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07.07.17

Links 7/7/2017: 2017 Linux Laptop Survey Results, Fedora 27 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 5:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • ‘Open Source Development at Google Is Both Very Diverse and Distributed’

    Open source development at Google is both very diverse and distributed. The larger projects that we release generally have dedicated teams developing and supporting the project, working with their external developer communities and providing internal support to other Googlers. Many of the smaller projects include just one or two engineers working on something experimental or just a fun, side project. While we do have a central Open Source Programs Office (the group I manage), it is relatively small compared to the size of the company. Instead, the actual development happens throughout the company, with hundreds of teams and thousands of engineers, tech writers, designers and product managers contributing to open source in some way.

  • Comma.ai launches an $88 universal car interface called Panda

    …Hotz said he decided to open-source the plans, enabling anyone who wanted to build it for free.

  • From kaftans to Kubernetes – how open source took over the world

    Going way back, pretty much all software was effectively open source. That’s because it was the preserve of a small number of scientists and engineers who shared and adapted each other’s code (or punch cards) to suit their particular area of research. Later, when computing left the lab for the business, commercial powerhouses such as IBM, DEC and Hewlett-Packard sought to lock in their IP by make software proprietary and charging a hefty license fee for its use.

  • Events

    • Snappy Sprint – London June 2017

      I recently attended a Snappy Sprint in London, UK. As well as the Canonical people attending (including me) with experience in the whole Snappy stack (Snapcraft, the Snap store, snapd, snapd-glib) we had great representation from the Elementary, Fedora, GNOME, MATE and KDE communities. My goal was to help improve the Snap experience for desktop apps both on Ubuntu and other distributions.

    • Celebrate Kubernetes and CoreOS this July, and join us at GopherCon and other events

      This July, celebrate the CoreOS and Kubernetes birthdays with us and more. We hope to see you at GopherCon, and at the Los Angeles Kubernetes meetup.

    • Antonio Larrosa — Dragons, Doom and Digital Music

      Antonio Larrosa is the current president of KDE España and he and I have been friends for quite some time now. It may seem logical, since we both live in Málaga, are passionate about Free Software in general, and KDE in particular. But in most other respects we are total opposites: Antonio is quiet, tactful, unassuming and precise. Enough said.

      But that is what is great about Antonio; that and the fact he is very patient when troubleshooting. I know this because he has often helped me out when I have unwittingly wrecked my system by being an idiot and installing what I shouldn’t. When he quietly muses “¡Qué cosas!” (which roughly translates to “That’s interesting”) you know you’ve messed up good.

    • openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017 Tokyo: Call for proposals is open

      openSUSE.Asia Committee calls for proposals of talks for openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017 held at the University of Electro-Communications on October 21 and 22.

      Please refer to the following announcement for the detail of openSUSE.Asia Summit:

      https://news.opensuse.org/2017/06/30/opensuse-asia-summit-2017-tokyo-japan/

      The speakers are eligible to receive sponsorship from openSUSE Travel Support Program (TSP). Even if you live away from Tokyo, please consider applying for the event.

    • DEF CON Badgelife: The Puffy That Runs Linux

      DEF CON is canceled again this year, and this time that statement is at least partially true. There will be no special official badges this year. There is no challenge or mystery embedded in the official DC badge. This is the year that unofficial badges from villages and random attendees finally supersedes the official offering. This is badgelife, and for the next few weeks, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the unofficial badges of DEF CON.

      The idea for [dorkengine]’s Puffy badge began last year with the so-called Bender badges from AND!XOR. Chalk this up to a story that ends with, ‘but you had to have been there’, but the Bender badges were wildly popular, sold like hotcakes, and were an astonishing success of independent badge craft at DC. [dorkengine] decided to get in on the action and build his own badge for DC 25.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla launches Project Things IoT framework on Raspberry Pi

        Mozilla unveiled “Project Things,” which builds upon standard web technologies and the Web of Things project, and released code that runs on a Raspberry Pi.

        In March of last year, a few months after Mozilla announced it was shutting down its Firefox OS project for Linux-based mobile phones, it unveiled four Firefox OS based “Connected Devices” projects for the Internet of Things. The Connected Devices project has since shut down, but a website is still available for others to advance the code. Instead, Mozilla turned its IoT team toward an existing Web of Things (WoT) project aimed at developing a decentralized, open source IoT framework built as much as possible using existing World Wide Web technologies.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Microsoft open sources Visual Studio Code Extension for Arduino [Ed: Microsoft openwashing of proprietary software for another project that's proprietary software and pretends to be "open"]
    • Microsoft makes Visual Studio Code Extension for Arduino open source [Ed: This is pure openwashing. Visual Studio is proprietary and add spying to compiled code. Avoid.]
    • Beware of Pseudo Open Source Hardware EKG/EMG fakes of our shields by Duinopeak company [Ed: even Arduino itself is subjected to openwashing tactics.]

      We got support question for Arduino EKG/EMG shields which do not work correctly.

    • Neuroon Open Is An Open Source Sleep And Meditation Wearable [Ed: Neuroon is openwashing by 'creative' use of the term "Open Source"]

      Neuroon Open is an open source sleep and meditation wearable aimed at enhancing your sleep and providing you with a tool that can help you monitor your sleep patterns. Essentially it’s a sleep tracker, of course, improved sleep is just the main goal of the device. It also works as a smart meditation device that guides you through meditation sessions with audio-assisted feedback. It also has a Lucid Dream function, and it even interacts with smart home devices like lights and thermostats, such as the Nest Smart Thermostat. While sleep tracking and smart home device support aren’t exactly new features for a wearable, those things together with the added Lucid Dream and meditation features makes the Neuroon Open a more unique device than it may seem on the surface.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Permissive and Copyleft Are Not Antonyms

      Using the term “permissive” as an antonym to “copyleft” – or “restrictive” as its synonym – are unhelpful framing. Describe license reciprocity instead.

      Some open source licenses implement a clever hack invented by Richard Stallman where, as a condition of the copyright license, anyone creating derived versions has to agree they will license the new version the same way as the original. In a play on words, this concept is called “copyleft” and many open source licenses implement this hack.

      In its strongest form, the “copyleft” idea can place a condition on the licensing of all the other code compiled together to make the eventual binary executable program. Complying with this requirement can prevent use of business models that deny software freedom to the end user; as a consequence, many commercial software developers avoid the strongest forms of copyleft licensing.

      There are less stringent forms of copyleft. Licenses like the MPL (Mozilla Public License) only require individual files that are modified to be licensed under the same license as the original and don’t extend that requirement to other files used to build the executable. The Eclipse Public License (EPL) has a copyleft provision that’s triggered by distribution of the source code. These scope-restricted variants are all described as “weak copyleft.”

      In discussing these licensing approaches with clients, I’ve often found that these terms “strong copyleft” and “weak copyleft” lead to misunderstandings. In particular, developers can incorrectly apply the compliance steps applicable to one “weak” license to code under another license, believing that all such licenses are the same. As a consequence, I prefer to use different terms.

    • Should the Fair License Replace the GPL?

      Read the full license, and if you find yourself thinking, “That sounds impossible to enforce,” you aren’t alone. To me, the Fair Source License looks like another one of the many attempts I’ve seen to come up with something that looks like a free or open source license, but really isn’t.

    • Roland McGrath bows out as glibc maintainer

      Hello, friends!

      You might have noticed that I haven’t been present on the list or
      perhaps answered your direct email in several months. I’m sorry I’ve
      been away so long without a word, but I’m not coming back any time soon.
      There’s no big news with me. I’ve just found that I’ve drifted away and
      today I’m acknowledging what’s already happened.

      This summer marks 30 years since I began writing the GNU C Library.
      (That’s two thirds of my lifespan so far.) It’s long enough.

    • Glibc Enables A Per-Thread Cache For Malloc – Big Performance Win

      Glibc has added a per-thread cache to malloc and enabled it by default.

    • GCC Picks Up Support For ARMv8-R

      The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) now has support for the ARMv8-R architecture.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Grow Produce at Home With This Open-Source Fish Tank

      The fish in the tank and the plants in the garden above them rely on one another to flourish. The fish produce waste, microorganisms in the water convert the waste to fertilizer, and the plants drink up the fertilizer, cleaning the tank in the process. “Think about it—fish and plants can harmoniously coexist in the same ecosystem,” the Aquapioneers website reads. “So why not put those fish to good use?”

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Why I Hate Slack and You Should Too
  • Ending carpool-only roads made all trips worse

    If you’ve ever been skeptical about whether carpool policies actually work, Indonesia would like to have a word with you. Jakarta, one of the biggest metropolitan areas on Earth, had a carpool policy that seemed to be particularly susceptible to abuse. Abruptly, in March 2016, the Jakarta government announced that the policy would end in a week.

    This gave a group of economists at Harvard and MIT just enough time to collect traffic data before the policy ended and compare it to the aftermath. What they found wasn’t pretty: that unpopular carpool policy was making a big difference to traffic, which got even nastier after the policy ended.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Health: Report Calls For Increased Efforts On TB; WHO Warns About Antibiotic-Resistant Sexually Transmitted Disease

      Tuberculosis is still a deadly killer, and a new report by two humanitarian organisations raises alarm on poor progress on the disease diagnosis and treatment. The report calls for governments to increase efforts to fight the disease, and for the G20 countries to mobilise funds to help, in particular to boost research and development for new treatments. Separately, the World Health Organization issued a call for new treatments to fight antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • How polluters are writing the rules at the EPA

      The truth is that when lawsuits settle, they merely require agencies to meet existing legal requirements to protect things like the air we breathe, the water we drink and the wildlife we value. And that means industries can’t pollute as they see fit — which often leaves polluters, and polluter cheerleaders like Pruitt, crying foul.

    • Climate change not an objective for UK at G20 as Theresa May meets Donald Trump

      The Prime Minister has been accused of a “dereliction of duty” after revealing that climate change has been excluded from her top priorities at this weekend’s G20 summit.

    • France wants to ban sale of gas and diesel cars by 2040, end coal by 2022

      In an address on Thursday, France’s environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, said that the country would aim to phase out electricity from coal-fired plants by 2022 and end the sale of gas and diesel internal combustion cars by 2040.

    • France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040

      Nicolas Hulot, the country’s new ecology minister, said: “We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.” Hulot added that the move was a “veritable revolution”.

    • France considering a ban on all fossil fuel vehicles by 2040

      France is considering banning the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country’s environmental minister said Thursday, according to multiple reports. It’s unclear, however, whether this proposal is an official position of French President Emmanuel Macron’s new government, and if so, how it will be implemented. But it’s a sign of France’s desire to be a leader in sustainable energy after the departure of the US from the Paris climate accord.

  • Finance

    • Jawbone is going out of business

      The news comes after more than a year of financial turmoil at the company, which led to deteriorating customer service, dwindling inventory, and key executive departures — all as the company entered into a legal battle with rival Fitbit.

    • Jawbone to Be Liquidated as Rahman Moves to Health Startup

      Jawbone, the consumer electronics firm once valued at $3 billion, is going out of business. The company has begun liquidation proceedings, after years of financial pressures, according to a person close to Jawbone.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • What Happens If The Election Was A Fraud? The Constitution Doesn’t Say.
    • Walter Shaub, Director of Office of Government Ethics, Just Resigned

      The implications of his resignation show how hard it is to stop potential ethics violations made by Trump and his administration. “This resignation is yet another indication of how badly Mr. Trump has been violating the Constitution and failing in his oath to uphold it,” explains Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University. “[Shaub] cannot do his job with a president in office who blatantly violates the Emoluments Clause and its requirement that a president not personally benefit from his office. By refusing to put his assets in a blind trust, Trump is trampling on our founding document. He is ignoring its requirement that a president not use the nation’s highest office for profit.”

    • G20: Security, Trade, Climate, Trump Diplomacy Overshadow Health, IT, Innovation

      The controversies over trade and climate, as well as the topics of the anti-terror fight and security policy in foreign policy, are expected to consume most of the attention of the G20 heads of states during their two-day meeting. Much nervousness also has built up over meetings between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    • Climate change not an objective for UK at G20 as Theresa May meets Donald Trump

      The Prime Minister has been accused of a “dereliction of duty” after revealing that climate change has been excluded from her top priorities at this weekend’s G20 summit.

      Theresa May left it off her list of key objectives despite the issue likely becoming the central task of the meeting of world leaders, following Donald Trump’s decision to quit the Paris Agreement on climate change.

      The summit in Hamburg will see the Prime Minister meet Mr Trump one-on-one for the first time since he caused outrage by announcing the US would not implement the agreement as it stands.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Judge denies DOJ effort to halt Twitter lawsuit over national security orders

      A federal judge in California has decided to allow Twitter’s lawsuit against the attorney general’s office to go forward. She rejected arguments that the social media giant should not be allowed to be precise in its transparency reports when describing how it responds to the government’s requests for user data.

      Twitter has argued that, just as it has been precise in other areas of its transparency report, so too should it be allowed to say precisely how many national security orders it has received from American authorities. For now, under federal law, it is only allowed to describe those numbers in vague ranges, such as “0 to 499,” and “500 to 999,” and so forth. Lawyers for Twitter say that this law constitutes a violation of the company’s First Amendment rights and is “prior restraint,” a concept of blocking legitimate speech before it is uttered.

    • China’s Surveillance Plans Include 600 Million CCTV Cameras Nationwide, And Pervasive Facial Recognition

      Two of the recurrent themes here on Techdirt recently are China’s ever-widening surveillance of its citizens, and the rise of increasingly powerful facial recognition systems. Those two areas are brought together in a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal that explores China’s plans to roll out facial recognition systems on a massive scale. That’s made a lot easier by the pre-existing centralized image database of citizens, all of whom must have a government-issued photo ID by the age of 16, together with billions more photos found on social networks, to which the Chinese government presumably has ready access.

    • Privacy International files lawsuit over secretive Five Eyes intelligence group

      Privacy International has filed a federal lawsuit in which it asks that the Five Eyes alliance coughs up records relating to the 1946 post-war agreement that set it up.

    • Encrypt all the webpages: Let’s Encrypt to offer wildcard certificates for free

      Let’s Encrypt, the free and open certificate authority (CA) launched as a public service by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), says it will begin providing free “wildcard” certificates for Internet domains in January 2018. Wildcard certificates allow anyone operating a domain to link a single certificate to multiple subdomains and host names within a domain. That means a single free certificate could be used to provide HTTP Secure (HTTPS) encryption of pages on multiple servers or subdomains hosted on a single server, significantly lowering the barrier for adoption of HTTPS on personal and small business websites.

    • How—and why—you should use a VPN any time you hop on the internet

      One of the most important skills any computer user should have is the ability to use a virtual private network (VPN) to protect their privacy. A VPN is typically a paid service that keeps your web browsing secure and private over public Wi-Fi hotspots. VPNs can also get past regional restrictions for video- and music-streaming sites and help you evade government censorship restrictions—though that last one is especially tricky.

    • Privacy and population-wide whole-genome sequencing in the age of Google

      This is not to argue against population-wide whole-genome sequencing, or to suggest that health institutions should never work with companies like Google. But the fact that this week alone saw the announcement of the UK’s major genomics project, the news that DeepMind is already talking about getting involved in the analysis of data that will be generated, and the discovery that the sensitive medical details of any Australian citizen can be be bought online, underlines the extremely rapid pace of developments in this sector. It also makes clear the pressing need for an informed public debate about mass genome sequencing and privacy in the age of Google.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Disney Feels The Heat As Children Lead The Cord Cutting Revolution

      For a while now we’ve noted that it’s actually the youngest among us that are leading the cord cutting revolution. Viacom has watched channels like Nickelodeon experience a ratings free fall for several years now as streaming alternatives have emerged as a useful alternative to strictly-scheduled, commercial-bloated Saturday morning cartoons. Toddlers don’t really care if they’re watching the latest and greatest “True Detective” episode or not, and parents, like everybody else, are tired of paying for bloated cable bundles filled with channels they never watch.

    • Net Neutrality Day of Action July 12 May Be the Largest Online Protest in Years

      Thousands of websites plan massive online protest for July 12th. Other participants include Amazon, Reddit, Netflix, OK Cupid, Mozilla, Etsy, Kickstarter, Vimeo, and PornHub

    • YouTube stars defend net neutrality in open letter to the FCC

      The letter has been signed by major names in the YouTube community, such as the Fine Brothers. In total, the guild says, the letter represents video creators with an audience of more than 150 million people.

    • Australian internet slow and plagued by disconnections, survey finds

      Consumer watchdog finds 60% of consumers have had issues with service in past six months and more than 75% of NBN customers have had problems

    • CSS: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition

      On Monday, July 3rd, as I sat in the living room of a house just a bit north of New York City, I pushed the last writing and editing changes to CSS: The Definitive Guide, Fourth Edition and notified the production department at O’Reilly that it was ready.

      All twenty chapters, three appendices, and associated front matter are now in their hands.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • State Department concocting “fake” intellectual property {sic} “Twitter feud”

      The US State Department wants to team up with other government agencies and Hollywood in a bid to create a “fake Twitter feud” about the importance of intellectual property rights. As part of this charade, the State Department’s Bureau of Economic Affairs says it has been seeking the participation of the US Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and “others.”

    • Trademarks

      • Two Wangs Of Ireland Battle Over Trademarks Nobody Will Confuse

        It’s frankly sort of ridiculous, but the state of trademark protectionism that exists today has rendered the trademarking of a person’s own last name somewhat unwise. Given the low bar that has unfortunately been set in terms of judging real or potential customer confusion in the marketplace, simply using one’s own name for a commercial brand rife with danger where trademarks are concerned. Something of an example of this is currently taking place between a small New York clothing designer named Thaddeus O’Neil and famed surf wear manufacturer O’Neill. The latter has been blocking a trademark application by O’Neil for over a year now.

    • Copyrights

      • EU Parliament Adopts Marrakesh Treaty; Blind Union Prepared To Fight Publisher ‘Compensation’

        The European Parliament today with over 600 votes adopted the legal instruments to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty on access to reading material for the visually impaired. The treaty, adopted by the members of the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2013 and effective since last year, has been subject of controversies due to lobbying from publishers in the European Union, members of Parliament said today in Strasbourg before the vote. EU member states after today’s vote have one year to implement.

      • Google Removed 2.5 Billion ‘Pirate’ Search Results

        Google has just reached a new landmark after removing 2.5 billion ‘pirate’ URLs from its search results. The staggering number is the result of increased efforts from copyright holders to remove links to copyright infringing material from the web. Despite this massive takedown effort by Google, not all rightsholders are pleased.

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