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02.19.15

Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Caveats of the HP MicroServer Gen8

      If you try to boot FreeBSD with its zfsloader you will likely need to apply a workaround patch, because the BIOS seems to do something odd. Linux works as expected.

  • Kernel Space

    • 10 Highlights of Jon Corbet’s Linux Kernel Report

      Here are 10 highlights:

      1. 3.15 was the biggest kernel release ever with 13,722 patches merged. “I imagine we will surpass that again,” Corbet said. “The amount of changes to the kernel is just going up over time.”

      2. The number of developers participating is going up over time while the amount of time it takes us to create a kernel is actually dropping over time. It started at 80 days between kernel releases some time ago, and it’s now down to about 63 days. “I don’t know how much shorter we can get,” het said.

      3. Developers added seven new system calls to the kernel over the past year, along with new features such as deadline scheduling, control group reworking, multiqueue block layer, and lots of networking improvmenets. That’s in addition to hundreds of new hardware drivers and thousands of bug fixes.

    • Kernel build times for automated builders

      Over the past year or so various people have been automating kernel builds with the aim of both setting the standard that things should build reliably and using the resulting builds for automated testing. This has been having good results, it’s especially nice to compare the results for older stable kernel builds with current ones and notice how much happier everything is.

    • The Linux Foundation Shows Us Just How Massive the Kernel Development Really Is

      The Linux kernel is the biggest collaborative software project on the planet, but sometimes it might be difficult for people to understand that. The Linux Foundation has released its annual development report and we can get a glimpse of just how much work is being done.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The 8 best desktop environments for Linux

      There is no shortage of desktop environments for Linux, which means you can customize your PC the way you want it.

      I have used almost all major desktop environments — not just to test the waters but to actually find the one that works for me — because, you know, the best DE is the one that fits your needs.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Control Center 3.16 Beta Release Adds Keyboard, Bluetooth, Privacy Fixes

        The GNOME development team is working hard on the next major version of their controversial and modern GNOME desktop environment, release 3.16, which will bring a number of improvements in performance, stability, and updated components, each one having its own major features. This is the case of GNOME Control Center, which is now available to testers worldwide in a beta form.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Adds Networking, Storage Features to OpenStack Platform

        Networking improvements, better Ceph distributed storage support and enhanced I/O virtualization are the headline features in the latest version of Red Hat (RHT) Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, the enterprise cloud computing product that the company released this week.

      • Red Hat continues its 64-bit ARM growth

        Red Hat started putting its weight behind 64-bit ARM architecture in data-center last year by launching ARM Partner Early Access Program for Partner Ecosystem.

        The idea behind the program was to develop an operating system which was capable of supporting multiple partner-initiated system designs based on the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture.

      • Red Hat launches Enterprise OpenStack Platform 6 with IPv6 support

        RED HAT has announced the arrival of Red Hat Enterprise OpenStack Platform 6 (RHOP6).

        The infrastructure-as-a-service offering has been modelled in part on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, aiming to push forward the firm’s commitment to Ceph storage along with a host of other enhancements.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Facebook unleashes Stetho, its open-source Android debugging tool

          Facebook said today that it’s giving away a tool it built to spot errors in Android application code.

        • Mysterious Android 5.2 Lollipop update appears – but we have no idea what’s in store

          According to Google’s own Android version distribution data, Android 5.0 Lollipop is only on 1.6% of Android devices that are currently in use. The actual figure is undoubtedly much smaller, as it doesn’t take into account the millions upon millions of off-brand Android devices that don’t ship with Google’s apps and services installed.

        • Decrypt Android Wear with these 16 essential tips and tricks

          Using Android Wear isn’t always easy, but it’s beginning to catch on. Google has been busy packing new functionality into Android Wear, and though smartwatches (like any new tech) have a steep learning curve, they’re quickly becoming more practical. Here are some essential tips to get the most out of your Android Wear smartwatch.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop update now available for T-Mobile Galaxy S5

          A couple of readers just got in touch with us to inform us that the long-awaited Android 5.0 Lollipop update has landed for the T-Mobile Galaxy S5. And by the looks of things, it’s a fairly hefty update weighing in at almost 1GB in size. It’s available to download over the air, so if you haven’t received a notification yet, check your settings and update manually. If that fails, give Samsung Kies a try.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Tested: Performance and Battery Life

          Google released Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ last November, a major milestone in the life of today’s most popular mobile operating system. Like with most Android revisions, the update was pushed over-the-air to Nexus devices and all was well in the vanilla Android camp. Google took the opportunity to launch new devices, too, the Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet, complete with Android 5.0 support out of the box.

        • Beam’s Android-powered projector fits in your light sockets

          Let’s face it: most projectors aren’t very useful outside of home theaters or boardrooms, even if they’re packing some smarts. Beam may get you to change your mind, though. Its namesake Android-powered projector runs apps, streams media from your mobile gear (through AirPlay or Miracast) and starts tasks based on the time or what you’re doing. You can play a video message when someone gets home, for instance, or load Netflix as soon as you turn on Bluetooth speakers. However, the design is the real party trick. While the 854 x 480 resolution and 100 lumen brightness are no great shakes, you can screw Beam into any standard light socket — you don’t have to hunt for a free wall outlet (or even a wall) if you’re just looking to show off some vacation photos.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why open source needs accessibility standards

    A core tenet of the free software movement is to enable every computer user to cooperate and contribute as equals. Improving the accessibility standards at which open source software is developed not only progresses the fundamental concepts behind this philosophy, it further legitimizes open source developers’ place in the software development community.

  • Facebook garners big gains from tighter management of open source

    Thanks to some applied discipline, Facebook is reaping greater benefits from its efforts around open source software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Moving Forward with Firefox

        Next month, Johnathan Nightingale will step down as a full time Mozillian after 8 years of distinguished service. We’d like to thank him for his countless contributions to the Mozilla project and leading Firefox through periods of intense competition and change.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • The List of OpenStack Distributions Keeps Growing

      It’s been said that sometimes the only thing worse than no choices is too many choices. If that is the case, the enterprise could be in a jam when it comes to cloud architectures.

      The number of OpenStack distributions is getting larger every day, and they are starting to incorporate wildly divergent ancillary feature that will make it difficult to identify the right solution for the task at hand.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • SiteSupra CMS Launches Open Source Edition

        SiteSupra Open Source Edition is a PHP-based free, GPL-licensed CMS that is available to download from www.sitesupra.org via GitHub. The product contributes to a hosted version of the product available under the same name at www.sitesupra.com. You can find out more about the original platform via our SiteSupra Review.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Elon Musk Clarifies That Tesla’s Patents Really Are Free; Investor Absolutely Freaks Out

      We’ve written a few times about Elon Musk and Tesla’s decision to open up all of Tesla’s patents, with a promise not to sue anyone for using them. We also found it funny when some reacted to it by complaining that it wasn’t done for “altruistic” reasons, but to help Tesla, because of course: that’s the whole point. Musk recognized that patents frequently hold back and limit innovation, especially around core infrastructure. Since then, Musk has said that, in fact, rivals are making use of his patents, even as GM insists it’s not.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Chinese New Year 2015: 6 things you need to know about the Year of the Goat (or Sheep)

    The world’s largest annual human migration is now well underway as 2.8 billion trips are made across China in what is known as chun yun, when students, migrant workers and office employees living away from home will make the journey back to celebrate with their families.

  • Security

  • Transparency Reporting

    • A Whistleblower’s Horror Story

      This is the age of the whistleblower. From Chelsea Manning to Edward Snowden to the latest cloak-and-dagger lifter of files, ex-HSBC employee Hervé Falciani, whistleblowers are becoming to this decade what rock stars were to the Sixties — pop culture icons, global countercultural heroes.

    • Disdaining ‘the Search for Truth’

      When information becomes a weapon – whether in geopolitics or domestic politics – the democratic principle of an informed electorate is sacrificed, as is now the case in modern America, where some leaders pander to parts of the electorate that are disdainful of science, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • What Is Real ID?

      As of today, the Real ID Act—which will require all US IDs to meet minimum federal security standards—enter the first stage of its multi-year enforcement. That has a lot of people pretty nervous; whether legislators use the term or not, it smells an awful lot like a national ID card. But what is Real ID, exactly?

    • Samsung smart TVs don’t encrypt the voice data they collect

      Samsung does not encrypt voice recordings that are collected and transmitted by its smart TVs to a third party service, even though the company has claimed that it uses encryption to secure consumers’ personal information.

      A week ago, the revelation that Samsung collects words spoken by consumers when they use the voice recognition feature in their smart TVs enraged privacy advocates, since according to Samsung’s own privacy policy those words can in some cases include personal or sensitive information. The incident even drew comparisons to Big Brother behavior from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

    • Media Companies Track Pirated Downloads For Marketing Purposes

      A new report released by Tru Optik shows that there are hundreds of millions of active BitTorrent users who together shared 18 billion files last year. The data is being used to show media companies the scale of the “unmonetized” demand for their products while offering a tool to target pirates with the right offerings.

    • Google warns of US government ‘hacking any facility’ in the world

      Google says increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise ‘monumental’ legal concerns that should be decided by Congress

    • Beijing subway swipe data betrays social class

      BEIJING is an enormous city, sprawling over an area 10 times larger than Greater London. To get around China’s capital, many residents rely on the metro, swiping a smartcard each time they jump on or off. Could their swiping patterns reveal their class?

      At the Beijing Institute of City Planning, researchers led by urban planner Ying Long have been poring over the smartcard records of millions of riders to see what their travel patterns reveal.

      They explored two separate, week-long snapshots of public transportation activity taken two years apart, each including the movements of more than 8 million riders along the city’s bus and subway lines.

    • Yet Another Report Showing ‘Anonymous’ Data Not At All Anonymous

      As companies expand the amount of data hoovered up via their subscribers, a common refrain to try and ease public worry is that consumers shouldn’t worry because this data is “anonymized.” However, time and time again studies have highlighted how it’s not particularly difficult to tie these data sets to consumer identities — usually with only the use of a few additional contextual clues. It doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about cellular location data, GPS data, taxi data or NSA metadata, the basic fact is these anonymous data sets aren’t really anonymous.

    • China To Require Real-Name Registration For Online Services And Bans On Parody Accounts

      China has been trying for some time to clamp down on the Internet, in an attempt to prevent it from being used in ways that threaten the authorities’ control. Since the appointment of China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, the situation has deteriorated — China Digital Times speaks of the “new normal” of sharpened control.

    • Supreme Court To Tackle LA Law Enforcement’s Warrantless Access To Hotel Records

      The question of whether law enforcement’s warrantless (and subpoena-less) access to hotel records falls outside the confines of the Constitution will be answered by the Supreme Court. An en banc hearing by the Ninth Circuit Court found that Los Angeles’ ordinance granting local law enforcement this power was unconstitutional. Not content with this finding, the city of Los Angeles has managed to bump it up to the highest judicial level.

  • Civil Rights

    • Nominee For Attorney General Tap Dances Around Senator Franken’s Question About Aaron Swartz

      We’ve discussed for years how broken the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) is. The law, which was written many years ago, is problematically vague in certain areas, allowing prosecutors to claim that merely breaking a terms of service you didn’t read is a form of felony hacking — as they define it as “unauthorized access.” While there have been many egregious CFAA cases, one of the most high-profile, of course, was that of activist Aaron Swartz, who was arrested for downloading too many research papers from JSTOR from the computer network on the MIT campus. The MIT campus network gave anyone — even guests — full access to the JSTOR archives if you were on the university network. Swartz took advantage of that to download many files — leading to his arrest, and a whole bunch of charges against him. After the arrest, the DOJ proudly talked about how Swartz faced 35 years in prison. Of course, if you bring that up now, the DOJ and its defenders get angry, saying he never really would have faced that much time in prison — even though the number comes from the DOJ’s (since removed) press release.

    • Woman fatally shoots herself while adjusting bra holster

      Police in Michigan have determined that a mishap involving a bra holster led to the death of a local politician and pageant champion.

      Christina Bond, a 55-year-old mother of two, fatally shot herself in the eye while attempting to secure her handgun.

      “She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn’t get it to fit the way she wanted it to,” said St. Joseph Public Safety Director Mark Clapp. “She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon.”

      Bond was rushed from her home on Lake Michigan after the incident, but succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital.

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