04.30.15

Links 30/4/2015: Plasma 4.4 in the Making

Posted in News Roundup at 7:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Is Watson Health Healthcare’s ‘Linux Moment’?

      One of those landmarks in the technology industry was IBM’s announcement in 2000 that it was throwing its corporate weight behind the open source Linux operating system. Up to that point, open source software had been viewed as the product of a plucky but overall irrelevant cadre of cranks, crackpots, and cheapskates. It may have been fine for a network of gamers who never left their geek caves, but “mission-critical” enterprise platforms? Please.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Wrap: Bitdefender joins the Linux Foundation

      Today, Bitdefender and Fox Technologies, Inc. said they be joining the Linux Foundation. “Backed by a global community of developers who deliver timely security fixes and regular kernel updates, Linux is the platform of choice for a growing number of security-conscious data center operators and cloud providers. From antivirus software to access management technology, today’s new members are increasing their Linux investment to address a range of security challenges.”

    • The Companies That Support Linux: Fox Technologies

      Linux has long been regarded as a stable and secure platform for enterprise applications. And the recent explosion of container technology presents yet another way for developers to build securely on top of Linux, says Mark Lambiase, CTO of Fox Technologies, Inc.

      The Linux container model “will provide for the opportunity to separate and segment applications from a shared OS model, which can provide both security and performance/configuration advantages,” Lambiase said.

      Fox Technologies, which helps companies manage and maintain Unix and Linux systems with its BoKS ServerControl application, is contributing to such growth and innovation in the Linux ecosystem, in part, by becoming new corporate members of the Linux Foundation.

    • As Moore’s Law Turns 50, Processor Market Keeps On Innovating

      The bottom line, according to TI is that the 66AK2L06 can do almost everything FPGAs can do in data acquisition, but can do it in a way that is cheaper, faster, and more power efficient. The SoC is also claimed to be easier to work with than using FPGAs.

    • Graphics Stack

      • EGL Sync Extensions Come To Gallium3D

        The EGL_KHR_fence_sync, EGL_KHR_wait_sync, and EGL_KHR_cl_event2 extensions are now available in the Gallium3D world. Initially these extensions are hooked up for the R600, RadeonSI, NVC0, NV50, and Freedreno drivers. Marek also tackled the GL_OES_EGL_sync extension for all Mesa drivers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.4 Kicked Off

        Plasma 5.4 is scheduled for August, it’ll be a great addition to Kubuntu 15.10.

      • Plasma 5.3 for Fedora

        Plasma 5.3, new feature release of KDE workspace, has been released on Tuesday and you can get it now on Fedora.

        Plasma 5.3 brings new features, improvements and almost 400 bug fixes for basically all of its components ranging from power management to various applets.

      • KDE 5_15.04 for Slackware-current: back to work

        An update to my KDE 5 packages was overdue. Ever since the “big upgrade” in Slackware-current a week ago on 21 April 2015, there have been some stability issues in the Plasma 5 desktop. The instability was caused by the version bumps of various libraries that the KDE software is depending on – you can not dynamically link to a software library that’s no longer there because it has been replaced with a library bearing a new version number. I felt I had to recompile everything just to be sure there was no hidden “breakage” left, and so I took the opportunity to wait for the newest Plasna release and present you wilth all-new packages.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Debian Family

      • What’s what in Debian Jessie

        Debian is arguably the most important Linux distribution. From it springs such popular Linux distributions as Mint and Ubuntu. Outside Linux’s inner circles, it’s not that well known because it’s purely a community operating system. There is no company behind it, as there is with Red Hat and CentOS, Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Without fanfare, Debian is more than just the foundation for other better known Linux distros, it is a powerful desktop and server Linux in its own right.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) End of Life reached on April 30, 2015

            This is a follow-up to the End of Life warning sent last month to confirm that as of today (April 30, 2015), Ubuntu 10.04 is no longer supported. No more package updates will be accepted to 10.04, and it will be archived to old-releases.ubuntu.com in the coming weeks.

          • Taking Ubuntu’s Monkey for a Ride

            That seems to be the response from desktop users and reviewers of Ubuntu’s latest and greatest, 15.04 or Vivid Vervet. The server and cloud crowd are all abuzz, tearing this baby down to see what it can do. But for the desktop folks — not so much. About all you read is that the new desktop is mainly cosmetic changes: that Unity’s color scheme is now purple, which isn’t quite true — to my eyes, there’s some orange in there too — and that a few things have been moved back to where they used to be. Other than that, everyone complains that this vervet is nothing more than lipstick on a unicorn, as Utopic Unicorn was Ubuntu’s last release.

            What this means, of course, is absolutely nothing. The folks at Ubuntu have made it clear that this is mostly a server/cloud release, so it’s not surprising that it offers desktop users little reason to upgrade. Besides, except for those few users who insist on living on the bleeding edge, most desktop users should be using 14.04, Trusty Tahr, anyway, because it’ll be supported until 2019, and our vervet friend will only see support through January.

          • Ubuntu Ditches Upstart

            Ubuntu is not the first distro to use systemd. Debian (Ubuntu’s daddy) recently made the switch too. Other distros have experienced bugs as a result of the switch. For instance, service managers, which configure the boot config files, must be changed to work with the new init system.

            Ubuntu cleverly sidestepped this problem by keeping its old init config file formats in place alongside the new format used by systemd. The version of systemd used in Ubuntu can read both. So old tools that work with the Upstart config settings still work.

            systemd does provide a boost in boot performance over Upstart, but some members of the community are concerned that the way systemd handles messages to services will reduce performance and even open the door to denial-of-service attacks.

            Clearly, Canonical must have a lot of faith in systemd to abandon Upstart (its own project) in its favor. As time passes, we will see whether this was a wise decision.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicon) Gets Linux Kernel Update

            Canonical has announced that a few vulnerabilities were found in the Linux kernel packages, affecting the kernel for Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicon) operating system, and they have been corrected.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • µQseven COM aims Allwinner A31 SoC at industrial apps

      Theobroma’s Allwinner A31 based µQseven COM offers a re-engineered Linux/Android BSP, and adds a security module, SATA, GbE, CAN, eMMC, a USB hub, and more.

      Austrian engineering design firm Theobroma Systems has begun selling a “A31 µQ7″ module that expands upon the quad-core, Cortex-A7 Allwinner A31 system-on-chip using a half-size µQseven form-factor. The 70 x 40mm module supports Linux and Android, and offers optional -20 to 70ºC extended temperature support.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Turn your Android tablet into a Windows-like desktop with this cool app

          The Android user interface isn’t for everyone, but what if you could turn your Android display into something that looked more like a Windows desktop? With Andromium OS, a recently released app on Google Play, you can do exactly that.

        • Get an early look at new Chrome features on Android as Google releases the developer version to all

          Fancy a sneak peek at Google’s new mobile browser? All you have to do is download Chrome Dev from the Play Store onto your Android device and voilà.

        • Google makes Chrome’s bleeding edge developer version available on Android

          Google is letting hardcore Android users get their hands on the roughest, rawest, most advanced version of Chrome available, making the Dev channel for Chrome on Android available to download via the Play Store. This lets experienced users and developers try out the browser’s newest features on Google’s mobile OS before they hit the mainstream. Casual users should be warned however, this is the equivalent of riding in a supercar before the manufacturers have checked the brakes: it might look fun, but you’re going to crash. Although the Dev channel is already available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and ChromeOS, this is the first time it’s been released for Android as well.

        • Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Update: 5 Things to Know Now

          As April comes to a close, Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update is still on the minds of many Nexus 4 users. With Android 5.1 problems plaguing some owners and with a new Android 5.1.1 update seemingly on the way, we want to take a look at what Nexus 4 users need to know as we push into the month of May.

        • Android’s built-in texting app lets you reply from notifications

          Hangouts may be Android’s star messaging app at the moment, but Google is still willing to show its original Messenger client a little TLC. The company has updated its basic Android texting app with support for quick replies from notifications. While the feature isn’t quite as slick as what you get in iOS’ Messages (where the notification itself has a reply box), it’ll save you from constantly switching apps when you’re juggling a rapid-fire conversation alongside your usual phone tasks. Grab the upgrade today if you want some of Google’s latest bells and whistles without having to use Hangouts as your SMS software of choice.

        • Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 Update: 5 Things to Know in April

          Google’s Android 5.1 update continues to pick up steam and it appears headed for top devices like the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S6 and more. With Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 release details heating up, we want to take a look at what Samsung smartphone and tablet users need to know about the Android 5.1 update as we push into May.

        • Lucky T-Mobile Galaxy S6 Edge Owner Gets Android 5.1.1 Update

          Last week, as we were telling you to expect Android 5.1.1 at any moment, we weren’t exactly including those of you who just picked up a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge in the conversation. No offense, but phones with OEM skins aren’t usually leading the pack when it comes to updates that feature the newest versions of Android. As it turns out, maybe we should have.

        • Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Update: 5 Things to Know Now

          It’s been more than a month since its release and Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update is still on the minds of many Nexus 7 users. With Android 5.1 problems plaguing Nexus 7 users and with a Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update seemingly on the way, we want to take a look at what Nexus 7 users need to know as we push into the month of May.

        • Waiting For Apple CarPlay And Android Auto? We Hope You Brought A Book

          In 2013, Apple introduced something called “iOS in the Car”, an infotainment system that could run on dashboards, mimicking the screens of our beloved iPhones. Early last year — nearly 14 months ago — Apple renamed the product CarPlay and said that it would become available on Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo models within days.

        • Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Update: 5 Things to Know Now

          As April comes to a close, Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update is still on the minds of many Nexus 5 users. With Android 5.1 problems continuing to plague many Nexus 5 users and with an Android 5.1.1 update seemingly on the way, we want to take a look at what Nexus 5 users need to know as we push into the month of May.

        • Top 10 Best Android Smartphones Buyers Guide: May 2015 Edition

          Things are starting to get more exciting in the Android smartphone world these days. LG have just launched the new G4 and while it won’t be featured in this list until it hits shelves, it’ll certainly make an impact later this year. As for May however, well there are still some excellent options out there no matter what sort of Android smartphone you’re looking for, and the flagships of 2015 are here, ready and waiting for you to pick them up at your local carrier store or from Amazon. This list is of the device available in North America right now, and next month’s list should be very interesting, indeed.

        • Upcoming Galaxy S6 and S6 edge Android 5.1 update to bring missing Android feature

          Samsung will update some of its devices to Android 5.1 Lollipop in the near future, starting with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge flagships. According to SamMobile, the update will bring a major Android feature that’s currently unavailable on the phones, even though other Lollipop devices from the competition have it.

        • The $1,400 Android Wear Watch, and Other Tech News You Missed

          With the arrival of the Apple Watch, and more specifically the fancy gold edition, luxury smartwatches are officially a thing. And Android Wear is going to try its luck. According to Bloomberg, the long-rumored Tag Heuer Android Wear smartwatch finally has a pricetag. How does $1,400 sound?

        • Android Powered Smartwatch To Be Available In May

          The LG Watch Urbane is compatible with any Android 4.3 or higher smart phone and is the fist Android Wear smartwatch enabled with Wi-Fi which allows users to disconnect from their smart phone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • BSD

    • vBSDcon 2015: September 11-13

      Please join us September 11-13, 2015 at the Sheraton in Reston, Virginia for the second biennial vBSDCon event. This exciting weekend will bring together members of the BSD community for a series of roundtable discussions, educational sessions, best practice conversations, and exclusive networking opportunities. Registration will open in July.

    • The Tor BSD Diversity Project (TDP)

      The Tor-BSD Diversity Project is an initiative that seeks to extend the use of the BSD Unix operating systems in the Tor public anonymity network.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • fattelo! presents noctambula, an open-source milk carton lamp

        fattelo! is an italian design studio focused on re-purposing household waste materials for unexpected uses. the ‘noctambula’ lamp is no different. created by fattelo! designers federico trucchia and mireia gordi vila, the LED light is switch-operated, battery-powered built with only a few standard components and one milk carton. no wiring, no soldering, and no big price tag. like their debut 01lamp, the design will be released under a creative commons license and freely available on fattelo!’s site.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Spam-blasting malware infects thousands of Linux and FreeBSD servers [Ed: Eset says that thousands of bsd and linux servers had malware installed on them by admins. Unlike with Windows--remotely exploited.]

      The Eset researchers still aren’t certain how Mumblehard is installed. Based on their analysis of the infected server, they suspect the malware may take hold by exploiting vulnerabilities in the Joomla and WordPress content management systems. Their other theory is that the infections are the result of installing pirated versions of the DirecMailer program.

    • Thursday’s security updates
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • 40 years later, Vietnam still deeply divided over war

      Forty years after it won the war, the Communist Party still rules Vietnam with an iron fist. But with crony capitalism, corruption and inequality now rife, many claim its victory was a hollow one.

    • The U.S. and Vietnam: 40 Years After the Fall of Saigon

      Forty years ago today, the United States lost its first war. And for the vast numbers of Americans who were deeply affected by the Vietnam debacle – including the military personnel who served there, the families of the nearly 60,000 Americans soldiers who died in Southeast Asia, and the citizens who lost faith in their country because of the events that unfolded – the conflict will remain a defining point in their lives.

  • Finance

    • Some bitcoin mempool data: first look

      Previously I discussed the use of IBLTs (on the pettycoin blog). Kalle and I got some interesting, but slightly different results; before I revisited them I wanted some real data to play with.

  • Privacy

    • Much of NSA bulk surveillance as you’ve known it may soon end

      Don’t look now, but much of the National Security Agency bulk metadata collection that stirred so much controversy in the wake of the Edwards Snowden revelations might — just might — be about to come to an end. While civil libertarians still worry about various aspects of the program continuing, this would be no small achievement.

    • Robbery suspect pulls guilty plea after stingray disclosure, case dropped

      A woman accused of being a getaway driver in a series of robberies in St. Louis has changed her plea from guilty to not guilty after finding out that a stingray was used in her case.

      Wilqueda Lillard was originally set to testify against her three other co-defendants, whose charges were also dropped earlier this month. As a result of changing her plea, the local prosecutor dropped the charges against her on Monday.

    • UK Tribunal Rules GCHQ Conducted Illegal Surveillance And Must Destroy Legally Privileged Documents

      A couple of months ago, we reported on a surprising admission by the UK government that GCHQ has been carrying out illegal surveillance by monitoring privileged conversations between lawyers and their clients. As we noted at the time, the reason for this sudden access of conscience was simply that it knew it was going to lose an imminent case before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the body that considers complaints about UK government surveillance. And that, indeed, is what has just happened. As the human rights organization Reprieve, which helped bring the legal action, explains, not only has GCHQ been found guilty of illegal spying, it has also been ordered to destroy the materials it collected as a result…

  • Civil Rights

    • Michael Moore: Disarm police, free nonviolent criminals

      Filmmaker Michael Moore is stirring up debate today with a series of tweets on race and police brutality in America.

      In his tweets, the Michigan native demanded that all African Americans incarcerated for drug crimes or nonviolent offenses be released from prison today.

      He also called for all police to be disarmed.

    • Media’s Baltimore ‘Teen Purge’ Narrative Falling Apart

      Had the Baltimore Sun sought out and published the actual social media sources, instead of cutting and pasting a screengrab from a friend on Facebook with “word” of a panic, they could have demonstrated whether the flier was being spread more in support or in disgust. Alas, in rushing to justify the police crackdown and to prop up the “both sides” parity our corporate media pathologically seek, they made assumptions about a viral orgy of violence and pinned the mid-afternoon clash entirely on the students and a barely readable “purge” flier of unknown origin.

    • Watch A Baltimore Resident Confront Geraldo Rivera Over Fox News’ Irresponsible Coverage

      Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera was confronted by a Baltimore resident frustrated by the network’s history of biased and incendiary coverage of racial issues. Rivera responded by retreating before going live on-air where he described the young black man as a “vandal,” yelling at him, “you’re making a fool of yourself!”

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