IRC Proceedings: June 9th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 10th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 11th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 12th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 13th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 14th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 15th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 9th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 10th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 11th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 12th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 13th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 14th, 2013
IRC Proceedings: June 15th, 2013
Summary: Server maintenance complete, making pageloads faster and the Web site more robust, hence resilient against attacks
RECENTLY we have been having unprecedented problems with availability. After preparations last week we finally migrated and upgraded the Techrights server, doubling the CPU capacity and completing all the associated tasks over the weekend. A few changes remain to be applied shortly. Technical details are in my personal blog (not so relevant to the scope of Techrights).
Copilotco has kindly provided hosting for over 4 years. Without it, Techrights would not have been where it is today. It all started when Techrights came after DDOS attacks lasting several days. There are people (or companies) out there who would like to see the site dead. █
A partial Linux solution could solve Windows 8 woes
I’ve spent the past two years interviewing people about their desktop Linux setups, asking them about the Linux distributions they chose, the desktop environments they use, and the software upon which they rely. Over the past 73 interviews, a number of common lessons have emerged. Most of these apply to anyone who relies on a computer to do their work, Linux user or not. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned from these interviews:
It used to be quite the challenge to make a Linux desktop business-ready. Most every business depended upon niche, proprietary software that simply could not be run on anything but Windows. However, times have changed and so much of business is now handled through a web browser. Add to that how much the Linux platform has matured and you have the makings for a big win on the open source front.
Being a broke university student who couldn’t afford a technician’s fee, a client of this new ISP’s (and hardly servile at that), and with no other ISP options due to the grand monopolization of the region and who knows, maybe price fixing, I looked to my father and brother for advice. Brother recommended reinstalling Windows XP. Father recommended Debian GNU/Linux.
And so it was. I didn’t want to deal with virus scanners and paying heed to time allocated to ensuring my shit was safe, so I went Father’s way with a free disk from Brother.
The first few times I ran Ubuntu GNU/Linux (my brother deviated from Debian), the new ISP couldn’t give me a connection, leaving me to call their tech people yet-a-friggin’-gain. Since I changed network names and passwords, there’ve been no issues in that regard, though I am still using their provided modem.
Trying to buy Dell’s developer-orientated Ubuntu laptop – the XPS 13 – is a confusing affair at present.
Several readers have contacted us to say that the device is no longer being offered for sale on the Dell US website.
The world’s first ultra-thin laptop to use Intel’s Iris Pro graphics has today been unveiled by Ubuntu-dedicated hardware company System76.
At the recent Red Hat Summit in Boston, IBM, the giant international computer and server company, has announced its plan to expand the adoption of Linux accross its enterprise. There will be two new Power Systems Linux Centers in Austin and New York and support for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) will be extended to its Power Systems portfolio of server products.
In July, the two first North American IBM Power Systems Linux Centers will be opened, in Austin, Texas and in New York. With these centers, software developers will find it easier to develop and deploy new softwares for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open-sourced technology building blocks using the latest IMP processor technology and Linux.
In this episode: It looks like Rockwell was right – somebody was watching him (and us). There’s a great new Raspberry Pi installer called NOOBS and the President of the US promises action against patent trolls. Ubuntu’s ‘bug one’ has been fixed and the EFF objects to DRM in HTML 5. As ever, hear our discoveries and your opinions in this epic length podcast.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced new initiatives to further support and speed up the adoption of the Linux operating system across the enterprise. These include two new Power Systems Linux Centers and plans to extend support for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology to its Power Systems portfolio of server products.
The “Ilo” open-source driver that provides unofficial Intel Gallium3D graphics support for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge graphics cores on Linux now is advertising GLSL 1.40 compliance. The GL Shading Language update comes after landing UBO and TBO support.
Being published this afternoon are benchmarks of the Gallium3D LLVMpipe software driver compared to Intel HD 4600 graphics on Mesa 9.2 Git when using an Intel Core i7 4770K. While this Intel “Haswell” CPU is faster than previous generations, it’s still obviously best not relying upon LLVMpipe.
Liferea, a free news aggregator capable to store articles for offline reading and with full synchronization with Google Reader and TinyTinyRSS, is now at version 1.10 RC4.
Ardour lead developer Paul Davis has announced the release of version 3.2 of the open source digital audio workstation (DAW). The biggest new addition in this version is video support, a feature on which developer Robin Gareus “has worked for a couple of years”, according to Davis. Video support allows users of the DAW to easily extract, edit and mix audio tracks associated with video while being able to see the video in a preview.
Retroshare is the next generation of peer to peer sharing networks. Unlike classic peer to peer software, it only connects to trusted friends and not just anyone.
Glances is a CLI curses based monitoring tool for GNU/Linux and BSD OS.Glances uses the PsUtil library to get information from your system.It is developed in Python.
Linux has struggled to earn its gaming stripes across the years in the face of stiff competiton from Windows and, in recent times, OS X.
That began to change when Valve launched its Steam gaming service on Ubuntu-flavoured desktops earlier this year, with some hailing its arrival as a turning point for the operating system.
Jon ‘maddog’ Hall, Executive Director of Linux International, told TechRadar: “Quite frankly, the lack of games is one of the big reasons why Linux hasn’t made it onto [more] desktops.”
Hall continued: “Even people who are 50 years old are going to say they have to have a particular game, so they have to have to do a dual boot and stick with Windows.
“Of course, developers look for the largest install base possible, which is typically Windows, and then Apple. They don’t take it to the third platform as that would take away engineering resources for making new additions and features.”
They were originally on Steam’s Greenlight, found a publisher who was supposed to get them onto Steam normally, Steam then blocked it to “send a message” and so they had to do it all again.
Scraps is a bit like the multiplayer melee mode in Interstate ’76, except you build your vehicle from the chassis up instead of just bolting on weapons and armour. It’s kind of like how you put stuff together in Stratosphere: Conquest Of The Skies except that it’s a vehicle instead of a floating platform.
Paranautical Activity combines the classic FPS action of games like Doom and Quake, with the randomness and difficulty of modern roguelikes like Binding of Isaac and Spelunky. I don’t usually shout out sales since our sales page, but these guys really need it…
Zen suite, a theme compatible with GTK+ 2.x and GTK+ 3.x that aims to be simple, consistent and visually appealing, is now at version 0.11.3.
A lot of users have turned to the flat model for their themes, but if you don’t like this type of embellishments, you can go the other way and install spherical icons.
With Canonical’s planned adoption of their in-house Mir Display Server over the next year rather than using an X.Org Server or Wayland, derivatives such as KDE-based Kubuntu continue to fear the change and what exactly the options will be.
KDE will not support Mir as long as it remains a one-distribution solution. With KDE not coming to Mir for the foreseeable future, Jonathan Riddell of Kubuntu started a new technical discussion about non-Unity flavors and Mir.
Years ago I had a clear political opinion. I was a civil-rights activist. I appreciated freedom and anything limiting freedom was a problem to me. Freedom of speech was one of the most important rights for me. I thought that democracy has to be able to survive radical or insulting opinions. In a democracy any opinion should have a right even if it’s against democracy. I had been a member of the lawsuit against data preservation in Germany. I supported the German Pirate Party during the last election campaign because of a new censorship law. That I became a KDE developer is clearly linked to the fact that it is a free software community.
But over the last years my opinion changed. Nowadays I think that not every opinion needs to be tolerated. I find it completely acceptable to censor certain comments and encourage others to censor, too. What was able to change my opinion in such a radical way? After all I still consider civil rights as extremely important. The answer is simple: Fanboys and trolls.
When one starts to have a blog in free software one learns the hard way that being a relatively good developer means that you get hated. If you achieve something you get attacked, you get insulted, you get called a dictator , you get compared to Hitler , etc. etc. People say that you need a thick skin if you want to work in free software. I disagree. There shouldn’t be a need to have a thick skin. We are improving the world, we donated lots of our spare time to work on free software, we donate the source code we write for the public good and we are thanked by insults. This is not acceptable! Even if people dislike some specific software or are a great supporter of another software there is no reason to insult the people or the products. It never is! Not even if it is Microsoft or Apple or Google. There is no reason to attack them.
Final remark: please don’t come and tell me that I’m the same by criticizing Mir. It’s not the same. Criticizing decisions and having discussions is important, but of course critic has to be constructive. I have never attacked any of the Mir developers or have attacked the software in any way. I criticized the decision and the reasoning and pointed out the problems it causes for us, but I have in no way attacked Canonical, Ubuntu or Mir.
Today KDE released the beta of the new versions of Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing.
Mehrdad Momeny, the developer of the KDE microblogging client Choqok, has announced that he plans to hand development of the application over to the community. Momeny had previously apologised for not finding a maintainer to take over the project after admitting that personal circumstances did not leave him enough time and energy to continue development.
Today we bumped KDE SC 4.11 beta 1 (4.10.80) in the gentoo kde overlay. The semantic-desktop use flag is dropped in >=kde-base/4.10.80, as you may already noticed or read in dilfridges blog post. So if your hardware is not powerful enough or you just don’t want to use the feature you can easily disable it at runtime.
SFLPhone-KDE 1.2.3 have been released today as a bug fix release 6 months after 1.2.2. This version is (hopefully) the last in the 1.2.* serie. The next generation (1.3) is under heavy development since the last release. According to git diff –stat, 1.3 branch have a massive 16000 lines of changes. It is also 10x faster, less memory hungry and usable (more on that in an upcoming blog post(s)). As for 1.2.3, the new features include macro support, new command line options and being able to be invoked from KaddressBook. Important bug fixes include compilation fix on Fedora 19 beta, prevent race condition when launching SFLPhone-KDE in autostart. On the daemon side, many bugs have been fixed there too. Overall, this release should be quite stable.
About a week and a half ago, I was nearly taken-in when an item appeared on The Register that tied recent Linux desktop woes to behind the scenes moves by Microsoft to enforce patents against GNOME. Supposedly, GNOME was violating Redmond’s patented designs of the Windows 95 desktop, most specifically the Start Menu and the Start button. According to the story painted by reporter Liam Proven, KDE was also guilty of violating the same patents, but got a pass as they benefited from the famous Novel/Microsoft patent swap deal, being they were the default desktop in SUSE.
Users today have countless ways of knowing or getting notified when their friends and family have birthdays. The most popular way comes from social networking where such data is shared publicly, but is there a way to get Gnome Shell notifications about this?
Look at any major service provider: Heroku, Google, Amazon, Apple. All of them offer different levels of access to what they offer, usually at different prices. There’s even an established route to enticing customers towards the paid plans, via the well-worn ‘freemium’ model.
Let’s be clear about this: Linux isn’t dividing into paid and unpaid. It’s not going the freemium route (although the cynical will suggest that Canonical might be thinking about it). What we’re seeing, though, is the development of a clear split. A kind of meiosis.
In a standing room-only set of sessions at the Red Hat Summit here this week, the future of Red Hat Enterprise Linux was revealed.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the Linux vendor’s core platform, had its last major release with the debut of RHEL 6 in November of 2010. Red Hat has been releasing major new RHEL platforms every two to three years, and at its 2012 Summit event the company had hinted that 2013 could be the year in which RHEL 7 might be released.
The message coming out of Red Hat’s annual Red Hat Summit is that while Linux is Red Hat’s foundation, OpenStack is its future.
As more enterprises develop technology-dependent products and services, interest in robust and reliable middleware continues to grow. These enterprises are reconsidering existing investments in middleware as they look at open hybrid clouds, yet may find themselves unable to proceed as easily as they would like with proprietary middleware solutions because of “cloud unfriendly” features and practices, including rigid architectures, prohibitive license structures, and lack of portability. In addition, the technical complexity and mission-critical nature of enterprise applications present numerous migration challenges when the time comes to change platforms.
At the Red had Summit 2013 yesterday, Hortonworks and Red Hat announced an engineering collaboration to advance open source big data community projects. The engineering partnership will be a collaboration effort on enabling more storage file systems to work with Apache Hadoop. In order to accelerate the enablement of the broader file system ecosystem being used with Apache Hadoop, the engineering teams at Hortonworks and Red Hat will be working directly with the Apache Hadoop Community.
Linux Warehouse, the premier distributor of enterprise open source software for southern Africa and an authorised distributor in southern Africa for Red Hat, today announced the latter’s new community resources designed to help enterprises migrate to open source middleware technologies, including a community-driven JBoss Migration Centre and new tooling to ease the process of migrating from proprietary application server technologies to the open source JBoss platform.
Full Storage Live Migration support and a framework for plugins are two of the new features included in the now available version 3.2 of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV). Storage Live Migration allows the storage media that is used by virtual machines to be migrated from one storage domain to another at runtime. The new plugin framework enables programs to access the management interface of Red Hat’s virtualisation platform and offer additional interface features to administrators; companies such as HP, NetApp and Symantec plan to use it to provide maintenance and operational features for their products this way.
Cisco has over 10,000 RHEL instances.
This morning I was on a panel at the Red Hat Summit with Scott Merrill from TechCrunch and Jon Brodkin from Ars Technica with moderation from 451 Groups John Abbot.
Officially the session was titled, “Hot Off the Press: Top Journalists on Today’s Tech Trends” but it really could have just been called – What Do You Want to Ask a Linux Journalist?
We had about 60 people or so in the room and the primary topic of discussion – not surprisingly – was cloud . Also not surprising is the fact that no one in the audience had actually deployed an OpenStack cloud. Considering that this is a Red Hat conference, that’s not terribly surprising either – since Red Hat’s full product is not yet available.
New features in Red Hat Virtualization include Storage Live Migration, new third-party plug-in framework and support for new AMD and Intel chips
The Debian project is warning users that the unofficial Debian Multimedia repository now has to be considered unsafe. According to the Debian maintainers, the debian-multimedia.org domain is not being used by the maintainers of the unofficial repository any more and is now registered to a party unknown to the Debian project. This means that the repository is no longer safe to use and users should remove it from their sources.list file as soon as possible.
Galago UltraPro and Gazelle Professional combine Linux smarts with ultrabook style
In recent months we have been seeing tremendous growth and interest in the Ubuntu SDK that is at the heart of building applications for Ubuntu for phones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. The SDK provides the ability to build rich native applications in QML/Qt that hook right into the system, platform services, messaging, social media and more. We will also be providing support for HTML5 apps soon (with deep platform integration), and for OpenGL apps too.
The Ubuntu community is a core part of what makes us what we are, and right at the center of that are our Ubuntu Members. Ubuntu Members provide significant and sustained contributions over a wide range of areas such as packaging, documentation, programming, translations, advocacy, support, and more. We always want to do our best to recognize and appreciate our many members in the Ubuntu family, across these many different teams and our flavors.
Read the post How do I choose which way to enable/disable, start/stop, or check the status of a service?. Compare that with systemctl enable/disable/start/stop/status service and tell me, for a user, which is easier?
This is where it starts to get exciting, folks. The future starts now.
Ubuntu is an operating system for the server, the cloud, the desktop, and the mobile device. One single OS. That makes it different from Apple’s OSes (Mac OS X on the desktop, iOS on the mobile) and Microsoft’s current OSes (Windows 8 on the desktop, Windows RT on the mobile, and Windows Server 2012 on the server and in the cloud).
Has OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform, come into its own? Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux—which happens to be the most popular OS for OpenStack deployments—is saying so this week as it touts the rapid maturity of the software. Now, the question becomes: Does the channel agree?
It’s that time of the year again. Linux Mint has just released the latest version of its distribution, and I’m going to review it.
According to our “Newbie” Distro Poll, someone considering moving from Windows or Mac to Linux should consider taking Linux Mint for a spin. The poll asked the question, “What Linux distro would you be most likely to recommend to a new Linux user?” Evidently this was a subject that interested many of you, because a whopping 1,339 votes were cast in this poll, making it the most number of votes one of our polls has ever received.
RS Components has introduced an open-source software area as part of its DesignSpark website aimed at design engineers.
It will include details of how design projects can be developed with resources such as PCB schematics and layout files for DesignSpark PCB, for example, along with mechanical blueprints, software code and/or machine code, mechanical drawings and CAD files.
This week, Finnish smartphone creator Nokia announced that it had shipped its final handset running the Symbian operating system. As the last company in the world building phones using the Symbian OS, Nokia’s withdrawal from the platform means Symbian is now completely defunct.
webOS and the mobile devices that it powered made Palm (remember that company) a media darling. webOS was going to be another successful mobile Linux distribution (after Android). But it was all a dream that never came true. Palm was sold to HP. At some point, HP abandoned webOS, deciding that it was better to sell Android devices.
Reactions to yesterday’s iOS 7 reveal were largely positive, but one current of criticism kept flowing: that Apple may have relied a little too hard on copying other operating systems—in particular, Google’s Android (though the stark flatness of Windows Phone 8 got cited, too).
The Smart Display DA220HQL touchscreen is an impressive piece of hardware that performs extremely well. It looks like a really big tablet; however, this all-in-one device packs enough power to make it a viable second desktop computer or PC replacement. Typing on its wireless full-sized QWERTY keyboard — minus number pad — is an absolute pleasure.
More details of the rumored HTC One Mini appeared yesterday. Samsung is releasing the Galaxy S4 Mini and I wonder if we are starting to see a trend towards smaller smartphones.
The Root 101 is an open source tablet loaded with a completely stock version of Android (Jelly Bean 4.2) with no bloatware apps and no ugly skinned version of Android. Root access is default, so you can install any app and even custom ROMs.
The Computex show in Taiwan is still a PC show, but it’s increasingly known for debuting tablets and tablet reference designs. There have been some misfires over the years, like the thick, Atom-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) shown in 2008, the “Smartbooks” of 2009, and the flawed “Honeycomb” Android tablets of 2011. Things have looked up since then, however, with the 2012 event showcasing numerous high-octane Android 4.x slates that have gone on to collectively overtake the iPad and threaten the PC market.
London-based software development company AppShed has detailed plans to migrate its app development platform towards an Open Source footing.
Internet of Things (IOT) advocate Michael Koster fixated makers and hackers at the recent Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, a few weeks ago. Standing in front of samples of many versions of Arduino, Rasberry Pi, and sensors, he spoke of an open source horizontal platform that will unify the IOT. He changed people’s perspectives from looking up from a small control circuit of dedicated sensors and actuators to seeing the unique value that will be created by looking down at a unified world of horizontally interconnected sensors.
Contrary to popular belief, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, was alive and well, this year. But the rise of Ouya, Steam Box, and GamePop later this year could mark the end of an era. With relatively small revenue generated by a typical open-source game, indie developers simply won’t be able to afford to go.
At the same time, there’s going to be more and more of them, playing a huge part in the gaming ecosystem.
Google has announced that Chrome Frame will no longer be supported or updated from January 2014. The plugin adds a Chrome engine to versions 6 to 9 of Internet Explorer. When a requested web page sends a special header, Internet Explorer will implicitly switch to the Chrome-driven display mode.
Canonical are discussing the possibility of replacing Firefox with Chromium in the next version of Ubuntu
Think back to the first thing you created on the web. For me, it was making a Geocities homepage when I was a teenager (Hollywood, represent). I was amazed that by writing HTML, I could make images of the Green Bay Packers and my favorite PEZ dispensers appear on a web site with my witty commentary.
The National Security Agency (NSA) apparently uses Hadoop, NoSQL and other open source software to wage its Big Data war against terrorism, according to anecdotal evidence and industry pundits who spoke with The Wall Street Journal.
It’s been a big week for solid-state device (SSD) storage and the channel. Earlier this week, Intel (INTC) unveiled a new line of SSD hardware for the cloud and Big Data. Then, a day later, SolidFire, which provides SSD storage infrastructure for cloud hosts, announced a partnership with Red Hat (RHT) that will integrate the company into Red Hat’s OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network. Here are the details on this latest news.
Red Hat will switch the default database in its enterprise distribution, RHEL, from MySQL to MariaDB, when version 7 is released.
Maybe the most important thing about LibreOffice’s 4.0 release was the work done in cleaning the code and making it more efficient, while also doing the biggest API cleanup that has ever occurred since the beginning of the project. This would theoretically help boost the project’s development tempo and make things easier for contributors.
It looks like LibreOffice will get a new set of flat icons, based on Gnome’s symbolic icons. The icon set isn’t completed yet, but you can try it already – below you’ll find instructions on how to easily try the new icons.
Some of the Linux faithful will look at this and say: “There he goes again, bashing open-source. He’s just a Microsoft shill.” They will use the fact I am an MCSE as ‘proof’ of their opinion.
LibreOffice 4.1.0 is right around the corner and developers are busy as beavers getting it ready. One of the things featured this release might be hard for ordinary users to see, but is every bit as important. Continued code refinement and clean-up will make LibreOffice 4.1.0 more efficient, smaller, and easier to contribute to and compile.
Oracle has announced public availability of Java EE 7, the first major release of the enterprise formulation of Java since the database giant took control of the platform in 2010. The last version shipped way back in 2009.
EU flag On Thursday, the European Parliament approved new rules, introduced by the European Commission, for re-using public sector information. These changes will require that administrative data is published according to open data principles. When implemented, all documents made accessible by public organisations will be re-usable for any purpose, unless they are protected by third party copyright.
The government has responded to the independent review of Public Sector Information (PSI) carried out by Stephan Shakespeare, chair of the Data Strategy Board. Here are our first impressions.
Good university students finish projects by their assigned deadlines. The best ones submit their finished work in advance.
The latest version of Google’s App Engine, version 1.8.1, adds the ability to git push deployments of Python and PHP applications to its PaaS (Platform as a Service). Once developers have enabled “Push-to-Deploy” in their applications, they will then be able to clone a repository from the project. After making changes locally, they can then deploy the changed application with the command git push appengine master.
The latest Eclipse Community Survey results highlight some challenges for the Java IDE. For example, new version adoption for the annually updated IDE has slumped: in 2012, 76.9% of users were using the then current release Eclipse 3.7, but in 2013, only 56% are using Eclipse 4.2. Ian Skerrett, Marketing Director at the Eclipse Foundation, believes that this is most likely “the result of the performance issues found in Eclipse 4.2″. He notes in a blog post that overall satisfaction with Eclipse has dropped from last year’s 90% to only 81% being satisfied or very satisfied this year. This is something Skerrett hopes will be addressed “as the Eclipse 4.x platform continues to mature,” but, as it stands, it isn’t very good news.
Notebook brand vendors have recently started the request-for-quotation (RFQ) process for 2014 orders. But because of the notebook industry’s weak shipments and Lenovo increasing in-house production, competition between ODMs are expected to be fierce. Upstream suppliers may also see gross margins fall, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has prompted a change of direction in the debate that has been going on for months around China’s alleged hacker attacks on the US. The former Booz Allen Hamilton employee and contractor to the US National Security Agency (NSA) told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper that the intelligence agency has been launching hacking attacks on targets in Hong Kong as well as mainland China.
Folks who are comfortable with the cost, complexity and vulnerability of M$’s OS have not experienced the joy of IT that works, works for the user instead of for M$. M$ is all about “getting value” from its OS above all else. It is an OS designed by salesmen who love to sell more cost and complexity as “new features”. Unfortunately for the world, that brings vulnerabilities galore. Fortunately for the world, there is an alternative Debian GNU/Linux and other distributions of Free Software.
Quite simply I do not believe the US, UK and French government’s assertion that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against rebels “multiple times in small quantities”. Why on earth would they do that? The claim that “up to 150 people have died” spread over a number of incidents makes no sense at all. In a civil war when tens of thousands of people have died, where all sides have been guilty of massacres of scores at a time, I cannot conceive of any motive for killing a dozen or so at any one time with the odd chemical shell. It makes no military sense – chemical weapons are designed for use against population centres and massed armies. They are not precision weapons for deployment against small groups.
abc-assad-chemIf you watched ABC World News last night (6/13/13), the story of Syria and the use of chemical weapons had shifted pretty dramatically. Anchor David Muir declared at the top of the show: “The White House now confirming Syria’s president has in fact used chemical weapons to kill.”
Who has Crossed the “Red Line”? Barack Obama and John Kerry are Supporting a Terrorist Organization on the State Department List
Traders at some of the world’s biggest banks manipulated benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments, according to five dealers with knowledge of the practice.
On Tuesday, I spoke at an event organised by the Sunday Times and Policy Exchange about online pornography and child protection. This was in the run-up to the opposition debate that took place in Parliament on Wednesday on these topics.
I voted for Barack Obama in his first term. I had serious doubts about him even then, and today I wish I hadn’t done it, but I did vote for him. I wouldn’t say I completely fell for the “change you can believe in” baloney, but I decided to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.
In researching the stunning pervasiveness of spying by the government (it’s much more wide spread than you’ve heard even now), we ran across the fact that the FBI wants software programmers to install a backdoor in all software.
It seems that the fight against the ‘snoopers charter’ rages on. In a letter to The Times, signed by Jack Straw, David Blunkett, Alan Johnson, Lord Baker, Lord King and Lord Carlile, called for the ‘snoopers charter’ to be revived. The intention of the letter seems to be to put increasing pressure on Nick Clegg to drop his opposition to the draft Bill
In the letter, the group state that “coalition niceties must not get in the way of giving our security services the capabilities they need to stay one step ahead of those that seek to destroy our society”.
In positive step towards transparency Eric Pickles MP, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, has published new guidance which explicitly states that Councils should allow the public to overly film and council meetings.
DCLG was forced to publish the guidance after a string of councils had prevented individuals from recording council meetings on health and safety and legal grounds. The guidance will only apply to English councils, but it certainly creates a serious precedent for councils in Wales.
Public access to meetings is a key part of holding local councils and public bodies to account and it’s wholly wrong for people not being able to film or tweet in public meetings for spurious legal reasons.
The World Wide Web is the greatest system for sharing information ever created – but how do you stop it sharing too much? Ben Everard investigates.
Many amendments proposed by Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford to the Data Protection Regulation would leave us with less control of our personal information. In this post, we focus on consent and loopholes.
Yesterday we wrote about Baroness Ludford’s amendment to the Data Protection Regulation (amendment number 1210) that would mean your data could be transferred to a third country or international organisation without you being told. In the light of the PRISM revelations, we suggested this amendment should be withdrawn.
Reports this week revealed that the US successfully pressed the European Commission to drop sections of the Data Protection Regulation that would, as the Financial Times explains, “have nullified any US request for technology and telecoms companies to hand over data on EU citizens.
The article, (as you can read below), would have prohibited transfers of personal information to a third country under a legal request, for example the one used by the NSA for their PRISM programme, unless “expressly authorized by an international agreement or provided for by mutual legal assistance treaties or approved by a supervisory authority.”
Revelations about the PRISM project involve US tech companies have been compelled to provide special assistance to US intelligence agencies. This has also drawn fresh attention to “responsible disclosure” systems regarding information about security vulnerabilities in those companies’ products.
NSA scandal has exploded fears of being watched on the Internet, but a new website lists ways to escape the Panopticon
Whatever the details might be, it seems clear that dozens of technology companies — and perhaps even more — have co-operated with the NSA on its surveillance program. And they could pay a high price for doing so.
In ten short days, Wisconsin Republicans steamrolled a radical abortion bill through the state legislature to mandate ultrasounds and close abortion clinics, despite passionate opposition from Democratic Assemblywomen. The debate had many dramatic moments and video of the Senate President furiously gaveling down the opposition made national news.
Open Rights Group’s third national conference took place last weekend at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, with a fantastic set of speakers and hundreds of attendees.
Thank you for inviting me to speak. Net neutrality can be a polarising debate. But I often find there is much we agree on. We agree that the internet is a great place to exercise and enjoy liberty. A great place to innovate, and implement new ideas without having to ask permission. And an open forum for all kinds of activity.sentence
Bill C-56, the anti-counterfeiting bill that opens the door the Canadian implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has been referred to the Industry Committee for review.
Nobody needs hardware-level back doors when Windows (or other proprietary software) is installed
Summary: Official confirmation that the NSA is being notified about ways of hijacking Windows before Microsoft releases fixes
Half a decade ago I put together some links about backdoors in Windows. I had accumulated those links for years. Now that we know how corrupt and aggressive the NSA can be (common knowledge after the latest leak), with cracking attacks on China, espionage, and unlimited mass surveillance in a fascistic manner (with corporations fully complicit), it all seems far less improbable and hardly far-fetched.
According to a new report from the corporate press (as corporate as it can get, being Bloomberg), Microsoft tells NSA staff about universal unpatched holes before they are being addressed:
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft (MSFT) and other software or Internet security companies have been aware that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments, according to two U.S. officials. Microsoft doesn’t ask and can’t be told how the government uses such tip-offs, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Microsoft, said those releases occur in cooperation with multiple agencies and are designed to be give government “an early start” on risk assessment and mitigation.
Glyn Moody asked, “why would anyone ever trust Microsoft again…?”
Frank Shaw is not a technical man. His job is to lie, e.g. about sales of Vista 8 (quite famously and most recently). He came from Waggener Edstrom, a lying and AstroTurfing company. The above should be read as follows: when new holes exist which permit remote hijacking the unaccountable, cracking-happy NSA is being notified. What can possibly go wrong now that we have proof that the NSA is cracking PCs abroad with impunity? Germany, are you paying attention?
Here is more about this news:
Some of the back and forth is innocuous, such as Microsoft revealing ahead of time the nature of its exposed bugs (ostensibly providing the government with a back door into any system using a Microsoft OS, but since it’s don’t ask, dont’ tell, nobody really knows). However the bulk of the interaction is steeped in secrecy: “Most of the arrangements are so sensitive that only a handful of people in a company know of them, and they are sometimes brokered directly between chief executive officers and the heads of the U.S.’s major spy agencies, the people familiar with those programs said.”
In IRC, Sosumi highlighted this article and said, “tell me something that isn’t known already, like PRISM is just an evolution of a previous snooping program and that the NSA has built an AI, even if rudimentary, in order to assist them sort the information… also I wonder if Keith Alexander will be at this year’s DEFCOM conference” (part of the PR and recruitment exercise).
Here is an interesting new post which relates to what we know about NSA’s cracking of people’s PCs (the lesser-advertised role of the NSA):
In researching the stunning pervasiveness of spying by the government (it’s much more wide spread than you’ve heard even now), we ran across the fact that the FBI wants software programmers to install a backdoor in all software.
Skype is said to have several back doors. Our latest post about it got updated with new information. Skype can be used as a back door on any platform (known holes left unaddressed), GNU/Linux included. Microsoft controls it and it has a monopoly on the source code.
Watch the MSN corporate press (Microsoft’s pseudo ‘news’ site) promoting both Skype and Facebook:
Thanks to a simple inquiry on Facebook, it’s now a day to celebrate with a father who didn’t know he existed for nearly three decades.
“Whitewashing of Skype and Facebook” is what iophk called this. “Notice the lack of I-told-you-so articles about FB snooping or any coverage of the snooping at all.”
Skype is a Microsoft-controlled product (acquired and quickly altered to reduce decentralisation, user control, and privacy). Advertising it with the partly Microsoft-owned Facebook is too shallow a case of bogus ‘journalism’.
There is also something about spying capabilities of the Xbox One, summarised by the headline “US Navy serviceman calls Xbox One’s 24-hour online check “a sin committed against all service members”” (people seem to be getting the importance of privacy, over time).
A few weeks ago we spoke about expanding the scope of coverage in Techrights to privacy-related matters. We’ll soon conduct an interview with Richard Stallman (to be published later this month) as privacy becomes a central issue relating to software freedom. We should start using the privacy card to advance the Free/libre software agenda. █
Passing a law for the sake of “doing something”
Summary: Examples of some new reports that deal with the suggested patent reform in the US and why it is misguided
The debate about software patents in the US is more or less dead or marginalised. Everyone is talking about patent trolls instead. Masnick and other folks noticed that too and they — like us — emphasised that Obama is evading the broader issues. Here is a more optimistic take on it:
When we wrote about President Obama’s plan to deal with patent trolls, we noted a few areas where it was a bit weak and could be improved. In particular, the lack of an independent invention defense and using independent invention as evidence of obviousness would be quite useful in stopping abuses of the patent system. However, I’m a bit confused by Christopher Mims’ complaints about Obama’s patent plan being useless against patent trolls. I think Mims is a bit confused. He claims that there are two real problems with the patent system, and this plan addresses neither: (1) the patent office is understaffed and there’s a backlog of patents and (2) the fact that we grant software patents at all.
The second bit is actually true, as Obama will allow companies like Oracle, Apple and Microsoft to continue attacking Linux with software patents. This is not the solution. How about the recently-concluded Versata case [1, 2, 3] which has just been concluded? Neither company is a troll. To quote a new article:
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ruled that Versata Software’s patent claims against SAP be cancelled as they are ‘unpatentable’.
Versata filed a lawsuit against SAP in 2007 alleging that the German firm’s pricing software infringed a number of its patents.
This is a case where patent scope — not scale of the plaintiff — ends spurious litigation. SAP is not even a US-based company. The USPTO‘s granting of patents is the problem. Here is another report which says “Versata can appeal and SAP has yet to get a $345 million judgment overturned” (no need for any penalties here).
Mr. Feld, a longtime opponent of software patents, was recently distracted by the debate about trolls. Here he is writing again about trolls:
I’ve been asserting for at least six years that patent system is completely broken for the software industry. I’ve given numerous examples, dealt with the issue first hand as patent trolls have tried to extort many of the companies I’m an investor in, and I’ve had many public discussions about the topic.
On my run on Sunday, I listed to This American Life – When Patents Attack… Part Two! It is easily the best and most detailed expose I’ve ever heard on this issue. If you care to really understand how patent trolls work, spend an hour of your life and listen to it.
Why not focus on patents’ scope? This is what he has done for ages. The problem is the patent system, not just litigation (which is the consequence of improper scope). As one person correctly put it: “It’s not just entrepreneurs who bear the direct costs of the dysfunctional U.S. patent system, but consumers as well.”
Here is another new article which focuses not on patents but on litigation. It says: “Patent trolls are the bad guys of the moment. They’re the outfits that buy patents and then sue companies that supposedly infringe on them. Last week, the White House announced a bunch of initiatives to thwart them. Trolls don’t actually make the products covered by those patents. But because patent litigation is expensive and time-consuming, most companies that are prey to a patent troll lawsuit choose to throw money at the trolls to settle even if they think they’d win in court. The result is that the trolls are nearly unstoppable whether their patents are legitimate or not.”
The solution is to explore why those patents are issued in the first place and consider banning such patents. Patent trolls are most commonly using software patents, but nobody seems to be pointing that out. Just look at the status quo in nations without software patents. █
Technical edge and sovereign autonomy, not blind faith in Microsoft
Summary: Despite the success story of Munich and the increasing distrust surrounding proprietary software, bureaucrats in Berlin refuse to abandon Microsoft just yet
Backdoors specialist Microsoft is unable to shut down botnets for which it is definitely to blame, perhaps because it made its operating system a real Swiss cheese of a system. Intentional or unintentional? That’s irrelevant. There are several reports about Berlin in the post-PRISM (as public knowledge [1, 2, 3, 4]) era, saying it still refuses to move away from Microsoft, never mind well-documented risks of espionage. The leading report about it came from IDG‘s Loek Essers, who wrote about the risky decision. It is summarised by this German news network, written in English (with links to PDF files in German):
A petition to use more open source tools in the Berlin city administration that was proposed language in the federal state parliament of the State of Berlin by the German Green Party has failed. The petition was rejected with the votes of the governing SPD/CDU coalition in the “digital administration” committee tasked with its evaluation. The Green Party’s plan had included a migration to free and open source software on 25 per cent of the city administration’s workstations and a comprehensive switch of all servers to Linux in a similar fashion to Munich’s LiMux project.
The problem is partly related to staff and moles. They resist the unknown. “No specific mention of Microsoft resellers,” writes iophk regarding this other IDG report about the dangerous CIO-vendor relationships (bribes or whatever). To quote:
It’s a well-established protocol: People buy from people, especially the ones they like and trust. CIOs are no exception, and many benefit greatly from long-established supplier relationships. But there’s a fine line between healthy and unhealthy interactions, a risk that’s exacerbated by a limited amount of love (and budget) to divide across a countless landscape of courters.
Today’s best CIOs create value in large part through the introduction of innovative capabilities, speed, and flexibility — all of which are completely shut down when supplier relationships dictate the IT strategy. Even worse, with so much future revenue and success relying on a solid foundation of technology for success, these situations jeopardize the viability of the entire organization
My experience here in the UK is that Microsoft moles and partners stand in the way of changes that keep Microsoft out of the loop. It’s an HR issue, not a technical issue.
There is a concurrent affair in Germany involving the EPO ignoring the law regarding software patents in Europe. We wrote about it on Friday and Gijs Hillenius has this new report in europa.eu. It says: “The German parliament is asking the government to prevent patents being granted for software. Last Friday, the Bundestag adopted a joint motion to make copyright the exclusive method for protecting software. One of the aims of the motion is to increase legal security for developers of free and open source software. The government should make sure its laws and measures are compatible with free software.”
Parliament should also work to ban proprietary software in government, as it is a threat to national security. It should ban monopolies on algorithms as they are choking development, but why not go further? Watch what happens in Slovakia where someone gets “Fined For Not Using Windows OS”. That’s what happens when the government is held hostage by Microsoft. This has become a high-profile case:
Slovakia’s Supreme Court will intervene in a battle between a textile trader and the country’s tax office over a mandatory tax-application that requires the use of a proprietary operating system.
If Germany wishes not to face this embarrassment which Slovakia found itself in, it will have to radically change its software policy. There were several reports last week about PRISM and industrial/political espionage in Germany. █
Policing as a private business
Guarding for Sociopaths
Summary: Famous criminal Bill Gates pays the privatised police forces in the UK to get more profit while keeping popular movements dampened
Bill Gates is not a popular figure, but the media, which he bribes, likes to portray him as exceptionally popular, hoping that enough people will follow the media rather than the judgment of friends (to some people the media is a friend).
Those who attempt to actually look at the facts rather than look for handouts may often find that those who acquired their wealth through criminal activities simply continue doing so with varying degrees of success (making money from having money, using lobbying, tax breaks, interest, and insider information).
Bill Gates continues to amass more wealth while the media he bribes contributes to false perceptions that he is giving his money away and invests only in benevolent companies (selective focus on PR-generating grants like scholarships). A lot of the investments are anything but charity and they target monopolies, with or without patents (e.g. Microsoft and Monsanto), with or without human cost (e.g. Shell and other oil companies). When it comes to the GMO monopoly, Gates is not merely an investor but also a lobbyist who tries to go as far as setting school curricula in favour of his investments. People are not dumb enough to miss it and over time they also find out that Gates bribed their press to deceive them. Journalists whom I speak to already take that as a given. They know there is something rotten in Gates.
“G4S has nearly a million employees — people whom the rich hire in large amounts to oppress the population in exchange for a salary.”A while back we showed that Gates was already setting his eyes on British schools and retails giants like JJB. He and Murdoch were spying on young people [1, 2] as means of profiling those who are being indoctrinated. Well, spying on people and breaking down protests are two related activities (mind control and physical control) and this new report shows Gates backing what here is Manchester we consider to be a private army of mercenary thugs that warp public policing into a for-profit business of few (public becomes privatised, with government/taxpayers’ subsidies), ranging in activity from spying in the streets to riot policing (where the rioters are sometimes the police). According to Wikipedia, this is a growing ‘business’, not just in the United Kingdom. G4S has nearly a million employees — people whom the rich hire in large amounts to oppress the population in exchange for a salary. To quote the British press:
Bill Gates has bought a larger share of G4S, a private security giant that was widely criticised for its London Olympics blunders.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and Cascade Investment, an asset management firm also owned by the billionaire Microsoft co-founder, now own a combined total of 3.2 percent of G4S after buying up 6 million shares – worth £110m ($171m) – last week.
Glyn Moody asks, “so why exactly does Gates need a private army?”
It is a rhetorical question and it is well overdue.
Jose R. Rodriguez wrote to me this morning and said “hard to reconcile w/motto…”healthy, productive lives”,” citing the article “Gates Foundation invests in occupation profiteer G4S, just as Dutch charity cuts ties”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has bought a 3 percent stake in the British-Danish security firm G4S worth £110 million ($172 million), the UK’s Guardian reported just days after protestors made the company’s role in human rights abuses in Palestine and beyond the focus at the firm’s annual meeting.
Gates and his rich friends feel the heat and they want to control the population more effectively while they expand their wealth and power, looting everyone else because they can. G4S is just about as bad as a company can be; last night a lecturer on reproductive systems and I spoke for a couple of hours. He said he knew G4S mainly for Olympic fiasco and abuses. I explained this latest news to him and he found it surprising because the corporate press hardly covers it. Population control too was a subject of discussion and it was stressed that controls should not be put in the hands of plutocrats.
There is a new video in Russia Today, titled “Eugenics now!”
The summary goes like this:
Bill Gates on people that “have no benefit whatsoever”. The troubling history of Bill Gates Sr “one of the grandfathers of eugenics still going strong today” in the US. ABC reports tens of thousands of women across the States from 1929 to 1974 forcibly sterilized. The Times notes Gates Jr has held a secret billionaire summit with Michael Bloomberg and George Soros to “curb overpopulation”.
Why is Gates buying millions of dollars in shares of Monsanto and funding sterilization programs, Monsanto’s response to our interview request, and what happens to scientists who cross the genetically modified cyclops.
Seek truth from facts with investigative reporter Anthony Gucciardi, How Goldman Sachs Created the Food Crisis author Frederick Kaufman, Genetic Roulette director Jeffrey Smith, and chairman of Nestle Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.
Ambitions of mass control and population control may be justified, but these must never be put in the hands of convicted offenders like Gates, no matter how much he paid the media to groom and embellish his image. This pseudo parenthood over society needs to stops. It is a recipe for disaster. █
System76 has launched a laptop which puts Linux users in the same league of Windows and Mac users. Galago UltraPro is one of the lightest laptop which comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux.
Galago UltraPro weighs only 3.8 pounds and is only is 0.75 inches thin. It features a 14.1 inch 1080p IPS matte display bringing the 1080p resolution to System76 laptops.
System76 doesn’t stop there, they are packing Intel’s 4th generation CPU, codenamed Haswell, inside this laptop. The quad-core Intel i7-4750HQ Processor (Haswell),clocked at 2.0Ghz, not only enhances performance but also contributes to making the laptop more energy efficient which means longer battery life.
Software Company in Perth, Anahata Technologies, will be offering a 10% discount to customers willing to engage in a software development project for the Linux / ARM platfrom.
How does Red Hat go about building and developing a secure Linux operating system? That question was asked and answered at the Red Hat Summit this week by Josh Bressers, who heads the Red Hat Product Security Team.
It really does means different things to different people. Sometimes it is a net new ‘thing’ that moves the ball forward in some way (like electricity). Then there is disruptive innovation – like the first wave of Linux – which re-thinks and improves the way things are done.
Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAVA), today announced the availability of the Sun Web Stack, a fully supported and integrated enterprise-quality AMP (Apache/MySQL/Perl or PHP) stack for Solaris(TM) and Linux operating systems. The Web Stack software includes the open source, standards-based software most commonly used for Web-tier application development and services. Download the Web Stack at http://www.sun.com/webstack
Leading ICT managed services and outsourcing company, Integr8, has been awarded the contract to provide support for the entire Wintel and Linux Server environment for telecommunications giant MTN SA.
In this episode: It looks like Rockwell was right – somebody was watching him (and us). There’s a great new Raspberry Pi installer called NOOBS and the President of the US promises action against patent trolls. Ubuntu’s ‘bug one’ has been fixed and the EFF objects to DRM in HTML 5. As ever, hear our discoveries and your opinions in this epic length podcast.
Cost savings is only part of the picture behind the nonprofit’s remote workforce strategy. Linux Foundation exec says the virtual office has made the team more productive and innovative, and happier in their jobs.
The move will enable developers to more easily create applications for big data and the cloud on Power 7+ systems running Linux.
In recent days, Samsung has been posting kernel patches pertaining to buffer synchronization support of the DMA-BUF buffer sharing mechanism.
In 1991, a Finnish student named Linus Benedict Torvalds made the kernel of a now popular operating system. He released Linux version 0.01 on September 1991, and on February 1992, he licensed the kernel under the GPL license. The GNU General Public License (GPL) allows people to use, own, modify, and distribute the source code legally and free of charge. This permits the kernel to become very popular because anyone may download it for free. Now that anyone can make their own kernel, it may be helpful to know how to obtain, edit, configure, compile, and install the Linux kernel.
Most of us simply install our favorite distribution, accepting many/most of the defaults, including the boot loader setup, without a second thought. However, there has been a lot of time and effort spent on the bootloader over the years, GRUB taking the place of the venerable LILO. GRUB offers a lot of flexibility in controlling our system during boot, allowing us to have Linux along with (boo) Windows on a nicely partitioned system. Let’s talk about some of the options we have and how to make those changes.
Ezame is a new menu editor especially created for Unity, though it should work with other desktop environments as well.
Variety is a wallpaper changer that automatically downloads wallpapers from sources such as Wallbase, Flickr, Wallpapers.net, Desktoppr, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day as well as World Sunlight Map: a live Earth wallpaper which changes throughout the day. Using it, you can get a new, beautiful wallpaper automatically at the interval you set in the application preferences.
It is too early to tell if Opera’s move to the Blink engine away from Presto is going to pay off in terms of overall users who use the web browser as their primary, or if the company has shot itself in the foot with it.
I am not usually prone to nausea after playing first person shooters. In fact, I’m quite resilient, and have successfully endured hour after hour of grueling matches, indoors and outdoors, well-lit maps or night missions, from the original Doom via America’s Army to ArmA II recently. However, one game made me succumb, and that was the first installment of Serious Sam. Just half an hour into the game, I was lying on my bed, pressing hard into my eyelids and repeating, thou shalt not throw up, thou shalt not throw up.
It had previously been a re-purposed Windows build running on WINE, the Windows compatibility layer.
RHEL 7 the upcoming enterprise Linux of Red Hat is scheduled for the second half of 2013. Around half year ago Red Hat made known that they were going to ship GNOME 3 for their desktop, so it was easy to guess that they were going to use version 3.8 since that was going to be the latest GNOME version at the time for RHEL 7 Beta.
Welcome back to the new and improved Peppermint web site and welcome to the next iteration of our operating system: Peppermint Four. We are seriously excited about this release and we hope you are as ecstatic as all of us on Team Peppermint. Make sure to download a bunch of copies and give them to friends and family. They will thank you, for sure.
Patrick has decided to leave Linux Kernel 3.8.x branch and include Linux Kernel 3.9.x branch for the next Slackware release. Both of them are not LTS, but being LTS doesn’t mean that it’s really that stable as expected (take an example from the previous experience of upgrading the kernel in Slackware 14.0 from 3.2.x to 3.4.x branch which caused some regressions for Intel Graphics).
Red Hat’s last 10 years were all about enterprise Linux. The next 10 will be about enterprise clouds.
Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the Red Hat Customer Portal has – for the third consecutive year – been recognized by the Association of Support Professionals (ASP) as one of the industry’s “Ten Best Web Support Sites” for 2013. Red Hat was honored in the Open Division along with technology industry leaders Cisco Systems, Intel, Nokia Corporation, PTC, Inc., EMC, and CheckPoint.
Red Hat Inc.’s lead for its technology and product organizations, Paul Cormier, opened Day 2 of the ninth annual Red Hat Summit, held here on Wednesday, by explaining how some of the company’s pivotal undertakings over the past 11 years will provide the springboard to where Red Hat is headed tomorrow.
The Planet, the global leader in IT hosting, today announced the addition of the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system to its Planet Northstar Managed Hosting line of business. Customers with Linux, Microsoft or blended environments can now take advantage of premium managed hosting services. As one of just two Red Hat Premier Hosting Partners, the Planet Northstar engineering team will have direct access to the company’s product roadmaps and new platform features, creating a technically superior hosted environment for its customers.
This is a big week for Red Hat in the cloud. As we’ve reported, Amazon Web Services (AWS) blog recenlty confirmed that the AWS Free Usage Tier, which lets users run applications and operating systems in the cloud, now includes 750 hours of Red Hat Enterprise Linux usage. This is a good tire-kicking opportunity for those who aren’t quite ready to commit to an RHEL deployment.
Red Hat launched an enterprise Linux-based OpenStack platform today that provides a way to build out cloud services from either inside the data center or from a services provider.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux will integrate a vanilla version of OpenStack to create the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. It will mean that Red Hat applications can run in an IaaS platform and provide support for web and mobile oriented applications that are more cloud aware. It will serve as the main platform for Red Hat’s cloud strategy.
Red Hat has produced a fully-supported OpenStack distribution so customers can deliver open-source infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds, at its Red Hat Summit in Boston this week.
The open source firm has been a member and supporter of OpenStack for some time, but with this announcement, its OpenStack distribution graduates from a “community release” similar to its Fedora Linux distribution, to a fully supported offering, comparable to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OS. The company wants to position OpenStack as a future cloud platform analogous to Linux, and is building it into a whole set of announcements and programmes.
So I’m now a few days into my time with Fedora, and things are going well so far. The machine is all up and running, and I’m back at my keyboard working away. We now know how to make Fedora look good, but how well does it perform in practice? Let’s take a look…
Another week another rawhide review post.
The unofficial third party repository Debian Multimedia stopped using the domain debian-multimedia.org some months ago. The domain expired and it is now registered again by someone unknown to Debian. (If we’re wrong on this point, please sent us an email so we can take over the domain! )
There is a certain cross-over between the Debian Edu / Skolelinux project and the Edubuntu project, and for example the LTSP packages in Debian are a joint effort between the projects. One person with a foot in both camps is Jonathan Carter, which I am now happy to present to you.
Thanks to Windows 8′s Secure Boot, it’s getting harder and harder for a non-technical user to just get a new laptop and run Linux. System76, along with other Linux PC vendors such as ZaReason, have a better idea: Just buy a laptop with Linux already installed.
If a group of developers at Canonical have its way, we may not see Firefox as the default and pre-installed web browser in Ubuntu starting version 13.10 (Saucy Salamander). Support for replacing Firefox with Chromium has been increasing inside Canonical, where many developers believe they can provide a better end-user experience through Chromium.
Not everyone is of the same opinion when it comes to web browsers at the Ubuntu camp. While we saw Canonical seriously considering replacing Firefox with Chromium in Ubuntu’s next release (13.10), Saucy Salamander, Lubuntu’s lead developer Julien Lavergne came up with an announcement that Lubuntu’s next would have Firefox by default, replacing Chromium. See the irony?
Six vendors announced embedded Linux-ready Mini-ITX single board computers (SBCs) supporting Intel’s newly announced 4th Generation “Haswell” Core i7, i5, and i3 processors. The Aaeon EMB-QM87A, BCM MX87QD and MX81H, DFI HM100-QM87 and HD100-H81D, iBase MI980, Kontron KTQ87/mITX, and Portwell WADE-8015 are equipped with Intel QM87, Q87, or H81 chipsets.
Intel’s announcement of its 4th Generation Core (aka “Haswell”) processors last week was quickly followed by partner announcements in a variety of form-factors. We’ll get to the COM Express products soon, but first we’ll focus on six Mini-ITX boards that support Haswell.
For many years now, users have been awaiting the fabled “Dick Tracy watch” — a smart watch that can perform advanced digital computing and communications tasks. There are lots of stories speculating about an iWatch offering from Apple, and Samsung officials have talked up their answer to such a smart watch.
In an interesting twist on the open source hardware movement, Sony has just announced it’s opening up its SmartWatch for your hacking pleasure.
The SmartWatch SDK has for a while allowed devs to create apps for the 2012-launched device, but today’s Open SmartWatch update will let devs build and flash alternative firmware to the SmartWatch.
There is plenty of talk of low prices when it comes to tablets. It seems many have been searching for the ‘perfect’ sub $100 tablet and while that most often seems to reflect a 7-inch model, it looks like Root 101 is aiming to launch a low priced 10-inch tablet. They aren’t going to hit that sub-$100 price point, however they have gone the crowd funding route and the pledging begins at $169.
The combination of an ARM dual core Cortex-A9 processor and FPGA fabric in one SoC brings open source vision processing software to security and driver assistance systems, write Fernando Martinez Vallina and José Roberto Alvarez
OpenCV is a library of computer vision functions widely used throughout the industry. Like all open source projects, the community is constantly developing and improving the algorithms, and there are now more than 2500 functions available.
he open-source standard for collecting and communicating real-time information from manufacturing processes and factory floor equipment from a variety of vendors, has been successfully demonstrated and tested by manufacturing researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
An open source lab launched this week at Queensland University of Technology aims to target high school students interested in open source software development.
The idea for the lab initially came from two students who were keen for an environment that enabled them to exchange ideas with others interested in open source projects.
The Open Source Software Group and Virtual Lab subsequently gained the support of Microsoft, Red Hat Asia Pacific and Technology One.
I have attended over dozen conferences and gave presentations/talks too on OpenStack. Most of the time I meet bunch of motivated students/professionals and one common question was “I am not a developer tell me how can I contribute to OpenStack?” My simple answer to their question was like any other FOSS project OpenStack too needs a lot of volunteers in many domains apart from developing the software. I would mention the areas in which one can contribute to OpenStack project.
The post had some good success and a few comments as well. One of these attracted my attention. The poster “jsc” – Jürgen Schmidt if I’m not mistaken – is obviously an Apache contributor and an IBM engineer who in a previous life was also a long time StarOffice/Sun employee . I’m grateful for his comment as he’s tried to present the work on the sidebar from his perspective and that’s of course always interesting to understand his points.
Yet despite the importance of styles and templates in LibreOffice, they remain as needlessly arcane and as lacking in certain obvious features as ever.
EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM), a leading provider of complex software engineering solutions and a leader in Central and Eastern European IT service delivery, announced its partnerships with Zend and Acquia, two of the world’s leading open-source technology companies.
About 2 months ago, I had a spare VPS at my host, Hetzner. So I decided to play with FreeBSD which was being offered for Hetzner servers and VPSes.
That’s how the whole thing started. I didn’t have much problems getting the concepts because it belongs to *nix family of OSes and I have been a pure Linux user since 2008.
To protect their freedom and privacy, the FSF urges everyone to avoid Software as a Service, and to support projects working for a better, safer world. One small way you can help support free software projects and encourage use of free software is to help maintain and improve the Free Software Directory.
The way Scotland registers its crofts — its ancient network of tiny agricultural settlements — has been brought into the 21st century via a cloud and open source mash-up built by small tech companies.
Today the European Parliament voted to formally agree new rules on open data – effectively making a reality of the proposal which I first put forward just over 18 months ago, and making it easier to open up huge amounts of public sector data. This is about the data that public authorities can lawfully put out there – a huge wealth of information about your public services, how administrations are spending your tax euros, geographical or cultural information, and the like.
The US Navy has reached a new milestone in electronic communications. According to a report in the Navy Times, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk recently issued a policy directive that used something not seen before in Navy communications: lowercase letters.
TWO years ago, Antonio Melillo was in a car crash that completely severed his spinal cord. He has not been able to move or feel his legs since. And yet here I am, in a lab at the Santa Lucia Foundation hospital in Rome, Italy, watching him walk.
Melillo is one of the first people with lower limb paralysis to try out MindWalker – the world’s first exoskeleton that aims to enable paralysed and locked-in people to walk using only their mind.
The rate of chronic wasting disease (CWD) is on the rise among deer in Iowa County, Wisconsin and elsewhere across the state. CWD is a fatal, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) similar to what is commonly known as mad cow disease that is caused by twisted proteins, or prions. For hunters, writes outdoors reporter Patrick Durkin, this means the disease might be affecting the herd now. For anyone who eats venison, this means greater chances that the disease could conceivably make the species jump and infect humans, according to Dave Clausen, a veterinarian whose term on Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board expired in May.
American Farmers have launched two class action lawsuits against biotech giant Monsanto following the discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat growing in the Pacific Northwest. According to farmers, the company’s negligence has ruined sales.
Though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has never approved either the growing or sale of GMO wheat in the US, the agency began investigating its existence when an Oregon farmer found wheat growing in his fields that was resistant to Monsanto’s patented Roundup pesticide, known by its scientific classification as glyphosate.
Dutch public prosecutors on Thursday announced they are looking at possible charges for revealing state secrecy against two former prime ministers who said the Netherlands still stored tactical U.S. nuclear bombs on its soil.
Some 22 nuclear bombs are still stored at a southern air base where they were brought during the height of the Cold War, Ruud Lubbers, who headed the Dutch government between 1982 and 1994, told National Geographic in a documentary which was first broadcast on late Saturday.
The Cold War practice of NATO and the United States refusing to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons anywhere is under attack in Europe. This week, two former Dutch prime ministers publicly confirmed the presence of nuclear weapons at Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands, one of six bases in NATO that still host US nuclear weapons.
The first confirmation came in the program How Time Flies on the Dutch National Geographic channel where former prime minister Ruud Lubbers confirmed that there are nuclear weapons at Volkel Air Base. “I would never have thought those silly things would still be there in 2013,” Lubbers said, who was prime minister in 1982-1994. He even mentioned a specific number: 22 bombs.
Bill Clinton took part Tuesday night in a Q-and-A with Sen. John McCain at a semi-private event in New York City, where the former president offered some notably sharp criticism of President Obama’s handling of the ongoing war in Syria, specifically his reluctance to get involved. The event was technically closed to the press but both the Daily Beast and Politico managed to get their hands on a recording of the remarks, as tends to happen with events like this.
Iran is not “apparently” developing a nuclear weapon. Some political leaders make claims to that effect, but there is no solid intelligence that has yet established that this is what Iran is doing. What is known is that the country has a uranium enrichment program that is regularly monitored by International Atomic Energy Agency, and that there is no evidence that the country’s uranium program has any military dimension.
As to Maddow’s claim, that’s just wrong. Ahmadinejad has, like other Iranian leaders, denied the country has any intention of building any such weapon. He’s done so in numerous U.S. media appearances, denying any Iranian plan to build a bomb–a simple Google search would turn up too many such instances, like this interview from CBS last year (helpfully headlined “Iranian President Denies Iran Developing a Nuclear Weapon.”)
What is the future likely to bring? A reasonable stance might be to try to look at the human species from the outside. So, imagine that you’re an extraterrestrial observer who is trying to figure out what’s happening here or, for that matter, imagine you’re an historian 100 years from now—assuming there are any historians 100 years from now, which is not obvious—and you’re looking back at what’s happening today. You’d see something quite remarkable.
For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. That’s been true since 1945. It’s now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence.
Under pressure from its creditors to cut public employment, the Greek government said Tuesday that it was closing down its state-run television and radio broadcaster, idling 2,900 people — less than 1 percent of the public work force — and outraging the country’s powerful labor unions.
A government spokesman described the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation as a ‘haven of waste’
Obama is no longer bothering to pretend that he is anything other than a stooge for banks and other big money interests.
Unpaid internships have long been a path of opportunity for students and recent grads looking to get a foot in the door in the entertainment, publishing and other prominent industries, even if it takes a generous subsidy from Mom and Dad.
The market value is one of the numbers the city Department of Finance uses to calculate an owner’s annual property tax bill. It is generally only a fraction of what the building would sell for on the open market.
The Blender Foundation, which is behind the free and open-source 3D computer graphics program Blender, has joined the community of websites that accept bitcoin donations. While not much fanfare accompanied the decision, Blender’s website now features a bitcoin address — 17orEh51ab8HoU7g8Ezwcp76jCpeL7PabJ — for supporters who want to throw a bit of digital currency its way.
Increasing the amount that students would be forced to pay back would make the loans more attractive to buyers.
The document, prepared by Rothschild investment bank, was submitted to the business department in November 2011, but is understood to still be under active review. It has never been made public, or been seen by higher education professionals.
Suddenly, it feels like 2000 again. Back then, surveillance programs like Carnivore, Echelon, and Total Information Awareness helped spark a surge in electronic privacy awareness. Now a decade later, the recent discovery of programs like PRISM, Boundless Informant, and FISA orders are catalyzing renewed concern.
The programs of the past can be characterized as “proximate surveillance,” in which the government attempted to use technology to directly monitor communication themselves. The programs of this decade mark the transition to “oblique surveillance,” in which the government more often just goes to the places where information has been accumulating on its own, such as email providers, search engines, social networks, and telecoms.
A lot remains uncertain about the number of users affected by the NSA PRISM surveillance program that is taking place, the extent to which companies are involved, and how the NSA handles this sensitive data. Does the NSA regularly collect and examine a huge swath of the cloud communications of American and foreign Internet users? Does the agency present evidence and seek careful judicial review to obtain limited amounts of user data related to individual investigations? Or is the answer somewhere in the middle, with queries being constructed such that algorithms scan most or all of the accounts, identifying a smaller set of “interesting” accounts whose contents are sent to the NSA?
The NSA leaker is lying about both his access to information and the scope of the secret surveillance programs he uncovered, the heads of the House Intelligence Committee charged Thursday.
Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/305409-house-intel-chiefs-snowden-lying#ixzz2W8zvRmld
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Senior politicians from across the political divide have united to call for UK security services to be given greater internet monitoring powers.
U.S. government investigators began an urgent search for Edward Snowden several days before the first media reports were published on the government’s secret surveillance programs, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
I’ve seen people defend these policies in the past, but they make no sense. All they do is encourage a head-in-the-sand mentality within the government, in which employees are told to pretend that public information isn’t public. As we’ve said before, in the business world, non-disclosure agreements are generally considered null and void the moment the same information becomes public via other means. Because that’s dealing with reality. Pretending that these documents aren’t out in the world, and having to fill out a report every time a government employee happens to hit a news article with one of these documents shown, seems like a tremendous waste of time and energy, all in an attempt to deny reality.
In a masterpiece of timing, the Japanese government is considering a new NSA-style agency to monitor internet communications in the country.
The Web company was the unidentified petitioner challenging an order to help the U.S. government spy on foreign users, sources tell The New York Times.
Labour’s Jack Straw, David Blunkett and Alan Johnson and Tory Lord Baker says bill is vital tool in fight against terrorism
America’s National Security Agency collects more information than most people thought. Will scrutiny spur change?
“There is no secret program here”? Bullshit. Why, then, have so many people, both in the Congress and the public been shocked at the extent to which the NSA is snarfing up data? This is a secret program, enabled by a secret interpretation of the FISA Amendments Act, by the FISA Court, which the DOJ and the NSA insist the public is not allowed to know. Yes, it’s a secret program. Saying otherwise is simply lying.
It’s often difficult to gauge just how much fear activists instill in the powers that be. But on Wednesday, environmental activists protesting the Keystone XL pipeline saw firsthand how much TransCanada, the corporation in charge of the pipeline, is shaking in its boots.
Imagine suing the government for damages for torture and kidnap, and losing your case, without ever knowing the reason why. A former lawyer who resigned from the Lib Dem party over “secret courts” describes the chilling scenarios made possible by the recently passed Justice and Security Act.
The European Union will try to find the right ‘language’ to overcome French resistance to free-trade talks with the United States today (14 June) and keep alive plans for a deal that could boost their struggling economies by dramatically increasing transatlantic business.
Mini documentary shows police in helicopters, handcuffs and dogs
Happy Birthday remains the most profitable song ever. Every year, it is the song that earns the highest royalty rates, sent to Warner/Chappell Music (which makes millions per year from “licensing” the song). However, as we’ve been pointing out for years, the song is almost certainly in the public domain. Robert Brauneis did some fantastic work a few years ago laying out why the song’s copyright clearly expired many years ago, even as Warner/Chappell pretends otherwise. You can read all the background, but there are a large number of problems with the copyright, including that the sisters who “wrote” the song, appear to have written neither the music, nor the lyrics. At best, they may have written a similar song called “Good Morning to All” in 1893, with the same basic melody, but there’s evidence to suggest the melody itself predated the sisters. But, more importantly, the owner of the copyright (already questionable) failed to properly renew it in 1962, which would further establish that it’s in the public domain.
The copyright industry has decreed in Sweden that it will now collect levies for every XBox and Playstation sold – about €10 ($12) per unit. This levy is the “blank media” levy, originally used to compensate for private music copying from vinyl records to blank cassettes, that has crept over all boundaries. It is hard, not to say impossible, to justify the fairness in a single mother having to pay a levy to the richest rock stars when she buys a Playstation for her kids.
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