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02.17.15

Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is Linux A Labour Of Love?

    So is Linux a labour of love? I think that there is money to be made but not in the traditional sense of just making a single product and selling it. If distributions are out to generate income then they have to be a bit creative about how they do that. Multiple revenue streams are definitely going to be important.

    I think charging for a download may help to generate income in the short term but it will ultimately mean missing out on possible revenue streams later on.

    The debate is much like the newspaper paywalls. Would you really pay to read a newspaper online when the BBC provide similar or sometimes better information for free? Therein lies the problem for Elementary.

  • How to Hire Open Source Talent: Focus on the Community, Says Linux Foundation

    Soaring demand for professionals with expertise in Linux and open source is great for people with the requisite skills. But it makes finding the right employees more difficult for companies. That’s why the Linux Foundation recently outlined tips for attracting open source talent, which is about much more than the hiring process itself.

  • Desktop

    • Spelling in Malawi

      The inquiry from Malawi was passed to our local expert, Esben Aaberg, who after a few hours of work got the dictionary to work. Unfortunately dictionaries can not be registered without the language been known by LibreOffice. Instead, Esben “cheated” by using a language code from another language. Of course we need the language Chichewa registered, but here and now, it works after all.

    • Ask LH: Can I Get A Refund Because Presto Doesn’t Work On Linux?

      Dear Lifehacker, I was recently in hospital and wanted to try out some streaming services in Australia. I have a Linux laptop. I tried out Stan on the free 30-day trial but then realised it uses Silverlight so I cancelled that straight away. Then I wanted to try Presto which has no free trial.

      I signed up because it was only 10 bucks and on the supported devices it lists PCs and Macs, with no qualification, but much to my dismay the service doesn’t work on Linux machines. Foxtel refuses to give me a refund. Is this false advertising, and is there any way to submit a complaint about them? Thanks, No Light At The End Of The Tunnel

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.20 Likely to be Renumbered as Linux 4.0

      Back in November of 2013, when the Linux 3.12 kernel was released, Linus Torvalds first began to talk about about Linux 4.0

      Linux 4.0, much like Linux 3.0 isn’t about any major milestone or API compatibility feature in the Linux kernel, but rather is just an arbitrary number.

    • Systemd 219 Released With A Huge Amount Of New Features

      Lennart Poettering announced the release of systemd 219 today and it comes with a very large number of new features and changes.

    • systemd 219

      Many many improvements, in particular in the area of containers, btrfs hookup, and networkd. Also, many bugfixes. Enjoy!

    • systemd 219 Officially Released, Introduces a New API

      Lennart Poettering, the creator of systemd, has announced the immediate availability of systemd 219, a release that includes numerous improvements, specifically for Btrfs hookup, networkd, and containers. Many bugs have also been fixed in this release.

    • Torvalds turns to Sir Mix-A-Lot for Linux versioning debate

      Linus Torvalds is “running out of fingers and toes” and therefore wonders if it might be a good time to tip the Linux Kernel over into version 4.0.

    • Kernel 3.19 development – the kernel column

      Linus Torvalds, freshly returned from speaking at Linux Conf AU (LCA) 2015, announced 3.19- rc5 saying “[a]nother week, another -rc”. His announcement mail included his usual opening about his desire for less churn late in the development cycle (Linux kernels typically have up to 8 RCs – or Release Candidates – in the two months of the average release). Overall, Linux 3.19 is shaping up to be a normal sized release – though there’s still well over 10,000 individual commits or patches, each with many lines, which isn’t bad when you consider how the development largely aligned with the end of year holiday period. The new kernel will add a few exciting features, including support for Intel’s MPX processor extensions, and the nios2 embedded system microprocessor architecture from Altera.

    • Graphics Stack

      • wayland 1.7.0

        The 1.7 release of Wayland is now available for download. Thanks to all who have contributed, and especially to the desktop environments and client applications that now converse using Wayland.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Final Report : Season of KDE

        This project is primarily for school children.It helps them to get acquainted with different parts of computer both internal and external and also to know about their functionality.

      • 2+ years with network management in KDE

        It has been more than 2 years when I was an intern in Red Hat and Lukáš Tinkl, my leader that time, told me that I should take a look what needs to be done around network management in KDE. I started with contribution to libnm-qt (networkmanager-qt now), because there was a plan to have a separated library for NetworkManager and port the applet to use it later. It took me a few months to get familiar with NetworkManager DBus API and implement all missing stuff and I was ready to start porting the applet. Problem was that the old NM applet was not ready at all, its architecture had been done with more network daemons in mind (like wicd) and the code base became really complicated. I still remember that discussion we had about starting from scratch, it was quite tough decision, because we had to drop such huge code base and years of work. Anyway, we decided to go for it and start from scratch and one of the best journeys of my life had begun. It went quite good, we were able to reuse some existing parts from the old applet and we had first release like half year later. Well, quality of first releases is questionable, not everyone liked them we did, but we have learned from mistakes and now I daresay that the version we have after 2 years currently in Plasma 5 is really great and we enjoyed doing it.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The Usability of GNOME

        I recently spoke at GUADEC, the GNOME Users And Developers European Conference, and I opened my presentation with a reminder that GNOME is competing for mind share with other systems that are fairly easy for most people to use: Mac, iPad, Windows and Chromebook. So for GNOME to continue to be successful, it needs to be easy for everyone to use—experts and newcomers alike. And, that’s where usability comes in.

      • Using OpenGL with GTK+

        let’s say you are on a bleeding edge distribution, or have access to bleeding edge GTK+.

      • How-To Use OpenGL With GTK3 In Upcoming GNOME 3.16

        With the upcoming GNOME 3.16 release and its GTK+ 3.16 tool-kit there is native OpenGL support and a new GTKGLArea widget.

  • Distributions

    • The Dangers of Boutique Linux Distros

      Every time a new boutique Linux distro rolls out into the limelight it seems the same two thoughts cross my mind. First, the distro’s developer must be excited to present their vision to potential uses and work hard to provide the best distro possible. Second, this also means that if something happens to the developer the project can instantly end in its tracks.

      In this article, we’ll examine the risks of relying on a boutique Linux distro and what to do when you’re forced to switch due to a distro ending its development.

    • New Project Points to Danger of Boutique Distros
    • Reviews

      • Elementary OS: A good looking cheap Apple lookalike

        So after spending the not-so-bad-after all-valentine watching “romantic” movies I decided to go on a cleanse and get back in my geek groove. What better way to do this than testing a Linux Distro Beta? So I remembered how one reader once requested a review of Apple lookalike Linux distros and decided to take the latest Beta of Elementary OS nicknamed Freya which is due for release “when it is ready!”

      • MakuluLinux 2.0 Cinnamon

        I think it is easy to get excited about Makulu as the distribution offers a lot. Users are given a modern, feature rich desktop (Cinnamon), a lot of useful software, including VLC, the WPS suite, a rich settings panel and easy to use backup utility. Multimedia is well supported and the operating system (when run on a physical machine) performed well. Plus users have access to a huge supply of software in the Debian repositories. I was a little surprised at some of the choices offered. For example, offering us WPS over LibreOffice is an unusual choice for an open source operating system. It’s not a bad choice necessarily, just uncommon. Likewise, the focus on gaming (providing Steam and PlayOnLinux) is an interesting choice. The theme, with its focus on rich, 3-D icons, is also strange, but a welcome breath of fresh air when compared against the stark utility of GNOME or the flat, washed out look of recent KDE releases.

        I suppose what really stands out about Makulu is it is an open source operating system that does not shy away from including proprietary applications when the developers feel those are the right tools for the job. It is a philosophy that may disappoint proponents of free software, but I have to admit it seems a practical path, one which is likely to attract people transitioning from Windows to Linux.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enhances Certification Program for Open Source Experts

        Red Hat (RHT) has beefed up its certification and training programs for open source software. Now, the company is offering new Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) concentrations focused on clouds, data centers and applications related to its Linux-based solutions.

      • Fedora

        • DNF 0.6.4 and DNF-PLUGINS-CORE 0.1.5 Released

          New version of DNF and DNF-PLUGINS-CORE is available for F21 and F22. The update fixes over 25 bugs, exposes more API and enhances plugin options. Read more in release notes of DNF and plugins.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source robot kit taps Raspberry Pi 2

      On Indiegogo, CoroWare launched a 4WD “CoroBot Spark,” open robot platform for STEM education, based on a Raspberry Pi SBC and a CoroWare controller board.

      CoroWare Robotics Solutions’s CoroBot Spark is the latest of several open source robot kits that have used the Raspberry Pi single board computer. Recent examples include iRobot’s Create 2, a hackable version of its Roomba robot, as well as Frindo.org’s RPi-ready Frindo robot. Other Linux-based robot controller boards designed to integrate the Raspberry Pi include the Roboteq RIO, Mikronaut’s RoboPi, and the Calao Systems’s PinBall SBC.

      The open source CoroBot Spark differs from the Create 2 or Frindo in that it’s a larger four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle. Like the Create 2, the Spark is designed for middle school and high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, as well as university research and education.

    • 3.5-inch Haswell SBC has powered serial ports

      Axiomtek’s “CAPA881″ SBC taps Intel’s 4th Gen Core chips, supports extended temperatures, and has powered COM ports, plus SATA, CFast, and mini-PCIe.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Best new Android and iPhone games (February 9th – 15th)

          Let’s start off the week with some fun! In our weekly round up of the best new Android and iPhone games we introduce you to everything new and worthy with no limits to the genre, platform, or price. We can’t guarantee that you’d love the genre of the game we’ve picked, but if you do, chances are you’d spend hours playing one of these games.

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop makes another appearance, this time in the Philippines

          Google is still keeping mum on Android 5.1 Lollipop, the seemingly-newest version of its OS, albeit it’s already been spotted on some Android One devices that got recently launched in Indonesia.

        • Google’s Android One debuts in PHL, priced below P5k

          Google Philippines, together with local phone brands Cherry Mobile and MyPhone, announced on Tuesday, February 17, that it is finally bringing the much-anticipated Android One smartphone into the country at a retail price of under P5,000.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source software aims to change game for smart facades

    Where outcomes don’t meet thermal performance standards, variations mean innovation often becomes a casualty. InEnergy, a new open-source software tool engineered by Inhabit Group, aims to prevent the dumbing down of designs and assist clients and designers to achieve higher performance outcomes without adding to costs.

  • 17 years of defending open source: Join the OSI today

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) serves as an international nexus of trust, protecting and promoting open source software as well as the communities that develop and depend on it. Primarily known for our work in certifing open source software licenses, the OSI’s work today has grown—just as open source has—to include a vaeirty of member-driven working groups and incubator projects that help practitioners and communities create and share resourcs, furthering the open source movement. For 17 years, the OSI has brought together open source developers, organizers, contributors, advocates, and businesses toward the common goal of creation through collaboration. Our membership campaign is dedicated to furthering this vivsion.

  • Now Open Source Firmware Enters the Equation

    It seems that running free software programs that will allow (in theory, at least) backdoors to be spotted in code, is not enough. The Kaspersky discovery shows that we must go even further, and demand open source firmware for hard drives (and presumably everything else), so that these too can be audited by independent researchers. It’s a salutary reminder that while there is any element of the software and hardware stack that is not open, there is always the danger the system can be compromised and turned against you.

  • Events

    • Vote for Presentations: OpenStack Summit Vancouver 2015

      This year I’ve submitted, together with Sage Weil, a talk to the “Cloud Security” track with the title: “Storage security in a critical enterprise OpenStack environment”. The talk will provide insight into requirements for a secure setup and potential issues, pitfalls, and attack vectors against storage technologies used with an enterprise OpenStack cloud. We will present what Deutsche Telekom and Red Hat/Inktank, together with the community, are working on to build a security critical cloud with OpenStack and Ceph.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Compare Office 365 vs. Office 2013 before going open source

      The best part about OpenOffice and LibreOffice is that they’re totally free. Even if they can’t compete with Office 2013 on a feature-by-feature basis, they still have plenty to offer. They’re simple to install and provide benefits not available with Office 2013, such as the ability to run on Linux.

      Plus, the editions available to Windows, Mac OS and Linux are comparable, unlike Office, which lets the Mac version lag behind its Windows counterpart. In fact, OpenOffice and LibreOffice will run on Windows XP and Vista, something even Office 2013 can’t do.

      In my next article, we’ll look at how open source suites compare with Office 365 and how OpenOffice stacks up against LibreOffice.

  • Healthcare

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Where do we stand after 30 years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation?

      There is a growing concern about government surveillance. At the same time, those of us who live and breathe technology do so because it provides us with a service and freedom to share our lives with others.

      There is a tacit assumption that once we leave the store, the device we have in our pocket, backpack, or desk is ours. We buy a computer, a tablet, a smartphone, and we use applications and apps without even thinking about who really owns the tools and whether we truly own any of it. You purchase a device, yet you are not free to modify it or the software on it in any way. It begs the question of who really owns the device and the software?

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and defend the rights of all free software users. FSF proudly promotes the idea of free software—not “free” as in “free beer,” but “free” as in “free to modify the code, share the code, and distribute it freely.”

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Rationalising ICT takes Portugal to open source

      The government of Portugal is expanding its use of free and open source software solutions, to modernise the country’s ICT and to “target an effective expenditure”, says Pedro Viana, a ICT specialist working for the country’s Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA). Open source has been implemented since 2013, he says, “whenever a rigorous and objective evaluation analysis of maturity and total cost of ownership shows that it is advantageous.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tesla Open Source EV Patents Let Apple Jump in as Competitor [Ed: misleading FUD piece, not about Open Source]

      On June 12, 2014, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on the company’s web site that “All Our Patent Belong to You.” In adopting an “open source” policy to allow others to use the company’s patented intellectual property for free, Tesla’s stock (NASDAQ-TSLA) went up and the company got lots of publicity. But the statement preserved patent rights by requiring “good faith”, which is definitely not “open source.”

    • Open Data

      • Italian Open Budgets portal showcases open data analytics

        The Italian web portal www.openbilanci.it (Open Budgets) showcases the value of open data. The site provides financial statements from all Italian municipalities for the last ten years, and information on their mayors. Visitors can freely download and re-use all the raw data. The portal itself provides additional functions, such as the dynamic generation of charts and maps, and the ability to make comparisons between municipalities. The latter allows you to compare taxes and investments in culture and public transport, for example.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 5 March Will Be A Very Exciting Day For Next-Gen OpenGL

      Earlier this month a GDC 2015 session was listed for showing off “glNext”, the next-generation OpenGL. This major advancement for a cross-platform, multi-purpose graphics API is going to be presented by Valve, Epic Games, Unity, and the Khronos Group, among others. Besides the GDC session for glNext, on the same day they’ll be having a separate event about this new API.

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • MPs’ pension fund at risk from fossil fuel investments, Caroline Lucas warns

      The £487m MPs’ pension pot is in danger of taking a financial hit due to the failure of its trustees to acknowledge the economic risk posed by fossil fuel investments, a group of 11 MPs and two Lords have warned.

      The trustees of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund were challenged last year by the group, which include Green party MP Caroline Lucas, to shift its investments from oil and coal companies because of widespread fears that they are overvalued.

  • Finance

    • “The Game is Rigged”

      ACLU SoCal, L.A. Progressive and Occidental College hosted Prof. Wolff for a discussion on economic rights and reform…

    • Class, Change and Revolution
    • Feel Trapped in Your Job? That’s Because You Are

      The eight-hour-day movement, which itself grew out of the ten-hour-day movement, was a central demand of the labor movement in its pre–New Deal phase, before the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act locked in a system that many of us would recognize even if we don’t work under its actual conditions. The five-day work week, the eight-hour day—the “nine to five” (thanks, Dolly Parton).

  • Privacy

    • Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program

      The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

    • How “omnipotent” hackers tied to NSA hid for 14 years—and were found at last

      In 2009, one or more prestigious researchers received a CD by mail that contained pictures and other materials from a recent scientific conference they attended in Houston. The scientists didn’t know it then, but the disc also delivered a malicious payload developed by a highly advanced hacking operation that had been active since at least 2001. The CD, it seems, was tampered with on its way through the mail.

      It wasn’t the first time the operators—dubbed the “Equation Group” by researchers from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab—had secretly intercepted a package in transit, booby-trapped its contents, and sent it to its intended destination. In 2002 or 2003, Equation Group members did something similar with an Oracle database installation CD in order to infect a different target with malware from the group’s extensive library. (Kaspersky settled on the name Equation Group because of members’ strong affinity for encryption algorithms, advanced obfuscation methods, and sophisticated techniques.)

    • Obama’s War on Leaks Skirts the Constitution

      The Obama administration is gloating over the recent conviction of Jeffrey Sterling in an Alexandria, Va. federal court for allegedly leaking details of a secret government program called Operation Merlin that was intended to damage Iran’s nuclear program. Attorney General Eric Holder described the verdict as “…a just and appropriate outcome. The defendant’s unauthorized disclosures of classified information compromised operations undertaken in defense of America’s national security. The disclosures placed lives at risk.”

    • U.S. Embedded Spyware Overseas, Report Claims

      The United States has found a way to permanently embed surveillance and sabotage tools in computers and networks it has targeted in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and other countries closely watched by American intelligence agencies, according to a Russian cybersecurity firm.

      In a presentation of its findings at a conference in Mexico on Monday, Kaspersky Lab, the Russian firm, said that the implants had been placed by what it called the “Equation Group,” which appears to be a veiled reference to the National Security Agency and its military counterpart, United States Cyber Command.

    • The NSA hides surveillance software in hard drives

      It’s been known for a while that the NSA will intercept and bug equipment to spy on its soon-to-be owners, but the intellgency agency’s techniques are apparently more clever than first thought. Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have discovered apparently state-created spyware buried in the firmware of hard drives from big names like Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. When present, the code lets snoops collect data and map networks that would otherwise be inaccessible — all they need to retrieve info is for an unwitting user to insert infected storage (such as a CD or USB drive) into an internet-connected PC. The malware also isn’t sitting in regular storage, so you can’t easily get rid of it or even detect it.

  • Civil Rights

    • Jeb Bush in ‘95: We need more for-profit prisons

      Jeb Bush began his political career as a firebrand soldier of the Republican Revolution.

      Although he’s now widely known as the moderate Republican choice for 2016, Bush ran multiple campaigns for Florida governor while promoting the “deinvention of government” through broad privatization and the rapid shrinking of the public sector—including the transformation of the state’s prison system into a for-profit industry.

    • Guantanamo Whistleblower: Guards Rehearsed for Reporter Visits Weeks in Advance

      SN interviewed Joseph Hickman, a former Guantanamo staff sergeant and author of the recently published book, “Murder at Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit of the Truth About Guantanamo Bay.” In the book, Hickman alleges that three Guantanamo detainees were murdered at a CIA black site, and that this was later covered up, the deaths portrayed as suicides.

    • Why can’t media describe Chapel Hill murders as terrorism?
    • The everyday terror we all live with

      I realize that terrorism is scary and I certainly hope that the US doesn’t suffer any more attacks from Islamic extremists any time soon.

    • Islamic School of Rhode Island vandalized

      Hilmy Bakri, president of the school’s Board of Trustees, said Sunday that racial slurs were spray-painted on the school, at 840 Rear Providence St.

    • U. Mass. Will Not Admit Iranian Students to Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences (Updated)

      1. Turns out that Kaplan, which is a US-based educational company, is implementing an even more draconian version of the policy over in Britain. For similar reasons as U. Mass. And it’s caused some problems.

      Kaplan, a US-owned education provider in the UK, is refusing students who are residents of Iran enrolment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects as well as any of its post-graduate courses, citing US sanctions.

      Applications for more than a dozen Iranians students have been withdrawn since autumn 2013 because the company felt it had to comply with the US regulations and sanctions policy regarding the country.

      Critics say sanctions were put in place to punish Iranian authorities, not ordinary people, and that such interpretations were based on a misreading of the policy.

      Iranian students studying in Britain’s public universities can generally take such courses.

    • DOJ Doesn’t Want You To Think CIA Doctored Evidence in the Sterling Trial

      Indeed, it is an agency with a long and storied history of serially destroying evidence. The Eastern District of VA US Attorney’s Office knows this, too, because they have so much experience reviewing cases where CIA has destroyed evidence and then deciding they can’t charge anyone for doing so.

      And while I don’t expect Judge Leonie Brinkema of CIA’s own judicial district to therefore deny the CIA the presumption of regularity, I confess DOJ’s concern that Sterling might suggest CIA had doctored or destroyed evidence makes me pretty interested in what evidence they might have worried he would claim CIA doctored or destroyed, because with the CIA, I’ve learned, it’s usually a safer bet to assume they have doctored or destroyed evidence.

      Especially given the two enormous evidentiary holes in the government’s case:

      The letter to the Iranians Merlin included with his newspaper-wrapped nuclear blueprints
      A report of Merlin’s activities in Vienna

      As I lay out below, CIA’s story about the letter to the Iranians is sketchy enough, though the government’s ultimate story about it is at least plausible. But their story about Merlin’s non-existent trip report is sketchier still. I think the evidence suggests the latter, at least, once did exist. But when it became inconvenient — perhaps because it provided proof that Bob S lied in the cables he wrote boasting of Mission Accomplished — it disappeared.

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  28. EPO and Other Patent Updates Over RSS

    Site syndication (over RSS feeds or XML/Atom) is vastly better than what became popular in recent years (censored, centralised, discriminatory "Social Control Media"); here are some feeds of interest



  29. When It Comes to a Unitary Patent System, Bad (or Intentionally Dishonest) Legal Advice Has Become the Norm

    The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent (UPC and UP, respectively) reinforce the old saying about lawyers being liars, doing anything to attract clients (to take their money); the UPC is basically dead, but fiction, falsehoods and outrageous fantasies still find their way into Web sites of law firms



  30. Links 19/2/2020: KDE Plasma 5.18.1, GNOME 3.36 Beta 2 and WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

    Links for the day


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