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06.16.15

Links 16/6/2015: Cinnamon 2.6 Released, Chromixium OS 1.0 Review

Posted in News Roundup at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is there a civic hacker in you?

    There is a civic hacker in you! He or she is in there… I promise! Today, technology has evolved into a perfect storm of open source tools, code, social networks, and lots of data. Civic technologists thrive on all of these getting together with like-minded hackers and turning all these sources into useful applications, websites and visualizations.

  • DevOps is 90% change and 10% technology

    Jen Krieger used her first computer in the early 80s and maintained a strong interest in technology ever since. She started her career as a financial analyst and eventually moved into IT where she gained expertise in software development and releases. Jen has worked with many development methods, from waterfall to Agile.

  • Open Source Initiative & LibreItalia Partner to Raise Adoption of Free and Open Source Software

    The Open Source Initiative® (OSI) announced today that Associazione LibreItalia, a non-profit organization working to reduce the digital divide and tear down barriers to digital citizenship throughout Italy, has joined the internationally recognized steward of open source as an Affiliate Member.

  • Struggling With Facebook Organic Reach Decline? Try This New Open Source Social Networking App

    If you have been burnt by the decline of the organic reach of your Facebook pages, you may consider trying something different, although of course it’s hard to replace a website that has become such an integral part of our lives.

  • Events

    • Deutsche OpenStack Tage 2015

      The presentations are conducted in German, so it’s mainly interesting for German people. There are several OpenStack and also Ceph related talks on the schedule, including a work shop on Ceph. As far as I know there are still tickets available for the conference.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Why open source cloud is ready for prime time

      With open-source cloud endeavours, it’s not so much a question of maturity as it is figuring out which offering is the best fit for your organisation. As Amanda McPherson, chief marketing officer at the Linux Foundation points out, “Open source and collaboration are clearly advancing the cloud faster than ever before. Just consider the many OpenStack distributions and ecosystem emerging around Linux containers that didn’t even exist a year ago. Yet, as the open source cloud evolves so quickly, it can sometimes be difficult for enterprises to identify the technologies that best fit their needs.”

    • Nutanix: The Move From a VM to a Container is Unnatural, a Challenge of New Platforms

      If a new stack is to take root in the modern enterprise, then something has to give. Not only must an old infrastructure make room for a new way of work, but the new stack must open itself up to the prospect of interoperability and co-existence with something that, at least in our frame of reference, is no longer new.

    • Mesosphere and Typesafe Align Behind New Spark Distribition for DCOS
    • How to have a successful OpenStack project

      It’s no secret that OpenStack is becoming the de-facto standard for private cloud…

    • Datto SIRIS customers can now use ownCloud

      Datto, a company that offers data backup and recovery solutions are teaming up ownCloud which will allow Datto customers to securely sync and share enterprise files. Initially the ownCloud secure file sync and share capabilities will come to Datto’s SIRIS product line.

    • What you missed in Big Data: Open-source power

      The central role of the open-source movement in analytics rose back to the surface last week after LinkedIn Inc. released another one of its internally-developed data crunching technologies under a free license to help promote emerging use cases. And in particular, performing real-time business intelligence at the kind of scale where the traditional databases typically used for the task fall short.

  • Databases

    • Open Source No Threat To Oracle Corporation, Deutsche Bank Says

      Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) won’t experience a risk any time soon from open-source software vendors, an analyst said Monday.

      Deutsche Bank’s Karl Keirstead said vendors, like privately held MongoDB Inc., “don’t represent a near-term threat” to Oracle, which is set to post results Wednesday.

    • How open source is eating into Oracle et al revenue pie

      Bloomberg recently reported how Oracle is heavily leaning on its existing customers as it sees a slump in new product sales. Not just the smaller companies, big players are also moving away from fancy products with big price tags and choosing open source software. As open source becomes increasingly reliable, the threat looms large for Oracle and the likes. The report shows that Oracle’s sales of new software licenses have declined for seven straight quarters compared with the same period a year earlier. It heavily relies on revenue from update and maintenance contracts more than from new business.

  • Licensing

    • Why Greet Apple’s Swift 2.0 With Open Arms?

      Apple announced last week that its Swift programming language — a currently fully proprietary software successor to Objective C — will probably be partially released under an OSI-approved license eventually. Apple explicitly stated though that such released software will not be copylefted. (Apple’s pathological hatred of copyleft is reasonably well documented.) Apple’s announcement remained completely silent on patents, and we should expect the chosen non-copyleft license will not contain a patent grant. (I’ve explained at great length in the past why software patents are a particularly dangerous threat to programming language infrastructure.)

    • I Do Not Agree To Your Terms

      Let me get this straight, Apple: you send me an e-mail outlining the terms under which you will redistribute my content, and you will just assume that I agree to your terms unless I opt out?

      This makes typical clickwrap EULA nonsense look downright reasonable by comparison. You’re going to consider me bound to terms you just declared to me in an e-mail as long as I don’t respond? That’s completely crazy. You don’t even know if I received the e-mail!

      I’m conflicted about this. On one hand, the whole reason I have an RSS feed for this blog is to make it easy to access it in a variety of ways. The RSS feed exists precisely so it can be used by programs like this, which take the content and display it to the user. I don’t like the idea of showing ads next to my content in this situation, but I’m pretty sure I have no right to control that. If I didn’t want people taking my blog and putting it in an app and showing it to people that way, I wouldn’t have a feed.

      On the other hand, Apple isn’t just taking my feed and displaying it. They’re shoving terms and conditions at me, and unilaterally assuming that I agree to them unless I take explicit steps to respond and say that I don’t.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Best practices to build bridges between tech teams

      Robyn Bergeron makes life awesome for people participating in the Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana communities. Passionate about improving ease of development and deployment of infrastructure and applications, she tirelessly advocates for end-users of open source projects, which why her current title is Operations Advocate at Elastic.

      She has been a sysadmin, program manager, and business analyst, and has an ongoing role as mother of two stellar kids. Her most recent gig was as the Fedora Project Leader at Red Hat, where she herded cats through several releases of the Linux distribution.

    • #BIO2015: Open-source biopharma R&D improves late-stage success

      The open-source model for biopharma R&D yields better results when it comes to late-stage success, according to a new report released by Deloitte at this week’s BIO convention in Philadelphia. Collaboration, even with competitors, helps usher a drug into successful development.

    • Open Data

      • High hopes for open web portal for NY State

        On March 11, 2013 New York State launched open.ny.gov which is dedicated to increasing public access to data. The state hopes to spark innovation, foster research, provide economic opportunities, and increase public participation in state government. Officials hope this increase in transparency will better inform decision making throughout the state.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • NY Times Disregards Times Staffers’ Advice On Avoiding Term “Climate Change Skeptic”

      A June 13 New York Times article about the pope’s forthcoming climate change encyclical failed to follow leading Times staffers’ recommendations by using the term “climate skeptic” to refer to those who blatantly deny established climate science.

      The Times article stated that the Vatican’s stance on climate change has “rankled … climate change skeptics, who have suggested that Francis is being misled by scientists[.]” It added that “a group of self-described climate skeptics, led by the Heartland Institute” organized a protest of the Vatican’s position in Rome, and described Marc Morano, a member of the Heartland delegation to Rome, as a former “aide to Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican and climate change skeptic.”

  • Finance

    • The American middle class isn’t coming back — it’s going to die with the Baby Boomers

      It’s no secret that the American middle class has been on the ropes for a while now. The problem isn’t just a crippling recession and an economic “recovery” that has mostly gone to the richest one percent, but the larger shifting of wealth from the middle to the very top that’s taken place since the late ‘70s. Add in things like the dismantling of unions that has accelerated apace since Ronald Reagan crushed the air-traffic controllers, and we’ve seen the middle class more solid in places like Canada, Germany, and Scandinavia, and begin to grow in a number of nations even while it shrinks here. Economists like Thomas Piketty thinks the process is inevitable with global capitalism, while others – the equally wise Joseph Stiglitz, for example – think the balance can be restored if we can find the political will.

  • Censorship

    • ‘Sunday Times’ Files DMCA Takedown Against ‘The Intercept’

      The Rupert Murdoch controlled Sunday Times of London finds itself embroiled in controversy today, over both a front page article that appeared in the paper yesterday and a related DMCA Notice it issued against the U.S. based political website The Intercept.

      The Sunday Times article, with the headline “British Spies Betrayed to Russian and Chinese,” carries the byline of Tom Harper, Richard Kerbaj and Tim Shipman and expands on a news story spreading across the UK on the pulling of some intelligence operators from Russia and China by the UK government over fears that they might have been compromised by information leaked by Edward Snowden.

      This article prompted an article published last night on The Intercept by Glenn Greenwald: “The Sunday Time’ Snowden Story is Journalism at It’s Worst — and Filled With Falsehoods.”

      The Intercept article, which attempts to detail alleged inaccuracies in The Sunday Times article, has prompted Times Newspapers Ltd., the owner of the Times, to circle the wagons and issue a DMCA takedown notice in the U.S. The notice indicates that The Times takes exception to the posting of a photograph of yesterday’s Times front page, as well the inclusion of a handful of quotes from the Times article — all of which would appear to be covered under U.S. “fair use” copyright provisions.

  • Privacy

    • Mega Publishes First Transparency Report

      After 2.5 years of operations the Mega cloud storage service has published its first transparency report. Aimed at inspiring confidence in how the company deals with complaints and protects privacy, the document reveals that Mega takes content down faster than Google and a maximum of 0.165% of users have been suspended.

    • The Pulitzer Prize In Bullshit FUD Reporting Goes To… The Sunday Times For Its ‘Snowden Expose’

      None of it was true, but it was part of a concerted effort by administration officials to smear Ellsberg as a “Soviet spy” and a “traitor” when all he really did was blow the whistle on things by sharing documents with reporters.

      Does that sound familiar? Over the weekend, a big story supposedly broke in the UK’s the Sunday Times, citing anonymous UK officials arguing that the Russians and Chinese got access to all the Snowden documents and it had created all sorts of issues, including forcing the UK to remove undercover “agents” from Russia. That story is behind a paywall, but plenty of people have made the text available if you’d like to read the whole thing.

      There are all sorts of problems with the report that make it not just difficult to take seriously, but which actually raise a lot more questions about what kind of “reporting” the Sunday Times actually does. It’s also worth noting that this particular story comes out just about a week or so after Jason Leopold revealed some of the details of the secret plan to discredit Snowden that was hatched in DC. Even so, the journalism here is beyond shoddy, getting key facts flat out incorrect, allowing key sources to remain anonymous for no reason, and not appearing to raise any questions about the significant holes in the story.

    • Reporter Who Wrote Sunday Times ‘Snowden’ Propaganda Admits That He’s Just Writing What UK Gov’t Told Him

      So we’ve already written about the massive problems with the Sunday Times’ big report claiming that the Russians and Chinese had “cracked” the encryption on the Snowden files (or possibly just been handed those files by Snowden) and that he had “blood on his hands” even though no one has come to any harm. It also argued that David Miranda was detained after he got documents from Snowden in Moscow, despite the fact that he was neither in Moscow, nor had met Snowden (a claim the article quietly deleted). That same report also claimed that UK intelligence agency MI6 had to remove “agents” from Moscow because of this leak, despite the fact that they’re not called “agents” and there’s no evidence of any actual risk. So far, the only official response from News Corp. the publisher of The Sunday Times (through a variety of subsidiaries) was to try to censor the criticism of the story with a DMCA takedown request.

      Either way, one of the journalists who wrote the story, Tom Harper, gave an interview to CNN which is quite incredible to watch. Harper just keeps repeating that he doesn’t know what’s actually true, and that he was just saying what the government told him — more or less admitting that his role here was not as a reporter, but as a propagandist or a stenographer.

    • The Police Are Scanning the Faces of Every Single Person at Download

      For most of us, festivals are a way to escape our invisible prisons of technology. “I’m not taking my iPhone to Glasto,” you mutter to your pal, “I’m going off the grid.” Who can blame you? For just a few days, you want to enjoy yourself in a priceless disconnected moment of Gaymers fuelled euphoria. Up until very recently, you could be granted that small civil liberty, but this weekend at Download, new technology is being trialled by Leicestershire Police that could change the way your carry yourself at major events.

    • I read all the small print on the internet and it made me want to die

      So why do we spend so much of our time ignoring the thousands of words of legally binding “end-user licence agreements” (EULAs, if you like) legally-binding contracts we agree to every day? Is it even possible to read the T&Cs for everything a typical person does? Is there any value in reading all this anyway?

      “The biggest lie on the internet is ‘I have read and agree to the terms and conditions’,” says security expert Mikko Hyppönen. Setting out to prove his point, Hyppönen’s company F-Secure set up a free WiFi hotspot in the heart of London’s financial district in June 2014.

    • White House’s internal encryption struggle is hypocrisy at its finest

      Ask any two people in government today their stance on encryption and you’ll almost certainly get very different (and often opposing) answers.

      As the White House pushes for greater encryption across federal sites to help better protect data flowing between a user’s computer and the federal agency, other factions in government want to weaken the encryption used by installing “backdoors” for law enforcement uses.

    • Encrypted connections coming soon for all Wikipedia readers

      As of right now, the data that moves between Wikipedia.com and most users is unencrypted, which increases the chances that someone else may be eavesdropping on you. That, however, is about to change: On Friday, the Wikimedia Foundation announced that it’s moving its sites toward HTTPS by default, so that all data transferred between you and its servers will be encrypted.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • From Piracy to Prosperity: Inside the New Artist’s Toolbox

        For years artists had grumbled about record labels, cable networks and distributors controlling them, restricting their artistic freedom, and taking more than their fair share of the coffers. Napster offered a new way for artists to reach their fans. While the labels and networks condemned this as “piracy,”many artists detected the first ripple of a new revolution.

      • Innocent Cox Subscribers Dragged into Piracy Lawsuit

        As the result of a rather broadly interpreted court order, many innocent Cox Communications subscribers have been dragged into a piracy lawsuit. The account holders are involved because their current IP-addresses were used to download infringing content in the past, but some weren’t even a Cox subscriber at the relevant time.

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