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03.23.16

Links 23/3/2016: Red Hat’s Record Results

Posted in News Roundup at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why community managers must wade (not dive) into communities

    If you are part of an organization looking to get into the community-support game, you would do well to tread carefully and deliberately. Communities, particularly at the start of your involvement in them, can be delicate and fragile things. Stomping in there with big words and big plans and big brand engagement will cause a lot of damage to the community and its ecosystem, often of the irreparable sort.

  • How our high school replaced IRC with Mattermost

    The Mattermost project was named because the developers wanted to emphasize the importance of communication. And the design provokes a conceptual shift in classroom communications. Unlike email, Mattermost is a convenient virtual meeting room and a central dashboard for our district technology operations. When everyone connects in a transparent conversation stream, collaboration naturally happens in the open. I was incredibly fond of our internal IRC system, but I really love the Mattermost platform. It costs nothing more than a little server space and occasional software update attention. But even better, it serves as the communication hub for our Student Technology Help Desk, and helps our students collaborate during times when they are not together in the same physical space during a given class block.

  • A channel guide to Open Source success

    Much has changed within the storage channel over the past few years. New technologies, especially cloud-computing, have created innovative business models that have transformed not only what channel businesses sell, but the way they sell them too. As a result, many resellers have evolved into service providers in a process that is now fairly well understood.

    However, there is another, lesser-known evolution that is equally important: not only is the channel changing, but so too are customers. This new type of customer is comfortable with cloud technologies and with the increasingly related area of open source operating systems, which they are looking to use in new ways. If channel organisations are to capitalise on these customers then they need to understand how they can add value through open source.

  • Open source software altering telecom operator, vendor space

    The increased focus and adoption of open source software is bolstering telecom operator plans, forcing vendors to rethink strategy

  • Events

    • Event planning tips from the Django Girls Budapest team

      Szilvi Kádár, Daniella Kőrössy, and I are the organizers of Django Girls Budapest, a free workshop that teaches women how to code. We held our first Django Girls workshop in December 2014, and we’re currently planning our fourth event. We’d like to share some bits and pieces of event organizing advice, and we hope you’ll find some useful ideas for your next event.

    • LibrePlanet day two in a nutshell

      We are just forty-eight hours after LibrePlanet 2016 successfully concluded. The second day carried the energy and excitement from Saturday, and attendance remained strong in all sessions.

    • Uganda to host the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software and Digital Commons

      The Government of Uganda through National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) will host the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Digital Commons (IDLELO 7) in August 2016. The conference aims to support uptake of Open Source in Uganda and the region.

      The Ministry of ICT has recently developed a Free Open Source Software (FOSS) Policy to provide guidance on deployment of Open Source Software and the use of Open Standards as a means of accelerating Innovation and local content development.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google will kill its Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July

        Google today announced plans to kill off the Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July. The tool, which lets users launch Chrome apps even if the browser is not running, will continue to live on in Chrome OS.

        As you might suspect, the Chrome app launcher was originally ported from Chrome OS. Google first started experimenting with bringing the app launcher to its desktop browser in May 2013. The Chrome app launcher debuted on Windows in July 2013, followed by OS X in December 2013, and finally Linux in July 2014.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • GoDaddy Offers Amazon-like Cloud Services, Based on OpenStack

      Small business domain host GoDaddy is famous for its racy commercials and its long history of servicing domains, but now it is entering the cloud business and placing its bets on OpenStack. The company has expanded its hosting services to offer Cloud Servers and Bitnami-powered Cloud Applications. The new offerings are designed to help the individual developers, tech entrepreneurs and IT professionals to quickly build, test and scale cloud solutions.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 9.10 Open-Source Storage Operating System Adds USB 3.0 & Skylake Support

      Jordan Hubbard from the FreeNAS project, an open-source initiative to create a powerful, free, secure, and reliable NAS (Network-attached storage) operating system based on BSD technologies, announced the release of FreeNAS 9.10.

      FreeNAS 9.10 is the tenth maintenance release in the current stable 9.x series of the project, thus bringing the latest security patches from upstream, support for new devices, as well as several under-the-hood updates. As expected, FreeNAS 9.10 has been rebased on the latest FreeBSD 10.3 RC3 (Release Candidate) release.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Polish eGovernment strategy advocates open source

      Poland’s new eGovernment strategy recommends that publicly financed software should use an open architecture, and consider publication under an open source licence. The eGovernment strategy twice emphasises the use of open source, for a new system of public registers and for a eInvoicing system that interoperates with a national document management system.

    • EC and EP use open source for software development

      The European Commission and the European Parliament generally use open source tools and methods for software development, concludes the EU-FOSSA project, following a review of 15 ongoing projects. The institutions’ project management tools make room for agile, collaborative development cycles.

  • Programming

    • Swift programming language update introduces Linux support

      Almost two years after its launch and four months since it was open sourced, Swift 2.2 has been released by Apple. The update is a major one because it now runs on Linux. Officially, Swift runs on Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 15.10 but it won’t be long until it unofficially arrives on other distros such as Arch and Manjaro via the Arch User Repository (or AUR).

Leftovers

  • Science

    • UK Government Forbids Publicly-Funded Scientists And Academics From Giving Advice It Disagrees With

      That might sound reasonable, especially the last part about not being able to lobby for more funding. It is aimed mainly at organizations that receive government grants, but many academics believe that it is so loosely worded that it will also apply to them, and will prevent them from pushing for new regulations in any circumstances. Even if that is not the UK government’s intention, the mere existence of the policy is bound to have a chilling effect on the academics, since few will want to run the risk of having their grants taken away by inadvertently breaking the new rules.

  • Apple

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • WATCH: President Obama in Cuba: “I Have Come to Bury the Last Remnant of the Cold War”

      On the final day of his historic trip to Cuba, President Obama addressed the Cuban people. “The United States and Cuba are like two brothers that’ve been estranged for many years,” Obama said. “We both live in a new world, colonized by Europeans. Cuba was in part built by slaves who were brought from Africa … Like the United States, Cuba can trace her heritage to both slaves and slave owners.”

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Donald Trump bewilderingly denies that climate change poses a serious risk

      Republican presidential candidates haven’t exactly set a high bar for their understanding of climate science during the 2016 race so far. However, front-runner Donald Trump wins the prize for the most confounding denial of global warming expressed by a major party’s presidential candidate to date.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Silk Road 2.0 Right-Hand Man Pleads Guilty

      The second iteration of the Silk Road drug marketplace was shuttered in November 2014, almost exactly a year after it opened. Now, 17 months later, the right hand man of that website has accepted a plea agreement in a district court in the Western District of Washington.

      Brian Farrell has formally admitted to being “DoctorClu,” a staff member of Silk Road 2.0 who provided customer and technical support, approved vendors, and promoted other employees, according to a court document filed earlier this month.

    • Tor Project says it can quickly catch spying code

      The Tor Project is fortifying its software so that it can quickly detect if its network is tampered with for surveillance purposes, a top developer for the volunteer project wrote on Monday.

      There are worries that Tor could either be technically subverted or subject to court orders, which could force the project to turn over critical information that would undermine its security, similar to the standoff between Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice.

      Tor developers are now designing the system in such a way that many people can verify if code has been changed and “eliminate single points of failure,” wrote Mike Perry, lead developer of the Tor Browser, on Monday.

    • Apple v. FBI: What Just Happened?
    • Icloak Stik

      Anyone who values anonymity can benefit.

    • Tor Project Hardens Privacy Features, Points to Apple vs. the FBI

      There continue to be many people around the globe who want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. Typically, the anonymous crowd turns to common tools that can keep their tracks private, and one of the most common tools of all is Tor, an open source tool used all around the world.

      Even as Apple continues to make headlines as it squares off with the FBI over privacy issues, Mike Perry, lead developer of the Tor Browser, wrote in a blog post that Tor developers are hardening the Tor system in such a way that people can verify if code has been changed and “eliminate single points of failure.” “Even if a government or a criminal obtains our cryptographic keys, our distributed network and its users would be able to detect this fact and report it to us as a security issue,” Perry wrote.

    • Idaho mom who sued Obama over illegal surveillance loses at appellate court

      The Idaho mother who sued President Barack Obama over alleged unconstitutional telephone metadata collection has lost again in court. Anna Smith had her initial case dismissed in 2014, and this week her appeal met a similar fate.

      On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Smith, finding that her case was now moot in light of the new changes to the now-expired Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

    • Ninth Circuit Tosses Challenge to NSA Spying

      Anna Smith, a nurse and mother of two, sued President Barack Obama and other high-ranking government officials in June 2013, upon the exposure of a program that collected metadata from every American’s phone records.

    • NSA is not ‘intentionally looking’ for Americans, says agency’s privacy officer [Ed: Rebecca Richards is a liar. NSA hired her to lie to media. Job title: “privacy and civil liberties and privacy”]
    • Before We Even Know The Details, Politicians Rush To Blame Encryption For Brussels Attacks

      You may remember that, right after the Paris attacks late last year, politicians rushed in to demonize encryption as the culprit, and to demand backdooring encryption before the blood was even dry. Of course, it later turned out that there was no evidence that they used encryption at all, but rather it appears that they communicated by unencrypted means. Just yesterday, we noted that the press was still insisting encryption was used, and using the lack of any evidence as evidence for the fact they must have used encryption (hint: that’s not how encryption works…).

    • Appeals court: NSA surveillance case partly moot
    • Appeals court partly dismisses NSA surveillance case as moot

      A three-judge federal appeals panel has partly dismissed an Idaho woman’s lawsuit over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records as moot.

      Nurse Anna J. Smith sued the government in 2013, arguing that the agency’s collection of call records violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

    • British Spy Agency GCHQ Moves Fast to Prevent Mass Energy Hack Attack

      The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has stepped in to prevent a massive hack attack on Britain’s energy networks after discovering so-called “smart meters” – designed to replace 53 million gas and electricity meters can be easily hacked.

    • GCHQ steps into protect smart meters against hackers [Ed: still distracting from GCHQ offense]
  • Civil Rights

    • Bernie Sanders Spoke Up for Suffering Palestinians, but Few in Broadcast Media Covered It

      As leading presidential candidates spoke at the Washington gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), promising support and a crackdown on boycotts of Israel, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made a dissenting speech in Salt Lake City, where he spoke up for suffering Palestinians. It received little broadcast media attention.

      As Sanders trails Clinton in delegate count, his campaign has effectively been discounted by major media.

    • Clinton Attacks Israeli Boycott Movement in AIPAC Speech
    • My too intimate relations with the TSA: James Bovard

      The Transportation Security Administration finally obeyed a 2011 federal court order March 3 and issued a 157 page Federal Register notice justifying its controversial full-body scanners and other checkpoint procedures. TSA’s notice ignored the fact that the “nudie” scanners are utterly unreliable; TSA failed to detect 95% of weapons and mock bombs that Inspector General testers smuggled past them last year while the agency continues to mislead the public about its heavy-handed treatment of travelers.

      The Federal Register notice is full of soothing pablum about how travelers have no reason to fear the TSA, declaring that “passengers can obtain information before they leave for the airport on what items are prohibited.” But it neglects to mention that TSA can invoke ludicrous pretexts to treat innocent travelers as suspicious terrorist suspects.

      Flying home from Portland, Ore., on Thanksgiving morning, I had a too-close encounter with TSA agents that spurred me to file a Freedom of Information Act request. On March 5, I finally received a bevy of TSA documents and video footage with a grope-by-grope timeline.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Silicon Valley Rides Obama’s Coattails Into Cuba

      President Barack Obama is in Cuba, and Silicon Valley is tagging along for the ride.

      Executives from several technology companies are traveling with the U.S. president on his goodwill tour or introducing new business initiatives focused on the island—or both. Among the companies joining the Cuba parade this week are Google parent Alphabet Inc., Airbnb Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc., Priceline Group Inc., Stripe Inc., and Xerox Corp.

  • DRM

    • Anti-DRM activists go to W3C meeting to protest Digital Restrictions Management in Web standards

      The protest began outside the W3C office and continued with a march past Google’s Cambridge office, to Microsoft’s office nearby. The companies are both supporters of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), the proposal to enshrine DRM in Web standards. The protest included free software users and developers, including Richard Stallman and Chris Webber, the maintainer of the GNU MediaGoblin decentralized publishing platform. A small number of protesters split from the group to enter the W3C meeting, then were ejected by police.

      DRM in Web standards would make it cheaper and more politically acceptable to impose restrictions on users, opening the floodgates to a new wave of DRM throughout the Web, with all the vulnerabilities, surveillance and curtailed freedom that DRM entails.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Court Dismisses Dumb Trademark Suit Between Dairy And Fishing Tackle Companies

        Part of the fun of covering the sort of silly trademark disputes that we do here at Techdirt is seeing just how far companies, most often large companies, will go in trying to apply protectionist habits where they don’t belong. This typically manifests itself in the key marketplace aspect of trademark law, where the brands in question are to be competing for customers who might become confused for an infringement to have occurred. Too often this aspect of the law appears to go ignored in claims of infringement, or else the concept of competitive marketplaces is stretched to the point of absurdity. As I said, this is often times amusing to us, because we’re strange.

    • Copyrights

      • Man Faces Prison Sentence For Circumventing UK Pirate Site Blockade

        A UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has charged a man for operating several proxy sites and services that allowed UK Internet users to bypass local pirate site blockades. In a first of its kind prosecution, the Bakersfield resident is charged with several fraud offenses and one count of converting and/or transferring criminal property.

      • Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier Continues To Win Enemies, Influence Legislators With His ADA Trolling, Hiding Of Assets

        Everyone behind the failed clown school that was Prenda Law deserves what’s happening to Paul Hansmeier. Unfortunately, it appears Hansmeier is taking the most damage from the fallout of Prenda’s disastrous copyright trolling… or at least he’s the one doing most of his suffering in public.

        Of course, it’s his own fault. Rather than get out of the trolling business, Hansmeier doubled down. He swapped porn stars for wheelchairs, pursuing small businesses for Americans with Disabilities Acts violations. Fronting as a public interest, Hansmeier’s “Disabilities Support Alliance” is every bit the serial litigant Prenda was.

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