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07.08.15

Links 8/7/2015: Kali Linux 2.0, Canonical and Lenovo

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 compelling reasons to consider open source for your enterprise storage needs

    Enterprise needs are a different beast from those of SMBs. Few areas define this as clearly as storage. Instead of storing a few hundred gigabytes, you’re looking at terabytes and maybe even petabytes. Failover, redundancy, security, backups—all essential when it comes to enterprise storage.

    You might think the only viable solutions for such tasks are proprietary solutions. Fortunately, for businesses and those working within them, that assumption is incorrect. Open source has come a long way and now powers the backbone of enterprise computing—and that includes storage. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the following 10 reasons why open source could be the right storage solution for your organization.

  • How designers can contribute to open source

    We all know that open source software isn’t always pretty. Una Kravets, a front end developer at IBM, will be speaking at OSCON this year about getting more designers involved in our projects. While it’s easy for developers to see that working together produces better software, it’s not always that way for designers who are trained to work alone. I had the chance to interview Una about open source, design, and her upcoming talk.

  • Interview with Roberto Galoppini of SourceForge

    I’ve been involved with open source software since 1994. At that time I was working for a solution provider, and a customer asked us to implement a seamless authentication system for mobile users. Neither RADIUS or TACACS met our needs, and we had to build a custom solution. Luckily enough, we didn’t need to start from scratch, as we were able to borrow some open source code.

  • Google Open Sources Deep Learning AI Tool
  • Events

    • Open source event planning is work, fun, and good for business

      In addition to picking up technical skills, networking, and learning about products and services in the expo, OSCON attendees can learn practical community-building tricks. In this interview, Kara Sowles (community initiatives manager at Puppet Labs) and Francesca Krihely give advice for hosting a community event. They’ll be teaching a half-day tutorial on planning and running tech events at OSCON 2015 in Portland.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Education is crucial to building an open web

        Emma Irwin is a participation designer at Mozilla who dedicates a lot of volunteer time to educating and empowering adults and youth on the web through making. She has a background as web developer and lives in a small Vancouver Island town with her husband and three daughters.

      • Firefox 40.0 Beta 1 Brings Linux Specific Improvements

        As you may already know, Firefox is being developed on three separate channels. First, the features are implemented in the developer branch, they reach the beta channel when enough tests have been performed and finally, some of the new features from the betas get included in the stable version of Firefox.

        Recently, Firefox 40.0 Beta 1 has been released, bringing improved scrolling, graphics and video playback performance for Linux. And Mozilla claims that this improvements are Linux specific.

      • Mozilla Plans To Rewrite Its XUL-Written UI In HTML, CSS And JavaScript
      • Big changes are coming to Firefox to win back users and developers

        Firefox is about to undergo some dramatic changes, according to Mozilla. Most notably, it sounds like future versions of Firefox will focus on Firefox-esque features such as Private Browsing Mode, while features that are unpolished or otherwise not very useful will be stripped out of the browser entirely. Furthermore, it looks like Mozilla is finally getting serious about moving Firefox away from XUL and XBL, though it isn’t clear if they will be replaced with open Web technologies (HTML, CSS, JS) or native UI.

      • Will Firefox changes win back users and developers?

        Firefox has gone through a rough time over the last couple of years, with increased competition from Chrome and other browsers. Now the browser’s developers are planning big changes to Firefox. Will these changes win back users and developers who have abandoned Firefox?

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Meiji 明治 Set to Succeed Liberty

      The next major OpenStack cloud platform release is set to debut in October and is codenamed : Liberty but what follows Liberty? OpenStack Foundation members have voted and the winning name is Meiji.

  • Databases

    • Open-Source Databases Pose a Threat to Oracle’s Dominance

      In June, Bloomberg conducted a survey of 20 startups valued at $1 billion or more, reporting, “None of the companies surveyed indicated they had a large Oracle database deployment for their main services though many used bits of Oracle software to run aspects of their organizations.”

Leftovers

  • Security

    • OpenSSL tells users to prepare for a high severity flaw

      Server admins and developers beware: The OpenSSL Project plans to release security updates Thursday for its widely used cryptographic library that will fix a high severity vulnerability.

      OpenSSL implements multiple cryptographic protocols and algorithms including TLS (Transport Layer Security), which underpins encryption on the Web as part of protocols like HTTPS (HTTP Secure), IMAPS (Internet Message Access Protocol Secure) and SMTPS (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Secure).

    • The Mob’s IT Department

      A few days earlier, small USB drives had been inserted into the company’s computers. They were programmed to intercept the nine-digit PINs that controlled access to DP World’s shipping containers. Besides fruit, metals, and other legitimate cargo, some of these containers carried millions of euros in heroin and cocaine. To get their drugs out of the port, often traffickers use low-tech methods: They hire runners to jump fences, break open containers, and sprint away before guards can catch them, earning as much as €10,000 ($11,200) a trip. Stealing PIN codes is more elegant and less risky. Whoever has the codes can pull into the terminal, enter the PIN into a keypad, wait as robot-controlled loaders put the container on their truck, and drive off—sometimes minutes ahead of the cargo’s legitimate owner.

      [...]

      There was only one condition of the release: Van De Moere had to give Okul an intensive training session on Linux, the operating system on which Metasploit, the hacking software, is based. A few weeks later, according to police and interviews, he did so over one weekend at a Holiday Inn in Ghent. In November, Van De Moere returned two antennas and had a couple of beers with Okul. That was the last either man would see of the Turks.

    • Anti Evil Maid 2 Turbo Edition

      Joanna Rutkowska came up with the idea of Anti Evil Maid. This can take two slightly different forms. In both, a secret phrase is generated and encrypted with the TPM. In the first form, this is then stored on a USB stick. If the user suspects that their system has been tampered with, they boot from the USB stick. If the PCR values are good, the secret will be successfully decrypted and printed on the screen. The user verifies that the secret phrase is correct and reboots, satisfied that their system hasn’t been tampered with. The downside to this approach is that most boots will not perform this verification, and so you rely on the user being able to make a reasonable judgement about whether it’s necessary on a specific boot.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israeli Soldiers Break Their Silence on the Gaza Conflict

      Of all the voices challenging the Israeli military’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories, those of Israeli soldiers stand out as powerful insights from within the military establishment.

      Avner Gvaryahu is director of public outreach for Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli veterans who are working to dismantle the traditional narrative put forth by their own military establishment. The former soldiers founded the organization in 2004 after realizing they shared deep misgivings about what they had seen and done while serving in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They felt a moral obligation to present the truth, and over the past decade, they have collected, fact-checked, and published over a thousand testimonies from soldiers of ranks high and low. These testimonies reflect a deterioration of moral standards and worrying shifting of the rules of engagement. Through lectures, reports, and other public events, Breaking the Silence has brought to light what so many try to ignore: the grim reality of what it takes to sustain a military occupation of an entire population.

    • The Spiral of Despair

      We have companies that recruit and control active armies of mercenaries, which are responsible for thousands of deaths overseas. I detest the violence of “ISIS” but it is not morally different from Executive Outcomes machine gunning villages from helicopters in Angola or from Aegis killing random vehicle occupants in Iraq who happened to be near their convoys. Yet Tony Buckingham and Tim Spicer became extremely rich after founding their careers on the latter killings, and now are respected figures in the London establishment. Apparently killing for money is good; only killing for religion is bad.

  • Finance

    • Greek banks prepare plan to raid deposits to avert collapse [scare tactics before the referendum]

      Greek banks are preparing contingency plans for a possible “bail-in” of depositors amid fears the country is heading for financial collapse, bankers and businesspeople with knowledge of the measures said on Friday.

    • Slavoj Žižek on Greece: This is a chance for Europe to awaken

      The unexpectedly strong No in the Greek referendum was a historical vote, cast in a desperate situation. In my work I often use the well-known joke from the last decade of the Soviet Union about Rabinovitch, a Jew who wants to emigrate. The bureaucrat at the emigration office asks him why, and Rabinovitch answers: “There are two reasons why. The first is that I’m afraid that in the Soviet Union the Communists will lose power, and the new power will put all the blame for the Communist crimes on us, Jews – there will again be anti-Jewish pogroms . . .”

    • “A Europe of Equals”: Report from Athens as Greek Voters Seek Alternatives to Austerity

      Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has arrived in Brussels for an emergency eurozone summit two days after Greek voters overwhelmingly turned down the terms of an international bailout in a historic rejection of austerity. On Sunday, Greeks, by a 61-to-39-percent margin, voted against further budget cuts and tax hikes in exchange for a rescue package from European creditors. Tsipras is scrambling to present a new bailout proposal as Greek banks remain shut down. If Greek banks run out of money and the country has to print its own currency, it could mean a state leaving the euro for the first time since it was launched in 1999. Euclid Tsakalotos was sworn in Monday as Greece’s new finance minister, replacing Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned following Sunday’s referendum. Tsakalotos, who has called for a “Europe of equals,” had served as Greece’s main bailout negotiator and has been a member of Syriza for nearly a decade. Like Varoufakis, Tsakalotos has been a vocal opponent of fiscal austerity imposed by the core of the eurozone, saying it has unnecessarily impoverished Greece. We go to Athens to speak with Paul Mason, economics editor at Channel 4 News, and economics professor Richard Wolff.

    • How the media discredit Greek democracy

      The EU elites, referred to as “creditors” but actually representing Europe’s large financial institutions, are repeatedly described as “mainstream”. That is presumably supposed to confer legitimacy on them and suggest they represent Europe and Europeans. But there is nothing “mainstream” about these unaccountable elites trying to bring about “regime change” in Greece by bleeding the country of hope. If they succeed and Syriza goes down, Greece will end up with real extremists – either the neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn or the country’s crony elites who got Greece into this mess, with the aid of the wider European elites, in the first place. What “mainstream” opinion in the rest of Europe thinks about Greece, Syriza or the European project is impossible to gauge because most European countries are too terrified to put such questions to their electorates in the way Syriza has done. – See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2015-07-06/how-the-media-discredit-greek-democracy/#sthash.XwlWGfHp.dpuf

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lobbying’s ex-files

      Several former commissioners are making the most of their status to gain access to EU policymakers.

  • Censorship

    • Appeals judges hear about Prince’s takedown of “Dancing Baby” YouTube vid

      A long-running copyright fight between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Universal Music over fair use in the digital age was considered by an appeals court today, a full eight years after the lawsuit began.

      EFF and its client Stephanie Lenz sued Universal Music Group back in 2007, saying that the music giant should have realized Lenz’s home video of her son Holden dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” was clearly fair use. Under EFF’s view of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Universal should have to pay damages for a wrongful takedown.

  • Privacy

    • New Dutch law would allow bulk surveillance, compelled decryption

      The Netherlands has launched a public consultation (in Dutch) on a draft bill (Google Translate) that updates the country’s existing Intelligence & Security Act of 2002. The proposed bill is wide-ranging, covering things like the use of DNA samples and the opening of letters, but a key part concerns the regulation of bulk surveillance online. As Matthijs R. Koot explains in a blog post, under the new law, mandatory cooperation will be required from “not only providers of public electronic communications networks and services, but also providers to closed user groups, including telcos, access providers, hosting providers and website operators.”

      Importantly, domestic interception is explicitly allowed: “The services are authorized to, using a technical aid, wiretap, receive, record and listen to any form of telecommunications or data transfer via an automated work [a computerised system] regardless of location.” However, a new constraint on bulk collection is introduced: all such interceptions must be conducted in a “purpose-oriented manner.” As Koot notes, this aims to “limit the hay stack created using non-specific interception to relevant information,” although it is not yet clear how broad those “purposes” can be.

    • UK and US demands to access encrypted data are ‘unprincipled and unworkable’

      Influential group of international cryptographers and computer scientists says proposals will open door to criminals and malicious nation states

    • Hacking Team Asks Customers to Stop Using Its Software After Hack

      After suffering a massive hack, the controversial surveillance tech company Hacking Team is scrambling to limit the damage as well as trying to figure out exactly how the attackers hacked their systems.

    • Eric Holder: The Justice Department could strike deal with Edward Snowden

      Former Attorney General Eric Holder said today that a “possibility exists” for the Justice Department to cut a deal with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that would allow him to return to the United States from Moscow.

    • Wetware: The Most Important Trend in Malware

      The number of vulnerabilities in the wild is growing. The number of exploits, as well as the speed of those exploits — in the case of Heartbleed, only four hours from the publication of the vulnerability to a circulating exploit — is somewhat disheartening, if not all that surprising.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Long Slow Death of IPv4

      Last week my inbox got flooded by PR comments about how the Internet was running out of addresses, as ARIN (American Registry of Internet Numbers) and its public relations people were warning about IPv4 address availability.

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