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03.30.15

Links 30/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC6, OpenELEC 5.0.7

Posted in News Roundup at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • ARM64 Improvements Piling Up In Coreboot

    While yesterday I was talking about many Intel Broadwell improvements landing in Coreboot, the new Git activity today for Coreboot is about 64-bit ARM.

  • Open Source Mandatory for Indian Government Projects

    I’ve written about the potential for open source in China several times, and the same can be said about India. Here’s some big news on that front, just announced by the Government of India’s Department Of Electronics & Information Technology [.pdf]:

  • India backs open source software for e-governance projects

    India has said it will use open source software in all e-governance projects, though it did not rule out the use of proprietary software to meet specialized requirements.

  • India doubles down on use of Open Source software

    The government on Sunday announced a policy on adoption of open source software, which makes it mandatory for all software applications and services of the government be built using open source software, so that projects under Digital India “ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs”.

  • Facebook Rolls Out 3 Open Source Tools for Mobile Developers

    In a move sure to delight iOS and Android developers, Facebook has launched React-Native, an open source, cross-platform JavaScript framework for building mobile applications. Announced Thursday at the company’s F8 developer conference, the framework is based on React, another open source JavaScript framework Facebook released two years ago to help developers build user interfaces for Web projects.

  • NASA Goddard Releases Open Source Core Flight Software System Application Suite to Public

    The Innovative Technology Partnerships Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, announced the release of its core Flight System (cFS) Application Suite to the public. The cFS application suite is composed of 12 individual Command and Data Handling (C&DH) flight software applications that together create a reusable library of common C&DH functions.

  • Events

    • Development Tools Tutorial Accepted into 2015 Linux Plumbers Conference

      In a departure from prior Plumbers tradition, we are pleased to announce not a Development Tools Microconference, but rather a set of Development Tools tutorials, including interactive tutorials, demos, and short presentations. Topics include Coccinelle (Julia Lawall), testing and debugging tools (Shuah Khan), issues with copying and pasting Linux kernel code (Michael Godfrey), and LLVM/clang and the Linux kernel (Behan Webster).

    • Open Source Conference Albania 2015

      OSCAL (Open Source Conference Albania) is the first annual international tech conference in Albania organized by the open source community in Albania to promote software freedom, open source software, free culture and open knowledge.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.2 Beta 3 Released, Final Version Around the Corner

      Version 4.2 of WordPress, the world’s most popular web software that allows anyone to create beautiful blogs and websites in minutes, is getting closer with the recently released Beta 3 version that brings over 65 changes. The new version is available for download here.

  • BSD

    • Running FreeBSD on the server: a sysadmin speaks

      For years now, Linux has been all the rage. But in recent times, there have been murmurings among some veterans — long-time users — after the introduction of systemd, the init system that seems to overstep its boundaries.

  • Public Services/Government

    • South-Tyrol finances open source eInvoicing tool

      Proxy FatturaPA [1], an eInvoicing software solution co-financed by the Autonomous Province of South-Tyrol (Italy), is made public using the GPLv3 free software licence. The software is developed by Link.it, a IT company based in Pisa.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • PayPal agrees to pay $7.7 million for alleged sanctions violations

      On Wednesday afternoon, PayPal reached a settlement with the US Treasury Department, agreeing that it would pay $7.7 million for allegedly processing payments to people in countries under sanction as well as to a man the US has listed as involved in the nuclear weapons black market. The company neither confirmed nor denied the allegations, but it voluntarily handed over its transaction data to the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

    • How “standby” modes on game consoles suck up energy

      The Natural Resources Defense Council recently put out an alarming press release claiming the Xbox One is causing consumers to waste an aggregate of $250 million annually in energy costs. The culprit: the “instant on” mode that draws significant power 24 hours a day, even when the system is supposedly “off.”

      The NRDC put out the release in an effort to convince Microsoft to turn off this “instant on” setting by default, or to at least offer an option to turn it off on the system’s initial setup (as it does in Europe). Until Microsoft takes that step, though, we thought we’d bust out the old Kill A Watt power meter and confirm just how much energy our consoles are wasting when they’re not in use, and offer you some tips on how to avoid that potential waste.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Xinhua, AP presidents discuss cooperation in new media era

      President of the Xinhua News Agency Cai Mingzhao and his Associated Press (AP) counterpart Gary Pruitt discussed cooperation between the two news outlets in the new media era on Friday at the Xinhua head office in Beijing.

      Xinhua and the AP should forge a strategic cooperative relationship, Cai said, expressing the wish that the two news agencies will expand cooperation onto a wider range of areas.

      Xinhua has been turning out omni media products integrating texts, pictures and videos, and reducing costs through application of technologies to meet the new demand of its clients, Cai noted.

  • Censorship

    • Copyright crackdown: Government introduces website-blocking bill

      The government has introduced a bill that will allow copyright holders to apply for court orders forcing ISPs to block access to pirate websites.

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today introduced the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015.

      “Existing copyright law is not adequate to deter a specific type of infringing activity, which is the facilitation of the online infringement of copyright owners’ content… by online operators,” the minister said, introducing the bill into the lower house.

      “There are a number of foreign-based online locations that disseminate large amounts of infringing content to Australian Internet users.”

      If the bill becomes law rights holders will be able to apply to the Federal Court for an injunction that will force an ISP to block a site.

  • Privacy

    • The AP’s Recycled “We Don’t Need a Phone Dragnet” Story Lays the Groundwork for Swapping Section 215 for CISA

      The NSA in no way went “cold turkey” in 2011. Starting in 2009, just before it finally confessed to DOJ it had been violating collection rules for the life of the program, it rolled out the SPCMA program that allowed the government to do precisely the same thing, from precisely the same user interface, with any Internet data accessible through EO 12333. SPCMA was made available to all units within NSA in early 2011, well before NSA “went cold turkey.” And, at the same time, NSA moved some of its Internet dragnet to PRISM production, with the added benefit that it had few of the data sharing limits that the PRTT dragnet did.

      That is, rather than going “cold turkey” the NSA moved the production under different authorities, which came with the added benefits of weaker FISC oversight, application for uses beyond counterterrorism, and far, far more permissive dissemination rules.

      That AP’s sources claimed — and AP credulously reported — that this is about “cold turkey” is a pretty glaring hint that the NSA and FBI are preparing to do something very similar with the phone dragnet. As with the Internet dragnet, SPCMA permits phone chaining for any EO 12333 phone collection, under far looser rules. And under CISA, anyone who “voluntarily” wants to share this data (which always includes AT&T and likely includes other backbone providers) can share promiscuously and with greater secrecy (because it is protected by both Trade Secret and FOIA exemption). Some of this production, done under PRISM, would permit the government to get “connection” chaining information more easily than under a phone dragnet. And as with the Internet dragnet, any move of Section 215 production to CISA production evades existing FISC oversight.

    • Europol chief warns on computer encryption (propaganda against encryption)

      Mr Wainwright said that in most current investigations the use of encrypted communications was found to be central to the way terrorists operated.

    • Hacking the Nazis: The secret story of the women who broke Hitler’s codes

      Of the 10,000-plus staff at the Government Code and Cypher School during World War II, two-thirds were female. Three veteran servicewomen explain what life was like as part of the code-breaking operation during World War II.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Chairman Wheeler Predicts FCC Will Beat Legal Challenge To Net Neutrality

      Now that the FCC is the subject of several lawsuits, and its leader, Chairman Tom Wheeler, was dragged in front of Congress repeatedly to answer the same battery of inanity, it’s worth checking in to see how the agency is feeling. Is it confident that its recent vote to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act will hold?

    • A Growing Chorus Is Trying To Rewrite The History Of Net Neutrality — And Blame Absolutely Everything On Netflix

      With either an ISP lawsuit or a 2016 party shift the only way to kill our new net neutrality rules, neutrality opponents have some time to kill. As such, they’re in desperate need of somewhere to direct their impotent rage at the foul idea of a healthier Internet free from gatekeeper control. Step one of this catharsis has been to publicly shame the FCC for daring to stand up to broadband ISPs in a series of increasingly absurd and often entirely nonsensical public “fact finding” hearings. Step two is to push forth a series of editorials that tries to rewrite the history of the net neutrality debate — with Netflix as the villainous, Machiavellian centerpiece.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Once You Accept File-Sharing Is Here To Stay, You Can Focus On All The Positive Things

        When I grew up, file-sharing was already rampant. But we didn’t have any Internet. We had a so-called Sneakernet. And it was actually quite comparable in sharing efficiency – not just over large distances.

      • Copyright Bots Kill App Over ‘Potentially Infringing’ Images, Follow This Up By Blocking App For Use Of CC/Public Domain Images

        With bots performing all sorts of intellectual property policing these days, fair use considerations are completely off the table. Nuances that can’t be handled by a bot should theoretically be turned over to a human being in disputed cases. Unfortunately, dispute processes are often handled in an automated fashion, leading to even more problems.

      • MPAA Wanted Less Fair Use In Copyright Curriculum

        The MPAA and RIAA are backing a new copyright curriculum showing kids how to become “Ethical Digital Citizens.” After public pressure the curriculum was edited to include fair use principles, but a leaked MPAA email shows that there’s more fair use in the lesson plans than Hollywood wanted.

      • Block Pirate Bay in 72 Hours, Spanish Court Tells ISPs

        Infamous torrent site The Pirate Bay has a new European block to contend with after a judge in Spain handed down a ruling against the site today. Local ISPs now have 72 hours in which to block the site, the first instruction of its type under the country’s so-called Sinde Law.

      • City of London Police Make Piracy Fight Official

        City of London Police and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations underlined their relationship this week with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. Focusing on IP crime, the agencies collaborate to suspend domains, shut down file-sharing sites, and arrest uploaders.

      • “VPN Friendly” Aussie Pirate Site Blocking Draft Unveiled

        A draft of new legislation aimed at stopping Aussie consumers accessing ‘pirate’ sites has been made available this morning. The amendments, which contain criteria that could see hundreds of sites blocked by ISPs, is believed to have been reworded to ensure that VPN services don’t become caught in the dragnet.

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