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Links 2/3/2016: KDE Plasma 5.5.5, SSLv2 Bug

Posted in News Roundup at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • The Evolving Market for Commercial Software Built On Open Source

    That is no longer the case. While an awful lot of companies are still stuck running immense software packages critical to their infrastructure, new projects are being deployed on cloud servers using open source technologies. This makes it much easier to upgrade one’s capabilities without having to rip out a huge software package and reinstall something else, and it also allows companies to pay as they go, rather than paying for a bunch of features they’ll never use.

    And there are a lot of customers who want to take advantage of open source projects without building and supporting a team of engineers to tweak one of those projects for their own unique needs. Those customers are willing to pay for software packages whose value is based on the delta between the open source projects and the proprietary features laid on top of that project.

  • Node.js 5.7 released ahead of impending OpenSSL updates

    The Node.js Foundation is gearing up this week for fixes to OpenSSL that could mean updates to Node.js itself.

    Releases to OpenSSL due on Tuesday will fix defects deemed to be of “high” severity, Rod Vagg, foundation technical steering committee director, said in a blog post on Monday. Within a day of the OpenSSL releases, the Node.js crypto team will assess their impacts, saying, “Please be prepared for the possibility of important updates to Node.js v0.10, v0.12, v4 and v5 soon after Tuesday, the 1st of March.”

  • Q&A: H2O.ai’s Vinod Iyengar on Machine Learning and Open Source

    On the tech scene today, it’s clear that cloud computing, Big Data analytics and machine learning are huge themes, and open source technologies are helping to drive these trends. There is also a shortage of skilled workers in these areas, and a shortage of understanding of the relevant technologies. At OStatic, we’ve been conducting an ongoing series of interviews with influencers focused on these key technology areas, and we’re particularly focused on how open source is involved.


    We operate under the Apache 2.0 license, the most flexible open source license available.

  • Genode OS 16.02 Ported To RISC-V CPU Architecture

    Genode OS 16.02 has been released as the newest version of this popular, open-source operating system framework.

    The prominent features of Genode OS 16.02 include a port to the RISC-V CPU architecture, secure pass-through of USB devices to virtual machines, and updates to their Muen and seL4 kernels.

  • Events

    • Open Networking Summit

      ONS is the forum for service providers, enterprises, disruptive and incumbent vendors, open source projects, leading researchers and investors to discuss SDN and NFV developments and to shape the future of the networking industry.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cloudera launches open-source effort to harness Hadoop for security analytics

      Hadoop will soon be brought up much more often in enterprise security discussions if Cloudera Inc.’s newest community effort achieves its goal. The Open Network Insight (ONI) project launched on GitHub this week to help organizations take advantage of data crunching platform’s processing power in their breach prevention efforts.

      The documentation for the tool explains that it’s a mix of free technologies from the Hadoop ecosystem and machine learning algorithms that Cloudera created in collaboration with a number of leading network protection vendors. Once all of its components are properly deployed, ONI starts pulling traffic logs from the environment that it’s protecting into the Hadoop File System, where they’re analyzed in stages.

    • Mirantis Delivers its Latest OpenStack Distribution

      Mirantis is out with version 8 of its OpenStack distribution, wrapping in the OpenStack Liberty release. The company says this release is the most stable OpenStack distribution available and it sought much feedback from large customers in building this release. The company has also announced that 26,000 unique users across 3,500 development teams globally are using its distribution now.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle’s JET flies into open source skies

      Oracle has published the code for its long-awaited open source JavaScript Extension Toolkit (JET) version 2.0.0.

      If you’re interested in looking over the code at GitHub, here’s what Big Red says is in the box: a full JS development toolkit, SPA template-based lifecycle management, two-way binding with a common model layer, single-page app navigation and mobile support.

      Open source libraries used with JET include jQuery, the jQuery UI, Knockout, RequireJS and Hammer.

    • LibreOffice Conference 2016 in Brno

      LibreOffice Conference will take place in Brno, Czech Republic this year. It will be our third international desktop-related conference in Brno. After GUADEC 2013 and Akademy 2014. And we’re very much looking forward to it.

      The conference is still more than 6 months away, but the organization already started some time ago. We made an agreement with the local technical university about the venue. It’s the venue where GUADEC 2013 and DevConf.cz 2015 and 2016 took place. The campus premises used to be a Cartesian monastery which was founded in the 14th century. Just recently, the campus was renovated and now features a beautiful combination of historical and modern architecture.

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming


  • Google’s Self-Driving Car Causes First Accident, As Programmers Try To Balance Human Simulacrum And Perfection

    Google’s self-driving cars have driven millions of miles with only a dozen or so accidents, all of them being the fault of human drivers rear-ending Google vehicles. In most of these cases, the drivers either weren’t paying attention, or weren’t prepared for a vehicle that was actually following traffic rules. But this week, an incident report by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (pdf) highlighted that a Google automated vehicle was at fault in an accident for what’s believed to be the first time.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • NHS comes top in healthcare survey

      The NHS has been declared the best healthcare system by an international panel of experts who rated its care superior to countries which spend far more on health.

      The same study also castigated healthcare provision in the US as the worst of the 11 countries it looked at. Despite putting the most money into health, America denies care to many patients in need because they do not have health insurance and is also the poorest at saving the lives of people who fall ill, it found.

      The report has been produced by the Commonwealth Fund, a Washington-based foundation which is respected around the world for its analysis of the performance of different countries’ health systems. It examined an array of evidence about performance in 11 countries, including detailed data from patients, doctors and the World Health Organisation.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • NRA Lobbyist Will Co-Host Hillary Clinton Fundraiser

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called her support for gun control laws a key differentiator from her opponent Bernie Sanders, who she claims isn’t tough enough on the industry. But in mid-March, a Clinton campaign fundraiser will be co-hosted by a lobbyist whose clients include the National Rifle Association (NRA).

    • Former NSA and CIA director presents book at Nixon Library

      The Richard Nixon Foundation hosted Gen. Michael Hayden at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum on Tuesday night.

      Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and the CIA, presented his new book, “Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror.”

    • Clinton-Bush Hardliner Attacks Congress for Blocking Invasion of Syria

      Michael Hayden [pictured left] said this in a video clip at Huffington Post Live, where the context of what he was saying was left ambiguous, but it concerned only the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, so his comment there was gratuitous: he asserted (at 23:00 in the complete interview) that the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are prisoners of war and thus can legally be kept imprisoned for the rest of their lives without there being any need at all for them (and there were 775 of them) to be heard in any court — he said they’re prisoners of war and not prisoners of any legal system at all; and, so, even if they were actually captured in error (as many of them were found to have been), they’ve got no legal rights at all. Innocence or guilt is legally irrelevant to their continued imprisonment, says this former chief of America’s CIA and of the NSA.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Intel Agencies: Clinton Emails Match Top Secret Documents

      Clinton supporters, erroneously, make much out of the idea that of the many, many emails that passed through her private server, none were “marked” classified. They claim that, when in fact thousands of those same emails are indeed now marked classified, that is just after-the-fact Washington squabbling.

      So this new information — that America’s intelligence agencies now say the contents of some of those unmarked emails match the contents of their own classified documents — is a big deal. It also suggests just how Clinton’s unclassified server came to be loaded up with classified material.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Towns In Florida Can Keep Their Fracking Bans, State Senate Says

      It wouldn’t have been the first time something like this happened. People in small towns and counties get together, vote, and agree to ban fracking. And then the state legislature comes in and passes a ban on bans.

      But not this time.

      The Florida Senate’s Appropriations Committee has finally killed a bill that would have stopped towns from banning fracking, a week after the committee voted the measure down by a 10-9 vote. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Garrett Richter (R) made a motion Tuesday to not consider the bill.

    • “The Old Normal Is Gone”: February Shatters Global Temperature Records

      Our planet’s preliminary February temperature data are in, and it’s now abundantly clear: Global warming is going into overdrive.

      There are dozens of global temperature datasets, and usually I (and my climate journalist colleagues) wait until the official ones are released about the middle of the following month to announce a record-warm month at the global level. But this month’s data is so extraordinary that there’s no need to wait: February obliterated the all-time global temperature record set just last month.

  • Finance

    • Canada Agrees To Use EU’s ‘Lipstick On A Pig’ Version Of Corporate Sovereignty For CETA

      Last September, Techdirt reported on the EU’s plan to replace the highly-controversial corporate sovereignty provisions in TAFTA/TTIP — the “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) chapter — with something it called the “Investor Court System” (ICS). As we reported then, even if ICS addressed all the problems of ISDS — spoiler alert: it certainly doesn’t — there was a huge backdoor in the form of CETA, the trade deal between the EU and Canada. If CETA includes old-style corporate sovereignty provisions, US companies with subsidiaries in Canada will be able to use CETA to by-pass TAFTA/TTIP’s new ICS system completely, and sue EU nations using ISDS with all its widely-recognized faults. In fact, Bernd Lange, the MEP with responsibility for making recommendations on how the European Parliament (EP) should vote on international trade matters, said at the time that he would not support CETA if it included ISDS.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • The Provocative President of the Supreme Court

      In essence, the President was trolling us – in the proper sense of that much-abused word.

    • End This British Atrocity

      One of the worst atrocities of the British Empire occurred well within my own lifetime – the removal of an entire people, the Chagossians, from their homeland. Uprooted and deposited across the seas hundreds of miles away, many died from the physical and psychological effects of this crime against humanity. The thing is, it is still happening. The survivors have clung together as a community, and the British government are still actively preventing their return to their homeland – all to make way for an American military base on Diego Garcia. There is no reason other than simple Imperialism for America to maintain a military base in the middle of the Indian Ocean.


      It is of course another example of the unparalleled talent for hypocrisy of the British state that the same politicians who declare their willingness to fight and die for the right of self-determination of the Falkland Islanders, will defend the deportation of the Chagos Islanders and their continued exclusion from their own islands. Again I would stress that Labour have been at least as guilty as Tories. The entire British state is complicit in this atrocity.

    • Debating Glenn Greenwald was like “looking the devil in the eye”: Ex-NSA chief Michael Hayden details distaste for media in new book

      Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden is not a big fan of journalists. At least, that’s what his new book, “Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror,” appears to suggest.

    • Ex-CIA Chief: ‘American Armed Forces Would Refuse to Act’ If Trump Ordered Torture
    • On whistleblowers and secrecy: What author Barry Eisler said to a room of ex-intelligence officers

      You might have come across a phrase involving Snowden—in fact, this phrase isn’t easy to avoid if you favor establishment pundits like David Brooks and Fred Kaplan and Josh Marshall—to the effect that Snowden violated his “oath of secrecy.” Even former CIA director David Petraeus has claimed—awkwardly, in retrospect—there is such an oath. I wrote about this supposed oath in a bit more detail after the first Snowden stories broke, in a blog post called “Memo to Authoritarians.”

      All of us in this room know there is no “oath of secrecy”—that the notion of such an “oath” is the product either of ignorance or propaganda. There is a secrecy agreement—what here in Silicon Valley we typically call a nondisclosure agreement, or NDA. But to inflate the status of such an agreement to the level of an “oath,” akin to, say, the president’s oath of office, is false and misleading.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC ‘Probing’ Whether Cable Companies Have Sabotaged Internet Video

      Most people realize that the cable and broadcast industry has worked tirelessly to protect its legacy cash cow from disruption. Dish was forced to make its ad-skipping DVR less useful if it wanted streaming licensing rights. Fox, Disney and Comcast/NBC for years kept Hulu from being too disruptive. ESPN sued Verizon for trying to offer more flexible TV lineups. Apple keeps running face first into broadcasters terrified of real disruption with its own TV plans. That’s before you even get to cable companies busy capping and metering usage to hurt streaming services, while zero rating their own services for competitive advantage.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Operator of Sweden’s Largest Streaming Site Arrested on Secret European Warrant

        A man suspected of being the main operator of what was once Sweden’s largest streaming site has been arrested in Germany following the execution of a secret European warrant. The man, reportedly a Turkish national, is believed to have set up advertising deals at Swefilmer resulting in around $1.7m in revenue.

      • Jay-Z’s Tidal Music Streaming Service Hit With $5 Million Copyright Lawsuit

        In a twist of irony, Tidal, the music streaming service owned by Jay-Z and touting its pro-music artist model, is now being sued for not paying its artists.

      • Tidal Sued For Unpaid Royalties And Cooking The Streaming Counts

        It’s been no secret that Tidal, Jay-Z’s foray into the music streaming business, hasn’t exactly had the success it was supposed to have. In the wake of all the angry sentiment about just how much other streaming services were paying musical artists, Tidal positioned itself as artist-friendly, the option for fans that want to make sure musicians get paid. It sounded great, except now Tidal finds itself joining the club of streaming services facing legal action over artist royalties.

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