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03.17.15

Links 17/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC4, Calligra and Krita 2.9.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Effektif Open Sources BPM Software with an Emphasis on Developers
  • Open Source Software Fuels a Revolution in Data Science

    It’s hard to downplay the influence of open source software on the spectacular rise of data science. From my perspective as a technology consultant, open source isn’t just an interesting aspect of the data science revolution; it’s absolutely critical.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache Software Foundation Launches HBase Version 1.0 for Sifting Data

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is on a roll thus far in 2015, advancing many open source projects that are making a difference in the cloud and on the Big Data scene. Recently, we covered the advancement of Apache Drill to a top-level project. It is billed as “the world’s first schema-free SQL query engine that delivers real-time insights by removing the constraint of building and maintaining schemas before data can be analyzed.” We’ve also covered Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley

      Now, also on the data front, the ASF has announced the availability of Apache HBase v1.0, a distributed, scalable, database for Apache Hadoop and HDFS.

    • Mirantis, Google Team Up on Kubernetes and OpenStack Integration

      Mirantis, focused on OpenStack, has announced a new initiative that integrates Kubernetes with OpenStack, letting developers deploy containers on OpenStack in what the company claims takes only minutes. The integration gives developers immediate access to Kubernetes clusters with Docker containers without needing to set up infrastructure. According to Mirantis, developers will be able to seamlessly move entire environments between OpenStack private clouds and public clouds that support Kubernetes, such as Google Cloud Platform.

    • The Different Facets of OpenStack HA

      Last October, I wrote about a particular aspect of providing HA for workloads running on OpenStack. The HA problem space for OpenStack is much more broad than what was addressed there. There has been a lot of work around HA for the OpenStack services themselves. The problems for OpenStack services seem to be pretty well understood. There are reference architectures with detailed instructions available from vendors and distributions that have been integrated into deployment tools. The upstream OpenStack project also has an HA guide that covers this topic.

    • Cloudformation and Eucalyptus

      Eucalyptus officially released support for AWS Cloudformation back in 4.0.0 but with the latest release of Eucalyptus i.e. 4.1.0 this support is now out of tech preview mode. What this means for the cloud users is that they can use Cloudformation just like they use it on AWS and get official support from Eucalyptus for it. Yes our support is not just paid support but we have a very extensive community to help you get started or solve your problems.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OnlyOffice Another Free Office Suite for Linux (Complete Selfhost Office Solution – OwnCloud Compatible)

      Nowadays company employees are often dispersed across the globe and collaboration tools turn out to be of current importance in achieving shared goals. OnlyOffice is a platform for small and medium business that enables teams to manage projects, customer relations and documents in one place. Linux users can take advantage of open source version and start to collaborate on projects hosted safely on their own servers. ONLYOFFICE is a cloud business service that enables you to manage projects, customer relations and documents in one place.

  • BSD

    • Pruning and Polishing: Keeping OpenBSD Modern

      Owing to its historic roots as a derivative of the original Berkeley Systems Distribution (BSD), OpenBSD includes a great deal of old code. Many files bear copyright notices from the year 1980, and in some cases, even older. Although not explicitly stated as a project goal, keeping OpenBSD modern is an important part of satisfying other goals, such as portability and correctness.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • A plan for Multi-Byte Unicode Character Support in GNU coreutils

      coreutils is the project that implements about 100 of the most well known and used utilities on any GNU/Linux system. These utilities are used interactively, or extensively in other programs and scripts, and are integral to the standard Linux server distros used today. Originally these utilities were implemented only considering ASCII or sometimes implicitly other unibyte character sets, but many of the assumptions break down in the presence of multi-byte encodings. As time has gone on this has become more of an issue as this graph representing the rise of UTF-8 use on the web indicates.

    • Userops: Deployment for the People

      Why the name “userops”? As you may have guessed, this is a pun on the term “devops”; the idea is that we also care about configuration management and deployability, but we aim for a different audience. Devops, as the name implies, focuses on liberating developers in the world of deployment, particularly developers who have to deploy a large number of machines for $LARGE_CORPORATION at their job. Userops, on the other hand, aims at liberating users in the world of deployment. You shouldn’t have to be a developer to take advantage of network freedoms and run network-oriented free software. After all, the free software world generally agrees that it makes sense that users of desktop software should not have to be developers, and that “user freedom” takes priority over “developer freedom”… the freedom of $LARGE_CORPORATION, while not something we object to, is not really our primary concern. (Though of course, if we build solutions that are good enough for end-users, corporations will probably adopt them, and that is fine! It just isn’t our focus.)

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • German Greens ask Foreign Affairs to amend way

      The Greens in the German parliament want the Foreign Ministry to revert back to open source software solutions on its workstations. The ministry in 2010 abandoned its open source desktop strategy, pressured by staffers struggling with interoperability problems. The Greens are now asking the ministry to justify the proprietary licence costs it has made since then.

    • Feds look to developers to improve big data, open source projects

      The vision behind the open source and big data initiatives underway in the federal government is far more ambitious than just a series of technology projects, but aims to further transparency, citizen engagement and achieve a major shift in agency culture.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Apple’s Open-Source ‘ResearchKit’ And The Future Of Medical Research
    • Why aren’t governments as transparent as they could be?

      In the quarter century since its creation, the Web has been a printing press and broadcast studio for millions of people whose voices would otherwise have been heard by only a few close friends. It opened a whole new world of sharing, and today nearly three-quarters of all Americans say digital technologies have improved their ability to share their ideas and creations with others, according to a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center.

    • Charting the OpenStack galaxy, under the hood at TryStack, and more
    • PSI Directive: transposition ends in July 2015

      The Commission has helped Member States to transpose the directive with the publication of a series of guidelines, he added. “Open access is now mainstream,” he said, adding that the Commission was engaged in a policy of openness within the Digital Single Market program.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data: national company register data now freely accessible

        Information about French companies, collected and centralised by InfoGreffe, will now be freely accessible. French Members of Parliament have voted in favour of article 19 of the draft Loi Macron (named after Emmanuel Macron, Minister of Economic Affairs, who supports the law). The article, which states that InfoGreffe information will now be available as Open Data, was approved in February.

    • Open Access/Content

      • How does your state use open educational resources?

        The price of textbooks continues to be a cost barrier for postsecondary students, even though some states are making notable efforts to bring those costs down. Open Educational Resources are an emerging policy option as states, postsecondary systems and institutions consider how to best develop libraries and collections of OERs

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • My IDE needs a makeover

      Gnome Terminal is good enough for my needs. I do have a problem of too many terminal windows… I have tried Terminator (a tiling single-window / multiple-tabs terminal). However during development the things I use shell for, should be part of the IDE directly: changing projects, opening/closing/navigating/creating files, invoking build, invoking debug, “refactoring” (sed). I think I do want to try out a pull-down terminal for temporal look-ups together with a tiling “main” terminal. Or ideally ditch it all together. Emacs does provide multiple terminals, but when I did that I ended up with “inception” -> launching an instance of emacs, inside the terminal, inside emacs…

    • Google’s Go language is off to a great start, but still has work ahead

      Go, a Google-developed open source language intended to focus on simplicity and efficiency, has been getting a lot of attention lately. Launched late in 2009, the statically typed language is perhaps best known for its use in the development of the red-hot Docker container platform. “Go was born out of frustration with existing languages and environments for systems programming,” a FAQ on Go reads.

    • Why Drat? A Guest Post by Steven Pav

      To get some idea of what I mean by this, suppose you are a happy consumer of R packages, but want access to, say, the latest, greatest releases of my distribution package, sadist.

    • Taking maintainership of dolt

      For those who don’t know, dolt is a wrapper and replacement for libtool on sane systems that don’t need it at all. It was created some years ago by Josh Triplett to overcome the slowness of libtool.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open ICT standards fundamental for small ICT firms

      Government use of open ICT standards are fundamental for smaller ICT companies and for innovation in society, concludes Professor Björn Lundell of the University of Skövde (Sweden), following a three-year research project. “Open standards promote a healthy, competitive market.”

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The biggest privatisation in NHS history: why we had to blow the whistle

      I’m not a journalist, but as of this morning I know what it feels like to be part of the biggest leak in NHS history.

      Published on openDemocracy, the memorandum of information for the £700m sell-off of Staffordshire cancer services is now available for the 800,000 directly affected and 3 million indirectly affected patients to read online.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What we can learn from the day the US burned to death 100,000 women and children

      March 9, 2015 marked the seventieth anniversary of the American firebombing of Tokyo, World War II’s deadliest day.

      More people died that night from napalm bombs than in the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But few in the United States are aware that the attack even took place.

    • Venezuela Threatens U-S National Security?

      What’s behind the Obama Administration’s recent imposition of sanctions against Venezuelan officials, and its claim that Venezuela threatens U-S national security? Gloria La Riva and Roger Harris address this question.

    • How the FBI Created a Terrorist

      IN THE VIDEO, Sami Osmakac is tall and gaunt, with jutting cheekbones and a scraggly beard. He sits cross-legged on the maroon carpet of the hotel room, wearing white cotton socks and pants that rise up his legs to reveal his thin, pale ankles. An AK-47 leans against the closet door behind him. What appears to be a suicide vest is strapped to his body. In his right hand is a pistol.

      [...]

      Osmakac was the target of an elaborately orchestrated FBI sting that involved a paid informant, as well as FBI agents and support staff working on the setup for more than three months. The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac’s martyrdom video. The bureau also gave Osmakac the car bomb he allegedly planned to detonate, and even money for a taxi so he could get to where the FBI needed him to go. Osmakac was a deeply disturbed young man, according to several of the psychiatrists and psychologists who examined him before trial. He became a “terrorist” only after the FBI provided the means, opportunity and final prodding necessary to make him one.

    • Tom Cotton Seems Confused About The Basic Geography Of Iran

      Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) stood by his decision Sunday to send a letter on a burgeoning nuclear deal directly to Iranian leaders. He insisted on Face the Nation that “Iran’s leaders need to hear the message loud and clear” that an Obama-brokered deal might not last past the end of his administration without congressional approval, despite a stern letter from the White House Sunday night urging senators to hold off on congressional intervention.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • State Department says most officials’ emails were not auto-archived until last month

      The State Department said Friday it was unable to automatically archive the emails of most of its senior officials until last month, which could mean potential problems for historical record-keeping amid criticism of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private email server while in office.

    • State Dept. Shuts Down Email After Cyber Attack

      The State Department shut down large parts of its unclassified email system today in a final attempt to rid it of malware believed to have been inserted by Russian hackers in what has become one of the most serious cyber intrusions in the department’s history, U.S. officials told ABC News.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Vanuatu Blames Global Warming as Cyclone Causes Nation’s Worst Climate Disaster in Recent Memory

      About half the population of the South Pacific Island state of Vanuatu has been left homeless by a devastating category 5 cyclone that flattened buildings and washed away roads and bridges. Aid agencies say Cyclone Pam killed at least eight people, with the death toll expected to rise as rescuers reach more far-flung areas. Vanuatu has a population of about 250,000 and is made up of more than 80 islands. Disaster relief officials and relief workers are still trying to establish contact with remote islands that bore the brunt of winds of more than 185 miles per hour. We are joined by Alex Mathieson, former Vanuatu country director for the aid group Oxfam.

    • WaPo Can Find Climate Denial Embarrassment Closer to Home

      Will isn’t the only prominent climate change denier given a prestigious soapbox by the Post.

    • UK’s first ‘poo bus’ goes into regular service

      Britain’s first “poo bus”, which runs on human and household waste, goes into regular service this month.

      Powered by biomethane gas, the Bio-Bus will use waste from more than 32,000 households along its 15-mile route.

    • Politics Is Poisoning NASA’s Ability to Do What It Needs to Do

      When Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was made head of the Senate committee in charge of NASA’s funding, I (and many others) were appalled. Cruz is a science denier, flatly claiming global warming isn’t happening.

      This is an issue, since many of NASA’s missions are directly focused on examining the amount, extent, and impact of that warming. And rightly so.

  • Finance

    • The Long Story Behind Gigaom’s Sudden Demise

      Gigaom’s investors are still hopeful that the company has value, and are continuing to shop it: The sales pitch is that the site itself still generates traffic and ad revenue, and the company’s events business could still draw attendees and sponsors. Some people affiliated with Gigaom believe that Time Inc., International Data Group and O’Reilly Media are all looking at the property. All three companies declined to comment.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • What Was Missing From Coverage of Netanyahu’s Speech

      Another striking omission from these articles, about a speech in which Netanyahu talked about Iran’s “aggression in the region and in the world,” were words like “Palestine,” “Palestinian,” “occupation” or “Gaza”; none of these came up in any of the five articles. USA Today headlined its piece “Netanyahu: Stop Iran’s ‘March of Conquest’”–as though it were Iran, not Israel, that has conquered, occupied and in some cases annexed its neighbors’ territory.

  • Privacy

    • FBI’s Plan to Expand Hacking Power Advances Despite Privacy Fears

      A judicial advisory panel Monday quietly approved a rule change that will broaden the FBI’s hacking authority despite fears raised by Google that the amended language represents a “monumental” constitutional concern.

      The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules voted 11-1 to modify an arcane federal rule to allow judges more flexibility in how they approve search warrants for electronic data, according to a Justice Department spokesman.

    • Online privacy nihilism runs rampant in US, survey says

      A majority of Americans have not altered their online behavior in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations detailing widespread US government electronic surveillance activities, according to a Pew Research Center survey published Monday.

    • Private Companies Continue To Amass Millions Of License Plate Photos, Hold Onto The Data Forever

      Vigilant Solutions’ automatic license plate readers are everywhere, even places where you wouldn’t expect them. Like, mounted on private companies’ vehicles. This isn’t new. BetaBoston investigated the private ALPR growth industry early last year. Unfortunately, there’s been very little good news to report since then. In fact, there still isn’t.

    • Hertz Puts Video Cameras Inside Its Rental Cars, Has ‘No Current Plans’ To Use Them

      According to the Fusion article, Hertz doesn’t seem to be telling anyone about the camera, on the grounds that the company doesn’t plan to use it, and so there’s nothing for customers to know. But if and when it does announce its presence, there will be precisely the problem Techdirt mentioned last week: that people in front of it would naturally be worried they were being spied upon — even if assured to the contrary — and would start constraining their speech and behavior.

    • Hertz puts cameras in its rental cars, says it has no plans to use them

      This week I got an angry email from a friend who had just rented a car from Hertz: “Did you know Hertz is putting cameras in rental cars!? This is bullsh*t. I wonder if it says they can tape me in my Hertz contract.”

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Our Shiny New Net Neutrality Rules Won’t Be Worth Squat If The FCC Isn’t Willing To Act

      While the FCC’s new net neutrality rules are certainly a step in the right direction for consumers, it’s aggressively premature to uncork the champagne. There are still ISP lawsuits waiting in the wings, not to mention the fact that a 2016 party shift (and subsequent FCC leadership change) could very quickly dismantle ten years of grassroots activism in the blink of an eye. And then there are the rules themselves and the FCC’s dedication to them; as noted last week, it’s difficult to know just how useful the new Title II-based rules are going to be until we see precisely what the FCC defines as actionable behavior.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Members of the European Parliament must support the Reda Report on copyright reform!

        On 23 and 24 March 2015, you will examine the proposed amendements to the report of MEP Julia Reda on the reform of the directive on copyright. More than 500 amendements have been tabled, the large majority of which aim at emptying it from its substance. Julia Reda’s draft report responds to the aspirations expressed by a large number of citizens: they wish to access, to share and t more widely culture and knowledge in the digital environment. La Quadrature du Net calls the MEPs of the JURI commission to preserve the progress in this report and in particular those that strenghten the positive rights of individuals in culture.

      • URGENT! The Positive Reform Of Copyright Is Being Pirated In The European Parliament!

        Julia Reda, German Pirate Party MEP, has presented a report promoting a series of measures to harmonise some aspects of copyright.

      • Cultural industries unite against copyright reform

        France’s cultural industries have shown their determination to fight European copyright reform plans. A parallel movement among members of the European Parliament hopes to have the Electronic Commerce Directive re-examined as part of the reform package. EurActiv France reports.

      • Piracy Is Just Another Copyright Industry Scapegoat

        History repeats itself. Unlicensed home manufacturing of copies was never the cause of the copyright industry’s business problems; they created those all on their own. It’s not the first time they’ve appointed a scapegoat for their own failures to get public funding, either.

      • U.S. Net Neutrality Has a Massive Copyright Loophole

        After years of debating U.S. Internet subscribers now have Government regulated Net Neutrality. A huge step forward according to some, but the full order released a few days ago reveals some worrying caveats. While the rules prevent paid prioritization, they do very little to prevent BitTorrent blocking, the very issue that got the net neutrality debate started.

      • Peter Sunde: File Sharing is Politics, Propaganda and Control

        In the beginning of The Pirate Bay’s history the site was in Swedish. It was made by Swedes for their community. Other countries had their own file sharing sites but they got shut down.

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