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04.19.17

Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 Open Source companies to watch in 2017

    As if getting venture funding themselves isn’t exciting enough for open source-oriented startups, seeing an open source-focused company like Deis get snapped up by Microsoft must be a thrill as well.

    While it would be more thrilling, perhaps, if Microsoft disclosed how much it paid, I’m sure those in the startup world and their backers have ways of finding out that information. Not that the acquisition path is necessarily the exit route that all of these startups envision for themselves, but such money can obviously talk.

  • Open source telco projects will struggle to gain traction until 5G matures

    Large-scale telco cloud deployments will reach global critical mass after 2020, in parallel with the deployment for 5G, according to a new study from ABI Research. Such massive deployments will likely require the new core network currently being architected by 3GPP to allow for advanced concepts, including network slicing and services geared toward different business verticals. The research firm adds that early 5G deployments will likely focus on enhanced mobile broadband, during which time there will not be an immediate need for a new telco core.

  • 3 things community managers can learn from the 50 state strategy

    There are a lot of parallels between the world of politics and open source development. Open source community members can learn a lot about how political parties cultivate grass-roots support and local organizations, and empower those local organizations to keep people engaged. Between 2005 and 2009, Howard Dean was the chairman of the Democratic National Congress in the United States, and instituted what was known as the “50 state strategy” to grow the Democratic grass roots. That strategy, and what happened after it was changed, can teach community managers some valuable lessons about keeping community contributors. Here are three lessons community managers can learn from it.

  • Open source is changing the build or buy question
  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Partnerships and collaboration: the secret to big data innovation done better with open source software and Obsidian Systems

      The strength of open source software is the community that helps to develop it and the vendors that adopt it, and that’s just as true in the world of high-end enterprise solutions for real-time big data management as it is for traditional data warehousing and business intelligence. That’s why Obsidian Systems, South Africa’s leading open source software provider, has partnered with global leaders in the field to bring the benefits of live data capture and analytics to local companies with some of the most powerful and cost-effective platforms available.

      Obsidian has built a strong reputation for real-time analytics in finance, retail, mining and telecommunications. It’s done this by leveraging the capabilities of its key partners in the field, Hortonworks and Talend.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.4 Office Suite Enters Development, Slated for Release in Late July

      The Document Foundation, through Italo Vignoli, announced today, April 18, 2017, that the upcoming major update to the popular LibreOffice open-source office suite, versioned 5.4, has entered development.

      While the LibreOffice 5.4 release should hit the streets sometime at the end of July, the folks over at The Document Foundations already planned the first bug hunting session for the first Alpha build, which should happen next Friday, on April 28, 2017. During this session, the team plans to squash numerous bugs.

    • A Look At Some Of The Changes So Far For LibreOffice 5.4

      LibreOffice 5.4 is due out this summer as the next feature update to this open-source cross-platform office suite.

      Some of the changes queued so far for LibreOffice 5.4 include various Writer and Calc refinements, improved importing of EMF+ vector images, integration of pdfium for rendering inserted PDF images, Notebookbar improvements, a responsive design for the document iframe, some performance improvements, localization enhancements, and more.

    • The felt dependency on Microsoft Outlook [iophk: "psychological addiction"]

      On 10th April an international journalist team around Harald Schumann of the German tagesspiegel published the results of researches they did over several months about “Europe’s dire dependency on Microsoft“. The article mainly focuses on LibreOffice as an alternative to Microsoft Office. I can only underline all of the explanations, experiences and facts described in this article from my eleven years of experience in the OpenSource groupware scene.

    • [Old] The Problem Isn’t Email, It’s Microsoft Exchange

      If your email experience is via Exchange and Outlook, the net effect is both time consuming and disruptive.

    • iWork and iLife apps are now free for old and new Mac and iOS users [iophk: “No ODF support for the garbage

      Previously, users with old hardware had to pay for each app. Individual programs cost between $5 and $20 each

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • These New Yorkers Are Covering Advertisements with Art
  • The Building Shaker: a thumping gadget for annoying your noisy neighbors

    The Chinese media report on a man called Zhao from Xi’an who took revenge on his noisy upstairs neighbors whose boy wouldn’t stop jumping on his ceiling by buying a “building shaker” — a gadget that thumps your shared walls until your neighbors capitulate — and leaving it on while he went away for the weekend.

  • Science

    • Explained: Neural networks

      In the past 10 years, the best-performing artificial-intelligence systems — such as the speech recognizers on smartphones or Google’s latest automatic translator — have resulted from a technique called “deep learning.”

      Deep learning is in fact a new name for an approach to artificial intelligence called neural networks, which have been going in and out of fashion for more than 70 years. Neural networks were first proposed in 1944 by Warren McCullough and Walter Pitts, two University of Chicago researchers who moved to MIT in 1952 as founding members of what’s sometimes called the first cognitive science department.

    • Why Slashing the NIH Budget Is Indefensible

      We can’t afford to defund the vital efforts that could help solve some of our greatest challenges, from cancer to climate change.

  • Hardware

    • Chinese HDMI-to-SDI converters

      The last issue is by far the worst, but it only affects 3G-SDI resolutions. 720p60, 1080p30 and 1080i60 all work fine. And to be fair, not even Blackmagic’s own converters actually send 352M correctly most of the time…

      I wish there were a way I could publish this somewhere people would actually read it before buying these things, but without a name, it’s hard for people to find it. They’re great value for money, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for almost all use… but then, there’s that almost. :-)

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • History of Iran Covert Action Deferred Indefinitely

      A declassified U.S. Government documentary history of the momentous 1953 coup in Iran, in which Central Intelligence Agency personnel participated, had been the object of widespread demand from historians and others for decades. In recent years, it finally seemed to be on the verge of publication.

      But now its release has been postponed indefinitely.

      Last year, “the Department of State did not permit publication of the long-delayed Iran Retrospective volume because it judged the political environment too sensitive,” according to a new annual report from the State Department Historical Advisory Committee (HAC). “The HAC was severely disappointed.”

      “The HAC was unsuccessful in its efforts to meet with [then-]Secretary Kerry to discuss the volume, and now there is no timetable for its release,” the new report stated.

    • Julian Assange Tweets About Running in the UK Election

      The Brits are having an election on June 8th, as Prime Minister Theresa May looks to shore up support before things really get messy with Brexit. But an unlikely person has just floated the idea of running for British Parliament. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange just asked his followers on Twitter if he should run for election.

    • Hypocritical CIA Director Goes On Rant About Wikileaks, Free Speech

      The current administration is back to threatening free speech. On his way to being elected, Trump’s passion for bogus defamation suits led him to declare he would “open up” libel laws to make it easier for him to sue people for saying things he didn’t like.

      This continued after the election. Trump tweeted his opposition to “fake news,” calling out pretty much any major network that wasn’t Fox News and calling them “enemies of the people.” His new CIA director, Mike Pompeo, is similarly threatening the First Amendment. In his remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Pompeo went on a rant about Wikileaks — one no doubt motivated by the site’s recent data dumps on CIA computer exploits.

      [...]

      This is an interesting change of heart for Pompeo. Last year, when he was running for re-election in Kansas, he seemed pleased with Wikileaks and its ability to obtain damning documents.

    • Pompeo vs. WikiLeaks: It’s No Contest

      Last July, while stumping for then-candidate, now-president Donald Trump, US Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) gleefully referenced nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails released by the transparency/disclosure journalists at Wikileaks. “Need further proof that the fix was in from Pres. Obama on down?” Pompeo tweeted. The emails showed that DNC officials had worked overtime to rig their party’s primaries for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton and against challenger Bernie Sanders.

    • Intercepted podcast: Julian Assange speaks out as Trump’s CIA director threatens to “end” Wikileaks
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Denmark to contest UK efforts to ‘take back control’ of fisheries

      The British government’s plan to “take back control” of its waters after leaving the EU is about to be challenged by a claim from Denmark that its fishermen have a historical right to access to the seas around Britain dating back to the 1400s.

      Officials in Copenhagen have mined the archives to build a legal case that could potentially be fought in the international court of justice in The Hague, although officials hasten to say that this is not their intention.

      Denmark is seeking a Brexit deal that recognises the right of its fleet to continue to exploit a hundred shared stocks of species such as cod, herring, mackerel, plaice and sand eel.

  • Finance

    • It’s time to regulate the gig economy

      Over a century ago, labour laws began to be instituted in diverse countries throughout the world. These laws were intended to provide protection to workers in what was recognised as an unequal relationship of exchange, but it also gave authority to managers to organise and direct their employees’ work. While the world of work has changed since these initial labour regulations were instituted, the fundamental reasons for the existence of labour protections – to ensure safe and healthy workplaces, to give workers a voice, and to provide minimum protections with respect to working time and earnings – remain valid.

    • Why The Command-and-Control Mindset Is Killing Your Company

      The world has reached a key moment in the history of the way we work. We have entered a new business environment, dictated by rapid changing technological variables that create an entirely new economic landscape. Exponential growth of our interconnected world forces us to see the world anew. The 21st century asks for a different mindset now the rules of the game have fundamentally changed.

      In this game it is not anymore relevant to optimize an organization’s efficiency based on a stable set of known variables. Instead, there’s a strong need to adapt as fast as possible to increasingly complex working conditions. Efficiency has to make place for engagement and adaptability. The organizations that know how to fully engage their employees and those who are natives in this information-rich, densely interconnected world of the 21st century are the ones that thrive.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Poll: Bernie Sanders country’s most popular active politician

      Sanders is viewed favorably by 57 percent of registered voters, according to data from a Harvard-Harris survey provided exclusively to The Hill. Sanders is the only person in a field of 16 Trump administration officials or congressional leaders included in the survey who is viewed favorably by a majority of those polled.

    • Up In Arms in Jakarta

      His election victories have sparked a backlash. Since he ran for deputy-governor in 2012, hard-line Muslim organizations have argued that the Quran forbids Muslims from selecting non-Muslims as leaders, in an effort to attack the ambitious, highly popular pluralist politician.

    • ‘It’s performance art’: Lawyer for Alex Jones says InfoWars founder is ‘playing a character’

      The real Alex Jones is not his bombastic, conspiratorial InfoWars persona, his lawyer is hoping to convince a Texas jury in the radio host’s child-custody battle.

      That’s more or less what attorney Randall Wilhite told Texas District Judge Orlinda Naranjo, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Sunday.

      Wilhite told Naranjo that Jones’ public personality should not be considered as material in evaluating the InfoWars founder’s ability to be a father. Wilhite said doing so would be comparable to judging actor Jack Nicholson in such a custody battle based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”

      “He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”

      But Kelly Jones, the InfoWars host’s ex-wife who is seeking sole or joint custody of the couple’s three children in the case, testified that Jones’ InfoWars personality was indeed the real Jones.

      [...]

      Jones, with millions of followers, rose to new prominence during the 2016 election cycle after Donald Trump, then the Republican frontrunner, appeared on his broadcast in late 2015. Trump’s Democratic challenger in the election, Hillary Clinton, called Jones out in a speech she delivered in August that targeted Trump’s support from the so-called alt-right.

    • 7 takeaways on Britain’s snap election

      The most tumultuous period in post-war British history just got more tumultuous.

      Over the next seven weeks and two days, Theresa May will take on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the most consequential election of the last 30 years.

      On the ballot paper is Britain’s future outside the European Union.

      Standing outside Number 10, the prime minister framed the election as a choice between an orderly, clean Brexit under her leadership, or a half-hearted, chaotic version under the most radical Labour leader since the 1930s.

    • Lenin Again Wins Ecuador’s Presidential Race After Recount

      Despite the opposition alleging fraud in the presidential elections, they didn’t bother to send any delegates to observe the recount process.

      Ecuador’s National Electoral Council President Juan Pablo Pozo reported that Tuesday’s recount of the ballots that had inconsistencies during the April 2 presidential run-off election was completed, with Alianza Pais candidate Lenin Moreno again winning the vote.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook adds a login shortcut to other Android apps
    • NVIDIA and Facebook Team Up to Supercharge Caffe2 Deep Learning Framework
    • Caffe2: A New, Open-Source Deep Learning Framework From Facebook [Ed: Facebook is openwashing surveillance again; what do people think it's used for?]

      Facebook just announced Caffe2, a new deep learning framework developed in cooperation with NVIDIA and other vendors.

    • German Consumers Face $26,500 Fine If They Don’t Destroy Poorly-Secured ‘Smart’ Doll

      We’ve noted repeatedly how modern toys aren’t immune to the security and privacy dysfunction the internet-of-broken-things has become famous for. A new WiFi-enabled Barbie, for example, has come under fire for trivial security that lets the toy be modified for use as a surveillance tool. We’ve also increasingly noted how the data these toys collect isn’t secured particularly well either, as made evident by the Vtech incident, where hackers obtained the names, email addresses, passwords, and home addresses of 4,833,678 parents, and the first names, genders and birthdays of more than 200,000 kids.

    • Microsoft Latest Service Provider To Pry A National Security Letter Free From Its Gag Order [Ed: Show trials and publicity stunts are made for the media, for the most privacy-infringing companies (NSA PRISM also) to come across as heroes. PR stunt here. As Microsoft also secretly helps the NSA by inserting back doors into everything...]

      Microsoft is the latest to publish a National Security Letter, following Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Calyx, Cloudflare, and… the Internet Archive. Microsoft’s NSL [PDF] was issued by the FBI (of course) and demanded the usual subscriber info.

      In the post accompanying the disclosure, Microsoft points out the USA Freedom Act is the only reason it’s been able to release the NSL. This is one of the benefits of the recent law: a better, faster way to compel review of NSL gag orders, which used to take place almost never.

      In addition, Microsoft notes FISA orders are on the rise. Of course, its reporting is limited to useless “bands,” so the only thing that can definitely be determined is Microsoft’s FISA interactions have at least doubled.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Manual on protesting CIA drew the Agency’s ire

      A 1987 CIA memo shows that the Agency was not only deeply concerned about anti-CIA protests on college campuses in the United States, but held the protestors themselves in derision.

      While some of the protest tactics were described by the CIA as “so sophomoric that it’s depressing,” it should be noted that several years before these very tactics had been extremely effective – as a result of Yale and Harvard Law Schools’ questioning of the Agency’s (flagrantly homophobic) policies towards homosexuals, the Agency’s General Counsel had recommended cancelling the recruitment trips.

    • Judge: Doctor in alleged genital mutilation case a danger to public

      In a historic female genital mutilation case that has planted a bull’s-eye on what prosecutors are calling an “incredibly secretive” religious ritual, a federal magistrate on Monday denied bond to an Indian-Muslim doctor accused of mutilating the genitals of two Minnesota girls at a Livonia medical clinic.

  • DRM

    • Microsoft Follows Valve Down The Road Of Refunds On Digital Game Purchases [Ed: If you buy a boxed game at the store (as people did before), you have many rights, including the right of return. No EULAs. Rarely DRM.]

      With Steam’s policy for providing refunds on digital game purchases being roughly two years old, many people forget the context of the time when Valve began offering those refunds. It’s worth being reminded that at that time nobody in the neighborhood of the Steam client’s popularity was offering any real avenue for getting refunds on digital game purchases. Those that did mostly did so under the most restrictive conditions, with insane single-digit day windows in which a refund could be had, and only for certain reasons, of which the game being shitty was not included. Steam’s criteria was that you could request a refund during a two-week period for any reason, be it the game not living up to expectations, the gamer’s machine not being able to run it properly, or anything else. The other contextual aspect to keep in mind was that Steam had endured several weeks of absolutely brutal PR, with awful customer service ratings and the whole fiasco over its attempt at creating a paid-mod system.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Mac DeMarco Tells Fans to Grab Leaked Album From The Pirate Bay, Or Kazaa…

        Instead of complaining, he actively encouraged fans to download a free copy from The Pirate Bay, Soulseek, or even long defunct pirate classics such as Napster, Limewire, and Kazaa.

      • No, The Wall St. Bull Sculptor Doesn’t ‘Have A Point’

        Last week, we wrote twice about sculptor Arturo Di Modica and his claim that the “Fearless Girl” statue, that was placed last month in front of his “Charging Bull” statue, violates his rights. As we explained, in detail, he has almost no legal case here. His letter to New York City argues three possible claims of action — all of which would almost certainly be losers in court (as we detailed in that last post).

        However, I still have seen a bunch of people arguing in support of Di Modica, claiming that he “has a point.” Many have pointed to a blog post by Greg Fallis that is literally titled “Seriously, the guy has a point.” Others have raised other issues in discussions I’ve seen (and taken part in…) on Twitter and Facebook. I still don’t think he has any point at all, but I wanted to do a post addressing each of the key issues I’ve seen raised, and explaining why I think they fail as legitimate arguments.

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