Links 20/3/2015: Linux 3.12.39 LTS, GNOME Nearing Release

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

GNOME bluefish



  • 5 Golden Rules to Live By as a New Linux User

    You have ignored persistent Linux myths and decided to give Linux a try. How do you ensure that your transition to the new OS is smooth? Stick to the following five rules and you should do just fine. It’s time to get over your fear of failing at Linux.

  • */Linux Chugs Along Everywhere

    I find interesting the weekday rates of usage. */Linux usage is growing every day of the week. Android/Linux seems to be getting more usage at home on weekends but weekday use is also growing. Chrome OS is getting more usage weekdays, perhaps at schools. It’s all good. FLOSS should be used in all ways every day of the week. Finally there is competition on retail shelves. I was in Walmart yesterday. The space left for that other OS is shrinking and sad. The notebooks appeared to have heavy black steel bars laid over them to prevent theft, as if anyone wanted them… Not one of the few working notebooks had anything useful onscreen. It was just a list of features or “welcome”… One desktop was underneath the shelves still in a box. I was the only human being near that shelf.

  • Server

    • Docker security in the future

      One of the main goals at both Red Hat and at Docker is to make this statement less true. My team at Red Hat is continuing to try to take advantage of other security mechanisms to make containers more secure. These are a few of the security features we are working at implementing and how they might affect Docker and containers in the future.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • What’s Your Desktop Environment?

      The Linux distro poll is over and we’re crunching the numbers for an article to go up later today. However, first we want to introduce our second annual Desktop Environment poll.

      It only seems fitting, somehow, that we would follow up our what’s-your-distro poll with a Linux desktop poll. After all, we see and interact with our desktop everyday — but we never “see” our operating systems — meaning most users actually have a better understanding of their desktop environment or window manager than they do with the underlying distro. So much so, that many users — especially outside of the *nix world, often think of their desktop environment as the operating system.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Help Making a Krita Master Class Possible!

        David Revoy will be teaching Krita, with a focus on concept art and the challenges of digital painting — and he’ll introduce the new features we just released with Krita 2.9! Sarah Laufer has founded her own animation studio, regularly gives Blender courses in San Jose, and is now, of course, in the Netherlands for Project Gooseberry. She will focus on animating characters. François Gastaldo is an Open Shading Language expert and that’s the topic of his master class, while François Grassard from University Paris-8 has led the transition to free tools: Krita, Blender, Natron. He will talk about his experiences, but also about camera tracking, 3D integration and particle systems.

      • KDE dinner in Berlin – April 11

        In a few weeks (April 11-12) the KDE e.V. board is going to have an in-person board meeting in Berlin.

      • Bluedevil 2.1.1 released

        This is mainly a bugfix release with two minor new features. The first one is a new page in a pairing wizard. Instead of closing the wizard when it finishes, a success page is now shown to the user to indicate device setup was completed.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.16 Release Candidate Arrives

        Frederic Peters on the behalf of the GNOME release team announced the GNOME 3.15.92 release today, which serves as the release candidate ahead of the GNOME 3.16 official release at month’s end.

      • I organize, therefore I am…. GNOME PERU FEST 2015

        The GNOME PERU FEST 2015 event took place last Friday 13th, March in Centro Cultural PetroPerú. Special thanks GNOME Foundation for sponsoring us all again, as well Fedora, Infopucp, La Bouquette, Nexsys, PetroPerú and IBM.

      • GNOME 3.16.0 newstable tarballs due (and more)
      • GNOME Control Center Gets Another Big Update Ahead of GNOME 3.16

        We’ve announced a yesterday that immediate availability for testing of the Release Candidate version of the forthcoming GNOME 3.16 desktop environment. The GNOME Control Center application has also been updated as part of this RC (Release Candidate) release of GNOME 3.16 and includes a great number of changes that we have listed for you in the next paragraphs.

      • GTK+ 3.16 Will Bring Support for HiDPI Pointer Cursors in Wayland

        The GTK+ 3.15.12 toolkit has been released recently as part of the GNOME 3.16 RC (Release Candidate) desktop environment and it introduces the last changes to be implemented in the final GTK+ 3.16.0 released, which will be distributed alongside GNOME 3.16, due for release on March 25, 2015.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1

        There are many different distributions that use Ubuntu as a base, but one you might not have heard of is Black Lab Linux. Black Lab Linux uses…you guessed it…a cute black labrador retriever as its mascot, and the distro itself is focused on providing a compelling and easy to use desktop version of Linux. Toward that end they’ve tried very hard to create a desktop distro that someone coming from a Mac or Windows could jump in and use, even if they are completely new to Linux.

      • Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn – No, not really

        There’s nothing functionally wrong with Lubuntu. It’s not bad. It’s simply not interesting. It’s meat without flavor, it’s a hybrid car, it’s accounting lessons at the local evening school, it’s morning news, it’s a visit to Pompei while blindfolded. There’s no excitement. You need a lean distro? Fine. Xubuntu. Problem solved. It’s that simple. LXLE does offer some small advantages over this distro, but not by a great margin. Maybe there’s a limit to how fun LXDE can really be. Alive does not mean lively.

        I liked this desktop environment in the past, but it’s stagnated. It hasn’t evolved at all, and its competitors have left it far behind. And that reflects poorly on Lubuntu, which, despite a calm and stable record of spartan behavior, has left with me an absolute zero of emotional attachment toward it. That’s not good. It’s 6/10 not good. Now, almost four years since my last Lubuntu review, that’s quite bad actually. Overall, you shouldn’t pass on this distro, and perhaps Utopic + LXDE is the perfect match for your aging hardware. But in most cases, you can happily replace it with Xubuntu, and everything will be just as fine, only far more fun. And that brings us to the end of this review. Fire away thy angry emails.

    • New Releases

      • It’s not time for Popcorn Time, and it never will be

        Both Linux and open source have come a very long way. But all of those strides could so easily be undone by the constant proliferation of tools such as Popcorn Time. And now, even a Linux distribution, ChaletOS has included Popcorn Time by default. The ChaletOS could be one of those Linux distributions anyone and everyone could use and love. After all, it offers an interface that is as close to Windows 7 as any Linux desktop has ever achieved (thanks to Xfce). Average Windows users will be right at home with an arsenal of applications that easily covers their work and personal needs. But then, the developers throw in Popcorn Time. What makes this doubly odd is that ChaletOS is hosted by Google.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • ROSA Fresh GNOME R5 is here!

        The GNOME Shell graphical design has a touch of a minimalistic ergonomics resembling some MacOS concepts. The user may easily concentrate on the job with the help of compact and ergonomcal GUI elements. Laptop users are especially encouraged to use GNOME Shell.

    • Arch Family

      • Why you should switch to Arch Linux

        There are many different Linux distributions available, but few provide as much direct control over your computer as Arch Linux. One of our bloggers here on ITworld shares his thoughts on why he picked Arch Linux as his desktop distro, and why you might want to consider it as well.

      • Rollin’ with Arch, Hold the Popcorn, and Fav Desktop

        Arch Linux is “a lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple.” It’s also known as a rolling release distribution that is characterized by frequent updates rather than periodic reinstalls. Arch has remained in Distrowatch.com’s top 10 Page Hit Ranking since 2009 and was once a darling of the Linux blogosphere. Swapnil Bhartiya today posted five reasons folks should “roll with Arch Linux.” Elsewhere, Red Hat had an interesting day on Wall Street and Jack Wallen said Popcorn Time isn’t the kind of application distributions should be including. And finally, a new poll was posted to bring some fun to your Thursday evening.

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat higher on pre-earnings OTR Global upgrade
      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) is Trading Higher on Unusual Volume for March 19
      • Barbarians At The Gate For Red Hat (RHT)

        Trade-Ideas LLC identified Red Hat ( RHT) as a “barbarian at the gate” (strong stocks crossing above resistance with today’s range greater than 200%) candidate.

      • Red Hat Adds Enterprise Mobility Options Including Expansion of FeedHenry Platform

        Open source solution provider Red Hat has announced a new emphasis on enterprise mobility, leveraging its enterprise-grade open source technologies. This focus is in response to the demand for faster and continuous development cycles that challenge traditional IT infrastructure and development methodologies. Red Hats efforts includes services that companies to become more mobile-centric and evolve in a way that supports both the agility of new mobile initiatives and stability of core IT.

      • Fedora

        • Terminal job notifications in Fedora 22 Workstation

          Fedora 22 Workstation’s GNOME 3.16 desktop makes almost everything easy using a standard point and click interface. But one of the best reasons for using it is the power you can also get in the Terminal app. There’s a world of power available through that command line. And the new Terminal job notifications keep you in touch with the command line, even if you’re doing something else.

        • Fedora 22 Alpha Server Edition Is Available for Download

          We announced last week the immediate availability for download and testing of the Fedora 22 Alpha operating system, which included the Live Workstation edition with the latest development version of the upcoming GNOME 3.16 desktop environment, and an Xfce spin that brought us the latest Xfce 4.12 desktop environment.

        • Fedora RPM: Automatic “Provides” for CMake projects packages
        • 3.19 Fedora ARM kernel status

          I’ve been a bit lazy on the ARM kernel status updates. There wasn’t one at all for 3.18 but the fact was, that while there was lots of under the hood improvements for ARM/aarch64, the new device support or improvements from a user’s point of view was positively boring so I never bothered!

        • Karma Cookies, and how to give them

          It took a while to get all the ingredients together, but we baked up a delicious batch of new Fedora Badges and they’re fresh out of the oven.

        • dnf-0.6.4-1 and hawkey-0.5.3-2 in EPEL7
        • Maria Leandro: How do you Fedora?

          I’m Maria Leandro, known also as Tatica and I work as a photographer on my own business, Tap.Pics. I work exclusively with Open Source tools, which has made my life quite interesting. I started with Linux back in 2005 and since then, I have never felt the need of change my OS. It started (like many other people), at college, and it became part of my personal and professional life. All my works have been related directly to Open Source technologies, including teaching and organizing events.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • OpenSSL warns of two high-severity bugs, but no Heartbleed

      The vulnerability was widely discussed earlier this week in social media threads such as this one. It was discovered by David Ramos of Stanford University, who agreed to withhold publishing proof-of-concept code that exploits the bug until server administrators have had time to patch the security hole. Based on today’s description of the bug, however, it likely won’t be hard for other people to independently develop exploits.

    • Latest OpenSSL Vulnerabilities Revealed; LibreSSL In Better Shape

      The latest OpenSSL security vulnerabilities were made public today with four CVEs being addressed.

    • making security sausage

      Security may be a process, not a product, but security patches are definitely a product. Some reflections on a few recent experiences making security sausage, er, patches.

      I appear to have found myself in the position of OpenBSD sausage grinder even though it’s not a great fit. It’s not in my temperament to care about yesterday’s problems after they’re fixed, nor am I enthusiastic about long term support. I mostly run current, so I don’t have much personal interest in fixing stable. Unfortunately, I wrote the tool used for signing patches which somehow turned into a responsibility for also creating the inputs to be signed. That was not the plan!

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Forgiving Al-Qaeda in Pursuit of a New Enemy

      Well, ISIS is openly committed to a policy of genocide–not only against non-Muslim minorities like the Yazidi (New York Times, 10/21/14), but against entire Shia denomination of Islam (“Shia have no medicine but the sword” is an ISIS slogan) who make up two-thirds of the population of Iraq. Thinking that that makes ISIS a bad choice to rule Iraq requires you to think of Shi’ite Muslims as human beings, I suppose.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • A Budget Response – Showy Gimmicks vs Solid Foundations

      The one thing that is supposed to be helping is the newly announced “Help to Buy ISA”. The stated aim is to support those who are saving to buy a house – but the reality is that the Government is doing nothing more than bribing people to take on excessive debt – to keep up the lending that keeps house prices unfathomably out of reach for so many.

  • Privacy

    • GCHQ’s hacking technologies go unregulated and unsupervised

      As reported in Wired, GCHQ’s development of hacking technologies is completely absent of external regulation, and their bosses at the Foreign Office lack the ability to understand what they are doing.

    • Snowden: IT workers are now the target of spies

      Spies will target IT staff with access to infrastructure and information, says NSA whistleblower in a video-link interview at CeBIT in Hannover.

    • What the ISC missed – ORG’s quick take on the ISC report

      These are our first impressions on reading the Intelligence and Security Committee’s key recommendations in its Privacy and Security Report.

    • Open Rights Group response to ISC Privacy and Security report
    • Every issue is a digital issue

      A decade ago, it was rare to hear politicians speaking about the need for a free, open Internet — and even rarer to meet one who understood what that meant. Despite the number of foot-in-mouth inanities mumbled by today’s crop of technologically ignorant pols, it was much, much worse then.

      And of course, today, every issue is a digital issue: you can’t talk about the economy, security, health or education (let alone elections) without talking about digital rights.

    • Why are digital rights important?

      Let’s take a few examples. Privacy is one of your most important rights. Yet most people tend to think of privacy as a question of private life, the choices you make about your person and the things that make you uncomfortable. In the digital world, privacy is a question of personal information, automated judgements and profiling. Many people want to know everything they can about you, because they can – or hope they can – make money out of this. GCHQ perhaps wants to know if you are a threat; and they help the NSA get to know you in case you are politically or economically interesting.

    • US Threatened Germany Over Snowden, Vice Chancellor Says

      German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (above) said this week in Homburg that the U.S. government threatened to cease sharing intelligence with Germany if Berlin offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden or otherwise arranged for him to travel to that country. “They told us they would stop notifying us of plots and other intelligence matters,” Gabriel said.

      The vice chancellor delivered a speech in which he praised the journalists who worked on the Snowden archive, and then lamented the fact that Snowden was forced to seek refuge in “Vladimir Putin’s autocratic Russia” because no other nation was willing and able to protect him from threats of imprisonment by the U.S. government (I was present at the event to receive an award). That prompted an audience member to interrupt his speech and yell out: “Why don’t you bring him to Germany, then?”

    • Snowden appears at Hanover IT fair

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden took part in a debate on data security on Wednesday at the CeBIT IT trade conference, via video link from Moscow.

    • 5 Extremely Private Things Your iPhone Knows About You

      With every iPhone, iPad and iPod comes a set of densely worded documents informing you that by using these gadgets you’re giving up a ton of highly sensitive information. It’s perfectly legal for Apple to gobble up all this personal data because you’ve basically said it’s allowed to do so. Worse, you might not even realize that you have.

    • FB user fakes suicide to see how the Facebook suicide prevention tool works and lands in mental asylum

      Shane Tusch faked his suicide in an attempt to test the authenticity of Facebook suicide prevention tool and got detained for 72 hours

    • Customs downplays password plan

      Customs boss Carolyn Tremain has told MPs the department would only request travellers hand over passwords to their electronic devices if it had a reason to be suspicious about what was on them.

      The department unleashed a furore last week when it said in a discussion paper that it should be given unrestricted power to force people to divulge passwords to their smartphones and computers at the border.

    • UK government: GCHQ is permitted to break into computers anywhere in the world

      PRESSURE GROUP PRIVACY INTERNATIONAL has published a court document that it claims reveals government support for broad and alarming GCHQ surveillance powers.

      Privacy International, and others, have challenged the government on its use of surveillance technology, and the government has stoutly defended its actions on each occasion.

      Now Privacy International has published a court document relating to two court cases initiated last year against GCHQ that challenge what Privacy International claims is invasive state-sponsored hacking that was revealed by Edward Snowden.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • GOP Senator: Net Neutrality ‘Jeopardizes’ Open Internet

      Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) this week called out the FCC, saying its recently passed net neutrality rules have “the exact opposite” effect on protecting an open Internet.

      The Federal Communications Commission last month voted 3-2 in favor of reclassifying the Web as a Title II telecom service— “the strongest open Internet protections ever proposed,” according to Chairman Tom Wheeler.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama and Congress go off the rails trying to fast track TPP

      While we are in the midst of the current battle to end the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions here in the US, we can’t lose sight of the broader global fight being waged via the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Strategic Partnership Agreement. If you aren’t familiar with TPP, it is a multinational trade agreement being developed through a series of secret negotiations that are pushing a host of restrictions. From making the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions global, to spreading the threat of software patents around the world, to extending copyright indefinitely, these secret negotiations present a plethora of threats to user freedom.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Party Becomes Iceland’s Most Popular Political Party

        The results of a new poll published today in Iceland indicates that the Pirate Party has just become the country’s most popular political party. According to the results, almost a quarter of all citizens would vote Pirate today. Speaking with TF, movement founder Rick Falkvinge describes the result as an “extraordinary accomplishment.”

      • The Pirate Party is now measured as the biggest political party in Iceland

        The Pirate Party now measures as the largest political party in Iceland, according to a new survey from the Icelandic market and research company MMR which regularly surveys the support for the political parties in Iceland.

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