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Links 5/5/2017: Nvidia 375.66 Linux Driver, GStreamer 1.12, KDE’s 2016 Report

Posted in News Roundup at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • In the Depths of the Cloud, Open Source and Proprietary Leviathans Fight to the Death

    When I look at the computers used by the enterprise open source people, I see a lot of Mac screens, with only a scattering of Linux and…. what’s that other operating system? Oh, right. Windows. Yep, It’s still out there, and there are people using it to develop enterprise-level open source applications.

    And here’s question number two, which I’ll leave up to you to answer: Are Red Hat and The Linux Foundation doing the right thing by concentrating on Linux in the enterprise or are they abandoning their traditional user base and strongest supporters, a move that will spell eventual doom for them?

  • Verizon Open Source White Box ‘Coming Soon,’ VP Says

    Hakl would not disclose which vendors’ technologies would be included but said it will be a “mix of traditional and non-traditional suppliers.”

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • The evolution of OpenStack

      Mark Collier has been involved with OpenStack since the beginning, first at Rackspace where the project emerged as a joint partnership with NASA, and soon after as a co-founder and now Chief Operating Officer of the OpenStack Foundation.

      I had the opportunity to speak with Mark a few weeks ago to hear more about what we can expect as OpenStack continues to evolve: from how it is developed, to what it can do, to how it is used. Here’s what he shared with me.

    • Dell EMC targets telecom market with OpenStack solutions for scaling applications

      Dell’s acquisition of EMC may have jump-started the hardware titan’s enterprise cloud efforts, but it was open source development platforms that helped pave Dell’s path to customers in new markets, including telecommunications. Many of Dell’s customers were vocal about wanting some sort of open-source cloud platform on which to build those enterprise solutions, said Armughan Ahmad (pictured), senior vice president and general manager of solutions and alliances at Dell EMC.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Making open source pay

      Often the discussion around open source veers towards issues around quality control, but the discussion at the roundtable is clear that the issue with software of any kind is less around the software itself than the checks and balances put in place by the vendors concerned.

      Lee comments that inside SUSE, there are rigourous checks and balances before any software makes it out the doors. This is backed up by Fischer, who comments that no CIO would allow software to be deployed without it meeting the required risk and compliance criteria.

    • Exciting GSoC 2017 Projects: Vulkan Software Renderer, Kodi On Wayland, Much More
  • BSD

    • pfSense 2.3.4 RELEASE Now Available!

      We are happy to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.3.4!

      This is a maintenance release in the 2.3.x series, bringing stability and bug fixes, fixes for a few security issues, and a handful of new features. The full list of changes is on the 2.3.4 New Features and Changes page, including a list of FreeBSD and internal security advisories addressed by this release.

      This release includes fixes for 24 bugs and 11 Features.

    • Quassel with SSL and private CA on FreeBSD

      I spent some time improving the state of encyption on my domains (i.e. finally setting up https), and while I was at it, figured that I would switch from ssh+screen+irssi to Quassel. The FreeBSD packages for Quassel support SSL (TLS) by default, and there’s some brief instructions for setting that up as part of the pkg-message. However, I have a slightly different setup: for my in-house network, I have my own little root CA for my SSL certificates, and I wanted to use that. So for my quasselcore running on quassel.local.net, I wanted to have a certificate issued for that host, and used by quasselcore.


    • Intel’s Clear Linux Switches Over To GCC 7 Compiler

      Just two days ago GCC 7.1 was released as the first stable release of GCC 7 as the annual update to this GNU code compiler. If you are looking for a Linux rolling-release distribution already using GCC 7 by default, Intel’s open-source Clear Linux appears to be one of the first.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Locked in by choice: why the city of Rome is championing open source software

      Five years after the European Union adopted a policy designed to free public bodies in Europe from proprietary software, government authorities across Europe are deeply dependent on Microsoft software and services.

      However, some government agencies have managed to migrate to open source alternatives. Their projects are often difficult, temporary, and, carried out under the radar, in an attempt to escape lobbying both from Microsoft and other parts of government.

      Rome is one of Europe’s cities advocating open source as a better alternative to Microsoft. City councilor, Flavia Marzano, argues that open source should start on the desktop with open source alternatives to Microsoft Office.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Court Upholds Enforceability of Open Source Licenses

      The District Court for the Northern District of California recently issued an opinion that is being hailed as a victory for open source software. In this case, the court denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging violation of an open source software license, paving the way for further action enforcing the conditions of the GNU General Public License (“GPL”).

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • 3 big open data trends in the United States

        The open data community got a surprising piece of news when the Trump Administration recently announced that it would no longer be supporting the Open.whitehouse.gov’s Open Data portal. (Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely viewable and usuable without controls.) Their argument is that the information is duplicative and is either already available online or will soon be made available elsewhere.

        The administration also has no plans to continue the practice of making White House visitor logs available to the greater public, a procedure began by the Obama administration. Those records will be kept private for at least five years after Trump leaves office.

  • Programming/Development


  • Twitter Down: Website and App Not Working as Social Network Topples Over

    The problems come amid the UK’s local election and the aftermath of the Republican’s healthcare vote, among other news events.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • India’s Silicon Valley Is Dying of Thirst. Your City May Be Next

      Bangalore has a problem: It is running out of water, fast. Cities all over the world, from those in the American West to nearly every major Indian metropolis, have been struggling with drought and water deficits in recent years. But Banga­lore is an extreme case. Last summer, a professor from the Indian Institute of Science declared that the city will be unlivable by 2020. He later backed off his prediction of the exact time of death—but even so, says P. N. Ravindra, an official at the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, “the projections are relatively correct. Our groundwater levels are approaching zero.”

    • Judge rejects religious claim in genital cutting case; locks up couple

      Woodward argued that the defendants knew they were engaging in illegal activity, and did it anyway for years, starting as early as 2005. And they went to great lengths to cover up what they did, she said.

    • WHO Members Urged To Support Resolution Delinking Cancer Drug Prices From R&D Costs [Ed: This should say patents and not R&D, which is just a stupid euphemism unhinged from the reality]

      A group of civil society organisations and health experts have sent a letter to delegates to this month’s annual World Health Assembly urging support for a study on the delinkage of the costs of research and development from the prices of cancer medicines. Member states reportedly met on the issue today and are still undecided.

    • WHO Project To Prequalify Biosimilar Cancer Medicines Aims At Increased Affordability

      The World Health Organization announced today that it will launch a pilot project in 2017 for prequalifying cancer biosimilar medicines, with the intent of lowering prices on some of the most expensive cancer treatments.

      Biosimilars are medicines very similar to the original biotherapeutics, which are pharmaceutical products derived from biological and living sources. They are often “speciality drugs,” highly effective in treating medical conditions for which no other treatments are available, in particular cancer, and chronic diseases such as diabetes. However those medicines are also highly priced, according to the WHO.

    • The “pro-life” party has become the party of death: New research on why Republicans hate poor and sick people

      On Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives will attempt to force through a health care “reform” bill that is likely to leave millions of Americans without health insurance, especially those who suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It has been estimated that if the Republican Party is successful in eliminating the Affordable Care Act that at least 43,000 Americans a year will die from lack of adequate health care.

    • These are all the people the Republican health care bill will hurt

      The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that 24 million people would lose health insurance if the AHCA were to pass, and the changes made to the bill in the ensuing two months have only made it less generous and more likely to jeopardize coverage. And because the bill substantially weakens regulations for both individual and employer plans, millions of people who still get insurance will see the extent of their coverage shrink, and see themselves forced to pay out of pocket for expensive procedures that would otherwise be covered.

  • Security

    • Taming the Open Source Beast With an Effective Application Security Testing Program
    • TLS/SSL Explained: TLS/SSL Terminology and Basics

      In Part 1 this series we asked, What is TLS/SSL? In this part in the series, we will be describing some of the TLS/SSL terminologies.

      Before diving deeper into TLS, let’s first have a look at the very basics of SSL/TLS. Understanding the following will help you gain a better understanding of the topics discussed and analyzed later on.

    • Google Docs users hit by phishing scam
    • Google Was Warned About This Week’s Mass Phishing Email Attack Six Years Ago

      For almost six years, Google knew about the exact technique that someone used to trick around one million people into giving away access to their Google accounts to hackers on Wednesday. Even more worrisome: other hackers might have known about this technique as well.

    • Mobile phone security’s been busted for years, and now 2-factor auth is busted too [iophk: "now we are reminded that a phone never was a second authentication factor"]

      SS7 is now confirmed to be exploited in the wild, with crooks taking big scores through it.

    • We Were Warned About Flaws in the Mobile Data Backbone for Years. Now 2FA Is Screwed.

      But on Wednesday, German newspaper The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that financially-motivated hackers {sic} had used those flaws to help drain bank accounts.

    • Mac malware: Coming soon to a computer near you

      In fact, the number of malware attacks on Apple’s operating system skyrocketed by 744 percent in 2016. Despite this, most people still believe that Macs don’t get viruses. Add to this the fact that, despite the seeming ubiquity of Apple’s products, the company’s user base is still growing. There are nearly 100 million Apple users worldwide, myself included.

    • IT meltdown forces Barts Health NHS Trust to cancel hundreds of appointments

      Earlier thsi year, Barts Health admitted that it has fallen victim to a “ransomware virus attack,” likely because it’s PCs are still running Microsoft’s now-defunct Windows [...]

    • CII Project Advances Linux Kernel Security as Firm Ends Free Patches

      There has been some public discussion in the last week regarding the decision by Open Source Security Inc. and the creators of the Grsecurity® patches for the Linux kernel to cease making these patches freely available to users who are not paid subscribers to their service. While we at the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) would have preferred them to keep these patches freely available, the decision is absolutely theirs to make.

      From the point of view of the CII, we would much rather have security capabilities such as those offered by Grsecurity® in the main upstream kernel rather than available as a patch that needs to be applied by the user. That said, we fully understand that there is a lot of work involved in upstreaming extensive patches such as these and we will not criticise the Grsecurity® team for not doing so. Instead we will continue to support work to make the kernel as secure as possible.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Uzbekistan says uncovering militants daily among returning migrants

      Uzbekistan’s police routinely uncover militant Islamists among Uzbek migrants returning home and plan to expose those who remain abroad via social networks, Interior Minister Abdusalom Azizov said on Tuesday.

    • Afghanistan Video Game: You Win with ‘Hearts and Minds’ Points (Seriously)

      I suppose it had to come to this, perhaps the intersection of absurdity and unreality expressed through a video game as the only true way to capture the essence of America’s 15 year+ was in Afghanistan.

      I must stress this is a real game. It is not satire or a joke. The game plays you in the role of supreme commander of everything U.S. in Afghanistan and requires you to democratize the country. You do this by bombing the sh*t out of stuff, meeting with elders, pulling out “intelligence” and reconstruction cards, and accomplishing tasks like bringing fresh water to some village to pull it away from Taliban control. There are also drones you control, lots of drones.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Laura Poitras: The Many Contradictions of Julian Assange

      The new film by Laura Poitras, Risk, profiles Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.

    • You Can Be a Feminist and Support Julian Assange

      In an interview with Newsweek publicizing her new film Risk—which concerns Julian Assange and WikiLeaks—Laura Poitras explained that after opening the documentary at the Cannes Film Festival last year, she had re-edited it to look at the “culture of sexism that exists not only within the hacker community but in other communities.”

      Although I am a member of Assange’s legal team, Poitras’ lawyers declined to permit any of us to view the reviewed version of the film, so I cannot comment on whether she accomplished her aims.

    • Archimedes

      Today, May 5th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes “Archimedes”, a tool used by the CIA to attack a computer inside a Local Area Network (LAN), usually used in offices. It allows the re-directing of traffic from the target computer inside the LAN through a computer infected with this malware and controlled by the CIA. This technique is used by the CIA to redirect the target’s computers web browser to an exploitation server while appearing as a normal browsing session.

  • Finance

    • Flint puts 8,000 people on notice for tax liens for unpaid water bills

      Thousands of people in Flint are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure if they don’t pay up on their water bills. After recently putting out shut-off notices the city is now back to threatening tax liens on people’s homes.

      “I got scared, for probably the first time since this all started this actually scared me,” said Melissa Mays, who is a mother and water activist who lives in Flint.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Vatican in first foreign trip
    • What Will Kill Neoliberalism?

      So what will bring about the end of neoliberalism—the left? the right? the incompetence of the professional political class?—and, when it’s gone, what will replace it? We asked five of our favorite minds for their views on the direction we urgently need to go next.

    • Another Trump conflict of interest

      President Trump invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. Besides the fact that Duterte is known for unleashing a campaign of extrajudicial killings of drug traffickers and users, he also named the Trump Organization’s partner in its Manila real-estate property his top trade envoy.

    • Theresa May Goes the Full Farage

      Theresa May’s breathtaking claim that the EU is interfering in the general election has moved the Brexit negotiations to a whole new level of confrontation. Those who think that international negotiations on future trade relations are best conducted in an atmosphere of extreme mutual hostility, are nonsensical.

      Good deals come from good relationships.

      It is also extraordinary that May appears to be staking out her appeal exclusively on UKIP territory. I am quite sure she is following her own, natural, very right wing instincts. But by taking this aggressively right wing position, she is opening up a flank to the Liberal Democrats and severely endangering her prospects in Scotland, where UKIP never achieved anything like the traction it did in England. She also seems to be calculating that the ordinary Brexit voters take an extreme view and would welcome an absolute dust-up with the EU, irrespective of its long term effects on the UK.


      Finally, she claims that all this has been timed to affect the result of the general election. That is the weirdest claim of all.

      The Downing St dinner at which May made a fool of herself was an initiative by May. She issued the invitation and she dictated the timing. It was not vicious foreign enemies who are all out to get her. She may be forgiven for being aggrieved that the poor opinions of her were leaked to the press. But anyone who knows anything about the EU knows that everything leaks, all the time. In general it is a very open institution. The Commission has in any case to report progress in the negotiations regularly to the European Parliament.

    • Hamilton Says: Trump’s State Department is an Agency Without Agency

      It hasn’t been a good 100 days for the U.S. Department of State. Like the musical Hamilton’s orphaned title character, called out in song for being a “Founding Father without a father,” State is now something of an agency without agency.

      Not much of substance seems to be happening at Foggy Bottom. America’s top-level foreign policy tasks remain, but someone else – Jared Kushner? H.R. McMaster? – is tending to many of them. The bad news includes President Donald Trump’s hope of slashing State’s budget, with no sign of objection from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Half the positions in the agency’s organizational chart are vacant or occupied by acting officials.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Leaked: The UK’s secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

      The UK government has secretly drawn up more details of its new bulk surveillance powers – awarding itself the ability to monitor Brits’ live communications, and insert encryption backdoors by the backdoor.

      In its draft technical capability notices paper [PDF], all communications companies – including phone networks and ISPs – will be obliged to provide real-time access to the full content of any named individual within one working day, as well as any “secondary data” relating to that person.

      That includes encrypted content – which means that UK organizations will not be allowed to introduce true end-to-end encryption of their users’ data but will be legally required to introduce a backdoor to their systems so the authorities can read any and all communications.

      In addition, comms providers will be required to make bulk surveillance possible by introducing systems that can provide real-time interception of 1 in 10,000 of its customers. Or in other words, the UK government will be able to simultaneously spy on 6,500 folks in Blighty at any given moment.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality views by mid-July, spectrum pricing by December: Trai’s Sharma

      The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will come out with its recommendations on net neutrality by the first half of July and on spectrum pricing for auctions, by December.

    • Now that HTTPS is almost everywhere, what about IPv6?

      Let’s Encrypt launched April 12, 2016 with the intent to support and encourage sites to enable HTTPS everywhere (sometimes referred to as SSL everywhere even though the web is steadily moving toward TLS as the preferred protocol). As of the end of February 2017, EFF (who launched the effort) estimates that half the web is now encrypted. Now certainly not all of that is attributable to EFF and Let’s Encrypt. After all, I have data from well before that date that indicates a majority of F5 customers enabled HTTPS on client-facing services, in the 70% range. So clearly folks were supporting HTTPS before EFF launched its efforts, but given the significant number of certificates* it has issued the effort is not without measurable success.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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  6. China Has Become Very Aggressive With Patents

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  7. UPC/Battistelli Booster IAM Blames Brexit Rather Than EPO Abuses

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  8. European Commission Again Urged to Tackle Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

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  11. PTAB Hatred is So Intense Among the Patent 'Industry' That Even Scammers Are Hailed as Champions If They Target PTAB

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  14. Luxembourg Can Become a Hub of Patent Trolls If the EPO Carries on With Its 'Reforms', Even Without the UPC

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  15. The Patent 'Printing Machine' of the EPO Will Spawn Many Lawsuits and Extortions (Threats of Lawsuits), in Effect Taxing Europe

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