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11.19.15

Links 19/11/2015: Linux Kernel 3.2.73 LTS, DockerCon EU

Posted in News Roundup at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 14 amazing open source gifts for the holidays

    Here it is the annual Opensource.com holiday gift guide. Our collection of gifts is sure to get kids, adults, and hobbyists geared up and ready for hours of fun coding and creating. We’ve got 3D printers, Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, gadgets, robotics, and more!

  • Plotly to open source its dataviz code

    Data visualization platform Plotly is open-sourcing its powerful JavaScript library, which supports three dozen different types of graphics including maps, box plots and density plots as well as more common offerings like as bar and line charts. The code is scheduled to be posted on GitHub at https://github.com/plotly/plotly.js today.

  • Hiring Open Source Maintainers is Key to Stable Software Supply Chain

    Samsung is on a multi-year journey to become both a better consumer of open source, and a better contributor and leader in the projects that end up in our products. The reasons for doing so are quite clear to us: While it’s easy to use code that’s made freely available, it’s risky and potentially quite expensive to rely upon it long-term, unless you are proactively working within the community.

    The reason it’s potentially risky is actually the flip side of two of the biggest benefits of open source: development moves extremely fast, and a vibrant developer community leads to more diverse contributions. The result of this combination is that the APIs and the features you depend upon today could be entirely different tomorrow, depending upon the will of the contributor community.

  • Open source projects rely on donated time—what motivates participants?

    The study’s authors collected data from approximately a thousand R contributors who responded to a questionnaire distributed via e-mail. The respondents were asked about what drove them to participate in the project, with possible answers including taking pleasure in applying their skills and feeling a sense of responsibility toward the scientific community. They were also asked about extrinsic motivators, such as the potential that their work could help with academic advancement. Additionally, the surveys included questions about the characteristics of the software development work (e.g. repetitive, technical, social) and the demographics of participants.

  • Implementing open source requires tough staffing, IT calls
  • Import old email archives into Gmail using these open source tools from Google

    If you want to try these open source tools yourself, you can download them at Github (mail-importer and import-mailbox-to-gmail). Unfortunately, mail-importer appears to only support Thunderbird at this time. If you used a different client, you will need to wait for a future update. If you are savvy enough, maybe you can tweak the source to make it work. I have a large Lotus Notes archive saved — I won’t hold my breath on that one being anyone’s priority.

  • Celebrate GIS Day 2015 with 3 open source alternatives to Google Maps API

    If you’re looking to get started with web mapping, here are three libraries which are worth checking out.

  • Stickers

    Basically, stickers are a great way to promote open source projects. Also – fun! For more “Rules of sticker club” go HERE.

  • Events

    • LinuxCon Europe – Day 1

      The conference was opened by the LinuxFoundation’s Executive Jim Zemlin. He thanked the FSF for their 30 years of work. I was a little surprised to hear that, given the differences between OpenSource and Free Software. He continued by mentioning the 5 Billion Dollar report which calculates how much “value” the projects hosted at Linux Foundation have generated over the last five years. He said that a typical product contains 80%, 90%, or even more Free and Open Source Software. He also extended the list of projects by the Real Time Collaborative project which, as far as I understood, effectively means to hire Thomas Gleisxner to work on the Real Time Linux patches.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Setting up a Digital Ocean remotely hosted WordPress blog

      After considering our options, we decided to try using a Digital Ocean “Droplet” to host a WordPress blog. Here, I want to tell you how that went, and give a few pointers. This might be a good idea for some of you. And, I’ll explain what the heck Digital Ocean is in case you don’t know.

  • Education

    • RoboTutor team using open source tools to address short supply of teachers, schools

      Where were these Carnegie Mellon University researchers when Sister Thomas Catherine was frightening me and other good little Catholic school 3rd graders back in the day?

      CMU today informed us that a team of its researchers is taking aim at the $10 million grand prize of the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE competition, the goal of which is to empower children to take control of their own learning via tablet computers, software and the like. The competition was announced about a year ago.

  • BSD

    • LLVM’s Clang Lands More CUDA Improvements

      Just days after writing about GPUCC as Google’s open-source CUDA compiler built atop LLVM and how to compile CUDA code with LLVM, more improvements have landed.

      There’s now support for CUDA compilation by default as one of the most prominent changes today. “Currently clang requires several additional command line options in order to enable new features needed during CUDA compilation. This patch makes these options default.” That change was done by Artem Belevich at Google.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 5.2 Compiler Benchmarks With ARM Cortex-A57 A Mixed Bag

      In this article are some benchmarks using the Jetson TX1 when running open-source tests using the stock GCC 4.8.4 compiler and then trying out GCC 4.9.3 and GCC 5.2.1. The same compiler flags were used each time when building the benchmarks under each of the different compilers using the automated Phoronix Test Suite. GCC 4.9 and GCC 5.2 were obtained from the Ubuntu Toolchain PPA. All tests are built on the Jetson TX1 without any cross-compilation or other steps.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Farmers need better software

      The Open Food Network is a free, open source, scalable e-commerce marketplace and logistics platform that enables communities and producers to connect, trade, and coordinate the movement of food. It was founded by Serenity Hill and Kirsten Larsen, and besides being a network of consumers and producers, Open Food Network is built on free and open source software and released under AGPL license. Plus, anyone can contribute to the project on GitHub.

    • These Biohackers Are Creating Open-Source Insulin

      The 370 million people worldwide with diabetes rely on injections of insulin to regulate the amount of sugar in their blood, since their bodies can’t make the hormone themselves. Since there are no generic versions available in the United States, insulin is very expensive—that cost was likely a large proportion of the $176 billion in medical expenditures incurred by diabetes patients in 2012 alone. Now a team of biohackers with Counter Culture Labs, a community lab in Oakland, California, wants to pave the way towards generic insulin, and they’ve started a crowdfunding page for their project.

    • OpenCar wants to open source in-vehicle infotainment

      The OpenCar suite of offerings come together to work in a way similar to the software developer kits (SDK) offered for various tech and platforms. Everything from Web-based applications like WordPress to gadgets like the Apple Watch have developer kits associated with them so that third-party programmers can build software to work with them. In many ways, what OpenCar is offering is the platform for an SDK for in-car infotainment. Automakers still have to sign on and make their software compatible, but in return they can open their vehicle infotainment to outside developers without compromising its integrity or their control of the experience, branding, and legalities.

    • How will the children of the future learn about science?

      As our understanding of the world expands, it is important to ensure that that knowledge is equally accessible by all members of our society. This is vital to the progress of humanity. This philosophy, which is shared by the open source software movement, is not new; it has been around since the 1600s when the first academic journals were published for public reading. The Jupyter Notebook hints at what the academic journals of tomorrow will look like and paints a promising picture. They will be interactive, visualization-focused, user-friendly, and include code and data as first-class citizens. I believe that these unique characteristics will go a long way toward bridging the gap of understanding between the scientific community and the general public through both narrative and code—a gap that, when bridged, will have a significant impact on our society.

    • Open Data

      • EC brings pan-European open data together on European Data Portal

        On November 16, the European Commission launched the European Data Portal, which will serve as a central gateway to data published by administrations in countries across Europe, from the EU and beyond. Currently over 240,000 datasets from 34 European countries can be accessed through thirteen different categories and a multi-language search function.

      • Greek geodata project extends open data platform

        The Greek government’s open geodata platform (geodata.gov.gr) is making available as open source several tools and extensions to CKAN, a commonly used data management system. The development of reusable tools to help publish and discover open geospatial data is one of the goals of the PublicaMundi project that built Greece’s geodata platform.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • You might want to hug this book: a review of ‘Git for Teams’

      Git has a bit of a reputation as being difficult to learn and even more difficult to master. Because it’s such a powerful and flexible tool, it is easy for users to make hard-to-correct mistakes. When working with others, it becomes even easier to get out of sorts. Git for Teams aims to solve that problem by not only teaching the reader how to use Git, but how to use teams.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • 2015 shatters the temperature record as global warming speeds back up

      With just a month and a half left in 2015, it’s clear this year will be by far the hottest on record, easily beating the previous record set just last year. The temporary slowdown in the warming of global surface temperatures (also misnamed the “pause”) has ended, as each of the past four years has been hotter than the one before.

      El Niño is one reason 2015 has been such an incredibly hot year. During El Niño events, hot water is transported from the deep ocean layers to the surface. Over the past 15 years, we’ve experienced more La Niñas than El Niños, which helped temporarily slow the warming of global surface temperatures.

    • I’m a nuclear armageddon survivor: Ask me anything

      Press events are usually decadent affairs of food, drink, and well-dressed executives in up-market hotels. Not this one. A small number of journalists including your correspondent were dumped at dusk in a wet field in the Essex countryside, given blue boilersuits and a small knapsack containing bottle-tops and leaflets, and told to await developments. As most press events don’t ask for disclosure of any medical conditions, nor involve signing a waiver against accidents, those developments were unlikely to be pleasant.

    • The Koch intelligence agency

      The political network helmed by Charles and David Koch has quietly built a secretive operation that conducts surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents, viewing it as a key strategic tool in its efforts to reshape American public life.

      The operation, which is little-known even within the Koch network, gathers what Koch insiders refer to as “competitive intelligence” that is used to try to thwart liberal groups and activists, and to identify potential threats to the expansive network.

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/the-koch-brothers-intelligence-agency-215943#ixzz3rrzL8oiR

  • Finance

    • House Democrats call TPP ‘too big’ to pass Congress

      A half dozen House Democrats asserted on Wednesday that opposition is growing for a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade agreement as the White House ramps up efforts to build support for the deal.

      The six Democrats — Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Louise Slaughter (N.Y.), Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.), Mark Pocan (Wis.) and Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) — said the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal is “too big” to pass Congress and must be scrapped.

      The Democrats, who have long opposed the expansive deal, said the more than 5,000-page agreement, which they carted out in front of the Capitol by hand truck for a press conference, is a big giveaway to multi-national corporations and will have devastating effects on the U.S. economy, jobs and wages.

  • Privacy

    • Don’t Blame Encryption for ISIS Attacks

      Let’s start with what we don’t know. No firm details have been released about how the perpetrators of the attacks in Paris last Friday communicated.

      All the same, some media outlets, politicians, and security leaders in Europe and the U.S. are now suggesting that the tragic events show how encryption technology has lately made it easier for terrorists to evade the authorities.

      Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan complained about that at an event at the Center for Strategic & International Studies on Monday. “There are a lot of technological capabilities that are available right now that make it exceptionally difficult, both technically as well as legally, for intelligence security services to have insight that they need,” he said.

      There is also much chatter about the possibility that the Paris attackers used Sony’s Playstation gaming network to communicate because it offers a very high level of protection against eavesdropping. This is based on a false assertion—now retracted—that a Playstation 4 console was among the items seized in a series of raids this weekend in France and Belgium. (Belgium’s interior minister did say last week that it was “very, very difficult” for intelligence agencies to “decrypt” communications made through Playstations, but he didn’t back up his claim.)

    • EU centre-right group using Paris tragedy to try to kill data protection directive

      Since the Paris attacks politicians, police and intelligence agencies have pushed for more mass surveillance. And now, it seems they are also trying to undermine the new EU framework for data protection.

      The EU data protection directive has been under massive fire from special interests and member states in the council. But the European Parliament has been firm in insisting on a clear and meaningful framework to protect citizens private data.

    • FBI Paid Carnegie Mellon $1M to Crack User IDs, Claims Tor

      The Tor Project last week claimed the FBI paid Carnegie Mellon University $1 million to crack the anonymity of Tor users.

    • U.S. Mass Surveillance Has No Record of Thwarting Large Terror Attacks, Regardless of Snowden Leaks

      Despite the intelligence community’s attempts to blame NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for the tragic attacks in Paris on Friday, the NSA’s mass surveillance programs do not have a track record — before or after Snowden — of identifying or thwarting actual large-scale terrorist plots.

      CIA Director John Brennan asserted on Monday that “many of these terrorist operations are uncovered and thwarted before they’re able to be carried out,” and lamented the post-Snowden “handwringing” that has made that job more difficult.

      But the reason there haven’t been any large-scale terror attacks by ISIS in the U.S. is not because they were averted by the intelligence community, but because — with the possible exception of one that was foiled by local police — none were actually planned.

    • Study finds no increase in jihadists’ use of encryption since Snowden leaks

      Is Edward Snowden to blame, even indirectly, for the Paris attacks that left 129 dead and hundreds others injured?

      Ask surveillance hawks, and you’ll likely get an emphatic “Yes!” The rising popularity of encrypted communications following Snowden’s 2013 leak of gigabytes of secret NSA documents has made terrorists far more difficult to identify, they say. Without Snowden, the attackers would still be out in the open.

    • Syrian passports found at Paris attacks scene were fakes made in Turkey

      EU commission chief says EU does not need to review migration policy in light of fears that militants posing as refugees launched attacks

    • NYT Quietly Pulls Article Blaming Encryption in Paris Attacks

      Questions about how the terrorists behind Friday’s attacks in Paris managed to evade electronic surveillance have fueled worrisome speculation in Europe and in the U.S. from intelligence experts, lawmakers and the press — including the New York Times, which on Sunday quietly pulled from its website a story alleging the attackers used encrypted technology.

      On Sunday, the Times published a story citing unidentified “European officials” who told the outlet the attackers coordinated their assault on the French capital via unspecified “encryption technology.”

      “The attackers are believed to have communicated using encryption technology, according to European officials who had been briefed on the investigation but were not authorized to speak publicly,” the article, which has since been removed, stated.

    • After Endless Demonization Of Encryption, Police Find Paris Attackers Coordinated Via Unencrypted SMS

      In the wake of the tragic events in Paris last week encryption has continued to be a useful bogeyman for those with a voracious appetite for surveillance expansion. Like clockwork, numerous reports were quickly circulated suggesting that the terrorists used incredibly sophisticated encryption techniques, despite no evidence by investigators that this was the case. These reports varied in the amount of hallucination involved, the New York Times even having to pull one such report offline. Other claims the attackers had used encrypted Playstation 4 communications also wound up being bunk.

      Yet pushed by their sources in the government, the media quickly became a sound wall of noise suggesting that encryption was hampering the government’s ability to stop these kinds of attacks. NBC was particularly breathless this week over the idea that ISIS was now running a 24 hour help desk aimed at helping its less technically proficient members understand encryption (even cults help each other use technology, who knew?). All of the reports had one central, underlying drum beat implication: Edward Snowden and encryption have made us less safe, and if you disagree the blood is on your hands.

  • Civil Rights

    • What Americans thought of Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II

      The results of the poll illustrated above by the useful Twitter account @HistOpinion were published in the pages of Fortune magazine in July 1938. Fewer than 5 percent of Americans surveyed at the time believed that the United States should raise its immigration quotas or encourage political refugees fleeing fascist states in Europe — the vast majority of whom were Jewish — to voyage across the Atlantic. Two-thirds of the respondents agreed with the proposition that “we should try to keep them out.”

    • ​’Offensive and hysterical’: Obama lashes Republicans over Syrian refugees

      President says Congress lawmakers and state governors are doing Islamic State’s work…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Elsevier Says Downloading And Content-Mining Licensed Copies Of Research Papers ‘Could Be Considered’ Stealing

        Elsevier has pretty much established itself as the most hated company in the world of academic publishing, a fact demonstrated most recently when all the editors and editorial board resigned from one of its top journals to set up their own, open access rival. A blog post by the statistician Chris H.J. Hartgerink shows that Elsevier is still an innovator when it comes to making life hard for academics. Hartgerink’s work at Tilburg University in the Netherlands concerns detecting potentially problematic research that might involve data fabrication — obviously an important issue for the academic world.

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