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04.11.15

Links 10/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, ZFS On Linux Improved

Posted in News Roundup at 12:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Opportunities and challenges of Open Source in Enterprise

    Today, open source is pervasive in enterprise IT, forming the foundation of many cloud services and applications.

    The open source community represents a vast pool of collaborative intellectual property, and it has become a fundamental part of businesses around the world and in Australia and New Zealand.

    “Open source is a great fit for any organisation that is looking to innovate more rapidly and effectively, and to save costs and increase the bottom line,” says Colin McCabe, senior manager, Services and Training, Red Hat.

  • Coders: 5G networks and open source code

    This week on Coders, RCR CEO and Editorial Director Jeff Mucci digs into evolving 5G cellular standards, software and proof of concept deployments with co-host Victor Agreda.

  • Couchbase CEO: the real rationale for enterprise open source

    Open source allows for a more natural adoption approach within the enterprise. It is free and generally easy to download, install, and get started with. This allows easy exploration of and experimentation with new technologies and allows enterprises to get comfortable with the software on smaller, non-mission-critical projects before any financial commitment is required.

  • Sirius: an Open Source Competitor to Siri, Cortana, Google Now

    Sirius is an open source, customizable system that can be commanded through vocal input. It has been built by University of Michigan researchers and is similar to Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Now. According to University of Michigan, Sirius “is designed to spark a new generation of intelligent personal assistants” for wearables and other devices.”

  • How the Syria Airlift Project is Using Open Source Dronecode for Humanitarian Aid

    In March of 2014 I found myself on the Turkish-Syrian border, doing research among Syrian refugees. The stories I heard were horrific. Mass sieges were in effect; the Syrian government and brutal militias were starving out entire neighborhoods, and the government appeared to be deliberately targeting hospitals and doctors. Smuggling medical supplies into opposition-held areas was punishable by torture and death. Syrians were besides themselves, trying to find some way to get food and medicine into these besieged areas. They asked me why the US did nothing.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Web Store Gives Bad Extensions the Boot

        Google has given its Chrome Store a spring cleaning, ridding it of more than 200 browser add-ons and extensions that may have been delivering spyware and malware to users. “Obviously, they need to put more work into screening of uploads to the Chrome Store if it should be considered a trusted source,” noted Martin Zetterlund, founder of ScrapeSentry.

      • Google Chrome Will Soon Work Better For Linux HiDPI Systems

        A few months back I wrote about the poor state of Chrome/Chromium HiDPI support on Linux but fortunately with the latest unstable web browser code these issues appear to have been resolved.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • A community distribution of OpenStack

      In this interview with Red Hat’s Alvaro Lopez Ortega, we learn a little bit about RDO, a community distribution of OpenStack which is designed to make it easy to install on operating systems like Fedora and CentOS. Alvaro is presenting at OpenStack Live next week, where he’ll share both some technical details on RDO as well as a little bit about the community that makes it happen.

    • Connectors to Hadoop Promise to Simplify Big Data Tasks

      Over time, it only had to become easier to leverage the open source Hadoop project, which has been the driving technology behind much of the Big Data trend. At one point, the Big Data trend–sorting and sifting large data sets with new tools in pursuit of surfacing meaningful angles on stored information–remained an enterprise-only story, but now businesses of all sizes are evaluating tools that can help them glean meaningful insights from the data they store.

    • First OpenStack Kilo RCs Debut

      The first Release Candidate (RCs) for the upcoming OpenStack Kilo release are now out. I’ve seen the RC for Nova (https://github.com/openstack/nova/tree/proposed/kilo), and the RC for Trove at: https://github.com/openstack/trove/tree/proposed/kilo with more set to follow.

    • PLUMgrid Launches Cloud Networking for OpenStack Kilo

      The OpenStack Kilo milestone release is several weeks away, but networking vendor PLUMgrid is already prepared for it. This week, PLUMgrid announced the release of its ONS (OpenStack Networking Suite) 3.0, compatible with OpenStack Kilo. The new ONS 3.0 platform also provides new tools for enabling networking in OpenStack clouds.

    • Piston Pivots Beyond OpenStack with CloudOS

      One size rarely fits all. That’s a lesson OpenStack vendor Piston Cloud Computing is showing it understands quite well with its CloudOS 4.0 release. Prior to CloudOS 4.0, Piston’s primary cloud server platform was called Piston OpenStack, with the most recent update being the 3.5 release, which debuted in September 2014.

    • 55.555 downloads of ownCloud in a box

      Recently I passed a magic number with my ownCloud in a box appliance. It hit the five fives, 55.555 total downloads, on SUSE Studio. It is the most popular download there. I would never have imagined that so many people would be interested in it and use it when I started with this. Amazing.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • ODF in the age of Big Data

      One may notice that the points listed above loosely match the main points usually mentioned when discussing the benefits of ODF in the more standard settings of the desktop. This is not surprising, but it was not necessarily intended; if anything this is a testimony to the value of a standard like ODF and its importance. The key point here is that when it comes to the cloud and big data, ODF is both a factor of transparency and innovation. This is something worth promoting and is a potential path to renewed success of ODF in the future.

    • One year old: Document Liberation Project

      The Document Liberation Project only was founded last year officially and now can see at least it’s first birthday. Not yet picked up much steam from new contributors so far, but then already serving e.g. users of Calligra, with libraries like LibRevenge, LibOdfGen, LibWpd, LibWpg, LibWps, LibVisio, LibEtonyek etc., to read in data from files in WordPerfect, MS Works, MS Visio, and Keynote formats.

  • CMS

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • JavaScript All the Way Down

      JavaScript originally was developed at Netscape in 1995, first under the name Mocha, and then as LiveScript. Soon (after Netscape and Sun got together; nowadays, it’s the Mozilla Foundation that manages the language) it was renamed JavaScript to ride the popularity wave, despite having nothing to do with Java. In 1997, it became an industry standard under a fourth name, ECMAScript. The most common current version of JavaScript is 5.1, dated June 2011, and version 6 is on its way. (However, if you want to use the more modern features, but your browser won’t support them, take a look at the Traceur compiler, which will back-compile version 6 code to version 5 level.)

Leftovers

  • The Trouble With SEO

    Here’s an example. Let’s say I’m writing an 800 word article about Microsoft — which I’ve been known to do on occasion. Well, to make sure that search engines understand that the article is about Microsoft, I have to name the company, and frequently, within the article. According to SEO experts, I would need to use the word “Microsoft” at least eight times within the article to obtain a keyword density of one percent — just to make sure the search engines understand that this article is indeed about our buddies in Redmond. I’d also need to make sure that the title also contains the word “Microsoft,” as search engines give extra weight to keywords included in the title.

  • No, Rand Paul didn’t ‘storm out’ of an interview

    You’ll notice that both Paul and Lewis agreed to one more question, and Paul left when Lewis asked a second “last question.” But that Paul walked off quickly and that the lights were turned off made it look that he left in the middle of it. Optics!

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Treating Jack Straw Differently

      A UKIP candidate has been obliged to report to the police for breaking the law on “treating” for providing sausage rolls at an event. Yet Jack Straw at elections in 2005 and 2010 held rallies for the Muslim community in Blackburn at which the Labour Party provided hundreds of voters with full sit down meals, free of charge, and Police refused to take any action – indeed they were protecting the event. This is yet another example of the political elite being above the law.

    • In FBI Terrorism Sting Against Mentally Ill Kansas Man, Informants Built Bomb & Provided List of Materials

      In a terrorism sting operation, the FBI arrested a twenty year-old man from Topeka, Kansas, who United States government officials claim attempted to “detonate a vehicle bomb at Fort Riley military base near Manhattan, Kansas.” He also apparently suffers from mental illness.

      John T. Booker Jr., who also goes by the name Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State.

      “Thanks to the efforts of the law enforcement community, we were able to safely disrupt this threat to the brave men and women who serve our country,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin declared. “Protecting American lives by identifying and bringing to justice those who wish to harm U.S. citizens remains the National Security Division’s number one priority.”

      But, according to an affidavit [PDF] by an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Topeka, Booker had no direct interaction or communication with any terrorists or terrorist organizations prior to the FBI targeting him. He had obtained no explosives to carry out any sort of attack. He lacked the resources or capabilities act and told one of the informants in the case that he wanted to join the Islamic State but “didn’t know anyone who could help him do so.”

      An informant (CHS 1) introduced Booker to a second informant (CHS 2), who claimed to be a “high ranking sheik planning terrorist acts in the United States.” CHS 1 provided the list of materials that Booker needed to have in order to build a vehicle bomb. The two informants built the vehicle bomb, not Booker.

    • Army Recruit Charged With Helping ISIS Watched by FBI, Given Clearance by Army

      A Kansas man arrested and charged Friday morning for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State was under surveillance by the FBI last year when he checked himself into a mental institution and was not regarded as an immediate threat, according to a document obtained by The Intercept.

      In fact, the U.S. Army had approved the new recruit for a Secret clearance.

      John T. Booker Jr., who also goes by the name Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, was arrested Friday and charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, plotting to use a weapon of mass destruction, and planning to destroy property with an explosive.

    • Exclusive: U.S. expands intelligence sharing with Saudis in Yemen operation

      The United States is expanding its intelligence-sharing with Saudi Arabia to provide more information about potential targets in the kingdom’s air campaign against Houthi militias in Yemen, U.S. officials told Reuters.

    • Secrecy Shrouds Unknown Role Of Top UK Government Official

      The British government is refusing to disclose the job title and taxpayer-funded salary of one of the most senior law enforcement officials in the United Kingdom, claiming the details have to be kept a secret for security reasons.

      Cressida Dick (pictured above) was formerly one of the highest ranking officers at London’s Metropolitan Police, the largest police force in the U.K., where she headed the Specialist Operations unit and oversaw a controversial criminal investigation into journalists who reported on Edward Snowden’s leaked documents.

    • Trapped in Yemen, Americans File Lawsuit Against US Government

      Despite the ongoing danger to their lives, Awnallah says that his family has received no assistance from the U.S. government. “[My family] has tried to get in touch, but no one is helping them,” he said. “They are asking me all the time if they are going to die here.”

      On April 9, Awnallah’s family and dozens of other Yemeni-Americans filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government on behalf of American citizens trapped in the country. Citing Executive Order 12656, which obligates “protection or evacuation of U.S. Citizens and nationals abroad” in times of danger, the lawsuit further alleges that the U.S. government’s refusal so far to conduct evacuation operations in Yemen represents the continuation of longstanding policies that effectively deny full citizenship rights to Yemeni-Americans.

    • If Chuck Schumer kills the Iran nuclear deal, he should not be Senate minority leader

      The framework for the Iranian nuclear deal is about as good as anyone could reasonably expect. If it were solely up to the negotiators, it would likely be finalized in June. But they are not the only players, and it’s become clear that the biggest danger to the deal are hawks in Iran and the U.S.

  • Finance

    • Greens throw support behind Tax Dodging Bill

      In the wake of the HSBC, Swiss Leaks and LuxLeaks tax avoidance scandals the Green Party has pledged to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill in the first 100 days after the election. The campaign for such a Bill is being widely supported by a network of NGOs, cooperatives, faith groups, MPs and Unions [1].

    • Big tech companies lack one thing – shame

      Like, do these adults — at least physically, the three are in that stage of life — have no shame? Tony King of Apple, Maile Carnegie of Google, and Bill Sample of Microsoft were not in any way fazed by the fact that the companies they head locally cheat on their taxes.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Media

    • CNN Wants to Believe: White House ‘Russian Hackers’ Go From Suspects to Perps

      Unnamed “investigators”–who may come from the “FBI, Secret Service [or] US intelligence agencies,” we learn earlier in the piece–“believe” there are “tell-tale codes and other markers” that “point to” Russian government employees–how much fuzzier does evidence get? Yet immediately CNN is talking about the “Russian hack” as though it’s proven fact,,,

    • WSJ Ignores Conservative Spending Behind WI’s New Judicial Amendment, Remembers To Blame Soros

      In its analysis of an unprecedented change to how the chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is selected, The Wall Street Journal ignored the significant financial contributions a right-wing group made in support of the move, which would strengthen conservative control of the court before it examines possible illegal campaign coordination between that same group and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). Instead, the editorial board focused on the fact that the current chief justice has a lawyer who is on the board of directors of a judicial election reform group founded by George Soros.

    • Hillary Clinton Team Holds Off-The-Record Journalist Dinner Ahead Of 2016 Announcement

      Hillary Clinton’s campaign team held an off-the-record dinner Thursday night in Washington, D.C., for roughly two dozen journalists and staff members at John Podesta’s house, according to sources familiar with the matter.

      The dinner signals that the Clinton team is trying to engage with top reporters in the days before the Democrat’s expected announcement of a 2016 presidential run. It also suggests the new campaign team is looking to change course from the toxic relationship with the press that plagued the 2008 race. The Clinton team is also holding a private event in New York on Friday night for journalists, according to sources.

    • Attorney Responds To Times Of Israel Genocide Post: ‘I Didn’t Write That S**t’

      Lawyer and writer Josh Bornstein demanded an explanation from The Times of Israel on Thursday after the site published an op-ed under his name that advocated genocide of Palestinians.

      The post, which sparked outrage across social media and was quickly taken down by the site, called Palestinians “cockroaches” and said that Israel should “exterminate them.”

      The Times of Israel tweeted that it was “looking into” the post and noted that it did not endorse its content. The article ran under Bornstein’s byline, although several people noted that it looked nothing like anything else he had ever published.

      At about 6 p.m.. EDT, Bornstein took to Twitter from his home in Australia to clarify that not only had he not written the “racist” pro-genocide post, but that he had never started an account at the Times in the first place.

      “I didn’t write that shit,” he said. He noted he was a “secular atheist,” contrary to the religious tone of the piece. He later added that he suspected the site was hacked.

      Bornstein said he wanted an explanation from the Times of Israel.

  • Censorship

    • China’s Great Cannon

      On March 16, GreatFire.org observed that servers they had rented to make blocked websites accessible in China were being targeted by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. On March 26, two GitHub pages run by GreatFire.org also came under the same type of attack. Both attacks appear targeted at services designed to circumvent Chinese censorship. A report released by GreatFire.org fingered malicious Javascript returned by Baidu servers as the source of the attack. Baidu denied that their servers were compromised.

  • Privacy

    • Git Success Stories and Tips from Tor Chief Architect Nick Mathewson

      Tor, the free and open source software for anonymous web communications, has been using the Git revision control system for more than six years. The tool is so ingrained in the project’s development that Director and Chief Architect Nick Mathewson’s daily work flow is built around Git, he says.

      “Git’s the eighth version control system I’ve had to use, and the first one I’ve seriously trusted,” Mathewson said. “Many thanks to the Git developers for all their hard work.”

    • Privacy International calls on Europe’s top human rights court to rule on British mass surveillance

      Privacy International and several other human rights organisations are taking the UK Government to the European Court of Human Rights over its mass surveillance practices, after a judgement last year found that collecting all internet traffic flowing in and out of the UK and bulk intelligence sharing with the United States was legal.

      The appeal, filed last week by Privacy International, Bytes for All, Amnesty International, Liberty, and other partners, comes in response to a ruling in December by the UK’s surveillance court, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, dealing with the industrial-scale spying programmes TEMPORA and PRISM revealed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Our SecureDrop System for Leaks Now Uses HTTPS

      We’re happy to announce that sources can now access our SecureDrop document-submission website using HTTPS. Although SecureDrop connections were already encrypted previously, our new setup provides leakers with additional assurance that they are connecting with the authentic Intercept SecureDrop and not an impostor.

    • A Guide to the 5+ Known Intelligence Community Telecommunications Metadata Dragnets

      I’ve been laying this explanation out since USA Today provided new details on DEA’s International Dragnet, but it’s clear it needs to be done in more systematic fashion, because really smart people continue to mistakenly treat the Section 215 database as the analogue to the DEA dragnet described by USAT, which it’s not. There are at least five known telecommunications dragnets (some of which appear to integrate other kinds of metadata, especially Internet metadata).

  • Civil Rights

    • Montreal professors stare down riot cops

      It’s been a tough week for the student movement in Quebec. A fractious congress that resulted in the resignation and firing of the entire executive of the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, the largest student federation in the province, led into a week where schools already on strike have struggled to win votes to maintain that strike, and few if any new schools have joined them. Facing a growing consensus that the strike should be postponed until the fall in order to join public sector unions in a common front, striking students are vulnerable.

    • Greenpeace bank accounts frozen by Indian government

      The Indian government has frozen bank accounts of Greenpeace after accusing the international environment campaign group of encouraging “anti-development” protests in the emerging economic power.

      The Union Home Ministry on Thursday suspended the official registration for foreign funding of Greenpeace India for six months and froze seven bank accounts connected with the organisation, The Hindu, a local newspaper, reported.

      Samit Aich, the executive director of Greenpeace, said the move was “an attack on democracy”.

    • Middle school student charged with cybercrime in Holiday

      The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has charged Domanik Green, an eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School, with an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access, a felony. Sheriff Chris Nocco said Thursday that Green logged onto the school’s network on March 31 using an administrative-level password without permission. He then changed the background image on a teacher’s computer to one showing two men kissing.

    • New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez Signs Civil Forfeiture Abolition Bill

      A quick and happy update from New Mexico: Gov. Susana Martinez (R) has signed HB 560, which I detailed here, into law. New Mexico has thus effectively abolished civil asset forfeiture by requiring a criminal conviction before the government can seize property.

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