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11.06.17

Links 6/11/2017: Mesa 17.3 Features, DragonFlyBSD 5.0.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Giving Open-Source Projects Life After a Developer’s Death

    You’ve probably never heard of the late Jim Weirich or his software. But you’ve almost certainly used apps built on his work.

    Weirich helped create several key tools for Ruby, the popular programming language used to write the code for sites like Hulu, Kickstarter, Twitter, and countless others. His code was open source, meaning that anyone could use it and modify it. “He was a seminal member of the western world’s Ruby community,” says Justin Searls, a Ruby developer and co-founder of the software company Test Double.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • TorMoil: Tor flaw exposed IP addresses of Linux and Mac users [Ed: To be clear, this Tor bug the media crows about (with buzzword) only an issue if booby-trapped page with specially crafted links is accessed]

        Every time a user clicked onto links starting with file://, as opposed to https:// and http://, the vulnerability would kick into action. It’s been named TorMoil by its finder.

      • Tor patches flaw that could expose MacOS and Linux IP addresses
      • TorMoil flaw leaks IP addresses of Mac and Linux Tor users
      • Tor Browser Users Urged to Patch Critical ‘TorMoil’ Vulnerability
      • Paul’s activities and perspectives around Free Software

        A recent LWN.net article, “The trouble with text-only email“, gives us an insight through an initially-narrow perspective into a broader problem: how the use of e-mail by organisations and its handling as it traverses the Internet can undermine the viability of the medium. And how organisations supposedly defending the Internet as a platform can easily find themselves abandoning technologies that do not sit well with their “core mission”, not to mention betraying that mission by employing dubious technological workarounds.

        To summarise, the Mozilla organisation wants its community to correspond via mailing lists but, being the origin of the mails propagated to list recipients when someone communicates with one of their mailing lists, it finds itself under the threat of being blacklisted as a spammer. This might sound counterintuitive: surely everyone on such lists signed up for mails originating from Mozilla in order to be on the list.

        Unfortunately, the elevation of Mozilla to being a potential spammer says more about the stack of workaround upon workaround, second- and third-guessing, and the “secret handshakes” that define the handling of e-mail today than it does about anything else. Not that factions in the Mozilla organisation have necessarily covered themselves in glory in exploring ways of dealing with their current problem.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Cumulus Networks Accelerates Web-Scale Adoption for OpenStack Environments
    • 451 Research: OpenStack Private Cloud Revenue To Overtake Its Public Cloud Revenue In 2018
    • OpenStack Aims to Improve Integration with Cloud Native Technologies

      The OpenStack Foundation is hosting its semi-annual Summit event in Sydney, Australia from Nov. 6 to Nov 8 highlighting use-cases and progress in the multi-stakeholder, open-source cloud infrastructure effort.

      At the first day of the event, several initiatives designed to help improve and promote integration between OpenStack and other open-source cloud efforts were announced. Among the announcements was the Open Infrastructure Integration effort, the launch of the OpenLab testing tools program, the debut of the public cloud passport program and the formation of a financial services team.

      “We’re really put some focus into the strategy for the OpenStack Foundation for next five years,” Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation told eWEEK. “We spent the last five years developing code and building a large user base, looking forward we’re listening to the challenges that users are facing to help us determine what we should be doing.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Lands An Initial Qt5 Interface Plugin

      A new VCL plug-in that is in development will allow LibreOffice to blend nicely with the KDE Plasma / Qt5 desktop.

      The Visual Components Library (VCL) that allows LibreOffice to make use of functionality across different graphical tool-kits and operating systems now has a Qt5 plug-in.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 11.1 RC1 is ready!

      This last development release of GhostBSD 11.1 release is ready for testing. All MATE and XFCE images are available only has 64 -bit architectures. For some of you, it might be chock that we are dropping i386 it is a decision that was hard to make. We hope for those that need i386 will find refuge to another BSD project.

    • [OpenBSD] Our 2017 Fundraising Campaign

      If a penny was donated for every pf or OpenSSH installed with a mainstream operating system or phone in the last year we would be at our goal.

    • DragonFlyBSD 5.0.1 Released
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Video of VK2FUNK SDR talk at DEF CON 25

      Three interesting applications will be demonstrated, and their underlying theory and design explained. The audience will be exposed to some novel GNU Radio tips and DSP tricks. INMARSAT Aero will be revisited to show (in Google Earth) spatial information, such as waypoints and flight plans, that are transmitted from airline ground operations to airborne flights. A good chunk of the VHF band is used for airline communications; plane spotters enjoy listening to tower and cockpit communications.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Shedding light on foggy GPL licenses

      The terms in GPL v3 clause 14 are very similar to those in the GPL v2.

      Over the years, I’ve seen many open source projects that say they are GPL licensed without explicitly indicating a version number, while also including the text of an entire GPL license (e.g., v2 or v3). The ambiguity this potentially creates may be beneficial or detrimental to you, depending on factors such as whether you are the licensor or the licensee.

    • GPL bodies in bizarre trademark fight

      Senior Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has claimed he asked the Linux Foundation to withdraw funding from the Software Freedom Conservancy back in 2016, because he was unhappy with the way in which the SFC went about enforcing compliance with the GPL, the licence under which the Linux kernel is published.

      Kroah-Hartman’s claim was made as part of a long discussion about a spat between the SFC and the Software Freedom Law Centre, a body provides pro-bono legal services to developers of free, libre, and open source software, in which the SFLC has asked a court to cancel the trademark of the SFC due to what it claims is “priority and likelihood of confusion” to its own trademark.

      The bizarre aspect of the legal fight between the two bodies, both of which are involved in activities around the GPL, is that the SFLC launched the SFC in 2006 to carry out GPL enforcement.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Finance

    • The “Amazon Amendment” Would Effectively Hand Government Purchasing Power Over to Amazon

      THIS WEEK, REPRESENTATIVES of three major internet platforms — Google, Facebook, and Twitter — are testifying before Congress about their role in facilitating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. But a fourth giant sat comfortably removed: Amazon.

      Instead of getting yelled at by lawmakers, Amazon is on the verge of winning a multibillion-dollar advantage over retail rivals by taking over large swaths of federal procurement.

      Language buried in Section 801 of the House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which is being hashed out in a conference committee with the Senate, would move Defense Department purchases of commercial off-the-shelf products to “online marketplaces.” Theoretically, that means any website that offers an array of options for paper clips or office furniture; in reality that signals likely dominance for Amazon Business, the company’s commercial sales platform.

      Section 801 stipulates that the program should be designed “to enable Government-wide use of such marketplaces.” Scale, then, is key. Over time, this change would give platforms like Amazon access to all $53 billion in federal government commercial item purchases.

    • Offshore Gurus Help Rich Avoid Taxes on Jets and Yachts

      Buying a $27-million private jet or plush mega-yacht means millions in sales taxes — unless you know the right pro.

      Formula One auto racing star Lewis Hamilton got a new luxury jet, a $27 million candy-apple-red Bombardier Challenger 605 with Armani curtains. He also got a refund on the value-added tax.

      And the lawyers at Appleby, an elite law firm headquartered in Bermuda, were there to help.

      They teamed with the London-based accounting giant Ernst & Young to craft an arcane plan to sidestep the VAT, a consumption tax charged in Europe on everything from socks to cars. One of the conditions: Hamilton’s inaugural flight would have to touch down on the Isle of Man, the British crown dependency in the Irish Sea known for its lenient tax treatment of the world’s super-rich.

    • Liberal fundraisers held family millions in offshore trust, leaked documents reveal

      Canada’s future prime minister, Justin Trudeau, was vacationing with his family in the picturesque mountain village of Mont-Tremblant, Que., with a lot on his mind.

      After years of speculation, he had decided he was going to make a play for the country’s top political office.

      With him that weekend was longtime family friend Stephen Bronfman, 53, a third-generation descendant of one of Canada’s wealthiest families that had founded such iconic brands as Seagram, the Montreal Expos and the Eaton Centre.

      “(Trudeau) came to me and said, ‘You know, I’ve made a decision. I’m going to run for the leadership,’ ” Bronfman recalled in a 2013 interview. “I’d always told him, especially since he’d gotten in politics and was first elected, ‘Justin, anything I can do to help, just let me know.’ ”

      The well-connected Bronfman, a known philanthropist and environmentalist, took the reins of the party fundraising machine in late 2013, significantly boosting annual donations.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Russian Media Outlet Accuses Google of Political Censorship

      As the controversy over Russia-linked content on U.S. websites continues, Russian online news outlet Federal News Agency accused Google of political censorship as its stories no longer show in Google News’ search results.

      “FNA staff believe that that blocking of Google News users’ access to content from Federal News Agency is an act of political censorship in the interest of the US government, aimed at restricting information on fighting international terrorism,” the news outlet said in a statement.

      “To force Google to observe Russian and international law, the staff of Federal News Agency is preparing addresses to the [Russian] Anti-Monopoly Service and other government agencies, as well as a lawsuit,” it went on to say.

    • Don’t let censorship be the answer to our highjacked social networks.

      Eight people were murdered by a terrorist in New York City, who in a choreographed attack copied from online forums, used a truck to mow down pedestrians at a time and place chosen to maximize destruction.

      At the same time, in Washington, DC, the so-called Tech Giants were testifying before a committee of the United States Senate about Russian interference in the last US presidential election…specifically, Russian usage of social media through paid ads to sow hate and dissent in America.

    • China warns on overseas content after Springer Nature pulls some articles

      Chinese distributors of overseas publications must verify that the content is legal in China, Beijing said late on Sunday, after a major western publisher blocked access to some content in the country citing local regulations.

      Springer Nature, which publishes science magazines Nature and Scientific American, said last week that it had pulled access to less than 1 percent of its articles in China, which it said was regrettable but necessary to avoid all content being blocked.

    • Top Academic Publisher Kowtows To China: Censors Thousands Of Papers, Denies It Is Censorship

      According to Springer, it is not really censoring articles in China, because people outside can still read them. That insults both Chinese researchers, whom Springer clearly thinks don’t count, and our intelligence.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Sen. Feinstein Supports “Backdoor” Warrants, So Why Don’t Reps. Nunes and Schiff?

      As the deadline for renewing and reforming key portions of the NSA’s spying apparatus looms less than two months away, two of the most important members of the House Intelligence Committee have stayed remarkably quiet in the conversation.

      Congress just introduced multiple bills to extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a law that authorizes controversial NSA surveillance programs and is set to expire at the end of this year. Some of the bills include various ways to fix what is called the “backdoor search” loophole. Currently, the NSA “incidentally” collects the communications of countless Americans and stores those communications in vast databases. The FBI routinely searches through these databases for information about U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. The FBI does not obtain any probable cause warrants for these searches, skirting Fourth Amendment protections and earning these searches the title of “backdoor searches.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • UK Terrorism Law Used To Prosecute Actual Terrorist Fighter For Possessing A Copy Of ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’

      We’ve reached the point in terrorism hysteria where someone can be prosecuted simply for having a copy of book already owned by millions. Ryan Gallagher details the trial of Josh Walker — a man who actually left the UK to fight against terrorists, only to be charged under the nation’s terrorism laws when he returned.

      [...]

      Not wishing to alarm outsiders, the group routinely destroyed its notes and other documents post-game. This was the direct result of being previously reported to the police by a janitor who came across notes the group left behind after role-playing a terrorist attack. Apparently, Walker forgot to toss his printed Anarchist Cookbook PDF into the fire with the rest of the prep materials.

      The prosecution claimed Walker retained his copy of the book — again, a book anyone can download from the local library — because he was “curious” about the contents. More ridiculously, the prosecution suggested the printed PDF Walker had in his bedroom “endangered public safety.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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