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07.25.14

Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks Emerge as Major New Linux Force on Notebooks

      The Linux faithful have mixed opinions on the success of Google’s Linux- and Chrome browser based Chrome OS. The lightweight OS came along years after Fedora, Ubuntu and other Linux distros, and shares relatively little of their mainstream Linux codebase. Some dismiss it as a limited, browser-only platform — a complaint often applied to Firefox OS — while others warn that Google is co-opting and subjugating Linux, a process already begun with Android.

    • Google targets students with new Chromebook ad

      Google is all geared up to push Chromebooks to students in the US. They have uploaded a new ad on YouTube targeting students. The video titled Chromebook: For Students shows student lockers and a very clear text ‘everything a student needs in a laptop’.

    • Celebrate Chromecast’s first birthday with 3 months Google Play Music free
  • Server

    • Docker Acquires Orchard Laboratories to Manage Containers

      With the rise of containers as an alternative to virtual machines in Linux environments, IT organizations that make that shift will need a way to potentially manage thousands of containers. Looking to become one of the vendors that not only supplies those Linux containers but also manages them, Docker today announced it has acquired Orchard Laboratories Ltd.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Developers Jump Quickly On ACPI 5.1, Helps Out ARM

      Fresh off the release of ACPI 5.1 by the UEFI Forum, Linux developers are updating their support against this latest revision to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. In particular, ACPI 5.1 is supposed to help out ARM.

      While accessing the ACPI/UEFI specifications still require jumping through some hoops, the ACPI 5.1 update is reported to fix major gaps in supporting ACPI on ARM. Hanjun Guo has already laid out patches for providing Linux ARM64 support compliant with the ACPI 5.1 specification. ACPI 5.1 has “major changes” to the MADT, FADT, GTDT, and _DSD for bettering up this non-x86 platform support.

    • Linux Foundation SysAdmin Eric Searcy Lives By Regex

      Eric Searcy is the IT Infrastructure Manager at the Linux Foundation. Here he tells us how he got started as a sysadmin and at the Linux Foundation, describes his typical day at work, and shares his favorite sysadmin tools, among other things.

    • Linux Foundation SysAdmin Aric Gardner Avoids a GUI at All Costs

      Aric Gardner is a Linux Foundation SysAdmin who works on the OpenDaylight collaborative project. Here he tells the story of how became a sysadmin, shares his specialty in scripting and automation, and describes a typical day at work, among other things.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source AMD Hawaii Support Should Now Be Working!

        While the Radeon R9 290 series is now mature in the marketplace, the open-source Linux driver support has lagged. The Hawaii support had been broken for months (no working 3D on the open-source driver, but will work under the Catalyst Linux driver) and the few open-source AMD developers weren’t tasked with fixing it over not being sure why it wasn’t working and having no immediate business cases for fixing the support. Fortunately, with a bug comment made tonight, it seems things might be in order.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • No Gmail integration in 4.14 after all :(

        I’m sorry to bring bad news, but after trying to fight some last minute bugs in the new Gmail resource today, I realized that pushing the resource into KDE Applications 4.14 was too hurried, and so I decided not to ship it in KDE Applications 4.14. I know many of you are really excited about the Gmail integration, but there are far too many issues that cannot be solved this late in 4.14 cycle. And since this will probably be the last 4.x release, shipping something that does not perform as expected and cannot be fixed properly would only be disappointing and discouraging to users. In my original post I explained that I was working on the Gmail integration to provide user experience as close as possible to native Gmail web interface so that people are not tempted to switch away from KMail to Gmail. But with the current state of the resource, the effect would be exactly the opposite. And if the resource cannot fulfil it’s purpose, then there’s no point in offering it to users.

      • Plasma’s road to wayland

        With the Plasma 5.0 release out the door, we can lift our heads a bit and look forward, instead of just looking at what’s directly ahead of us, and make that work by fixing bug after bug. One of the important topics which we have (kind of) excluded from Plasma’s recent 5.0 release is support for Wayland. The reason is that much of the work that has gone into renovating our graphics stack was also needed in preparation for Wayland support in Plasma. In order to support Wayland systems properly, we needed to lift the software stack to Qt5, make X11 dependencies in our underlying libraries, Frameworks 5 optional. This part is pretty much done. We now need to ready support for non-X11 systems in our workspace components, the window manager and compositor, and the workspace shell.

      • KDE Developers Continue Working Toward Wayland Support

        KDE’s Sebastian Kügler has provided an update regarding KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5 support for Wayland as an alternative to running on an X11/X.Org Server.

      • A wild “monday” report appears …

        The work on revisiting and expanding the Human Interface Guideline on tooltips has begun. If there’s something that has always bothered you about how tooltips in KDE Applications and Plasma look and feel consider to join in. The work is still in its early stages, so now would be the best time to voice your concerns. [https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=285&t=121892]

      • Cutelyst 0.3.0 is now C10K ready!

        Cutelyst uWSGI plugin now has support for –thread, which will create a QThread to process a request, however I strongly discourage its usage in Cutelyst, the performance is ~7% inferior and a crash in your code will break other requests, and as of now ASYNC mode is not supported in threaded mode due to a limitation in uWSGI request queue.

      • Kate “master” branch now KF5 based!

        from today on, the master branch of kate.git is KF5 based.

        That means, for the next KDE applications release after 4.14, Kate will use the awesome KF5 stuff!

        The KTextEditor framework is already in a good shape and most active KatePart development is since months pure KF5 based.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Model B+ review – a new evolution

      Over the past two years we’ve come to really grow fond of the design of the Raspberry Pi. It’s almost iconic in a way, and we don’t think we’re the only ones to believe this: as you can have see with the Banana Pi review on the previous page the layout is almost identical to the standard model B.

    • Raspberry Pi-based signage player sips 7 Watts

      TinyGreenPC launched a Raspberry Pi and Linux based digital signage player that runs on just 7 Watts, and offers optional WiFi and an OPS interface.

      The Pi Media Player is one of the most power-efficient signage players on the market, according to TinyGreenPC, a subsidiary of UK-based embedded manufacturer and distributor AndersDX. It helps that the 7 Watt, Raspian Linux-enabled signage player runs on a Raspberry Pi.

    • Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN

      Three Bulgarian engineers who co-founded a firm called StorPool – which builds a virtual SAN using the aggregated storage of Linux KVM servers – are aiming to expand the reach of their three-year-old project.

      Boyan Ivanov, CEO, Boyan Krosnov, chief product officer, and Yank Yankulov, the chief tech officer, started the firm in November 2011 with $261,600 seed funding. In February this year they raised an undisclosed amount of cash in an A-round. We’d guess it’s in the $1m – $2.5m area.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • 35 Free Android Apps for Business
        • Best Android Apps for Disney Fans

          Disney movies have the uncanny ability to make us laugh, cry, and dance with joy at the same time. Whether you are a young kid or an adult, these films have a special place in many people’s hearts. Apart from winning many Oscars, these movies have garnered fans across all generations. From overbearing grandmas to unapologetically brash kids, Disney movies are so irresistible that they can make anyone laugh or cry. That’s why today we have for you a list of some of the best Android apps out there that are made for Disney fans.

        • Xiaomi unveils Mi4 flagship smartphone and Mi band fitness tracker
        • How open sourcing Android made it a mobile market leader

          About 10 years ago, when I got my first mobile phone, I hardly knew anything about its operating system or its processor. Even its screen size didn’t matter. I was just happy to have a ‘mobile’ phone.

          Today, the mobile phone paradigm has shifted from feature phones to smart phones. When people consider purchasing a new mobile phone, they examine its operating system, its configuration, and its screen size. Increased attention to these details can be attributed to technological advancements—and, more importantly, to the slew of new mobile operating systems available today. In this highly competitive market, Android has obtained about 80 percent of the global market share, making it the clear leader among mobile operating systems.

          What makes Android so popular? Why has the mobile market swung toward Android lately? Let’s take a quick look at how Android has achieved this, as well as the role of open source in the Android story.

        • OnePlus AOSP stock ROM for those who don’t want CyanogenMod

          OnePlus have developed quite a buzz over the last few months with the release of their first device the OnePlus One. Part of the allure is the incredibly low asking price of $300 – which is typically half the cost of its on-spec rivals. However another feature which has greatly attracted attention is the OnePlus One comes with CyanogenMod (CM) custom ROM as stock out of the box.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • SAP Stamps Cloud Foundry and OpenStack with Meaningful Endorsements

      SAP may not be on every individual user’s radar, but the company is a giant global force in running enterrprise back-end systems, new forays into the cloud and other new platforms, and managing enterprise class applications. Now, SAP has announced that it is committing to Cloud Foundry and OpenStack, providing a clear path forward for an open cloud ecosystem.

    • Let’s party!

      Yesterday, we released ownCloud 7. You might have read that somewhere on the internet – it was widely announced and broadly picked up. If you do not have ownCloud yet, you really should try it now, and if you are one of the people happily using ownCloud for a while, update soon!

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Open source education for lifelong learners

      In the world of the Internet, where everything is so easily available, it seems like all technology is a benefit to online learners. For those who aren’t able to use the available traditional resources for various reasons, open source technology specifically is a huge boon. Let me share my seven-year journey of using open source and how it helped me add more value to both my personal and professional lives.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Nginx Plus r4 Improves Web Server Security

        Nginx, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Nginx Web server, is out today with a new release of its Nginx Plus server. The Nginx Plus r4 release provides users with new security and load balancing features.

  • BSD

    • Pkg 1.3.0 Released To Improve Package Management On FreeBSD

      After more than a half-year in development and working on tens of thousands of lines of code, Pkg 1.3.0 has been released by FreeBSD developers.

      Pkg 1.3.0 introduces a new solver to automatically handle conflicts and dynamically discover them, pkg install can now install local files and resolve their dependencies via remote repositories, sandboxing of the code has happened, improved portability of the code took place, the pkg API has been simplified, improvements to the multi-repository mode, and a ton of other changes and fixes took place.

      More on the pkg 1.3.0 release for improved package management on FreeBSD can be found via this mailing list post.

    • FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report – Second Quarter 2014
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • We Have Strayed from the Original Ideas of Unix

      In some ways we have actually made improvements to the Unix Philosophy with Richard Stallman’s GPL. We also have a mostly standardized graphical system with the X Window System. I can’t find any overt references to sharing of source code from the early days of Bell Labs but it clearly did happen even if it was de facto
      rather than de jure.

    • GNU Guix 0.7 released

      We are pleased to announce the next alpha release of GNU Guix, version 0.7.

      This release is an important milestone for the project since it is the first to provide an image to install the GNU system from a USB stick.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Toulouse moves to LibreOffice, saves €1 million

      The United Kingdom recently made an announcement about its decision to adopt the Open Document Format (ODF) as its in-house standard for all new documents. And now, Microsoft has lost another important fight in yet another European city.

      Toulouse, France’s fourth largest city, has ditched Microsoft Office in favor of LibreOffice.

  • Licensing

    • An Interview with Karen Sandler

      Karen Sandler is a veteran of the free and open source software world. Having completed an engineering degree, she has worked as a lawyer for the Software Freedom Law Center, was Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. I interviewed Karen via email to ask her about her background and insight into various issues in the free and open source world.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How do team dynamics relate to open source?

      Recently I had the opportunity to watch a soccer game (football to the majority of the world). This game was one of the most amazing displays of team effort I’ve ever had the privilege of watching. (Here’s an obligatory link if you don’t know to which game I refer). Almost every score was predicated with a series of passes and touches by various players. There was a level of unselfish play and team spirit I don’t often see when observing professional sports.

    • Open source product development most effective when social

      Benetech started out in the 90s without even understanding the meaning of the term open source. They just “needed an easy way to interface with different voice synthesizers” to develop readers for people who are blind and “shared the code to be helpful.”

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.5.15 Officially Released

      PHP 5.5.15, an HTML-embedded scripting language with syntax borrowed from C, Java, and Perl, with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in, has been released and it’s now available for download.

Leftovers

07.24.14

Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • MakerBot Offers Lessons in Open Source Innovation with Linux

    Earlier this month, Home Depot began selling MakerBot’s Linux-based 3D printers in a handful of stores across the U.S. after a 3-month trial run online. The big box pilot is not only testing consumer appetite for 3D printing hardware, but also the viability of open source design among a general population of consumers.

    Together with the Replicator printers’ relatively small size and price tag, MakerBot’s design software and online Thingiverse community lower the barrier to creation and sharing for thousands of professionals and hobbyists alike. As a result, the MakerBot open source design community has quickly grown – though not without some difficulties.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS to get comple overhaul with ‘Project Athena’

      If Google have not had their hands full with the official announcement of the soon-to-be released Android L, as well as Android TV, Auto and Wear it now seems Chrome OS is also on the agenda to receive a full overhaul.

    • Chromebooks are freaking out Microsoft in a very big way
    • Schools Are Gobbling Up Chromebooks: 1 Million Sold in 3 Months

      Schools purchased more than 1 million Chromebooks — budget laptops that run Chrome OS — in the second quarter of 2014, Google announced on Monday.

    • Bridgeport Public Schools chooses Google for Education to bring affordable technology to their students

      Schools bought more than 1 million Chromebooks in the second quarter of 2014. Today’s guest blogger, David Andrade, the CIO for the Bridgeport Public Schools district, which serves 23,000 students in Connecticut, shares why they selected Chromebooks. Learn more about going Google and follow our Google for Education Google+ page to see a selection of tips from David.

    • Freeing Education Via GNU/Linux
    • Why Chromebook Sales Are Surging in Schools, Enterprises

      Chromebook sales have risen sharply over the past several months, according to a recent report from research firm NPD. Chromebook sales in the commercial channel increased 250 percent compared with the prior year and accounted for 35 percent of all U.S. channel notebook sales during the January-May period. Chromebooks, in other words, were extremely popular during the period and continue to be so. Exactly why and how Chromebooks have been achieving such sales success, however, are not so readily known. When the devices, which run Google’s Chrome OS Web-based operating system, were first announced, many market observers believed that they had little chance of winning a significant share of the PC market. And that seemed to hold true in the first couple of years after Chromebooks hit the market in mid-2011. But the latest data shows that Chromebook sales are adding to the competitive headwinds that Windows notebooks are experiencing these days. This eWEEK slide show looks at the impact that rising Chromebook sales is having on the U.S. PC market.

    • Google Chrome takes big chunk of commercial notebook sales

      Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Chrome operating system has grown to become a legitimate third platform in the personal computer market behind Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac OS, new data show.

  • Server

    • QEMU 2.1.0-rc3 Has More Bug Fixes

      If all goes according to plan the QEMU 2.1 release will happen next week but before that can happen some last-minute testing is encouraged with the new release of QEMU 2.1-rc3.

    • ‘Munich city council shields Limux against Mayor’

      The council of the German city of Munich continues to support the city’s open source IT strategy, and opposes the newly elected mayor and a deputy mayor, reports Heise, a German IT news site. CSU party members of the deputy mayor shrug off his negative comments as “an irrelevant individual opinion”.

    • Docker acquires London startup Orchard Laboratories

      The open source engine Docker announced Wednesday that it has acquired London-based Orchard Laboratories, makers of the Orchard and Fig applications. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17 To Fix Up ASPM, Bring Other PCI Changes

      Bjorn Helgaas, the PCI subsystem maintainer for the Linux kernel, sent in a very early Linux 3.17 kernel merge window pull request due to being on holiday the next few weeks.

    • Development Continues For Supporting EXT4 On NVDIMMs

      The large set of 22 patches for supporting the EXT4 file-system on non-volatile DIMM memory is now up to its eighth revision.

    • diff -u: What’s New in Kernel Development

      Once in a while someone points out a POSIX violation in Linux. Often the answer is to fix the violation, but sometimes Linus Torvalds decides that the POSIX behavior is broken, in which case they keep the Linux behavior, but they might build an additional POSIX compatibility layer, even if that layer is slower and less efficient.

    • Kernel 3.16 RC6 Has Been Released. And Linus Torvalds Is Unhappy, Again!

      For now, the kernel patches are not that big to make the Linux godfather too unhappy, but Linus Torvalds has announced that he will keep an eye on the development process and he will call the developers names, if things go on the wrong way.

    • CPUFreq Ondemand Could Be Faster, Use Less Power With Linux 3.17

      Improvements to the CPUfreq ondemand governor could lead to faster performance in low to medium workloads with the Linux 3.17 kernel while also consuming less power overall.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10

        For those wondering about the modern performance cost of using KVM on Ubuntu Linux for virtualizing a guest OS, here are some simple benchmarks comparing Ubuntu 14.10 in its current development stage with the Linux 3.16 versus running the same software stack while virtualized with KVM and using virt-manager.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE’s the Best, Wallen Interview, and Why Linux Rules

        Today in Linux news, Bruce Byfield says the best Linux desktop continues to be KDE’s Plasma. Steven Ovadia at My Linux Rig snagged a short interview with Jack Wallen. eWeek has nine reasons Linux rules on supercomputers. And venture capitalist Sonatype says most companies don’t audit Open Source software components they’re using for vulnerabilities and security flaws.

      • KDE’s semantic desktop: Nepomuk vs. Baloo

        One of the most disliked features of the early KDE SC 4 releases was the developers’ attempt to establish the semantic desktop. The tools to further this goal are Nepomuk and Akonadi. While Nepomuk tries to interconnect meta data from different desktop applications, Akonadi is a service that stores and retrieves data from PIM applications like mail, calendar and contacts. Together, they pave the road to allow users to find data, structured and connected by tags, ratings and comments, covering different file formats. On top of that, Strigi performs the indexing that enables users to find data with simple search terms in KDE’s file manager Dolphin.

      • Netrunner 14 – KDE for the Everyday Linux User

        There are two versions of Netrunner available. This article looks at the Standard Release which is based on Kubuntu 14.04. The other version is a rolling release based on Manjaro.

      • KDE 5 Delivers New Linux Desktop Environment

        The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is among the most popular and long-lived open-source desktop environments for Linux and Unix users. Dating back to 1996, KDE is one of the earliest Linux desktop environments, predating the GNOME desktop environment, which got started in 1999. KDE has gone through multiple evolutions, the most recent being KDE Plasma 5, which was officially released on July 15. With the Plasma 5 desktop, KDE is providing users with both under-the-hood enhancements and user-facing improvements. Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.

      • It’s Aliiiiive!

        On February, I wrote a blog post entitled “Leveraging the Power of Choice“, in which I described an idea I had discussed with Àlex Fiestas about making it easy for users to choose between different Plasmoids for the same task (e.g. different application launchers, task managers, clocks, …). At the time of my writing the blog post, Marco Martin already had ideas about how to implement the feature, though he said that he wouldn’t have time to implement it before the Plasma 5.0 release. Shortly after Plasma 5.0 was released, Marco started implementation as promised. We decided it would make sense to start a thread in the VDG forum to collect ideas for the UI’s design. Together with several other forum users (most notably rumangerst and andreas_k) we fleshed out the design, which currently looks like this:

      • What’s new in kf5 porting script: port_to_autogenerate_export_header.sh and others :)
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha 2 Gets Firefox 31 and VLC 2.1.3

      Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha 2, a distribution that aims to rival Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, is now ready for testing.

    • Quelitu 14.04 Devs Think Their OS Can Replace Windows XP or Windows Vista

      Quelitu, a multilingual operating system based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Lubuntu LTS, which aims to power antique computers and to replace all the recent Windows releases, is now at version 14.04.

    • Updated xorg, linux kernel, systemd and graphics driver groups of packages …

      This move includes updates or rebuilds of the packages that are related to xorg, the linux kernel and graphics drivers, as well as various other packages that were updated in the meantime and are made available now. In total, more than 400 packages are moving to stable.

    • OpenELEC 4.2 Beta 2 Is Now Based Linux Kernel 3.15.6

      OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has advanced to version 4.2 Beta 2 and is available for download and testing.

      OpenELEC devs usually wait until a new version of XBMC Gotham is officially released, but this time they have jumped the gun a little and they’ve released an update for their distro. Interestingly enough, it’s based on XBMC 13.2 Gotham Beta 2, but regular users will have to wait for the official announcement on that one.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • EPEL 7 now contains syslog-ng
      • Oracle Linux 7 Released Today As Its RHEL7 Clone

        In case you didn’t hear already, Oracle announced the release of Oracle Linux 7 as the latest version of its Linux OS cloned from the open-source Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 code-base.

      • Oracle showcases its Open Source prowess with Oracle Linux 7
      • Oracle Linux 7 released

        Oracle has supported Linux almost from day one. But it wasn’t until 2006, when Larry Ellison got into a disagreement with Red Hat, that Oracle decided it had to have its “own” Linux distribution — a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone, Oracle Linux. It’s eight years later, and Oracle is still copying RHEL with its release of Oracle Linux 7.

      • Attack of the clones: Oracle’s latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives

        For each new Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, a new version of Oracle Linux is never far behind, and RHEL 7 is no exception.

      • Oracle Linux 7.0
      • Clone Attack, Tails Rebased, and Banana Pi?

        Today in Linux news, Oracle Linux 7 was released today. Softpedia.com reports that Tails now features a “Windows 8 camouflage mode.” MakeUseOf.com has five reasons to love Deepin and LinuxUser & Developer has a review of the Banana Pi. This and more in tonight’s Linux news review.

      • In odd coupling, OpenStack purist Mirantis join with Oracle against common enemy Red Hat

        The move seems odd at first glance since the Mountain View startup fashions itself as the “number one” pure-play provider of software and services for OpenStack, a community-led project aimed at establishing a common standard for cloud environments. That goal runs counter to Oracle’s vertically integrated platform approach, which consists primarily of homegrown components. To make matters more confusing, Oracle recently introduced its own distribution of the free platform that competes directly with that offered by Mirantis.

      • Red Hat and Cisco extend cloud collaboration in India

        To provide customers and partners with an opportunity to review their cloud frameworks and experience how they can deliver cloud innovation within their organizations

      • Fedora

        • Users Warned About Possible Regressions With DRI3

          Users of Fedora 21/Rawhide, Arch Linux, or other bleeding edge distributions where DRI3 is in play with the Intel Linux graphics driver, be forewarned about possible regressions.

        • Elections Results for Summer 2014 FESCo Special Election

          The elections for the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) Summer 2014 Special Election have concluded, and the results are shown below.

        • The ARM Arc

          Beginning in 2011, Red Hat began providing assistance to the fledgling Fedora ARM distribution. I was Red Hat’s project manager for this initiative. Back then it was a humble secondary architecture under the stewardship of Seneca College. Seneca was working on an OS distribution for the Raspberry Pi, a promising educational tool. Red Hat partnered with Seneca, provided resources to advance development and helped build a community, the open source way. Though Linux had been used on ARM for many years, kernel ports tended to exist in different source trees. Likewise, many userspace packages had been written without multi-core, thread-safe ARM code, so there was a lot of work to be done.

        • Fedora 21 Has Been Delayed By Three Weeks

          Due to many of the Fedora 21 changes/features not being ready in time, the release schedule has been pushed back by three weeks.

    • Debian Family

      • Two Years With Debian GNU/Linux – An Average Guy’s Verdict

        I used to be quite the Linux enthusiast, trying new distributions almost daily, keeping up to date with news and software versions, just generally participating in the whole scene, though as a technical know-nothing really. I kinda got tired of it after a while and decided to settle on one distribution that would be low on bandwidth needs, extremely stable, and able to do all the things, admittedly a rather limited array of things, that I need it to do. I had been playing with Debian GNU/Linux’s Wheezy iteration (yes, they use “Toy Story” character names) since late 2011, when it was still the “testing” version, and noticed after a year or so that it was in a frozen state, largely set for final release, which ultimately happened, in typical molasses-slow Debian fashion, in early May of 2013. So I guess I’ve been using it as my one and only OS for the better part of two years, rarely if ever booting into any of the dozen or so other distributions I still have installed or into Windows 7. I have it fine tuned to my liking and it does every single thing I need it to do. It’s been reliable and stable, exactly as expected.

      • Tails 1.1
      • Testing PHPNG on Debian/Ubuntu
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Microsoft imitates Ubuntu, will create one Windows to run on all screens

            Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, for long pursued a single dream — that of acheiving a unified family of experiences on smartphones, tablets, PCs, and TVs through one operating system and one interface, Unity, which will adopt to the connected device. As Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu’s founder said at last year’s OSCon, “Convergence is the core story. Each device is great, but they should be part of one family. On any device you’ll know what you’re doing. One device should be able to give you all the experiences you can get from any one of them.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Exclusive interview with Agustin Benito Bethencourt on joining Linaro

      Linaro is growing fast so I am currently focused on management and development processes. Together with the technical leads and the project managers, my goal is to keep high levels of efficiency within the Group while growing, keeping the Free Software culture that has made Linaro so successful.

    • Banana Pi review – tastier than Raspberry?

      Does the first of the true Raspberry Pi clones have what it takes to come out from the shadow of its highly-successful inspiration?

    • Phones

      • It’s now easier to install SailfishOS on Android devices

        Sailfish OS is a new venture by ex-nokia employees which aims to bring a new independent partner friendly mobile operating system to wireless devices. However, as the mobile ecosystem today is quite fragmented, a new OS brings in a lot of work for developers to port the new OS in their existing devices. The Sailfish OS team knew this problem and have come out with a Hardware Adaptation Dev kit which will help developers to port and run Sailfish OS on any device capable of running Cyanogen Mod 10.1.x.

      • Android

        • Android Open-Source for ARMv8-A Starts 64-Bit Avalanche

          I have no doubt that the next generation of premium smartphones and tablets will be based on 64-bit processors. To provide the power and features needed for new features such as UltraHD video, LTE-Advanced, and 3D products (such as Google’s Tango), mobile devices will need a big boost in processing power.

          New 64-bit SOCs such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor are expected to begin shipping this year, and the first products are expected to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2005, just in time for the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.

        • Best Android Camera Apps 2014

          Taking photos with an Android phone can be a very satisfying endeavor. Or it can be a study in frustration and ruined photo opportunities. Why? Because while all Android devices are powered by Google’s GOOGL +0.33% OS, phone makers are free to develop their own camera apps, adopting or omitting photo features as they see fit. Simply put, some companies do this better than others. One of the best ways to improve your photography experience then, is to use a third party camera app instead of the one that came installed on your phone.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • What kind of tablet do you use?

        There are also a number of other Linux-based tablets out there which do not rely on Android. Most any tablet computer which is capable of running an x86 version of a Windows operating system, for example, can be upgraded to a Linux distribution of your choice, with a number of graphic interface options available. Some distributions are now targeting other architectures as well.

      • Nvidia debuts Shield tablet for gamers
      • Gaming oriented Nvidia Shield Tablet wins early praise

        The Android 4.4.3-based Nvidia Shield Tablet won early praise with its Tegra K1 SoC, Kepler-based graphics, new stylus, and WiFi Direct gaming controller.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The VAR Guy Poll: Cloud Computing, Open Source a Good Team

    In our most recent The VAR Guy poll, we asked you whether you thought open source would take on a larger role in cloud computing. Based on reader responses, it looks as though open source has a bright future in the cloud computing sphere.

  • How open source launched my small business

    Open source hardware has truly changed my life. It allowed me to launch my own business. “How so,” you might ask? Well, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane, shall we?

  • Here’s a low-barrier way to help improve FLOSS apps – AppStream metadata: Round 1

    Do you love free and open source software? Would you like to help make it better, but don’t have the technical skills to know where you can jump in and help out? Here is a fantastic opportunity!

  • This is the golden age of open source

    Matt Asay is dead wrong to call the current era of the software industry “post open source,” as he did in InfoWorld last week. We are currently in the open source age, enjoying all the practical flexibility that open sources licenses bring. What may be confusing him is that people are no longer obsessed with arguing about software freedom — they take it as given.

  • Big Switch Unveils Big Cloud Fabric for Data Center SDN

    Company officials want to bring the benefits of networking innovation from Google and Facebook to the broader enterprise space.

  • Open-source Approaches To Ensure IoT Success

    Certainly, the Internet of Thing goes beyond connected television, surveillance cameras, smart gadgets and wearable technology. And as the adoption of the Internet of Things increases and becomes widespread in several different markets, issues on its lack of interoperability and integration cost have been raised along with its consistent escalating growth. Nonetheless, innovators from all over the world try to create different solutions such as Hypercat, in an attempt to bridge these gaps. At the IoT 2014 Conference held in Singapore, Juha Lindfors, Co-founder of OpenRemote USA, spoke about a case study on Open Source Approaches to IoT Solutions. During the presentation¹, Linfords pointed out three points that prove the value of this openness in ensuring the success for the IoT – Interoperability, Integration and Ecosystem.

  • Lessons from an open source entrepreneur

    Like many of the great games programmers from the 1980s, when open source software entrepreneur Freddy Mahhumane describes his background formal education doesn’t really play much of a part in it.

    “I wasn’t good at much at school,” he says, “Except for computers and programming.”

    Born in Mpumalanga, Mahhumane moved to Gauteng at the age of six and lived variously in Kempton Park and Thembisa while he was growing up. Sitting in front of a group of business hopefuls at the inaugural Startup Grind Johannesburg, he sounds almost embarrassed by the trappings of success.

  • Open Source and the Challenge of Making Money
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Catbird 6.0 Provides OpenStack Cloud Security Policy Automation

      Enterprise adoption of OpenStack is taking off, and value-added security solutions for the open source cloud computing operating system are close behind. This week, Catbird announced version 6.0 of its cloud security platform, which it describes as the channel’s first “security policy automation for private and hybrid cloud environments.”

    • Take control of your ‘cloud’ with ownCloud 7

      The best cloud is the one that you own. Once ownCloud was founded I never used public cloud offered and hosted by a company to keep my files. I do use Dropbox and Google Drive, but the primary purpose is to share files with a set of people. With each release ownCloud is becoming a very serious contender to these commercial offerings when it comes to file storage, syncing and sharing. OwnCloud Documents are already an impressive alternative to Google Docs and offer full ODF support which is missing from Google Docs.

    • ownCloud 7 Brings Server-To-Server Sharing

      The seventh version of ownCloud has been released this morning with some interesting new features for this personal, open-source cloud software.

    • ownCloud 7 is out!
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Education

    • The Modernization Of Computer Science Education

      Working on open source puts CS students at the heart of the software industry. Open source enables everyone involved to work in development and create new infrastructure and designs without being forced to start from scratch. And unlike in school, where a project might just be theoretical, or relevant only in context of the class, an open-source contribution makes immediate impact on the ecosystem.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Open-Source Projects Failing To Pass IRS Nonprofit Muster

      Though organizations that produce nonprofit software have long been granted tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service recently denied it to two applicants. One had waited more than four years for a determination—and found the reasons for denial alarming.

      [...]

      The report comes a few months after OpenStack Foundation was denied a nonprofit 501(c)(6) designation. (A 501(c)(3) designation is generally set aside for groups with charitable, literary, or educational goals; a 501(c)(6) generally applies to business groups.)

    • PredictionIO Raises $2.5M for Open Source Machine Learning Software

      PredictionIO, the open source machine learning platform, has received a big boost with the announcement of $2.5 million in seed funding, which it plans to use to make its automated data interpretation and prediction platform widely available to open source developers.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Icecat, the big absent

      GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser, a lot of people know this browser but it seems few used. It is a free software like Mozilla Firefox but Icecat main advantage is the ethical one because does not distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France parliamentary committee: ‘encourage European open source software market

      Europe should encourage the market for free source software solutions, using public procurement and by making open standards mandatory, recommends a French parliamentary committee. Using free software is strategic as it increases IT security, reduces economic dependencies and fights rent-seeking by closed source software vendors. To avoid straining innovation, the committee also advises against European patents on software.

    • European Citizens’ Initiative: public demo available for the Online Collection Software.

      The ECI Register lists all Open Initiatives. Each Initiative promotion site provides a link “vote” that point to an OCS in production. The ECI Register provides also detailed information about how to launch an Initiative and the requirements to prepare your Online Collection System.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tesla, pharma, and the state of open source patents

      In a shocking move last month, Tesla “open sourced” its patents, while more recently, pharmaceutical companies have adopted aggressive patent lawsuits reminiscent of the tech industry.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Wireless Garden Kits: Cooking Hacks Open Garden

        Open Garden is an Arduino-based DIY kit that has everything you need to create a connected, automated garden. It’s a product of Cooking Hacks, the online IoT component store and open source hobbyist community run by Libelium (See our interview with Alicia Asín Pérez the CEO and co-founder here).

      • Develop & Share Open-Source Hardware Projects
      • Open-Source Could Be A New Avenue For Manufacturers

        Open-source means that a program, firmware, or hardware is free to the public, with the encouragement to improve the product, so long as they don’t sell the improved/updated version and continue the openness. While this seems counter-intuitive to making money, many companies have found success in the model – I would argue that manufacturers could see a new market open up from business models like this.

      • 3D printed humanoid robot goes open source

        Small, child-like Poppy robot takes two days to assemble and program from open-source, off-the-shelf and additive manufactured components.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • WI GOP Endorses Basis for Walker Criminal Probe

      For months, supporters of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have insisted the John Doe criminal probe into his 2012 campaign is “baseless,” because the alleged coordination under investigation did not involve ads that expressly told viewers to elect Walker or vote against his opponent. As long as an ad doesn’t include such express advocacy, Walker and his allies have claimed, it is beyond the reach of Wisconsin campaign finance law.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Cowbuilder and Tor

      You’ve installed apt-transport-tor to help prevent targeted attacks on your system. Great! Now you want to build Debian packages using cowbuilder, and you notice these are still using plain HTTP.

    • The world’s most secure OS may have a serious problem

      The Tails operating system is one of the most trusted platforms in cryptography, favored by Edward Snowden and booted up more than 11,000 times per day in May. But according to the security firm Exodus Intelligence, the program may not be as secure as many thought. The company says they’ve discovered an undisclosed vulnerability that will let attackers deanonymize Tails computers and even execute code remotely, potentially exposing users to malware attacks. Exodus is currently working with Tails to patch the bug, and expects to hand over a full report on the exploit next week.

    • RT Breaking the Set — interview about spies with Abby Martin
    • Why Dropbox Is Tying Its Future to Microsoft Office

      Hot startups don’t often stake their reputation for innovation on how well their technology works with Microsoft Office, but that’s exactly what Dropbox is doing today. The file-syncing service, one of the most valuable venture-backed private companies on the planet, is rolling out several Office-related features for businesses, including full-text search of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, among other file types, and the ability for multiple users to simultaneously edit Office documents via Dropbox.

  • Civil Rights

    • Government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots

      In particular, Human Rights Watch examines the extent and impact of law enforcement’s use of terrorism informants, who can both steer people into attempted acts of violence and chill religious or civic behaviour in the communities they penetrate.

    • France’s New Anti-Terror Bill: All Presumed Terrorist Until Proven Guilty?
    • The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

      The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

      The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

    • Can Twitter activism #BringBackOurGirls?

      Three months ago, the conversation about Nigeria’s kidnapped girls was electric online. Now, much of the digital chatter around the girls has faded. On April 15, more than 200 girls were taken from their school in Chibok by the extremist group Boko Haram. Nearly 60 girls have managed to escape their captors since then, but the majority of them are still being held.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Adobe Says Piracy is Down, But Photoshop Still Rules Pirate Bay

        Last year Adobe announced a shift away from boxed products in favor of a cloud-based subscription model. Now the U.S.-based company says that not only does it have more than 2.3 million cloud subscribers, but it has also seen a drop in piracy. Exactly how much is “hard to measure” but Adobe products still lead the way with pirates.

      • Colombian Student Faces Prison Charges for Sharing an Academic Article Online

        In many parts of the developing world, students face barriers to access academic materials. Libraries are often inadequate, and schools and universities are often unable to pay dues for expensive, specialized databases. For these students, the Internet is a vital tool and resource to access materials that are otherwise unavailable to them. Yet despite the opportunities enabled by the Internet, there are still major risks to accessing and sharing academic resources online.

      • Porn studio sues immigrant who has “no idea how BitTorrent works,” wins big

        Lawsuit-happy porn studio beats a “poor sap” whose pleas of ignorance fail.

      • Megaupload Wants to Freeze MPAA and RIAA Lawsuits Until 2015

        Megaupload’s legal team has asked the federal court of Virginia to place the cases filed by the music and movie companies on hold till April next year. The request comes after the extradition hearings of Kim Dotcom and his colleagues were postponed in New Zealand.

Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation’s Lobbying for ‘Common Core’ (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Valerie Strauss

Summary: Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation’s lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption

THE Gates Foundation is pretty clever scam which is not used for much other than tax evasion and lobbying, as well as tax-exempted investment in companies which it lobbies for, under the guise of ‘charity’. Gates is not unique in that regard; other plutocrats, including the Koch Brothers, use similar loopholes that are accommodated by a government they habitually bribe (the Republic is plutocrats-led). There is a new article titled “The Koch Brothers vs. Bill Gates” and it says: “The Gates Foundation is the world’s largest, at $37 billion in assets, according to its tax filings. That number alone makes it far, far larger than any single or cumulative Koch gift. Some may argue Gates spends money on philanthropy, not politics; but Gates has actually perfected the practice of using nonprofits to influence politics. Leftists claim to hate this tactic—witness the manufactured rage and proposed Internal Revenue Service regulations aiming to curb politics-minded conservative nonprofits—but it seems they actually just hate when it’s used against them.”

What has been quite evident is that Gates bribed lots of nonprofits in order for them to help him lobby for a profitable (to him) agenda, not only in education but in many other areas. Dealing with education for the time being, Salon has published the article “Bill Gates needs to drop his Common Core obsession”. It says: “The billionaire’s latest little fixation is catching hell on all sides. Here’s why he’s better off simply moving on”

Well, it’s all about profit, using (exploiting) “the children”. We have written about this for years and now it has become acceptable to speak about it in corporate media. Valerie Strauss from the Washington Post (where Gates’ close friend and wife used to be on the broad of directors) explains “How Microsoft will make money from Common Core (despite what Bill Gates said)” and other sites cover that also. To quote: “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has used up over $200 million in an effort to push the Common Core Standards Initiative in the last couple years.

“On the Microsoft Web site, a webpage dated April 22, 2014 entitled “Tech Essentials for Testing Success” describes in considerable detail how schools using computer-based, Common Core-aligned tests will now need to spend a bunch of money — on Microsoft products.”

Here is an article which names American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one among very many groups that Bill Gates bribed in exchange for lobbying. To quote: “Though the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) received millions of dollars in funding from the private Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development of the Common Core standards, the union will begin its annual convention in Los Angeles Friday with the announcement that it will award grants to assess the standards and write others to replace them.”

This is what the Gates Foundation is for. It’s for lobbying, with profit at the bottom line.

The plutocrats’ rag, Forbes, almost properly explains that ‘charity’ by plutocrats is tax evasion with PR (aside from ‘charity’ for PAC). Read this between the lines:

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s latest gift of more than 21.7 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway class B stock — valued at $128.98 per share at Monday’s close — decreases his personal fortune from $65.9 billion down to $63.1 billion. He slips one spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, moving into 4th behind clothing and real estate magnate Amancio Ortega.

So it’s the virtual giveaway, it is a game of stocks/shares. To people like these, it it important to be perceived as generous whilst actually hoarding ad infinitum. With publications like Forbes (glorifying the super-rich) they actually succeed at fooling a lot of people. Let’s hope this will change in the coming year. Their perception management Jihad sure faces obstacles in the age of the Internet.

USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

Posted in Patents at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Going back to physical, backing away from “abstract”

Bulb

Summary: Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom

DESPITE the CAFC‘s push for expanded scope of software patents, the SCOTUS ruled in favour of new limits, whereupon the USPTO began rejecting software patent applications, among other things like rejection of software patents in the courts. This was wonderful news!

An article by Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice Group (i.e. patent lawyers) said that the USPTO had “Preliminary Examination Guidelines” for software patents after the SCOTUS ruling. To quote:

Following closely on the heels of the Court’s decision, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued guidelines for the examination of patent applications claiming abstract ideas. The guidelines are preliminary and the USPTO indicates that it will issue additional guidance after further consideration of the Court’s decision and public feedback.

This article was also published here.

Holland & Knight LLP (patent lawyers publishing behind paywall) wrote that the US “PTO Provides Examiners with Guidance on Software Patents in Light of U.S. SC Ruling” and Glaser Weil IP File said: “Though recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have not provided much help, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s efforts to more closely scrutinize software patents is reducing the incentive for patent applicants to seek vague, broad claims, experts told USPTO officials at a forum Tuesday.”

There are also new articles about it, written not by patent lawyers.

The signifiance of the above articles is that even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that software patents are facing news limits. Weeks ago they worked hard to deny it (we gave dozens of examples), hoping that the SCOTUS ruling would go away or go unnoticed.

Steph writes about the patent lawyers’ propaganda rag, IAM ‘magazine’, calling them “silly”. She says: “A while back you published this article about a study that came out, touting the damage that patent trolls do to start ups. OK, not necessarily start ups, but “entrepreneurial activity”. And not necessarily “patent trolls”, but NPEs/PAEs/Euphamisms-of-the-Month.”

UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML at 1:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Folder

Summary: Only “Microsoft as the standard” is the ‘standard’ Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office’s judgment reveals

AT THE BEGINNING of this week we learned that the British (UK) Cabinet Office, a highly influential department with technology imperatives, did the correct thing by no longer requiring British citizens to become clients of Microsoft (and users of expensive spyware) to merely communicate with their government. The Cabinet Office “goes open source” is how one news site put it, but ODF, the OpenDocument Format, is not necessarily about Free/Open Source software. ODF is about many applications working together, not via formats that are designed around a single application and its various versions (that’s what OOXML is).

Techrights did not break this news. It was Andy Updegrove who did, along with Cabinet Office. Quoting Updegrove:

The U.K. Cabinet Office accomplished today what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts set out (unsuccessfully) to achieve ten years ago: it formally required compliance with the Open Document Format (ODF) by software to be purchased in the future across all government bodies. Compliance with any of the existing versions of OOXML, the competing document format championed by Microsoft, is neither required nor relevant. The announcement was made today by The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.

The Cabinet Office stated:

The open standards selected for sharing and viewing government documents have been announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.

Not too shockingly, as one ought to expect, the following day Microsoft attacked this decision. despite claiming to have ‘embraced’ ODF. “Microsoft attacks UK government decision to adopt ODF for document formats” said one headline, stating: “Microsoft has attacked the UK government’s decision to adopt ODF as its standard document format, saying it is “unclear” how UK citizens will benefit.

“The Cabinet Office announced its new policy yesterday, whereby Open Document Format (ODF) is immediately established as the standard for sharing documents across the public sector, with PDF and HTML also acceptable when viewing documents.”

“Turning its back on Microsoft Office’s native formats, the UK government has adopted the Open Document Format for all its sharable documents,”
writes Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, but if Microsoft is really all about openness, then Microsoft should welcome this decision, not attack it. It is quite revealing that Microsoft is not really interested in fair competition, interoperability, and openness.

“UK government makes “big step forward” on open document standards,” said the headline from Opensource.com (Red Hat).

We already wrote so much about it and warmed the Cabinet Office about Microsoft’s abusive responses, which include trying to get people fired, bribing some other people, using (or exploiting) disabled people to attack people’s rational decisions, and so on.

Dr. Glyn Moody wrote about “Massachusetts ODF fiasco a decade ago” and said about this important milestone: “Let’s Not Mess it up””

While celebrating this great news, I really want to emphasise Bracken’s point about managing the switch properly. We can be absolutely certain that Microsoft will fight this decision in every way possible. It will certainly seize on any problems that arise during the implementation as “proof” that it was the wrong choice. That makes it crucial that the open source community do everything in its power to aid the Cabinet Office here.

One particular area that concerns me is cross-compatibility. I’m hearing stories about difficulty in transferring ODF files from LibreOffice to Apache OpenOffice, with formatting of things like tables being messed up in the process. This is completely unacceptable: one of the benefits of adopting an open standard is the ability to swap in and out different applications. If that theory proves impossible in reality, we have a huge problem.

I would therefore like to entreat all the open source projects and communities that work on ODF to get together and sort this out. In the wake of the fantastic – and brave – move by the Cabinet Office, providing full interoperability among open source implementations must be a priority.

Yesterday’s news is truly a unique opportunity to show the power of open standards, to promote the benefits of open source, and to bring about its wider dissemination both in government, and among home users. The price of failure here would be extremely high: yet more years in the wilderness, as happened after the Massachusetts ODF fiasco a decade ago. So let’s not mess it up.

The Mukt, which covered this important development. delivered yet another call for Google to adopt ODF as the default document format, ending Google’s cowardly approach towards document formats.

We feel as though we played some role in the above (being among hundreds of people who wrote to the Cabinet Office). We not only wrote a lot about it and also wrote to the Office itself almost a dozen times, engaging in a discussion with members of staff.

07.23.14

Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

Posted in Microsoft at 3:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Another quick look at Microsoft’s horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia

The pure fiction that Nokia and Microsoft are the only aspect to be debated in amid the layoffs discussion was covered here before. It is coverup, it is ‘damage control’, and it is successful PR. There is no lack of analyses, e.g. [1,2,3]. Here is Ahonen saying that “Elop authors another moronic memo”. Based on him, a third of those to be laid off have nothing to do with Nokia. “First,” he said, “my deepest sympathies to the 12,500 former Nokia staff who now carry Microsoft business cards, who will be fired. Its nearly half of what was left of ‘The Division Formerly Known as Nokia Mobile Phones” after all the layoffs that Elop’s mismanagement at Nokia caused in the previous four years. I did warn that the layoffs would not end, when the Microsoft purchase of Nokia was announced and as we’ve seen, the division has been producing ever more losses and ever shrinking market share. The solution by the new CEO Nadella at Microsoft is predictable as its harsh: more layoffs. I had hoped that Microsoft would have endured these highly skilled specialized labor for longer, letting them try to find some remedy to the handset business or assist other Microsoft hardware (or mobile) evolutions but no. The new CEO has spoken. And as new CEO, now is the right time to make the big cuts. Microsoft has never seen this kind of mass layoffs before, and as the whole corporation, the cuts are about one in ten employees. But they are almost exclusively inside the Nokia handset part. And unfortunately for Microsoft’s mobile unit, Elop still gets to keep his job (for now).”

Microsoft has already used Nokia to make antitrust complaints against Google and Android in Europe. Andrew Orlowski has this update on it:

Industry sources have confirmed to The Reg that the European Commission is once again prodding Google’s Android contracts with phone makers. Preliminary letters, sent out a month ago, merely ask the phone makers if they find anything in Google’s contracts restrictive.

Windows revenue is decreasing despite squeezing of customers who are locked in. This does not look good for Microsoft and some sources speak of new work limits. “After announcing a big round of job cuts,” says this article, “Microsoft issued new policies concerning contract workers and how long they can work for the software giant.” These are the hallmarks of a company in collapse.

The layoffs at Nokia are actually Microsoft layoffs but there are also purely Microsoft layoffs. Microsoft has been trying to paint it as a Nokia issue using an ugly memo which gets slammed as follows: “Well, congratulations to Satya Nadella and the Microsoft HR and communications teams, because you’re stealing from the best—or maybe you all took the same course in corporate doubletalk and truthiness as part of your MBA programs. Microsoft this morning announced far and away the largest round of layoffs in its history, and Nadella’s e-mail drips with that familiar mixture of faux sympathy and non-information that is so typical of carefully managed corporate communication.”

As there are many dead products at Microsoft, so it should not be surprising that Microsoft also kills Android endeavours from Nokia. “Citing lack of interest,” says this new article, “Lenovo pulls 8-inch Windows tablets from the US,” so Windows is not a viable alternative, that is for sure.

“Detractors further derided Windows 8 as a misguided attempt to be all things to all people that actually ended up pleasing nobody,” said this other new article, so there is consensus on this. “In China, Windows Phone saw a collapse from 3% to o.6%,” says this report and even a Microsoft booster, Preston Gralla, calls BS on claims of the Bill Gates- and Microsoft-funded Gartner Group. Meanwhile, reveal the words of Bill Gates, there may be an attempt to import cheaper labour. As Sen. Jeff Sessions put it, “Super billionaires aren’t happy apparently… They declare we need to import more foreign workers. Mr. Gates says we need to let more and more people into our country to take those kinds of jobs.” See more here or here. Apparently, Bill Gates is now a writer for the New York Times, a paper for the plutocrats, by the plutocrats, cheapening the 99%.

It is fine for everyone around the world to share jobs. What’s not fine is using globalisation for a race to the bottom, as Microsoft did with criminal lobbyists such as Abramoff in the past, amid Gates’ immigration policy hijack (we covered it years ago).

Microsoft announced layoffs but said nothing about the temps it had been hiring to hide shrinkage of the company for years. There was a puff piece/PR from CNN [1, 2], to which there was a response in Pogson’s blog.

For those who want what Nokia would have offered if it weren’t for Microsoft, there’s Jolla, which has just reached another 1.0 milestone [4,5].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Told You So blog about Nokia Predictions and Analysis

    Now look at Nokia. That ‘struggling’ Nokia which in 2010 still sold its smartphones running on the ‘obsolete’ Symbian system. Nokia in 2009 sold 67.8 million smartphones. Did Nokia lose sales to Apple in 2010? Did that number go down while Apple’s iPhone grew so much? No. Nokia grew. Really? Yes reallly. Nokia’s smartphone sales grew to 103.6 million units (the final, corrected number by Nokia financial reports). Nokia’s smartphone sales during calendar year 2010 grew 35.8 million units !!! The gap between Apple and Nokia smartphones was not narrowing during 2010. Apple was not catching up to Nokia. Nokia smartphone unit was the global juggernaut totally crushing its competition – and yes – the numbers are indisuputable, the gap between Apple iPhone and Nokia smartphones was GROWING during 2010, not shrinking. Apple was not ‘catching up’ to Nokia, Nokia was indeed ‘pulling away’ from Apple (and from Blackberry and from Samsung etc). And Nokia did this profitably, and its smartphone unit produced a Nokia-record profit by Q4 of 2010. Nokia was not losing, The numbers are crysta-clear if you can do basic math. Nokia was clearly winning the war.

  2. Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months

    When Microsoft swallowed half of Europe’s biggest tech company, it was only a matter of time before it spat something out. And so it has, ending Nokia’s thirty-year roller-coaster ride.

    However, the decision will make tens of million of its customers take a look at Android – surely the last thing Microsoft wanted to happen.

  3. Nokia X, We Hardly Knew Ye

    “I told you so” is a refrain that’s oft-heard here in the Linux blogosphere, and more often than not it refers to some fleeting Microsoft tie with FOSS that subsequently goes wrong.

    The latest example? It’s a doozy. Redmond not only is laying off many, many thousands — most of them in its ill-fated Nokia unit — but also abandoning its short-lived support of Android through the Nokia X line of phones.

  4. SAILFISH OS HARDWARE ADAPTATION DEV KIT RELEASE 1.0

    Months back, we had Sailfish OS released on Nexus 4, in very alpha stage while many things didn’t work and after any update they got better and better and more stuff started working.

    Now though, Jolla is asking YOU to port the OS to your Android device (Running Cyanogen Mod 10.1.x) while it’s hot.

  5. It’s Now Made Easier Porting Jolla’s Sailfish OS To New Android Phones

    This week Jolla has finally released their Hardware Adaptation Dev Kit (HADK) publicly to make it easier for enthusiasts/developers to port the Sailfish OS platform to new Android smart-phones.

07.22.14

Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

Posted in News Roundup at 5:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Survey: What are the Best Open Source Cloud Projects?

    Linux.com is teaming up with The New Stack to do a survey about what you think are the most popular open source cloud projects.

    The next-generation of the enterprise is being built now with open cloud technologies. Your choices will help identify and recognize the most popular open source projects that are defining the new way to build and manage applications and systems.

  • EFF releases Privacy Badger add-on for Firefox and Chrome
  • ‘Privacy Badger’ Browser Add-On Protects You from Online Tracking
  • Privacy Badger beta released. Install it on Firefox and Chrome

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announced the release of Privacy Badger beta. This comes roughly three months after the alpha version was released.

    Privacy Badger is a browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome that’s designed to stop “advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web.” And it’s designed to require zero configuration to use. Just install and forget it!

  • EFF announces open wireless router firmware to share network

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an organization fighting against illegal surveillance programs in the courts. It also contributes to a open and secure internet by funding the development of software like HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger.

  • EFF Aims To Launch An Open Wireless Router

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is today announcing a new Open Wireless Router initiative today at the HOPE X conference.

  • The value of open source is the open development process

    Scott Wilson agrees that open source matters because of open code, but just as important is the process in which the code is made. Open development of code is in the social nature of many programmers, hackers, documentors, and project managers. So, what is it about open development?

  • Solderdoodle USB rechargeable soldering iron brings open-source portability

    The active talk of Open Source Technologies took root in Uganda during the mid 90s when a few enthusiasts started experimenting with the use of software like Linux which was in its infancy back then.

  • Excellent Free Distraction-Free Tools for Writers

    Fans of the typewriter remain a vehement group. They view the typewriter as something really special, a tool which makes the connection between languages. One of the attractions of a typewriter is that it offers a distraction-free alternative of modern day methods for producing a document. They challenge the writer to concentrate on what really matters – the content. They force the writer to think.

  • Are We Comfortable With Commercial Open Source Now?

    But open source has of course progressed and been adopted widely albeit in more ‘back office’ circles. It is hard to talk about the growth of big data analytics applications without mentioning Hadoop, while the rise of NoSQL databases has flourished such that even Facebook recently announced its own Paxos algorithm-based project called Apollo.

  • Uganda’s Open Source friendly Policies and Sleeping FOSS Community

    It was such a challenge for the initial Open Source promoters to break through onto the corporate scene and later the Government. The rampant piracy of software that existed then (and still exists) made most software consumers disregard the issues that were being raised by the Open Source Software community against the blind adoption of proprietary systems.

  • Events

    • OSCON 2014 – Crash Course in Open Source Cloud Computing

      I’ll be presenting an updated version of my Crash Course on Open Source Cloud Computing presentation at OSCON 2014. I have some new material on Docker and SDN along with the latest updates on cloud software. Here’s the official excerpt:

    • Webcast and Easier Tools Aim to Demystify Hadoop

      Hadoop is steadily making its way into many enterprises, thanks to its ability to surface unique insights from very large data sets. It power and success as an open source platform are a direct result of the fact that it can perform analytics that go beyond what traditional analytics platforms are capable of. All of this came to the fore at the Hadoop Summit held recently in San Jose, California.

  • Web Browsers

    • Best Linux Browsers

      Choosing the best Linux browser for your needs requires just a bit of homework: Web browsers for the Linux desktop have evolved over the years, just as they have for other popular desktop platforms. With this evolution, both good and bad revelations have been discovered. Revelations from new functionality, to broken extensions, and so forth. In this article, I’ll serve as your guide through these murky waters to help you discover the best in Linux browsers.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

        If you’ve been wondering why the battery life on your Windows laptop or tablet seems so lousy, your Chrome web browser might be to blame – and it may have been sapping your system’s juice for years.

        A documented bug in the source code for the Chromium open source project seems to account for the mysterious power drain that some users of Google’s web browser have been experiencing.

      • Chrome Brings Text into Focus After Lagging Other Browsers

        If you’re a regular user of the Google Chrome browser, you probably know that the nightly builds and beta channel versions often incorporate cutting-edge features that you can’t get in the stable release. These features also often foreshadow what will soon arrive in the stable release.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Thunderbird 31.0 Has Been Released!
      • Mozilla Thunderbird 31.0 Officially Released with Lots of Fixes and Important Changes

        Mozilla has officially released Thunderbird 31.0, an email and RSS client, for all the available platforms, and the developers have actually made a number of improvements to the application.

        The first version has been released in the Thunderbird 31.x branch, but unlike some of the previous updates, this one actually brings something interesting. It’s been a while since Thunderbird received any real improvements, but that’s not exactly Mozilla’s fault.

      • Mozilla Unleashes Firefox 31 Web Browser

        The Firefox 31 web-browser is out this morning with new features.

        New to Firefox 31 is improved download security by trying to block known malware (based upon Google’s functionality in Chrome), a search box has been added to the new tab page, a new certificate verification library, HTML5 WebVTT support for video playback with subtitles, and various developer-focused improvements.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Introducing Tyler Livingston, a summer Licensing Team intern

      Hello. I am a rising Third Year law student at SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas, TX. I am working hard to master the technical aspects of law, electronics, and software. My current interests involve protecting individuals and investigating new technology, particularly in the communications field by utilizing licenses for authorship, art, and inventions. Prior to law school, I attained a bachelor’s degree in History at the University of Texas at Dallas.

    • GNU Parallel 20140722 (‘MH17′) released

      This release contains a major change in central parts of the code and should be considered beta quality. As always it passes the testsuite, so most functionality clearly works.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Over 170 Primary Schools In Geneva Switched To Ubuntu For Classroom Teaching

      Over 170 primary schools and secondary schools in Geneva are switching to Ubuntu for PCs used by teachers and students, which were earlier using a proprietary software. The move has been successfully completed for all the primary schools. For the rest 20 secondary schools, the migration is expected to be completed by the next academic year.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Is PHP 6 or PHP 7 Next?

      Debate is currently raging in the open-source PHP community over what the number will be for the version of PHP that will succeed the current PHP 5.x series.

    • [cfe-dev] [3.5 Release] Tentative Schedule
    • PHP5′s Successor Might Be PHP7
    • An alternative to devilspie/devilspie2

      Recently I was updating my dotfiles, because I wanted to ensure that media-players were “always on top”, when launched, as this suits the way I work.

    • GCC 5.0 Is Expected Next Year

      GNU Compiler Collection developers are beginning to come to a consensus that GCC 5.0 will be released in 2015.

      While GCC 4.10 is the current release under development since the GCC 4.9 debut this spring, GCC 4.10 will likely be relabeled as GCC 5.0. There’s a fresh thread on the GCC mailing list that talks about GCC version bikeshedding.

    • Cisco relaunches Developer Network
    • Looking at the Zooniverse code

      Recently I’ve been looking over the Zooniverse citizen science project and its source code on github, partly because it’s interesting as a user and partly because I thought writing an Android app for Galaxy Zoo would be a good learning exercise and something useful to open source.

Leftovers

07.20.14

Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • EFF releases experimental open wireless router firmware

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has announced the release of the alpha version of an Open Wireless Router firmware. It was officially announced at the HOPE X (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference in New York City.

  • Standardized open source products are the key to unlocking the lock-in trap

    Mårten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, argues that when companies lock in to their own design and customizations, it’s as harmful as when they lock in to a vendor. Mickos explains why he thinks using standardized open source products is the best way to avoid both types of lock-in.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Geneva class-rooms switching to free software

      All primary and secondary public schools in the Swiss Canton of Geneva are switching to using Ubuntu GNU/Linux for the PCs used by teachers and students. The switch has been completed by all of the 170 primary public schools, and the migration of the canton’s 20 secondary schools is planned for the next school year. Ubuntu GNU/Linux offers powerful services to the teachers, is easier to maintain, faster, safer and more stable than the decade-old proprietary operating system it is replacing, the canton’s school IT department concludes, based on several four-year long pilots.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Makeblock Starter Robot Kit Review

        The Makeblock kit is all about assembling building blocks in three major parts: putting together the Arduino caddy, constructing a chassis for it and finally programming it via Arduino IDE.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • FedEx Indicted For Failing To Look Into Its Packages To See If Any Online Pharmacies Were Sending Drugs

      Back in March of last year, we were somewhat disturbed by UPS agreeing to forfeit $40 million to the US government for shipping drugs from “illegal internet pharmacies.” Not that such drugs or pharmacies should be legal (that’s a whole different discussion), but it’s insane to pin the blame for the shipments on the shipping company, whose sole job is to get packages from point A to point B. In fact, we don’t want shipping companies to be liable for what’s in packages, because then they have not just the incentive, but the mandate to snoop through all our packages.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ‘Mysterious’ Plane Crash – Who benefits?
    • Facts Needed on Malaysian Plane Shoot-Down

      It will likely take some time to determine who downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people onboard. Initial speculation is that someone with a missile battery mistook the plane as a military aircraft, but the precise motive may be even harder to discern.

    • Airline Horror Spurs New Rush to Judgment

      President Obama and the State Department’s “anti-diplomats” are fanning flames of anger against Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine. But some U.S. intelligence analysts doubt the popular “blame-the-Russians” scenario, reports Robert Parry.

    • Three Lessons We Need to Heed from the Soviet Downing of KAL 007
    • MH17 makes the situation in Ukraine an American crisis and an EU catastrophe
    • Rebels, extremists have easy access to advanced missiles
    • Russia: US implicating rebels

      On Saturday, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said the US administration sought to pin the blame on separatists and Russia without waiting for the results of an investigation. “The statements of representatives of the US administration are evidence of a deep political aberration of Washington’s perception of what is going on in Ukraine,” he told Russian news agencies. “At least, that is how the relevant statements can be interpreted,” he said. “Despite an obvious and indisputable nature of the arguments provided by rebels and Moscow, the US administration is pushing its own agenda,” he said. Meanwhile, a rebel leader appealed to Russia for help with worsening conditions at the crash site of a Malaysian airliner, accusing the Ukrainian government of preventing experts from arriving and allowing bodies to rot.

    • MH17 joins long list of commercial planes shot down

      Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that was blown out of the sky while flying across eastern Ukraine, was not a sole casualty of warfare.

    • Missiles are now so easy to get that it’s a miracle more planes haven’t been shot down

      Stinger man-portable missiles may also threaten the U.S. Army crews of Apache helicopter gunships recently dispatched to Baghdad to secure the airport and defend the U.S. embassy. Intelligence reports say that the Islamic State organization, also known as ISIS, has likely captured U.S.-made Stingers. In seizing major cities such as Mosul and Tikrit, and overrunning four Iraqi army divisions, Islamic State fighters have reportedly taken control of two major weapons depots, where Stingers were likely stored along with other sophisticated U.S.-manufactured armaments.

    • Russia’s Missiles Stung the World Long Before MH17

      On May 1, 1960, a U-2 spy plane operated by the CIA took off from an airbase in Peshawar, Pakistan. The existence of the U-2 was a secret. It had an unusual appearance created by its long, slender wings. These wings gave it the ability to fly at heights beyond 70,000 feet to the edge of the stratosphere, way above any other airplanes.

    • All hands stained with blood

      Ricardo and Lugo flew back to Trinidad and checked in at the then Holiday Inn in Port of Spain. There, that said evening, that local police under Randolph Burroughs arrested them and found incriminating evidence that linked them to anti-Castro CIA operative Luis Carriles.

      It turned out that the CIA, and possibly higher officials in Washington, were aware of the plot to blow up the Cubana plane. Even worse, Washington helped Carriles escape and evade prosecution in Venezuela and/or Cuba (Ricardo and Lugo were jailed in Caracas).

    • Ex-Shin Bet Chief: Israeli Illusions Fueled Blowup

      Yuval Diskin, who served as director of Israel’s Shin Bet security service from 2005 to 2011, posted some rather blunt observations on his Facebook page this morning regarding the tit-for-tat murders of teenagers, the Palestinian rioting in East Jerusalem and the Triangle (the Arab population center south of Haifa) and what he fears is coming down the pike.

      It strikes me that he’s probably saying a lot of what IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz was thinking at this week’s security cabinet meeting, when Gantz’s far more restrained comments led to a tongue-lashing from Naftali Bennett. In other words, this is how the current meltdown looks to much of the top Israeli military and intelligence brass. It’s what they’ve been saying privately while in uniform and publicly after retiring (and occasionally even while still in uniform). I’ve taken the liberty of translating Diskin’s Hebrew into English.

    • Hacker Group Anonymous launches #OpSaveGaza, an intensive online offensive against Israel

      In an online offensive against Israel, the global hacker group took down hundreds of Israeli websites including that of Tel Aviv Police Department, which is still not available, at the time of writing this report

    • Israel Vows to Escalate Gaza Offensive: 341 Killed
    • Israel using flechette shells in Gaza

      The munitions are not prohibited under international humanitarian law, but according to B’Tselem, “other rules of humanitarian law render their use in the Gaza Strip illegal. One of the most fundamental principles is the obligation to distinguish between those who are involved and those who are not involved in the fighting, and to avoid to the extent possible injury to those who are not involved. Deriving from this principle is the prohibition of the use of an imprecise weapon which is likely to result in civilian injuries.”

    • Israeli envoy to US lands in hot water

      Dubai- Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer landed himself in hot water Thursday when Palestine activists posted a barrage of sarcastic questions to his Twitter Q&A #AskDermer thread. The Q&A was held amid escalating violence between Israel and Hamas forces in Gaza. The hashtag, which was used more than 20,000 times, included questions that were harshly critical of Israel’s strategy in Gaza. Many tweets by activists were snarky, and others were angry. Eli Clifton wrote: IDF says houses, hospitals, schools and mosques are weapons depots. What were the “human shields” shielding on the beach? #AskDermer US Dept of Drone War wrote: A Palestinian walks into a bar. Do you A) Blow up the bar, B) Blow up the person’s home, or C) Kill 4 random kids on a beach? #AskDermer

    • Israel-Gaza conflict: Baby killed by tank as IDF begins ground offensive
    • Hamas raid kills two Israeli soldiers

      In their most audacious attack Saturday, Hamas fighters dressed in Israeli army uniforms slipped from central Gaza into Israel through a tunnel and attacked an Israeli army patrol, killing two soldiers and injuring two others. The army returned fire, killing one militant and forcing the rest back through the tunnel into the Palestinian territory.

    • Despite Israeli Push in Gaza, Hamas Fighters Slip Through Tunnels

      Eight Palestinian militants emerged from a tunnel some 300 yards inside Israel on Saturday morning, armed with automatic weapons and wearing Israeli military uniforms, the Israeli military said. The gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade at two Israeli military jeeps on patrol, starting a battle that killed two Israeli officers and one of the militants, according to the military. The rest then retreated underground, back to Gaza.

    • Hamas Fighters Infiltrate Israel Through Tunnel and Kill Two Soldiers

      As Israel continued its deadly assault on the Gaza Strip, Hamas militants sneaked into the country on Saturday and killed two soldiers, delivering the worst blow to the Israeli military on its side of the Gaza border in years.

    • Pakistan condemns US drone strike in NWA
    • US drone stike on Pakistan compound kills 11

      Pakistan has condemned the US drone strike in North Waziristan in which 15 suspected militants were reportedly killed early Saturday, saying these strikes would have a negative impact on its efforts to bring peace and stability in the country and the region.

    • Death toll rises to 11 in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan
    • New York officer in fatal arrest placed on desk duty
    • Complaints About Chokeholds Are Focus of Study
    • Outrage Mounts Over Death of Staten Island Man Placed in NYPD Chokehold [Updated]

      When LIRR workers and the MTA reached an agreement to avoid the strike that would have begun on Sunday, it seemed that Mayor de Blasio and his family would be able to leave for their ten-day Italian vacation on Friday, as scheduled. But on Friday evening, De Blasio’s office announced that the mayor would remain in New York until Saturday “to attend to City business.” According to the New York Times, the mayor wanted to “spend more time making calls to elected officials, community leaders and members of the clergy, and talking to the police” about Eric Garner, the 43-year-old Staten Island man who went into cardiac arrest and died after NYPD officers put him in a chokehold on Thursday. Anyone who has seen the cell phone video of five cops piling onto an unarmed Garner can probably understand why De Blasio felt the need to at least briefly postpone his trip.

    • Israel begins heaviest bombardment yet in Gaza, sending residents fleeing
    • Opinion: Self-righteousness is the siren song of war

      Even the educated are not immune to these feelings. Consider, for instance, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, a well-paid speaker and author, respected by many as an expert in international affairs. Yet, in an interview with Charlie Rose on May 29, 2003, Friedman justified his support of the U.S. invasion of Iraq on the grounds that if we killed enough Iraqis, Arab terrorists would give up believing they can attack us without repercussions. He concluded by saying that “they” needed to see “American boys and girls going from house to house from Basra to Baghdad” and telling people to “suck on this!”

    • Of Planes and Proxies

      In the nineteen-eighties, the C.I.A. handed out Stinger surface-to-air missiles to the mujahideen

    • Clinton papers on Iraq, Haiti released

      President Bill Clinton’s advisers carefully considered how to explain the president’s military action against Iraq in 1998 as the House was debating his impeachment, according to records from the Clinton White House that were released Friday. The documents also touched upon al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, consideration of military action in Haiti in 1994 and preparations for Supreme Court nomination hearings.

    • Top 6 takeaways from the Clinton document dump
    • Clinton had asked for Bin Laden info in 1988 Clinton had asked for Bin Laden info in 1998

      The latest batch shows Mr Clinton asked his national security aides whether the CIA overstated bin Laden’s role in the August 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

    • Markus R. case highlights spy game between Washington, Moscow and Berlin
    • Can the US accept allies as equals?

      By expelling the CIA station chief in Berlin recently, Germany hoped to jolt the United States into paying attention. Germans are outraged by reports that American spies may have been working inside their security services. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that hostile operations like this “contradict everything that I understand to be a trusting cooperation between friendly partners.”

    • Loss of trust

      A specialist on German foreign policy at the European Council on Foreign Relations has described the US as a “weak superpower” whose spying methods and surveillance on other countries is solely driven by a feeling of insecurity.

  • Finance

    • US states with higher minimum wages gain more jobs

      The 13 U.S. states that raised their minimum wages at the beginning of this year are adding jobs at a faster pace than those that did not, providing some counter-intuitive fuel to the debate over what impact a higher minimum has on hiring trends.

    • Income Inequality Is Not Rising Globally. It’s Falling.

      The finding comes from a recent investigation by Christoph Lakner, a consultant at the World Bank, and Branko Milanovic, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center. And while such a framing may sound startling at first, it should be intuitive upon reflection. The economic surges of China, India and some other nations have been among the most egalitarian developments in history.

    • When the Boss Says, ‘Don’t Tell Your Coworkers How Much You Get Paid’

      Whether I was working as a barista or a paralegal, the story was the same: My employers wanted me to keep my mouth shut about money.

    • What Happens When Detroit Shuts Off the Water of 100,000 People

      When the water trucks arrived near Arlyssa Heard’s home on the west side of Detroit at the end of June, the 42-year-old single mother of two said it felt like the entire neighborhood was being taken over. “There were water trucks literally circling up and down blocks. I’d never seen so many in my life,” she says. “It’s like they were the police hunting down a criminal.”

  • Censorship

    • ‘Friendly Wi-Fi’ Aims To Stop Porn Access In Public Hotspots

      The UK government has launched the ‘Friendly Wi-Fi’ licensing scheme – an effort to make harmful and pornographic content inaccessible through public Wi-Fi networks.

    • ‘Pirate’ Site ISP Blockades Reversed By Court

      As Spain struggles with its continuing online piracy problems, a local court has issued an order for several file-sharing sites to be unblocked by ISPs. The decision overturns a ruling in May which required the service providers to censor torrent and download sites on copyright infringement grounds.

    • Dotcom’s MEGA Blocked in Italy Over Piracy Concerns

      The Court of Rome has issued a nation-wide block of two dozen sites that facilitated the distribution of pirated movies. Among the blocked domains is Kim Dotcom’s cloud hosting service Mega, Firedrive (formerly known as Putlocker), and even Russia’s largest email provider Mail.ru.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • That Comcast Customer Service Rep Wasn’t Going Rogue

      During her time at Comcast, Bruce attended an all-day training session, on a Sunday, four times a year. At the training session, 40 people would be lectured by a trainer who would give “pep talks” about the importance of retaining customers and making sales. In addition to managing calls, Bruce also worked at the counter, where she was instructed to try to convince customers to keep their service, even as they were returning cable gear following a processed cancellation.

    • Verizon made an enemy tonight

      This Netflix video streams at 375 kbps (or 0.375 mbps – 0.5% of the speed I pay for) at the fastest. I was shocked. Then I decided to try connecting to a VPN service to compare.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • RIAA Now Bullying Fully Licensed, Zero Revenue Music Site

        Earlier this week it was reported how the RIAA had decided to turn the licensing thumbscrews on a site offering decades-old radio archives for download. Now another archival site, one that pays thousands of dollars in license fees to BMI, ASCAP and SoundExchange yet makes not a cent, is now in the RIAA spotlight.

      • [Old] Dotcom’s Mega Plans $179m Public Listing Via Reverse Takeover

        Mega.co.nz, the cloud storage company founded by Kim Dotcom, has announced its intention to go public with a backdoor listing on the New Zealand stock exchange. The deal, worth a cool NZ$210m ($179m), will be actioned via a reverse takeover of a local investment shell company.

      • Chrome Blocks uTorrent as Malicious and Harmful Software

        Google’s Chrome browser has started to block downloads of the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent. Those who attempt to download the software are told that it’s malicious and harmful, hinting that the website might have been hacked.

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