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Links 28/2/2016: Raspberry Pi 3, Copyleft Fights

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Manufacturers start to lock down Wi-Fi router firmware. Thanks, FCC.

    Curious. The FBI wants Apple to open up its own software while the FCC wants wireless router manufacturers to lock theirs down. And both demands are unacceptable, misguided, and will ultimately fail. Why? When it comes to the former, well, we don’t have time to wade through that quagmire, but as to the the latter, we have to go back to 2015 …


    Why is this lockdown a bad idea? Because there are thousands of private users, academic researchers, and developers who rely on having wireless routers that are capable of modification. These modifications are to add functionality, fix bugs in the original product (all too common in consumer devices), and improve performance. However, the new FCC rules as written place a complex technical burden on manufacturers to comply and the only way to comply cheaply, is for the manufacturer to lock down their products completely rather than just the wireless components.

  • TP-LINK WiFi Router Firmware Locked Down Due to New FCC Rules

    Last year the FCC rules issues new rules that would prevent installing OpenWRT, DDWRT, or other firmware, but it went viral, and finally the commission launched a consultation with the community which ended by the FCC issued a statement “Clearing the Air on Wi-Fi Software Updates” last November, making the rules more accurate saying that the rules were now “narrowly-focused on modifications that would take a device out of compliance”.

  • Reading comprehension is a big problem in open-source

    Houston, we have a problem. Linux users can’t read good [sic]. Zoolander reference. Word. What am I on about, and where can you buy some of the stuff, you be asking? You can’t, it’s all au naturale, Dedoimedo freerange extract.

    To be serious, this topic is about the flow of information in the Linux world. After having a rather horrible autumn season of distro testing, I happened to come across commentary about my reviews on various forums and portal. It’s always when the negative is being discussed, because articles that praise products never ever get any reaction from the wider community. To put it bluntly, the message was not coming across.

  • Telecoms Band Together to Virtualize and Open Source their Network Stacks

    A group of telecommunication companies and their software providers have come together to bring Network Functions Virtualization to their data centers. NFV is an industry-developed framework to virtualize telecom networks.

    The group, formed under the umbrella of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is called OSM, which stands for Open Source MANO. MANO, which stands for Management and Orchestration, is the part of the NFV framework consisting of orchestrator software, virtualized network functions manager (VNFM) and Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • BSDCan: OpenBSD presentations

      The event will be held on June 8-11th at the University of Ottawa in Canada.

    • The Release Of LLVM 3.8 Should Be Imminent

      While LLVM/Clang 3.8 was supposed to be released last week, its release got delayed but it looks like it should finally ship in the next few days.

      On Tuesday, LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg announced the release of LLVM 3.8 Release Candidate 3. He mentioned, “If there are no regressions from previous release candidates, this will be the last release candidate before the final release.”

    • FreeBSD 10.3 Is Almost Ready For Release

      The third beta of the upcoming FreeBSD 10.3 is now available for testing.

      FreeBSD 10.3 Beta 3 brings updated network drivers, improvements to the filemon device, Hyper-V fixes, a few new commands, and various other minor enhancements and corrections.

    • FreeBSD and ZFS

      For nearly seven years, FreeBSD has included a production quality ZFS implementation, making it one of the key features of the FreeBSD operating system. ZFS is a combined file system and volume manager. Decoupling physical media from logical volumes allows free space to be efficiently shared between all of the file systems. ZFS introduced unprecedented data integrity and reliability guarantees to storage on FreeBSD. ZFS supports varying levels of redundancy for tolerance of hardware failures and includes cryptographic checksums on all data to guard against corruption.


  • Project Releases

    • Cloud Explorer is back with v7.1

      Cloud Explorer is a open-source Amazon S3 client that works on any operating system. The program features a graphical or command line interface. Today I just released version 7.1 and hope that you give it a test drive. Feedback and uses cases are always encouraged.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Denmark to accelerate eHealth technology

      Danish public authorities are promoting the development and use of eHealth solutions. Increasing technology-use in healthcare, care for the elderly, social services and in education will “maintain or increase the quality of public welfare services while at the same time reducing public expenditure”, according to an English introduction to Denmark’s Strategy for Digital Welfare (2013-2020), published by the country’s Agency for Digitisation.

  • Licensing

    • Winning the copyleft fight

      Bradley Kuhn started off his linux.conf.au 2016 talk by stating a goal that, he hoped, he shared with the audience: a world where more (or most) software is free software. The community has one key strategy toward that goal: copyleft licensing. He was there to talk about whether that strategy is working, and what can be done to make it more effective; the picture he painted was not entirely rosy, but there is hope if software developers are willing to make some changes.

      Copyleft licensing is still an effective strategy, he said; that can be seen because we’ve had the chance to run a real-world parallel experiment — an opportunity that doesn’t come often. A lot of non-copyleft software has been written over the years; if proprietary forks of that software don’t exist, then it seems clear that there is no need for copyleft; we just have to look to see whether proprietary versions of non-copyleft software exist. But, he said, he has yet to find a non-trivial non-copyleft program that lacks proprietary forks; without copyleft, companies will indeed take free software and make it proprietary.

    • I’m Part of SFConservancy’s GPL Compliance Project for Linux

      I believe GPL enforcement in general, and specifically around the Linux kernel, is a good thing. Because of this, I am one of the Linux copyright holders who has signed an agreement for the Software Freedom Conservancy to enforce the GPL on my behalf. I’m also a financial supporter of Conservancy.

    • Welte: Report from the VMware GPL court hearing
    • Report from the VMware GPL court hearing

      Today, I took some time off to attend the court hearing in the GPL violation/infringement case that Christoph Hellwig has brought against VMware.

      I am not in any way legally involved in the lawsuit. However, as a fellow (former) Linux kernel developer myself, and a long-term Free Software community member who strongly believes in the copyleft model, I of course am very interested in this case – and of course in an outcome in favor of the plaintiff. Nevertheless, the below report tries to provide an un-biased account of what happened at the hearing today, and does not contain my own opinions on the matter. I can always write another blog post about that :)

      I blogged about this case before briefly, and there is a lot of information publicly discussed about the case, including the information published by the Software Freedom Conservancy (see the link above, the announcement and the associated FAQ.

    • I bought some awful light bulbs so you don’t have to

      Anyway. Next step was to start playing with the protocol, which meant finding the device on my network. I checked anything that had picked up a DHCP lease recently and nmapped them. The OS detection reported Linux, which wasn’t hugely surprising – there was no GPL notice or source code included with the box, but I’m way past the point of shock at that. It also reported that there was a telnet daemon running. I connected and got a login prompt. And then I typed admin as the username and admin as the password and got a root prompt. So, there’s that. The copy of Busybox included even came with tftp, so it was easy to get copies of tcpdump and strace on there to see what was up.

    • SFC: GPL Violations Related to Combining ZFS and Linux
    • The Linux Kernel, CDDL and Related Issues

      The license terms on the Linux kernel are those of GPLv2. This is the unanimous consensus of the extensive community of copyright holders. No other terms, or modifications of those terms, are represented in any document as the consensus position of the relevant parties.

    • Conservancy’s Executive Director Testifies in Favor of NYC Free and Open Source Software Acts
    • Match Donation Extended until March 1st
  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Java finally gets microservices tools

      Lightbend, formerly known as Typesafe, is bringing microservices-based architectures to Java with its Lagom platform.

      Due in early March, Lagom is a microservices framework that lightens the burden of developing these microservices in Java. Built on the Scala functional language, open source Lagom acts as a development environment for managing microservices. APIs initially are provided for Java services, with Scala to follow.

    • documentation first

      I write documentation first and code second. I’ve mentioned this from time to time (previously, previously) but a reader pointed out that I’ve never really explained why I work that way.

      It’s a way to make my thinking more concrete without diving all the way into the complexities of the code right away. So sometimes, what I write down is design documentation, and sometimes it’s notes on a bug report[1], but if what I’m working on is user-visible, I start by writing down the end user documentation.


  • Science

    • These Chicago teens can’t graduate until they learn some compsci

      The Chicago Public Schools district has become the first in the nation to make computer science training a requirement for high school graduation.

      The district, the third-largest in the US, says that starting with next year’s freshman class (graduating in 2020), all students will be required to complete one credit in a computer science class as a core subject alongside other fields such as science, English and mathematics.

      “Making sure that our students are exposed to STEM and computer science opportunities early on is critical in building a pipeline to both college and career,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    • Kauppalehti: Finnish tire firm manipulated test results

      Finnish tire manufacturer Nokian Renkaat manipulated test results for years, according to a report on Friday in the business daily Kauppalehti. The company’s share price took a dive on the reports.

    • The left half – right half divide in human brains is a myth, scientist says

      The myth is thought to stem from social stigmatisation of left handed people and a misunderstood Noble Prize winning research project

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Friday’s security updates
    • Rewrite Everything In Rust

      I just read Dan Kaminsky’s post about the glibc DNS vulnerability and its terrifying implications. Unfortunately it’s just one of many, many, many critical software vulnerabilities that have made computer security a joke.

      It’s no secret that we have the technology to prevent most of these bugs. We have programming languages that practically guarantee important classes of bugs don’t happen. The problem is that so much of our software doesn’t use these languages. Until recently, there were good excuses for that; “safe” programming languages have generally been unsuitable for systems programming because they don’t give you complete control over resources, and they require complex runtime support that doesn’t fit in certain contexts (e.g. kernels).

      Rust is changing all that. We now have a language with desirable safety properties that offers the control you need for systems programming and does not impose a runtime. Its growing community shows that people enjoy programming in Rust. Servo shows that large, complex Rust applications can perform well.

    • Forthcoming OpenSSL releases
    • Improvements on Manjaro Security Updates
    • What is Glibc bug: Things To Know About It
    • IRS Cyberattack Total is More Than Twice Previously Disclosed

      Cyberattacks on taxpayer accounts affected more people than previously reported, the Internal Revenue Service said Friday.

      The IRS statement, originally reported by Dow Jones, revealed tax data for about 700,000 households might have been stolen: Specifically, a government review found potential access to about 390,000 more accounts than previously disclosed.

      In August, the IRS said that the number of potential victims stood at more than 334,000 — more than twice the initial estimate of more than 100,000.

    • Protect your file server from the Locky trojan
    • Google’s Project Shield defends small websites from DDoS bombardment

      If you want to apply, there’s an online form to fill in here which asks for the details of your site, and poses a few other questions about security and whether you’ve been hit by DDoS in the past. Note that you’ll need to set up a Google account if you don’t already have one.

    • 90 Percent of All SSL VPNs Use Insecure or Outdated Encryption

      Information security firm High-Tech Bridge has conducted a study of SSL VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and discovered that nine out of ten such servers don’t provide the security they should be offering, mainly because they are using insecure or outdated encryption.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Mini-World War Underway in Syria: The Players

      Various Kurdish forces working with Washington and/or Moscow are taking advantage of the chaos to extend Kurdish territories, in Syria, Iraq and odd bits of Turkey. The Islamic State has snatched land while all the focus was on the other groups, and still holds substantial territory in Syria and Iraq. The Saudis have threatened to invade Syria with ground troops, which the Iranians say they will respond to militarily.

    • Court Considers Releasing Key Documents Governing Secretive Targeted Killing Program

      Yesterday, in one of the three ACLU cases challenging the extreme secrecy shrouding the government’s targeted killing program, a federal judge in New York ordered the government to turn over, for the court’s review and possible release, three crucial documents containing the law and policy that govern the program. The full order is not yet public because, as the judge wrote, she is giving the government “time to vet opinions and orders for classification issues that might escape the notice of a reader of news media in which information that the Government considers to be classified routinely appears.”

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Chelsea Manning denied EFF articles because US Army cares about copyright

      Apparently the US Army is interested in a zealous interpretation of copyright protection, too.

      According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a Chelsea Manning supporter recently attempted to mail Manning a series of printed EFF articles about prisoner rights. Those materials were withheld and not delivered to her because, according to the EFF, the correspondence contained “printed Internet materials, including email, of a volume exceeding five pages per day or the distribution of which may violate U.S. copyright laws.”

    • Did Twitter’s Exec Censor #WhichHillary in advance of Key Primaries? Twitter users speak out

      Considering the nature of Twitter’s algorithm, it may just be a coincidence that Twitter suspended activist account @GuerrillaDems, at the same time that its massively popular hashtags #WhichHillary & #WhichHillaryCensored were suddenly absent from many users’ trending lists. Twitter now says that the suspension of @GuerrillaDems was a mistake.

      It is entirely natural, and important, for users to be suspicious here. We don’t know whether it was intentional removal, or algorithmic coincidence. However, it is a fact that this past Sunday, Clinton held a political event headlined by Twitter CEO Omid Kordestani. It is also a fact that Clinton’s staff has exerted pressure on members of the media in the past, using its “muscular” influence to promote a certain narrative at the Atlantic, and suggesting experts to rebut Julian Assange during his interview with 60 Minutes. These relationships tend to be mutually beneficial — a journalist gets a scoop — a large media outlet gets favorable treatment by regulatory agencies — in exchange for promoting a certain narrative. It is also no secret that the Clintons have earned $153 million over the past 15 years in legal political graft, much of that coming from the same companies they helped deregulate in the 1990’s. If you would like to know why our media giants are grateful to the Clintons, read up on the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

    • Zuckerberg on refugee crisis: ‘Hate speech has no place on Facebook’

      Speaking in Berlin, Facebook boss calls Germany’s handling of European refugee crisis ‘inspiring’ and says site must do more to tackle anti-migrant hate speech

    • Zuckerberg Vows to Police Hate Speech in German Charm Offensive

      Facebook Inc.Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg vowed to rid his site of hate speech against migrants and lauded Germany’s leadership in the refugee crisis as part of an effort to win over those critical of the social media site’s handling of the matter.

      “We’ve recognized how sensitive this is, especially with the migrant crisis here,” Zuckerberg said to thunderous applause at a town hall event in Berlin on Friday carried live on German cable news channels. “We hear the message loud and clear and we’re committed to doing better, there’s not a place for this kind of content on Facebook.”

    • Someone At UMich Reported A Snow Penis As A ‘Bias Incident’

      Big Member On Campus — is causing a flurry of controversy.

      A University of Michigan dorm official reported a snow penis as a bias incident, according to the student publication The Michigan Review.

      The frosty phallus was erected in a field this week outside a residence hall after a snowfall, apparently leaving the hall director cold. Hall directors are paid non-students who carry some authority.

    • Site-blocking will make internet access more expensive – little else

      oday Laurie has a guest post at iTWire and looks forward to your comments or those of the content creators and distributors. This posting does not necessarily represent the views of iTWire.

      Last week both Village Roadshow and Foxtel finally launched court actions under the eight months old Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act designed to deal with Internet “piracy”.

      The first thing that needs pointing out is that downloading video and audio content over the Internet is a not a crime as such. It is, however, in breach of the intellectual property rights of the producers and distributors.

  • Privacy

    • EFF Urges Appeals Court to Allow Wikimedia and Others to Fight NSA Surveillance

      San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Wednesday to permit Wikimedia and other groups to continue their lawsuit against the NSA over illegal Internet surveillance. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in Wikimedia v. NSA would follow the lead of the Ninth Circuit, which allowed EFF’s Jewel v. NSA to go forward despite years of stalling attempts by the government.

    • The Government’s Decades-Long Battle for Backdoors in Encryption

      The FBI wants to crack open a mass shooter’s iPhone, and Apple has refused to cooperate. It’s a story for the 21st century, but the roots go back a whole generation earlier, to the 1990s when the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were trying to curb the then-new encryption technologies and create back door access for themselves.

    • Finland to boost its information security industry

      The Finnish government should help to create a competitive information security industry, recommends a report by a task-force at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The country should attract investments in this area, assess rules and regulations, and make information security a common digital component.

    • More GOP presidential hopefuls now side with the FBI in iPhone crypto fight

      The now five candidates vying for the GOP presidential nomination discussed everything from immigration, health care, and the Middle East during their latest debate, sponsored by CNN/Telemundo and held in Houston on Thursday evening. But what caught our attention was the candidates’ discourse about the Apple-FBI encryption legal fight.

      CNN moderators Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash actually initiated the topic. Blitzer first mentioned how Apple responded to the FBI’s court order earlier in the day with a formal motion to vacate. Bash then addressed the topic to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, referencing his defense of Apple last week during a GOP candidate town hall in South Carolina.

    • Tens of Thousands Protest Netflix’s Expanding VPN-Blockade

      Netflix is continuing to expand its VPN and proxy crackdown, affecting VPN ‘pirates’ but also those who use such services for privacy reasons. The VPN crackdown is meeting fierce resistance from privacy activists and concerned users, with tens of thousands calling upon the streaming service to reverse its broad VPN ban.

    • Netflix overblocking non-exit Tor relays

      tl;dr: Even paying customers sharing IPs with non-exit Tor relays are now
      blocked from accessing Netflix

      Hello everyone !

      After two very fruitless attempts to get the issue silently resolved through
      proper Netflix support channels, the time has come to make this public. As
      some of you have probably already read in the news, Netflix recently
      announced a crackdown on what they call “VPN Pirates” and what I call
      “paying customers using the same benefits of globalization that global
      companies like Netflix (ab)use for their taxes”.

    • Tor Project Accuses CloudFlare of Mass Surveillance, Sabotaging Tor Traffic

      Tensions are rising between Tor Project administrators and CloudFlare, a CDN and DDoS mitigation service that’s apparently making the life of Tor users a living hell.

      The issue, raised by a Tor Project member, revolves around a series of measures that CloudFlare implemented to fight malicious traffic coming from the Tor network. These measures are also affecting legitimate Tor users.

      The way CloudFlare deals with Tor users is by flagging Tor exit nodes and showing a CAPTCHA challenge before allowing them to continue to their desired website.

    • German government to use Trojan spyware to monitor citizens
  • Civil Rights

    • The U.S. has Gone F&*%ing Mad

      Do you know how a properly functioning society would react to an event like San Bernardino? I do — because I’ve had the misfortune of living through such an event. On the 28th of April, 1996, a gunman equipped with an AR-15 assault rifle — the same kind that the San Bernardino shooters used — opened fire in Port Arthur, in Australia. 35 people were killed and 23 were wounded. It remains one of the world’s deadliest shootings by a single person.

      Within months, the country’s governing party led a bipartisan effort to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

      They didn’t do it by focusing on creating backdoors into phones.

    • Liverpool police pelted with stones as right-wing ‘infidels’ clash with anti-fascists (PHOTOS)

      Members of an extreme right-wing group and a rival anti-fascist movement have brought chaos to the center of Liverpool, with Merseyside police forced to intervene in violent street skirmishes

    • Former CIA Director: Trump’s foreign policy “would be in violation of all international laws of armed combat”

      “Real Time” host Bill Maher interviewed former NSA and CIA Director, General Michael Hayden.

      Regarding his thoughts on a President Trump, Hayden said, “I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign.”

      Asked to elaborate on what he meant by “language,” Hayden cited Trump’s comments on “waterboarding and a whole lot more — because they deserve it” and killing the terrorists’ families.

      “If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act,” Hayden added. “That would be in violation of all international laws of armed combat.”

    • Ex-CIA, NSA Head: If ‘President Trump’ Implements Certain Campaign Promises, U.S. Military ‘Would Refuse to Act’

      The former head of the CIA and NSA said that if Donald Trump is elected president and follows through on certain campaign promises, the U.S. military would “refuse to act.”

      “I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” Michael Hayden told “Real Time” host Bill Maher on Friday night.

    • Stand Up For Whistleblowers — Our Liberty Depends On Them

      The inhumane criminal organization that goes under the name of the United States Government has violated its laws and international laws by refusing to punish torturers and war criminals, instead punishing only those who expose the evil and illegal deeds of the United States government.

      After blowing the whistle on torture and domestic surveillance by the George W. Bush administration, former CIA officer John Kiriakou and former NSA executive Thomas Drake were prosecuted under the Espionage Act — by the same Obama Justice Department that has refused to prosecute a single torturer or any official who ordered illegal mass surveillance.

    • Virginia Wisely Rejects Secret Police

      It’s a frightening, Orwellian scenario that some legislators in Virginia thought was a good idea. Fortunately, a state House of Delegates subcommittee blocked the bill on Thursday, which would have allowed even more government information to be hidden away under the state’s F-rated open government laws.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Germany to fund broadband for underserved areas

      Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is making available funds to bring fast Internet to underserved areas. Municipalities and rural districts (Landkreise) can initially apply for up to EUR 50,000 to plan expansion projects and to complete applications for federal funding of these projects. Approved projects will be funded up to a maximum of EUR 15 million.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Content ID and the Rise of the Machines

        In 2007, Google built Content ID, a technology that lets rightsholders submit large databases of video and audio fingerprints and have YouTube continually scan new uploads for potential matches to those fingerprints. Since then, a handful of other user-generated content platforms have implemented copyright bots of their own that scan uploads for potential matches.

      • Pirates Spend Much More Money on Music, Study Shows

        A new study has shown that music piracy is still rampant in the United States with 57 million people between the ages of 13 and 50 accessing music through unauthorized sources. Interestingly, however, these pirates also spend significantly more money on CDs and paid downloads, more than their counterparts who only consume legally.

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    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  29. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  30. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects


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