09.04.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 4/9/2015: Acer Predator 8, GNOME 3.17.91 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • New Cyber Threat Detection Tool Made Open Source

    Lockheed’s move points to the power of open source, particularly when it comes to big overreaching issues such as cybersecurity. Rather than Lockheed keeping their tool as internal proprietary software and requiring others to license or purchase it, they recognized the potential their innovation holds for the greater good. This represents a huge step for both the open source and cybersecurity communities.

  • Why Does the Government Use Open Source Code?
  • Twitter open-sources Diffy, a tool for automatically spotting bugs in code

    Twitter is today announcing the availability of Diffy, a new piece of open-source software that developers can use to spot bugs when they’re making updates to certain parts of code.

    Twitter uses the code internally. Now the social networking company is releasing it to the rest of the world.

  • We wrote an open source bank parser

    Our first project is something I was already working on, an extensible parser to chew bank statements and shit out transaction sheets. We made a gem, made an API and learnt a lot in the process. (We even wrote a java API to unlock pdf files given a password. Whew!). We currently have a meager three bank support, but we’ve managed to build a framework that makes it super easy to add other banks and statement formats.

  • Events

    • Ada Initiative runs out of puff, shuts its doors

      This manifested itself largely in attempts to force conference organisers to adopt draconian codes of conduct. In 2013, Aurora was very much in the public eye when she forced the organisers of the Security BSides conference in San Francisco to cancel a talk that she deemed unsuitable.

      The presenter was well-known speaker Violet Blue and the talk was titled “sex +/- drugs: known vulns and exploits”.

      Though Aurora tried her level best to make out that she had been asked to look over the conference programme by the organisers, it became apparent that she was the one who had poked her nose into the whole affair and tried to muscle the organisers into cancelling the talk.

    • Australian Linux conference back in the black, says Linux Australia president

      The Australian national Linux conference has not made a loss in 2015 after a disastrous 2014, according to the president of Linux Australia, Joshua Hesketh.

      Hesketh said LCA 2015, which was held in Auckland earlier his year, was expected to return to profit once the books were fully closed and audited.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • FossaMail Open-Source Mail Client Launches Update

        FossaMail is built on the Mozilla Thunderbird client but without all the will-they-or-won’t-they of the rumors that Mozilla has done with Thunderbird. Even better, FossaMail is compatible with both Windows and Linux, while offering a 64-bit download in Windows to up the speed, address more memory, and perform other 64-bit operations.

        At the same time, FossaMail looks and feels just like Thunderbird, despite the oval tab fiasco. It still offers a contacts list, calendar, and chat, just like most users have come to expect from their email platforms. It’s so close to Thunderbird, in fact, that the developers didn’t bother with an extensive tutorial or FAQ, but instead just point users to the Thunderbird help section if they have any problems.

  • Databases

    • Five Ways Open Source Databases Are Limited

      Two of the reasons to deploy an open source database are cost and philosophy. Philosophically, the open source movement subscribes to the notion that having community-developed product creates a better product, and/or “contributes to the world in a better way.” The other reason is cost, which usually means “free,” or at least no-charge for the software database license.

  • CMS

    • Proprietary vs. open source WCM [Ed: pro-proprietary]

      As it turns out, open source software is not always so free, proprietary software is not necessarily closed, and help from the open source community isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the level of support you get from a professional vendor.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source-distributions for Romanian public administrations

      Advocates of free and open source have tailored two Linux-distributions, motivating the country’s public administrations to use this type of software solutions. The distributions were presented on 29 August at events in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, the country’s most-populous cities. The Ministry of Education is the first to take an interest.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Action Alert: NYT Gives a False Pass to US on Cluster Bomb Sales

      The New York Times‘ Rick Gladstone (9/3/15) has an article on the use of cluster bombs—aptly described as the “widely outlawed munitions that kill and maim indiscriminately”—in conflicts in Libya, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, five countries that have not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which banned the production, sale and use of these weapons in 2010.

      [...]

      This is just wrong: The Convention not only bans the use of cluster bombs—which the US military used against Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq before the treaty went into effect, but did not use subsequently in its air attacks on Libya—it also mandates that signatories are “never under any circumstances to…develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions.”

    • The New York Times: Diplomats Agree That Iran Deal “Is As Good A Deal As You Could Get”

      Diplomats from the UK, China, France, Germany and Russia told Congress that the Iran nuclear deal is the best deal possible, according to a report from The New York Times.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Web of Secrecy Surrounding Federal Half-a-Billion Handout to Charter Schools

      Secretary Duncan has previously called for “absolute transparency” when it comes to school performance, but that’s just a talking point unless he releases the applications, or even a list of the states that are in the running, before they are given the final stamp of approval.

    • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Calls Out Trump For Bullying The Press

      Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called out Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for the “insidious political crime” of increasingly “attacking the First Amendment’s protection of a free press by menacing journalists.”

      In an essay for The Washington Post’s PostEverything section, Abdul-Jabbar detailed Trump’s increasingly hostile attacks on the press. On two separate occasions, Trump has thrown Hispanic journalists out of his press conferences.

  • Privacy

    • Snowden: Clinton’s email server ‘a problem’

      “If an ordinary worker at the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency … were sending details about the security of the embassies, which is alleged to be in her email, meetings with private government officials, foreign government officials and the statements that were made to them in confidence over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it,” he added.

      Snowden also set his sights on GOP White House front-runner Donald Trump for calling him a “total traitor” earlier this summer.

      “It’s very difficult to respond in a serious way to any statement that’s made by Donald Trump,” he said of the outspoken billionaire.

      Clinton’s voter support is fading amid controversy over her technology habits while serving as secretary of State. Critics say her use of a personal storage device prevented accountability of her actions and jeopardized national security secrets.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • There’s still a chance to save WiFi

      You may not know it, but wifi is under assault in the USA due to proposed FCC regulations about modifications to devices with modular radios. In short, it would make it illegal for vendors to sell devices with firmware that users can replace. This is of concern to everyone, because Wifi routers are notoriously buggy and insecure. It is also of special concern to amateur radio hobbyists, due to the use of these devices in the Amateur Radio Service (FCC Part 97).

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