07.09.15

Links 9/7/2015: LinuxIT Sold, Alpine Linux 3.2.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Don’t touch this! Seven types of open source to dance away from

    d In a world where even Microsoft gets the open source religion, the planet’s overall quota for positivity and good karma must be increasing, right? Of course this is not the case, there are bad eggs in every basket and open source has had its share of so-called “openwashing” from time to time.

  • This is the tiny computer the BBC is giving to a million kids

    BBC Learning head Sinead Rocks said the project was about “young people learning to express themselves digitally” through coding. Suggested projects for the Micro Bit include using its magnetometer to turn it into a metal detector, using it to control a DVD player, or programming its buttons to work as a video game controller. After the devices go out to school children later this year, the BBC and its partners in the project are planning to make the Micro Bit available for purchase, and its specifications open source.

  • 5 open source tools for taming text

    Text: it’s everywhere. It fills up our social feeds, clutters our inboxes, and commands our attention like nothing else. It is oh so familiar, and yet, as a programmer, it is oh so strange. We learn the basics of spoken and written language at a very young age and the more formal side of it in high school and college, yet most of us never get beyond very simple processing rules when it comes to how we handle text in our applications. And yet, by most accounts, unstructured content, which is almost always text or at least has a text component, makes up a vast majority of the data we encounter. Don’t you think it is time you upgraded your skills to better handle text?

  • Open source developers hostile to women, claims Docker DevOps guy

    Open source development is not a meritocracy, and its culture globally is hostile to women. That was a claim made at Cloud Week 2015 in Paris by Jérôme Petazzoni, ‘Tinkerer Extraordinaire’ for software container provider, Docker.

  • HashiCorp Unifies Open Source IT Infrastructure Management

    When it comes to IT infrastructure management, many IT organizations have opted to employ open source tools such as Packer, Terraform and Consul as alternatives to commercial offerings, mainly because getting budget approval for IT management software can be a challenge.

  • Introducing s2n, An Open-Source TLS implementation from Amazon
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Something about styles in LibreOffice

      Styles are much more than defining the look and feel of text in a paragraph. Its almost everything about how paragraphs behave in the context. A Paragraph style for example defines how words are hyphenated and in what language the text in the paragraph should be spell checked.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF endorses embedded GNU/Linux distro ProteanOS as fully free

      The FSF’s list consists of ready-to-use full GNU/Linux systems whose developers have made a commitment to follow the Guidelines for Free System Distributions. This means each distro includes and steers users toward exclusively free software. All distros on this list reject nonfree software, including firmware “blobs” and nonfree documentation.

      ProteanOS is a new, small, and fast distribution that primarily targets embedded devices, but is also being designed to be part of the boot system of laptops and other devices. The lead maintainer of ProteanOS is P. J. McDermott, who is working closely with the Libreboot project and hopes to have ProteanOS be part of the boot system of Libreboot-compatible devices.

    • The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews Joël Krähemann, maintainer of Advanced GTK+ Sequencer

      In this edition, we conducted an IRC-based interview with Joël Krähemann, Maintainer of Advanced GTK+ Sequencer. Joël is an IT professional in Switzerland and works on music for fun. Advanced GTK+ Sequencer (AGS) is a an audio processing and composition tool.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Germany IT planning board wants to pool resources

      Germany’s IT planning board (IT-Planungsrat), a steering committee of federal and state government IT boards, is recommending the pooling of IT projects and IT development. Uniting IT project is important because of the increasing digitisation of public administration services, the rising complexity of IT and the growing importance of IT security.

    • Denmark helps coach Malta local councils on eGovernment

      Denmark’s Digital Agency (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen) and Malta’s Information Technology Agency (MITA) are coaching the archipelago’s local council officials on eGoverment solutions. In June, a workshop on guiding and encouraging citizens to use online services, was attended by about 100 council representatives from the islands of Malta and Gozo.

    • Awards for Austrian and Swiss eGovernment projects

      The Austrian online family allowance application and the Swiss federal geoportal geo.admin.ch are the winners of this year’s eGovernment-Wettbewerb (eGovernment Competition), which took place in Berlin on 24 June.

    • Italy: eParticipation at the centre of decision making (webinar)

      In a webinar, titled “Govern with Citizens: online participation in the design of public policies”, the Ministry for Simplification in Administration said that civil society had been consulted in finalising the next Action Plan and commentaries had been collected to help build the text.

    • Malta a front-runner in provision of e-government services, yet take up is low – Jose Herrera

      Malta is one of the leaders in the European Union when it comes to the provision of e-government services, yet the uptake of such services is low, the Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness Jose Herrera said today.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The API Evangelist has spoken

      Kin Lane is on a mission to educate the world about the transformative potential of APIs. He has a message for you, too

    • An Interesting Interview About The Vulkan API

      Neil Trevett, the President of the Khronos Group, did an interview recently about the Vulkan API as the future of graphics programming.

    • The Future of Graphics Programming: The Vulkan API

      The Khronos Group announced a few months ago the Vulkan API, a project aimed at replacing OpenGL, and starting from a clean slate in terms of graphics programming. We had the opportunity to have a chat with Neil Trevett, President of the Khronos Group, to talk about the future!

    • Khronos To Soon Open-Source Initial SPIR-V LLVM Work

      One of the big things we’ve been looking forward to with SPIR-V is the to/from LLVM IR pass in order to open up the possibilities for this new industry-standard intermediate representation to be used by Vulkan and OpenCL. Some code will soon be opened up, but it’s not the end game.

Leftovers

  • Uber Under Fire For Tripling Fares During London #TubeStrike

    Taxi firm Uber is under fire after it emerged fares had nearly tripled at peak travel periods during the London Tube strike.

  • TfL Tube strike: Total shutdown of Tube set to cost London £300 million

    Desperate London commuters battled their way to work today as business leaders warned that the first total Tube shutdown for 13 years could cost up to £300 million.

    About 20,000 staff from four rail unions refused to work in a stoppage causing disruption over three days that started during last night’s rush hour.

  • Tube Strike: LBC Host James O’Brien Goes On Epic Rant In Support Of Drivers
  • Hardware

    • The truth about Intel’s Broadwell vs. Haswell CPU

      Intel’s fifth-generation Broadwell CPU has been the default laptop processor of choice since its debut in January, but it’s been difficult to get a real bead on just how much of an improvement it really was over its Haswell predecessor.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Bundestag Hack: Possible Backgrounds and Defense Methods

      Here at Univention, we are of course also concerned by the attack on the German parliament’s IT infrastructure, better known as the “Bundestag hack”. To recap: It appears that there were some bogus e-mails there including links to malware. A number of the Windows PCs in the Bundestag’s “Parlakom” network were or may still be infected with the malware, which is alleged to have searched for and copied certain confidential Word documents. According to a report in the Tagesspiegel (German) newspaper, this allowed the hackers to gain “administration rights for the infrastructure”. The attack was conducted as an “advanced persistent threat” or “APT attack” for short: in other words, a complex, multi-phase attack on the German parliament’s “Parlakom” IT network.

  • Finance

    • Greece’s fight is for democracy in Europe. That’s why we must support it

      From the cradle of democracy, a lion has roared. It is difficult to overstate the pressure the Greek people have both endured and defied. A country that has already experienced an austerity-induced economic disaster with few precedents among developed nations in peacetime has suffered a sustained campaign of economic and political warfare. The European Central Bank – which has only recently deigned to publish some of the minutes of its meetings – capped liquidity for Greek banks, driving them to the verge of collapse. There were stringent capital controls, and desperate queues outside banks followed. A country desperate to stay within the euro was told it would be ejected, and with calamitous results.

    • Prof. Wolff on Roots of Greek Crisis, Debt Relief & Rise of Anti-Capitalism in Europe on Democracy Now!

      Prof.Wolff joins Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! to discuss the latest on the economic and political situation in Greece and the rise of anti-capitalism in Europe

    • New York Stock Exchange suspends trading after technical glitch

      The New York Stock Exchange halted trading in all securities on Wednesday morning after a “major technical issue”.

      The exchange posted the news on its website and said “additional information will follow as soon as possible”. The halt began at 11.32am ET. the Department of Homeland Security said there was no sign of suspicious activity.

      The NYSE has been hit by technical difficulties in the past but the scale of the closure was unprecedented. Also known as the Big Board, the NYSE is the world’s largest stock market and home to many of the world’s largest companies including AT&T, Bank of America, Ford and General Electric.

      The US’s other large exchanges, including the technology heavy Nasdaq, remained open.

      The halt came as China’s stock markets continued their free fall and the Greek debt crisis continued to rattle European investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 213 points when trading was halted, a fall of 1.2%

    • What it looks like when the New York Stock Exchange suddenly shuts down, in 1 chart

      The New York Stock Exchange stopped trading unexpectedly on Wednesday morning. “NYSE/NYSE MKT has temporarily suspended trading in all symbols,” the NYSE said on its market status page. “All open orders will be cancelled. Additional information will follow as soon as possible.”

    • Tonight’s Tube Strike Is Entirely Justified

      This evening sees the beginning of a strike by workers on London Underground and with the reliability of a Swiss train timetable, the mainstream media has been quick to dust-off the hackneyed cliché of the tanned, well-fed, well-paid train driver holding London to ransom at any opportunity to chisel money out of TfL. To describe the dispute in this way is to do a disservice to readers: fundamentally, it has little to do with the money on offer and by portraying it as ‘yet another tube strike’ is to ignore the severity of the real issues at stake.

      It will be the biggest tube strike for over a decade as all four unions representing London Underground workers are participating, resulting in total stoppage of the network. The RMT, TSSA and Unite will walk out at 1830, with ASLEF members walking out at 2130, all for a 24-hour period so, overall, industrial action will span 27 hours. London Underground will be putting contingency measures in place to allow normal service to resume as quickly as possible; expect services to start winding-down this afternoon and not back to normal by at least Friday morning.

      [...]

      So if the dispute isn’t over pay, then what is it about? In the simplest terms, it’s about rostering. As the proposals currently stand, tube workers are being opened up to the possibility of working unlimited night shifts, running roughshod over their entitlement to a life outside work. It’s akin an office manager telling their 9-to-5 staff that they are to work from 2 o’clock in the afternoon to 10 at night without asking if that’s alright. None of the unions involved are opposed to the Night Tube per se – introducing it would bring London Underground up to speed with the more complex New York Subway to an extent, but limits need to be placed on the number of night and weekend shifts individual members of staff will be expected to work. This is vitally important for passenger safety, as well as the health of those working the night shift.

    • European Parliament re-brands ISDS, still wants to let companies sue nations

      The European Parliament today called for foreign investors to be allowed to sue the EU and member states in special new courts. This controversial proposal came as part of a non-binding set of recommendations to the European Commission on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated with the US. The new investor courts would replace the old investor tribunals employed as part of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, but would function largely in the same way.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Do we really need the Internet?

      On June 25, 2015, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly caused a bit of a kerfuffle with his remarks to the Internet Innovation Alliance. The speech was titled “What is the Appropriate Role for Regulators in an Expanding Broadband Economy?” It contained five key points that every regulator in every country should adhere to when considering legislation or regulation regarding the Internet:

      The Internet cannot be stopped

      Understand how the Internet economy works

      Follow the law; don’t make it up

      Internet access is not a necessity or basic human right

      The benefits of regulation must outweigh the burdens

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Wikimedians urge the EU to protect freedom of panorama

        The ability to freely share information of all kinds, from text to images, is core to Wikimedia’s mission of making all knowledge available to everyone. Recently, the Wikimedia community has mobilized in response to a European Parliament recommendation on freedom of panorama—the right to freely take and publish images of works in public places, like buildings, permanent works of art, and landmarks. A recent amendment to the recommendation now under consideration threatens to place restrictions on this right across all European Union member states.

      • David Guetta: Piracy Brings Fans to My Concerts

        For more than a decade piracy has been a hot topic in the music industry. While some of the major labels have tried to eliminate the problem by taking pirates to court, others prefer a more positive approach. DJ and producer David Guetta says that the industry should embrace piracy, noting that it helps him to sell out concerts.

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