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02.19.15

Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 8:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • A developer’s guide to getting into open source

    Want to contribute to an open source project, but don’t know where to start? Finding the first problem to fix in an unfamiliar codebase can seem pretty difficult—and even more so if it counts millions of lines of code—but it’s usually much easier than it looks. This article should give you a few tips and ideas on how to get started.

  • Open source Graylog puts Splunk on notice

    Splunk, the log analysis system that’s evolved into a full-blown, machine-generated data processing platform (also described as “Google for visual analytics”), faces competition from a rising wave of open source competitors. One of the most prominent, Graylog, has unveiled its formal 1.0 release. Graylog’s success won’t be in meeting or exceeding Splunk’s feature set or performance, though; it’ll be in capturing or re-creating Splunk’s existing ecosystem of users and applications.

  • Events

    • Getting Things Started at SCALE 13x

      As midnight Wednesday becomes Thursday morning, SCALE Team members continue to put in hours, doing everything from wiring the rooms to stuffing swag bags, getting ready for 8 a.m. Thursday morning, when registration opens. Once that happens, the show is on the clock and all the work that those on the SCALE Team have put in so far — the long hours of work prior to, and leading up to, the show — and the work that the team puts in during the course of the show becomes the cornucopia enjoyed by the attendees.

      Reunions are quick — those who keep in touch through emails or social media over the course of the year meet face-to-face for the first time since last February. Security is called at times (just kidding, right Phillip Ballew?) and quick hellos give way to pitching in with what’s left to be done before the show opens in around eight hours.

    • 10 Great Quotes on PaaS and Containers from Collab Summit 2015

      A panel of Platform as a Service and container experts at Collaboration Summit Monday didn’t agree on many things – including the relative importance of PaaS and containers, which is more useful for developers, and how the ecosystem will evolve. But they all agreed that the PaaS ecosystem relies on open source to remain relevant and useful.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Emilia-Romagna completes switch to OpenOffice

      The administration of the Italian region Emilia-Romagna will complete its switch to Apache OpenOffice next month, says Giovanni Grazia, an IT project manager for the region. Emilia-Romagna is making the Open Document Format ODF the default on all 4200 workstations, across 10 departments and 5 agencies.

      Emilia-Romagna is adding several tools to the OpenOffice suite, “improving the user experience”, says Grazia. Three of these are publicly available OpenOffice extensions, but others are being developed especially for the region. The latter will be made available as open source within the next few weeks, Grazia says.

      The first of the official OpenOffice extensions used in the region is Alba, which makes it easy to insert in a document one or more pages with a different orientation. The second is Pagination, which improves the insertion of page numbers. Third is PDFImport, which allows the import of PDFs into OpenOffice.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.1.1 Maintenance Release

      WordPress 4.1.1 is now available. This maintenance release fixes 21 bugs in version 4.1.

      Some of you may have been waiting to update to the latest version until now, but there just wasn’t much to address. WordPress 4.1 was a smooth-sailing release and has seen more than 14 million downloads in the last two months.

  • BSD

    • Lumina Desktop 0.8.2 Released!

      The next version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released! Version 0.8.2 is mainly a “spit-and-polish” release: focusing on bugfixes, overall appearances, and interface layout/design. The FreeBSD port has already been updated to the new version, and the PC-BSD “Edge” repository will be making the new version available within the next day or two (packages building now). If you are creating/distributing your own packages, you can find the source code for this release in the “qt5/0.8.2″ branch in the Lumina repository on GitHub.

      The major difference that people will notice is that the themes/colors distributed with the desktop have been greatly improved, and I have included a few examples below. The full details about the changes in this release are listed at the bottom of the announcement.

      Reminder: The Lumina desktop environment is still considered to be “beta-quality”, so if you find things that either don’t work or don’t work well, please report them on the PC-BSD bug tracker so that they can get fixed as soon as possible.

    • PC-BSD Releases Lumina Desktop 0.8.2

      The PC-BSD developers behind the original Lumina Desktop Environment have put out a new “spit and polish” release of Lumina.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Does your open hardware project need a license?

        The last part is in place, you can still smell the solder in the room. Your open hardware project is complete. So, what comes next? The hard part: do you need a license?

        The first step is to determine if you have anything to license. For those of us coming from the software world, this step may seem odd.

        Michael Weinberg, Vice President at Public Knowledge and a board member of the Open Source Hardware Association, tells us, “Software is protected by copyright (and protected automatically), so you can safely assume that you have something to license when you write software.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • What is HTTP/2 and is it going to speed up the web?

      The web is about to get faster thanks to a new version of HTTP – the biggest change since 1999 to the protocol that underpins the world wide web as we know it today.

      Hypertext Transfer Protocol is familiar to most as the http:// at the beginning of a web address. It governs the connections between a user’s browser and the server hosting a website, invented by the father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Leftovers

  • Should publishers try to block ad blockers?

    Ad blockers have always been controversial among publishers. Many web publishers resent the use of ad blockers and feel that they are being cheated out of their rightful ad revenue. Some have even started to block access to their content when they detect an ad blocker in a reader’s browser.

    [...]

    Readers don’t use ad blockers because they want to cheat publishers out of revenue or act in an otherwise aggressive or nasty way. They use them because some web advertising has become incredibly obnoxious or intrusive.

  • Hardware

    • Qualcomm Announces Four New Snapdragon Processors

      Qualcomm announced yesterday the introduction of four new Snapdragon processors that the company says will “take 4G LTE and multimedia to new heights”. These new processors are the Snapdragon 620, 618, 425, and 415.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Measles makes its mark all over again: One of humanity’s oldest foes is back on the increase

      Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi – the great Persian physician often described as the grandfather of pediatric medicine – was a meticulous man. Before the age of 30, he discovered ethanol, thanks to the careful application of the then new art of distillation.

      When overseeing the building of a new hospital in Baghdad, al-Razi hung raw meat around the city and broke ground where the meat putrefied most slowly. And, in one of the 200 or so books that he wrote, he created the first and most extraordinarily detailed account of one of the most infectious diseases ever known.

  • Security

  • Privacy

    • In France, La Quadrature du Net Brings Legal Challenge Against Mass Surveillance

      Together with FFDN, a federation of community-driven non-profit ISPs, La Quadrature du Net is bringing a legal action before the French Council of State against a decree on administrative access to online communications metadata. Through this decree, it is a whole pillar of the legal basis for Internet surveillance that is being challenged. This appeal, which builds on the European Union Court of Justice’s recent decision on data retention, comes as the French government is instrumentalizing last month’s tragic events to further its securitarian agenda, with an upcoming bill on intelligence services.

    • Lenovo’s bundled adware also comes with a worrying security hole

      We reported earlier today on Lenovo bundling adware with some of its newer computers, but over the last few hours it’s emerged that the situation is worse than originally thought.

      The software, named Superfish, was pre-installed by Lenovo on some consumer computers. The software injects unwanted advertising into users’ browsers in search results and on third-party websites.

    • Lenovo Is Breaking HTTPS Security on its Recent Laptops

      News broke last night that Lenovo has been shipping laptops with a horrifically dangerous piece of software called Superfish, which tampers with Windows’ cryptographic security to perform man-in-the-middle attacks against the user’s browsing. This is done in order to inject advertising into secure HTTPS pages, a feature most users don’t want implemented in the most insecure possible way.1

    • Lenovo honestly thought you’d enjoy that Superfish HTTPS spyware

      Imagine that you are a major global seller of laptop computers and that you were just caught preloading those machines with ultra-invasive adware that hijacks even fully encrypted Web sessions by using a self-signed root HTTPS certificate from a company called Superfish. How do you explain why you did it?

    • Lenovo installs adware on its computers that could let hackers steal private data
    • It has been 0 days since the last significant security failure. It always will be.

      Lenovo deserve criticism. The level of incompetence involved here is so staggering that it wouldn’t be a gross injustice for the company to go under as a result[1]. But let’s not pretend that this is some sort of isolated incident. As an industry, we don’t care about user security. We will gladly ship products with known security failings and no plans to update them. We will produce devices that are locked down such that it’s impossible for anybody else to fix our failures. We will hide behind vague denials, we will obfuscate the impact of flaws and we will deflect criticisms with announcements of new and shinier products that will make everything better.

    • How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

      AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.

    • Alleged hack of encypted sim-card producer Gemalto by NSA and GCHQ

      With reference to writing to the Commission (dated 9/9/2013) on alleged hacks into the Dutch based SWIFT-server and Written Questions on the alleged infiltration of the Belgium based Belgacom servers and the Commission systems with the use of REGIN-malware (E-010269-14 of 5/12/2014);

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