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10.23.15

Links 23/10/2015: New Verifone POS Suite Runs Linux, BlackBerry to Ship Linux November 6th

Posted in News Roundup at 7:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source design is ugly, here’s why

    In particular, Braithwaite said open source projects need design help in three key areas: User Experience, Branding, and Visual User Interface. But recruiting them isn’t going to be easy, Braithwaite said, because open source developers haven’t created an atmosphere where designers can feel like they’re part of a community. Open source communities can feel “highly ­exclusive,” Braithwaite said, adding: “It feels like a cool kids’ club that (designers) are not a part of ­ or maybe a really nerdy kids’ club.” Developers need to help motivate designers, he said.

  • Open source lessons for synthetic biology

    However, there are significant differences between the acceptance of open source software and open source biology, primarily boiling down to regulation and safety issues (after all, a badly written program can crash your computer, but a badly formed bacteria can kill you). The number of regulations that need to be followed when legally producing a transgenic organism are immense, particularly in ensuring that they are both non-harmful and unlikely to spread throughout the wild. These regulatory — and thus financial — burdens severely limit the degree to which any individual biohacker can take their ideas and develop them. Note, however, that this is individual biohackers — larger firms can naturally afford to bring developments through this stage to market. Can a larger firm thus make money from open source biology? We believe so, provided the company uses a method similar to Red Hat, Google, or Tesla, in using the open source component to drive customers toward their own market strength — for example, by releasing blueprints and software for lab automation, then selling that equipment and support.

  • TastyIgniter: An Open Source Platform to Manage a Restaurant

    Say you own a restaurant and you are ready to expand the reach of your services. You are thinking about incorporating online table reservations and ordering into your services but you have no idea what it entails. You like the idea but you don’t know how to code a website. There’s software you can install that will take care of all of that.

    What’s more? The software has features to aid kitchen management, customer and staff management, store management and internationalisation already built in.

    And it is free.

  • Swarm v. Fleet v. Kubernetes v. Mesos

    Most software systems evolve over time. New features are added and old ones pruned. Fluctuating user demand means an efficient system must be able to quickly scale resources up and down. Demands for near zero-downtime require automatic fail-over to pre-provisioned back-up systems, normally in a separate data centre or region.

  • Events

    • IoT and open source contributions keynote at All Things Open 2015

      One of my favorite things about the keynotes at All Things Open this year was that attendees didn’t have just one great speaker to listen to each morning—we had a few. I enjoyed hearing multiple stories and many insights from dynamic speakers all in one sitting.

    • FSF Blogs: Videos and photos from the FSF30 celebrations now available

      First, watch this video of FSF general counsel and Software Freedom Law Center President and Executive Director Eben Moglen’s talk, “FSF from 30 to 45,” given at the User Freedom Summit held at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Moglen looks ahead to the crucial issues facing the free software movement in its next fifteen years.

      At the 30th anniversary party held in Boston, we had two recorded greetings from friends of the FSF who were unable to attend in person. One was by FSF member, BoingBoing co-editor, and EFF fellow Cory Doctorow. The other greeting was from computer scientist and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge.

      Check out the video of the performance of the Free Software Song and the Bulgarian folk song that inspired it, Sadi Moma Bela Loza, by members of the Boston Bulgarian singing groups Divi Zheni and Zornitsa. We will have more videos of other guest toasts and RMS’s address soon.

    • Ubucon Slated for SCALE 14X, Bassel Offered MIT Job & More…

      I don’t say enough good things about Ubuntu, so when they give me reason to, I’m on it. I also don’t talk enough about openSUSE either; good, bad or indifferent.

      [...]

      But Wait, There’s More: Speaking of SCALE 14x, you still have a week to submit a talk for the first-of-the-year Linux/FOSS show in the world (now before linux.conf.au and FOSDEM in 2016, by some stroke of scheduling luck). SCALE 14x is four days of Peace, Love and Linux at the Pasadena Convention Center from Jan. 21-24, 2016…Getting the computers to the kids is no easy feat, even when the truck is working: My good friend and FOSS Force colleague (not to mention Houston Astros fan) Ken Starks has an Indiegogo campaign to replace the now-deceased delivery vehicle for Reglue (Recycled Electronics and GNU/Linux Used for Education). Throw in a few bucks if you can.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla commits $1M to support free open-source software projects

        Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, announced today that it has allocated $1 million to dole out grants to support free and open-source software projects around the world.

      • Mozilla Launches Open Source Support Program

        Today Mozilla is launching an award program specifically focused on supporting open source and free software. Our initial allocation for this program is $1,000,000. We are inviting people already deeply connected to Mozilla to participate in our first set of awards.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How CERN uses OpenStack to drive their scientific mission

      One of the world’s largest scientific organization is using OpenStack to understand what makes up everything in our universe. CERN runs one of the most collaborative scientific projects on Earth, responsible for producing enormous amounts of data on a routine basis to make Nobel prize winning discoveries such as the Higgs boson has some pretty unique computing requirements.

    • OpenStack Security Groups using OVN ACLs

      It’s worth looking at how this has been implemented with OVS in the past for OpenStack. OpenStack’s existing OVS integration (ML2+OVS) makes use of iptables to implement security groups. Unfortunately, to make that work, we have to connect the VM to a tap device, put that on a linux bridge, and then connect the linux bridge to the OVS bridge using a veth pair so that we have a place to implement the iptables rules. It’s great that this works, but the extra layers are not ideal.

    • Oracle Puts OpenStack into Docker Containers

      There is a misconception among some people that Docker containers and OpenStack are competitive technologies. The truth is the exact opposite, and in fact, Oracle is now providing the best proof yet by using Docker images as a mechanism to actually install an OpenStack cloud.

    • OpenStack Addresses Network Orchestration Layer

      While the OpenStack community likes to present a unified front to the outside world, inside the various projects that make up the OpenStack framework, there is a lot of frustration with the Neutron networking component of OpenStack. Much of that frustration stems from the fact that after five years of effort Neutron still doesn’t scale particularly well. As such, many of the organizations that have embraced OpenStack wind up swapping in a commercial network layer of software to replace Neutron.

    • Exposing the Truth About OpenStack Cloud Deployments

      Lured by the siren song of better business agility and accelerated innovation, an increasing number of companies are considering or have already deployed private clouds as part of their IT strategy. Since emerging in 2010 as an open-source initiative to help organizations build cloud services on industry-standard hardware, OpenStack has garnered much attention, but its adoption in production environments has been tempered by an assortment of perceived limitations, both real and imagined.

    • Mapr Adds Apache Drill 1.2 to Its Hadoop Distro

      MapR announced it has added Apache Drill 1.2 to its Apache Hadoop distribution for additional analytics support.

    • MapR Delivers Apache Drill 1.2 in its Hadoop Distribution

      MapR Technologies which offers a popular distribution of Apache Hadoop that integrates web-scale enterprise storage and real-time database capabilities, has announced the availability of Apache Drill 1.2 in its Distribution as well as a new Data Exploration Quick Start Solution. The addition of Drill 1.2 comes right on the heels of MapR adding Apache Spark to its distribution.

  • Databases

    • Oracle MySQL 5.7 Database Nears General Availability

      Ahead of Oracle’s OpenWorld conference in 2013, the company first began to talk about a major new release of its open-source MySQL database. Now two years later, development on MySQL 5.7 is compete and general availability is set for October 26.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Template Management in LibreOffice 5

      If you’re a LibreOffice power user, you’ve probably ventured into the realm of templates. But, if you’ve upgraded to LibreOffice 5, you’ve probably noticed a few minor changes to the way this feature is managed. It’s not a profound or game-changing shift, but a shift nonetheless.

      Because many people overlook the template feature in LibreOffice, I thought it would be a good idea to approach template management for LibreOffice 5 as if it were a new feature…and one that should be considered a must-have for all types of users. So, sit back and prepare to discover that feature which will make your time with LibreOffice exponentially easier.

    • LibreOffice Developers Working on a New Toolbar Layout

      The LibreOffice developers are working on a new interface that aims to unify all the different toolbars. This is still under development, and it will be provided as an option and not as default.

    • UK licence deal to boost use of open source office

      Public administrations in the UK can get professional support for using LibreOffice, the open source office alternative, thanks to a licence deal by the UK’s central procuring agency Crown Commercial Service with Collabora, a UK-based ICT service provider.

    • First bug hunting session for LibreOffice 5.1

      Those who cannot join during the bug hunting session are always welcome to help chasing bugs and regressions when they have time. There will be a second bug hunting session in December, to test LibreOffice 5.1 Release Candidate 1.

    • LibreOffice 5.1 Is Working On New Features For A February Debut

      LibreOffice 5.1 is planned for release in early February while to catch some bugs early they’re organizing the first bug hunt from 30 October to 1 November. Builds of LibreOffice 5.1 Alpha 1 are already available for testing. More details via The Document Foundation’s blog.

    • finding UI crashes by fuzzing input events with american fuzzy lop

      As mentioned previously I’ve been experimenting using afl as a fuzzing engine to fuzz a stream of serialized keyboard events which LibreOffice reads and dispatches.

  • BSD

    • Deweloperzy OpenBSD: Dmitrij D. Czarkoff

      In 2005 I tried OpenBSD for the first time. I still recall how I was impressed by the fact that I only needed ifconfig (as opposed to ifconfig, iwconfig and wpa_supplicant on Linux) to configure my wireless network card.

    • Deweloperzy OpenBSD: Marc Espie

      Funny story actually. It was about 20 years ago, and I didn’t have any Internet access at home. I wanted to play with some Unix on my home Amiga, as I didn’t have root access on the suns at University. Getting anything on my Amiga was complicated, as I had to transfer everything through floppies. Turned out OpenBSD was the only OS with sane and clear instructions. NetBSD gave you so many different choices, I couldn’t figure out which one to follow, and Linux was a jungle of patches.

    • W^X enabled in Firefox port

      After recent discussions of revisiting W^X support in Mozilla Firefox, David Coppa (dcoppa@) has flipped the switch to enable it for OpenBSD users running -current.

    • Google Continues Working On CUDA Compiler Optimizations In LLVM

      While it will offend some that Google continues to be investing in NVIDIA’s CUDA GPGPU language rather than an open standard like OpenCL, the Google engineers continue making progress on a speedy, open-source CUDA with LLVM.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • What Is the Most Dangerous Gang in Prison?
  • Mythbusters hosts say 14th season will be last, announce farewell tour

    In 2016, Mythbusters hosts and stars Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage will warn viewers not to try this at home for the last time. The duo announced on Wednesday that the Discovery Channel TV series’ 14th season, which begins airing January 9, will be its last.

  • Angry Birds’ Rovio Cuts 213 Jobs, Axes Learning To Refocus On Games And Video

    After announcing in August that it would cut up to 260 jobs, Rovio — maker of the Angry Birds games — today released details of the final number: the Finland-based company is letting go of 213 employees, around 25% of staff, as it continues to restructure and cut away unprofitable parts of its business. The whole of the company is being affected, with the exception of those working on the production of The Angry Birds Movie in the U.S. and Canada.

  • The Chinese Internet Wants To Know About David Cameron And Pigs

    The state visit to the UK by president Xi Jinping has been seen as a success in China, although ordinary people on Weibo keep asking David Cameron about pigs.

  • Security

    • Fitbit can allegedly be hacked in 10 seconds

      Fitness-tracking wristband Fitbit, which has sold more than 20 million devices worldwide, and tracks your calorie count, heart rate and other highly personal information, can be remotely hacked, according to research by Fortinet. This gives hackers access to the computer to which you sync your Fitbit.

    • Adobe releases emergency patch for Flash zero-day flaw
    • Adobe confirms major Flash vulnerability, and the only way to protect yourself is to uninstall Flash

      Just one day after Adobe released its monthly security patches for various software including Flash Player, the company confirmed a major security vulnerability that affects all versions of Flash for Windows, Mac and Linux computers. You read that correctly… all versions. Adobe said it has been made aware that this vulnerability is being used by hackers to attack users, though it says the attacks are limited and targeted. Using the exploit, an attacker can crash a target PC or even take complete control of the computer.

    • Western Digital self-encrypting hard drives riddled with security flaws

      Several versions of self-encrypting hard drives from Western Digital are riddled with so many security flaws that attackers with physical access can retrieve the data with little effort, and in some cases, without even knowing the decryption password, a team of academics said.

      The paper, titled got HW crypto? On the (in)security of a Self-Encrypting Drive series, recited a litany of weaknesses in the multiple versions of the My Passport and My Book brands of external hard drives. The flaws make it possible for people who steal a vulnerable drive to decrypt its contents, even when they’re locked down with a long, randomly generated password. The devices are designed to self-encrypt all stored data, a feature that saves users the time and expense of using full-disk encryption software.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • WikiLeaks publishes e-mail from CIA director’s hacked AOL account

      WikiLeaks has released a cache of e-mails which the site says were retrieved from CIA Director John Brennan’s AOL account.

      The e-mails include Brennan’s SF86, a form that he had to fill out to get his current position and security clearance. The form, from 2008, “reveals a quite comprehensive social graph of the current Director of the CIA with a lot of additional non-governmental and professional/military career details,” according to WikiLeaks’ description of the document.

    • WikiLeaks Is Publishing the CIA Director’s Hacked Emails

      WikiLeaks may describe itself as an outlet for whistleblowers, but it’s never hesitated to publish stolen documents offered up by a helpful hacker, either. So it’s no surprise that it’s now leaked the pilfered files of the CIA’s director, John Brennan.

      On Wednesday, the secret-spilling group published a series of selected messages and attachments from a trove of emails taken from Brennan’s AOL account. Though WikiLeaks hasn’t revealed its source, there’s little doubt the files were handed off by the self-described teen hackers calling themselves CWA or “Crackas With Attitude,” who claim to have hacked Brennan’s AOL account through a series of “social engineering” tricks.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Even corporate America wants campaign finance reform to stop crony capitalism

      Political corruption is eating our democracy out from the inside. Most Americans know that. But democratic and economic health can’t be easily disentangled. As it diminishes our public sphere and drowns out the myriad of citizen voices, it also sucks the energy and vitality from our economy. This causes pain to business owners.

      According to a recent report from the Committee on Economic Development, an old, white-shoe non-partisan organization that came out of the aftermath of World War II (and was a booster for the Marshall Plan), the United States economy is increasingly represented by crony capitalism, not competitive capitalism.

    • Fox Guest: Black Lives Matter Is A “Terrorist Group”
  • Privacy

    • Facebook Is The Borg

      For days, I had mysterious annoying bell dings on my Mac. It turns out that Facebook turned on sound notifications — entirely without my doing — for when people comment on posts.

    • Why Vietnam’s Communists Are Learning to Like Facebook

      Vietnam’s Communist government, which once blocked Facebook Inc., is now embracing the online tools of capitalism by establishing its own page on the social media website in order to reach young Internet-savvy users who turn to it for news and discourse.

    • The scientists encouraging online piracy with a secret codeword

      In many countries, it’s against the law to download copyrighted material without paying for it – whether it’s a music track, a movie, or an academic paper. Published research is protected by the same laws, and access is generally restricted to scientists – or institutions – who subscribe to journals.

      But some scientists argue that their need to access the latest knowledge justifies flouting the law, and they’re using a Twitter hashtag to help pirate scientific papers.

    • EFF’s Let’s Encrypt has support from super browser brothers

      A SECURITY CERTIFICATE EFFORT involving the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai, IdenTrust and the University of Michigan has lived up to promises to be in order by 2015.

    • Proposed German law: telecoms must store customer data on airgapped servers

      The German Bundestag (parliament) has passed a controversial law requiring telecoms and Internet companies to store customers’ metadata and to make it available to law enforcement agencies investigating “severe crimes.” Specifically, “phone providers will now have to retain phone numbers, the date and time of phone calls and text messages, and, in the case of mobile phones, location (approximated through the identification of cell phone towers).” In addition, “Internet providers are required to save the IP addresses of users as well as the date and time of connections made,” a post on the Lawfare blog explains.

    • DHS now needs warrant for stingray use, but not when protecting president

      As expected, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released its own stingray requirements. Agents must now obtain a warrant prior to deploying the secretive surveillance tool as part of criminal investigations. This new policy comes over a month after the Department of Justice released its own similarly policy.

      The new rules will apply to DHS, as well as agencies that fall under its umbrella, such as the Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    • CISA Moves Forward: These 83 Senators Just Voted To Expand Surveillance

      Well, it’s not a huge surprise that it moved forward, but the faux “cybersecurity” bill, which is actually a surveillance bill in disguise, CISA, has moved forward in the Senate via an overwhelming 83 to 14 vote. As we’ve discussed at length, while CISA is positioned as just a “voluntary” cybersecurity information sharing bill, it’s really none of those things. It’s not voluntary and it’s not really about cybersecurity. Instead, it’s a surveillance bill, that effectively gives the NSA greater access to information from companies in order to do deeper snooping through its upstream collection points. Even the attempts to supposedly “clarify” the language to protect data from being used for surveillance shows that the language is deliberately written to look like it does one thing, while really opening up the ability of the NSA and FBI to get much more information.

  • Civil Rights

    • Critics say air marshals, much wanted after 9/11, have become ‘bored cops’ flying first class

      At a price tag of $9 billion over the past 10 years, Duncan called the program “ineffective” and “irrelevant.”

      [...]

      Duncan acknowledged at an oversight committee last month that the program “has come to be a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the DHS, when 4,000 bored cops fly around the country First Class, committing more crimes than they stop.”

    • New ‘Car Safety Bill’ Would Make Us Less Safe, Block Security Research And Hinder FTC And Others

      The House Energy and Commerce Committee is pushing an absolutely terrible draft bill that is supposedly about improving “car safety.” This morning there were hearings on the bill, and the thing looks like a complete dud. In an era when we’re already concerned about the ridiculousness of how copyright law is blocking security research on automobiles (just as we’re learning about automakers hiding secret software in their cars to avoid emissions testing), as well as questions about automobile vulnerabilities and the ability to criminalize security research under the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act), this bill makes basically all of it worse.

    • Sheldon Whitehouse Freaks Out, Blames ‘Pro-Botnet Lobby’ For Rejecting His Terrible CFAA Amendment

      As we mentioned yesterday, one of the (many) bad things involved in the new Senate attempt to push the CISA “cybersecurity” bill forward was that they were including a bad amendment added by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that would expand the terrible Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a law that should actually be significantly cut back. Senator Ron Wyden protested this amendment specifically in his speech against CISA. And, for whatever reason, Whitehouse’s amendment has been pulled from consideration and Whitehouse is seriously pissed off about it.

    • Why Internet Users Should be Very Angry about the TPP

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) exploded onto the Canadian media landscape last week, when negotiators from the 12 participating countries finally agreed on a deal. Even if you were paying attention, you might not have heard about the impacts on the Internet, since much of the focus was on the farming and auto sectors. But the TPP is about a lot more than dairy and cars – it’s also about our fundamental right to free expression.

    • Eritrean mistakenly killed opens old wounds in Israel

      Images of an Eritrean asylum seeker lying in a pool of blood as an angry mob kicks him has renewed debate in Israel over alleged racism and how to respond to violence.

      Habtom Zarhum, 29, was shot by a security guard this week at a bus station in the southern city of Beersheba after being mistaken for an assailant in an attack that killed an Israeli soldier.

      He later died of his injuries.

      Footage of Zarhum bleeding as an angry mob rains blows on his head and torso has spread rapidly on social media, prompting soul searching among Israelis over their response to a wave of attacks as well as their treatment of African migrants.

      One photo posted on Facebook shows Zarhum smiling with colleagues at a nursery where he worked.

    • Chase Madar on Prosecuting Police

      This week on CounterSpin: Nearly a year after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by a Cleveland police officer, the county prosecutor is giving signs that he won’t be strenuously encouraging indictments, deflating the hopes of many that the officer, Timothy Loehmann, will face any punishment at all for the killing.

    • Rush Limbaugh Applauds Himself For Coining The Term “Feminazi”
  • YouTube/Internet

    • You Can Now Pay to Watch YouTube Without Ads

      Dubbed YouTube Red, the new service will offer ad-free versions of all current YouTube videos, as well as access to music streaming and additional exclusive content from some of the site’s top creators. It will cost $9.99 per month and launch on Oct. 28.

    • YouTube Red Doesn’t Want to Be Compared to Netflix

      YouTube believes its content, stable of talent and audience makes it an entirely new player in paid streaming.

    • Red Dawn

      An inside look at YouTube’s new ad-free subscription service

    • Europe’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Could Allow Torrent and VPN Throttling

      Next week the European Parliament will vote on Europe’s new telecoms regulation which includes net neutrality rules. While the legislation is a step forward for many countries, experts and activists warn that it may leave the door open for BitTorrent and VPN throttling if key amendments fail to pass.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Google Opposes Whole-Site Removal of “Pirate” Domains

        Google is rejecting calls from copyright holders to remove entire domain names from Google search based on copyright infringements. In a letter to the U.S. Government the company points out that this would prove counterproductive and lead to overbroad censorship.

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  27. Greg Reilly Inadvertently Makes a Case for Replacing/Improving the Patent System With a Wiki, Editable by All as Society Moves Forward

    Editable patents make a lot more sense in the age of the Internet and the World Wide Web; companies that rode the wave of the Net are themselves changing their patents on the go, sometimes because they simply attempt to dodge an evolving patenting criterion which nowadays looks down on software patents



  28. The USPTO's Principal Issue is Abstract Patents (or Patent Scope), Not Prior Art Searches

    In spite of the fact that US courts prolifically reject patents for being abstract (citing 35 U.S.C. § 101) Cisco, Google, MIT, and the USPTO go chasing better search facilities, addressing the lesser if not the wrong problem



  29. António Campinos Makes Excuses for Granting European Patents on Software in Spite of the EPC

    Continuing the horrid tradition of Battistelli, António Campinos sends patent quality -- the one aspect which the EPO was once renowned for -- down the drain (or down the shredder, for lack of a better and more timely metaphor)



  30. Antibody Patents Should Not be Allowed (Nor Should CRISPR Patents)

    The patent extremists are still trying to patent life (and/or nature) and their arguments typically boil down to, "there's money in it, so why the heck not?"


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