09.21.15

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Links 21/9/2015: Tizen 3.0, Red Hat’s Results Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 1:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Microsoft’s wake-up call on software piracy

    With piracy-related lawsuits becoming a looming possibility, open-source software seems to be the answer

  • Exercising Software Freedom in the Global Email System

    In this post, I discuss one example of how a choice for software freedom can cause many strange problems that others will dismiss. My goal here is to explain in gory detail how proprietary software biases in the computing world continue to grow, notwithstanding Open Source ballyhoo.

    Two decades ago, nearly every company, organization, entity, and tech-minded individual ran their own email server. Generally speaking, even back then, nearly all the software for both MTAs and MUAs were Free Software0. MTA’s are the mail transport agents — the complex software that moves email around from one Internet domain to another. MUAs are the mail user agents, sometimes called mail clients — the local programs with which users manipulate their own email.

    I’ve run my own MTA since around 1993: initially with sendmail, then with exim for a while, and with Postfix since 1999 or so. Also, everywhere I’ve worked throughout my entire career since 1995, I’ve either been in charge of — or been the manager of the person in charge of — the MTA installation for the organization where I worked. In all cases, that MTA has always been Free Software, of course.

  • Open source ‘essential for heritage preservation’

    Working together on open source tools based on open standards is very important for those involved in the preservation of digital information, says Barbara Sierman, board member of the Open Preservation Foundation.

  • GNU/Linux Touted As Safe Replacement For Illegal Software In Bangladesh
  • FOSS the Solution to Piracy, Newspaper Says

    On September 9, a Bangladeshi English language newspaper, Dhaka Tribune, reported that the country’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Task Force and Copyright officials had seized 69 laptops with pirated Microsoft software and arrested two high ranking officials at Flora, one of Bangladesh’s largest computer retailers. The raid came after two years of newspaper ads sponsored by the country’s Copyright Office warning about the legal implications of selling pirated goods.

  • AT&T’s Chiosi: Unite on Open Source or Suffer

    The telecom industry needs to agree on how it wants the various pieces of open source to come together in a platform for the future, AT&T’s Margaret Chiosi said here Thursday. Otherwise, there is the risk of a splintered effort that will ultimately slow critical network transformation.

    Chiosi, a Distinguished Network Architect at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) who is also president of the Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. and one of the original players in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV ISG, explained why open source is critical to AT&T’s Integrated Cloud (AIC) architecture — its converged services platform moving forward — and outlined the numerous open source groups in which the telecom giant is participating, which span 700 different projects.

  • Google’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software uses Tesseract

    Google’s OCR is probably using dependencies of Tesseract, an OCR engine released as free software, or OCRopus, a free document analysis and optical character recognition (OCR) system that is primarily used in Google Books. Developed as a community project during 1995-2006 and later taken over by Google, Tesseract is considered one of the most accurate OCR engines and works for over 60 languages. The source code is available on GitHub.

  • Modest CEO on open source and acquisition by PayPal

    Professionally, Harper was CTO of Threadless and then CTO of Obama for America. He’s currently CEO of Modest, Inc., which was recently acquired by PayPal. I asked him what really drives him and he said, “I like to have fun and do interesting things.” Also, in a talk Harper gave in Sweden in 2014, he said that he strives to hire people who looked different from him. In this interview, I ask him more about that and his upcoming All Things Open talk.

  • Google, Twitter Forge Open Source Publishing Partnership

    Google will be coming late to the publishing party, having failed to challenge Facebook with its own social media platforms — the short-lived Google Buzz and the faltering Google+, noted SEO researcher Joshua J. Bachynski. Google’s inability to understand its user base has forced it to form an uneasy partnership with Twitter and others, he suggested.

  • Events

    • A Preliminary systemd.conf 2015 Schedule is Now Online!

      We are happy to announce that an initial, preliminary version of the systemd.conf 2015 schedule is now online! (Please ignore that some rows in the schedule link the same session twice on that page. That’s a bug in the web site CMS we are working on to fix.)

    • Software Freedom Day 2015 Phnom Penh

      The Digital Freedom Foundation is organizing our Software Freedom Day event in Phnom Penh together with the National Institute of Posts Telecommunications and ICT and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on September 19, 2015 at the NIPTICT Building. There will be 10 presentations and several lightening talks with topics covering free and open source software ranging from operating system, virtualization, drones, mapping, servers, to security. Here is the detailed schedule.

    • How will you celebrate Software Freedom Day?

      Software Freedom Day is a global celebration of free and open source software (FOSS). What will you to on September 19, 2015 to celebrate?

      We hope you can choose to do many of the options we listed in our poll to help celebrate FOSS on Software Freedom Day, but even if you can only do one that will be a great benefit to the community.

  • Web Browsers

    • Shopping for a Browser

      I remain deeply suspicious of Chrome, since it has been reported to be snooping on its users and reporting back to Google. And, sadly, the latest news from Firefox is discouraging. It’s possible that that adware and snoopware will be left out of Mozilla’s SeaMonkey browser, which I have recently installed.

    • Mozilla

      • The Firefox Is in the Hen House

        For a variety of reasons that nobody outside of Mozilla seems to completely understand, Mozilla ended its relationship with Google late last year to ink a deal with Yahoo. Some pundits are figuring that Yahoo offered better terms and that Mozilla stands to make more money now than before, especially since it’s now selling default search on a country-by-country basis instead of carte blanche for the entire planet. Others say the change in affiliation had little to do with money, but was brought about by ideological reasons, basically revolving around Mozilla’s Do Not Track system, which Google does not support. Reportedly, as part of the new deal, Yahoo has agreed to abide by Do Not Track requests.

        Whether Mozilla receives more income from Yahoo than it did from Google is questionable, even if a majority of Firefox users keep Yahoo instead of flipping the switch to Google search, which is doubtful. Certainly, a recent move by Mozilla might indicate that the new deal with Yahoo isn’t as fruitful as the organization had hoped and that it’s scrambling to create new revenue streams.

      • Announcing Rust 1.3

        The gear keeps turning: we’re releasing Rust 1.3 stable today! As always, read on for the highlights and check the release notes for more detail.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Dutch Standards Board mulls making ODF mandatory

      The Standardisation Board of the Netherlands wants to make the use of the Open Document Format mandatory for Dutch public administrations. ODF is one of the required ICT standards in the Netherlands, following a policy dating from 2007. However, the document format is ignored by most. This should change, said Nico Westpalm van Hoorn, the chairman of the standards board, speaking on Tuesday at the ODF Plugfest in The Hague.

    • Italian military to switch to LibreOffice and ODF

      The Italian military is transitioning to LibreOffice and the Open Document Format (ODF). The Ministry of Defense will over the next year-and-a-half install this suite of office productivity tools on some 150,000 PC workstations – making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice implementation. The switch was announced on 15 September by the LibreItalia Association.

      The migration project will begin in October and is foreseen to be completed at the end of 2016.

      The deployment of LibreOffice will be jointly managed by the two organisations, announces LibreItalia. The NGO will help the ministry to ready trainers in different parts of the military, and the Ministry is to develop a series of online courses to help with the switch to LibreOffice. The material is to be made public using a Creative Commons licence.

      An agreement between the Ministry and LibreItalia was signed on 15 September in Rome, by Ruggiero Di Biase, Rear Admiral and General Manager of the Italian Ministry of Defence Information Systems and Sonia Montegiove, President of Associazione LibreItalia.

    • LibreOffice Installations In EU Governments Approach One Million

      The government of the UK, in its guidance on using ODF (Open Document Format) surveys usage of ODF and LibreOffice by EU governments. Usage is huge and widespread and profitable. Lately, The Netherlands is considering making ODF mandatory in government. That this was obvious to me 15 years ago but is now being acknowledged shows the depth of lock-in M$ has caused in the world but, in 2015, folks are now running on the sandy beaches instead of in neck-deep water. The world is finally being freed. Better late than never.

    • FSF turns 30, Italian Military Goes LO and ODF & More…
    • Italy’s Ministry of Defense to Drop Microsoft Office in Favor of LibreOffice
    • Making FLOSS The Default Option Helps Procurement For Government
    • ​Italian Ministry of Defense moves to LibreOffice
    • Forza open-source: Italian military to adopt LibreOffice
  • CMS

    • WordPress brings the freedom to the front

      About 75 million Web sites depend on WordPress. If you are one of its many users who recently upgraded to Version 4.3, you may have noticed something new. Recently, a coop worker-member, Pea, informed me that this version includes a new tab with a reference to the GNU General Public License. With some quizzical interest, I ran the upgrade on a WordPress instance I maintain.

      I eagerly waited for the upgrade to finish. When it loaded, what I saw was typical for a WordPress upgrade, a description of the version’s new features. Then I saw a tab prominently named “Freedom.” I clicked on it, and boom: right there were the four freedoms of free software, starting with Freedom 0. Take a look for yourself.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Swiss checklist to procuring open source

      A fifteen-point checklist to help public administrations to procure open source software solutions and services was published in August by Swiss open source procurement experts. The list helps to determine which procurement specifications take this type of software into account, and which criteria exclude open source.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • UK Cabinet Office Says “Hello, You Must be Going” to ODF

      Technological evolution is famous for obsoleting wonders created just a few years before. Sometimes new developments moot the fiercest battles between competitors as well. That seemed to be the case last week, when Microsoft announced its Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on…(wait for it)…Linux, the open source software assailed by the company’s prior CEO as a communist cancer.

      It also saw the UK Cabinet Office announce its detailed plans for transitioning to the support of the OpenDocument Format (ODF), a document format that was just as fiercely opposed by Microsoft in the most hard-fought standards war in decades. But at the same time, the Cabinet Office announced its commitment to work towards making document formats as close to obsolete as possible.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Uruguay: Governing Coalition Rejects TISA Negotiations

      The executive branch will still make a final decision over the matter, to be presented in October.

      The ruling progressivist coalition Broad Front overwhelmingly decided to withdraw Uruguay from the negotiations on the supra-national trade-deal TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) in a vote on Saturday.

      With a 117 to 139 vote, the decision was backed by the Movement of Popular Participation (of former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica), the Communist Party, the 711 list (of Vice President Raul Sendic), the Party for the Victory of the People (PVP), the Great House (Casa Grande), the Federal League, and the Socialist Party (of current President Tabare Vazquez).

    • ‘Lesson 1: The enemy is always within’

      When YANIS VAROUFAKIS appeared at TUC Congress, he said the ‘magnificent’ Greek people were ready for the struggle with financiers — only to be betrayed by his own party. And he warned that fearful leaders could one day be the downfall of Britain’s people too. Joe Gill reports

      GREEK ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis brought some rock star glamour to the opening of the TUC Congress on Sunday in Brighton. He smiled for selfie shots with delegates at a 1,000-plus meeting. Delegates were high on the back of Jeremy Corbyn’s stunning victory in the Labour leadership battle the day before.

    • EU Proposes New Corporate Sovereignty Court For TAFTA/TTIP; US Not Interested

      As we have reported, the most problematic aspect of the proposed TAFTA/TTIP trade agreement between the US and the EU has been the proposed corporate sovereignty chapter, formally known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The outcry over this was so great in Europe last year that the European Commission put negotiations of this topic on hold, while it carried out a public consultation on the matter — presumably assuming that the extremely technical questions about this complex issue would kill off any further interest by the public. Instead, an unprecedented 150,000 submissions were received, 145,000 of which said get rid of ISDS completely. In response, the European Commission merely promised to try to address the many concerns raised with a new and “improved” version.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The BBC is Irredeemable

      The extent of BBC bias during the referendum campaign was breathtaking. I have worked, and specifically reported on the media, in dictatorships which had a less insidious and complete bias than the BBC has against Scottish independence. The relentless anti-Corbyn propaganda shows that the BBC exists to reinforce the neo-liberal narrative at all costs, both at home and abroad. Laura Kuenssberg achieved levels of disdain and ridicule in her report on Shadow Cabinet appointments this evening that ought to disqualify her forever from employment anywhere but Fox News. This was followed by ‘Reporting Scotland’ and a long propaganda piece against the idea of a second referendum, replete with lies about pledges of ‘once in a lifetime’.

    • Fox & Friends Sunday Is Very Concerned Stephen Colbert Wore A Black Lives Matter Wristband
    • Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind are cleared over “cash-for-access” allegations

      Former Foreign Secretaries Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw were today cleared over lobbying allegations.

      The pair, who both stood down at May’s general election, were apparently caught offering their services for cash in separate hidden camera stings by Channel 4’s Dispatches and the Telegraph.

      Standards watchdog Kathryn Hudson investigated claims they had broken strict lobbying rules.

    • Congress Is a Confederacy of Dunces

      Already we’re deep into September and Congress has reconvened in Washington, prompting many commentators to compare its return after summer’s recess to that of fresh-faced students coming back to school, sharpening their pencils, ready to learn, be cooperative and prepared for something new.

  • Censorship

    • Heightened Trade Secrets Restrictions Could Chill Global Speech

      Trade secrets are seeing a resurgence of attention by policymakers at home and around the world. While there can be legitimate reasons to keep commercially valuable information secret, particularly amongst those with whom it has been shared in confidence, the latest trade secrets push goes further, potentially entangling whistleblowers and journalists.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Moral Obligation = Conscience, Trump

      Further, what does it say about the GOP that their front-runner for candidacy has no conscience? This latest gaffe is not the only indicator. Trump also thinks it would be a good idea to just round up ~11million “illegal immigrants”. How many Jews/communists/opponents did the Nazis have to round up before they committed a crime against humanity? Trump also holds that being born in USA should not convey citizenship… Trump is insane and the GOP is either insane or about to fragment to avoid schizophrenia. That a huge fraction of USAian citizens might vote for this guy is frightening. It’s like 1930s Germany/Italy all over again. Whether Trump could make political deals or get the trains to run on time, he should be shunned in the political arena. If, in our worst nightmare, Trump should be elected, the world should immediately sever all relations with USA to keep him in check.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig goes one on one with Ars

        Lessig: The question isn’t just what policies a candidate supports. If that were the question, we’d have climate change, a public option for health care, immigration reform, background checks on guns, etc., etc., etc. The question instead is also: What is the plan to get that policy enacted?

        What every presidency since Clinton teaches us is that presidents promise reform, and then fail to act on it. That’s not weakness. It’s structural. A regular president cannot take on Congress. It will take a president with a super-mandate. That’s what the referendum presidency is meant to achieve.

        Ars: Campaign finance reform clearly is not a bipartisan issue. How are you going to get the GOP interested in this issue? And is this why you are running as a Democrat? In fact, given your platform, why have you chosen a party?

        Lessig: Two words: Donald Trump. Until Donald Trump, it’s true that among GOP insiders in DC, corruption wasn’t an issue. After Donald Trump, it is as much a question for Republicans as Democrats: How can we have a Congress free to lead?

        I wish there were a way to run as an independent. But the two parties have made that essentially impossible—at least to win. No doubt I could split the vote of the Democratic Party, but I have no desire to Nader this election.

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