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Links 6/5/2015: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7 Enters Beta, Ubuntu Summit News

Posted in News Roundup at 5:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Valve’s Mods Blunder Prompts Reddit Community to Create Open Source Steam Replacement

    Valve has recently gone through a major PR debacle after the company announced that it’s implementing paid mods for games and Skyrim in particular. Their decision was short-lived, and it was retracted, but they have managed to incur the rage of the community. Independent developers are now working on a new game launcher that will make Steam obsolete.

  • Biicode goes open source early after outpouring of community support

    After the announcement, our community growth skyrocketed. Our investors were so impressed by the welcoming of our open source announcement that they let us go ahead with open sourcing biicode early. We worked hard to release most of it in biicode 3.0.

  • Singapore’s prime minister releases source code for his hand-coded Sudoku-solver

    Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has decided to reveal the source code of the Sudoku-solving app he personally coded.

    The PM revealed he likes to program in his spare time last month and mentioned the Sudoku-solver. He’s since taken to Facebook to announce the source code dump.

    “The program is pretty basic,’ the PM writes, “it runs at the command prompt, in a DOS window. Type in the data line by line (e.g. 1-3-8—6), then the solver will print out the solution (or all the solutions if there are several), the number of steps the program took searching for the solution, plus some search statistics.”

  • New tutorials, developments in open digital humanities

    Welcome to the third installment of my monthly column, where I explore how open source software and the open source way are used in the digital humanities. Every month I take a look at open source tools you can use in your digital humanities researc, as well as, a few humanities research projects that are using open source tools today. I will also cover news about how transparency and open exchange, and principles of the open source way, being applied to the humanities.

  • EMC open-sources ViPR Controller
  • EMC ScaleIO free for dev/test users
  • EMC makes software-defined ViPR open source
  • EMC releases ViPR Controller into the open source wild with Project CoprHD
  • EMC Announces Open Source Version of ViPR Controller
  • EMC hopes to extend ViPR Controller’s reach with open-source release
  • EMC to Distribute Free, Open-Source Software for the First Time
  • EMC to open-source ViPR – and lots of other stuff apparently

    ViPR is software storage controller tech that separates the control and data planes of operation, enabling different data services to be layered onto a set of storage hardware products – such as EMC’s own arrays, Vblocks, selected third-party arrays, JBODs and cloud storage. The data services are typically ways of accessing data, such as file services,

    The open source software will be called Project CoprHD* and be made available on GitHub for community development. It will include all the storage automation and control functionality and be supplied under the Mozilla Public License 2.0 (MPL 2.0). Public supporting partners for CoprHD are Intel, Verizon and SAP.

  • IT Innovators: Creating an Open Source Solution to Help IT Professionals Secure their Data in the Cloud

    When Kurt Rohloff was working as a senior scientist at Raytheon BBN Technologies, he quickly realized the value of encryption when storing data in the cloud. However, he viewed the fact that the data couldn’t be computed on after encryption as a major obstacle in what he needed to accomplish.

  • Netflix (NFLX) Announces Release of Open Source FIDO for Security Incidents
  • Netflix open-sources security incident management tool
  • Netflix looses FIDO hack attack dog as open source

    Netflix has released source code for its automated incident response tool to help organisations cut through the noise of security alerts.

    Project lead and security boffin Rob Fry together with Brooks Evans, and Jason Chan announced the unleashing of the Fully Integrated Defense Operation (FIDO) saying it has chewed the time to respond to incidents from weeks to hours.

  • Myth-Busting the Open-Source Cloud Part 2
  • Enabling Open Source SDN and NFV in the Enterprise

    I recently attended the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Shenzhen, China, to promote Intel’s software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) software solutions. During this year’s IDF, Intel has made several announcements and our CEO Brian Krzanich showcased Intel’s innovation leadership across a wide range of technologies with our local partners in China. On the heel of Krzanich’s announcements, Intel Software & Services Group Senior VP Doug Fisher extended Krzanich’s message to stress the importance of open source collaboration to drive industry innovation and transformation, citing OpenStack and Hadoop as prime examples.

  • How Open-Source Software Will Speed Up Rebuilding Nepal’s Historic Sites

    A recent article by Gizmodo’s Alissa Walker gives a great overview of how these massive projects have benefitted from recent advances in technology. One of the bigger innovations of the last 10 years has been the open-source software Arches. Developed by The World Monuments Fund (WMF) and the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), the software provides collaborative tools to document and analyze the “before” data for a damaged site. A group, whether of historians, architects, or a whole city, can contribute information they have from the site, like aerial photos or video, among other documentation.

  • Events

    • How – and Why – to Speak at Linux Foundation Events

      The open source community lives and grows through collaboration. That collaboration is driven online but we’ve witnessed first hand how much can be done and quickened by face-to-face meetings. This is due, in part, to the session speakers at events like LinuxCon, CloudOpen, Embedded Linux Conference and more. Speakers at our events represent the leaders and subject matter experts across a diverse range of technology areas and lend so much more to the event experience than just speaking. They help grow the community through their contribution; they make the experience for attendees so much more rich; and they represent the passion and genius that Linux and open source are known for.

    • The unofficial guide to OpenStack Summit Vancouver
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Could Make New Firefox Features Cater to HTTPS Only

        We’ve been writing about the benefits of HTTPS (HTTP Secure) connections, as opposed to basic HTTP connections, for years. The Electronic Frontier Foundation even endorses a browser extension called HTTPS Everywhere that uses it to encrypt communications on the web.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.4.3 RC2 Is Out, Stable Version Should Arrive Very Soon

      The Document Foundation has just announced that the second RC (Release Candidate) for the LibreOffice 4.4.3 branch has been released and is now available for download and testing.

    • new area fill toolbar dropdown

      The GSOC 2014 Color Selector is in LibreOffice 4.4, but it’s not used for the “area fill” dropdown in impress or draw. So I spent a little time today for LibreOffice 5.0 to hack things up so that instead of using the old color drop down list for that we now have the new color selector in the toolbar instead. Gives access to custom colors, multiple palettes, and recently used colors all in one place.

  • CMS

    • What’s New for You This May in Open Source CMS

      WordPress issued an emergency update last week to patch a fresh zero-day vulnerability that could have enabled commenters to compromise a site. The previously unknown and unpatched weakness affected current versions of WordPress, according to Finnish company Klikki Oy.

      On April 26 — just three days after WordPress released it’s latest version, 4.2 — Klikki Oy released a video and proof of concept code for an exploit of the flaw, which allows a hacker to store malicious JavaScript code on WordPress site comments. The script is triggered when the comment is viewed.

    • IBIS: A powerful, Drupal-based info gathering tool

      I’m very excited about Joshua Lee’s talk on the Drupal-powered International Biosecurity Intelligence System (IBIS) at DrupalCon 2015. Though I’m no biosecurity expert, the aggregation methods and process workflow for gathering biosecurity information is relevant to many industries. In his talk, the technology for creating this data aggregation system will be covered, as well as how the Drupal community can both benefit and contribute to this project.


    • FSFE Newsletter – May 2015

      The European Commission has published a new version of its strategy for the internal use of Free Software. The FSFE provided input to the Commission during the update phase and while the strategy is broadly similar to the previous version, there are some improvements.

      Unlike previous versions, this time the strategy is accompanied by an action plan aimed at putting it into practice. However, the action plan is not public, so it is not possible to assess the Commission’s progress towards its own goals. We would welcome it, if the Commission would soon publish its action plan.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Helsinki to prefer open source IT solutions

      The city administration of Helsinki (Finland) will prefer open source software solutions for new IT solutions. The city council on 13 April adopted a new IT strategy, emphasising a preference for open source, especially when developing or commissioning the development of software solutions.

    • Open source increase in Swiss public administration

      Switzerland’s public administrations are increasingly turning to using open source, according to the country’s IT trade group SwissICT and the open source advocacy group /ch/open. Like in 2012, the two groups have surveyed public administrations and companies in the country. They notice a “high increase in the use of open source software.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Turkey wants to re-engage in OGP

      The Turkish government will restart the process of participating in the Open Government Partnership, after having been found “acting contrary to the OGP process for two consecutive Action Plan cycles”.

    • 5 ways to promote an inclusive environment where good ideas can emerge

      People in tech companies and particularly in open source communities believe in and value meritocracy—letting the best ideas win. One thing that’s become increasingly clear to me over the past few years is this: meritocracy is a great driver of innovation, but if we want to get to the best ideas, we need diversity of thought and an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome to participate and offer different perspectives. Indeed, to live up to our ideal of meritocracy, we must consistently question and seek to improve it.

    • Open Data

      • New gold standard established for open and reproducible research

        A group of Cambridge computer scientists have set a new gold standard for openness and reproducibility in research by sharing the more than 200GB of data and 20,000 lines of code behind their latest results – an unprecedented degree of openness in a peer-reviewed publication. The researchers hope that this new gold standard will be adopted by other fields, increasing the reliability of research results, especially for work which is publicly funded.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • 3D Printed Open Source Adaptable Wheelchair Design Released for Handicapped Dogs

        Now the design the engineering team came up with is available as an open source device for anyone who wants to help a handicapped animal. The construction plan, the print data, and parts lists can all be downloaded from the Multec website or this Instructable the company published.

      • Hackaday Prize Entry: A Low Cost, Open Source MRI

        This low cost magnetic resonance imager isn’t [Peter]’s first attempt at medical imaging, and it isn’t his first project for the Hackaday Prize, either. He’s already built a CT scanner using a barium check source and a CCD marketed as a high-energy particle detector. His Hackaday Prize entry last year, an Open Source Science Tricorder with enough sensors to make [Spock] jealous, ended up winning fourth place.

  • Programming


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Britain and Nato launch biggest war games on Russia’s doorstep as tensions grow

      Britain and Nato have launched their biggest war games on Russia’s doorstep amid growing tensions over Vladimir Putin’s military aggression.

      The largest ever Nato anti-submarine exercise, including the Royal Navy, is under way off the coast of Norway just weeks after reports of Russian submarines encroaching in to foreign waters.

  • Finance

    • UK Supreme Court rules on money laundering arrangements

      The UK Supreme Court recently ruled on the law relating to prosecutions for entering into, or becoming concerned in, an arrangement which facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property for, or on behalf of, another person – contrary to s328 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

    • Calling TPP Foes ‘Simplistic,’ USA Today Simply Gets the Numbers Wrong

      It’s USA Today, not the unions, who are being simplistic here. The data they are relying on refers to gross output. This would include the full value of a car assembled in the United States, even if the engine, transmission and the other major components are imported.

      It also doesn’t adjust for inflation. If USA Today used the correct table, it would find that real value added in manufacturing hasn’t “nearly doubled”–it’s risen by a bit less than 41.0 percent since 1997, compared to growth of 45.8 percent for the economy as a whole.

      The story here is a one of very basic macroeconomics. The $500 billion annual trade deficit ($600 billion at an annual rate in March) implies a loss of demand of almost 3.0 percent of GDP. In the context of an economy that is below full employment, this has the same impact on the economy as if consumers took $500 billion every year and stuffed it under their mattress instead of spending it. USA Today might try working on its numbers and economics a bit before calling people names.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • 2 Gunmen Killed Outside Community Center Hosting ‘Draw the Prophet’ Show

      Two people were fatally shot Sunday outside a Garland, Texas, community center that was hosting an event displaying cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, local officials said.

      Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said that two men drove up to the community center and “opened fire on the security officers” hired to protect the event before being shot themselves.

  • Privacy

    • France set to join the spy game

      French MPs are due to approve a bill reforming French intelligence law to counter terrorist threats. But critics warn that the draft law is a license to spy on citizens’ private lives. Erin Conroy reports from Paris.

    • French National Assembly Approves Mass Surveillance of French Citizens!

      The Intelligence Bill, which was presented on the fast track on 19 March by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, rallied a very large, argued and vigorous opposition, from a number of civil rights associations, collectives, lawyers’ and magistrates’ unions, but also administrative authorities such as the CNIL (French Data Protection authority) and the CNCDH (French National Consultative Committee for Human Rights).

    • House Refuses To Consider USA Freedom Amendment Stopping NSA’s Backdoor Searches… Even As Everyone Supports It

      As we’ve noted, there’s a new USA Freedom Act in town, and it’s on the fast track through Congress. It has some good stuff in there, and is generally a step forward on surveillance reform and ending certain forms of bulk collection — though there are some concerns about how it can be abused. But one thing that plenty of people agree on, is that even if it’s a step, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Last Thursday, there was a markup in the House Judiciary Committee, to help move the bill to the floor, and some amendments were proposed to improve the bill — all of which got rejected.

      What was especially frustrating, was that for at least one key amendment, everyone agreed that it was important and supported it, and yet they still refused to support it. The reasoning, basically, was that the existing bill was the work of many, many months of back and forth and compromises, and the administration and the House leadership had made it clear that it would not approve a single deviation, even if it was really important. The amendment in question was basically a replica of an appropriations amendment from Reps. Ted Poe, Zoe Lofgren and Thomas Massie that we wrote about last year, which surprised many by passing overwhelmingly in the House, only to be stripped out by the Senate.

  • Civil Rights

    • US Presidential Election Is So Corrupt Even The Person In Charge Says She Has No Power To Stop Abuse

      If you were holding onto the faint hope that federal election campaigns were ever going to be anything but “buy your way into office” spending sprees, you may as well kiss it goodbye. The Federal Election Committee’s head has just admitted her agency is completely powerless to do the one thing it’s supposed to be doing.

    • New York state police handcuff and shackle ‘combative’ five-year-old

      The idea that police officers should use handcuffs and leg shackles to control an unruly individual is hardly unusual in the US, where fondness for the use of metal restraints runs through the criminal justice system.

      What is unusual is when the individual in question is five years old, and the arrest takes place in an elementary school.

      New York state police were called last week to the primary school in Philadelphia, New York, close to the Canadian border, after staff reported that a pupil, Connor Ruiz, was disruptive and uncontrollable. When officers arrived at the premises, they placed the five-year-old boy in handcuffs, carried him out to a patrol car and put his feet into shackles before taking him to a medical center for evaluation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Facebook’s free Internet for the poor leaves out high-bandwidth sites

      Facebook’s Internet.org, which aims to give impoverished people around the world free mobile access to a selection of Internet services, is opening the platform to developers after facing criticism that the program’s restrictions violate net neutrality principles.

    • Facebook Opens Up Free Internet Platform Amid Net Neutrality Debate

      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is opening up his Internet.org platform to developers to help bring new types of content to the more than four billion people who lack Internet access.

      The move comes weeks after several Indian firms decided to pull out of the project due to concerns that the app does not provide equal access to information, one of the principles of net neutrality.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • 1000-Year-Old Village Told To Stop Using Name Because Of Trademark Claim From Hotel Chain Founded There

        Techdirt has covered its fair share of idiotic legal threats over trademarks, but the following example is spectacular even for a field that has many superb examples of corporate bullying. It concerns the village of Copthorne (population 5,000), in the English county of West Sussex. It’s rather well established: it’s been around for a thousand years, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book, which was compiled in 1086. Recently, though, its village association was threatened with legal action for using the name ‘Copthorne’ on its Web site, as the Plymouth Herald newspaper reports…

    • Copyrights

      • Microsoft Logs IP Addresses to Catch Windows 7 Pirates

        A presumed pirate with an unusually large appetite for activating Windows 7 has incurred the wrath of Microsoft. In a lawsuit filed at a Washington court, the Seattle-based company said that it logged hundreds of suspicious product activations from a Verizon IP address and is now seeking damages.

      • European Court To Explore If Linking To Infringing Material Is Infringing

        A couple of years ago in the Svensson case, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) made it clear (finally) that merely linking to content is not infringement. That was a case involving a news aggregator linking to official sources. However, in a new case that has been referred to the CJEU, the court will examine if links to unauthorized versions of content is infringing as well. The excellent IPKat has the details of the case which involves a blog that linked to some pre-publication Playboy photos in the Netherlands. A lower court had said that it wasn’t copyright infringement, but still broke the law, by facilitating access. On appeal, the court found that the free speech concerns outweighed the copyright concerns. From the description by the lawyer representing the blogger (“Geen Stijl news”):

      • Forget, Mayweather v. Pacquaio: The Big Fight Was Apparently Hollywood v. Periscope Streaming

        Remember, just last week, when HBO and Showtime were flipping out about a couple of streaming sites promising to broadcast live streams of the big Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao fight? Apparently, they had the wrong target.

      • NZ court unfreezes some assets so Kim Dotcom can cover $100K+ in monthly costs

        As Kim Dotcom remains stuck in legal limbo, his once-extravagant life keeps moving on and costing plenty of money. Auckland Now reports that Dotcom will theoretically be able to keep the balancing act up for a while longer, as this week a New Zealand court released some of Dotcom’s frozen financial assets to specifically allow the Mega mogul to pay for his continual monthly expenses.

      • Hollywood Urged Cameron to Keep DVD Ripping Illegal

        A few months ago the UK Government legalized copying of MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use, as that would be in the best interest of consumers. A common sense decision for many, but leaked emails now show that Hollywood fiercely protested the changes behind the scenes.

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