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05.12.17

Links 12/5/2017: Wine 2.8, Kdenlive 17.04.1, NHS Windows Syndrome

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • CNCF Snares Four New Members for Open Source Container Orchestration

    The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) added four new members to its efforts to develop an open source-based container orchestration platform.

    The new members include Tencent Cloud, which joined as a “Gold” member; Mashape, which signed on as a “Silver” member; and Vevo and Zalando Technology, which both joined the organization as “End-User Supporters.”

  • Kubernetes: The smart person’s guide

    As containers have become more important to businesses across the globe, it was necessary to create a system that would allow containers to scale out to meet the needs of enterprise-level deployments. That’s where Kubernetes comes into play.

    Unlike Docker, Kubernetes is a very robust ecosystem. Instead of deploying a single container, Kubernetes enables you to deploy multiple containers to multiple hosts, making it ideal for larger deployments and load balancing.

  • How to do time series prediction using RNNs, TensorFlow and Cloud ML Engine

    The Estimators API in tf.contrib.learn (See tutorial here) is a very convenient way to get started using TensorFlow. The really cool thing from my perspective about the Estimators API is that using it is a very easy way to create distributed TensorFlow models. Many of the TensorFlow samples that you see floating around on the internets are not distributed — they assume that you will be running the code on a single machine. People start with such code and then are immeasurably saddened to learn that the low-level TensorFlow code doesn’t actually work on their complete dataset. They then have to do lots of work to add distributed training code around the original sample, and who wants to edit somebody else’s code?

  • TensorFlow: I want to like you, but you’re tricksy

    Occasionally a technology comes along that changes the way that people work. Docker has had a profound effect on how applications are deployed in the cloud, Hadoop changed how analysis of big data was done and the R language has disrupted the statistics market.

    And so to TensorFlow, which emerged from the Machine Learning team at the Google Brain project. Building on their experience of a system called DistBelief, TensorFlow is a second-generation framework for the implementation of machine learning at scale.

    Users described their ML models as dataflow graphs, combining a number of machine learning techniques into a single model. TensorFlow itself does nothing to reduce the learning curve found in ML (in fact it might make it steeper), but Google’s framework does enormously simplify the deployment of ML models. If you think of ML model construction as a data science then TensorFlow is a Data Engineering tool for deployment.

  • Events

    • X.Org Is Looking For An XDC2018 Host

      The X.Org Foundation is looking for interested individuals to offer bids for organizing the 2018 X.Org Developers’ Conference.

      The XDC2017 conference happening this September is taking place at the Googleplex in Mountain View and thus in the usual rotation, for the 2018 conference will ideally be trying to find a host in Europe.

    • New Continuous Development Course Now Available From The Linux Foundation
    • Webinar: Delivering the value of IoT in the retail industry

      IoT is being embraced by an increasingly diverse set of sectors and one which is reaping the benefits is the retail sector, specifically supermarkets and how they are using data in cold-chain (refrigeration) solutions. For this webinar, join Paul Edrich, CTO of IMS Evolve, who is helping major supermarket chains to manage billions of data points in real time to inform operational processes, reduce energy consumption and increase product quality.

    • Kamailio World and FSFE team visit, Tirana arrival

      This week I’ve been thrilled to be in Berlin for Kamailio World 2017, one of the highlights of the SIP, VoIP and telephony enthusiast’s calendar. It is an event that reaches far beyond Kamailio and is well attended by leaders of many of the well known free software projects in this space.

    • The Open Source Day 2017 conference coming on May 17th in Warsaw

      Nearly 1,000 attendees and several thousand viewers online participates in the annual Open Source Day conference. This Europe’s largest event dedicated to open technology has become a highlight among tech events in the country. The 10th anniversary edition will take place on May 17th at Marriott Hotel in Warsaw.

    • 6 days to SunCamp

      It will be a small event (about 20-25 people), with a more intimate atmosphere than DebConf. There will be people fixing RC bugs, preparing stuff for after the release, or just discussing with other Debian folks.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Why Quotas are Hard

      Lets say we allow the explicit allocation of quota from higher to lower. Does this mean that the parent project is reducing its own quota while creating an explicit quota for the lower project? Or does it mean that both quotas need to be enforced? If the quota for sales is set to 10, and the quota for the three node projects are all set to 10, is this legal or an error?

  • EEE

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GIMP 2.8.22 Open-Source Image Editor Fixes Ancient CVE Bug from 10 Years Ago

      GIMP, the open-source, free and multi-platform image editor software, was updated today to version 2.8.22, which appears to be a bugfix release in the stable 2.8 series of the project.

    • GNU OrgaDoc Aims To Make It Easy To Copy/Sync Documents Between Computers

      But will OrgaDoc serve much of a use in 2017 when for years most multi-computer individuals have probably been using Nextcloud/ownCloud, their own web/FTP servers, or proprietary services like Google Docs and Dropbox to manage files across computers? Do you plan to use OrgaDoc or how do you keep files synced across computers? What about using the Eiffel programming language today? Let us know your thoughts in the forums. Should you want to learn more about GNU OrgaDoc, see the project site.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • A federal court has ruled that an open-source license is an enforceable contract

      When the South Korean developer of a suite of productivity apps called Hancom Office incorporated an open-source PDF interpreter called Ghostscript into its word-processing software, it was supposed to do one of two things.

      To use Ghostscript for free, Hancom would have to adhere to its open-source license, the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GNU GPL requires that when you use GPL-licensed software to make some other software, the resulting software also has to be open-sourced with the same license if it’s released to the public. That means Hancom would have to open-source its entire suite of apps.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Why we need an open source approach to data management

      Open source communities that form around common challenges allow large groups of individuals to gain knowledge on really complicated aspects of their business and industry, expanding communal learning and continually advancing a topic along the way. Open sourcing a framework that enables data management and is supported by a community of information security professionals provides them with the tools and capabilities necessary in today’s cybersecurity environment, including:

  • Programming/Development

    • The curl user survey 2017

      If you use curl or libcurl, in any way, shape or form, please consider spending a few minutes of your precious time on this. Your input helps us understand where we are and in which direction we should go next.

Leftovers

  • You really should know what the Andrew File System is

    When I saw that the creators of the Andrew File System (AFS) had been named recipients of the $35K ACM Software System Award, I said to myself “That’s cool, I remember AFS from the days of companies like Sun Microsystems… just please don’t ask me to explain what the heck it is.”

    Don’t ask my colleagues either. A quick walking-around-the-office survey of a half dozen of them turned up mostly blank stares at the mention of the Andrew File System, a technology developed in the early 1980s and named after Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon. But as the Association for Computing Machinery’s award would indicate, AFS is indeed worth knowing about as a foundational technology that paved the way for widely used cloud computing techniques and applications.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Dakota Access pipeline leaks 84 gallons of crude oil before becoming fully operational
    • WHO, Stakeholders Take ‘First Step’ On Fair Pricing For Medicines

      The World Health Organization has concluded a major one-day forum on fair pricing of medicines, bringing a wide range of stakeholders together in Amsterdam and coming up with several possible actions for the way ahead. Key points of discussion included a definition of fair pricing, moving away from value-based pricing, delinkage of price from research and development costs, and greater transparency, according to participants.

    • WHO Touts Its Past Work On Improving Access To Medicines

      The World Health Organization today published an item entitled, Access to medicines: making market forces serve the poor, a chapter from its report ‘Ten years in public health 2007-2017’ of outgoing WHO Director General Margaret Chan.

      The chapter reveals that almost two billion people worldwide have no access to essential medicines, and says this lack of access to medicines is a complex problem that prevents better health. The chapter investigates the role of WHO in addressing the problem of access to safe, effective and quality-assured medicines.

    • Longest, Biggest World Health Assembly Ever Set To Open With Election, Budget Topping Agenda

      Timothy Armstrong, director of the WHO Department of Governing Bodies, gave an introduction to the WHA during a press briefing today, which ended up being largely focused on the election process and why Taiwan has not been invited this year, a first since 2009.

      [...]

      Also on the agenda are: the Global Vaccine Action Plan; the preparation for the third High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases to be held in 2018; WHO engagement with non-state actors; and a potential agreement on a resolution on cancer drug, in particular prices.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Weapons For Everybody Racket

      ​Yesterday, the topic of The Ron Paul Liberty Report program was “Arming The Kurds – A Dangerous Idea”. On the one hand, we have our NATO ally, Turkey, who we’re supposed to come to the defense of (unconstitutionally, of course). And on the other hand, there’s the Kurds, who have long been seeking autonomy from Turkey.

      President Trump has authorized the Pentagon to begin providing heavy weapons to the Kurds in Syria. But what if the Kurds turn those weapons on our ally Turkey?

      Unfortunately, this web of insanity is not new. The U.S. federal government has been arming and supporting both sides of conflicts for many decades.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • AfterMidnight

      Today, May 12th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes “AfterMidnight” and “Assassin”, two CIA malware frameworks for the Microsoft Windows platform.

      “AfterMidnight” allows operators to dynamically load and execute malware payloads on a target machine. The main controller disguises as a self-persisting Windows Service DLL and provides secure execution of “Gremlins” via a HTTPS based Listening Post (LP) system called “Octopus”. Once installed on a target machine AM will call back to a configured LP on a configurable schedule, checking to see if there is a new plan for it to execute. If there is, it downloads and stores all needed components before loading all new gremlins in memory. “Gremlins” are small AM payloads that are meant to run hidden on the target and either subvert the functionality of targeted software, survey the target (including data exfiltration) or provide internal services for other gremlins. The special payload “AlphaGremlin” even has a custom script language which allows operators to schedule custom tasks to be executed on the target machine.

      “Assassin” is a similar kind of malware; it is an automated implant that provides a simple collection platform on remote computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Once the tool is installed on the target, the implant is run within a Windows service process. “Assassin” (just like “AfterMidnight”) will then periodically beacon to its configured listening post(s) to request tasking and deliver results. Communication occurs over one or more transport protocols as configured before or during deployment. The “Assassin” C2 (Command and Control) and LP (Listening Post) subsystems are referred to collectively as” The Gibson” and allow operators to perform specific tasks on an infected target..

    • House Committee Head Tells Federal Agencies To Stop Handing Out Communications With Congress To FOIA Requesters

      Barack Obama promised the “most transparent administration ever,” then spent years undermining his own promise. The Trump Administration has made no such promises (other than “if you don’t like your Forever Wars, you can keep them…”) but it’s working overtime to make the faux transparency of the Obama years look like a high water mark in government accountability.

      Multiple federal agencies are no longer allowed to communicate directly with the public through social media accounts. Anything posted must be approved by administration staff. Open.gov is shut down and Trump has decided against following in his predecessor’s footsteps, refusing to release White House visitors’ logs.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • These people want you to know climate change isn’t just for liberals

      He doesn’t start with an apocalyptic description of future impacts when he talks to people about climate change, but, for some audiences, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Environmental Studies Calvin DeWitt does turn to the book of Revelation. “I’ll have a white-out pen in my pocket, and I’ll have them read Revelation chapter 11, verse 18. It’s a description of the sounding of the last trumpet, as you hear in Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ and the end verse says, ‘The time has come for destroying those who destroy the Earth,’” DeWitt told me. “And so, I say, ‘I have a white-out pen here for anyone who would like to correct their Bible.’”

      DeWitt sees his faith as fundamental to, rather than in conflict with, his concern about climate change. He often finds common ground with fellow evangelicals by talking about stewardship of the wonderful natural world they have been given as a home. Put in these familiar terms, climate change seems more like an issue worthy of careful consideration.

    • In the Arctic, carbon dioxide goes down where methane comes up

      Reports of methane bubbling up from the bottom of the East Siberian Sea may have induced some climate change anxiety. In recent years, plumes of methane bubbles rising up from what was once dry permafrost have been observed off the Siberian coast. But their context was unclear. Were they a brand-new greenhouse gas release driven by climate change or were the bubbles long-time fixtures?

      Work off the coast of Svalbard provided a welcome bit of relief. Examination of similar bubble plumes off Svalbard showed that they had been present (at some rate of bubbling) for thousands of years. While estimates of the amount of methane coming out of the East Siberian Sea were surprisingly large, measurements near Svalbard showed that the methane from deeper seafloor seeps gets trapped in the water column and consumed by bacteria before it can reach the atmosphere. That helped put the Siberian activity in some global context.

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Ending geoblocking in the EU: One step forward, two steps back

      I consider it unacceptable for the Parliament to further limit an already unambitious Commission proposal and I remain committed to pushing for an end to the discriminatory and outdated practice of geoblocking.

    • Lawsuit Claiming Fyre Festival Sent Cease & Desist Letters To Online Critics Doesn’t Show Any Actual Evidence

      If, somehow, you’ve avoided all the news about the Fyre Festival from the past few weeks… well… you’ve been missing out. There’s a ton of coverage basically everywhere, but what was promoted as an upscale music festival on a private island in the Bahamas, complete with private flights, luxury lodging, and fine dining… turned out to be… nothing. Despite having lots of rich and famous folks (especially Instagram stars) promoting the festival for months, it eventually appears that promoting and hyping was about all that was done for the festival, rather than actually organizing stuff. The festival was “canceled” but not before a bunch of people made their way to a not-so-private island in the Bahamas (Great Exumas) and discovered… that there was effectively nothing there. There was no music festival. The “lodging” was emergency relief structures. The “fine dining” was slices of bread and cheese with some lettuce. It’s been quite a story.

    • Story About Ex-Sony Pictures Boss Magically Disappears From Gawker; His Lawyer Tells Reporters Not To Talk About It

      Can people use a bankruptcy proceeding to create a “right to be forgotten”? We already know that Europe has implemented a form of a right to be forgotten that it’s now looking to expand. However, in the US, the First Amendment has protected us against such things — even if some politicians don’t realize it.

    • MySpace Tries To Play Dead To Avoid Lawsuits

      Yes, let’s get this out of the way already, so you don’t need to make this joke in the comments: as a social network, MySpace is considered pretty damn dead already. It lost its cool many, many years ago. And I do still love to point out this 2007 article suggesting that MySpace’s dominant position in the social networking market was almost impossible to crack (that didn’t age well). But that’s not what this post is about. You see, MySpace, still does exist — you can even visit it and double their traffic for the day. Even as the punchline in bad jokes, MySpace exists and (believe it or not) Time Inc. actually owns it, having bought the company, Viant, that owned it previously.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • UK government’s draft spying powers get leaked online

      The UK government has drawn up details of its surveillance powers and put them out for a secretive consultation without letting the public know.

      The government wants to give itself the ability to monitor British people’s communications and force UK firms to include encryption backdoors in their products. Under the proposed Investigatory Powers (Technical Capability) Regulations 2017, telecoms providers must allow the government to simultaneously spy on one in 10,000 of their customers at any time.

      Telcos would also have to provide any information the government requests within one working day, and must notify Home Secretary Amber Rudd if there will be any changes to their service, including the development of new services – these will have to be built with the obligations and requirements of the technical capability notice in mind.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • US will reportedly ban carry-on laptops on all flights from Europe

      The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is said to be preparing to announce a ban on laptops in the cabins of all flights from Europe to the US.

    • An AI Will Decide Which Criminals in the UK Get Bail

      HART was trained on five years of data, including suspects’ offending history, gender, and postcode. It was let loose on actual cases in 2013, and researchers found HART’s predictions that a suspect was a low risk were accurate 98 percent of the time, while forecasts that they were high risk were accurate 88 percent of the time. However, there is no baseline data on the accuracy of human officers’ decisions to compare against.

    • Ruslan Sokolovsky Gets 3 Years In The Russian Clink For Playing Pokemon In A Church

      The better part of a year ago we discussed the story of atheist activist Ruslan Sokolovsky. Sokolovsky became something of the sequel story to the now infamous Pussy Riot debacle. Russian police detained Sokolovsky and put him on house arrest for the crime of playing Pokemon Go in a Russian church and uploading a mildly snarky video about it to YouTube. The Russian Orthodox Church was fully on board with his being detained, stating in true Christ-like fashion that the real crime was his not respecting the Church and being an atheist blogger.

    • Copenhagen imam accused of calling for killing of Jews

      Mundhir Abdallah was reported to police after being filmed citing in Arabic a hadith – a teaching of the Prophet Muhammad – considered anti-Semitic.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Cable lobby conducts survey, finds that Americans want net neutrality

      As US cable companies push to eliminate or change net neutrality rules, the industry’s primary lobby group today released the results of a survey that it says shows “strong bipartisan consensus that the government should let the Internet flourish without imposing burdensome regulations.”

      But proponents of keeping the current rules can find plenty to like in the survey conducted by NCTA—The Internet & Television Association. A strong majority of the 2,194 registered American voters in the survey support the current net neutrality rules that prohibit ISPs from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing online content in exchange for payment. While most opposed price regulation, a majority supported an approach in which regulators take action against ISPs on a case-by-case basis when consumers are harmed—the exact same approach the Federal Communications Commission uses under its existing net neutrality regime.

    • Sprint sues government over elimination of broadband price caps

      Sprint and Windstream sued the Federal Communications Commission this week over a decision that will help AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink charge higher prices for certain business Internet services.

      The FCC last month voted to eliminate price caps for the so-called Business Data Services (BDS) that are offered by incumbent phone companies throughout the country. The FCC decision to which Sprint and Windstream object only eliminated price caps in “competitive” markets, but it uses a standard that deems many local markets competitive even when there’s only one broadband provider.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brussels Conference On Innovation, Research and Competition In EU

      An academic conference this month will explore issues related to innovation, research and competition in the European Union, addressing topics such as 5G, big data, patents and standards.

      On 29-30 May, the conference ‘Innovation, Research and Competition in the EU: The Future of Open and Collaborative Standard Setting’ will take place in Brussels, in the building of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium. The conference is organised by the Liege Competition and Innovation Institute (LCII) and Tilburg Law and Economics Centre (TILEC).

    • Trademarks

      • Bethesda’s Pete Hines Shrugs His Shoulders About Trademark Dispute With No Matter Studios

        If any single aspect of common trademark disputes has become the thing that annoys me the most about them, it’s how often the canard from trademark bullies that they have to be bullies by order of trademark law is trotted out for public consumption. You can almost set your watch to it: trademark bully does trademark bullying, public backlash ensues, trademark bully falsely explains that if it doesn’t bully it loses its trademark rights, the public usually backs off. While it would be unreasonable to expect the general public to be up on the nuances of trademark law to the degree of someone who is paid to write about it, it’s not unreasonable to smack down attempts by those who know better but who actively attempt to misinform that same general public.

    • Copyrights

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