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09.01.14

Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

Posted in News Roundup at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ten Linux Desktops Showing Just How Far Behind Mac OS X and Windows Designs Are

    Linux doesn’t have any kind of PR, and in the collective mind of the people, there is still an impression that Linux users spend their time inside the terminal and in dreary desktops. In fact, most of the current Linux desktops are much better than anything made by Apple of Microsoft.

  • Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs

    Lennart Poettering of systemd and PulseAudio fame has published a lengthy blog post that shares his vision for how he wishes to change how Linux software systems are put together to address a wide variety of issues. The Btrfs file-system and systemd play big roles with his new vision.

  • Revisiting How We Put Together Linux Systems

    Of course, we are developers of the systemd project. Implementing this scheme is not just a job for the systemd developers. This is a reinvention how distributions work, and hence needs great support from the distributions. We really hope we can trigger some interest by publishing this proposal now, to get the distributions on board. This after all is explicitly not supposed to be a solution for one specific project and one specific vendor product, we care about making this open, and solving it for the generic case, without cutting corners.

  • Desktop

    • Linux has run out of time – I looked into the trap, Jim

      Is Word better than LibreOffice Writer or is LibreOffice Writer better than Word? Is Android better than Apple? Were Nirvana better than Pearl Jam? Which were better “The Beatles” or “The Rolling Stones”?

      Microsoft Word has a lot of flaws that people seem to gloss over. Bullets and numbering for instance are just random. The fonts change, the numbering changes, the indentation changes and for no apparent reason.

      The Microsoft ribbon bars have surely just been added to sell training courses because there is no way they are better than menus, toolbars and keyboard shortcuts. Everything we have been used to for 20 years all switched around for no seemingly good reason. I don’t like it when my local supermarket rearranges all the shelves for no apparent reason either. If you want a ribbon bar then there is always Kingsoft Office.

  • Server

    • Matching databases to Linux distros

      Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) aren’t the sort of thing to get most folk out of bed in the morning – unless, of course, you happen to think they’re one of the most brilliant concepts ever dreamed up.

      These days you can’t sneeze without someone turning it into a table value in a database somewhere – and in combination with the freely available Linux operating system, there’s no end to them.

      Most Linux distros make it almost trivial to add popular DBMSs to your system, such as MySQL and MariaDB, by bundling them in for free in their online app stores. But how do you tell which combination – which Linux distro and which DBMS – will give you the best performance?

      This week we’ve revved up the Labs servers to ask the question: what level of performance do you get from OS repository-sourced DBMSs?

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17-rc3

      I’m back to the usual Sunday release schedule, and -rc3 is out there
      now. As expected, it is larger than rc2, since people are clearly
      getting back from their Kernel Summit travels etc. But happily, it’s
      not *much* larger than rc2 was, and there’s nothing particularly odd
      going on, so I’m going to just ignore the whole “it’s summer”
      argument, and hope that things are just going that well.

      Please don’t prove me wrong,

      Linus

    • Linux 3.17-rc3 Kernel Released Back On Schedule

      Linus Torvalds is back to his rhythm of releasing new kernel release candidates on Sundays.

      After Linux 3.17-rc2 was released last Monday to celebrate 23 years of Linux, Torvalds is now back in Portland and doing his Sunday release rhythm.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 10.3 release candidate 2

        Mesa 10.3 release candidate 2 is now available for testing. The current plan of record is to have an additional release candidate each Friday until the 10.3 release on Friday, September 12th.

        The tag in the GIT repository for Mesa 10.3-rc2 is ‘mesa-10.3-rc2′. I have verified that the tag is in the correct place in the tree.

      • Mesa 10.3 RC2 Arrives Via Its New Release Manager
      • Nouveau X.Org Driver Released With DRI3+Present, Maxwell, GLAMOR

        The Nouveau development community released the xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.11 driver update to kick off the start of September. While you wouldn’t guess it from the version number, this driver update is actually very significant and introduces a lot of new functionality and other improvements.

    • Benchmarks

      • Preview: AMD’s FX-9590 Eight-Core At Up To 5.0GHz On Linux

        Since last year AMD’s had the FX-9590 as the top-end Vishera CPU that can top out at 5.0GHz with its Turbo Frequency, but initially this processor was only available to OEM system builds. Over time the OEM version of the FX-9590 became available to consumers while earlier this summer AMD launched a retail version of the FX-9590 that included the eight-core CPU with a closed-loop water cooling solution. Today we’re reviewing this highest-end Vishera CPU to see how it compares to other AMD and Intel processors on Ubuntu Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • AMBIANCE & RADIANCE COLORS THEMES UPDATED WITH XFCE FIXES

      Quick update for Ambiance & Radiance Colors fans: the theme pack was updated (version 14.04.6) today with quite a few Xfce fixes such as: fixed window borders on non-Debian distros, fixed Xfce GTK3 indicator background and more.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Personal clones on KDE infrastructure

        I’m doing a little work on Tupi – the 2D animation application that joined the KDE community some months back — so that it builds on FreeBSD (the C++ code is wonderful, but the build system is qonf, which is not).

        This has led me to the maze of git documentation on KDE’s infrastructure, and I’m taking notes so I don’t forget what I did. It’s also part of one of the things-to-do-at-Akademy on my list: talk to the techbase people to find out what the status and intentions are.

      • THE AWESOMELY EPIC GUIDE TO KDE

        Desktops on Linux. They’re a concept completely alien to users of other operating systems because they never having to think about them. Desktops must feel like the abstract idea of time to the Amondawa tribe, a thought that doesn’t have any use until you’re in a different environment. But here it is – on Linux you don’t have to use the graphical environment lurking beneath your mouse cursor. You can change it for something completely different. If you don’t like windows, switch to xmonad. If you like full-screen apps, try Gnome. And if you’re after the most powerful and configurable point-and-click desktop, there’s KDE.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Try GNOME 3.14 Beta 1 with Wayland Without Installing Anything

        GNOME is working to implement official Wayland support for the upcoming 3.14 release and they seem to be more than half way there. It’s difficult to test the new GNOME 3.14 Beta updates that have been made until now, especially with the Wayland integration, but a Reddit user posted a short and easy-to-follow tutorial in this regard.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Linux 5.1 Released

        Today we are pleased to release the next in the 5 series of Black Lab Linux. Black Lab Linux 5.1 contains many updates, new features and enhancements to the Black Lab Linux distribution.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debconf Wrapup

        Debconf14 started with a Meet and Greet before the Welcome Talk. I got to meet people and find out what they do for Debian. I also got to meet other GSoC students that I had only previously interacted with online. During the Meet and Greet I also met one of my mentors for GSoC, Zack. Later in the conference I met another of my mentors, Piotr. Previously I only interacted with Zack and Piotr online.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Curious Case of Raspberry Pi Consumerism

      I find the attitude of many within the Raspberry Pi community to be strange and offensive.

      I first discovered this odd phenomenon (odd because it contradicts the ethos of the project’s academic foundations) back when it first started, as many within the Raspberry Pi community took an extremely hostile attitude toward academic freedom, apparently in defence of various parties’ highly dubious intellectual monopolies (Broadcom and MPEG-LA, for example).

      I pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of their attitude at the time, explaining that they were more than happy to leech Free (as in freedom) Software for their own benefit, but then balked at the prospect of freely sharing the results, and in particular this contradicted their stated academic goal of facilitating better computer education in UK schools, an environment that rightly demands open access to knowledge.

    • A web browser for the Raspberry Pi

      Since the first beta release we have made huge improvements; now the browser is more responsive, it’s faster, and videos work much better (the first beta could play 640×360 videos at 0.5fps, now we can play 25fps 1280×720 videos smoothly). Some web sites are still a bit slow (if they are heavy on the JavaScript side), but there’s not much we can do for web sites that, even on my laptop with an Intel Core i7, use 100% of one of the cores for more than ten seconds.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • The Trouble With Android

          At my house we have a second generation Nexus 7. I don’t use it at all, but my roommate depends on it. Again, it’s a beautiful OS, stable and easy to use, but it’s all about selling things. In fact, you can’t even enter the app store without going through a screen that nags you to make a deposit in case you find an app you want to buy — and a way of saying “no thanks, I’m just looking for free apps” isn’t as obvious as it should be.

          Like the Internet, Android is primarily a marketing tool designed by Google, which is primarily a marketing company.

        • Android Build Support Improved For Libdrm

          Emil Velikov, the new Mesa release manager, just landed a large set of libdrm patches for improving the open-source graphics drivers for Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 tips on migrating to open-source software

    Open source is not just for Linux. Yes, you’ll certainly find a much larger selection of open-source software for the Linux platform, but both Windows and Apple also enjoy a good number of titles. Regardless of what Free Open Source Software (FOSS) you need to use, you might not always find it the most natural evolution — especially when you’ve spent the whole of your career using proprietary software. The thing is, a lot of open-source software has matured to the point where it rivals (and sometimes bests) its proprietary counterpart.

  • Tech kingpins: Your kit would be tastier with a spot of open source

    Of course, I’m not just aiming this blogpost at EMC, I’d also like to see IBM take this approach with GPFS. The open-source products are beginning to be good enough for many, certainly outside of some core performance requirements. Ceph, for example, is really beginning to pick up some momentum, especially now that RedHat has bought Inktank.

  • Events

    • A free culture event in Pakistan

      With regards to the open source community in Pakistan, the situation is analogous to that on Wikipedia. Outside of a core group of members of Mozilla Pakistan and Linux Pakistan, the majority of internet users are not familiar with the free culture and open movements. This, in all likelihood, is due to a lack of widespread awareness of the movements.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 38 Beta Brings New Guest Mode and Easier Incognito Mode Switching

        The developers have explained that the user switching feature has been redesigned and it will make changing profiles and into the incognito mode a lot simple. They have also added a new experimental Guest mode, a new experimental UI for Chrome supervised users has been implemented, and numerous under-the-hood changes have been made for stability and performance.

    • Mozilla

      • Indian Firefox OS phones start at $33

        Intex and Spice launched the first Firefox OS phones in India using a low-cost Spreadtrum design: the $33 Intex Cloud FX and the $38 Spice Fire One Mi-FX 1.

      • Mozilla Firefox 32 Officially Released

        It’s been a little over a month since the previous Firefox stable release and the developers have now pushed a new major update to users. This latest iteration of Firefox brings just a few major features for regular users, but it excels in other areas like better HTML 5 support.

      • Mozilla Improving Security Processes After Exposing Developer Data

        Users of the Mozilla Developer Network and Bugzilla testing system are advised to update their passwords after a pair of data disclosures were reported in August.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • On my way to the LiboCon 2014!

      There are many, many interesting talks this year, and I cannot resist to remind you of the two talks I’ll be giving, even though Italo and I will also be on the deck for a few talks about LibreOffice marketing especially on Wednesday.

  • BSD

    • PfSense 2.1.5 Is a Free and Powerful FreeBSD-Based Firewall Operating System

      PfSense is a free network firewall distribution based on the FreeBSD, it comes with a custom kernel, and a few quite powerful applications that should make its users’ life a lot easier. Most of the firewall distros are Linux-based, but PfSense is a little bit different and is using FreeBSD. Regular users won’t feel anything out of the ordinary, but it’s an interesting choice for the base.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Code for Germany project launches

      Each OK Lab is a source of a great variety of projects, tackling different social issues and topics. For example, the OK Lab in Hamburg has a strong focus on urban development, and has created a map which shows the distribution of playgrounds in the city. An app from the OK Lab Heilbronn depicts the quality of tap water by region, and another from the OK Lab Cologne helps users find the closest defibrillator in their area. One more of our favorite developments is called “Kleiner Spatz”, which translates to “Little Sparrow,” and helps parents to find free child care in their city.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Sports fan lobbyist fights NFL blackouts, taxpayer-funded stadiums, and Comcast

    Since 1973, the National Football League has prevented local TV stations from broadcasting games when tickets aren’t sold out—and Federal Communications Commission rules enable this decidedly fan-unfriendly policy. The rules are finally close to being overturned, and if they are you can thank David Goodfriend.

    Founder of the Sports Fans Coalition, Goodfriend is an attorney and lobbyist with years of experience in government and private industry. He was a Clinton Administration official, a Congressional staffer, legal advisor at the FCC, and executive at Dish Network. The Sports Fans Coalition teamed with four consumer advocacy organizations in 2011 to petition the FCC to stop supporting the NFL’s blackout regime.

  • Silence to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of last ever passenger pigeon

    Conservationists will fall silent at noon today to mark the hundredth anniversary of the death of Martha, the last ever passenger pigeon – just as a new project is set up to bring the species back from the dead.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ecuador: WikiLeaks cables show US how used ‘democracy promotion’ to push corporate interests

      Ecuador’s pro-US neoliberal president Lucio Gutierrez was ousted in 2005. Since then, relations between Ecuador and the United States have deteriorated, with the Andean nation’s increasing rejection of US hegemony.

      The government of Rafael Correa, first elected in 2006, has broken from the neoliberal doctrines Washington has imposed on Latin America. It has embraced regional integration, moving closer to its neighbours and further away from the US.

      Diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show how hard the US fought to control Ecuador’s future post-Gutierrez.

      They show a key element of US efforts to control Ecuador’s political and economic direction in the post-Gutierrez years was the US Embassy’s “democracy promotion” activity.

      So-called “democracy promotion” came to prominence as a method for maintaining US hegemony in the 1980s.

    • The New Terrorism

      We had the first proof of this strategy with the decryp­ted mil­it­ary film “Col­lat­eral Murder”, where heli­copter pilots shot up some Reu­ters journ­al­ists and civil­ians in Iraq in 2007. That was bad enough — but the cover-up stank. For years the Pentagon denied all know­ledge of this atro­cious war crime, and it was only after Wikileaks released the inform­a­tion, provided by the brave whis­tleblower Chelsea Man­ning, that the fam­il­ies and the inter­na­tional com­munity learned the truth. Yet it is Man­ning, not the war crim­in­als, who is serving a 35 year sen­tence in a US prison.

      Worse, by sheer scale at least, are the ongo­ing, wide-ranging unmanned drone attacks across the Middle East and Cent­ral Asia, as cata­logued by the Bur­eau of Invest­ig­at­ive Journ­al­ism in the UK. Many thou­sands of inno­cents have been murdered in these attacks, with the US jus­ti­fy­ing the strikes as killing “mil­it­ants” — ie any male over the age of 14. The US is mur­der­ing chil­dren, fam­il­ies, wed­ding parties and vil­lage coun­cils with impunity.

    • The game-changer in global conflicts

      IN THE last 10 years armed unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — have been operated to kill individuals in at least seven countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Their use is changing the way war is conventionally waged.

    • Fighting erupts between Syrian army, rebels on Golan Heights

      Heavy fighting between Syrian army forces and rebels erupted on the Golan Heights on Monday, a Reuters photographer said, but it was unclear if either of the two sides had gained an advantage to control a key frontier crossing.

      Rebels of al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front have been battling the Syrian army in the area and have wrested control of the crossing at Quneitra, which is operated by the United Nations.

      Persistent small arms fire and explosions from mortar shells and other munitions could be heard on the Israeli-controlled side of the frontier of the strategic plateau, the photographer reported.

      At least one tank belonging to the Syrian army loyal to President Bashar al-Assad was also involved and rebels could be seen a few meters (yards) away from the frontier fence.

      On Sunday, Israel’s military said it shot down a drone that flew from Syria into Israeli-controlled airspace over the Golan.

    • Israel downs drone from Syria over occupied Golan: army
    • UN withdrawal and Syria drone point to new order in Golan

      After four decades, UN supervision on the Syrian border is about to end and Assad’s military is being replaced by more hostile forces.

    • Taking Yemen from bad to worse

      Recent months have witnessed worrying developments in the realm of news media in Yemen. On June 11, the Yemen Today TV Channel was shut down by Presidential Guards on President Hadi’s order following the channel’s coverage of the demonstrations and riots in Sana’a that same day.

    • China reacts guardedly to Narendra Modi’s expansionist remark

      China today reacted guardedly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks of “expansionist” tendency among some countries, saying it is not clear what was he referring to and recalled his earlier comments that India and China are strategic partners.

      “We have noted relevant information about Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan. You just mentioned comments made by him I don’t know what is he referring to,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a media briefing here when asked about Modi’s remarks made during his ongoing visit to Japan.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Danish Police Arrest Sea Shepherd Team Trying to Stop Faroe Islands Whale Slaughter

      The Royal Danish Navy arrested 14 volunteers from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on Saturday for trying to intervene in the slaughter of 33 pilot whales in the Faroe Islands, a protectorate of Denmark.

      A team of six Sea Shepherd volunteers spotted a pod of pilot whales from shore on Sandoy Island in the remote North Atlantic archipelago on Saturday and alerted Sea Shepherd’s small flotilla of boats, which has been patrolling the icy waters for nearly three months. Sea Shepherd has been trying to stop the annual Faroese whale hunt known as grindadráp, or grind.

    • Sea Shepherd crew members released

      A total of 14 volunteer crew members of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s pilot whale defence campaign Operation GrindStop 2014 arrested on Saturday in the Faroe Islands today have been released.

      As of Sunday morning, all 14 Sea Shepherd crew have been released. The six volunteers from the land team must return to court tomorrow, Monday, September 1. The eight members of the boat team have been told to return to court on September 25. Postponing the court date until that time allows the police to hold the three Sea Shepherd boats until the end of September, as they are being held for “evidence.” All video and still camera data cards were removed by police and are still being held. Sea Shepherd attorneys are working to have them returned as well.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Docs Undermine Walker’s Statements on Criminal Probe

      Despite claims that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is not a “target” in the state’s criminal campaign finance probe, newly-released documents demonstrate that prosecutors are indeed looking at potentially criminal activity by the first-term governor and 2016 presidential hopeful.

      The latest round of documents released in Wisconsin’s “John Doe” investigation shine new light on the stalled inquiry into alleged illegal coordination between Walker’s campaign and outside political groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) during the 2011-2012 recall elections.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Good news for “Free software” team

Soccer players

Summary: Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)

Any nation that still uses the back doors which are Microsoft software ought to wake up and make immediate changes. Russia and China are already making rapid changes. Korea (South Korea to be precise) is following suit. But that’s old news.

Microsoft is abandoning operating systems in a way that compromises security in very mission-critical operations. Clients get abandoned and they are helpless. They cannot even access source code, so messy patches at binary level is all they have left.
“Microsoft replaces a broken update with one that’s even more broken than the first one,” says Ryan in our IRC channels, citing Woody Leonhard’s report [via] about increasing fragility of Windows:

Microsoft re-releases botched MS14-045/KB 2982791 ‘Blue Screen 0×50′ patch, buries tip to manually uninstall first patch, and introduces more problems

Windows is a total mess. A lot of those involved in developing it have left and it truly shows. Just look what a mess recent releases of Windows have been, both when released and when patched (bricked).

Some rumours suggest that Microsoft may be gradually abandoning Windows altogether. “According to unconfirmed media reports,” says The Mukt, “IT giants like Amazon, Samsung, Yahoo! and Microsoft are in talks to either acquire or partner with Cyanogen, a company which forked the Android Open Source Project and has become quite popular lately.”

Over at IDG, Microsoft’s booster Preston Gralla thinks that Windows for mobile should be completely abandoned. This is quoting a Microsoft advocate who makes money from Windows: “It’s been nearly four years since Microsoft first released Windows Phone, and what it has gotten after many millions of dollars in development and marketing costs, plus its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia, is this: a worldwide smartphone market share of less than 3 percent. And that number has been going down, not up.

“Ask any smart businessperson whether that investment is a good one, and you’ll get a straightforward answer: no. Over at Microsoft, though, they think differently. Rather than abandoning Windows Phone, they’re doubling down and making an even bigger bet on the struggling smartphone operating system. A company with Bill Gates’ DNA will never willingly admit defeat, but in this case it may be time to do just that and instead hitch its mobile wagon to Android.”

Sarcastically, my co-host Tim writes:

Microsoft has deleted 1500 apps which presumably are spam/fakes/malicious from its store. Surely this must only leave about 2 left?

Over in China people are now being moved to COS, especially for mobile devices on the face of it (although COS is said to be based on Ubuntu). There is an antitrust case there against Microsoft because China may have gotten its documents stuck in Office, which is not running natively on GNU and Linux. The Register is spinning lock-in complaints as “compatibility”, saying that “China’s antitrust regulator has given Microsoft 20 days to hand over a written explanation of how the Windows OS works together with the bundled Office software suite as part of its probe into the firm’s alleged monopoly activities.”

It sure looks like China is very serious about getting rid of Microsoft this time around. The Web version of Office has already been banned and the same goes for the latest versions of Windows.

Korean Press Slams Microsoft Over Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android as New Abuses Resurface

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Patents at 2:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Is this BusinessKorea’s depiction of Elop and Ballmer?

Nokia trolls
Image from BusinessKorea

Summary: Harsh words from the national press of South Korea as Nokia’s role in Microsoft’s anti-Linux tactics becomes more apparent

MICROSOFT is a big loser, but a dangerous loser nonetheless. Microsoft is above the law in many countries and it knows it. So, inevitably, Microsoft acts like it always has and it resorts to criminal activities in an attempt to destroy the competition. It’s just the same old Microsoft, acting like a spoiled brat and a bully.

Last week the Korean press was portraying Microsoft and Nokia as trolls (pay attention to the photos in this article). To quote the opening paragraphs:

Korean Industry Demanding Measures against Patent Offensives by Nokia, Microsoft

The local electronics industry is demanding stricter conditions for the approval of Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC). The demand is attributable to the fact that those conditions will inevitably have a huge influence on the industry.

Remember that the criminals from Microsoft (crimes like racketeering and conspiracy to extort from multiple directions, patent-stacking, etc.) recently sued the increasingly-confused Samsung, which became a litigation/extortion target of Nokia (e.g. via MOSAID) and Microsoft trolling.

European regulators have already warned about this. They seem to know what Microsoft is up to. For those who still insist that Microsoft is not a crime syndicate masquerading as a company this report can serve as a reminder:

Business Korea has just published a very provocative piece that depicts a monstrous troll attacking its home country’s pride and joy, Samsung. That troll, you’ll be surprised to learn, is Nokia.

The reason for this is easy to understand: Samsung may be forced to pay one of the history’s biggest patent royalty sums to Nokia, and fellow Korean electronics titan LG is not scot free, either.

What unleashed the beast in the Finnish company was its decision to sell its handset division to Microsoft a while back. As long as Nokia was a phone company, it was bound by a web of cross-licensing deals limiting how much it can charge for its thousands of handset-related patents. Nokia needed to use both essential and non-essential patents held by Samsung, Apple, Motorola and other industry giants, which put a rather severe cap on how much it could charge other phone vendors.

Microsoft is not even interested in Nokia as a producing company, based on recent layoffs that affect Finland while Microsoft is avoiding many billions in tax. As one of the latest articles put it, “Microsoft’s Staggering Tax Dodge Alone Would Fund the Entire State of Washington for Two Years”. This was pointed out by a former Microsoft employee who protested against this, but suddenly it’s all news again:

Reading companies’ annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission is a reliable cure for insomnia. Every so often, though, there is a significant revelation in the paperwork. This year, one of the most important revelations came from Microsoft’s filings, which spotlighted how the tax code allows corporations to enjoy the benefits of American citizenship yet avoid paying U.S. taxes.

According to the SEC documents, the company is sitting on almost $29.6 billion it would owe in U.S. taxes if it repatriated the $92.9 billion of earnings it is keeping offshore. That amount of money represents a significant spike from prior years.

When people insist there there is a ‘new’ and reformed Microsoft be sure to recall and pointed the racketeering, the massive tax evasion, and many more of Microsoft systemic abuses. The company deserves to have no more than zero employees, or many who are in prison. But when corporations control politics this is unlikely to happen any time soon. The criminals not only get away with crime; they get wealthy and they hide their wealth from the state.

More Good News About Patents and Their Demise in the United States

Posted in Patents at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of news about software patents and patent trolls in the land where these thrive

A recent article from Daniel Nazer of the EFF (cross-posted in TechDirt) reminded us that the focus at EFF these days is “bad patents” such as medical ones that are technically nonsense and usually serve to deny people treatment they may need. This is a type of patents which other than software patents we have covered here a lot of times in the past. It’s worse than anticompetitive patents.

In another bit of news we find yet another defeat for software patents and a defeat for patent trolls that attack Google and are now forced to compensate Google for the trouble. “In January,” says the report, “Google won a jury trial against a so-called “patent troll” called Beneficial Innovations, which sued dozens of media companies over online ad patents.

“But it wasn’t a defensive win in which Google lawyers were laying out arguments about why they didn’t infringe a patent. Instead, Google had gone on the offensive and said that Beneficial’s 2011 patent lawsuit against a dozen major media companies was a breach of contract.”

Another article about it, citing the above, says:

GOOGLE HAS WON $1.3m in legal fees from a notorious patent troll.

Arstechnica first reported the rather convoluted story, which began in 2011 when well-known software patent litigator Beneficial Innovations sued a dozen large media companies over online ad patents that it holds.

Many of the online publications owned by those media companies were simply using Google’s Doubleclick advertising technology, and Google had licensed the patents at issue.

“Beneficial went back on the terms of its own licence agreement, pursuing our customers for simply using our licensed services,” said Google at the time.

Google interceded on behalf of its customers and prevailed in a jury trial in January, arguing successfully that Beneficial was in breach of contract by suing over patents that Google had licensed. Google won a nominal $1 judgment plus an injunction barring Beneficial Innovations from suing additional Google customers.

Now, the court has awarded Google the right to recover from Beneficial most of its legal costs for defending its customers, according to Arstechnica. US District Court judge Rodney Gilstrap ruled that Google was the prevailing party on the breach of contract issue and that the firm’s request to recover attorneys’ fees was reasonable.

Watch the patent lawyers panicking over the increasing difficulty in getting patents on software granted and see this news about new state-level actions/sanctions against patent trolls:

As of two days ago, Illinois became the 18th state with a law prohibiting bad faith assertions of patent infringement. (That is, fraudulent demand letters.) It seems that if Congress won’t act, the states will do whatever they can (which is limited) to deal with patent trolls.

Things are definitely improving on the patent front this year.

08.31.14

Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

Posted in News Roundup at 4:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • AMD Steppe Eagle Flys To Coreboot

    Steppe Eagle is the codename for AMD’s new embedded G-Series SoC that arrived this summer. Steppe Eagle boasts a TDP as little as five Watts and is a big upgrade over earlier G-Series hardware. The Steppe Eagle SoC features GCN-based Radeon graphics while the CPU is Jaguar-based and similar to Kabini. As of today, basic support for these latest-generation AMD embedded SoCs can be found within mainline Coreboot. This Coreboot tooling was done by Sage Electronic Engineering, the firm responsible for much of AMD’s involvement in Coreboot.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Beta adds easy account switching

        Recently Google made switching accounts on their various web and mobile services much easier. Signing in between multiple accounts in the Chrome browser however was somewhat a pain because the option becomes tucked away in settings after the first run sign-in, and because all extensions are re-installed/reloaded every time an account is connected to Chrome.

      • Balllon: a must have Chrome extension
    • Openness/Sharing

    • Standards/Consortia

      • 10 tips for easier collaboration between office suites

        Yes, you are likely using the Microsoft formats for your documents. However, they don’t always follow OpenDocument Format (ODF) standards. Instead of opting for the proprietary Microsoft formats, switch over to one that’s welcomed by nearly all office suites: ODF. You’ll find a much more seamless collaboration process and fewer gotchas when moving between office suites. The only platform that can have a bit of trouble with this format is Android. The one Android office suite that works well with ODF is OfficeSuite 7 Pro.

    Leftovers

    • Respected Medical Journal Sold To Scammers Willing To Publish Anything… For A Fee

      There are reports of such gibberish papers flooding academia, sometimes in attempts to highlight how lax publishers are, and what a giant scam all of this is.

    • Recruiting From Competitors Isn’t Sabotage: Overstating The Uber/Lyft Fight

      The Verge got a lot of attention yesterday for its story on “Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft.” If you follow the space at all, you know that there have been stories making the rounds for months claiming that people working for Uber were scheduling competitors’ rides and then cancelling them, thereby tying up competitors’ systems. Uber has hit back saying that the reverse is actually true, and that Lyft has called up and cancelled Uber rides.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Hillary Clinton is Just Plain Wrong on GMOs

        In her June 25 keynote address to the BIO International Convention in San Diego, Calif., Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for genetic engineering and genetically engineered crops. She earned a standing ovation that day by stating that the biotech industry suffers from a public perception problem and that it just needs “a better vocabulary” in order to persuade GMO skeptics who don’t understand “the facts” about genetic engineering.

        And then Hillary proceeded to get the facts wrong.

        Why does it matter what Hillary, who holds no public office and has not (yet) declared her candidacy for president, says or believes about genetic engineering and genetically modified crops and foods?

        It doesn’t—unless she throws her hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. And then it matters not just what her position is on GMOs, not just how deep her financial ties to the biotech industry run, not just how much she distorts the facts about the “promise” of biotech crops.

    • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

      • Gamm Theatre season opener looks at lone pilot operating killer drones

        Then three years ago, after looking into the facts surrounding unmanned aircraft, he sat down to put his thoughts on paper and came up with “Grounded,” a one-woman play about a fighter pilot assigned to operate drones in the Nevada desert.

      • International Human Rights: Dispelling The Myths

        Yet, some have argued that human rights are western concepts and not eastern and therefore not in keeping with our culture. If one studies human rights in detail as scholars such as Chandra Muzaffer in Malaysia and Abdullah An’aim in Sudan have done, one can immediately see that they are basically rooted in the concept of human dignity which is present in all the world’s religious and ethical traditions. In the past they were expressed in religious or ethical terms within religious texts, traditional laws and practices.

      • Obama linked to financial support for Hamas

        Seeking $1.5 billion in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages, it accuses the global figures of “laundering U.S. dollars” to Hamas, which is officially designated by the U.S. government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

      • HOW THE NSA HELPED TURKEY KILL KURDISH REBELS

        But in true “Spy v. Spy” fashion, Turkey is itself is the target of intense surveillance even as it cooperates closely with the U.S.— one NSA document describes the country bluntly as both a “partner and target.” The very politicians, military officials, and intelligence agency officials with whom U.S. officials work closely when conducting actions against the PKK are also considered legitimate spying targets by the NSA. To that end, in addition to the official SUSLAT liaison office and the intelligence workers it has cleared with the Turkish authorities, the U.S. has two secret branch offices, operating Special Collection Service listening stations in both Istanbul and the capital city of Ankara.

        The degree to which the NSA surveils its partner is made clear in the National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF), a document establishing U.S. intelligence priorities. Updated and presented to the president every six months, the NIPF shows a country’s “standing” from the perspective of the U.S. In the April 2013 edition, Turkey is listed as one of the countries most frequently targeted by Washington for surveillance, with U.S. intelligence services tasked with collecting data in 19 different areas of interest.

      • Exclusive: U.S. may use secrets act to stop suit against Iran sanctions group
      • Iran Sanctions: US Plays a Dirty Game

        On Friday, the US government announced the imposition of a new round of sanctions on over 25 Iranian individuals and companies, including shipping firms, oil companies, airlines and six banks despite the fact that Iran and the six world powers Russia, China, France, Britain and the US and Germany are in the process of talks with the intention of resolving the West’s nuclear standoff with Iran.

      • Is America’s Second Contractors’ War Drawing Near?

        Four years ago this Sunday, President Barack Obama declared the end of the Iraq war. So much of that fight and our current involvement in the Middle East is carried out by a privatized military. Here’s why that matters

      • Libya’s ‘Regime Change’ Chaos

        America’s war hawks, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were thrilled by the Libyan “regime change” engineered through a U.S.- European bombing campaign in 2011. But now with Libya torn by civil war and Arab powers intervening, the “victory” has a bitter aftertaste, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

      • Reflections On The Illegal And Unconstitutional In Chilean History

        As Chile nears its 41st anniversary since the U.S.-backed military dictatorship toppled Salvador Allende’s government, the country remains incarcerated within a complex historical memory framework. Grappling with dictatorial restrictions enforced through the constitution, the ramifications of Augusto Pinochet’s macabre era, from 1973 to 1990, are evident in various struggles — from the ongoing endeavor to uncover the fate of Chile’s disappeared population, to protests calling for the termination of an education system that favors those of privilege.

      • Former British army officials now training ISIS militants in Iraq, Syria: MI6, CIA

        A report has revealed that British intelligence agency MI6 and America’s Central Investigative Agency (CIA) have intercepted conversations on mobile phones, e-mails that show that several former British Army officials have joined the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

      • CIA Analyst: US War Plan Involves Syria, Turkey, Jordan

        Washington should establish a new Syrian army in order to fight both the Islamic State and Bashar al-Assad, allowing the US to end the Syrian war “on its own terms,” believes Kenneth M. Pollack, a former CIA intelligence analyst and Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

      • Letter: Many Obama policies started with Bush

        Luckily this is the “Opinion” page and the letters submitted don’t require the use of actual facts, otherwise we wouldn’t have the pleasure of getting in our morning laugh while reading Thomas Hanley’s letters.

        Tom states that I was only able to list one positive accomplishment for Bush’s time in office. Apparently four out of the five that I listed were easily dismissed by your ingenious arguments, you know, ones like this: “A simple fact check and he would have discovered that the old right-wing lie that Bush’s use of torture led to Bin Laden has been soundly debunked.”

      • The military coup that almost was (and maybe is)

        Richard Nixon’s legacy is more alive and well than it should be

      • “Russian Invasion” – Screaming ‘Wolf!’ Strategy of Deception. Lies Repeated Umpteen Times. What is the Endgame?

        “Russian Invasion” – How long is screaming ‘Wolf!’ having an impact on Western public opinion? – Until Full Spectrum Dominance has been attained?

      • Kill Putin?

        We’re not sure how we missed this (the internet is kinda big) but earlier this week InfoWars picked up on a column published back on August 4 by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Herbert E. Meyer.

      • Destabilizing Russia, A Nuclear Power: Is the U.S. Trying to Implement “Regime Change” in Russia?

        America Has Undertaken Regime Change In Many Countries Before

        In 1957, the U.S. and British governments planned regime change in Syria … because it was drifting too close to the Soviet Union.

        20 years ago, influential U.S. government officials decided to effect regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The countries targeted were “old Soviet regimes”.

        The U.S. has, of course, already carried out regime change in Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Chile, Haiti and many other countries. The U.S. was also instrumental in the recent regime change in Ukraine.

      • THE COLD WAR HOAX

        Most books and articles about the CIA mention the Agency’s first two successful covert operations: the overthrowing of Premier Mossadegh of Iran in 1953 and the overthrowing of President Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. Some of them spare a few paragraphs to mention the CIA’s alleged first mistake: its failure to predict the Bogotazo riots. But there is more about the Bogotazo affair than the CIA, Fidel Castro, and his CFR masters want us to know.

      • Ten ways you can tell if Russia has invaded Ukraine or not

        Armed with this list, you too should be able to determine whether or not Russia has invaded Ukraine last Thursday.

      • Ukraine Claims ‘Thousands’ of Russian Troops Invaded, Offers No Evidence
      • The true story of Mark Paslawsky, the ‘only’ American fighter with Kiev forces

        On Tuesday, August 20, a US army veteran named Mark Paslawsky was killed during a battle in Ilovyask, near Donetsk, which is currently held by anti-Kiev rebels.

        Fighting on the side of pro-government forces, the American had sprung to prominence because of his Twitter feed (@BruceSpringnote), often sharply critical of Ukrainian politicians, and a fawning video interview with Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky shortly before his death.

      • America’s Gamble: Wealth, War and Power. “Russian Roulette” and the Drive To Nuclear Armageddon?

        Washington and NATO are providing personnel, mercenary forces and advice to help the Ukraine government bomb, kill, maim and drive out those who are demanding autonomy from the US puppet regime in Kiev [4]. Washington and its proxy forces in Ukraine are ‘ethnically cleansing’ the mainly Russian speaking separatists in the east, with up to one million having fled across the border into Russia [5].

        Yet it is Washington that accused Moscow of invading Ukraine, based on flimsy or no evidence at all. Washington has accused Moscow of having a hand in the downing of a commercially airliner based on no evidence at all. As a result of this invisible Russian ‘aggression’, Washington has slapped sanctions on Moscow, which are hurting Europe more they are hurting the US [6]. But that’s the point: to de-link Europe’s economy from Russia in terms of trade and energy and weaken Europe to ensure it remains dependent on Washington.

      • Protesters Don’t Want Drone Command Center In Montco

        With a replica drone in front and crosses with the names of those killed in military drone strikes at their feet, a little more than a dozen protesters begged for the government not to bring a drone command center to Montgomery county.

      • Jihadi Rebels Abduct UN Observers Along Israeli Border
      • Egypt jihadist group claims beheading of four men in Sinai
      • Egyptian Jihadists Behead ‘Mossad Spies’ in Gruesome Video
      • Sinai Jihadist Group Claims It Beheaded Four Men
      • Two more decapitated bodies found in North Sinai

        Sinai locals find again decapitated bodies of two young men who have been abducted amid continuous unrest in the peninsula

      • Egypt militants post beheading video

        An al-Qaida-inspired militant group in Egypt has posted an online video showing the beheading of four men in the Sinai Peninsula accused of spying for Israel, whose bodies were found earlier this month.

        The Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, whose name means Champions of Jerusalem in Arabic, posted a 30-minute video showing detailed confessions of the four men. The four said that in exchange for money they helped Israel target the group’s members with drone strikes in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

      • Egypt jihadist group claims beheading of four Israel spies
      • Radical Islamists in Egypt Post Gruesome Video of Barbaric Executions — Why It’s Being Called a ‘First’
      • Australia’s collateral damage in the US drone program

        In the last few years there has been a hotly contested global debate about the civilian impact of the U.S. drone strike program and its moral and legal justifications. Despite being geographically part of Asia (where the majority of drone strikes took place) and politically aligned with the west (states responsible for the strikes), until now the global debate went largely unnoticed in Australia.

        The death of two Australians has led to a new reality Down Under – there is now an increasing public debate about whether the U.S-Australian intelligence sharing alliance has fairly been used as cover for Australia’s secret involvement in the controversial U.S. targeted killing program. The debate has raised concerns that Australia’s democratic institutions and rule of law could be collateral damage in the US drone program.

      • Marketing Death: How US Is Using Foley and McCain to Sell War

        Another American citizen has been killed in Syria in the past week, albeit under completely different circumstances. Douglas McAuthur McCain was killed by ‘Free Syrian Army’ militants during a gunfight while fighting for Islamic State (IS), becoming the first American Islamist to die in Syria. This comes as the world is still reeling from the beheading of reporter James Foley, which was first broadcast last week. The deaths of Foley and McCain back-to-back provide the US with different justifications for the same objective – the bombing of Syria.

      • Texas megachurch pastor uses drones to spread his message
      • A Texas megachurch is preaching the gospel of drones

        Imagine that there’s a powerful, invisible force hovering above you in the sky. It sees everything, controls everything—you can keep no secrets from it. If it wanted to, it could kill you instantly.

      • Man charged with murder says he didn’t know his dogs could kill

        Dressed in a navy button-down shirt and black slacks, Jackson said he had never encouraged his dogs to fight with each other or with people and that he played with them in a joyful manner. “They have a loving side to them,” he said.

      • Justifying the Kill

        Most British police, for example, do not carry firearms at all. In England and Wales over a 12-month period ending March 2013, there were only three incidents during which police had to discharge their guns. You would think the U.S. would be interested in what might help us move in a similar direction.

      • Islamic Jihad fighters parade after Gaza war

        Thousands of Islamic Jihad fighters paraded in Gaza City Friday, in a defiant show of force three days after a ceasefire ending a bloody war between Israel and Gaza militants.

      • BT faces further investigation over link to US drone network

        The UK government is set to reopen a complaint against BT after a Computer Weekly investigation found evidence suggesting the telecoms giant provided communication links that support controversial US drone strikes.

        BT has consistently denied the allegations, originally made in a complaint by legal charity Reprieve in 2013, that it had breached international rules on corporate social responsibility by taking a contract to supply a fibre-optic connection between a US military communications centre in the UK and a base in North Africa that has been linked to controversial drone strikes.

      • ​Cable collaborator: BT accused of aiding US drone strikes
      • BT accused of supplying cable system for US drone strikes

        Human rights groups Reprieve has asked the UK government to again investigate whether BT supplied high-speed fibre cable for US drones, after the surface of new evidence, the Guardian reported. The group alleges that the USD 23 million fibre-optic circuit built by BT in 2012 was installed to facilitate air strikes in Yemen and Somalia by US air force drones. The military internet cable reportedly connects US air force facilities in Northamptonshire to a base for unmanned craft in Djibouti.

      • BT alleged to have supplied high-speed fibre-optic cable to aid US drone strikes

        BT says $23m circuit linking US hub with base for unmanned craft in Djibouti is general purpose, not a special military system

      • UK Government urged to act on fresh evidence of BT drones link

        The British government is being asked to reopen an investigation into BT, after new evidence appeared to link the company to illegal US drone strikes and the mass government surveillance used to select their targets.

      • Cease-Fire Holds in Gaza

        In war, nobody wants to be the last to die. In Gaza, it was the chief of the electric company’s maintenance division and his deputy. In Israel, it was a pair of volunteers working a security detail on their kibbutz.

        The four deaths on Tuesday, hours before an open-ended cease-fire began between Israel and Hamas, reflected the often indiscriminate, opaque and lethal nature of a conflict that dragged on for 50 days and more than 2,100 deaths, only to end where it began, with a truce deal that is essentially a retread of the one signed in 2012 after the last Gaza war.

      • We have to defeat Islamism on the battleground of ideas

        In the minds of many, the American-led “War on Terror” arrived at a major turning point when it caught and killed the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011. His death followed a highly effective, though somewhat controversial, drone campaign that successfully eliminated many senior al-Qaeda members who were holed up in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Although there were no post-Iraq War style “Mission accomplished” banners being brandished, these developments were supposed to usher in a new era in which global jihadism was much less of a threat, and the US could retreat from the Middle East and South Asia and be slightly less concerned about it.

      • My Turn: The true cost of the ‘war on terror’

        As 51 million refugees are forced to flee their homes, it’s time to examine the connection between the history of our failed foreign policies and the exploding refugee crisis. It’s time to stop the killing. The world as had enough of U.S. plunder.

      • Qatar says ready to rebuild war-battered Gaza

        Qatar, a key backer of Palestinian militant group Hamas, hailed the Gaza ceasefire accord and offered to help rebuild the enclave battered by seven weeks of Israeli bombardment, AFP reported.

      • Gaza gravediggers unwittingly dig their own graves

        Cemeteries are becoming the most dangerous places in Gaza.

        The Israeli military has targeted both of Gaza’s primary burial grounds on six occasions over the past week, alleging that they’d received intelligence that rockets were being launched from the areas.

      • CIA acted to shape Portugal’s post-revolutionary political scene
    • Transparency Reporting

    • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Finance

      • Bitcoin Entrepreneur Charlie Shrem to Plead to Unlicensed Money Transmission

        Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of the digital currency to users of illicit online marketplace Silk Road, his lawyer said Friday.

      • When Whites Just Don’t Get It

        MANY white Americans say they are fed up with the coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. A plurality of whites in a recent Pew survey said that the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

        Bill O’Reilly of Fox News reflected that weariness, saying: “All you hear is grievance, grievance, grievance, money, money, money.”

        Indeed, a 2011 study by scholars at Harvard and Tufts found that whites, on average, believed that anti-white racism was a bigger problem than anti-black racism.

        Yes, you read that right!

        [...]

        • The net worth of the average black household in the United States is $6,314, compared with $110,500 for the average white household, according to 2011 census data. The gap has worsened in the last decade, and the United States now has a greater wealth gap by race than South Africa did during apartheid. (Whites in America on average own almost 18 times as much as blacks; in South Africa in 1970, the ratio was about 15 times.)

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • Rick Perry serves up red meat at Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity summit

        Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in a Friday afternoon speech that sounded a lot like presidential red meat, accused President Barack Obama of overstepping his constitutional authority and abdicating national defense at home and abroad.

      • Government-Funded Writing Careers

        It turns out the CIA may have been pursuing a global propaganda strategy through its affiliation with the Paris-based Congress for Cultural Freedom, an organization meant to perform cultural guerrilla warfare against communism. Among recipients of the CCF’s money were a number of hip intellectual magazines throughout Africa, where people like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o wrote. When Soyinka was later jailed, the CCF paid his bail.

      • Hong Kong media baron denies CIA connection

        Mr Lai, a colourful self-made billionaire, is one of the most vocal critics in Hong Kong of the Chinese government. He recently came under the spotlight after leaked emails showed he had given money to anti-Beijing lawmakers in Hong Kong and to help pro-democracy group Occupy Central.

    • Censorship

      • Censorship will not consign Jihadism to the dustbin of history

        Our government’s lunge for censorship suggests a fear among both officialdom and elected representatives that our society cannot defend itself against bad ideas

      • Moscow may ban anti-Russian films from cinemas in new censorship threat

        Russian culture committee threatens to outlaw movies that show the country and its citizens in a ‘primitive and silly way’

      • My Scotland

        Yesterday the licensing man from Dundee Council went down the taxi ranks ordering saltires and yes stickers removed from the taxis. (would he have ordered No stickers removed as well? We can never be sure as there weren’t any.)

      • Lizard Squad Twitter taken down

        Update: After the Lizard Squad Twitter account was down for a couple of hours, it’s now back in business. It’s not clear what happened, but it’s back up now with tweets flowing.

        The Lizard Squad Twitter account has been taken down within the last hour and heading to the twitter.com/LizardSquad url only reveals an Account Suspended message. It is not clear if anyone in particular requested the profile to be taken offline, or if this was Twitter themselves, but the person behind this account reached almost 52,000 followers this week after taking PSN down along with outages like Twitch.

      • Arbitrary and capricious

        OVER 1.3 billion people, nearly the population of China, are now active Facebook users. That means a whopping 18% of the world’s population logs on to the site at least once a month. The social network is the largest community ever: a place where ideas, stories, images and perspectives are communicated instantly and widely across national, geographical and ideological boundaries.

      • Is it censorship or shying away from tough topics? The on-going debate on the role of social media
      • Snap-shots and tolerance

        The fact that Americans and Russians are taking opposite sides over the conflict in Ukraine is not just a matter of cultural sympathies or a geopolitical grudge match over the cold war. It is also, as Lilia Shevtsova writes in the American Interest, a conflict between the world’s liberal democracies and a new and adaptive form of capitalist authoritarianism. In other words, it’s a conflict between the kinds of countries where foreign athletes can openly express support for an increasingly unfriendly power, and those where even soldiers’ mothers’ committees may face crackdowns if they dare to criticise the government. As tensions between Washington and Moscow grow sharper, Mr Ovechkin may find that American fans are angered by his apparent support for the other side. Athletes are celebrities, and celebrities cannot publicly express their political opinions without affecting their brand. But Mr Ovechkin lives in a country where his position will not earn him any sort of official censorship.

      • WeChat Accounts Suspended By Tencent Due To New Censorship Rules In China
      • Deleting posts ‘not censorship’

        And the Facebook page – where scores had vented their frustrations – was wiped and frozen to prevent people thinking it was a way to reach the helpdesk, according to operations director Peter Lowes.

    • Privacy

    • Civil Rights

    • Internet/Net Neutrality

      • Comcast To Regulators: Data Caps? These? Nooo! These Are Just… Fuzzy Friendly Flexible Consumption Plans For Friends

        A few weeks ago, Verizon Wireless introduced a new bandwidth throttling plan and tried to claim it wasn’t throttling at all, but rather “network optimization,” and now Ars Technica has the story of how Comcast is trying to spin its data caps as not being data caps at all. Instead, they’re “flexible data consumption plans.” Because flexible is fun. Of course, their definition of flexible may be different from yours and mine, because they’re only “flexible” on Comcast’s side in determining just what the caps are. Once you go over those “flexible” plans, you’ll certainly be paying more. Just like a data cap. But, Comcast insists, it’s no data cap.

      • Champion Of The People: Verizon Complains Exigent Circumstances Order Inadequate For Info Requested; Hands Over Info Anyway

        Given how often major telcos and wireless service providers have willingly provided intelligence and law enforcement agencies with way more than they’ve asked for, the following shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

        The back story is this: In July 2008, an FBI agent had his gun and cellphone stolen from his “official” vehicle. The search for the missing items involved Verizon. In an application for a court order authorizing the release of cell site location info, it’s noted that the service provider performed the most futile of gestures on behalf of itself.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • More evidence GCSB sharing New Zealanders’ data
        • Can Key rule out that GCSB is sharing NZ’s data?
        • Dotcom’s Moment of Truth could backfire on his party and the left

          On September 15, five days before the end of an already extraordinary election campaign, Internet Party founder and funder Kim Dotcom will host an evening at the Auckland Town Hall that he says will discredit John Key and ensure National’s defeat.

          Announcing the event that he calls The Moment of Truth in early July, Dotcom said he would reveal “my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied”. Two weeks later he announced he had hired Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, who led coverage of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, to be guest of honour. He told One News the event would cover “a lot of interesting things that will make our Prime Minister look pretty dull”, including alleged evidence Key knew of Dotcom earlier than the day before the 2012 raid of his mansion.

08.30.14

Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Haiku OS Gains Rudimentary Support For Haswell Graphics

    Haiku, the open-source operating system that maintains compatibility with the defunct BeOS, now appears to have basic support for Haswell graphics.

  • Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

    Linux and *BSD have completely changed the storage market. They are the core of so many storage products, allowing startups and established vendors alike to bring new products to the market more rapidly than previously possible.

    Almost every vendor I talk to these days has built their system on top of these and then there are the number of vendors who are using Samba implementations for their NAS functionality. Sometimes they move on from Samba but almost all version 1 NAS boxen are built on top of it.

  • Yahoo to stop development on YUI library

    Yahoo has announced its decision to halt the development of Yahoo User Interface library (YUI), its open-source JavaScript library for writing HTML application interfaces. In the announcement, the company cites the rise in popularity of Node.JS, which has changed how developers build HTML applications, as have recent changes in package management and web application frameworks.

  • Cray’s Commitment to Lustre and OpenSFS

    At Cray, we are a big user and investor in Lustre. Because Lustre is such a great fit for HPC, we deploy it with almost all of our systems. We even sell and deliver Lustre storage independent of Cray compute systems. But Lustre is not (yet) the perfect solution for distributed and parallel-I/O, so Cray invests a lot of time and resources into improving, testing, and honing it. We collaborate with the open-source Lustre community on those enhancements and development. In fact, Cray is a leader in the Lustre community through our involvement in OpenSFS.

  • Netflix open sources internal threat monitoring tools
  • Genode OS 14.08 Has New GUI Architecture, Pluggable VFS

    Genode OS 14.08 also brings pluggable VFS file-system support, C run-time support for time functions, a port of the CPU jitter random number generator, a new port of OpenVPN, networking support for VirtualBox, and much better integration of the Qt5 tool-kit.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • 74 Countries and Counting: Mozilla’s Maker Party Increases Web Literacy Across the Globe

        Back in July we kicked-off Maker Party, our annual campaign to teach the web around the world. Throughout this two-month campaign we have seen people on nearly every continent increase their web literacy by writing their first line of code, making their first app, taking steps to protect their privacy, or creating engaging content for others to enjoy, share or remix. They’re all coming together thanks to the individuals and organizations that are helping us grow a movement by teaching their friends, family and communities through hands-on making and learning events.

      • Mozilla Marches Ahead with Ads for Firefox

        This November, Mozilla is up for renegotiation with Google for placement of Google search as the default search in Firefox and for the related subsidies that Google pays Mozilla, which reached almost $300 million last year. That comprised the majority of Mozilla’s income. With Chrome establishing itself as a leader in the browser wars, its unclear what relationship Google will continue to pursue with Mozilla.

      • Firefox OS Smartphones Change The Mobile Landscape Across India

        The launch of two Firefox OS phones in India in the same week marks an exciting moment in Mozilla’s mission to promote openness and innovation on the Web, and an opportunity to empower millions of Indians wanting to buy their first smartphones. Firefox OS will enable users to obtain lower-cost devices that offer telephony, messaging and camera and rich capabilities like built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, the Firefox browser, FM radio and popular apps.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Docker on Eucalyptus

      Docker has created a lot of buzz in the news over the last year. At Eucalyptus, we really understand the need that Docker addresses regarding the DevOps culture. In recognizing that, we have come up with a series of blogs and videos that demonstrate how to deploy, use and maintain Docker on a Eucalyptus — while still proving that Eucalyptus is the best on-premise AWS compatible cloud environment.

    • SUSE’s Flavio Castelli on Docker’s Rise Among Linux Distros

      Docker has only gained traction since its launch a little over a year ago as more companies join the community’s efforts on a regular basis. On July 30, the first official Docker build for openSUSE was released, making this distribution the latest among many to join the fray. I connected with Flavio Castelli, a senior software engineer at SUSE, who works extensively on SUSE Linux Enterprise and has played a major role in bringing official Docker support to openSUSE. In this interview, he discuses the importance of bringing Docker to each Linux distribution, the future of Docker on SUSE Linux Enterprise, and other interesting developments in the Docker ecosystem.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Open source communities start to buzz about edX

      Open source software is hugely important to us here at edX, since it’s what we do all day, every day. Two weeks ago, the O’Reilly company hosted their annual OSCON convention in Portland, Oregon—a convention focused on open source software. Of course, we had to be there. So, my edX colleague James Tauber and I packed our bags and headed to Oregon for a week of learning and teaching to meet wonderful people, and to get excited about open source. We even gave a presentation about edX!

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 26 new GNU releases!

      This month, we welcome Raman Gopalan as a new co-maintainer of GNU gengen (with its author Lorenzo Bettini), Marcel Schaible as the new maintainer of GNU gperf, and Sergey Poznyakoff adds yet another new package, direvent, to his long list. I’d also like to specially thank Assaf Gordon (the author and maintainer of GNU datamash, new last month) for a significant amount of effort with all aspects of Savannah; new Savannah volunteers are always needed, and welcome. Thanks to all.

    • Gimp 2.8.12 arrives with improvements, install it on Kubuntu
    • MediaGoblin version 0.7.0 out with new features

      Media publishing platform, MediaGoblin, has hit version 0.7.0. With this update new features include initial support for federalisation, a responsive CSS system, a featured media option, bulk uploading via the command line and a blogging media type.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Why we use open source – Australia’s Immigration agency explains

      Why choose open source? “In some ways, [the open source software used by the agency] is effectively more capable” than commercial products, he said. “In terms of cost-effectiveness, [it] wins hands down: no license/maintenance fees, extensible architecture [and] global open source R&D.” The team uses an open source software package called ‘R’.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Quick Test: PHP 5.6 Against Facebook’s HHVM
    • PHP 5.6.0 Released
    • Git 2.1 Released: What’s New

      Two-and-a-half months after Git 2.0, a new version of Git has been released. Though a minor update, the list of new features and improvements is large.

      The complete release notes can be found on git repository and provide full details about what can be found in Git 2.1. What follows provides a minimal selection of new features in Git 2.1.

    • Lazy declarative programming in C++11

      make does it, Haskell does it, spreadsheets do it, QML can do it and below I explain how to do it with C++11: declarative programming. And not just any declarative programming, but my favorite kind: lazy evaluation.

    • Checking On The Performance Of PHP 5.6

      Having not ran any PHP 5.6 development build in quite some time, this morning after the official PHP 5.6.0 official release I was running some tests to ensure the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org wouldn’t run into any problems when deployed on the latest version of PHP. Overall, everything is good and for those running the Phoronix Test Suite using any recent version of our open-source benchmarking software should be good for PHP 5.6.

Leftovers

  • Google’s Smith Is Top Candidate for U.S. Chief Technology Officer

    Google Inc. (GOOG) executive Megan Smith is close to heading to the White House.

    Smith, 49, who was most recently a vice president at Google’s X lab, is a top candidate for the role of U.S. chief technology officer, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Thirsty cyclists mistake soap for soft-drink

      The makers of “Omo”, a new clothes washing detergent, are considering changing their labelling after accidentally poisoning unsuspecting riders particpating in the “Fredagsbirken” race in Rena, near Oslo . The product was available as part of a sampling campaign by Lilleborg, sponsors of the event.

      All competitors were given a free sample of “Omo Aktiv & Sport”, together with their starting numbers before the race, reported Hamar Arbeiderblad.

    • Newsweek’s Monkey Meat Ebola Fearmongering

      But the problems of the piece were bigger than just the cover. The piece is built around the idea that illegally imported “bushmeat”–what we would call “wild game” if it were being eaten in the United States–could carry the deadly Ebola virus.

  • Security

    • Interview With Richard Kenner of AdaCore

      Q: In doing some research it seems that some of the hoopla surrounding Heartbleed came from the fact that Cloudfare announced they had fixed it, but only for their customers, is that correct?

      A: No, not at all. Once the existence of the bug was disclosed, the fix was absolutely trivial to anybody with technical knowledge because the code in question was Open Source. Anybody who wanted to fix it could very easily do so. This is very different from the later bug in Microsoft software that, even though the details were well known, only Microsoft could fix because the bug was in proprietary code that only Microsoft could change.

    • Friday’s security updates
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Labor Almost Invisible on TV Talk

      As the Labor Day holiday approaches, ask yourself how often you see unions represented on corporate-owned television. On the highest-profile public affairs shows, the answer is basically never.

    • Trust the New York Times to Tell You Not to Trust Twitter

      Using Twitter to follow the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, Bilton said he saw “thousands of one-sided accounts, many of which were grossly inaccurate.”

  • Censorship

    • Katherine Heigl Drops Her Lawsuit Against Duane Reade

      Back in April, I wrote to inform you of the crazy-pants lawsuit filed by Katherine Heigl after Duane Reade, a drug store chain, tweeted out a photo of Heigl shopping at one of its stores. Under the auspices of publicity rights and the corollary idea that celebrities are simply better people with more legal privileges than the rest of us, Heigl wanted six-million dollars for the following tweet.

  • Privacy

    • The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni

      One thing sits at the heart of what many consider a surveillance state within the US today.

      The problem does not begin with political systems that discourage transparency or technologies that can intercept everyday communications without notice. Like everything else in Washington, there’s a legal basis for what many believe is extreme government overreach—in this case, it’s Executive Order 12333, issued in 1981.

      “12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US,” whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. “My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.”

    • Surveillance Protesters Picket GCHQ

      The small number of protesters on Friday were reportedly outnumbered by the police and members of the media, according to the BBC. There was minor disruption at the Cheltenham site on Friday morning, as GCHQ staff were driven by bus into the site itself, instead of the usual practice of being dropped off outside.

    • If Social Media ‘Silence Debate,’ What Do Corporate Media Do?

      The study–or the Times recap, more to the point–is likely to get a lot of I-told-you-so attention from people who take a dim view of Twitter and the like. So it’s worth making two points.

    • Australian Federal Police Redaction Failures Expose Targets, Officers And Investigations

      Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies are pushing for access to more personal data and other records with a minimum of court oversight. The most recent development tells us they should be trusted as much with this additional info as the guy standing in front of an empty barn asking for more horses. If they can’t keep what they already have safe and secure, why on earth would you give them access to more?

    • FISA Court Twists PATRIOT Act To Pretend It’s Okay To Spy On Americans Based On Their Constitutionally Protected Speech

      Thus, while depressing, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find out that when a Section 215 request came to him concerning activity of a US person that was entirely protected by the First Amendment, Bates figured out a way to give the FBI the go ahead to spy on the person anyway. Because terrorism.

    • Washington Law Enforcement Hides Stingray Purchase And Use From Everyone, But It’s OK Because They’re Fighting Crime

      More news of secret surveillance has been uncovered, thanks to FOIA requests. Police in Tacoma, Washington have a Stingray device and have been using it, unbeknownst to pretty much everyone in the area. And it’s not just a recent development. According to information obtained by The News Tribune, this dates back more than a half-decade.

    • Kaspersky Publishes (Then Deletes) Article Claiming ‘If You’re Doing Nothing Wrong, You Have Nothing To Hide’

      At least at the time I’m writing this, you can still see the full text via Google’s cache, though that may go away soon. The really ridiculous part is actually the final paragraph. The main part of the article lists out five areas where there are benefits to sharing your info (more on that in a second) and then it comes to this ridiculous conclusion:

      Apart from these five reasons, there are many more why you shouldn’t be paranoid and try to conceal your location while online. Remember if you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. There is almost to zero chance that you would be of interest to any secret service on the planet. The only nuisance to you will be advertisement robots – and there are more effective tools against them than online anonymity.

    • DOJ Pretends No Fly Guidelines Haven’t Been Leaked, Claims ‘State Secrets’ To Avoid Revealing Them To The Judge

      Back in July, we wrote about the Intercept releasing a leaked copy of the US law enforcement guidelines for putting someone on the no fly list. There have been a series of lawsuits recently concerning the no fly list, and the government has basically done everything possible, practically to the point of begging judges, to avoid having those cases move forward. So far, that’s failed miserably.

    • Feds balk at court’s order to explain no-fly list selection process

      The Obama administration is fighting a federal judge’s order requiring it to explain why the government places US citizens who haven’t been convicted of any violent crimes on its no-fly database.

  • Civil Rights

    • Police Can’t Find A Bunch Of The Military Weapons And Vehicles That The Pentagon Has Been Handing Out

      Turning police departments into military bases has been one of the side effects of the 1033 program. This program routes military weapons and vehicles (as well as ancillaries like office equipment and medical supplies) to police forces, asking for nothing in return but a small donation and the use of the words “terrorism” or “drugs” on the application form. The program has been extremely popular and the US government can rest easy knowing that its excess inventory won’t go to waste.

    • 10 Acts Of Jihad In America That Americans Haven’t Heard About

      The ridiculousness is our notion that we will stop the jihad commanded by Islam by repurposing Cinnabon workers, dressing them up in faux cop uniforms, and stationing them at airports to feel us up and violate our Fourth Amendment rights.

    • Los Angeles cops do not need to hand over license plate reader data, judge finds

      The two groups want one week’s worth of data during Ramadan last year.
      A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will not force local law enforcement to release a week’s worth of all captured automated license plate reader (ALPR, also known as LPR) data to two activist groups that had sued for the release of the information, according to a decision issued on Thursday.

    • Is It Torture Now? ISIS Apparently A Fan Of CIA’s Waterboarding Techniques

      Among the many, many, many problems with running a torture program (beyond being morally problematic and with no history of effectiveness) is the fact that it makes it easier for others to justify torture programs as well. It’s now come out that ISIS has been waterboarding prisoners, including reporter James Foley whom they recently beheaded. Waterboarding, of course, was one of the CIA’s favorite torture techniques. And, of course, people had warned for years that having the CIA waterboard people would only encourage others to use the technique against Americans.

    • Counter-Strike Player’s Twitch Stream Captures His Own SWATting… And Some Questionable Police Behavior

      One of the more unfortunate side effects of police militarization isn’t directly the fault of law enforcement agencies or their enablers at the Pentagon. But it is related. Thanks to the Drug War, nearly every town in the US has a SWAT team or one minutes away, whether they need one or not. This has led to the rise of SWATting — calling in a false report in order to send a charged-up SWAT team to raid someone’s home.

      [...]

      At the beginning, the SWAT team does the usual cop thing of everyone yelling at the same time because that apparently works better than having a point person designated to deliver concise, well-enunciated instructions. (Note: it does work better than other situations where officers have yelled contradictory instructions over each other ["Stand up!! Lay on the ground!!].) Bonus points for swearing because no one takes guys with assault rifles and Kevlar vests seriously unless they use variations of the word “fuck.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

      Janice Bowling, a 67-year-old grandmother and Republican state senator from rural Tennessee, thought it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits.

    • Thomas Stocking of gandi: FCC’s fast lane may kill the Internet as we know it

      Thomas Stocking is chief operating officer of US operations at gandi and I met him during LinuxCon Chicago. We talked about gandi’s no bullshit policy, how a France based company is offering services across the globe, how gandi is defending the Internet and how they engage with the Linux & Open Source community.

    • NY Times Endorses Tim Wu For Lieutenant Governor, But Chickens Out On Endorsing His Running Mate, Zephyr Teachout

      We’ve written a little bit about the campaign of Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu for Governor and Lt. Governor of NY — in particular about incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo’s petty attempt to bankrupt the campaign with a bogus attack on Teachout’s residency. That required a significant waste of time and resources, eventually leading a judge to toss out Cuomo’s frivolous challenge. Teachout and Wu have long histories of being really in touch with the internet generation, and being true anti-corruption reformers. While their campaign may be a longshot (big time “outsiders” against the quintessential insider), they’ve certainly managed to make some noise.

  • DRM

    • Cell Phone Kill Switches Mandatory in California

      The law only affects California, but phone manufacturers won’t sell two different phones. So this means that all cell phones will eventually have this capability. And, of course, the procedural controls and limitations written into the California law don’t apply elsewhere.

    • Keurig’s Coffee DRM Already Cracked By Competitors; Will There Be A Lawsuit?

      Earlier this year, we wrote about Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, maker of the infamous Keurig single cup coffee makers, and its plan to DRM its next generation coffee pods. The original pods were going off patent, and competition was rising. So, of course, the solution is to come up with something new… and lock it down to make it less useful for consumers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama nominates new intellectual property chief

      President Obama nominated a longtime trademark and copyright lawyer to be the White House’s new intellectual property enforcement officer.

      The White House announced on Thursday evening that Danny Marti was the president’s nominee for the post, which is tasked with coordinating ways to protect intellectual property with companies and other government officials.

      Marti, who is currently a managing partner at the Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton law firm in Washington, was greeted warmly by industry groups when his name was announced on Thursday.

    • President Obama Finally Gets Around To Nominating A New IP Czar

      While we’re still waiting for the White House to actually nominate a new head of the US Patent and Trademark Office, the other big administration “intellectual property” job has also been vacant for over a year: the “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator” (IPEC) job, frequently referred to as the “IP Czar.” That job was previously held by Victoria Espinel, who left a year ago and immediately jumped to a lobbying job with the BSA, the copyright maximalist trade group run by Microsoft.

    • ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Maker Looks to Sanction Lindsay Lohan for Suing

      Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto V, has told a judge that Lindsay Lohan’s publicity rights lawsuit is a publicity grab.

    • Reporter Annoyed To Discover He Doesn’t Own Facts; Suggests ‘Global Paywall’ For Reporters Like Himself

      Every so often we see this kind of thing: a reporter (who may very well do amazingly good work) gets upset to realize that other news sites and aggregators pick up on some of his stories and write about them — potentially even getting more attention than the original. In this case, it’s reporter Matthew Taub, who is annoyed that other sites got the glory for his investigative reporting on… on a guy dressing up as a clown and running around a Brooklyn cemetary…

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • As Expected, Aereo Pleads Its Case For Survival
      • Aereo Tells Judge It Can Beat Lawsuit Despite Supreme Court Ruling

        The digital company also renews a challenge to the irreparable harm faced by TV broadcasters

      • If You’re A Copyright Maximalist ‘Piracy’ Must Be The Answer To All Problems

        Tom Giovanetti is a wacky sort of copyright maximalist, who insists that “copyright is property, no questions asked” and never misses an opportunity to defend stronger and stronger copyright. Every so often he pops off with something totally nonsensical like the time he insisted that copyright could never be used for censorship. He recently spouted off, comically, about how “piracy” is “killing movie franchises.” Now, this might be a surprise to anyone who, you know, actually pays attention to Hollywood. Because nearly every top grossing film these days is… part of a movie franchise. Let’s take a look at the top performers of 2014 so far:

      • George Lucas Wants Desperately To Preserve Old Movies… Unless They’re His; So Fans Are Trying To Do It Instead

        Kevin Carson points us to a fascinating story in The Atlantic about fans trying to recreate the “original” version of Star Wars (“Episode IV — A New Hope for the folks who feel like being pedantic) from 1977. As various fans have pointed out repeatedly (mainly each time Lucas went back and “edited” Star Wars again), back in 1988 Lucas spoke to Congress about the importance of preserving original versions of movies, and avoiding the constant attempts to update and modernize them in ways that might erase the original versions.

      • UK Police Accuse Domain Name Registrar of Facilitating Criminal Activity

        City of London Police have increased the pressure on domain name registrars who do business with file-sharing sites. With a “notice of criminality” the police hopes to pressure the companies into taking action, or else.

      • Four ISPs Sued For Failing To Block Pirate Movie Sites

        VAP, the anti-piracy association of the Austrian film and video industry, has sued four local ISPs after they failed to act on a request to block streaming portals Movie4k.to and Kinox.to. The IFPI says it is preparing legal action against the ISPs for their failure to block The Pirate Bay.

      • Warner Bros. Sues New York Bar For Playing 80-Year Old Song

        Warner Bros. has filed a lawsuit against a small bar from Amityville, New York, for playing one of their songs without permission. The track in question is not a recent pop song, but the 80-year old love song “I Only Have Eyes for You” which first appeared in Warner’s 1934 movie “Dames.”

      • Dotcom Loses Bid to Keep Assets Secret from Hollywood

        Kim Dotcom has lost his appeal to keep his worldwide assets hidden from Hollywood in advance of a Court of Appeal hearing in October. The Court ordered the Megaupload founder to hand the information to Hollywood lawyers, although they must obtain permission to further share the information.

      • Is copyright trolling a thing in Finland now?

        I got a nasty letter(in English here) in the mail. I was being demanded 600 euros for alleged copyright infringement. I operate a TOR exit node and an open wireless network. I’m also an active member of the Pirate Party and have been a municipal election candidate in Turku, Finland.

      • Leaked Draft Reveals Hollywood’s Anti-Piracy Plans

        A leaked draft prepared for government submission has revealed Hollywood’s Australian anti-piracy strategy. Among other things, the paper says that providers should be held liable for infringing customers even when they only “reasonably suspect” that infringement is taking place.

08.28.14

Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

Posted in News Roundup at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Considering Legacy UNIX/Linux Issues

    Gah, so frustrating! Ten years ago I wrote a rather popular book called Wicked Cool Shell Scripts, and I’m working on a new edition—a Tenth Anniversary release. There are lots of new scripts, entirely new chapters and updates to the older stuff. Fortunately, Bash hasn’t evolved that much in the last decade, so just about everything still works fine (although there are some scripts I’m now realizing can’t handle spaces in filenames—something I talked about years ago in this very column).

  • It’s All Linux Under the Hood

    The user friendly distros have done a great job of accommodating this new set of Linux users. It’s now entirely possible for a new Linux user running something like Ubuntu or one of its derivatives to never once open a terminal and still have a pretty decent experience. Some of these new users, who might have initially come to Linux only to breath new life into an old computer until they can afford a new Windows box, might be curious enough to delve under the hood enough to discover that what they’re using isn’t merely a free OS that works on obsolete hardware, but a powerful and highly configurable operating system that puts Windows to shame on almost every level.

  • OS Battle: Linux Takes 1.7% Desktop Marketshare

    We have another metric in showing a 1.7% Linux desktop market-share, which isn’t far off from other figures we’ve seen in the past indicating Linux desktop usage at under 2%.

  • China Promotes Linux-Based Operating System Against Windows, Android
  • Desktop

    • Why Linux Isn’t a Desktop Alternative

      The year of the Linux desktop has become a joke, referred to ironically when mentioned at all. Under the circumstances Linus Torvalds showed either courage or naivete when he admitted last week at Linuxcon that he still wants to see Linux become popular on the desktop.

      However, neither Torvalds nor anyone else should stay up nights waiting for the event. Most users have no awareness of the possibility, or set impossible standards for it, even though, for a minority, the year of the Linux desktop happened years ago.

    • Linux Doesn’t Need to Own the Desktop

      The simple fact is that Linux has changed the world and been a tremendous success outside the desktop, and there is nothing wrong with that. Android is hardly the only Linux-based platform that has made a big mark. Linux is huge on servers, in embedded technology, and is a constant prompt for innovation on emerging platforms. Ubuntu is the most popular platform for building OpenStack deployments on. Supercomputers all over the world run Linux, and Chrome OS is based on it.

    • Five big names that use Linux on the desktop

      It’s not just Munich city council that uses Linux on the desktop. A number of household names have also opted for open source.

    • Six Advantages of Choosing Linux over Windows

      Linux is multi-functional and efficient. Everyone shells out money for a computer. On top if it spending more on an operating system is not a feasible option for many if there are alternatives. Windows requires users to pay licensing fees and other extended fees, whereas Linux is free. It is charged a minimal fee when bought from other distribution companies. Hardware requirements are not a problem for Linux whereas Windows requires a higher set of specifications for hardware if it has to run, and be compatible on the users’ computer systems. The poor efficiency of Windows consumes a large space and the processing speed slows down drastically. With Windows users can not use old computers if they are aiming at good back up.

    • Linux on the desktop isn’t dead

      At LinuxCon this year, the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, was asked what he wanted for Linux. His response? “The desktop.” For years, the call to Linux action was “World Domination.” In certain markets, this has happened (think Linux helping to power Android and Chrome OS). On the desktop, however, Linux still has a long, long way to go.

      Wait… that came out wrong. I don’t mean “Linux has a long, long way to go before it’s ready for the desktop.” What I meant to say is something more akin to “Linux is, in fact, desktop ready… it just hasn’t found an inroad to the average consumer desktop.”

  • Server

    • IBM doubles down on Linux

      Less than a year after their announcement that they planned to invest a billion dollars in the Linux platform, IBM continues to ramp up their Linux play by rolling out Linux on Power System servers across 54 of the IBM Innovation and Client Centers worldwide. This comes almost two years after IBM announced that they had ported Linux to the Power Server platform.

    • Popularity (or lack of it) Of That Other OS on Servers

      According to Netcraft, it’s been many years since M$’s OS was so unpopular on servers…

  • Kernel Space

    • Appliance maker Electrolux joins IoT-focused AllSeen Alliance

      The group is one of the more diverse consortiums, with members ranging from consumer electronics and chipset manufacturers to retailers and service providers. Primarily, work revolves around the AllJoyn open-source framework, which AllSeen said acts as a universal translator for objects and devices to interact.

    • Linux hits 23 – the Time Machine that changed the world!

      Linux reached the entirely respectable age of 23 this week, more or less.

    • 2014 Kernel Internship Report (OPW)

      For the past year and a half, the Linux kernel has participated as a project under the FOSS Outreach Program for Women (OPW). OPW provides a three month paid internship for women (cis and trans) and genderqueer or genderfluid people. After a month-long application process, the selected OPW interns are paired with an open source mentor to work on a project. As of August 2014, there are eleven Linux kernel OPW alumni, and five interns that are just finishing up their internships.

    • Another Intel Linux Power Regression Is Being Investigated

      Power regressions are still easy to come by with the Linux kernel and other areas of the open-source stack… Multiple users have been reporting of a recent power increase on newer versions of the Linux kernel, which seem to track down to the Intel i915 DRM driver.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Re-Clocking Your NVIDIA GPU With Nouveau On Linux 3.17

        If you are trying to re-clock your NVIDIA GPU with the Nouveau driver when using the Linux 3.17 kernel, there’s an extra step involved, but still your mileage may vary and the re-clocking is still mostly for Kepler GPUs.

        With the Nouveau driver changes for Linux 3.17 there are no magic breakthroughs when it comes to re-clocking — allowing the GPU’s core and memory clocks to run at their rated frequencies and voltages rather than any (often much lower) values programmed by the video BIOS at boot time. With Linux 3.17 came re-clocking for Kepler GPUs and now it works, but generally not all performance levels/states properly function. If you are running a GeForce 400/500 “Fermi” GPU or other generations of NVIDIA hardware aside from the few integrated mobile chipsets, chances are you’re out of luck in being able to tap the full potential of the GPU when using this open-source, reverse-engineered NVIDIA GPU.

      • 20-Way Radeon Comparison With Open-Source Graphics For Steam On Linux Gaming

        When it comes to Linux gamers wanting a discrete graphics card backed by open-source drivers, the only solution right now to truly recommend for those serious about performance and making use of the hardware is really AMD Radeon graphics. While Nouveau has been making much progress, until re-clocking and other issues are worked out the performance can be unbearably slow depending upon the particular graphics processor or run into other problems. (Of course, when talking about proprietary graphics drivers on Linux, the story is entirely different, or if considering integrated Intel HD Graphics.) For those pursuing a AMD Radeon GPU for their own Steam Box/Machine build and hope to use the open-source Gallium3D drivers, here’s some Steam on Linux gaming benchmarks from almost two dozen different GPUs.

      • Nouveau On Oibaf PPA Is Back To Running Well

        Upstream Nouveau was unaware of this issue that was affecting my entire assortment of NVIDIA GeForce hardware so it was then quickly assumed to be an issue with the Oibaf PPA that constantly is packaging the latest open-source Linux GPU drivers. On top of mainline Mesa Git, recently there’s been the the Gallium3D Direct3D 9 patches (Gallium-Nine). While none of my testing was relying upon the Gallium-Nine D3D9 support, it was wreaking havoc on the system anyhow.

      • Radeon DRM Queues More Changes, RV6xx UVD For Linux 3.18

        With the DRM merge window for drm-next now closing earlier going forward than in past kernel releases, another Radeon DRM-Next pull request was already submitted for Linux 3.18.

        Alex Deucher of AMD had already sent in a pull request to add Radeon userptr support for Linux 3.18 after it just missed the Linux 3.17 merge window due to the user-space support not being tried and tested. In Alex’s latest pull request to DRM subsystem maintainer David Airlie, there’s more changes than the first.

      • Mesa Has A New Release Manager

        Mesa has a new release manager to allow the two existing managers from Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center to get back to more driver wrangling rather than release wrangling.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 14.08

      The overall theme of version 14.08 is the introduction of a new scalable GUI architecture that takes security as the most fundamental premise. It is unique in the way that the security of graphical applications and thereby the privacy of the user depends on only a few components of very little complexity. We strive for low complexity to reduce the likelihood for bugs and thereby the attack surface of the system. When using a secure microkernel such as NOVA, Genode’s trusted computing base for graphical applications is orders of magnitude less complex compared to contemporary operating systems. To illustrate the rigidity of this claim, the security-sensitive parts of the GUI stack do not even depend on a C runtime. With the current release, we maintain our focus on security while taking the scalability of the GUI architecture to a level that meets the expectations of general-purpose OSes. Thanks to its component-based design, the new GUI stack provides a great deal of flexibility with respect to its behaviour and style. Section New GUI architecture provides the rationale behind the development, the big picture of the architecture, and details about the current implementation.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • PLASMA ACTIVE PORTED TO KF5

        The GSoC might have come to an end, but I am very happy with the progress that we have made porting the Plasma Active to KF5. In my previous blogposts i have describe some of the stuff which they have been ported. So at the moment a lot of the basic features have come back to the Plasma Active, so yes it is at a usable state Smile One of the big changes is that Nepomuk has been replaced with Baloo. Despite the fact that a lot of the Nepomuk stuff has been ported, there are still some things left, for example the timeline and tag support on the active-filebrowser.

      • Meet Cornelius Schumacher – Akademy Keynote Speaker

        At Akademy 2014, outgoing KDE e.V. Board President Cornelius Schumacher will give the community keynote. He has attended every Akademy and has been amazed and inspired at every one of them. If you want more of what KDE can bring to your life, Cornelius’s talk is the perfect elixir.

        Here are glimpses of Cornelius that most of us have never seen. They give a sense of what has made him a successful leader of KDE for several years.

      • GSoC: Thumping the Malaria and voyaging in cosmos with KStars

        Let’s talk about my project now. KStars is desktop planetarium application under KDE Education Projects. I developed QML based cool interface to enable users to browse through image database of community of astrophotographers (i.e. astrobin.com) which contains more than 1,20,000 (number is increasing everyday) real time and very high resolution images along with various information related to them (i.e. Date on which image was captured, Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, RA Centre, DEC Centre, Telescope or Camera used, Description added by astrophotographer etc). I am sure that this browser will enthrall school children by showing them real time images of stars and galaxies located at hundreds of light year far from earth.

      • Akademy 2014: What I Plan To See
      • KDevelop master is now frameworkified
      • What’s new in porting script ? clean-includes.sh
      • New class in kcoreaddons: Kdelibs4ConfigMigrator
      • The KDE Randa 2014 meeting, in easy-digestible video format!

        In case you were wondering what was going on in Randa, here are some first hand impressions. The video was produced by Françoise Wybrecht (alias Morgane Marquis) and Lucie Robin, and the people in it are the actual participants of the event. It was also created using KDenlive, one of the awesome Free Software tools a team has been working on at the Randa meeting itself. The video introduces the faces and personalities of the contributors and their different backgrounds and origins. Many thanks to our brand new ad-hoc media team for producing this video!

      • Plasma Active Is Mostly Ported To KDE Frameworks 5

        With this year’s Google Summer of Code over, Antonis Tsiapaliokas shared a status update concerning the state of KDE’s Plasma Active being ported to KF5.

        Much progress was made this summer in porting Plasma Active to KDE Frameworks 5 and it’s now in a usable state. All basic functionality of Plasma Active should work in a KF5 world but parts of Nepomuk and other components are still being ported over.

        Antonis Tsiapaliokas says he continues to continue on with this work around the end of September after his university exams. More details can be found in Tsiapaliokas’ blog post and the KF5 Plasma Active porting video that’s embedded below.

      • KDE Mover-Sizer brings handy Linux desktop tricks to the PC

        Resizing and repositioning windows on the PC desktop is such a fundamental task that you’ll almost do it without thinking. Move the mouse to the title bar/ border, click, drag, release. Very basic, very simple — but there might still be room for improvement.

        KDE Mover-Sizer is an open source, portable tool which brings a common Linux desktop trick to Windows. Instead of having to move your mouse cursor to the title bar or border, you just hold down the Alt key, then left-click anywhere inside a window and drag to move it, right-click and drag to resize it.

  • Distributions

    • The Linux Desktop-a-week Review: elementary OS’s Pantheon

      First of all, I get why so many people say it is a “Mac clone.” I do. It has the same standard layout that Mac OS X has been using for several years: a dock on the bottom, menu bar up top. But that’s really about where the similarities end. My guess is that people who call this a Mac clone haven’t actually had the chance to use the system extensively and were going on screenshots alone.

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CTO unexpectedly quits, amid rumors of executive ‘friction’

        No-one among the rank and file at Red Hat seem to have seen this coming. In a move the Linux giant’s staffers said was “shocking” and a “punch in the gut,” long-time Red Hat chief technology officer Brian Stevens has resigned.

        In a short press release, the company announced: “Brian Stevens will step down as CTO.”

        In the same release, Red Hat’s president and chief executive Jim Whitehurst said, “We want to thank Brian for his years of service and numerous contributions to Red Hat’s business. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

      • Brian Stevens to Step Down as CTO of Red Hat
      • Red Hat Shake-up, Desktop Users, and Outta Time
      • Red Hat eyes up the cloud with CloudForms 3.1

        Red Hat Inc., might already be a superpower where Linux is concerned, but it has no intention of resting on its laurels. It has ambitions to become a major player in the cloud as well, and to that end it’s launched an open hybrid cloud management solution called Red Hat CloudForms 3.1, unveiled yesterday at the VMworld 2014 event in San Francisco.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 Will Try To Release Before Thanksgiving

          Today was another FESCo meeting but fortunately no further Fedora 21 delay was announced today, but it could happen with the F21 alpha change deadline being today and the developers trying to get an approved build.

        • DNF Makes It A Step Closer To Replacing Yum On Fedora

          DNF 0.6.1 was released today and this updated open-source package manager picked up a few more features as it’s still in pursuit of replacing Yum on Fedora systems.

          The DNF 0.6.1 release adds full support for the history redo command with integration for the repository-packages commands. DNF 0.6.1 also adds new configuration options pertaining to GPG keys/checking and there’s many bug-fixes.

    • Debian Family

      • $99 Parallella Supercomputer has Successful Launch After 18 Months

        There is also an unofficial Debian 7.0 image and it should be possible to run just about any distro that has an armhf architecture build. Provided that is that the aforementioned kernel and device tree are located in the BOOT filesystem on the SD card, along with an FPGA configuration bitstream.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 14.10 Beta 1 (Utopic Unicorn) to Arrive in a Couple of Days

            “So Beta 1 is this week and I’ll be taking care of the builds and paperwork. Could participating flavours please get in touch here or on IRC? In the mean time, I’m going to assume a participation similar to Alpha-2 and configure cron, propose-migration and the tracker accordingly, then build a first candidate for each of your flavours,” wrote Canonical’s Stéphane Graber.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn), Beta 1 preview: No big changes

            Despite optimistic 2011 predictions of a fully converged cross-platform OS running Mir and UnityNext (8) by 2014, Ubuntu 14.10 is set to retain X Windows and Unity 7. Based on this beta, it seems there will be no big changes in 14.10, although upgrading is always worthwhile.

          • Ubuntu Next with Unity 8 and Mir on the Desktop – Screen Tour

            Canonical is planning to bring the Unity 8 to the desktop, but it will take a while until this task is accomplished. Until then, users can test the new Ubuntu Next images, which incorporate Unity 8 and the Mir display server.

            Ubuntu developers have been working very hard on the new Unity 8 desktop environment, but their progress has been limited so far on the mobile phones. With the work that’s being done for Ubuntu Touch RTM and Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn), the implementation of the new desktop is now on a back burner.

          • Squid 3 Exploit Closed in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            Canonical has published details in a security notice about a Squid 3 vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems that has been found and fixed.

            The Ubuntu developers have closed a small problem with Squid, which could have been made to crash, if it received specially crafted network traffic.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) beta-1 released!

            The first beta of the Utopic Unicorn (to become 14.10) has now been released!

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Imagination Launches MIPS-Based “Creator CI20” Development Board For Linux And Android, Free For Developers

      Today, Imagination is announcing the launch of a MIPS development board called the MIPS Creator CI20, with support for Linux (running Debian 7 currently, but other distro images are supported) and Android 4.4 KitKat (coming soon).

      According to Imagination, this MIPS developer board is merely the first step in the company’s campaign to get more people to build cool stuff on top of the MIPS CPU architecture. The dev board is targeting open source communities, schools, hobbyists or anyone who might want to try out the MIPS platform. It’s basically a direct competitor to the likes of the ARM-based Raspberry Pi and Texas Instruments’ BeagleBone development boards.

    • Device Tree Overlay Support Lands Upstream

      This means that we should soon have Capemgr support in newer kernels and we are trying to get a jump on that now.

    • New MIPS Creator CI20 development board for Linux and Android debuts
    • Phones

      • Samsung’s Tizen Mobile OS Failing to Impress Device Makers, Pundits

        Samsung’s Tizen mobile operating system is under fire. Some industry pundits have called the operating system, which is open-source and designed to take on Android, a failure, even though it has reached the market in only a few minor mobile products and really hasn’t had a chance to show its worth. Just recently, in fact, Huawei, a top China-based device and telecommunications equipment maker, said that it researched the possibility of using Tizen but found that it couldn’t serve its needs. The company said that it sees Tizen failing eventually with no chance of competing against the likes of Android and others. Samsung, the company behind Tizen, has been silent on the complaints about its operating system. While the company has acknowledged that it has faced some challenges in design, it’s still saying publicly that it can make Tizen a mainstream option in the mobile space. Samsung has even said Tizen could be an ideal choice for wearables, where the company has already brought the operating system to some of its devices. The truth, however, is not as simple as Samsung would have the market believe. This eWEEK slide show looks at the reasons why Tizen may have a hard time proving itself as a viable alternative to Android or any other mobile operating system.

      • Tizen Samsung Smart Camera NX1 with a new UI coming next month?

        Samsung Electronics has been making steady headway in the world of cameras, and possibly leading the pack when it comes to Smart Cameras with its features that it offers. We heard a while ago that samsung where going to be releasing another flagship Smart Camera following the release of the Samsung NX30 camera.

      • Android

        • New Google Nexus Leak Confirms 192-Core, 64-bit Apple Rival

          Last September Apple AAPL +0.16% caused a stir when it announced iOS 7 and the accompanying iPhone 5S would support 64-bit operation. The move to this much faster architecture gave it the jump on 32-bit rivals Android and Windows Phone and brought Apple’s products in-line with desktop and laptop-class computing. But now Android has caught up and may well go speeding past.

        • HTC announces the Desire 510 Android phone but doesn’t mention its 64-bit processor

          Apple stole a march on Android when it released the iPhone 5S with a 64-bit processor, and Android manufacturers have put the pedal to the metal in a race to catch up and make their products 64-bit. AnandTech reports that HTC has announced the Desire 510, its first 64-bit Android phone.

        • HTC Announces Desire 510: First 64-bit Android Phone

          While normally one might expect high end phones to get the latest and greatest features first, this time we see a bit of a surprising reversal. The Desire 510 is HTC’s first 64-bit phone, and the first announced device with Snapdragon 410. For those that aren’t familiar with Snapdragon 410, it has four Cortex A53 CPU cores running at 1.2 GHz, along with an Adreno 306 GPU which suggests that it is a mild modification of the current Adreno 305 GPU that we see in the Snapdragon 400. Overall, this should make for a quite fast SoC compared to Snapdragon 400, as Anand has covered in the Snapdragon 410 launch announcement.

        • Free Android Apps August 2014: Google Play Store Titles for This Week

          There are actually good new Android apps in the Google Play Store that seemed to slide off under the radar. In this news, we’re going to mention some of the best, often ignored, Free Android Apps that you might want to check out. Perfect for those who are actually bored or disappointed with their present apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • SelekTOR 3 now Open Source.

    If you have been following my blog or the SelekTOR news posts here at Dazzleships you will know that I intended to take SelekTOR open source under the GPL 2 license and also discontinue the Windows version well I can now report that this has come to pass.

    SelekTOR for Linux V3.06 and all its source code including the Netbeans build forms are now available for download on the SelekTOR page.

  • Kano’s Alejandro Simon: If This, Then Do That

    The OS has been available since February. It is open source. We tried to release a new version of it every two or three weeks. Anybody who runs Rasperry Pi can use it. So we already have users. They share content and discuss features and exchange idea on our forums. So far, we have sold 18,000 kits since last year, through the Kickstarter campaign via preorder. We are now in production and have most of the different pieces in place. We will start shipping by the beginning of September, hopefully. We do the materials and the hardware and the components and the packages ourselves. Finally, it is all coming together.

  • Netflix Open Sources More of its Useful Utilities
  • Netflix open sources internal threat monitoring tools
  • Chef engineer leaves the company after receiving death threats from its open source community

    A release engineer from Chef, the company providing commercial support for the open-source Chef configuration management tool, said in a blog post Wednesday that he is leaving the company after being harassed by members of the Chef community for his contributions to the open source project.

    Seth Vargo (pictured above) wrote that because he has “received numerous abusive emails and two death threats” in addition to other offensive behavior regarding his open-source contributions to the Chef community that were outside of his official work for Chef, he will not only be leaving Chef but will be taking a sabbatical from software engineering.

  • Chef pledges to better police open source community after engineer resigns following death threats
  • Events

    • New Vault Conference to Promote Open Source Cloud Storage

      The Linux Foundation, a non-profit consortium that promotes Linux and open source software, announced Vault on Thursday. The purpose of the conference, according to the group, is to help guide the direction of open source storage development as organizations increasingly move data to the cloud, creating new types of security and privacy challenges.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mid-cycle meetups for OpenStack developers and users

      Taking place twice a year, OpenStack’s summits provide a great deal of the face-to-face interaction between developers, vendors, and users. But what about the rest of the year? Many projects opt to host mid-cycle meetups to bridge the gap to collaborate, make plans for the future, and knock out major tasks.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Kids aren’t the only ones learning to share

      This one is fundamental. If we look at the four software freedoms we can see very clearly how important the concept of sharing is. To clarify, obviously these four freedoms are not a part of all open source, but they do hold value as a reference when thinking through the concept of sharing.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 4 things you didn’t know about civic crowdfunding

      Crowdfunding is everywhere. People are using it to fund watches, comic books, even famous film directors are doing it. In what is now a $6 billion industry globally, I think the most interesting, disruptive, and exciting work that’s happening is in donation-based crowdfunding.

      That’s worth, very roughly, $1.2 billion a year worldwide per year. Within that subset, I’ve been looking at civic projects, people who are producing shared goods for a community or broader public. These projects build on histories of community fundraising and resource pooling that long predate the Internet; what’s changed is that we’ve created a scalable, portable platform model to carry out these existing practices.

    • Open Data

      • penStreetMap: the Next Truly Indispensable Open Project

        Last year, I described OpenStreetMap (OSM) as the “open source of maps”. On the occasion of the project’s tenth anniversary, I’d like to explore this important example of open collaboration in a little more detail, and explain why I think it is destined to become the next absolutely key open project.

        First, some history. To celebrate OSM’s anniversary, TechCrunch has an excellent interview with the project’s founder, Steve Coast.

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.6 Major Update Officially Released

      PHP 5.6, an HTML-embedded scripting language with syntax borrowed from C, Java, and Perl, with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in, is now available for download.

      The PHP 5.x branch includes a new OOP model based on the Zend Engine, a new extension for improved MySQL support, built-in native support for SQLite, and many more features. This branch of PHP has been in the works for quite some time and it’s nice to see that the stable version is now out.

Leftovers

  • MenuetOS Updated With SMP Threads & Onscreen Keyboard

    MenuetOS, the operating system written in Assembly and now primarily focused on 64-bit x86 systems and fits on a 1.5MB floppy disk image, is out with a new release.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Feds warn first responders of dangerous hacking tool: Google Search

      In a restricted intelligence document distributed to police, public safety, and security organizations in July, the Department of Homeland Security warned of a “malicious activity” that could expose secrets and security vulnerabilities in organizations’ information systems. The name of that activity: “Google dorking.”

      “Malicious cyber actors are using advanced search techniques, referred to as ‘Google dorking,’ to locate information that organizations may not have intended to be discoverable by the public or to find website vulnerabilities for use in subsequent cyber attacks,” the for-official-use-only Roll Call Release warned. “By searching for specific file types and keywords, malicious cyber actors can locate information such as usernames and passwords, e-mail lists, sensitive documents, bank account details, and website vulnerabilities.”

    • Security updates for Thursday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The danger of retaliation

      Like Al-Qaida, the Islamic State is a monster partly of our own making.

    • Op-Ed: Tripoli bombed for third night by unidentified aircraft

      For a third night unidentified aircraft struck targets in Tripoli. The attacks came just hours after the Misrata militia claim they have finally gained control of the Tripoli International AIrport from the rival Zintan brigades.

    • How to Provoke a Crisis

      There is no one more capable at provoking a crisis than the U.S. national-security establishment. They are absolute experts at doing so. They have to be. Their survival and ever-increasing tax-funded bounty depends on it.

      Consider, for example, a recent altercation between a U.S. surveillance plane and a Chinese fighter jet near the coast of Japan.

    • ‘The Congress Shall Have Power … to Declare War’

      President Obama is compelled to get permission before striking Syria, but if he violates the law by unilaterally ordering a strike it won’t be the first time.

    • BT alleged to have supplied high-speed fibre-optic cable to aid US drone strikes

      The government has been asked to investigate whether BT is aiding drone strikes with a specially built military internet cable connecting US air force facilities in Northamptonshire to a base for unmanned craft in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

      Evidence is mounting that the $23m (£13m) fibre-optic circuit built by BT in 2012 was installed to facilitate air strikes in Yemen and Somalia by US air force drones, according to a complaint filed by the human rights group Reprieve.

      The circuit runs from RAF Croughton, a base where US air force personnel staff a command, control, communications and computer support hub for global operations organised by the US military.

  • Finance

    • Colonization by Bankruptcy: The High-Stakes Chess Match for Argentina

      Argentina is playing hardball with the vulture funds, which have been trying to force it into an involuntary bankruptcy. The vultures are demanding what amounts to a 600% return on bonds bought for pennies on the dollar, defeating a 2005 settlement in which 92% of creditors agreed to accept a 70% haircut on their bonds. A US court has backed the vulture funds; but last week, Argentina sidestepped its jurisdiction by transferring the trustee for payment from Bank of New York Mellon to its own central bank. That play, if approved by the Argentine Congress, will allow the country to continue making payments under its 2005 settlement, avoiding default on the majority of its bonds.

    • Detroit water shut-offs for overdue bills to begin once more

      More than a month after Detroit was criticized for turning off water to people who had not paid their bills, the water shut-offs are beginning again.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Spy on enemies, not Senate

      Revealing too much about the Central Intelligence Agency’s activities would undermine national security. But that doesn’t mean the CIA shouldn’t have to answer to Congress.

      And it certainly doesn’t mean the CIA should spy on Congress.

      Legislative oversight of the CIA is a legal, logical and necessary way for federal lawmakers to assure that the agency operates within proper limits. That’s how the American public, through our elected representatives, keeps track of what the CIA is doing in our name.

    • Former CIA Director Michael Hayden Trying To Pretend CIA Torture Report Is Just A ‘Democrat’ Political Ploy

      We’ve been covering the pending release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report, which is currently undergoing a fight over what should or should not be redacted. We also covered the NY Times report about how former CIA boss George Tenet (who helped mentor current CIA boss John Brennan) is both implicated by the report… and has been leading the campaign to discredit the report.

  • Civil Rights

    • CIA acted to shape Portugal’s post-revolutionary political scene

      The US State Department approved its first clandestine operational plan for Portugal on 27th September 1974 with the stated aim of “avoiding the communists taking power” according to documents publicly released on their 40th anniversary.

    • Congressman Guns for High-Performance Body Armor Ban

      A California congressman wants to ban everyday Americans from owning high-performance body armor.

      Rep. Mike Honda, a Democrat, tells U.S. News law enforcement officers need an edge over criminals and rampaging madmen, whom he says can “wreck havoc with impunity” wearing the gear.

      Honda’s “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” introduced July 31, would prohibit civilians from buying or owning armor – including vests, shields, helmets and other items – rated Type III or higher on the National Institute of Justice’s penetration resistance scale.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality Is ‘Marxist,’ According to This Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

      A mysterious conservative group with strong ties to the Koch brothers has been bombarding inboxes with emails filled with disinformation and fearmongering in an attempt to start a “grassroots” campaign to kill net neutrality—at one point suggesting that “Marxists” think that preserving net neutrality is a good idea.

      The emails, which come with subject lines like “Stop Obama’s federal Internet takeover,” come from American Commitment, an organization that is nonprofit in name only and has been called out time and time again by journalists and transparency organizations for obscuring where it gets its funding.

      In an email I received, American Commitment president Phil Kerpen suggests that reclassifying the internet as a public utility is the “first step in the fight to destroy American capitalism altogether” and says that the FCC is plotting a “federal Internet takeover,” a move that “sounds more like a story coming out of China or Russia.”

  • DRM

    • GOG Looking To Extend It’s DRM-Free Message To Movies/TV

      If you like PC games, chances are you already know all about GOG, or Good Old Games. The GOG website has done more to extend the life of gently-aged games by building a platform for old games that will work on new machines while having one singular principal dominate their products: there shall be no DRM.

    • GOG To Start Selling Movies And TV Shows

      Well this is interesting: GOG.com, the digital retailer best known for selling old games without DRM, is branching out into film and TV.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom Battles to Keep Cash Sources Private

        With Hollywood hovering in the background looking for cash, last month the High Court ordered Kim Dotcom to reveal in detail where he’s getting all his money from. The Mega founder isn’t ready to give in though, and is putting up a fight ahead of an appeal hearing in October.

      • LA Police: Online Piracy Funds Drug Dealers and Terrorists

        The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sees piracy as one of its top priorities. In a highly tainted news report the Assistant Sheriff claims a direct link between piracy, organized crime and terrorism. But are the alleged pirates who inspired the report really hardcore criminals? Let’s find out.

We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

Posted in Interview, OSI, Patents at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents’ demise

Software patents are gradually losing their grip on the industry, not just in the world at large but also in the US (genesis of software patents). A few days ago an interview was published in which Simon Phipps (OSI) spoke about the goal of eradicating software patents and explained the latest turn of events as follows: “The Supreme Court in their judgment created a very clear test to work out whether a software patent was going to be valid or not. What they said was that, they said that there could still be software patents, but that simply taking something that is not patent‑eligible like an algorithm and then claiming that it’s patentable because it runs on a computer is not sufficient to actually establish patentability.

“They said that to get a software patent, the software that you have has got to improve the computer significantly. Because of that, the standard for getting software patents has been dramatically increased by the Alice decision.

“The federal circuit court then referred to the Alice decision, and decided not even to proceed to find out if there had been infringement on the Digitech case because they declared that the image processing software was not a significant improvement to the computer. Rather, it was a computer implementing a non‑patent‑eligible technique.”

Based on the article “Appeals court knocks out computer bingo patents” and some that are citing it, yet another software patent has just dropped dead. “Silly software patents are finally on notice at the Federal Circuit,” says the summary and lawyers do some legal analysis (not challenging the ruling but interpreting it). Progressive sites like TechDirt use a clever headline and say: “Another day, another story of stupid software patents getting stomped out of existence thanks to the Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank ruling. As we’ve been noting, this ruling is looking like it’s going to invalidate a ton of software patents (and that’s a good thing). The latest one dumped was an attempt to patent bingo online. Yes, bingo. The lower court had already rejected the patent using previous Supreme Court rulings against patenting “abstract ideas.” Now, with the Alice ruling in hand, the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) completed the stomping out of the bingo patent.”

Based on this same site, citing the post “Patent Troll Landmark Technology Sues eBay For Challenging Its Patents; EBay Responds With Anti-SLAPP Motion”, there is bullying over the suggestion that some patents need re-examining. To quote: “Over at Popehat, there’s a fascinating story about the depths to which patent trolls will go to “protect” their business models. The story involves Landmark Technologies, a troll we wrote about earlier this year for its rather aggressive take on patent trolling. Landmark holds patent 6,289,319: ‘Automatic Business and Financial Transaction Processing System.’ Or, as the EFF puts it more succinctly: paying with a credit card online. eBay recognized that Landmark’s trolling was bad news, and filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a re-exam of three patents. The USPTO initially recognized eBay’s request, noting that there were “substantial” questions about the patentability in those patents. While it eventually left two of the patents alone, it dumped many of the claims in a third patent.”

Remember how back in early August an invalidated patent caused much trouble for that aggressor called Apple.

There is a real opportunity here for change. Patents on software can now be eliminated. Rather than actively fight software patents Google is just promising not to sue. What a wasted opportunity and misguided strategy.

Back in 2013, Google announced its plans to not sue anybody who had implemented open-source versions of its MapReduce algorithm. Since then, the company has expanded what it calls its “Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge” to a number of other patents. Today it is announcing its largest expansion of this program to date, with the addition of 152 additional patents. This brings the total number of patents included in this program to 245.

Google ought to do more to end software patents, not just acquire some and then promise not to sue.

Meanwhile down in New Zealand, a lawyers’ site claims that changes are coming:

On 13 September the new Patents Act will come into force – whether you’re ready for it or not. So, too, will the Patents Regulations 2014 which were ratified by an Order in Council on 11 August.

Everything, then, is set. This article thus serves as something of a recap on the extent of the changes under the new regime.

Many of the provisions of the new Act are the same as the current Patents Act 1953. There will then be some continuity for patentees and businesses. However, two very significant changes are being implemented which concern how IPONZ examiners consider patent applications and the limits placed on the patentability of software.

IPONZ examiners will shortly have to examine patent applications to determine whether the claims made in respect of, for example, a product involve “an inventive step”. The inclusion of the law of “inventive step” in the new Act represents a higher threshold for hopeful patentees to meet.

There was lobbying by proprietary software giants to bring software patents to this island, but they have not been exceptionally successful. This is of course good news that reminds us that the end of software patents as elusive as we once assumed it to be.

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