernel.

      BLD is the out-of-tree scheduler that’s been around for nearly three years and continues to be updated for new kernel releases as a scheduler that works well for SMP systems but not NUMA systems.

    • Pay For Faster Linux Kernel Performance? There’s Patches For That

      The “eXt73″ patch-set aspires to yield faster kernel performance and better power efficiency. Independent benchmarks published of the eXt73 patch-set indicate faster performance out of the patched Linux kernel, but these patches do come at a cost for end-users.

    • Linux Foundation Announces Biannual Individual Membership Drive and New $100 Certification Discount for Members

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, today announced its biannual Individual Membership Drive in which the organization will donate $25 to Free Geek for each new member who joins today through January 16, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Individual members of The Linux Foundation help advance the Linux operating system and support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds.

    • NFTables 0.4 Released As Eventual IPTables Successor

      Work is still underway in a steadfast manner for NFTables as an eventual replacement to IPTables for packet filtering on Linux. Released today was NFTables v0.4 with functionality offered as of the Linux 3.18 kernel.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver

        With an AMD A10-7850K Kaveri APU with Radeon R7 Graphics running on Ubuntu 14.10, the following Radeon Linux driver configurations were tested:

        - Ubuntu 14.10 following a clean install with the Linux 3.16 kernel, xf86-video-ati 7.4.0, and Mesa 10.3.0.

        - Ubuntu 14.10 with the Oibaf PPA enabled plus using the Linux 3.18 stable kernel from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA. The updated user-space components via the Oibaf PPA were xf86-video-ati 7.5.99 and Mesa 10.5-devel Git. This is basically a look at the latest open-source AMD Radeon graphics code for the Kaveri APU.

        - Switching Ubuntu 14.10 back to the Linux 3.16 kernel and then enabling the fglrx-updates driver in the Ubuntu Utopic archive that provides fglrx 14.20.7 / OpenGL 4.4.12968.

        - Upgrading the Ubuntu 14.10 system to using the new Catalyst 14.12 Omega driver — fglrx 14.50.2 / OpenGL 4.4.13283

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Efl and Elementary 1.12.2 releases

      Here is another update for the 1.12.x series for EFL and Elementary, courtesy of the EFL team. The Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) is the prefered native development framework for Tizen and provides all the libraries you need to create powerful applications.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Overview of Qt3D 2.0 – Part 1

        Back in the days when Qt was owned by Nokia, a development team in Brisbane had the idea of making it easy to incorporate 3D content into Qt applications. This happened around the time of the introduction of the QML language and technology stack, and so it was only natural that Qt3D should also have a QML based API in addition to the more traditional C++ interface like other frameworks within Qt.

      • KDAB Provides An Overview Of Qt3D 2.0

        The next-generation Qt3D component to the Qt tool-kit is finally starting to come together.

      • KDE Plasma 5.1.2 Released
      • Plasma 5.1.2 Bugfix Release

        Plasma 5.1.2 is the December output from our desktop team. It’s a bugfix release which adds several dozen fixes and the latest translations.

      • 2014.12.16: Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.0 Released!

        The Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new TDE R14.0.0 release. The Trinity Desktop Environment is a complete software desktop environment designed for Unix-like operating systems, intended for computer users preferring a traditional desktop model, and is free/libre software.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Pearl Linux MATE Wants to Offer the Ultimate Mac OS X Clone, Fails Miserably

      Pearl Linux MATE is a new Linux distro that aims to provide an experience similar to that of Mac OS X. It’s based on Ubuntu MATE and it’s not really good. In fact, it might be a good example of how not to make an OS.

    • Tanglu 2 Offers Classic GNOME and KDE Desktop with the Help of Debian – Gallery

      Tanglu, a Linux distribution based on Debian that provides a classic GNOME and KDE desktop experience, has finally reached version 2.0 and is now available for download.

    • Best Xfce distro of 2014

      You know the drill. ‘Tis a fun drill. We vote for the best distribution plus its associated desktop environment, of the year. Several days back, we discussed KDE, and today, we will talk about Xfce, the desktop that broke through the thick sheet of irrelevance like a nuclear submarine surfacing from underneath the arctic ice caps, and became one of the leading choices for Linux users out there.

      Sure, we cannot disregard Unity, or Cinnamon, but those are singular choices for particular distributions, whereas Xfce happily abides in many a developer house. What’s more, it’s grown and matured and become pretty and more than just useful, while still being perfectly capable of reviving old machines as well as being posh and modern on the latest hardware. And that’s why we are doing this little contest here. Our players for this round are, in no particular order.

    • Why is the Number of Linux Distros Declining?

      The number of Linux distributions is declining. In 2011, the Distrowatch database of active Linux distributions peaked at 323. Currently, however, it lists only 285. However, exactly why the decline is taking place and how much it matters remains unclear.

    • Reviews

      • Kali Linux review

        There are two separate conclusions to this review. No, three. First, do not trust everything your friends say. Second, T400 is still unusable in the Linux world. Three, Kali seems like a very nice security distribution. However, just by using it, you won’t become an expert. That’s the prerequisite actually.

        Compared to BackTrack, which it succeeded, Kali feels a little more complete, more robust, even though both distros have the same focus and balance on normal, daily usability and forensics. This is a good thing. Moreover, it offers a wealth of hacking and analysis tools that can not only help you audit and secure your environment, but also learn a whole lot about the network stack and command line usage.

        A free bonus. If you’re a professional or an enthusiast with a interest in the realm of digital security, you might want to give this operating system its due spin, even though it may not magically fix your Wireless. That’s a lesson for me. For you, the fun part of exploring, testing and learning. Take care.

      • Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 – a desktop Debian distribution

        Overall, my experiences with the latest version of Parsix GNU/Linux made a poor impression. Some of the issues were certainly hardware related and may not affect other users, but several appeared to be poor design/implementation decisions or a result of bugs missed during testing. I’d also like to see the Parsix distribution offer a wider range of editions to provide a wider variety of desktop environments out of the box. Perhaps a different desktop environment would have offered a more stable and more responsive experience.

    • New Releases

      • CYBORG HAWK LINUX

        The most advanced, powerful and yet beautiful penetration testing distribution ever created.Lined up with ultimate collection of tools for pro Ethical Hackers and Cyber Security Experts.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • 2015 Predictions and Coming Attractions

          As 2014 draws to a close a few folks are looking ahead to 2015. Jack Wallen pens his predictions for Linux next year. Phoronix has gathered a few Fedora 22 tidbits and OMG!Ubuntu! has some for Ubuntu 15.04. Dedoimedo.com reviews Kali Linux and the Hecktic Geek tests Fedora 21. And finally today, Dedoimedo picks his top Xfce distro of the year.

        • Fedora 21 Review: Conveys a Fantastic ‘GNOME Classic’ Experience

          The Fedora community took almost a year for developing and releasing the version 21. Though I am not exactly clear of the exact reasons for this delay, after using the default Gnome 3 spin for a couple of days, I must say ‘the wait’ was worth waiting for, after all, “all good things take time”.

          However, first it is worth noting that I have an immense respect for the Gnome desktop developers for they have mastered some aspects of the art of simple, intuitive & lightweight software design, though, because they have little regard for what the end-users have to say, in their arrogance, have over simplified things and rendered it, from a certain outlook, useless (this is my opinion only).

          But as proven by Nature, the successful counterbalance for such ignorance is usually acquired through the act of intervention by a higher force. And luckily for end-users like me, RedHat intervened (a while ago) and demanded that they develop a desktop interface that is similar to the old ‘Gnome Classic’. And so they did, and not that it fixed all the over simplifications of individual applications, I consider it to be reasonably enough, enough to the extent where I could at least consider using it (again, I can only speak for myself).

        • Fedora Developer Roundtable | LAS 343

          We talk with five developers from the Fedora project behind some of the recent amazing work that has seen a major milestone release in Fedora 21, treating Fedora more as a product & laying the groundwork for amazing future technologies.

        • Fedora 21 : Video Overview and Screenshot Tours
        • Fedora 22 Will Not Be Released Before 19 May 2015

          For the Fedora 22 schedule in its current form on the Wiki, the Fedora 22 Alpha release will come no earlier than 10 March, the beta release no earlier than 14 April, the final Fedora 22 Freeze no earlier than 5 May, and the official Fedora 22 release no earlier than 19 May.

        • Heroes of Fedora QA: Fedora 21 – Part 2
    • Debian Family

      • Editing Debian online with sources.debian.net

        How cool would it be to fix that one bug you just found without having to download a source package? and without leaving your browser?

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 15.04 to Include GNOME 3.14, Updates to Default Apps

            It may sound like a small update but it should have a big impact on the lives of developers and users alike: Ubuntu 15.04 will ship with GTK 3.14.

            Released with the rest of the GNOME stack back in September, the latest and greatest version of the desktop and underlying technologies missed out on inclusion in Ubuntu 14.10.

          • Debian vs Ubuntu: How Far Has Ubuntu Come in 10 Years?

            Ubuntu recently released 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”, which coincides with the fact that Ubuntu is now 10 years old! The king of Linux distributions has come a long way since its inception in 2004, so it’s a good idea to go down memory lane and take a look at the journey it has gone through so far. We’ll also take a look at how it has developed differently to Debian, the distribution upon which it is based.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • High traffic on the package repositories

              Our main repository packages.linuxmint.com isn’t currently able to serve connections to everybody. This can result in errors, timeouts and delays in apt-get, and in your update manager.

            • Monthly News – November 2014

              The release of the Cinnamon and MATE editions of Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” were very well received. We were excited to unveil what we had worked on since the previous release and continuing to work on the same package base was a breeze. It was fun also to see people upgrade to 17.1 with ease, that went really well as well. We’re getting close to the end of the year though so I hope we’ll get the opportunity to talk about 17.1 and design topics again, but for now I’d like to touch a few words on the Xfce and KDE editions. We’re expecting their release candidates to be available next week. Only minor bugs remain and we’re confident they’ll pass QA very easily. KDE was upgraded to 4.14 and MDM received support for KDE Wallet (the wallet is now created and opened in the background, so no user interaction is necessary). Xfce was given out-of-the-box support for Compiz (just like in the MATE edition), Xfburn received Blu-ray support, the Whisker menu was upgraded and the default configuration was refined. The stable release for these two editions was estimated for the end of December but the RCs are a few days late, Christmas and the New Year will certainly eat a few days and there are items in the roadmap which were postponed but might come back into 17.1 as the dev. team is still looking into them (in particular we’re not happy with the look and feel of xscreensaver and with the fact that unlocking the session doesn’t unlock the screensaver in KDE and Xfce). It’s too hard to say just yet whether the stable ISOs will be out this year or the next.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Low-power COMs run Linux and Android on Cortex-A5 SoC

      MYIR introduced a pair of Linux- and Android-ready COMs and baseboards featuring Atmel’s low-power, 536MHz SAMA5D3 SoC, with LCD, GbE, and dual CAN ports.

    • Raspi-Sump

      In June 2013, we had the unfortunate luck of a basement flood, caused by a tripped electrical breaker connected to our sump pump. There are so many things that can go wrong with a sump pump. You always are on guard for power outages, blown breakers, sump pump failures, clogged pipes and all manner of issues that can arise, which ultimately can end with a flooded basement. I needed a way to alert me of issues when I was not at home. Audible alarms are fairly cheap and are great when you are physically in the house. They fail miserably when you are ten miles away at work. I had a Raspberry Pi that I had tinkered with periodically but for which I never had a real purpose. I decided to try to put the Pi to work as a dedicated sump pit monitoring device. Hopefully, the Pi could send me SMS alerts if a problem arose while I was away.

    • Phones

      • How The Mighty Art Fallen (Smartphones)

        No hot house monopoly required… Meanwhile, Apple sold 9 million more units than last year while achieving 12.7% market share. Android/Linux got 83%. So, the “one true way” and the company run by “geniuses” giving “creatives” what they want, are holding small niches in a market owned by Android/Linux through FLOSS goodness and ordinary hard work.

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop: Update Dates for Nexus, Samsung, HTC as well as Sony Devices

          Some consumers are still awaiting the release of Google’s latest operating system, the Android 5.0 Lollipop, and with so many devices out in the market, anticipation is high for when the update becomes available for handheld devices.

        • Google’s Chromecast still dominates streaming media
        • Android Headliner: More Than A Year Later The Chromecast Is Still Number One For Streaming Media

          Ever since the dawn of the smartphone, streaming media has gotten bigger and bigger, and we have struggled to find easy ways to fling the media we hold on our handheld devices to the big screen. While there has been many ways to get our favorite streaming media onto our TV’s for some time, like micro USB to HDMI for example, it wasn’t until the launch of Google’s streaming media HDMI dongle, the Chromecast, that things became truly simple and allowed for the mass majority to put what they want to watch onto their TV’s using their smartphone as the control. The Chromecast has come quite a long way and has been out for well over a year now, and it’s still the number streaming media device out there even with all the competition that has emerged and is still coming.

        • 3 Reasons Apple TV Is Losing to the Google Chromecast

          As consumers look to add streaming capability to their television setup (without buying a brand-new smart TV), they are increasingly purchasing streaming devices. People are opting for streaming sticks or set-top boxes that expand their video options without making an impact on their living room setup or their wallets. But recent data brings bad news for Apple: in 2014, Google’s Chromecast streaming stick became more popular than the Apple TV set-top box, leaving Apple in third place behind both Chromecast and consumer favorite Roku.

        • This $35 dock lets you use your Android smartphone as a full-fledged desktop

          Every year, our smartphones get more and more powerful. These handheld computers certainly aren’t going to compete head-to-head with a PS4 or a high-end gaming PC, but they pack more than enough horsepower to run a full-fledged desktop computing experience. But can your smartphone really replace your desktop? That’s exactly what a new Kickstarter project aims to do.

        • Andromium transforms your Android into a pocketable desktop computer
        • Andromium could turn your smartphone into a desktop (crowdfunding)

          Motorola’s Atrix line of Android phones were designed to work with Lapdock keyboard docks, but they’ve been discontinued. Canonical tried to breath new life into the category by crowdfunding the Ubuntu Edge smartphone which could also function as a desktop computer… but the company didn’t meet its ambitious fundraising goals.

        • Canonical’s Stripped-Down “Snappy” Ubuntu Comes To Google’s Compute Engine

          A week ago, Canonical released the first alpha version of its new minimalist “Snappy” edition of Ubuntu Core for container farms. To the surprise of many, the launch partner for Snappy was Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. Starting today, however, you will also be able to use this version of Ubuntu on Google’s Compute Engine.

        • Google Cloud offers streamlined Ubuntu for Docker use

          Ubuntu Core was designed to provide only the essential components for running Linux workloads in the cloud. An early preview edition of it, which Canonical calls “Snappy,” was released last week. The new edition jettisoned many of the libraries and programs usually found in general use Linux distributions that were unnecessary for cloud use.

        • Hearthstone is coming out on Android

          Blizzard’s acclaimed free-to-play trading card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is finally making an appearance on Android tablets. Currently, it is only available in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but there are plans for a worldwide rollout in “the days ahead.” In a statement, CEO Mike Morhaime says that the company is also aiming to bring the title to more mobile platforms, including smartphones.

        • Netflix now supports Android Wear, but it’s not the remote control you’re hoping for

          One of the cooler things you can do with an Android Wear smartwatch is remotely control media-playing apps on your connected Android device. SoundCloud is a great example of this, using the watch to display the cover art of what you’re listening to and some basic volume and playback controls. Netflix’s latest Android update sounds like it would do the same, with the company promising to let you “play” videos using the watch, but it’s actually much narrower in functionality.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Godot Engine 1.0 Is Out, Open Source Game Engine & Editor

    The newly open-sourced game engine Godot (which we covered more here) received its first major release today! In the middle of the winter game-jam too, even though the release candidates have been out for a week or so.

  • Godot Engine Reaches 1.0, Releases First Stable
  • Open-Source Godot 1.0 Engine Released & Declared Stable

    With Godot 1.0 being declared, it marks a point at which the game engine is stable, every feature present should work, the UI is solid and allows for visually editing games, the scripting language and debugger work, and most engine features are properly documented. Over the past ten months, Godot has received a lot of help from the community and the developers call it “the most advanced open source game engine” and is the first in popularity for its category on GitHub.

  • Should We All Be Contributing to FOSS?

    The LedgerSMB project gets contributions from “a large number of sources in a large number of ways,” said Chris Travers, a blogger and contributor to that effort.

  • Report: IoT Improving Code Quality in Open Source Java Projects

    Mountain View, Calif.-based software testing company Coverity has just released a new Scan report, this one focused on open-source big data projects and the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the quality of those projects. In a nutshell, the report concludes that IoT and the tsunami of data that phenomenon is expected to generate over the next decade is actually having a positive affect on code quality. Among the largest big data projects in this Scan — Apache Hadoop, Hbase and Cassandra — quality has improved steadily, the report’s authors found.

  • Is commercial open source more secure than proprietary alternatives?

    In summary, IT professionals are gravitating to commercial open source for security and privacy now more so than ever. Gone are the days when cost considerations led the decision to move to open source; today, IT professionals value commercial open source for business continuity, quality and control. On the horizon, expect to see broader adoption of commercial open source. In fact, the most telling result of the Ponemon Institute survey may be the coming exodus from proprietary to commercial open source software, particularly when it comes to collaboration.

  • Internet of Things: Engineering for Everyone

    Not too long ago, the idea of open source was synonymous with “free,” because, of course, there is no upfront cost involved. That perception was successfully realigned, through education, towards “liberty,” the freedom to use the resource without cost.

  • How To Avoid The Community Of Open Source Jerks

    Open source is the new default for many areas of software. But open source is different, and that’s causing some problems for newbies. While some reduce open source to “free software I can download,” open source can be much more.

  • Top 10 open source projects of 2014

    Last year’s list of 10 projects guided people working and interested in tech throughout 2014. Now, we’re setting you up for 2015 with a brand new list of accomplished open source projects.

  • Events

    • Web Engines Hackfest 2014
    • Penguin porn? NO! Linux folk in #LCA2015 standoff

      Each January Linux luminaries from around the world descend on Australia and New Zealand to attend Linux.conf.au, an antipodean penguinista gathering of sufficient gravitas that Linus Torvalds himself often makes the trip.

      The event is referred to as “LCA”, and for the 2015 edition has used #LCA2015 as its hashtag.

      But organisers of the event have noticed there’s another organising using #LCA2015, namely the Live Cam Awards.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • VMware Emulates Red Hat Path With Cloud Foundry Foundation

      Thanks to its support of OpenStack, an open source Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS, system for clouds, Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) has soared to new heights. By supporting the OpenStack foundation, originally backed by Rackspace (NYSE:RAX), with talent, Red Hat made itself an indispensable partner to companies seeking to build their own clouds, with a top-line growth rate that would be the envy of an Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and steady profits exceeding 10% of revenue.

    • Cloud Foundry Foundation: A Smart Move for VMware

      In a move that parallels some smart moves made by Red Hat in the cloud computing space, VMware has launched an independent foundation supporting its Cloud Foundry platform. The Cloud Foundry Foundation is focused on VMware’s own Platform-as-a-Service offering of the same name, but will concentrate on fostering an ecosystem surrounding Cloud Foundry. In this game, as Red Hat has shown with its efforts surrounding OpenStack, partnerships will be everything.

    • Looking Ahead: Rebuilding PaaS in a Containerized World

      Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technology has transformed the way enterprise applications and services are deployed and delivered. Benefits including flexibility, agility, scalability and efficiency continue to attract growing numbers of business users. Globally, the PaaS market was valued at $1.60 billion in 2013, and it’s forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25.7 percent over the next few years to reach $7.98 billion by 2020, according to a recent Transparency Market Research report.

  • CMS

    • SoakSoak Malware Attacks WordPress Sites

      Over 100,000 WordPress sites have been infected by vulnerable third-party plug-in that many may not even realize they are running, and that number is growing.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Print this guide

      The FSF Giving Guide is an easy-to-use resource that can make a difference in what people buy. We just need to get it in front of them.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • National Geographic takes open source to the wilderness

      I had the opportunity to catch up with Shah Selbe, an explorer by heart, and for National Geographic. I asked him about how he got into this kind of conservation work, how he learned about open source and came to use it, and how he applied open source methods to his work on the Okavango Wilderness Project.

    • Regulatory hurdles may blunt future of open source GMO crops as patent expires for GMO soybeans

      The development, testing, and regulation of genetically engineered crops usually takes a significant investment of time and resources, so these crops are patented so that their developers can recoup their investments. Farmers who grow these crops usually pay licensing fees for the use of the technology, and sign license agreements that restrict their ability to save the seeds. Now, a variety of GMO herbicide-tolerant soybeans has been released by the University of Arkansas with no technology fees, and no license agreements to sign. This is possible because the patent for the first genetically engineered trait in soybeans has expired. The world of “generic” or Open Source GMOs is upon us, however, there are still some practical challenges ahead.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Literary works given new life in public domain

        The public domain. Creating legacy and enabling creativity, one literary work at a time.

        Works in the public domain belong to everyone. Anyone can use public domain works in any manner they wish. They can republish the work as is, or they can use a public domain work as the inspiration and groundwork to create something new and exciting. However, the length of time before a creative works enters the public domain has grown longer and longer in recent decades. In the United States, the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 greatly increased the length of time before a work would enter the public domain. The situation is very similar in other parts of the world.

    • Open Hardware

      • MeArm Open Source Pocket Robotic Arm MeBrain Controller (video)

        Benjamin Gray has created an open source pocket sized robotic arm that has been specifically built to be easy to build and simple to control. Now he would like to take into production his new controller called MeBrain for the robotic arm that will make it even easier to use and make it even more accessible.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • 17 signs you were on the Manchester club scene in the ’90s

    Clubbing in ’90s Manchester wasn’t all about the Hacienda, you know? Let’s have a look at some of the people, nights and tunes that haven’t always taken centre stage…

  • Are CIOs Bamboozling Their Colleagues With ‘Technobabble’?

    And worryingly, this is coming at a time when industry insight suggests that the role of the IT leader is evolving into a more strategic business position, according to ReThink Recruitment.

  • Car stuck on tram tracks in Chorlton triggers more Metrolink misery

    Trams on the Metrolink Manchester Airport line grounded to a halt due to a car being stranded on the tracks this evening.

    It is the FIFTH time a car has driven along the new airport line in the past three weeks .

  • Science

    • Kevin Kunze, Lloyd Morgan, and Max Anderson

      Even as cell phones become almost ubiquitous, evidence is accumulating that their emissions can cause brain tumors and other maladies. Peter and Mickey speak about the health hazards of cell phones with Kevin Kunze, Lloyd Morgan, and Max Anderson.

    • BMW is working on cars your smartwatch can park

      Come CES 2015, luxury automobile maker BMW will be showing off its recent advances in autonomous vehicle research, including the smartwatch-operable Remote Valet Parking Assistant. The i3 research vehicle is equipped with four “advanced laser scanners,” which can map and identify hazards within an environment. This data can be used by the i3′s on-board assistance system to automatically trigger brakes when needed.

  • Security

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Docker Updates for Three Security Vulnerabilities

      The open-source Docker project has updated the Docker engine for container virtualization to version 1.3.3, fixing a trio of security vulnerabilities. The security advisories for the Docker vulnerabilities were first publicly released on Dec. 11 although not every vendor in the Docker ecosystem has been in a hurry to update. Docker has emerged over the course of 2014 to become a popular technology for application virtualization and now has the support of Amazon, IBM, VMware, Microsoft and Red Hat, among others.

    • Antivirus Live CD Will Disinfect Your Windows OS

      Antivirus Live CD is a Linux distribution based on 4MLinux that includes the ClamAV scanner. It’s built for system admins who need a lightweight live CD with an antivirus scanner. A new versions has been released and is now available for download.

    • The Ethics Of Publishing Hacked Information

      It reminds me distinctly of the situation we found ourselves in in 2009 when a hacker delivered a truckload of internal Twitter information. See In Our Inbox: Hundreds Of Confidential Twitter Documents. See the updates to that post for how it all played out.

      Twitter also halfheartedly threatened to sue us over the publication of that information, although we felt that we were on pretty firm legal ground in moving forward. People were both fascinated with the information, and enraged that we would publish it.

    • The FBI Used Open Source Hackerware to Uncover Tor Users In 2012

      According to the report, the FBI relied on Metasploit to first deanonymize users operating Dark Net child porn sites during a sting called Operation Tornado. Metasploit is an open source package that makes many of the the latest known exploits readily available to hackers. It seems the FBI relied upon an abandoned project of Metaploit called the “Decloaking Engine” to unmask users in the 2012 busts.

    • The FBI Used the Web’s Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users

      For more than a decade, a powerful app called Metasploit has been the most important tool in the hacking world: An open-source Swiss Army knife of hacks that puts the latest exploits in the hands of anyone who’s interested, from random criminals to the thousands of security professionals who rely on the app to scour client networks for holes.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • NBC: Someday We Might Learn That Drones Kill Civilians

      A critical look at US drone attacks is not the kind of thing you expect to see on a Sunday chat show, but that is what NBC’s Meet the Press gave viewers on December 14. Still, there were some problems.

    • NATO Deployment on Russian Border Raises Nuclear Risks, Say Caldicott and Chomsky

      According to Helen Caldicott, the founder of International Physicians against Nuclear War, which won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders is “very, very dangerous,” and amounts to the breaking of a guarantee that the U.S. made the last Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, before the breakup of the Soviet Union, that NATO would never be allowed to expand to Russia’s border. Addressing the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in October 2014, Caldicott observed, “The nuclear weapons, are sitting there, thousands of them. They are ready to be used.”

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Why the ‘case’ against Julian Assange in Sweden should be dropped, and dropped now!

      The ‘case’ is at a preliminary stage – no charges were ever made against Mr. Assange – is now in its FIFTH YEAR!

    • Holder OKs limited Risen subpoena

      MacMahon also suggested that if Risen testifies, the defense could introduce evidence about the scope of the government’s investigation into the Times reporter. POLITICO previously reported that the feds obtained Risen’s bank records, credit reports and details of his travel. The defense attorney said in court Tuesday that prosecutors also got copies of Risen’s Fedex receipts as well as “Western Union transactions of his children.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • ‘Disruptive, Demanding’ Elizabeth Warren vs. ‘Can-Do’ Pragmatists

      The default setting of corporate media’s political compass is that Democrats need to “move to the middle” in order to win. FAIR has been documenting this for more than 20 years, and 2014 is no different. Look no further than the coverage of the effort, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), to oppose a provision in the recent omnibus spending bill that would weaken Dodd/Frank financial regulation.

      The objection seems pretty straightforward: As lawmakers like California Democrat Maxine Waters (Washington Post, 12/12/14) said, this was “reversing a provision that prohibits banks from using taxpayer-insured funds, bank deposits, to engage in derivatives trading activity.” In the run-up to the financial crisis, banks used federally insured funds to make bets on things like mortgage-backed securities. That left the public to bail out banks for their risky behavior. The language of this specific deal, as many have noted, came directly from Citigroup.

    • The Political Economy of Austerity Now

      Government austerity for the masses (raising taxes and cutting public services) is becoming the issue shaping politics in western Europe, north America, and Japan. In the US, austerity turned millions away from the polls where before they supported an Obama who promised changes from such policies. So Republicans will control Congress and conflicts over austerity will accelerate. In Europe, from Ireland’s Sinn Fein to Spain’s Podemos to Greece’s Syriza, we see challenges to a shaken, wounded political status quo (endless oscillations between center-left and center-right regimes imposing austerity). Those challenges build impressive strength on anti-austerity themes above all else. In Japan, Prime Minister Abe resorts to ever more desperate political maneuvers to maintain austerity there.

    • Going Beyond Private Versus Public

      The new, more Republican Congress may “privatize” the United States Postal Service: dismantle the public enterprise and turn mail services over to private enterprises. Such a privatization would mimic what the US military has done with part of its activities and what many states and cities did with utilities, transport systems and schools. Privatizers always assert that private enterprises function more efficiently and will thus cost society less than public enterprises.

    • Bitcoin Is To Credit Cards What The Internet Was To The Fax Machine: So Much More

      Many are still seeing bitcoin as just a currency, as just a transaction mechanism. Its underlying technology is far more than that. It has the ability to reduce governments to spectators rather than arbiters, the power to make wars cost-inefficient, and the power to decentralize power itself.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Right-Wing Media’s New Phony Scandal: Obama Watches Sports

      Right-wing media outlets manufactured phony outrage over President Obama’s recent remark on ESPN Radio that he usually watches SportsCenter while working out in the morning. In 2007, President Bush similarly admitted to watching ESPN while working.

    • Sydney siege: Rupert Murdoch criticised over ‘heartless’ congratulations tweet

      Rupert Murdoch’s arguably ill-advised tweet has been condemned by Twitter users for being “insensitive”.

      The News International boss and managing director of Australia’s News Limited congratulated the Australian Daily Telegraph for being the first to report on the “bloody outcome” of the Sydney siege.

    • Fox’s O’Reilly: ‘All the Wolves Have Been Muslims’

      The problem is that media–not just Bill O’Reilly–mostly don’t categorize non-Muslim terrorism as terrorism. So when a white supremacist in England kills a Muslim–an 82-year-old grandfather, to be more specific–it hardly makes the news (FAIR Blog, 11/1/13), even when the killer admitted that he “would like to increase racial conflict.”

      When a married couple in Las Vegas who were connected to far-right movements killed two police officers and a bystander, media shied away from calling it terrorism (FAIR Blog, 6/13/14)– even though early reports indicated the pair had left a note declaring, “The revolution is beginning,” along with a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

  • Censorship

    • At least 25 journalists, police officers detained in Turkey raid

      Police in Turkey detained more than 25 journalists and fellow police officers Sunday in a nationwide operation that saw the editor of a popular opposition publication taken into custody.

      It was the latest mass roundup targeting alleged loyalists to an influential cleric that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of attempting to topple his government.

  • Privacy

    • The Inside Story of How British Spies Hacked Belgium’s Largest Telco

      When the incoming emails stopped arriving, it seemed innocuous at first. But it would eventually become clear that this was no routine technical problem. Inside a row of gray office buildings in Brussels, a major hacking attack was in progress. And the perpetrators were British government spies.

      It was in the summer of 2012 that the anomalies were initially detected by employees at Belgium’s largest telecommunications provider, Belgacom. But it wasn’t until a year later, in June 2013, that the company’s security experts were able to figure out what was going on. The computer systems of Belgacom had been infected with a highly sophisticated malware, and it was disguising itself as legitimate Microsoft software while quietly stealing data.

      Last year, documents from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed that British surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters was behind the attack, codenamed Operation Socialist. And in November, The Intercept revealed that the malware found on Belgacom’s systems was one of the most advanced spy tools ever identified by security researchers, who named it “Regin.”

    • 4 seconds of body cam video can reveal a biometric fingerprint, study says

      In the wake of Ferguson, where protests erupted after an 18-year-old unarmed black teenager was shot by police, many have called for body cameras to be mandatory for on-duty police officers. Still, few municipalities have set rules governing the use of body cams and the footage taken with them.

    • The Trouble with Tor

      Confidence that Tor can reliably provide users with anonymity on the Internet has been shattered, thanks to recent revelations. Tor alternatives do exist, however.

  • Civil Rights

    • Cheney Seems Unfazed By Question About Innocent Detainee Who Died (VIDEO)

      Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday continued to fiercely defend the harsh interrogation techniques employed by the CIA under the Bush administration after 9/11.

      On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Cheney said he would use the questionable interrogation methods “again in a minute.”

      Host Chuck Todd asked Cheney to respond to the Senate Intelligence Committee report’s account that one detainee was “chained to the wall of a cell, doused with water, froze to death in CIA custody.”

    • The Five’s Terrorism Solutions: Cut Off Toes, Spy On Muslims, Torture Detainees
    • May denies torture report redactions

      The Home Secretary has denied asking for redactions in the CIA torture report and rejected calls for a judge-led inquiry into British involvement in US-led torture.

      Appearing in front of the Home Affairs Committee this afternoon, Theresa May told MPs: “I have certainly not asked for any redactions to take place in the report.”

      She did not say whether other Home Office officials had asked for the redactions, but added that they would only have been requested for reasons of national security.

    • Sydney gunman Man Haron Monis claimed he was ‘tortured’ for political beliefs

      The gunman at the heart of the Sydney 16-hour siege claimed he was “tortured” for his political beliefs while being held in custody.

      Man Haron Monis was free on bail when he used a shotgun to hold 17 people hostage at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe during rush-hour on Monday morning.

      He and two hostages died in a barrage of gunfire when police stormed the café in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

    • Sentencing Looms for Barrett Brown, Advocate for “Anonymous”

      Barrett Brown could face almost 10 years in prison on criminal hacking charges, but his allies say he’s just a journalist and the government is punishing him to stifle free speech.

    • Dear Chelsea Manning: birthday messages from Edward Snowden, Terry Gilliam and more

      The jailed whistleblower turns 27 this week. Supporters including Joe Sacco, Vivienne Westwood, JM Coetzee, Michael Stipe and Slavoj Žižek sent her letters, poems and drawings. Luke Harding introduces their work

    • Washington Post Shrugs Off Torture Because, You Know, It Polls Well

      We’ve written before about Jay Rosen’s excellent explanation of “the church of the savvy,” in which political reporters seem more focused on describing the “horse race” aspect of politics rather than the truth. It’s the old story in which the press ignores, say, a really good concept because “politicians won’t support it.” A key giveaway for a “savvy” post is to focus on “what the polls say” rather than what reality says. That doesn’t mean that polls are never useful or shouldn’t be reported on — but when they get in the way of the actual story, it can make for ridiculous results.

    • Victoria police officer investigated for tasing driver, 76
    • Cobb County to pay $100K to woman arrested for ‘F-bombing’ cops

      Cobb County is paying $100,000 to a woman who police arrested for shouting profanity to protest their actions.

      Amy Elizabeth Barnes, a well-known political activist, sued in federal court saying the county violated her First Amendment rights and maliciously prosecuted her when it jailed her on charges of disorderly conduct and the use of abuse words to “incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

      She had been shouting “Cobb police suck” and “(Expletive) the police” and raising her middle finger while riding her bicycle past two officers questioning an African-American man outside a convenience store on Easter Sunday 2012.

    • Clueless cop gets schooled: Watch this horrific defense of police killing

      Follmer is demanding an apology from the Cleveland Browns’ Andrew Hawkins, who wore a “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford” shirt on Sunday. He laid out his authoritarian solution to the epidemic of cops killing unarmed black men in an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber Monday night.

      The clash between Follmer and Hawkins perfectly encapsulates the rival worldviews leading to rising unrest over police abuse – and when you listen to the two men, it’s clear who has the better argument.

    • Cop is producing “Breathe easy: Don’t break the law” shirts — but it has nothing to do with Eric Garner, he swears

      We know many people are awful. We’ve seen the evidence! But still, no matter how thoroughly I try to storm-proof my emotional windows (my eyes and ears), droplets of hate somehow manage to trickle through, causing a flood in my basement (my heart n’ soul).

      A growing number of protesters (including high-profile athletes) have adopted the phrase, “I can’t breathe,” as something like a rallying cry. The statement references Eric Garner’s last words as he was killed by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in an illegal chokehold. A coroner determined the death a homicide, but a grand jury still decided not to indict Pantaleo. A real failure of the justice system, right?

      Apparently not everyone agrees, and some, specifically the South Bend Uniform Company, even find the phrase’s appropriation offensive. The company, owned by Corporal Jason Barthel, a cop with the City of Mishawaka Police, has started producing shirts reading “Breathe easy: Don’t break the law,” a response that is particularly biting given the fact that 1) Eric Garner was not breaking the law, and 2) He is dead.

    • Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World

      It’s time to start imagining a society that isn’t dominated by police

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sony Leak: The Secret Meetings That Set Hollywood’s Anti-Piracy War Plan

        Every year, legal representatives from seven of the biggest movie studios in the country gather in Sherman Oaks, California to talk about all things anti-piracy. Which isn’t surprising; it’s their livelihood, after all. But what does leaves a sour taste in your mouth is their plan to spread the DMCA-dispensing gospel: With shadowy back room dealings and skewed facts.

        According to an email in the leaked inbox of Sony Pictures General Counsel Leah Weil, the meeting is facilitated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as a way for the top lawyers at Sony, Time Warner, Viacom, Paramount, Disney, NBC Universal, and Fox to put their heads together and talk global strategy.

      • Sony Hackers Threaten to Release a Huge ‘Christmas Gift’ of Secrets

        As leaks from the recent Sony hack continue to make headlines and company executives apologize for insensitive comments made in exposed emails, we still don’t know how the hack occurred or the exact nature of the demands made by the attackers. But we’ve learned a bit about Sony’s security practices. And we’ve learned that the attackers may have tried to extort Sony before releasing its secrets. We’ve also learned that attempts by Sony to rally public support from rival studios has failed.

      • News Agencies Are Within Their Rights to Report on the Leaked Sony Data

        On Sunday, a lawyer from Sony Pictures Entertainment sent a strongly-worded letter to news organizations, including The New York Times and Hollywood Reporter, demanding that they not report on the vast quantity of data in the Sony leak.

      • The Pirate Bay crew ‘couldn’t care less’ about being taken offline

        One of the filesharing site’s administrators says it’s taking a break, but promises that if it returns ‘it’ll be with a bang’

      • Swedish Supreme Court Determines Movie Piracy Fines

        A long-running case in Sweden has concluded with a determination on how pirates should be sentenced for each movie downloaded illegally. The case, which involved the downloading of 60 movies, went all the way to the Supreme Court. The jail sentence demanded by the prosecution was rejected but stiff fines were handed down.

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