09.01.15

Links 1/9/2015: Manjaro Linux 0.8.13, Netrunner 14.2 LTS

Posted in News Roundup at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The new IT is all about the customer

    Open source code. GitHub and other cloud repositories enable developers to share and consume code for almost any purpose imaginable. This reflects today’s practical, non-ideological open source culture: Why code it yourself if someone else is offering it free under the most liberal license imaginable?

  • Events/Communities

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Was Key To Building Servers.Com

      When XBT Holding S.A. decided to simplify how its subsidiaries provided global hosting, network solutions, and web development they turned to the open source cloud infrastructure platform OpenStack. By consolidating the offerings under a single service provider, Servers.com, customers can more easily browse, mix, compare and choose the most suitable services.

    • ZeroStack Comes Out of Stealth, Focused on Private Clouds

      There is another OpenStack-focused startup on the scene, and you have to appreciate its creative name: ZeroStack. The cloud computing company has come out of stealth mode to introduce a private cloud solution that it claims is easier to configure, consume and manage than any other technology on the market.

    • Apache Ignite, a Big Data Tool, Graduates as a Top-Level Project

      Only a few days ago, Apache, which is the steward for and incubates more than 350 Open Source projects, announced that Apache Lens, an open source Big Data and analytics tool, has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). Now, the ASF has announced that Apache Ignite is to become a top-level project. It’s an open source effort to build an in-memory data fabric that was driven by GridGain Systems and WANdisco.

    • Funding the Cloud: Top VCs Aim for the Silver Lining
    • How Apache Spark Is Transforming Big Data Processing, Development
  • Databases

    • Accelerating Scientific Analysis with the SciDB Open Source Database System

      Science is swimming in data. And, the already daunting task of managing and analyzing this information will only become more difficult as scientific instruments — especially those capable of delivering more than a petabyte (that’s a quadrillion bytes) of information per day — come online.

      Tackling these extreme data challenges will require a system that is easy enough for any scientist to use, that can effectively harness the power of ever-more-powerful supercomputers, and that is unified and extendable. This is where the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s (NERSC’s) implementation of SciDB comes in.

  • CMS

    • PiwigoPress release 2.31

      I just pushed a new release of PiwigoPress (main page, WordPress plugin dir) to the WordPress servers. This release incorporates new features for the sidebar widget, and better interoperability with some Piwigo galleries.

  • Education

    • How to teach student sys admins

      Students spend the 16-week long course learning practical skills using real tools. To support their systems, students learn about using support tickets and documentation by using RT and MediaWiki. To deploy and maintain their systems, they learn about configuration management using Puppet, system monitoring using Nagios, and backup and recovery using Bacula. But the broad concepts are more important than the specific software packages I just mentioned. The point is to learn, for example, configuration management, not to be trained to use Puppet. The software used by Clark is used because it works for him, but the software is flexible and changeable.

  • Openwashing (Fake FOSS)

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD Is Getting Its Own Native Hypervisor

      The OpenBSD Foundation has been funding work on a project to provide OpenBSD with its own, native hypervisor.

      The hypervisor’s VMM is so far able to launch a kernel and ask for a root file-system, but beyond that, it’s been laying most of the hypervisor foundation up to this point.

    • Coming Soon to OpenBSD/amd64: A Native Hypervisor

      Earlier today, Mike Larkin (mlarkin@) published a teaser for something he’s been working on for a while.

    • the peculiar libretunnel situation

      The author of stunnel has (once, twice) asserted that stunnel may not be used with LibreSSL, only with OpenSSL. This is perhaps a strange thing for free software to do, and it creates the potential for some very weird consequences.

      First, some background. The OpenSSL license and the GPL are both free software licenses, but they are different flavors of freedom, meaning you can’t mix them. It would be like mixing savory and sweet. Can’t do it. Alright, so maybe technically you can do it, but you’re not supposed to. The flavor, er, freedom police will come get you. One workaround is for the GPL software to say, oh, but maybe wait, here’s an exception. (Does this make the software more or less free?) Here’s a longer explanation with sample exception.

    • FreeBSD on Beagle Bone Black (with X11)

      X11 clients on the Beagle Bone Black .. that’s X11 over the network, with the X Server elsewhere. No display as yet. The FreeBSD wiki notes that there’s no (mini) HDMI driver yet. So I built some X11 programs, xauth(1) and xmessage(1), and installed them on the Bone. Since I bought a blue case for the Bone, and it is the smallest computer in the house (discounting phones .. let’s call it the smallest hackable computer in the house) the kids decided to call it smurf. Here’s a screenshot of poudriere’s text console as it builds packages.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Schiphol Airport working on open innovation

      …open data and an open programming interface…

    • How open film project Cosmos Laundromat made Blender better

      If you’re not familiar with the string of open projects that the Blender Institute has kicked out over the years, you might not be familiar with the term “open movie.” Simply put, not only is Cosmos Laundromat produced using free and open source tools like Blender, GIMP, Krita, and Inkscape, but the film itself, and all of its assets—models, textures, character rigs, animations, all of it—are available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Want to see what a production character rig looks like? Or know how that giant color tornado was created? How about actually using a character (or just a prop) in your own project? Maybe you even want to redo the entire film to your own tastes. It’s an open movie! You can!

    • Making strides in container integration, and more OpenStack news
  • Programming

    • The thin line between good and bad automation

      I don’t like automation — I love it. I whisper sweet nothings, come ’round with flowers, and buy milkshakes for automation. I’ve even stood outside the window with a boombox for automation. I will go out of my way to automate tasks that, while they are not terribly tedious, I don’t want to have to remember exactly how to do them somewhere down the road, when months have gone by since the last time I had to relearn them.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Breaking the Depleted Uranium Ceiling

      It is an astonishing fact that, despite near universal recognition now that the war in Iraq was a disaster, no major British social institution is headed by a single one of the majority of the population wo were opposed to the war.

      Every Cabinet Minister actively supported the war. Of the fifteen Tory MPs who rebelled and voted against the war, not one is a minister. Civil servants officially have no politics but privately their opinions are known. There is not one single Permanent Under Secretary of a UK government department who was known to be against the war and most were enthusiasts. Simon Fraser, PUS at the FCO, was an active Blairite enthusiast for the war. Though no Blairite, the Head of MI6 Alex Younger was also an enthusiast.

    • Missing From Reports of Yemeni Carnage: Washington’s Responsibility

      But that “huge role” often disappears when the the leading papers are discussing the carnage that results from the air attacks that the US is supporting and supplying. Thus when the Times‘ Rick Gladstone (8/22/15) reported that “Saudi-led airstrikes on a residential district in Yemen’s southwestern city of Taiz had killed more than 65 civilians, including 17 people from one family,” according to Doctors Without Borders, and that the death toll in the war included “hundreds of civilians killed in airstrikes,” Washington’s role in facilitating those deaths went unmentioned.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Obama can rename Mount McKinley Denali — but he can’t stop its loss of ice

      This Monday through Wednesday, President Obama will be in Alaska, visiting melting glaciers and remote towns and meeting with other Arctic leaders. On Sunday, the president made a major statement by officially renaming Mt. McKinley — the U.S.’s highest peak — Denali, its traditional native name.

      The trip’s purpose is to highlight climate change — and for Alaska in particular, the change has been dramatic.

  • Finance

    • Blythe Masters Tells Banks the Blockchain Changes Everything

      These Wall Street veterans all know who Blythe Masters is. She’s the wunderkind who made managing director at JPMorgan Chase at age 28, the financial engineer who helped develop the credit-default swap and bring to life a market that peaked at $58 trillion, in notional terms, in 2007. She’s the banker later vilified by pundits, unfairly some say, after those instruments compounded the damage wrought by the subprime mortgage crash in 2008. Now, one year after quitting JPMorgan amid another controversy, Blythe Masters is back. She isn’t pitching a newly minted derivative or trading stratagem to this room. She’s promoting something wilder: It’s called the blockchain, and it’s the digital ledger software code that powers bitcoin.

    • eBay Pledges Loyalty To PayPal — Bans Rivals

      eBay will soon be banning PayPal rivals, ProPay and Skrill, from offering payment services to sellers on its platform.

    • Police force could lose 22,000 jobs under new spending cuts

      Major reduction in funding could see number of police officers in England and Wales fall to 40-year low

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Muhammad cartoon editor gets Norway prize

      Jyllands-Posten editor Flemming Rose, who was behind the controversial 2005 publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons, is being honoured by a Norwegian free speech group.

  • Privacy

    • Don’t let Roanoke murderer’s arrest justify a license plate reader rise

      As someone who has been reporting on license plate readers (LPR) for some time now, it actually surprised me when I heard that Roanoke, Virginia, shooter Vester Lee Flanagan had been first located through the use of the scanning device. While the devices have been in use in Virginia for years, their effectiveness and efficiency there—and nationwide—is questionable.

      According to local media accounts, when Virginia State Police Trooper Pamela Neff received the suspect’s plate number over her radio last week, she punched it into her LPR system and got an alert that the car had passed by not three minutes earlier. Within 10 minutes, Neff and other officers converged on Flanagan’s location, finding that he had shot himself, ending the manhunt.

    • Fake EFF site serving espionage malware was likely active for 3+ weeks
  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Introduces Rules Banning WiFi Router Firmware Modification

      For years we have been graced by cheap consumer electronics that are able to be upgraded through unofficial means. Your Nintendo DS is able to run unsigned code, your old XBox was a capable server for its time, your Android smartphone can be made better with CyanogenMod, and your wireless router could be expanded far beyond what it was originally designed to do thanks to the efforts of open source firmware creators. Now, this may change. In a proposed rule from the US Federal Communications Commission, devices with radios may be required to prevent modifications to firmware.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Yandex Demands Takedown of ‘Illegal’ Music Downloader

        Russian search giant Yandex has ordered U.S-based Github to take down a tool that allows downloading of MP3s from its music streaming service. Yandex, which has 60% of the local search market and has deals with Universal, Sony and Warner to offer a Spotify-like platform, says that the music downloader is illegal.

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