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05.22.15

Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

Posted in News Roundup at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • WhyWeFOSS

    I’m likely on the hook for providing a version of my “WhyWeFOSS” as an example, so stay tuned for that post in the near-ish future.

  • Netflix’s Latest Open Security Tool, FIDO, Does Triage, Research and More
  • Nexenta Announces Availability of Open Source Software Defined Storage Platform NexentaEdge

    At the Vancouver OpenStack summit, software-defined storage company Nexenta announced the general availability of its NexentaEdge Block and Object Storage platform, as well as a strategic alliance agreement with Canonical and its Ubuntu OpenStack.

  • Vatican library: open source for long-term preservation

    The combination of open source and open standards ensures long-term preservation of electronic records and prevents IT vendor lock-in, says Luciano Ammenti, head of the IT department at the Vatican Library (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) in Vatican City.

  • Open source initiatives saving grace for many companies

    If your next software development project is going to be successful, be it a simple Java EE deployment or a full-scale role out of a private cloud initiative based on OpenStack, a tremendous amount of code has to be written. The sad state of affairs enterprise organizations need to reckon with is that there is no way all that code can be written by the internal development team.

    So what’s an organization to do? According to Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, successful organizations reach out to the open source community. “There is too much software to be written for any one organization to write this software on its own,” Zemlin said. “Open source allows businesses to focus on only the most important aspects of their technology stacks; only the things that truly differentiate the organization.”

  • Measuring performance the open source way

    Jim Whitehurst recently wrote about the performance management approach we use at Red Hat for the Harvard Business Review. In his article, Whitehurst details one aspect of the performance management process that differentiates Red Hat from other companies—its flexibility.

    We have a system for tracking performance (called Compass), and we have expectations for when Compass reviews are performed (at least annually, preferably quarterly). But the details and structure of implementation are up to individual managers or teams. I lead a team of more than 100 people at Red Hat, and I’d like to share how I measure and manage performance the open source way.

  • DrumPants 2.0 is open source, still turns your pants into drums

    That crazy DrumPants wearable tech we first saw in ’07 — the same one that raised 75 grand on KickStarter and was featured on Shark Tank in 2014 — is back. Its creators have now turned to Indiegogo to fund the mass production of DrumPants version 2.0, which they claim is faster and stronger than its predecessor. Plus, it’s now open source. The wearable, for those who’ve only just heard of it, isn’t actually a pair of pants with drums (sorry to disappoint). It’s a set of accessories comprised of two elongated drum pads and two foot pedals you can use to play different kinds of instruments, along with a knob that lets you choose between samples and musical scales. You can wear them over your clothes, or under, like the jamming dude in the GIF above.

  • Events

    • Report of Libre Graphics Meeting 2015

      We have been back from Libre Graphics Meeting 2015 in Toronto for 2 weeks now. It is time for a report! :-)

    • DEVit Conf 2015 Impressions

      I’ve started the day with the session called “Crack, Train, Fix, Release” by Chris Heilmann. While it was very interesting for some unknown reason I was expecting a talk more closely related to software testing. Unfortunately at the same time in the other room was a talk called “Integration Testing from the Trenches” by Nicolas Frankel which I missed.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack isn’t just ready for enterprise adoption, it’s already there

      There are not enough OpenStack experts to go around. At OpenStack Summit, there is literally not a single company here that is not looking for more programmers, architects, and engineers.

      But, they’re coming. OpenStack is now backed by more than 200 vendors, including Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Oracle, RackSpace Red Hat, and VMware. Is there any enterprise out there which doesn’t have a working relationship with at least of one of these companies?

      This is making OpenStack deployment easier. If your company doesn’t have the talent it needs to do it in-house, Canonical, Red Hat, and Mirantis, to name but three of the leading OpenStack deployment firms, are all ready to jump in and help you get up and running. In short, you can pay cash today and have a working OpenStack cloud tomorrow.

    • New Surveys Show Rising Interest in the Cloud, Especially OpenStack

      CDW is out with its Cloud 401 report, based on interviews with more than 1,200 IT managers from many industries. The report finds that more than a third of all computing services today are delivered throughthe cloud. It also determined that organizations are actively pursuing new services: Thirty-five percent of respondents say they plan to shift new IT services to the cloud.

    • 75 Open Source Cloud Computing Apps

      In one recent survey, IT managers said that the most important project their teams are working on for 2015 is cloud computing. And IDC predicts that by 2018, the worldwide market for public cloud services will be worth more than $127 billion, accounting for “more than half of worldwide software, server and storage spending growth.”

    • OpenStack Foundation Not Worried about the Death Star [VIDEO]

      “The moment we stop listening to users and it’s just a vendor-to-vendor conversation, or it’s just a developer-to-developer conversation and the user doesn’t have a seat at the table, that would leave us with a vulnerability that could undo all the good work we’ve done,” Collier said. “We just have to keep listening to users and we’ll be ok.”

    • Entrepreneurs Share How to Build an OpenStack-Powered Business

      Building a company from freely available software might not seem like the most logical idea, but it’s one that is working for many vendors in the OpenStack cloud ecosystem. In a panel session at the OpenStack Summit here, the founders of cloud storage vendor SwiftStack, cloud database vendor Tesora, cloud vendor Piston Cloud Computing and cloud service provider Blue Box Cloud as well as the CEO of DreamHost, Simon Anderson, detailed their experiences and challenges in building OpenStack-powered businesses.

    • Cisco Bringing Group Policy to OpenStack [VIDEO]

      David Ward, Development CTO and Chief Architect at Cisco, has been thinking a lot about how networking works in the cloud era, and he shared some of those thoughts at the OpenStack Summit here.

    • OpenStack enables open source shift at Time Warner Cable

      Just a year into their production use of OpenStack for powering their internal cloud, they are leveraging it for everything from video to networking to deploying web applications, all on an in-house OpenStack cloud spread across two data centers. And this rapid change is getting noticed inside the company.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 Release Notes

      This is an in-progress scratch-pad of notes to build release notes from as and when we release. Please do not list features that are to be shipped already in the 4.4 release! Please do not add wish-list features that you hope will be implemented, but only what actually is implemented already.

    • LibreOffice Can Now Import Apple Pages & Numbers Files
    • LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 Released

      Following yesterday’s LibreOffice 5.0 branching in Git, the first beta for LibreOffice 5.0 is now available for testing.

      The Document Foundation announced on their blog the availability of the first beta for LibreOffice 5.0, which will be officially released around the end of July or early August.

  • Healthcare

    • The radical potential of open source programming in healthcare

      Everyone wants personalized healthcare. From the moment they enter their primary care clinic they have certain expectations that they want met in regards to their personalized medical care.

      Most physicians are adopting a form of electronic healthcare, and patient records are being converted to a digital format. But electronic health records pose interesting problems related to sorting through vast amounts of patient data.

      This is where open source programming languages come in, and they have the ability to radically change the medical landscape.

  • Business

  • Licensing

    • Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code

      For months now Allwinner has been violating the GPL and have attempted to cover it up by obfuscating their code and playing around with their licenses while jerking around the open-source community. At least today they’ve made a positive change in open-sourcing more of their “CedarX” code.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Rig a smarthome and more hacks with TouchBoard

      There was a time when a reporter was called a hack.

    • Open Hardware

      • The future of manufacturing will happen on your desktop

        The Pi-Top is an open source DIY laptop made using the latest in kitchen table manufacturing technology

      • Ragnar Robotics to Release Open Source Educational Deltabot Platform – Details Revealed at RoboUniverse

        Last Monday marked the start of the RoboUniverse Conference and Expo at The Javits Center in New York City. Twelve companies vied for a single cash prize, as well as complimentary investment and legal services. Voxel8 was the winner of the competition, and while all the entrants gave fascinating rapid-fire pitches for their startups, there was one company that stood out for me and has seemingly slipped under the radar in the 3D printing space. The company I’m speaking about is Ragnar Robotics.

      • Open-source Luka EV runs on hub motors (images & video)

        The Luka EV is an all-electric, street legal vehicle designed and built as an open-source experiment. Currently, the vehicle is targeting a single-charge range of around 186 miles, with a top speed of about 81 mph. The Luka’s price should land in the area of $22,445 when all is said and done. The creators are aiming at a design and build time of less than a year, and are using a FRP body based on a Solidworks model of a video game car.

  • Programming

    • Java at 20: How it changed programming forever

      Remembering what the programming world was like in 1995 is no easy task. Object-oriented programming, for one, was an accepted but seldom practiced paradigm, with much of what passed as so-called object-oriented programs being little more than rebranded C code that used >> instead of printf and class instead of struct. The programs we wrote those days routinely dumped core due to pointer arithmetic errors or ran out of memory due to leaks. Source code could barely be ported between different versions of Unix. Running the same binary on different processors and operating systems was crazy talk.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Cyberattack on University of London Computing Centre causes Moodle chaos

      The University of London’s Computing Centre (ULCC) has recovered from a major cyberattack that cut dozens of UK institutions from the institution’s IT services for five hours this morning.

      The incident appears to have started around 7am and by 9am ULCC said it was looking into a firewall issue. By 10am, engineers had reset its firewalls and core routers but had been unable to solve the issue.

      By mid-day, the assessment had become clearer. “All our services are now up and running again! The networking issue was caused by a cyber attack,” read an update on the institution’s website.

    • How I Got Here: Marcus Ranum

      ​Dennis Fisher talks with security pioneer Marcus Ranum about writing an early Internet firewall at DEC, the security gold-rush era of the 1990s and early 2000s, why he never patented most of the ideas he has come up with and how he found peace of mind.

    • Google Reveals the Problem With Password Security Questions

      Google analyzed hundreds of millions of password security questions and answers, revealing how startlingly easy it is for would-be hackers to get into someone else’s account.

      [...]

      With ten guesses, an attacker would have a near one in four chance of guessing the name of an Arabic speaker’s first teacher. Ten guesses gave cyber criminals a 21 percent chance of guessing the middle name of a Spanish speaker’s father.

    • Security advisories for Thursday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Iraq War Architect Bill Kristol: Knowing What We Know Now, “We Were Right To Fight In Iraq”

      Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor who predicted in 2003 that proponents of the U.S. invasion of Iraq would be “vindicated” upon the discovery of weapons of mass destruction there, is holding fast to the idea that the deadly and expensive conflict was the right move. Kristol’s justifications for the war, however, have changed dramatically.

      In a May 20 op-ed for USA Today, Kristol argued that U.S. intervention in Iraq was justified in 2003 “to remove Saddam Hussein, and to complete the job we should have finished in 1991.” Kristol added that “we were right to persevere” in Iraq, “even with the absence of caches of weapons of mass destruction.”

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • NSA planned Google Play hack to target Android smartphones

      Global intelligence agencies, including the US National Security Agency, planned to hijack millions of Android smartphones with spyware.

    • NSA Planned to Hijack Google App Store to Hack Smartphones

      The National Security Agency and its closest allies planned to hijack data links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect smartphones with spyware, a top-secret document reveals.

    • Spy agencies target mobile phones, app stores to implant spyware

      Canada and its spying partners exploited weaknesses in one of the world’s most popular mobile browsers and planned to hack into smartphones via links to Google and Samsung app stores, a top secret document obtained by CBC News shows.

    • WSJ Editorial Board So Clueless It Thinks That We’re Now ‘Rushing’ Through A Surveillance Debate That’s Been Going On For Two Years

      As the Senate does its little song and dance today over surveillance reform, kudos to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board for producing what has to be one of the most ridiculous opinion pieces on this debate to date. It’s called The Anti-Surveillance Rush, and its main argument is that the Senate shouldn’t be “rushing” through this debate, and that it should instead simply do a clean extension of section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to allow for further debate. This is wrong and it’s clueless. The WSJ editorial board can be nutty at times, but the level of cluelenssness displayed here really takes it to another level. Let’s dig in.

    • Tech companies ask Senate to pass NSA reform bill

      Reform Government Surveillance, an organization that represents large technology companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, on Tuesday pressed the U.S. Senate not to delay reform of National Security Agency surveillance by extending expiring provisions of the Patriot Act.

    • NSA surveillance powers on the brink as pressure mounts on Senate bill – as it happened

      As the deadline ticked closer to the expiration of the NSA’s powers of mass phone record collection, the Senate locked itself into chaotic wrangling over two competing surveillance bills on Thursday.

    • Man Who Deactivated Facebook Account To Dodge Discovery Request Smacked Around By Disgruntled Court

      Social media. So popular. And so very, very incriminating. The less-than-illustrious history of many a criminal who felt obliged to generate inculpatory evidence via social media postings has been well-detailed here. But what if you want to hide your indiscretions and malfeasance? If you’ve posted something on any major social network, chances are it will be found and used against you.

    • Report: FBI’s PATRIOT Act Snooping Goes Beyond Business Records, Subject To Few Restrictions

      A report by the FBI’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on the agency’s use of Section 215 collections has just been released in what can only be termed as “fortuitous” (or “suspicious”) timing. Section 215 is dying. It was up for reauthorization on June 1st, but the Obama administration suddenly pushed that deadline up to the end of this week. Sen. Mitch McConnell took a stab at a clean reauth, but had his attempt scuttled by a court ruling finding the program unauthorized by existing law and the forward momentum of the revamped USA Freedom Act. And, as Section 215′s death clock ticked away, Rand Paul and Ron Wyden engaged in a filibuster to block any last-second attempts to ram a clean reauthorization through Congress.

  • Civil Rights

    • Gyrocopter pilot pleads not guilty

      The Florida mailman indicted for flying his unregistered gyrocopter through restricted airspace and landing on the U.S. Capitol lawn last month pleaded not guilty to six charges on Thursday.

      Doug Hughes appeared in federal court in Washington, D.C., where he entered his plea. He faces nearly a decade in prison if convicted on the two felony counts and four misdemeanors.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Facebook’s Plan To Be The Compuserve Of Developing Nations Faces Mounting Worldwide Criticism

      What began as some squabbling over the definition of net neutrality in India has evolved into a global public relations shit show for Facebook. As we’ve been discussing, India’s government has been trying to define net neutrality ahead of the creation of new neutrality rules. Consumers and content companies have been making it very clear they believe Facebook’s Internet.org initiative violates net neutrality because it offers free, walled-garden access to only some Facebook approved content partners, instead of giving developing nations access to the entire Internet.

      Internet.org partners began dropping out of the initiative, arguing they don’t like any model where Facebook gets to decide which content is accessed for free — and which content remains stuck outside of Internet.org. Facebook so far has responded by trying to claim that if you oppose Internet.org you’re the one hurting the poor, because a walled garden is better than no Internet at all. Of course that’s a false choice; Facebook could simply provide subsidized access to the entire Internet, but that wouldn’t provide them with a coordinated leg-up in the developing nation ad markets of tomorrow.

  • DRM

    • Promote a Libre Movie during the International Day against DRM… and after!

      Digital Right Managements (systems preventing you from copying a movie or a song you bought, print an ebook you paid… and sometimes even read these!) are a real nuisance and we should fight them. But we believe here that fighting only is not enough. We should also propose constructive alternatives, new ways to produce, share and enjoy media and arts.

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