02.19.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 19/2/2016: Samsung’s ARTIK, ZFS in Ubuntu 16.04

Posted in News Roundup at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Power Of Open Source To Solve The Data Fragmentation Challenge

    Apache Arrow is a new open-source project that helps data analysts wrestle diverse data sets into a single format. Apache Arrow is a collaborative effort that spans many of the largest providers and users of data infrastructure today including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Cloudera (Private:CLOUD), Databricks, DataStax, Dremio, Hortonworks (NASDAQ:HDP) MapR, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Trifacta and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). That so many different companies can collaborate on one initiative to improve data analysis industry-wide is a testament to the power of open source to inspire and engender great change.

  • Events

    • Akademy 2016 part of QtCon
    • Program Announced for Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today is announcing its full schedule of keynote speakers and conference sessions for Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit, taking place April 4-6 in San Diego, Calif. These events are co-located, and one registration provides access to all sessions and activities for both events.

    • Embedded Linux and OpenIoT conference details emerge
    • Flock 2016 update: Submissions and lodging

      The call for submissions for talks and workshops is also open, and contributors may submit at the same registration site. The deadline for call for submissions is Friday, April 8, 2016. In a change from previous Flocks, talk and workshop selection will be driven by a Flock Scheduling panel. The panel members will work with the Flock staff and the Fedora Council to determine which talks and workshops are accepted.

    • DevConf 2016: community and containers

      This year it was even more difficult to decide how to spend my time at DevConf, the annual Fedora, Red Hat, JBoss developers’ conference in Brno. There were several good presentations in parallel, often I wished I could be in two separate rooms at the same time. There were also developers from all over the world, and I have missed quite a few talks due to some very good in-depth discussions about syslog-ng. As a community manager for syslog-ng, I have tried to focus on community-related presentations and on technologies related to syslog-ng: containers, security and packaging.

  • Web Browsers

    • The future of loading CSS

      Chrome is intending to change the behaviour of link rel=”stylesheet”, which will be noticeable when it appears within body. The impact and benefits of this aren’t clear from the blink-dev post, so I wanted to go into detail here.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox for iOS is Faster with 3D Touch and More

        We recently released the first version of Firefox for iOS. It’s a great browser and we’re excited to bring you more new features today. The latest release of Firefox for iOS brings improvements to make browsing simpler and more fun by taking advantage of the latest iOS hardware and software features.

        Firefox for iOS on iPhone 6S and 6S Plus now offers 3D Touch to help you access commonly used features faster than ever before. Simply press the Firefox app icon to open the Quick Access menu which has shortcuts to Open Last Bookmark, open a New Private Tab or a New Tab.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache Arrow to Accelerate Open Source Big Data Analytics

      The Apache Software Foundation is rolling out a new top level project this week, and it’s one that didn’t first have to undergo the typical project incubation phase. Apache Arrow, an effort to build columnar in-memory analytics technology that could dramatically accelerate Big Data analytics, is launching with support from 13 major open source Big Data projects.

    • Spark 2.0 will offer Interactive Querying of Live Data

      The next version of Apache Spark will expand on the data processing platform’s real-time data analysis capabilities, offering users the ability to perform interactive queries against live data.

      The new feature, called structured streaming, will “push Spark beyond streaming to a new class of application that do other things in real time [rather than] just analyze a stream and output another stream,” explained Matei Zaharia, Spark founder and Databricks chief technology officer, at the Spark Summit East, taking place this week in New York. “It’s a combination of streaming and interactive that isn’t really handled by current streaming engines.”

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD, Variants Not Affected by Recent GNU Bug

      Much has been made about a vulnerability in a function in the GNU C Library. And searching far and wide over the Internet, there was little — actually nothing — I could find regarding how this affected BSD variants.

      However, you can rest easy, BSDers: Not our circus, not our monkeys.

      Dag-Erling Smørgrav, a FreeBSD developer since 1998 and the current FreeBSD Security Officer, writes in his blog that “neither FreeBSD itself nor native FreeBSD applications are affected.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • Dutch Gov: ‘Our lack of knowledge hinders open source’

      A lack of understanding of free and open source software is hindering its uptake by Dutch public administrations, writes Minister for the Central Government Sector Stef Blok in a letter to the country’s House of Representatives. Not knowing how to deal with software errors, is a service risk that “multiple organisations have experienced”, the minister says.

    • Govt’s Move To ‘Open Source’: Firm support system a necessity for adoption

      Switching over to open source software across all Central departments, as per a policy decision taken by the NDA government last year, could entail substantial savings on the Centre’s software expenses as most open source alternatives are free. Experts, though, caution that the obvious financial advantages of adopting open source notwithstanding, concerns pertaining to security and operational efficiency may have to be addressed concomitantly.

    • France involves public to draft support contract

      France’s ministries are involving free software communities and the public in writing their next multi-year framework contract for services and support on free and open source software. It is the first time that an IT services support contract will be co-written by administration and citizens.

    • Tallinn Saves A Bundle Using GNU/Linux

      Schools in the city of Tallinn (Estonia) are gradually moving to PC workstations running on free and open source software. A pilot in March 2014 switched 3 schools and 2 kindergartens. Students, teachers, school administration and kindergartens’ staff members are using LibreOffice, Ubuntu-Linux and other open source tools.

  • Licensing

    • Canonical Says There Is No ZFS and Linux Licence Incompatibility

      Canonical announced that support for the ZFS (Z File System) will be available in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, but a lot of users have been asking about a possible license conflict. Canonical’s Dustin Kirkland explained why that’s not a problem.

      ZFS (Z File System) is described as a combination of a volume manager (like LVM) and a filesystem (like ext4, xfs, or btrfs), and it’s licensed under CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License). Don’t worry if you didn’t hear about it. It’s not something that’s commonly used.

    • ZFS Licensing and Linux

      We at Canonical have conducted a legal review, including discussion with the industry’s leading software freedom legal counsel, of the licenses that apply to the Linux kernel and to ZFS.

      And in doing so, we have concluded that we are acting within the rights granted and in compliance with their terms of both of those licenses.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google green-lights Go 1.6

      In a blog post, Google’s Andrew Gerrand called the HTTP/2 support “the most significant change” in the release, with the revision bringing the new protocol’s benefits to projects like the Go-based Caddy Web server. He otherwise described the upgrade, the seventh major stable release of the language, as more incremental than Go 1.5, which was released last August.

      The team has tinkered with garbage collection, featuring lower pauses than version 1.5, particularly for large programs, but programs may not necessarily run faster. “As always, the changes are so general and varied that precise statements about performance are difficult to make. Some programs may run faster, some slower,” according to release notes.

    • Version control isn’t just for programmers

      So that’s why I’ve personally chosen Mercurial. That said, there’s an analogous process in most of these other systems for what I’m going to describe here. So if you’d prefer to use Git or Fossil, I say that’s great. At least you’re using something. That puts you a step ahead of most other creatives.

    • Supporting Beep Beep Yarr!

      Some of you may be familiar with LinuxVoice magazine. They put an enormous amount of effort in creating a high quality, feature-packed magazine with a small team. They are led by Graham Morrison who I have known for many years and who is one of the most thoughtful, passionate, and decent human beings I have ever met.

      Well, the same team are starting an important new project called Beep Beep Yarr!. It is essentially a Kickstarter crowd-funded children’s book that is designed to teach core principles of programming to kids. The project not just involves the creation of the book, but also a parent’s guide and an interactive app to help kids engage with the principles in the book.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • EU Parliament Members Seek To Curb Antibiotics In Animals, Boost New Research

      In the fight against antimicrobial resistance, members of the European Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee have advocated banning collective and preventive antibiotic treatment of animals, and supported measures to stimulate research into new antibiotics, including longer data protection.

      Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have been working on the update of a European Union law on veterinary medicine. According to a European Parliament press release, MEPs took a vote yesterday on draft plans for legislation on antimicrobial resistance.

    • Voices From the Front Lines of the Flint Water Crisis

      Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s successive emergency managers are now gone from Flint, but the wreckage of their rule there still pollutes many homes. The crisis in Flint is, on the surface, about water. In April 2014, the city switched from the Detroit water system, which it had used for more than 50 years, to the Flint River, ostensibly to save money. The Flint River water made people sick, and is likely to have caused disease that killed some residents. The corrosive water, left untreated, coursed through the city’s water system, leaching heavy metals out of old pipes. The most toxic poison was lead, which can cause permanent brain damage. The damage to the people of Flint, the damage to the children who drank and bathed in the poisoned water, is incalculable. The water is still considered toxic to this day.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Nitro Zeus: USA’s Secret Cyber War Plan To Destroy Iran’s Complete Infrastructure

      Alex Gibney is known for his investigative documentaries that garner a unanimous applause from the critics. During the reporting for his latest cyber warfare-focused film Zero Days, the US government’s secret plan called Nitro Zeus was uncovered. This plan deals with a massive cyberattack on Iran’s infrastructure if the nuclear negotiations with Iran would have fail.

    • FBI Won’t Explain Its Bizarre New Way of Measuring Its Success Fighting Terror

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation has quietly developed a new way to measure its success in the war on terror: Counting the number of terror threats it has “disrupted” in a year.

      But good luck trying to figure out what that number means, how it was derived, or why it doesn’t jibe with any other law-enforcement statistic, most notably the number of terror suspects actually charged or arrested.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate Change Panel Seeks To Improve Communication, Open Doors To Private Sector

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change seeks to improve its communication to promote its reports, its chair said at a briefing yesterday. Working on its next assessment report expected to be released in five or six years, the IPCC seeks to increase participation of the private sector as a major stakeholders upon which depends the investment to find solutions to climate change he said.

    • Indonesia to continue easing restrictions on foreign investors: President Widodo

      Indonesia will continue opening up its market, making it easier for foreign investors to enter the country.

      Speaking to about 300 business leaders and other stakeholders at an ASEAN Economic Community conference in San Francisco on Wednesday (Feb 17), President Joko Widodo said even though Indonesia is doing more to attract investments, and announced a number of deregulation packages, he is still not satisfied.

      “I’m not satisfied; please understand we are still only at the beginning,” he said. “We will continue to simplify, continue to open up, continue to modernise our rules and regulations. There are still many excessive permits, licenses, and protections.”

      Mr Widodo gave a key note address at the conference after attending the US-ASEAN Leaders Summit in Sunnylands which ended on Tuesday. He said Indonesia’s investment climate is still not conducive enough and the country needs to deregulate more.

    • Shockingly, authorities arrest activists instead of people responsible for the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak

      The California State Patrol has arrested two people in connection with the massive methane leak in Southern California’s Aliso Canyon, but many residents who had to leave their homes near the leaking underground gas storage site think the wrong people are in custody. Instead of busting company executives and engineers who are responsible for the massive methane gas leak, the CSP arrested two protesters who draped banners on the headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission. The protesters draped banners to highlight the lax regulatory environment that enabled the spill — similar to the political culture that enabled the water poisoning in Flint. But unbelievably, the activists are now the ones going to jail.

  • Finance

    • Minimum wage, minimum chance of a future: This is how horrible living on the minimum wage has become

      When presidential candidate Bernie Sanders talks about income inequality, and when other candidates speak about the minimum wage and food stamps, what are they really talking about?

    • Listen to interviews with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples discussing the Trans Pacific Partnership

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, if approved, would be the largest trade agreement in history involving 11 countries including the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru Singapore, and Vietnam.

      Cultural Survival staff caught up with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, to discuss the trade deal’s implications for Indigenous Peoples in these countries, based on her recent research and report on this topic.

    • TTIP: Alternative ISDS No Real Alternative, NGOs Warn

      Malmstroem’s ICS proposal did not address most of the problems of the extra-judicial redress mechanisms for foreign investors, the study explains in a detailed comparison of ISDS and ICS. Instead, “it arguably grants investors even more rights than many existing investment treaties, which have already led to hundreds of investor-state lawsuits around the world,” the study states.

      A specific provision (section 2, article 3.4) of the proposed new system would allow for complaints when investors feel their “legitimate expectations” have been violated by regulatory acts of states. But “explicit protections of investors’ legitimate expectations are generally not part of existing treaties,” CEO and its partners warn.

      [...]

      Nevertheless, ISDS is expected to be back on the agenda of negotiators next week after the EU Commission’s DG Trade after Malmstroem had taken it off the agenda while the public consultation in the EU was ongoing.

    • MPs can view TTIP files – but take only pencil and paper with them

      MPs have won access to documents covering controversial and secretive trade talks between Brussels and Washington, but can only take a pencil and paper into the room where the files can be viewed.

      Confidentiality rules mean no electronic devices – including phones, tablet and laptop computers, or cameras – are allowed in the room at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in Westminster. This is fuelling concerns about a “cloak of secrecy” surrounding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the EU and the US government.

      UK business minister Anna Soubry agreed to provide the room in BIS’s offices on the condition that MPs keep the TTIP documents private. Soubry said pressure on Brussels officials from EU governments had won the concession, but the department was obliged to maintain secrecy.

    • Expanded Version: The Us Economy Has Not Recovered and Will Not Recover

      Jobs offshoring benefitted Wall Street, corporate executives, and shareholders, because lower labor and compliance costs resulted in higher profits. These profits flowed through to shareholders in the form of capital gains and to executives in the form of “performance bonuses.” Wall Street benefitted from the bull market generated by higher profits.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Sanders tops Clinton in a national poll for the first time

      Bernie Sanders has passed Hillary Clinton at the top of a national poll for the first time in the 2016 race.

      A Fox News poll of the Democratic presidential race released Thursday shows Sanders with 47 percent support to Clinton’s 44 percent.

      That’s a gain of 10 percentage points for Sanders a January version of the poll. Clinton’s support declined 5 points.

      Clinton posted leads as high as 30 points over the summer, but Sanders has been steadily closing the gap. While no other poll of the race going back to 2014 has ever showed Clinton trailing a rival, she led Sanders by just 2 points in the last two Quinnipiac University tracking polls.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC votes to “unlock the cable box” over Republican opposition

      The Federal Communications Commission today approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to give consumers more choices in the set-top boxes they use to watch cable TV.

      The vote was 3-2, with Chairman Tom Wheeler and fellow Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel voting in favor of the proposal, while Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly voted against. An NPRM is not a final vote. Instead, this will kick off a months-long public comment period leading up to a final vote that is likely to happen before the end of this year.

      The FCC is essentially trying to create a software-based replacement for CableCard. Pay-TV operators from the cable, satellite, and telco industries would have to provide content and programming information to makers of third-party hardware or applications. Theoretically, customers could then watch their TV channels on various devices without needing to rent a set-top box from their cable company and without buying equipment that is compatible with a physical CableCard.

    • FCC Votes to Dismantle Cable’s Monopoly Over The Set Top Box

      The FCC voted 3-2 today to begin dismantling the cable industry’s long-standing monopoly over ye olde set top cable box. As noted previously, the FCC is pushing a proposal that would require cable operators make their programming accessible to third-party set top manufacturers, without requiring the use of a CableCARD. The goal is to create competition in the set top box market, giving consumers a choice of better and cheaper gear, in the same way consumers can buy their own cable modems. 99% of consumers currently pay about $231 annually in rental fees for hardware that’s generally worth about half that much.

    • AT&T Makes It Clear: It Bought DirecTV So It Doesn’t Have To Upgrade Its Lagging Networks

      When AT&T originally announced the company wanted to spend $69 billion on a satellite TV company on the eve of the cord cutting revolution, even M&A bullish Wall Street thought AT&T was a little nuts. After all, AT&T’s refusal to seriously upgrade its aging DSL networks to full fiber have left it at a serious disadvantage to faster cable broadband. Given Verizon’s FiOS fiber build clocked in somewhere around $24 billion, the $69 billion AT&T spent on DirecTV could have gone a long way toward bringing those customers into the modern fiber to the home era.

    • AT&T, Time Warner Cable Hope Incessant Whining Will Keep Google Fiber From Louisville

      For fifteen years now, companies like AT&T and Time Warner Cable (and their various PR and policy tendrils) have whined incessantly about the “burdensome regulations” that saddle the U.S. broadband industry. Less regulation, they argue, will pave the path to broadband nirvana, opening the door to immense innovation and more competition in the sector. So Louisville recently set about reworking its city broadband ordinances to streamline both the pole attachment and franchise agreement processes dramatically, something you’d assume would thrill both companies.

    • Zero Rating: What It Is and Why You Should Care

      Zero-rating has become the bleeding edge of the net neutrality debate. India recently decided to reject zero-rating plans such as Facebook’s Free Basics, while in the United States carriers push boundaries with zero-rating experiments such as T-Mobile’s Binge-On plan (which led to a public spat with EFF over our criticism of the service, for which Legere has since apologized), as well as AT&T’s Sponsored Data, Verizon’s FreeBee, and Comcast’s Stream TV.

      What is zero-rating and why should you worry about it? In a nutshell, zero-rating plans exempt particular data from counting against a user’s data cap, or from accruing any excess usage charges. The most dangerous of these plans, such as the AT&T and Verizon offerings, only offer their users zero-rated data from content providers who pay the carriers money to do so. Such “pay for play” arrangements favor big content providers who can afford to pay for access to users’ eyeballs, and marginalize those who can’t, such as nonprofits, startups, and fellow users.

  • DRM

    • Let’s Unlock the Set-Top Box–For Real

      Imagine traveling back to 1996 in a typical American living room. What’s changed? The TV is three feet thick and weighs 150 pounds. There’s a VHS videocassette recorder underneath, but no Internet-connected devices to be seen.

      Now, what hasn’t changed?

      The cable or satellite tuner box. It’s a black or grey plastic slab. You have to lease it from your pay-TV provider for a monthly fee. It doesn’t add much functionality to your living room setup, except that your TV subscription doesn’t work without it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Disclosure Requirement In IP Applications Necessary To Comply With Obligations, Speakers Say

      Carlos Correa, special advisor on trade and intellectual property at the South Centre, said the obligation to disclose the source of genetic resources is necessary if the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity are to be implemented.

    • Trademarks

      • The Indonesian IKEA case: what happened and why it might actually be good for foreign companies

        Based on a literal interpretation of the Trademark Law’s non-use provisions, the decision appears to have a sound basis in law: while IKEA’s two original applications were registered in October 2006 and 2010, the first IKEA store selling Class 20 and 21 goods did not open in Indonesia until October 2014, with no ‘acceptable reason’ to excuse the non-use. Interestingly, the Supreme Court’s ruling was a 2-1 decision, with Judge I Gusti Agung Sumanatha filing a rare dissent, arguing that because IKEA had proven that it was the owner of a legitimately registered well-known trademark, the non-use provisions should not apply. While not explicitly supported by the Trademark Law’s text, Judge Sumanatha’s dissent speaks more to the spirit and purpose of the Law and is a welcome development. Troubling, however, is that both courts ruled PT. Ratania’s applications for the mark “IKEA INTAN KHATULISTIWA ESA ABADI” were “legitimate” (“sah”). Such a ruling is as unclear as it is unnecessary and ignored clear evidence presented during the trial that PT. Ratania knew about IKEA prior to filing their own applications, strongly implying that the applications were impermissibly filed in bad faith. While the courts’ unclear language and meaning likely lead to the confusion in reporting on this case, neither the Commercial Court nor the Supreme Court said that PT. Ratania is now the true and legitimate owner of the IKEA mark in Indonesia.

    • Copyrights

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