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03.08.17

Links 8/3/2017: Manjaro 17.0 Released, Firefox 52 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Shaping the Culture of Open Source Companies

    With all of the discussion about source code contributions in open source, sometimes we don’t spend enough time talking about the culture. In her keynote at LinuxCon Europe, Stormy Peters points out that when we say the word “culture,” we sometimes think only about diversity or hiring more women, but culture means more than that. Culture is about how we work, how we think, and how we interact with each other.

  • Keynote: The Double Helix of Open Source Software & Companies by Stormy Peters
  • The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen

    The blockchain is a revolution that builds on another technical revolution so old that only the more experienced among us remember it: the invention of the database. First created at IBM in 1970, the importance of these relational databases to our everyday lives today cannot be overstated. Literally every aspect of our civilization is now dependent on this abstraction for storing and retrieving data. And now the blockchain is about to revolutionize databases, which will in turn revolutionize literally every aspect of our civilization.

  • Open Source Linkerd Project Celebrates First Anniversary in Quest to Become the TCP/IP of Microservices

    uoyant, the commercial entity behind the open source Linkerd project, today announced the one year anniversary of the project. Since launching in February 2016 with the mission to make microservices reliable at scale, Linkerd has rapidly gained adoption in the cloud-native community and has served over 100 billion production requests in companies around the world.

  • Hedge Funds Opt for Open Source and AI Goes ‘Fintech’

    It makes sense for large technology companies like Google and Microsoft to open source AI and machine learning solutions because they have overlapping vertical interests in providing vast cloud services. These come into play when a certain machine learning library becomes popular and users deploy it on the cloud and so forth. It is less clear why financial services companies, which play a much more directly correlated zero sum game, would open up code that they paid the engineering team to create.

  • SK Telecom CTO Discusses The Future of Software-Defined Networking in the Telco Industry

    As more people access the Internet from their mobile devices, mobile operators must adapt their networks to accommodate skyrocketing data use and new traffic patterns. To do so, they’re turning to the same principles of software-defined networking (SDN) already finding success in the data center.

  • Does your open source project need a president?

    Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Linux Foundation Open Source Leadership Summit. The event was stacked with many of the people I consider mentors, friends, and definitely leaders in the various open source and free software communities that I participate in.

    I was able to observe the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee meeting while there, and was impressed at the way they worked toward consensus where possible. It reminded me of the OpenStack Technical Committee in its make-up of well-spoken technical individuals who care about their users and stand up for the technical excellence of their foundations’ activities.

  • Why Using Open Source Software Helps Companies Stay Flexible and Innovate

    Companies that use Open Source Software (OSS) find that it offers the most flexibility of any third-party software alternative. You are, for example, never locked into a vendor, their costs, their buying structures, or their re-distribution terms. Open Source enables vendor independence.

    In addition, using OSS speeds development, lowers costs, and keeps companies on the cutting edge of technology by facilitating innovation. Open source communities provide a low-cost medium for incubation and testing of new capabilities. While open source ecosystems direct ownership and accountability back to the development teams.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Microsoft’s browsers are shedding users as they jump to Chrome [Ed: And Net Applications is Microsoft-connected, too]

        If you’ve jumped from using a Microsoft browser to Chrome in the last couple years, you’re far from alone. People are deserting built-in browsers at record rates, and Microsoft is taking the brunt of the damage, according to analytics firm Net Applications.

    • Mozilla

      • A $2 Million Prize for Building a More Accessible Internet

        The Internet can help a young girl in Chicago’s South Side learn how to write JavaScript. It can also keep citizens connected during a time of crisis or disaster.

        But only if the Internet works as intended.

        The Internet should be a public resource open and accessible to all. And, it is to many. But many people still lack reliable, affordable Internet access. And the underlying network itself is increasingly centralized, relying on infrastructure provided by a tiny handful of companies. We don’t have a failsafe if the infrastructure these companies offer is blocked or goes down.

        These are significant issues. Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are committed to finding solutions by supporting bright people and big ideas across the U.S.

      • Firefox 52: Introducing Web Assembly, CSS Grid and the Grid Inspector

        It is definitely an exciting time in the evolution of the web with the adoption of new standards, performance gains, better features for designers, and new tooling. Firefox 52 represents the fruition of a number of features that have been in progress for several years. While many of these will continue to evolve and improve, there’s plenty to celebrate in today’s release of Firefox.

      • Firefox 52 Released With WebAssembly Support, Security Fixes, CSS Grid

        Mozilla has rolled out Firefox 52.0 as the latest version of their open-source, cross-platform web browser.

      • Lots new in Firefox, including “game-changing” support for WebAssembly

        Today’s release of Firefox introduces great new features, making the browser more powerful, convenient, and secure across all your devices.

      • Firefox 52 Released With WebAssembly Support, Removes NPAPI Plugins Other Than Flash (Java, Silverlight)

        Firefox 52 was released today and it includes two major changes: support for WebAssembly and the removal of support for NPAPI (Netscape Plugin API) plugins like Silverlight, Java, and others, with the exception of Flash.

      • Mozilla Firefox 52.0 Lands in All Supported Ubuntu Linux OSes, Update Now

        Canonical announced a few moments ago that the recently released Mozilla Firefox 52.0 web browser landed in the stable software repositories of all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems.

      • Final Firefox version with Windows XP, plugin support released today
      • Firefox 52 Brings WebAssembly and Security fixes

        Mozilla patches Firefox for 28 different vulnerabilities, with seven rated as having critical impact.

        Mozilla released Firefox 52 on March 7, providing users of the open-source web browser with new features as well well as patches for 28 security vulnerabilities. The Firefox 52 release is the second major milestone release of Firefox in 2017 so far, following the Firefox 51 milestone that debuted on Jan. 24.

      • Firefox 52 Released with WebAssembly Support, Enhanced Sync

        Mozilla Firefox 52 has been released and is now available to download. Among new features in Firefox 52 is support for WebAssembly. Mozilla describes this as “an emerging standard that brings near-native performance to Web-based games, apps, and software libraries without the use of plugins.”

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Understanding the Economics of OpenStack

      As anyone involved with managing an OpenStack deployment quickly learns, cost savings and elimination of time-consuming tasks are among the biggest benefits that the cloud platform provides. However, leaders at many OpenStack-focused organizations, including Canonical, believe that the business technology arena is under such tremendous pressure to keep up as Software-as-a-Service, containers, and cloud platforms proliferate, that the true economics of OpenStack are misunderstood. Simply put, a lot of people involved with OpenStack don’t fully understand what they can get out of the platform and the ecosystem of tools surrounding it.

    • Working for a mission, not a boss

      I had a brilliant opportunity to interview Suresh V. Shankar, founder of Crayon, at Slush Singapore 2016. At the conference, he spoke about his experience—and the difficulties he faced—as an entrepreneur. He also talked about how he overcame them.

  • CMS

    • Next version of Joinup in DrupalCamp Transylvania

      The ongoing software development for the next version of Joinup, the European Commission’s digital government collaboration platform, is one of the key presentations at DrupalCamp Transylvania, which takes place from 31 March to 2 April in Tîrgu Mureș (Romania). The talk will focus on the new semantic database storage solution for the next Joinup version.

  • Education

    • German schools turn to open source cloud eLearning

      Schools and vocational colleges in Cologne, Aachen, Essen and other towns are using open source-based cloud eLearning and collaboration software. The cloud service, Ucloud4schools, is based on the NextCloud open source cloud services solution.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software Directory meeting recap for March 3rd, 2017

      This week we returned to clearing the backlog of approved entries. During the meeting we were joined by a developer looking to discuss the licensing of their software developed under contract with an institution of higher learning. The issue of license compatibility came up and we talked about how GPLv2 or later can upgrade to GPLv3. All the while we plugged away at the backlog getting it to drop somewhat over the course of the meeting.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Albanian open source advocates target elections

      Free and open source software advocates in Albania are going to ask candidates in the June parliamentary elections about their plans for free software. The campaign will be kicked off by Open Labs later this month. The free software advocacy group will aggregate questions and answers on their campaign website.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Establishing a Clean Software Baseline for Open Source License Compliance

      One of a company’s first challenges when starting an open source compliance program is to find exactly which open source software is already in use and under which licenses it is available.

      This initial auditing process is often described as establishing a clean compliance baseline for your product or software portfolio. This is an intensive activity over a period of time that can extend for months, depending on how soon you started the compliance activities in parallel to the development activities.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Build a smart garden with these 3 DIY Arduino projects

        With warmer weather around the corner here in the US, it’s time for gardeners to start making plans for spring and summer. For the more technically minded among us, it’s also a good time to start working on DIY projects that can keep things running smoothly. As it turns out, projects based around the Arduino open hardware development board are an excellent place to start. In this article, I’ve rounded up three cool Arduino-based projects that take your garden to the next level.

  • Programming/Development

    • RVowpalWabbit 0.0.9

      The RVowpalWabbit package update is the third of four upgrades requested by CRAN, following RcppSMC 0.1.5 and RcppGSL 0.3.2.

    • RProtoBuf 0.4.9

      RProtoBuf provides R bindings for the Google Protocol Buffers (“Protobuf”) data encoding and serialization library used and released by Google, and deployed as a language and operating-system agnostic protocol by numerous projects.

Leftovers

  • The Problem with “Content”

    Back in the early ’00s, John Perry Barlow said “I didn’t start hearing about ‘content’ until the container business felt threatened.” Linux Journal was one of those containers—so was every other magazine, newspaper and broadcast station. Today, those containers are bobbing around in an ocean of “content” on the internet. Worse, the stuff inside the containers, which we used to call “editorial”, is now a breed of “content” too.

    In the old days, editorial lived on one side of a “Chinese wall” between itself and the publishing side of a newspaper or magazine. The same went for the programming and advertising sides of a commercial broadcast station or network. The wall was transparent, meaning it was possible for a writer, a photographer, a newscaster or a performing artist to see what funded the operation, but the ethical thing was to ignore what happened on the other side of that wall. Which was easy to do, because everything on the other side of that wall was somebody else’s job.

    Today that wall has been destroyed by the imperatives of “content production”, which is the new job of journalists and everybody else devoted to “generating content” in maximum volumes, all the better to attract “programmatic” advertising.

  • Take a Look at Bluetooth 5
  • Hardware

    • Patriot Torch: Trying A $30 SSD On Linux

      Recently I ran out of spare SSDs and needed one for one of my test systems where the I/O storage capacity or performance wasn’t important, so I decided to try out the Patriot Torch 60GB SSD that can be had for about $33 USD.

      The Patriot Torch 60GB SATA 3.0 SSD has a Phison SSD controller with 16nm MLC NAND flash memory.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Put down the coffee, stop slacking your app chaps or whatever – and patch WordPress

      The 4.7.3 update comes just days after WordPress admins were alerted to a separate security crisis in NextGEN Gallery, a WordPress plugin vulnerable to SQL injection attacks.

    • WordPress 4.7.3 Updates for Six Security Issues

      The open-source WordPress blogging and content management system fixes six vulnerabilities, including three Cross Site Scripting flaws.

      The open-source WordPress blogging and content management system (CMS) released a new incremental version on March 6, providing users with six new security patches and 39 bug fixes. The new WordPress 4.7.3 update is the third security update for WordPress so far in 2017, following the 4.7.2 update on Jan. 26 and the 4.7.1 update on Jan. 12.

    • New Stable CloudLinux 7 Kernel Update Released to Patch Multiple Security Issues

      CloudLinux’s Mykola Naugolnyi announced today, March 7, 2017, the immediate availability of a new stable kernel update for the CloudLinux 7 operating system series.

      The updated CloudLinux 7 kernel was bumped to version 3.10.0-427.36.1.lve1.4.39 and is here to address a bunch of security vulnerabilities discovered recently. First of all, you should know that this new kernel replaces the 3.10.0-427.18.2.lve1.4.38 build that many of you have installed, and can be downloaded from CloudLinux’s stable repository.

    • Frankfurt used as remote hacking base for the CIA: WikiLeaks

      WikiLeaks documents reveal CIA agents were given cover identities and diplomatic passports to enter the country. The base was used to develop hacking tools as part of the CIA’s massive digital arsenal.

    • Wikileaks reveals how CIA is targeting your iPhone, Android, and smart TV

      Wikileaks just dropped a massive collection of information detailing how the US government is attacking the devices that many of us use every single day in an effort to gain intel for its own purposes. Tactics for breaching iPhones, iPads, Android devices, PCs, routers, and even smart TVs are included in the leak, which has some serious privacy and security implications if even a fraction of it proves to be accurate.

    • WikiLeaks publishes massive trove of CIA spying files in ‘Vault 7′ release

      WikiLeaks has published a huge trove of what appear to be CIA spying secrets.

      The files are the most comprehensive release of US spying files ever made public, according to Julian Assange. In all, there are 8,761 documents that account for “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA”, Mr Assange claimed in a release, and the trove is just the first of a series of “Vault 7″ leaks.

      Already, the files include far more pages than the Snowden files that exposed the vast hacking power of the NSA and other agencies.

    • Wikileaks posts alleged trove of CIA hacking tools
    • WikiLeaks’ CIA document dump shows agency can compromise Android, TVs

      WikiLeaks has released more than 8,700 documents it says come from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, with some of the leaks saying the agency had 24 “weaponized” and previously undisclosed exploits for the Android operating system as of 2016.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed

      Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7″ by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.

      The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.

      Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Automated platform filtering: La Quadrature sends its arguments to MEPs

      The draft of the new European copyright directive has been presented in september 2016. For now, the work in progress in the european Parliament and mobilisations by concerned people and organisations are multiplying. People pay great attention to the two articles that La Quadrature du Net pointed in september : Article 11 about ancillary copyright for press publishers, and Article 13 about the use of effective content recognition technologies for content platforms.
      La Quadrature du Net publishes today its positions about Article 13, that have been fed by discussions and workshops with creators, legal experts and more globally with common users of digital culture. These positions are also send to the Members of the European Parliament to feed the work done in the Committees. The preliminary work carried out by the European Parliament Committtees show that, contrary to what one might think, nothing is locked and many subjects remain open in the copyright dossier. Articles 11 and 13 are subject to various discussions and some proposals by MEPs show that they pay attention to the evolution of use.

    • China’s film censorship paradox: restricted content, unrestricted access
    • China’s New Film Ratings Don’t Cut Out the Censors
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Revelations Illustrate Aggressive CIA Hacking, Sloppy Security Of Smart Services

      Thought about buying a smart phone, smart TV, smart car? – think twice. Wikileaks today (7 March) released over 8,000 documents illustrating hacking activities of the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA. In what has been described by some commentators as a bigger leak than the Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency in 2013, the whistleblower platform allowed a glimpse into the CIA hacking into smart TVs and smartphones and presented a list of zero day vulnerabilities found, bought and sometimes shared with colleagues in other agencies, including British colleagues. Wikileaks announced that today’s leak was the “Year Zero” tranche of the much bigger “Vault 7” project: more redacted details from the documents and much more documents will be published.

    • German Judge Fines Father Because He Didn’t Tell His Kid Not To Engage In Piracy

      Time for German parents to have “The Talk” with their kids. Unprotected sexual activity is probably fine. But casual seeding? That’s a problem.

      TorrentFreak reports that a German court has decided to hold a parent responsible for his child’s infringing activity. This doesn’t have much to do with the rightsholder being unable to extract fines from a minor, but rather a perceived parenting failure.

    • CIA Leak Shows Mobile Phones Vulnerable, Not Encryption

      But the details don’t seem to show that those apps are compromised, so much as that Android and iOS devices are compromised. It’s always been true that if someone can get into your phone, the encryption scheme you use doesn’t matter, because they can just pull keystrokes or grab data before you encrypt it — in the same way that someone looking over your shoulder can read your messages as well. That’s not a fault of the encryption or the app, but of the environment in which you’re using the app itself.

    • Vizio Fails To Dodge Class Action Over Its Spying ‘Smart’ Televisions

      So if you hadn’t been paying attention, most of the “smart” products you buy are anything but intelligent when it comes to your privacy and security. Whether it’s your refrigerator leaking your gmail credentials or your new webcam being hacked in minutes for use in massive new DDoS attacks, the so-called “smart” home is actually quite idiotic. So-called smart-televisions have been particularly problematic, whether that has involved companies failing to encrypt sensitive data, to removing features if you refuse to have your daily viewing habits measured and monetized.

      Last month Vizio joined this not-so-distinguished club when it was discovered that the company’s TVs had been spying on users for the last several years. Vizio’s $2.2 million settlement with the FTC indicates that the company at no time thought it might be a good idea to inform customers this was happening. The snooping was part of a supposed “Smart Interactivity” feature deployed in 2014 that claimed to provide users with programming recommendations, but never actually did so. In short, it wasn’t so much what Vizio was doing, it was the fact the company tried to bullshit its way around it.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Body Cameras Used By UK Local Government To Catch People Dropping Litter And Walking Dogs

      We’ve just written about the use of body cameras in UK schools. One reason these trials are taking place is probably because the technology is now relatively cheap, which lowers previous barriers to deploying it. So it should perhaps come as no surprise to learn from a new report from Big Brother Watch that body cameras are also widely used by UK local government departments (pdf).

  • DRM

    • Industry, and Apple, opposing “right to repair” laws

      Ahead of a 2010 decision by federal regulators to legalize mobile phone jailbreaking, Apple had cautioned US Copyright Office officials that doing so would have “potentially catastrophic” (PDF) consequences because hackers wielding jailbroken iPhones might take down the nation’s mobile phone networks.

    • Canadian Court Chips Away At Anti-Circumvention Exceptions In Massive Win For Nintendo

      The first major ruling [PDF] by a Canadian court applying the country’s anti-circumvention laws has been handed down and it’s not good news. The law provides for a few exceptions to its broad restrictions on bypassing technological protection mechanisms (TPMs), but as the court sees it, any anti-circumvention process that might lead to infringement violates the statute.

      Not that the courts have done a great job interpreting the law to this point. In 2015, a Canadian judge ruled that simply asking for a copy of a paywalled article was illegal circumvention. The lawsuit at hand — reported by Michael Geist — isn’t a great test case for exploring the outer limits of the anti-circumvention law. But the conclusions reached have severely negative implications for others not quite so entangled in facilitating infringement.

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