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Links 12/8/2015: Docker 1.8, Kali Linux 2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • HashPlex Exclusive Interview: Lightning Hub Open Source Release

    HashPlex is a company that specializes in hosting miner services, allowing home miners access to industry standard electricity rates in order to stay competitive. While their main focus is indeed the mining aspect of Bitcoin, the people over at HashPlex understand the importance of the Bitcoin network, which is especially seen by the debut of their new open source lightning hub. I talked to Bernard Rihn, CEO and founder, as well as Jasper Hugunin, their leading Lightning Dev, over at HashPlex regarding the Lightning Network and Hubs.

  • Pixar open sources Finding Nemo… (digital content software)
  • Pixar will open-source the code for a key movie-making tool
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Microservices 101: What To Know, What To Do

      One of the organizations working on platform infrastructures to support — create, test, deploy and manage — microservices architectures is the Cloud Foundry Foundation. Started in 2015, as an independent not-for-profit 501(c)6 Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, the Foundry currently consists of more than 185 incubating or active projects and is currently being used in hundreds of production environments, including many in the Global 2000. It’s in use at two of the top U.S. telco carriers, two of the world’s top three insurance companies — like AllState, Chase, JP Morgan, SwissCom and Verizon – and at least six Global 500 manufacturing companies, including GE.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle’s security chief posted a crazy ranting tirade. Then Oracle deleted it.
    • No, You Really Can’t

      Writing mysteries is a lot more fun than the other type of writing I’ve been doing. Recently, I have seen a large-ish uptick in customers reverse engineering our code to attempt to find security vulnerabilities in it. [Insert big sigh here.] This is why I’ve been writing a lot of letters to customers that start with “hi, howzit, aloha” but end with “please comply with your license agreement and stop reverse engineering our code, already.”


      But you know, if Oracle’s strongly-worded letters are written in Davidson’s style, I think I’d quite enjoy the entertainment value.

    • No, You Really Can’t (Mary Ann Davidson Blog)
    • Oracle security chief to customers: Stop checking our code for vulnerabilities [Updated]

      Perhaps thinking that all the security researchers in the world were busy recovering from Black Hat and DEF CON and would be somehow more pliant to her earnest message, Mary Ann Davidson wrote a stern message to customers entitled “No, You Really Can’t” (here in Google’s Web cache; it’s also been reproduced on SecLists.org in the event that Oracle gets Google to remove the cached copy). Her message: stop scanning Oracle’s code for vulnerabilities or we will come after you. “I’ve been writing a lot of letters to customers that start with ‘hi, howzit, aloha’,” Davidson wrote, “but end with ‘please comply with your license agreement and stop reverse engineering our code, already.’”

    • Oracle pulls CSO’s BONKERS anti-bug bounty and infosec rant

      While other IT industry heavyweights have embraced bug bounties and working with security researchers more generally, Oracle has set its face in the opposite direction in a blog post likening reverse engineering to cheating on your spouse.

      Mary Ann Davidson, Oracle’s chief security officer (CSO), expressed corporate dislike from the software giant for both reverse engineers and bug bounties in a long blog post on Monday. The post was pulled on Tuesday lunchtime, but its contents remain available via the Internet Archive here.

    • Oracle to ‘sinner’ customers: Reverse engineering is a sin and we know best

      Opinion: Stop sending vulnerability reports already. Oracle’s chief security officer wants to go back to writing murder mysteries.

  • BSD

    • OpenSSH 7.0

      OpenSSH 7.0 has just been released. It will be available from the
      mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

      OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
      includes sftp client and server support. OpenSSH also includes
      transitional support for the legacy SSH 1.3 and 1.5 protocols
      that may be enabled at compile-time.

    • OpenSSH 7.0 Released
  • Public Services/Government

    • Freiburg hospital pilots open source research kit

      The University Hospital of the German city of Freiburg is using open source software for its ‘Cruciate Ligament Rupture Study’, aiming to involve users of smartphones and tablet PCs to share data that will help to improve treatments. The main application is built using ResearchKit, a toolbox for developing medical research software applications.

    • Adullact shares solution to access France’s e-ID services

      Adullact, the platform for French civil servants working on free software, in June unveiled i-CLEFS, a solution that builds on France’s e-ID to help municipalities offer eGovernment services.

    • German Interior Ministry seeks open source expertise

      Germany’s Minister of the Interior is looking for help with its partly Linux-based IT infrastructure. In July, the Bundesministerium des Innern (BMI) published a request for tender, seeking expertise in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and prowess in the IT security monitoring using Nagios.

    • Sweden’s Halland region extends KOHA library system

      The Regionbibliotek Halland (Halland regional library) in the eponymous region in Sweden is developing features for KOHA, the open source library management system, to meet the needs of Sweden’s public libraries. Halland’s regional library switched to using KOHA earlier this year.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Simple, Cheap Nitrate Tester is Open Source

      Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and nitrate pollution due to agricultural fertilizer runoff is a major problem for both lakes and coastal waters. Assessing nitrate levels commercially is an expensive process that uses proprietary instruments and toxic reagents such as cadmium. But [Joshua Pearce] has recently developed an open-source photometer for nitrate field measurement that uses an enzyme from spinach and costs a mere $65USD to build.

    • Open source curriculum at Idea Fab Labs

      Recently I’ve begun volunteering at Idea Fab Labs here in Santa Cruz, with two specific goals — expanding the space to include free/open source software ethos and hacking, and helping all these awesome makers with questions and reality around the open source way.


  • The Top Questions Facing Alphabet, the New Google Conglomerate
  • Why Google is restructuring, why the name Alphabet and how it affects you
  • Google to restructure into new holding company called Alphabet
  • Google and Alphabet: What does this all mean?
  • Google shares leap as investors welcome new era of transparency
  • Eileen Burbidge: Why I got fired by Skype
  • Science

  • Security

    • Researchers reveal electronic car lock hack after 2-year injunction by Volkswagen

      In 2012, researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands discovered a security flaw in a common automotive security chip used in theft prevention by Volkswagen, Audi, Fiat, Honda, and Volvo vehicles. But after they disclosed their results to the auto manufacturers—a full nine months before they planned to publish them—the automakers sued to keep them quiet.

    • How texting a Corvette could stop it in its tracks

      As if recent research on car hacking wasn’t frightening enough, a new study shows yet another danger to increasingly networked vehicles.

      This time around, academics with the University of California analyzed small, third-party devices that are sometimes plugged into a car’s dashboard, known as telematic control units (TCUs).

      Insurance companies issue the devices to monitor driving metrics in order to meter polices. Other uses include fleet management, automatic crash reporting and tracking stolen vehicles.

    • BlackBerry can’t catch a break: Now it’s fending off Jeep hacking claims

      BlackBerry has denied rumors that its software might have played a role in the infamous “Jeep hack,” saying it’s “unequivocally” not true.

      In July, security researchers revealed that certain cars built by Fiat Chrysler were vulnerable to potentially life-threatening remote attacks, thanks to a flaw in the automaker’s uConnect in-vehicle infotainment system.

      The underlying operating system that powers uConnect is QNX Neutrino, a real-time OS that’s made by a BlackBerry subsidiary. On Friday, investment website Seeking Alpha published an editorial questioning whether some kind of flaw in QNX might be implicated in the Jeep hack.

    • Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here’s how to exploit it

      A design flaw in Intel’s processors can be exploited to install malware beneath operating systems and antivirus – making it tough to detect and remove.

      “It’s a forgotten patch to a forgotten problem, but opens up an incredible vulnerability,” said Christopher Domas, a security researcher with the Battelle Memorial Institute, who revealed the hardware bug at the Black Hat conference in Vegas last week.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Tokenless Keystone

      One time paswords (OTPs) in conjunction with Basic Auth or some other way to curry the data to the server provides an interesting alternative. In theory, the user could pass the OTP along at the start of the request, the Horizon server would be responsible for timestamping it, and the password could then be used for the duration. This seems impractical, as we are essentially generating a new bearer token. For all-in-one deployments they would work as well as Basic-Auth.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Four Demonstrably False Claims About The Iran Deal That Are Showing Up On The Opinion Pages

      Conservative opposition to the internationally-negotiated deal to limit Iran’s ability to obtain a nuclear weapon has been the subject of numerous editorials and op-eds in U.S. newspapers that have pushed false information about the agreement and warned that it compromises U.S. and Israeli security, despite widespread praise from nuclear arms control experts who say the deal is “excellent compared to where we are today.”

    • The U.S.-Russia “phony war”: How Washington warmongers could bring us from stalemate to catastrophe

      The Ukraine crisis and the attendant confrontation with Russia assume a “phony war” feel these days. As in the perversely calm months between the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and the Blitzkrieg into the Low Countries the following spring, nothing much seems to be happening.

      No one took comfort then—a fog of anxiety suffused everything—and no one should now. One almost prefers it when Washington politicians and other temporarily important people are out there grandstanding and warmongering. At least part of what is occurring is visible, even as the whole never is. Now one sees almost nothing, and we get an idea of what the historians mean when they describe the queasiness abroad during the phony war period.

      A formidable file of political, diplomatic and military reports has accumulated by drips and drops of late, and it strongly suggests one of two things: Either we are on the near side of open conflict between two great powers, accidental or purposeful and probably but not necessarily on Ukrainian soil, or we are in for a re-rendering of the Cold War that will endure as long as the original.

      One cannot look forward to either, the former being dangerous and the latter dreary. But it has to be one or the other, barring the unlikely possibility that Washington is forced to accept a settlement that federalizes Ukraine, as Europe and Moscow assert is sensible.

      It is hard to say when this thought came to me, but it has to be since Secretary of State Kerry’s May meeting in Sochi with President Putin and Sergei Lavrov, his foreign minister. That session seemed to mark a dramatic turn toward sense at the time and won much applause, including here. But things have deteriorated ever since.


      A few days ago came news that American soldiers are to begin training the Ukrainian army this autumn. Given the Pentagon has been training the Ukrainian national guard since April, it is not too much to say Americans have assumed de facto control of the Ukrainian defense apparatus. And no wonder, given the well-known problems of corruption and incompetence in Ukraine’s military and a lack of will among troops when ordered to shoot their own countrymen.

      This is the new micro picture. In the course of a few months, Pentagon and State have re-upped their effort to encourage the Poroshenko government to resolve its crisis with rebellious citizens in the east of Ukraine on the battlefield—foursquare in opposition to Franco-German efforts to fashion a negotiated settlement in concert with Moscow. Washington thus fights two fronts in the Ukraine crisis, a point not to be missed.

    • How Google Is Helping In The Fight Against ISIS

      These Google Earth exchanges began when Y.P.G. fighters sent their coordinates to the U.S. military so they could receive supplies, according to Callimachi’s account. That then evolved into airstrike coordination, which has allowed the group to force ISIS out of multiple Syrian locations including Kobani, Tal Abyad, and Hasaka.

    • Is Lockheed Martin too big to fail?

      Lockheed has made itself dominant on Capitol Hill – with defense jobs in virtually every state.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange: Sex assault claims may never be investigated due to Swedish statute of limitations

      Three of the four allegations of sexual assault against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may never be investigated as the time limit required to do so will expire in seven days.

      Mr Assange, whose Wikileaks website published thousands of US military and diplomatic documents in 2010, has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012.

    • ‘Top Secret’ emails found as Clinton probe expands to key aides

      As pressure builds on Hillary Clinton to explain her official use of personal email while serving as secretary of state, she faced new complications Tuesday. It was disclosed her top aides are being drawn into a burgeoning federal inquiry and that two emails on her private account have been classified as “Top Secret.”

      The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications – more sensitive than previously known.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Op-ed: How Can Engineers Heed Pope Francis’ Challenge on Climate Change?

      The engineering deans of Catholic colleges and universities have been meeting annually for the past three years to discuss issues, challenges and trends unique to engineering education in Catholic institutions. As a group of STEM leaders across the country, we use our collective voice to publicly address matters that impact engineering education, or matters in which engineering education may have an impact. As such, our 22-member group feels called to respond to Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si’” encyclical on the environment and human ecology.

  • Finance

    • Google’s Alphabet restructure could get boost from Delaware tax loophole

      Google’s Street View cameras have photographed locations across the world, allowing armchair tourists a view of anything from the Tower of London to Tiananmen Square. But one address is notable by its absence. The office building at 2711 Centerville Road in Wilmington, Delaware, a small town just south of Philadelphia, has not been captured by the Street View cameras. And yet this is the official address of Google Inc, the holding company of one of the world’s most successful software groups.

    • Fox Hypes Cherry-Picked Data To Attack Seattle Minimum Wage

      Fox News is hyping a report from the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) blaming a marginal decline in restaurant employment in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area on Seattle’s recently-increased minimum wage. The think tank and right-wing media outlet both overstated the significance of a roughly 1 percent change in restaurant employment and focused on apparent job losses in one month while ignoring job gains the following month.

    • A $480 Million Mystery: The Saga of Mt. Gox

      It is now over a week since Mark Karpelès was arrested in Japan and one-time Mt. Gox quasi-interim CEO Ashley Barr-alias-Adam Turner held a searing reddit AMA session . The Mt. Gox debacle is taking on some nuance, and the revelations about Karpelès’ bizarre personality might make a halfway decent movie some day, a sort of Wolf of Shibuya with an infusion of 4chanian absurdity: anime, cats, lattes, craven flouting of fiduciary duties and the occasional samurai LARP (Live Action Role Play) .

  • Politics/PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Google, Facebook and Twitter Protest Hollywood’s ‘SOPA Resurrection’

      A broad coalition of global tech firms including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Yahoo are protesting a broad injunction that would require search engines, ISPs and hosting companies to stop linking to or offering services to MovieTube. The preliminary injunction requested by the MPAA resurrects parts of the controversial SOPA bill, the tech giants warn.

  • Privacy

    • The Bot That Cried Wolf: Battery tracking poses no real privacy threat

      Am I suggesting that manufactured privacy issues are obscuring real ones? Absolutely. For proof, one needs look no further than last week’s battery brouhaha from a report that noted that websites can track people based on their batteries, skirting opt-in privacy rules that allow battery strength reports to be shared without site visitor permission. For those who bother to read the full report, its details do a wonderful job of establishing that if a site manager wants to invade someone’s privacy, that manager could do far better than peeking at energy levels.

    • The Many Things Wrong With the Anti-Encryption Op-Ed in the New York Times

      Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and his counterparts in Paris, London, and Madrid took to the New York Times op-ed page Tuesday morning to pose a flawed argument against default encryption of mobile phones, a service being commercialized and implemented gradually by Apple and Google.

      The op-ed misstated the extent of the obstacles to law enforcement, understating the many other ways officials bearing warrants can still collect the information they need or want—even when confronted with an encrypted, password protected device.

      The authors failed to acknowledge the value to normal people of protecting their private data from thieves, hackers and government dragnets.

    • Twitter Sees 52% Spike In Government And Copyright Info Requests

      The company released its latest transparency report, which now also includes trademark notices and email privacy practices.

  • Civil Rights

    • Armored Vehicle Request Documents Show Local Law Enforcement Still Looking To Bring The (Drug) War To Your Doorstep

      Molly Redden and Mother Jones have acquired a stash of armored vehicle request documents from police departments all over the nation. The requests are tied to the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, in which military hand-me-downs are given to basically any law enforcement agency that asks for them, whether or not these agencies actually need them.

    • Oath Keepers return to Ferguson, fueling racial tension

      Four white civilians carrying military-style rifles and sidearms walked a riot-torn street in Ferguson, Missouri, early Tuesday, saying they were there to protect a representative from an anti-government website, but their actions drew swift criticism from protesters in the mostly black neighborhood and from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who called their presence “unncessary and inflammatory.”

      The appearance of the four men drew stares in the neighborhood, which was rocked by violence again Sunday night as protesters marked the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen whose death one year ago reignited a debate on race relations.

      The men identified themselves as members of Oath Keepers, which describes itself as an association of current and former U.S. soldiers and police who aim to protect the U.S. Constitution. The group reports having about 35,000 members nationwide and says there are African-Americans among its ranks.

    • Florida Cop Smashes Disabled Vet’s Cell Phone For Legally Parking in Handicap Space

      Florida man Isiah James served his country for 10 years. He survived two trips to Iraq and one to Afganistan.

      Riviera Beach cop G. Wilson took less than 10 minutes to decide that the Army veteran Isiah James didn’t deserve a handicapped sticker.

      Isiah’s $800 iPhone 6+ didn’t survive a trip to the Walgreens.

      James had family in town on vacation, and father doesn’t drive, so he took father to the store. On his way home, the two man stopped at a Walgreen’s liquor store.

    • US Says ‘No’ To EU Plan For New Corporate Sovereignty Courts: So What Happens Now With TAFTA/TTIP?

      Back in May, we wrote about the European Commission’s attempt to put lipstick on the corporate sovereignty pig. Its attempt to “reform” the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system was largely driven by the massive rejection of the whole approach by respondents to the Commission’s consultation on the subject last year. Of the 150,000 people who took the trouble to respond, 145,000 said they did not want corporate sovereignty provisions of any kind. Even the European Commission could not spin that as a mandate for business as usual, and so it came up with what it called a “path for reform” (pdf). By promising to solve the all-too evident “problems” of corporate sovereignty by coming up with something it claimed was better, its evident plan was to include this re-branded ISDS as part of the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations with the US.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Team Prenda Smacked Around Again, Ordered To Pay Another $94,000

        It appears that the courts are now just piling on when it comes to Prenda Law. In the case of Lightspeed v. Anthony Smith, the court that was one of the first to call out team Prenda for “flat-out lies” and then blasted their weak attempt to plead poverty — leading, instead, to holding Team Prenda in contempt — has struck again. Having lost badly on appeal, the district court slammed the lawyers again, arguing that Team Prenda lied to the court and obstructed the discovery process concerning where they hid their money. It ordered sanctions of $65,263 and asked Smith’s lawyers at Booth Sweet to submit their costs to be added on to the total. Those costs came out to $94,343.51 — and Prenda lawyers John Steele and Paul Duffy complained that the number was unfair.

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