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04.23.15

Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg talks privacy and open source

    The man behind the privacy-focused search engine talks about the benefits of privacy in web search and explains why he recently donated $125,000 to open source projects.

  • FlashRouters Celebrates Four Years of Offering Popular Routers with Open Source Firmware Enhancements for Personal & Business Users
  • Eight Ways to Use Open Source for More Effective Data Protection

    Linus’s Law, named after Linux creator Linus Torvalds, postulates that open code leads to more effective bug detection because when an entire community is scouring through code, fixes come more quickly. This is often the first thing IT pros consider when installing security inside an open-source model. Through popular code-and tool-sharing sites like GitHub, the open-source community aids other organizations in securing their own code and systems, offering a list of free security tools and frameworks for malware analysis, penetration testing and other tasks. Along these same lines, a recent report from the Ponemon Institute explored how IT professionals view commercial open-source software, data protection, and the security impact of messaging and collaboration solutions on their organizations. This slide show, based on eWEEK reporting and industry insight from Olivier Thierry, chief marketing officer of Zimbra, offers eight takeaways to help your business harness the value of open source and get serious about security.

  • Open source, IoT-ready Udoo hacker SBC starts at $49

    The open source, IoT-focused Udoo Neo SBC has won Kickstarter funding. The Neo runs Android or Linux on an i.MX6 SoloX, and has WiFi, BT, and Arduino hooks.

    Seco’s Udoo project unveiled the Udoo Neo single board computer in prototype form in early March. The project went to Kickstarter yesterday to formally launch the tiny Linux- and Android-ready hacker board and raised its modest $15,000 goal in just 80 minutes. We say modest because the Udoo project has already won a fair share of popularity in the community SBC world with open-spec SBCs like the Udoo Quad, and probably didn’t need a Kickstarter campaign to find success with the Neo. The campaign is now running in the $60,000+ range, with 43 days to go.

  • Sourcegraph: A free code search tool for open source developers

    A goldmine of open source code is available to programmers, but choosing the right library and understanding how to use it can be tricky. Sourcegraph has created a search engine and code browser to help developers find better code and build software faster.

    Sourcegraph is a code search engine and browsing tool that semantically indexes all the open source code available on the web. You can search for code by repository, package, or function and click on fully linked code to read the docs, jump to definitions, and instantly find usage examples. And you can do all of this in your web browser, without having to configure any editor plugin.

  • Events

    • Looking forward to LinuxFest Northwest 2015

      Wow, I haven’t posted anything new in a quite a while. Been working on remixing Fedora 22 since slightly before the Alpha was released. The Beta was released today. Been remixing EL6 and EL7 (CentOS, Scientific Linux and even OEL)… but enough about that.

      This post is to state what presentations I plan to attend at the upcoming LFNW in Bellingham, WA (this weekend). How many LFNWs in a row have I attended? I can’t recall.

    • LinuxFest Northwest Ready to Roll

      But what’s more important than those two items at the moment — we can deal with those later — is that LinuxFest Northwest is ramping up its 15th annual show in Bellingham, Washington, this week.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • A guide to Apache’s Spark Streaming

      Apache Spark is an open source cluster computing framework. In contrast to Hadoop’s two-stage disk-based MapReduce paradigm, Spark’s in-memory primitives provide performance up to 100 times faster for certain applications.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Is OpenOffice Dying?

      In September 2014, rumors were flying that Apache OpenOffice was floundering and might soon merge with LibreOffice. The rumors were denied, but revived in March 2015 when Jonathan Corbett used development activity statistics to show that OpenOffice was seriously short of developers, and had corporate support only from IBM. Now, OpenOffice’s most recent report to the Apache Foundation appears to reinforce these previous reports, and then some.

      To be fair, the report is listed as “a working copy and not to be quoted.” However, I am discussing it anyway for two reasons. First, much of the report was mentioned in earlier reports, which suggests that its information is accurate. Second, when I contacted Jan Iversen, the new OpenOffice Chair, three weeks ago, he gave the same warning even more strongly. Since then the contents has gone through at least one more draft, but with little change of content, which makes me suspect that the excuse is an effort to delay discussion of the content. If I am mistaken, the fact will eventually become obvious, since the report is, after all, a public document.

  • BSD

    • My switch to OpenBSD, first impressions

      So I switched to OpenBSD, and this blog post is here to talk about my first impressions. This probably won’t be my last blog post on the subject.

    • EuroBSDcon 2015: Extended deadline for submissions.

      Since there was a huge rush of submissions just on the very last day, we have decided to give a second chance for all of you that didn’t quite finish your talk or tutorial proposal in time for the deadline.

    • OpenBSD on Digital Ocean

      For OpenBSD users, it has been pretty disappointing that Digital Ocean didn’t launch other BSDs with introduction of FreeBSD, even though the technical barrier had been removed to allow it.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EP study: “EU should finance key open source tools”

      The European Union should finance initiatives that increase security and privacy of open source solutions, and set up certification schemes for essential open source tools, IT security experts recommend in two studies written for the European Parliament. They argue for EU funding of key open source tools and for the financing of bug hunts, to find and fix security issues in open source tools.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Internet forums are good for you

      Internet forums have a positive impact on life satisfaction and lead to increased involvement in communities outside the confines of the online world, according to a study published in Computers In Human Behavior. Redditors might be doing it right. The study approached users on a range of interest, lifestyle and hobby forums. The study split users into two groups: stigmatized subjects (like mental health discussion), and non-stigma related forums (sports, cooking and the rest). They were then polled about their reasons for joining the forum, how they felt about it, their life satisfaction and offline engagement with “issues raised in the forum”. Author lead Dr. Louise Pendry of the University of Exeter said that: “As well as finding answers, our study showed users often discover that forums are a source of great support, especially those seeking information about more stigmatizing conditions.”

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • McConnell bill would extend NSA surveillance

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill Tuesday night to extend through 2020 a controversial surveillance authority under the Patriot Act.

      The move comes as a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both chambers is preparing legislation to scale back the government’s spying powers under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

    • Some tech firms being ‘friendly to terrorists’ says UK police chief

      Some technology and communication firms are helping militants avoid detection by developing systems that are “friendly to terrorists”, Britain’s top anti-terrorism police officer said on Tuesday.

      Mark Rowley, the national police lead for counter-terrorism, said companies needed to think about their “corporate social responsibility” in creating products that made it hard for the authorities to access material during investigations.

      “Some of the acceleration of technology, whether it’s communications or other spheres, can be set up in different ways,” Rowley told a conference in London.

    • European Rights Body Again Rejects Mass Surveillance

      Europe’s top rights body, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has crystalized its censure of mass surveillance as a threat to fundamental human rights and to democracy itself by adopting a draft resolution in which it reiterates deep concerns over the practice of intelligence agencies systematically harvesting untargeted communications data, without adequate legal regulation or technical protection.

      “Mass surveillance does not appear to have contributed to the prevention of terrorist attacks, contrary to earlier assertions made by senior intelligence officials. Instead, resources that might prevent attacks are diverted to mass surveillance, leaving potentially dangerous persons free to act,” PACE warned yesterday.

      “These powerful structures risk escaping democratic control and accountability and they threaten the free and open character of our societies,” it added.

    • How to Detect Sneaky NSA ‘Quantum Insert’ Attacks

      Among all of the NSA hacking operations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden over the last two years, one in particular has stood out for its sophistication and stealthiness. Known as Quantum Insert, the man-on-the-side hacking technique has been used to great effect since 2005 by the NSA and its partner spy agency, Britain’s GCHQ, to hack into high-value, hard-to-reach systems and implant malware.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google may launch wireless service, all set to shake the US wireless market

      Google shook the US ISPs with their Google Fiber project which forced monopolies like Comcast to improve their own services. Google is now all set to shake another abusive market – wireless carriers.

    • Telco Trade Group USTelecom ‘Supports’ FCC Neutrality Rules, Just Not The FCC Actually Being Able To Enforce Them

      Despite the endless, breathless proclamations about “outdated, utility-style regulation” or the death of innovation, there’s really only one reason ISPs don’t want to be reclassified as common carriers by the FCC: the billions to be made by abusing the uncompetitive broadband last mile. The very threat of a regulator actually doing its job and establishing what are relatively thin consumer protections (just ask ISPs like Frontier, Cablevision, Sprint or Sonic.net) is really only a problem if you plan to make money off the backs of a captive audience that can’t vote with its wallet.

  • DRM

    • We Can’t Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership

      It’s official: John Deere and General Motors want to eviscerate the notion of ownership. Sure, we pay for their vehicles. But we don’t own them. Not according to their corporate lawyers, anyway.

      In a particularly spectacular display of corporate delusion, John Deere—the world’s largest agricultural machinery maker —told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood Anti-Piracy Initiative Requires a VPN Outside the U.S.

        MPAA chief Chris Dodd has urged theater owners and customers alike to support WhereToWatch, a “one-stop shop” designed to quickly guide audiences to legal content. Following its launch everyone could access the resource but perhaps fittingly, users outside the U.S. now need a VPN to receive advice.

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