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02.21.14

Good Advocacy by the Linux Foundation Stresses the Jobs Effect, But Should Mention GNU Also

Posted in BSD, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Skills involving BSD, GNU, and other toolsets deserve coverage (at least by name) in the context of Free/Open Source software

THERE was recently a lot of coverage about jobs in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and days or weeks later the Linux Foundation weighed in with its press release [1] about a study it had funded to frame this as a “Linux” boom. The Linux Foundation is run and managed by branding experts like Zemlin (they don't always do branding right) and marketing people, so this should not be shocking. The only problem is, they rewrite history to make it look as though only Linux counts (the big lie which gives the Linux Foundation power at the expense of camps like GNU/FSF). I am not an opponent of the Linux Foundation; I am a big fan of Linux, but I also care about accuracy and truth in reporting — something which the marketing community is unable, by definition, to care about.

Looking at the sort of headlines generated by the Linux Foundation’s latest marketing drive (e.g. 2-8]), it’s all about “Linux” but not about the rest of the stack (FOSS). The Linux Foundation is not the only entity which does this by the way. But what they call “Linux skills” often means command-line skills and basically familiarity with GNU utilities, not Linux (the kernel does not have many utilities of interest). Some tools, like OpenSSH, are from BSD. If we mislead the public by collectively referring to all those small programs as “Linux”, then we not only do a disservice to other projects but we also reinforce the philosophy of Linux, which does not stress or insist so much on freedom.

To give example of better actions from the Linux Foundation (as of late), it shared a story about a Pennsylvania high school adopting GNU/Linux and it generated some good headlines [9]. Its marketing staff issued a somewhat provocative, stereotypes-reinforcing (connoting Linux with scarce social/love life) Valentine’s post [10], not to mention today’s Facebook promotion [11] (people have openly complained about the Linux Foundation’s support for surveillance like Facebook for years). On the other hand, the Linux Foundation sets up new conferences that are named only after the kernel [12] (even when the conferences cover things beyond it [13]), which is another matter worth mentioning.

Ultimately, it would be fair to stress, not only the Linux Foundation calls/labels “Linux” a much broader system, exploiting a common misunderstanding/misconception. The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) too is doing that [14]. It often teaches GNU, but students are led to believe that it’s all “Linux”. We can do better than that.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. 2014 Linux Jobs Report: Demand for Linux Expertise Drives Hiring Priorities
  2. Hiring managers desperately hunt for Linux talent: Report

    With hiring managers beefing up their plans to bring aboard talent with Linux skills over the next six months, a bright future awaits those professionals who know Linux.

    Tech recruitment firm Dice and The Linux Foundation have released the 2014 edition of the Linux Jobs Report. The two found that the growing demand for Linux talent is “driving salaries for Linux above industry norms.”

  3. gNewSense Reviewed, Thanking Packagers, and Linux Jobs
  4. Linux skills helping professional move forward – 2014 Linux Jobs Report
  5. Keep Learning Linux—It’s The Future
  6. Linux professionals are in high demand in technology job market

    Today in Open Source: Download the free 2014 Linux Jobs Report.

  7. Demand for Linux Professionals is Growing
  8. Demand for Linux skills rises
  9. Pennsylvania high school adopts Linux, rolls out laptops to students

    Penn Manor High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania will embrace the open source Linux platform, installing it on more than 1,700 laptops. Every student at Penn Manor HS received an Acer TravelMate laptop powered by the Ubuntu 13.10 OS – and the student body was encouraged to explore the OS and push its limits.

  10. What Does Your Linux Candy Heart Say?

    How does the penguin community celebrate February 14 every year? Is it with a box of chocolates? Maybe if it’s sitting next to our keyboards alongside multiple coffee mugs. What about little Necco Sweethearts? Those “luv you” messages seem a little too general to fully express the amorous thoughts of those with Linux already seeded deep in their hearts.

  11. Leaked: Linux’s Look Back Facebook Video

    After trying to conceal its Facebook posts from the world for nearly a decade, Linux’s Look Back Facebook video leaked today.

  12. Linux Foundation Announces Schedule for Annual Collaboration Summit
  13. Dive into the world of Linux and free software at SCALE 12x this weekend in Los Angeles
  14. Linux certifications closer to Kosovo

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organisation, announced that Master Affiliate for the Western Balkans Region LPI-Greece recently appointed CACTTUS as LPI Sub-Affiliate for Kosovo, a company which has a strong experience in the market of Kosovo in technology and trainings.

01.24.14

PC-BSD 10.0 is Coming Shortly

Posted in BSD at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: BSD on the desktop is about to hit an important milestone

According to the PC-BSD Web site [1], PC-BSD 10.0 is coming soon, following the rescue of OpenBSD ($100,000 in cash [2], based on other coverage [3,4]) and the release of FreeBSD 10.0, which is now receiving good coverage from decent sources [5,6,7].

PC-BSD is an important project because it makes desktops that are based on BSD (with KDE) easy to set up, use, and customise. The other BSDs mostly target server users.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. PC-BSD 10.0-RC5 Now Available

    This will likely be our LAST RC before issuing the 10.0-FINAL release in a week or so. Please report any outstanding issues to our bug database.

  2. WHEW! OpenBSD won’t CloseBSD (for now) after $100,000 cash windfall
  3. Bitcoin Baron Keeps a Secretive Open Source OS Alive

    Recently, Theo de Raadt and the other engineers who oversee the OpenBSD operating system were hit with a $20,000 bill for the electricity that feeds the computers on which they test this venerable piece of software. fter they revealed that the bill could bring the project down, Mircea Popescu, the Romanian who runs the online bitcoin exchange MPEx, stepped in to save them.

  4. OpenBSD Seeks Cash to Save Open Source Server OS

    How much are free, open source operating systems worth? The outcome of the financial crisis currently besetting OpenBSD, an open source OS that is particularly important in servers and embedded devices, could provide a clue, as the OpenBSD Foundation seeks $20,000 to pay overdue electricity bills.

  5. Open Source FreeBSD 10 Takes on Virtualization
  6. FreeBSD 10.0 Final Released
  7. FreeBSD 10.0 lands, targets VMs and laptops

01.21.14

BSD Update: OpenBSD Saved, PC-BSD 10.0 is Coming, and FreeBSD 10.0 is Released

Posted in BSD at 5:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News about the world of BSD, led by a generous donation to OpenBSD and a major new release of FreeBSD

OpenBSD

PC-BSD

  • PC-BSD 10.0 RC3 Improves Hybrid Graphics Support

    PC-BSD 10.0 RC3 for this week pulls in the latest upstream FreeBSD 10 changes. As noted in their weekly digest is also improved detection of AMD Hybrid Graphics systems. With the FreeBSD/PC-BSD open-source graphics drivers being ported from the Linux kernel, their hybrid (dual) GPU graphics support isn’t any better than Linux, and these improvements is just better detection if trying to load the X Server off the first GPU fails. Improved NVIDIA Hybrid/Optimus support for PC-BSD/FreeBSD support still needs to be investigated.

FreeBSD

  • FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE Announcement
  • FreeBSD 10.0 Has Finally Been Released

    FreeBSD 10.0 uses Clang as the default compiler in place of GCC, TRIM support is available for SSDs with ZFS as are other ZFS file-system improvements, AMD Radeon KMS driver support, and a wide-range of packages have been updated. I have already written at length about the best FreeBSD 10 features and other interesting features so check out the dozens of FreeBSD 10.0 articles on Phoronix for more information.

  • The 10 Best Features Of FreeBSD 10.0
  • FreeBSD 10, Kali Nuclear Option, and Why Linux Lost?
  • KMS Drivers Break The Console In FreeBSD 10

    The problem has been corrected within FreeBSD HEAD, which is aligned for FreeBSD 11-CURRENT. The problem was fixed by writing a new VT console driver (the “Newcons” project). However, this won’t benefit users of FreeBSD 10.0 and can only hope that it will be back-ported to a FreeBSD 10.x point release rather than waiting some years for FreeBSD 11.0.

  • FreeBSD 10.0 RC3 Is Here To End Out 2013

    The third and final FreeBSD 10.0 release candidate is out ahead of the hopeful general availability in early January.

    FreeBSD 10.0 didn’t make it out this year as was originally planned with the first target release date being months ago. Fortunately, the release is progress with a day-after-Christmas update.

  • FreeBSD 10.0 Kernel Comes To Debian

    Advancing prudently but quietly within the Debian camp is the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD operating system that pairs Debian’s GNU user-land with the FreeBSD kernel. For Debian 8.0 “Jessie” there are continued improvements on this spin that does away with the Linux kernel. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Jessie/Sid currently defaults to the FreeBSD 9.2.0 kernel, but a FreeBSD 10.0 development kernel has already landed in Debian and is the focus of today’s benchmarks.

  • FreeBSD 10.0 RC2 Brings Radeon KMS Fixes
  • Massively upgraded FreeBSD 10 to be released next week

    Latest version of the OS brings in Clang/LLVM, Hyper-V support, ARM additions, and compatibility with the Raspberry Pi

  • MEGACORE: FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems collaborate to further the cause of FreeBSD Development

    What makes this monster server (code-named MEGACORE) interesting isn’t its scale (it’s a fairly common server we build) but rather its purpose. It was recently built by iXsystems for the FreeBSD Foundation, and will be used to test and push FreeBSD to its limits. The FreeBSD Foundation plans on making it available to FreeBSD’s developers and committers for the purposes of addressing SMP, memory, and general performance scalability. It will be the most powerful machine in the Project’s possession to date.

  • FreeBSD to support secure boot by mid-year

    Support for secure boot will be available in the FreeBSD 10.1 release which is due to be made later this year, according to Marshall Kirk McKusick, a senior developer of the operating system.

    McKusick told iTWire that work on FreeBSD’s boot process had been making steady progress. “Implementing UEFI booting is the first step, and last year the (FreeBSD) Foundation sponsored (developer) Benno Rice with a small project to implement a working prototype,” he said.

UEFI would be a bad idea for FreeBSD if FreeBSD wants to dodge back doors because of BIOS/EFI-level exploits.

12.10.13

FreeBSD Lost Trust in Hardware Makers, Alleging NSA Tampering

Posted in BSD, UNIX at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FreeBSD

Summary: FreeBSD believes that the NSA tampered with hardware-level random number generators

LINUX may have been made vulnerable by the NSA et al. [1, 2, 3, 4]. There are a lot of speculations and even active discussions about random number generation in Linux, especially as implemented in hardware (e.g. by Intel). Without sufficiently high entropy in random number generators, not only would Linux as a kernel be vulnerable; SSL and SSH too would suffer.

Some of these issues we have covered here before, noting that Red Hat works a little too closely with the NSA. Right now we are quite fascinated by the news [1,2] that FreeBSD won’t use Intel’s and Via’s hardware random number generators. Why? NSA.

In other news about FreeBSD, version 10 is approaching [3,4] after 20 years of development and it should have better graphics support [5]. Marking yet more milestones, the operating system “Is Getting Into The Magazine Business” [6], it runs in the record-breaking [7] PS4 (in some sense [8]). and it should be released some time this month [9]. FreeBSD is not the only BSD game in town (DragonFlyBSD gets some attention [10,11]), but it it the leading among the BSDs, so its voice when it comes to privacy and security issues sure counts.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. FreeBSD won’t use Intel & Via’s hardware random number generators, believes NSA has compromised them
  2. “We cannot trust” Intel and Via’s chip-based crypto, FreeBSD developers say

    Developers of the FreeBSD operating system will no longer allow users to trust processors manufactured by Intel and Via Technologies as the sole source of random numbers needed to generate cryptographic keys that can’t easily be cracked by government spies and other adversaries.

    The change, which will be effective in the upcoming FreeBSD version 10.0, comes three months after secret documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor Edward Snowden said the US spy agency was able to decode vast swaths of the Internet’s encrypted traffic. Among other ways, The New York Times, Pro Publica, and The Guardian reported in September, the NSA and its British counterpart defeat encryption technologies by working with chipmakers to insert backdoors, or cryptographic weaknesses, in their products.

  3. FreeBSD 10.0 Beta 4 Has Surfaced

    The final beta build ahead of the long-awaited and delayed FreeBSD 10.0 has now been made available.

  4. It Doesn’t Look Like FreeBSD 10 Will Ship This Year
  5. A Roadmap For FreeBSD Graphics Support

    The latest FreeBSD code (for 10.0) supports not only Intel KMS but also the open-source AMD Radeon driver ported from the Linux kernel. This Intel/Radeon KMS support has since trickled into DragonFlyBSD and other BSD platforms. However, not all is up to par when it comes to graphics support on FreeBSD. Here’a a road-map and test matrix with some other items still on the BSD developers’ agenda.

  6. FreeBSD Is Getting Into The Magazine Business
  7. Record Breaking Launch For PS4

    Sony’s PS4 has well and truly landed, becoming the fastest selling video game console in UK history. It overturns the 8 year record held by the original PSP and eclipses the launch week sales of both PS3 and Xbox One.

  8. It’s Official, Playstation 4 Runs FreeBSD Kernel

    Sony has just launched its PlayStation 4 console, and it seems that the rumors about being based on FreeBSD are actually true.

  9. FreeBSD 10.0 Is Still Running Behind Schedule

    There were plans originally to ship FreeBSD 10.0 as stable in November, but that isn’t going to happen. It’s not even clear if FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE will be ready to ship before the end of the calendar year, but at least progress is being made and when the release does happen there’s a great number of new features.

  10. HAMMER2 File-System Gets Stabilization Improvements

    HAMMER2 file-system improvements have landed hot on the heels of the exciting DragonFlyBSD 3.6 release.

  11. DragonFlyBSD 3.6 Does Intel/AMD KMS, DPorts, Better SMP

11.19.13

FreeBSD is Having an Impact on Leading Gaming Consoles

Posted in BSD at 5:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FreeBSD

Summary: The role of FreeBSD in PlayStation 4 is explained and news from the FreeBSD world may suggest plenty of promise in version 10.0

NOT too long ago, FreeBSD turned 20. It has some unique features but also antifeatures. Some companies may prefer it because they can turn it into proprietary. The licence permits this. One such company was rumoured to be Sony and there is new evidence surfacing [1]. In the FreeBSD world, according to Phoronix, there is a move from GNU (GDB) to LLDB and there is also a discussion about the Bhyve virtualization hypervisor [3], which FreeBSD 10.0 is expected to boast.

BSD and GNU/Linux have co-existed for decades and there is no reason why they cannot continue to co-exist. Each has its strengths (or weaknesses) and its philosophical aspects which may appeal more (or less) to corporations. it is easy to see why a crude company like Sony — and Apple likewise — prefers BSD.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Sony’s new PlayStation 4 and open source FreeBSD: The TRUTH

    The PS4′s Orbis OS is based on the tech.

  2. Why FreeBSD Is Liking LLDB For Debugging

    Yesterday I had written how the Leadwerks Linux developer has some issues with GDB for debugging — as do other game developers. Besides game developers, BSD developers also have issues with GDB and seek for better alternatives beyond just a more liberal code license.

  3. The State Of FreeBSD’s Bhyve Virtualization

    This week in California was a one-day FreeBSD Vendor Summit and during the event was an update on the Bhyve virtualization hypervisor that is playing an important role in FreeBSD 10.0.

11.07.13

FreeBSD Turns 20

Posted in Apple, BSD at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FreeBSD

Summary: A leading force in the BSD world, FreeBSD, is celebrating an important anniversary

“FreeBSD was released 1 Nov, 20 years ago,” writes iophk, “if Wikipedia is accurate.”

Here in Techrights we generally support FreeBSD, whose 10th version (as in 10.0) is almost ready [1]. Like PC-BSD 9.2, whose reviews are improving [2], FreeBSD is mature enough for people to use on the desktop (as colleagues of mine do). FreeBSD contributed towards creation of proprietary operating systems like Mac OS X, which misuse the word “free” to simply mean gratis (no cost, except the hardware that’s tied to it [3]). Therein lies some common opposition to the BSD licence, which is liberal to the extent that it allows companies to remove the liberty of downstream users.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. FreeBSD 10.0 Beta 3 Released

    The latest beta release of FreeBSD 10.0 is now available for testing.

    FreeBSD 10.0 Beta 3 features many bug-fixes, a POWER hypervisor interpartition ethernet driver, an Altera Triple Speed Ethernet MegaCore driver, a “pkg bootstrap” command, and numerous other system-level changes.

  2. PC-BSD 9.2: The daemon is in the details

    As to running PC-BSD, my experience had me constantly swinging back and forth between two thoughts: “Wow, this is a great feature, I wish more projects did this!” and “Drat, another bug, this is frustrating!” There was not a lot of middle ground between these two thoughts while running PC-BSD. It seems as though the developers tried to supply several new features for this release, all of them good ideas, but some of the implementations still have problems. Let’s start with the system installer. This is a fine piece of software. I really like that the installer can detect our hardware and warn us if some hardware support is missing. I also like the various guided disk partitioning options and the optional package selection screen. Both of these features were well implemented and I had no issues at all with the installer.

  3. Operating systems want to be free

    Two of the three major desktop operating systems are now free. And it’s likely to be a trend

10.18.13

The BSD Camp Adds Compelling New Features Like Better ZFS

Posted in BSD at 11:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FreeBSD

Summary: New releases of FreeBSD and the relevance to GNU/Linux

Free software is not a one-man race. There are numerous camps with slightly varying opinions on what freedom means. FreeBSD, one of the giants in the BSD world, is gradually approaching release 10 [1,2], having just updated 9.2 [3,4]. GhostBSD, which is derived from FreeBSD, is also worth noting [5]. Those systems not always compete with the GNU/Linux camp because there is a lot of sharing of code and packages between those two camps. Starting an argument over the level of freedom or meaning of freedom would be a waste of time and effort.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. First Alpha for FreeBSD 10 Released

    Glen Barber from the FreeBSD team announced the availability of the first alpha download of FreeBSD 10 on their mailing list. FreeBSD 10 appears to be a significant upgrade from 9, with a long list of improvements and new features. However, as is standard with FreeBSD, the most interesting features are under the hood.

  2. FreeBSD 10.0 Now In Beta With Faster ZFS LZJB

    FreeBSD 10.0 has been in alpha for just one month but announced today is the first beta of the forthcoming FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE.

  3. FreeBSD 9.2 Is Behind Schedule, RC4 Released

    The release of FreeBSD 9.2 was supposed to happen by the end of August, but instead we’re now up to the fourth release candidate.

  4. FreeBSD 9.2 Brings ZFS TRIM, ZFS LZ4, Updated DTrace

    After being challenged by days and while FreeBSD 10.0 is up to Alpha 4, the FreeBSD Foundation and its developers released FreeBSD 9.2 today as stable.

  5. Open source snapshot: GhostBSD

    GhostBSD is a FreeBSD derived, Gnome-based desktop operating system.

08.09.13

Apple Sees Ever-Developing Exodus of Key Apple People as Its Litigation Strategy Fails and Becomes Political Strategy

Posted in Apple, BSD, Patents, UNIX at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Special relationships last even after death

Obama and Jobs

Summary: Nepotism incarnated; Apple now appeals to politicians rather than judges, having lost the technical race to Linux; Apple’s top UNIX guru quits

Apple’s patent chief recently left the company, joining some prominent technical people who left this declining marketing and litigation company. The latest departure is that of Apple’s operating systems asset, who quit. As one article put it, “Hubbard left Apple last month to return to the world of open source UNIX, taking the chief technology officer post at a iXsystems, a company that offers servers and other data center hardware that runs FreeBSD.”

Concurrently, Apple continues pursuing embargo against Android devices. Apple uses the ITC and also litigates against Google through Motorola.

Mr. Pogson said, “When Is Prior Art Not Prior Art? When The US Federal Circuit Ignores It.

Yes, Apple enjoys special treatment again. As Pamela Jones put it, “Apple started the show in this particular tent of the overall smartphone patent wars circus, suing Motorola at the ITC for infringement of various claims of Apple’s ’607 and ’828 patents, which are about touchscreens and multi-touch.”

“Apple keeps trying to cheat and game the system; when its claims are found to be empty it cries to its government and gets its way.”And let’s not forget the recent pardon to Apple from the president of drone assassinations, illegal surveillance and torture. The US government is superseding the law especially for Apple as the Obama administration pushed back against an embargo. Jones had this to say about it: “So, it was a bit like the papal special dispensations of history, where the law said X, but you are let off the hook from having to keep it. That makes Apple’s reported public response particularly offensive, when it said, “Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.” Samsung didn’t abuse the patent system. It was, as you will see, exactly the opposite, according to the ITC Opinion. And while the President can do whatever he wishes regarding public policy, the ITC followed the statute, since it has no policy powers. In short, one unavoidably must conclude that if Samsung had been the US company and Apple the Korean one, there would have been no pardon. That’s the bottom line, I’m afraid. As Jamie Love tweeted, “What Froman and USTR will now have to explain is why India and other countries can’t also consider public interest in patent cases.” As I’ll show you, one of the things the ITC considered was public comments warning that changing the terms for FRAND patent owners would make sweeping changes to trade laws, and Korea has already registered its concerns. I’m all for reforming the patent system, as you know, but if you want to reform it, how about making it *more* fair, not less? Playing favorites based on country of origin doesn’t aim for that noble goal. It’s indisputable that this has harmed Samsung, and since the ITC, which examined the facts in detail, found it was the innocent party in this picture, what can be the justification for Apple’s comment?”

The US press and the US government have given Apple special treatment for far too long. The corporate press covers this like it’s a sporting match, not science. Apple keeps trying to cheat and game the system; when its claims are found to be empty it cries to its government and gets its way. One writer for CNN (corporate press) wrote:

Apple and Samsung’s fiercest battle isn’t playing out in the smartphone market.

This is simply not true. Be sure to watch the image they use. Samsung was the one attacked by Apple, it’s not mutual.

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