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05.14.13

Links 14/5/2013: Android Growth Explosion

Posted in News Roundup at 10:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • NASA migrates ISS laptops from Windows to Linux
  • Debian Linux now Google Compute Engine’s default OS

    Want to run Linux on the Google Computer Engine cloud? Starting immediately, Debian Linux is Google’s Linux of choice.

  • Linux-based Robonaut 2 preps for active ISS duty

    NASA’s Linux-based “Robonaut 2″ is undergoing extensive testing on the International Space Station (ISS), and will soon be put to work. The humanoid Robonaut 2 will soon receive a major upgrade that will provide legs and an expanded battery pack, enabling it to perform more duties, including space walks.

  • Open source cellular targets rural comms

    Start-up RangeNetworks is hoping that the combination of low cost and transparent software will allow it to break into the notoriously locked-down cellular network market.

  • Microsoft is lagging Linux

    Microsoft’s kernel is falling behind Linux because of a cultural problem at the Volehill of Redmond, claims one of its developers.

    The anonymous Microsoft developer who contributes to the Windows NT kernel wrote a response acknowledging the problem and explaining its cause.

  • Could Chrome OS Thrive in Public Kiosks and in Cars?

    Could Google’s Chrome OS arrive on platforms that have hardly been discussed for it yet? According to rumblings from Google and some media reports, the answer is yes. Of course, there has been a lot of talk about possible mergers between Chrome OS and Android, and talk of Chrome OS tablets. But there are some facts about the guts of Chrome OS that could make it ideal for other applications.

  • A shot in the arm for enterprise Linux

    This year’s 2013 Enterprise End User Report show the world’s largest enterprises are increasing their investments in Linux for the third consecutive year and management’s perception remains increasingly positive.

    According to a press statement from the Linux Foundation, “These advancements are resulting in more companies wanting to contribute to the advancement of Linux and understand how to benefit from collaborative development.”

  • Open Ballot: The final frontier

    With this, it seems, Linux has conquered the final frontier, but that doesn’t mean world domination is complete. So, our question is this: Where would you like to see Linux adopted next?

  • Desktop

    • Samsung ARM Chromebook Review

      The Samsung ARM Chromebook is one of a few ARM devices that I prepare Bodhi Linux images for. As such I’ve owned the hardware for almost six months now and during this time I’ve used it a fair amount. The goal of this post is to provide a comprehensive review of the product to see if it is something that could be useful to you.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Torvalds unveils first Linux 3.10 release candidate

      Linus Torvalds released RC1 of the new kernel on the eve of Mother’s Day, together with some advice on how to treat Mum/Mom right on the occasion.

      “So this is the biggest -rc1 in the last several years (perhaps ever) at least as far as counting commits go,” Torvalds wrote in the release announcement. “Which was unexpected, because while linux-next was fairly big, it wasn’t exceptionally so.”

    • Linux Kernel 3.8 Reaches End of Life (EOL)

      Along with Linux kernel 3.9.2, 3.0.78 LTS and 3.4.45 LTS comes the thirteenth and last maintenance release of Linux kernel 3.8, as announced by Greg Kroah-Hartman on May 11, 2013.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developer Workspaces in 30 Weeks: Greg Kroah-Hartman

      Welcome to 30 Linux Kernel Developer Workspaces in 30 Weeks! This is the first in a 30-week series that takes a new approach to the original series, 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks. This time we take a look inside developers’ workspaces to learn even more about what makes them tick and how to collaborate with some of the top talent in all of software. Each week will share a picture and/or a video of the workspaces that Linux kernel developers use to advance the greatest shared technology resource in history.

    • The Iron Penguin, Part 1
    • Linux 3.10 Kernel Integrates BCache HDD/SSD Caching

      After being in development for more than one year, BCache was finally merged on Wednesday into the mainline Linux kernel code-base. BCache serves as an SSD caching framework for Linux by offering write-through and write-back caching through a newly-exposed block device.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • ROSA Desktop Fresh LXDE alpha preview

      ROSA Desktop Fresh LXDE is the end-user edition of ROSA Desktop that uses the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. This is not the same as the LXDE edition which was released in June 2012. That one is the enterprise edition, which ships with Debian-style stable Linux kernel and software, and uses the Marathon code name. (See ROSA 2012 LXDE review

    • New Releases

      • MEPIS 12 Beta

        A new test release of MEPIS 12, version 11.9.86, is available for testing. It may take up to 24 hours for the ISOs to appear at the mirrors.

      • Antergos 2013.05.12 – We’re back

        After a month since our last release under the name “Cinnarch”, we’re glad to announce the new name of our project and our first release being out of beta. We’re stable enough to make this step.

      • Manjaro 0.8.5.2 Community Releases unleashed (KDE, Cinnamon, Mate)

        We are happy to announce three new Manjaro Community Editions featuring Mate 1.6, Cinnamon 1.7, Gnome 3.8 and KDE 4.10.2. “Community Editions” of Manjaro Linux are released as bonus flavours in addition to those officially supported and maintained by the Manjaro Team, provided that the time and resources necessary are available to do so.

      • OS4 Enterprise 4.1 Released

        Today we are pleased to announce the release of OS4 Enterprise 4.1. With this release we bring many advancements to the worlds premier enterprise Linux platform. We learned a lot from our release of Enterprise 4.0 and this release is based on customer feedback. Starting with the user interface. Many of our Enterprise customers coming from Red Hat and Oracle Linux wanted a consistent user interface that they had become accustomed to with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle Enterprise Linux and we believe we have achieved that and with some of the flare that OS4 is famous for. They also wanted features on par with what they were accustomed to on their platforms and what we came up with was perhaps the most feature rich enterprise Linux product on the market today.

      • Open source NAC PacketFence 4.0 released

        PacketFence is a fully supported, trusted, free and open source NAC solution.

    • Arch Family

      • Cinnarch successor Antergos arrives

        In just a month since the last release of Cinnarch, during which the developers decided to drop Cinnamon for GNOME, they have produced a new release that brings a distribution that is more desktop agnostic than ever before. Cinnarch development was halted after the developers were finding it harder to synchronise the Cinnamon development with the rolling nature of Arch Linux.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ceph improves Red Hat support in new release

        The third stable release of the Ceph distributed storage platform, named the “Cuttlefish” edition, has enhanced Red Hat support and improvements to make it easier to deploy. Ceph, which is developed by Inktank, offers a distributed system that can be presented to users as an object storage system, a block storage system, or as a POSIX compatible filesystem. Ceph 0.61 now has RHEL 6.0 tested packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux available from the Ceph site and in the EPEL (Extra Packages For Enterprise Linux) repository; the company says it is discussing with Red Hat the possibility of including Ceph in a future RHEL.

    • Debian Family

      • A little look at Debian 7.0

        Having a virtual machine with Debian 6 on there, I was interested to hear that Debian 7.0 is out. In another VM, I decided to give it a go. Installing it on there using the Net Install CD image took a little while but proved fairly standard with my choice of the GUI-based option. GNOME was the desktop environment with which I went and all started up without any real fuss after the installation was complete; it even disconnnected the CD image from the VM before rebooting, a common failing in many Linux operating installations that lands into the installation cycle again unless you kill the virtual machine.

      • Debian, the Linux distribution of choice for LEGO designers?
      • Upcoming Features of Debian 8.0

        Now that Debian 7 “Wheezy” has been officially released and it’s ready to be installed on your Linux-powered computers, the developers can concentrate their full resources on the next major release, Debian 8.

      • A proposal for an always-releasable Debian
      • Derivatives

        • SimplyMEPIS 12 Reaches Beta Quality

          Warren Woodford announced this past weekend that development on SimplyMEPIS 12 has reached Beta quality and thus he has released a test image. This release brings some newer elements, but the announcement tells of the kibosh on two of them. With little else to go on, it was time for a boot.

          The graphics of SimplyMEPIS 12 haven’t changed since the alpha released last Fall. Some software version numbers have jumped, but some haven’t. The Beta features Linux 3.8.2, Xorg X Server 1.12.4, GCC 4.7.2, and KDE 4.8.4. GRUB 2 is default, but UEFI and GPT drive support have been “deferred.” Woodford said of that, “Unfortunately each hardware vendor is implementing the “standard” differently.” The MEPIS tools look pretty much unchanged as well.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Strikes Out on Its Own Again

            “I don’t know what’s wrong with Canonical,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “They seem not to understand that GNU/Linux is a cooperative product of the world, and wasting resources to do things differently when existing software is working well is poisoning the well. FLOSS is the right way to do IT, whether as a developer, a distributor, OEM, retailer or user.”

          • Ubuntu SDK apps to get own package format

            Canonical’s Foundations Team are creating a new application packaging system to sit alongside the existing “apt and dpkg” system that Ubuntu currently uses. The plan was disclosed by Colin Watson, technical lead of the Foundations Team which is responsible for the core of the Ubuntu system, in a mailing list post.

          • Ubuntu Developer Summit: This Week!

            Just a quick note to remind everyone that our next Ubuntu Developer Summit is taking place this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and is open and available to everyone to participate. This is the event where we get together to discuss, debate, and plan the next three months of work.

          • On Simplicity
          • Possible Changes In Ubunu 13.10 Saucy Salamander [UDS]

            Ubuntu Developer Summit is a meeting where software developers gather to discuss the next Ubuntu version changes and features.

            The Ubuntu Developer Summit (uds-1305) will start tomorrow, will last for 3 days and some major possible changes will be discussed, like “click packages”, Chromium replacing Firefox as the default web browser, Unity 8 with Mir being available for testing on the desktop and more.

          • Ubuntu – A Replacement for Chrome OS

            n the broadest sense Chrome OS is a consumer of Google Services. But it is not alone in this role. This topic has been broadly discussed in the context of Google services for Apple’s iOS and others. I am thinking of Google Maps and Google Now.

          • Ubuntu.com update

            I’d like to give an update on upcoming plans for Ubuntu.com and to respond to recent concerns about the positioning of the community within the website.

          • Ubuntu to stop Brainstorm

            The Ubuntu Technical Board has decided, at its most recent meeting, to finally abandon the Ubuntu Brainstorm ideas site. The site was created in 2008 to bring together the community and developers on a collaborative crowd-sourced platform where problems could be posed, ideas for solving the problems offered and users could vote on preferred solutions. If solutions were popular they could find themselves implemented by Canonical or Ubuntu teams.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mir in Kubuntu

              As you might have seen in Jonathan’s blog post we discussed Mir in Kubuntu at the “Mataro Sessions II”. It’s a topic I would have preferred to not have to discuss at all. But the dynamics in the free software world force us to discuss it and obviously our downstream needs to know why we as an upstream do not consider Mir adoption as a valid option.

            • Ubuntu 11.10, 10.04 Desktop and 8.04 Server reach end of life
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The International Space Station Goes Linux and RunRev goes open source
  • Is Open Always Better?

    As supporters of open source software, our knee-jerk reaction to the question of if open development always results in better quality code is often an unqualified, “yes, of course!”. However, it may do the community good to take an objective look at the state of some of our projects, and how it reflects on the open source movement as a whole. It has been my experience that sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, proprietary software is fantastic, and it would do us all a bit of good to ask why.

  • Open-source RF boards available from Richardson RFPD

    The open-source RF design initiative, dubbed Myriad, has the support of US-based distributor Richardson RFPD.

    Richardson RFPD will begin stocking and selling the Myriad-RF-1 board to customers around the world via its website immediately.

  • Open source Java projects: Akka

    The actor model is a message-passing paradigm that resolves some of the major challenges of writing concurrent, scalable code for today’s distributed systems. In this installment of Open source Java projects, Steven Haines introduces Akka, a JVM-based toolkit and runtime that implements the actor model. Get started with a simple program that demonstrates how an Akka message passing system is wired together, then build a more complex program that uses concurrent processes to compute prime numbers.

  • Events

    • Upcoming Conferences Bode Well for Open Source Fans

      Details are emerging for some of the most important technology conferences of the next several months, which promise to feature lots of compelling speakers and content for open source fans. The Google I/O conference begins this week in Northern California, and is likely to bring with it lots of news related to Android and Google’s phone and tablet strategies. Meanwhile, The Linux Foundation has announced the keynote speakers for LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America, taking place September 16-18, 2013 at the Hyatt New Orleans in New Orleans, La.

    • Gabe Newell and Eben Upton to keynote LinuxCon

      Valve Software boss Gabe Newell and Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton have been announced as keynote speakers for the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon and Cloud Open North America conferences. The two events will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana from 16 to 18 September. Newell and Upton will be joining Jonathan Bryce of the OpenStack Foundation, HP Labs Director Martin Fink, and representatives from Intel and Wired Magazine on stage as keynote speakers. The popular Linux Kernel Panel, which features leading kernel developers and maintainers discussing the future of the open source operating system, will also be back.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Packaged Apps for Chrome Browser Point to Google’s Long-Term App Strategy

        While it hasn’t generated a whole lot of buzz yet, Google has begun to take the wraps off of a strategy that will allow users of the Chrome browser to easily find and run “packaged apps” just like sophisticated web apps that users of Chrome OS are used to running. In an announcement on the Chromium Blog, Google officials unveiled a developer preview of Chrome packaged apps and the Chrome App Launcher. Chrome packaged apps are now available in the Chrome Web Store for anyone on Chrome’s developer channel on Windows or Chrome OS.

      • Google Delivers Tools for Integrating Chrome with iOS Apps
    • Mozilla

      • Fourth cycle approaches for Mozilla’s WebFWD open accelerator

        Mozilla’s WebFWD programme is seeking applications for its fourth cycle of classes which are designed to teach new innovators to build healthy businesses by embracing the best of open source and startup principles. By getting entrepreneurs to create businesses what make the Web better and more open, Mozilla hopes to ensure that future businesses on the internet are more effective in enabling an open web.

      • Mozilla Can’t Seem to Keep its Firefox OS Strategy Straight

        As I noted yesterday, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs (who will be leaving his CEO post this year) made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that Mozilla has very ambitious plans for its new Firefox OS mobile operating system. Specifically, he sees it as an innovation-centric platform. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, “We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience.”

      • Australis launches in Firefox UX versions

        The Firefox Australis theme that is going to be released later this year if things go as planned seems to split the community. Some users are looking forward to a modernized theme while others fear that it will change the browser that they are using in away that it is not as customizable and usable anymore.

      • Mozilla’s Firefox OS will also appear on high-end phones

        The upcoming Firefox OS will appear on higher-end smartphones, and not just entry-level handsets, with Sony expected to release a premium device running the operating system, a Mozilla executive said.

        “Sony is known for quality and user experience. So they are targeting for very very high (end). We are in joint discussions on the kind of device and what’s the product,” said Li Gong, Mozilla’s senior vice president for mobile devices.

      • You should remove everything after the ? when you share a link ;)
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How Open Source Python Drives the OpenStack Cloud [VIDEO]

      There are a lot of different programming languages in use today. When it comes to the cloud, thanks in part to the strong position of OpenStack, the open source Python language has emerged as being one of the most important. OpenStack is written in Python and is in used by many leading IT vendors including IBM, HP, Dell and Cisco.

    • The role of open source in cloud infrastructure

      Today, open source cloud platforms are winning the IaaS battle, open source storage and file systems are expanding their footprint, and open source databases are replacing closed source rivals. Marten Mickos, CEO, Eucalyptus Systems explains why nearly everything is being snatched by open source software

    • OpenNebula Releases First Open Source Enterprise Cloud Manager
    • OpenNebula 4.0 Released – The Finest Open-source Enterprise Cloud Manager!

      The fourth generation of OpenNebula is the result of seven years of continuous innovation in close collaboration with its users

      The OpenNebula Project is proud to announce the fourth major release of its widely deployed OpenNebula cloud management platform, a fully open-source enterprise-grade solution to build and manage virtualized data centers and enterprise clouds. OpenNebula 4.0 (codename Eagle) brings valuable contributions from many of its thousands of users that include leading research and supercomputing centers like FermiLab, NASA, ESA and SARA; and industry leaders like Blackberry, China Mobile, Dell, Cisco, Akamai and Telefonica O2.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Study: open source remixing seems to lead to less original work

      What is it that means one open source project takes off, while another doesn’t? There are a lot of ways to analyse this question depending on the example at hand, but a more general study of the “remixability” of online content has found a surprising correlation — there’s a trade-off between originality and the chance it will inspire new versions.

      Researchers Benjamin Mako Hill from MIT and Andrés Monroy-Hernández from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University wanted to look at a particular dilemma — despite “proponents of remix culture often speaking of remixing in terms of rich ecosystems where creative works are novel and highly generative”, actual examples of it happening “can be difficult to find”, Monroy-Hernández writes on Hill’s blog.

  • Project Releases

    • Graph processing platform Apache Giraph reaches 1.0

      Used by Facebook and Yahoo, the Apache Giraph project for distributed graph processing has released version 1.0. This is the first new version since the project left incubation and became a top-level project in May 2012, though for some reason it has yet to make it to the Apache index of top level projects.

    • Blender 2.67 renders cartoons
    • OpenStreetMap launches new map editor

      The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project has announced that it will make its new map editor, which it had originally unveiled in February, available to all its contributors today. Development on the new iD editor was partly funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation and unlike the software it replaces, the new editor does not require Flash to run. The tool is written completely in HTML5 and uses the D3 visualisation library.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NSA Asks Open Source Developers to Help Protect Agency Cloud; Keith Alexander Comments

      The National Security Agency has started developing a cloud computing platform intended to help secure the government’s network infrastructure, FedScoop reported Friday.

      David Stegon writes NSA has reached out to the country’s open source community by allowing developers to collaborate in shoring up the cloud infrastructure’s code for the cloud infrastructure.

    • State offers online open source data trove (O’Malley style)

      The Maryland state government quietly announced its brand-new online open source data trove last Wednesday.

    • Default to open data: an Executive Order
    • US president issues open data order

      US president Barack Obama is aiming to breathe new life into US information portal data.gov. Over the last two years, the portal appears to have faltered somewhat. Under an executive order issued by the White House on Thursday, data in new government and public sector IT systems will have to be stored in “open and machine readable” formats. The requirements also apply to data processing facilities which undergo modernisation or renovation, which will also be required to make information available via the US government’s open data portal.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Your next language

      One of the commonly asked questions I hear is “I want to get into programming, which language should I learn?” It’s closely followed by “I write in X but I want to do something else… what language should I be looking at?” There used to be some nicely canned answers to these questions over which the merits and demerits could be discussed over coffee or beer but the culture and practice of open source has changed that. Now, I can only give one answer… “all of them”.

    • Python-accelerating PyPy 2.0 for x86 released

      The developers of PyPy, an alternative Python 2.x implementation with a just-in-time compiler that’s “almost a drop-in replacement for CPython 2.7″, have announced the release of PyPy 2.0. According to the developers’ benchmarking site PyPy 2.0 is around 5.71 times faster than CPython 2.7.3.

    • Why IBM Now Views LLVM As Being Critical Software

      It wasn’t until the middle of 2012 that IBM viewed LLVM as being “critical” to support but since then they have decided to fully support LLVM across all IBM server platforms. Last week in Paris at the European LLVM Meeting, one of their developers talked about the tipping point in supporting LLVM on IBM hardware and their current development status.

    • PyPy 2.0 alpha for ARM
  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • [Dvorak's tongue in cheek article] Dear Microsoft: Windows 8 Is Great

    Your idea that all interfaces should be simple, to-the-point, and touchable is the way to go. To heck with convention! We are all sick of the desktop and the whole idea of a desktop. It’s not a desktop anyway—it’s a screen and there are better things to put on it than folders and icons. These are dumb and they assume we all work in offices. Or worse, it assumes we work at all.

    Just look at the old-fashioned interface. Those faux shadows and cutesy icons symbolize what exactly? This is not the interface for today’s modern user. We need representation. Something that reflects the “now.” A symbol of the public—today’s public. Like some bland, square, one-dimensional tiles. Dumbed-down to an extreme. Dopey even. Tiles say it all. And you can poke at them and move them around.

    Microsoft, you nailed it!

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Demanding CIA Accountability for Drone Strikes
    • Pakistan’s likely PM says CIA drone strikes test sovereignty

      The Pakistani politician poised to become the country’s next prime minister said Monday that Islamabad has “good relations” with the United States, but called the CIA’s drone campaign in the country’s tribal region a challenge to national sovereignty.

      Nawaz Sharif spoke to reporters from his family’s estate outside the eastern city of Lahore on Monday, two days after his Pakistan Muslim League-N party won a resounding victory in national elections.

    • US drone strikes: ‘deadly and dirty’ warns new book

      On the agenda were “kill lists” — names of individuals whose perceived threat to America’s security made them targets for assassination by unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

      The kill lists, scrutinised personally by Obama at the weekly meetings, were soon expanded to become what US journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars, calls a form of “pre-crime” justice where individuals are considered fair game if they met certain life patterns of suspected terrorists.

    • Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control by Medea Benjamin – review

      Throughout history, some forms of war and weaponry have been viewed with greater horror than others. Even ancient civilisations tried to codify the rules of war – jus in bello. Homer’s Greeks disapproved of archery; real men fought hand-to-hand, not at a distance. Shakespeare’s Henry V roared with anger when, at Agincourt, the French cavalry killed his camp followers. At the beginning of the last century, dum-dum bullets, a British invention, were outlawed following an appeal by Germany. Revulsion against the widespread use of gas in the first world war led in the 1920s to an international convention prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons – not that the ban stopped the British using chemicals in Iraq, or the Italians in Ethiopia in the 1930s. A landmine convention was agreed in 1997, though not signed by the US, China or Russia. Today, China, India, and perhaps surprisingly North Korea are among nuclear‑armed states that have pledged no first use, though Nato, Israel and the US have not.

    • Bringing drones out of the shadows

      Even ex-Obama administration officials are expressing qualms about targeted killings.

    • Will Pakistan finally stand up against illegal US drone attacks?

      The Peshawar high court has delivered a damning verdict on the strikes. Pakistan must now move towards protecting the security of its citizens

    • Israel grounds fleet of drones after crash

      Palestinians say Israel uses drones to fire missiles, but Israel has never offered a confirmation.

    • Drones come home to roost as Pakistan’s new government flies high

      The strikes, Khan told the Star’s Michelle Shephard, are only “creating anti-Americanism. It is helping the militants to recruit people. Collateral damage means anyone losing a family (member) goes and joins the militants.”

    • CIA agent intercepted in Moscow – reports

      An alleged CIA agent has been briefly detained in Moscow for allegedly trying to recruit a Russian intelligence officer, Russian media report.

    • Russia: ‘Undercover CIA Agent’ Detained
    • Russia ‘detains CIA agent’
    • Bungles: CIA messes

      The CIA secretly smuggled millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags to the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai over more than a decade, The New York Times revealed. Karzai confirmed the report.

    • How Can We Understand Benghazi Without Probing the CIA’s Role?

      After catching up on coverage of the Benghazi attack over the weekend, there’s something that has me very confused: why are so many journalists ignoring the fact that the Americans there were mostly CIA? Here’s how The New York Times began a Benghazi story published online Sunday: “A House committee chairman vowed Sunday to seek additional testimony on the Obama administration’s handling of last year’s deadly attack on the American diplomatic post in Libya.”

    • Pakistani court rules CIA drone strikes are illegal

      In the first major Pakistani court ruling on the legality of the CIA’s drone campaign in the country, a Peshawar High Court judge said this morning that strikes are ‘criminal offences’. Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan ordered Pakistan’s government to ‘use force if need be’ to end drone attacks in the country’s tribal regions.

    • SCHRAM: CIA didn’t get much for big sacks of cash

      America’s long-running courtship of Afghanistan’s mercurial Hamid Karzai got even wackier last week.

      Now, things that used to be top secret — like CIA bags of cash delivered to a government famously rife with corruption — have been featured on screens everywhere. And Washington policy is looking like a comic parody of the way the world really works.

      Scene One: Afghanistan’s president convenes a Saturday news conference and publicly confirms the CIA’s longtime practice of bringing him bags of money. It had been a top secret until The New York Times disclosed it April 28. Karzai explains how and why he has been spending the CIA’s millions, which is as he sees fit, accountable to no one.

  • Cablegate

    • Bitcoins, Wikileaks, 3D printers, PGP and the gov’s battle against information

      The U.S. government has a hard enough time parrying foreign threats like terrorist groups and hostile nations but it’s the unfettered distribution of information in the form of software that could pose the greatest threat of all.

    • WikiLeaks: Indira Government charged two American under Official Secret Act

      WikiLeaks reveal that Indira Gandhi Government had charged two Americans under Official Secret Act. The cable says: ” Two Americans await trial in India on charges of spying and are expected to go on trial here within two months in the first case in India of Westerners. Anthony Fletcher and Richard Harcos were arrested on April 26, 1973 in Calcutta. they have been charged under the Indian Official Secret Act.” The cable also reveals that on February 19, the Home Ministry in New Delhi had issued official sanction permitting the Government of West Bengal to try Anthony Fletcher and Richard Harcos under the Official Secret Act. The trial which will be held in Calcutta has not been scheduled. The West Bengal Government has set another hearing in the case for February 27. At a preliminary hearing in Calcutta on February 13, the possibility of bail was discussed, and the decision on bail may be issued on February 27. I have instructed the Consul General in Calcutta to keep you and the Deraprtment of State informed on the progress of this case. I assume your Office will inform Mrs. Fletcher of the forgoing and I am writing separately to her in response to her letter to me of February 12.”

    • WikiLeaks Sees Credit Card Donations Return After Court Ruling

      Anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks can again accept credit card donations today after Valitor hf, the Icelandic partner of MasterCard Inc. (MA) and Visa Europe Ltd., began processing payments after losing a court case.

      Valitor was ordered by Iceland’s Supreme Court on April 24 to begin processing WikiLeaks payments within 15 days or face daily fines amounting to 800,000 kronur ($6,800), according to the ruling. The company was sued by WikiLeaks’s payment services provider, Reykjavik, Iceland-based DataCell, which has also lodged complaints against Visa and MasterCard with the European Commission.

  • Finance

    • Obama, Cameron Promote Trade Deal Granting Corporations Political Power

      President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday pledged to pursue a broad trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union, amid growing domestic unrest with the Obama administration’s plans to include new political powers for corporations in the deal.

      Negotiations have not formally begun, but a series of meetings between U.S. and EU officials have established some ground rules and the preliminary scope of the talks. Since tariffs are already low or nonexistent, the agreement will focus on regulatory issues. That emphasis has concerned food safety advocates, environmental activists and public health experts, who fear a deal may roll back important standards.

    • Nohmul Pyramid Bulldozed In Belize For Rocks

      A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids with backhoes and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project, authorities announced on Monday.

      [...]

      “It’s a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity … they were using this for road fill,” Awe said. “It’s like being punched in the stomach, it’s just so horrendous.”

    • ‘WikiLeaks of financial data’ prompts worldwide hunt for tax evaders

      A cache of data amounting to a whopping 400 gigabytes of information leaked by bank insiders has triggered an offshore tax evasion investigation across the United States, the UK and Australia.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright in France: Wishful Thinking and Real Dangers

        Pierre Lescure has handed in his report [fr] on culture at the digital era to French President François Hollande1. La Quadrature du Net denounces a flawed political process revealing the harmful influence of industrial groups at all levels of policy-making. How will the French government react to Lescure’s proposal to expand the scope of competence of the audiovisual media regulator (CSA) to the Internet? Will it to pursue former President Sarkozy’s anti-sharing policies and even supplement them with new ACTA-like measures encouraging online intermediaries to become private copyright police?

05.13.13

Links 13/5/2013: New Linux/Open Source Documentary, Lots More About International Space Station

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI Board Meeting Report

    The new OSI Board met in Washington DC last week. We held an effective face-to-face meeting where we discussed the progress of our plans to transform OSI into a member-based organisation. We held officer elections, once again electing Martin Michlmayr as Secretary, filling the vacancy for CFO left by Alolita Sharma by electing Karl Fogel and replacing him as Assistant Treasurer by electing Mike Milinkovich. I was re-elected as President and thank the Board for that vote of confidence in this time of change.

  • A Disturbance In The FLOSS In Canada, May 2013

    What do I make of this? For such large swings it can only mean some large organization was tweaking their operating systems. It looks to me that a bunch of GNU/Linux and “8″ systems were acquired and some “7″ systems were retired or replaced with XP… The bottom line is that in one month that other OS lost a couple of percents and GNU/Linux doubled to ~2.8%.

  • Scratching an Itch
  • Motivation and Reward

    A few months ago, the GNU project had to withdraw its article on motivation and monetary reward, because its author did not allow them to spread it anymore. So I recreated the core of its message – with references to solid research.

  • SDN: Cash Contest Promotes Open-Source High-Speed Networking

    What happens when next-generation networking, cash prizes and the open-source ethos converge? Answer: The Innovative Application Awards program, which is now accepting proposals from developers seeking to build open-source software that takes advantage of OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN) features. And there’s big cash behind this endeavor to encourage investment in big-bandwidth networks, with winning proposals receiving up to $10,000 in funding.

  • Events

    • Impressions from the Open Source Business Conference 2013

      At the Open Source Business Conference 2013, conversations on innovation, disruption, and open source leadership dominated the sessions. The conference chair, Matt Assay, crafted a program where each presentation and conversation reinforced how traditional business strategies are being disrupted by new market dynamics. The dynamics are shifting power away from closed, proprietary corporate leadership towards open collaboration and user-led innovation. The shift is disrupting traditional business strategies, IT operation practices, and market dominance.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Personalization with Respect

        Mozilla’s mission compels us to provide people with an Internet experience that puts them in control of their online lives and that treats them with respect. Respecting someone includes respecting their privacy. We aspire to a “no surprises” principle: the idea that when information is gathered about a person, it is done with their knowledge and is used in ways that benefit that person. People should be made aware of how information is collected and used. Each individual should also be able to decide whether the exchange of personal data for the services received in return feels fair. This can be challenging to achieve, especially when balanced against convenience and ease of use: people expect a fast, streamlined user experience without excessive prompts and confusing choices. But we are always striving toward this ideal.

      • Firefox 21.0: Find out what is new

        Mozilla will release Firefox 21.0 on May 14, 2013 and shortly thereafter update the Beta, Aurora and Nightly channels of the browser to Firefox 22.0, 23.0 and 24.0 respectively.

        The updates will be transferred to Mozilla’s ftp server first before they will be announced on the official website. If you have configured automatic updates, you should not have to worry about that though as your browser will get updated automatically when you start it after the update becomes available.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Power of Brand and the Power of Product, Part 1

      “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful” said G. E.P. Box of Box-Jenkins fame. Today we’re going to look at a model of market share, and I hope it is a useful model. One nice property of it is that it is very easy to estimate the parameters of this model. A single survey question will do.

    • Results of Apache OpenOffice 4.0 Logo Survey

      A quick update on our recent logo survey for Apache OpenOffice 4.0. We called on community members to submit proposals for a new project logo. The response was huge. We received over 40 logo proposals. To narrow down the choices we sought out feedback from users. We created a survey asking users to rate each logo on a 5-point scale, from Strongly Dislike to Strongly Like, as well as give an optional comment on each logo. The survey ran for one week and 5028 responses were received. Full details of the results can be found in the Apache OpenOffice Logo Survey Report. In this blog post we want to highlight some of the highest scoring logos, recognize the designers, and talk about next steps.

    • Apache OpenOffice: Help pick a new logo

      The release of Apache OpenOffice 4 will not happen tomorrow, but it is getting close. How close? Well, let’s just say it will happen soon. In months time, not weeks.

      To usher in what will be a milestone release for the Free Software Office suite, The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) wanted a new logo to replace the old OpenOffice logo, and requested design submissions from the community. There were 40 entries.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open data: Meaningful, visual information

        One of the keys to a successful open data portal is to make it useful for the end user. Citizens and developers should be able to understand data sets without needing a PhD. I’ve been following the progress of Raleigh, North Carolina’s open data initiative, which launched a beta of their data.raleighnc.gov portal in March 2013.

Leftovers

  • Backlash begins against Adobe’s subscription-only plan
  • Time to Abolish the BBC

    I increasingly find myself advocating political opinions I would have found anathema five years ago. I am forced to the opinion that now it is time to abolish the licence fee and end all public funding to the BBC. We should not be blinded by nostalgia; the BBC has no claim to impartiality or “public service ethic.” Nor, for the most part, to quality. Talent shows, reality TV and endless cooking and property auction programmes are not something everybody should be obliged to pay for, on penalty of not owning a television.

  • What if people told European history like they told Native American history?

    Why do you include those “pre-contact” European things? Because they explain the motivations and reasons for what Europeans did. But people largely imagine North America as this timeless place and don’t recognize that pre-contact American history had just as much of an affect on post-contact history because it provides explanations of the motivations and reasonings behind indigenous peoples’ actions.

  • Security

    • Google to make 2-step verification mandatory, phones to replace passwords

      The rise of mobile devices and persistent connectivity, as well as apps and cloud services, has put us all at potential risk when it comes to online security. Simply put, it’s no longer as basic as using strong passwords and strong encryption on websites and services. According to a recent effort by Google in making its systems more secure, the company is looking into implementing smartphone tagging, life-long tokens, and requiring two-step verification on its services.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Plantwatch: Under attack – the wild British daffodil

      Spring went off with a bang in last weekend’s sunshine as blossom, flowers and new leaves burst out, although everything was about a month behind normal. But now even bluebells began to open this week over much of southern England, spurred on by the warm weather.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street is back

      American investment banks dominate global finance once more. That’s not necessarily good for America

    • Ahead of I/O, Google Wallet Drops Plans to Introduce a Physical Card

      Google will update its Wallet product at its I/O developer conference next week, but will not include the physical credit card that the company had considered launching at the event, according to sources.

    • 27% of Spaniards are out of work. Yet in one town everyone has a job

      As Spanish unemployment reaches another record high, the residents of rural Marinaleda could be forgiven for feeling a little smug.

      In the small village in deepest Andalusia, the joblessness remains firmly – and almost certainly uniquely within Spain – at zero. With one set of traffic lights, two bars (one jammed with football paraphernalia for the First Division side Seville) and one central avenue lined with of low terraced houses, Marinaleda looks like many villages in western Andalusia.

      But huge wall murals depicting the destruction of tanks and weaponry, the binning of Nazi symbols, and a column of workers marching through the fields, are far from the usual graffiti found in such places. Nor do many villages name their sports hall after Che Guevara, or have oversized placards of doves of peace dotted on streets named after left-wing heroes such as Salvador Allende and Pablo Neruda.

    • Ex-Senator Gregg Said to be Top Candidate to Lead Bank Lobby

      Former Senator Judd Gregg is a leading candidate to run Wall Street’s biggest lobbying group, according to people briefed on the discussions.

      Gregg, 66, a New Hampshire Republican who retired from the Senate last year, is being considered for the post as president and chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said four people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter isn’t public.

      [...]

      Gregg has served as an adviser to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. since retiring from the Senate after serving since January 1993.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Billionaires Un-Friending Zuckerberg’s Political Group FWD.us
    • Ghost in the Machine: Pete Peterson Haunts College Campuses

      An odd couple made an appearance on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus recently: Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson and Madison’s progressive Congressman Mark Pocan. The two were invited to participate in a conversation about the national debt hosted by a local student organization and a bevy of national groups, including the Comeback America Initiative, the Concord Coalition, the Can Kicks Back, and the Campaign to Fix the Debt. On the agenda: debt, deficits, and the economy.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • EE selling your data to pollsters and police

      The Sunday Times has published an explosive piece about an exclusive deal for the sale of customer data between mobile operator Everything Everywhere and polling organisation Ipsos Mori, who in turn have tried to sell the data to the Met Police.

    • EE and sale of user data: does Anonymisation work?

      This afternoon, EE called ORG to ask us about our blog. They did not question the article, but confirmed that it is their belief that IPSOS MORI employees misrepresented what the data they are offering can do.

  • Civil Rights

    • Justice Department Complies With FOIA By Releasing Completely Redacted Document

      Yes, the Department of Justice complied with the letter of the law and responded to a Freedom of Information Act request from the ACLU seeking insight into the Obama Administration’s policy on intercepting text messages from cell phones.

    • The Hoopla around Boston makes us forget the possible End of the Species

      The imperial system lives by searching for scapegoats (previously, there were the communists, then the subversives, and now the terrorists, the immigrants… who will be next?) on whom the desire for collective vengeance falls. That way, the system divests itself of guilt or error. But, above all, it does everything possible so that this lethal threat to the human species is not acknowledged, and transformed into a dangerous collective consciousness.

    • America Keeps Honoring One of Its Worst Mass Murderers: Henry Kissinger

      Henry Kissinger’s quote recently released by Wikileaks,” the illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer”, likely brought a smile to his legions of elite media, government, corporate and high society admirers. Oh that Henry! That rapier wit! That trademark insouciance! That naughtiness! It is unlikely, however, that the descendants of his more than 6 million victims in Indochina, and Americans of conscience appalled by his murder of non-Americans, will share in the amusement. For his illegal and unconstitutional actions had real-world consequences: the ruined lives of millions of Indochinese innocents in a new form of secret, automated, amoral U.S. Executive warfare which haunts the world until today.

  • DRM

    • W3C presses ahead with DRM interface in HTML5

      W3C logo On Friday, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published the first public draft of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). EME enables content providers to integrate digital rights management (DRM) interfaces into HTML5-based media players. Encrypted Media Extensions is being developed jointly by Google, Microsoft and online streaming-service Netflix. No actual encryption algorithm is part of the draft; that element is designed to be contained in a CDM (Content Decryption Module) that works with EME to decode the content. CDMs may be plugins or built into browsers.

05.11.13

Links 11/5/2013: Ubuntu Deviation (DEB), Debian Celebrations

Posted in News Roundup at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Social Media (And the World) Owes to Open Source

    I am constantly reminded of this in conversations with new clients: so much of the business world sees social media as a low-cost “channel” for marketing. Yes, social, done right, is perhaps the most cost-effective approach there is. But to focus on costs is to ignore the big benefits: the ability to scale with communities (principle = peer production), the ability to enter a wider range of conversations (principle = the long tail), the ability to surface the best ideas and give them support (principle = crowdsourcing). These principles and others either originated or were evangelized in OS communities. Some actually predated OS, and at least one (the long tail) became widely known after the birth social media. But the point I’m making here is that the principles have not been well embraced, and many organizations that profess to do social really don’t. And we shouldn’t expect them to get there anytime soon. It took many years for the OS movement to get beyond the perception that it’s all
    about costs (the tide has turned, fairly recently). But without an appreciation for the principles and their provenance, it may take organizations even longer to truly embrace social.

  • What’s So Great About Open-Source IMS?

    Many people, when they hear “open source,” think “oh boy, free software.” But making software available under open-source terms sometimes opens up a more powerful possibility: the chance to blow up existing models and rebuild them, piece by piece.

  • Open source Python-based Freedom of Information platform

    I’m happy to announce the Version 3 release of Froide, the open source, Python-based platform for running Freedom of Information portals: allowing you to make requests to public entities by email and track responses, as well as, customize your instance to fit your campaign for government transparency.

    Froide has been in development for nearly two years. It has powered the FOI portal in Germany for over a year and a half and has recently been used to launch an Austrian FoI site.

  • No Open Source Project Should Be an Island

    Here on OStatic, we’ve frequently debated whether fragmentation is good for open source projects, or not so good. We’ve published posts arguing that centralized management of open source projects and documentation could have big benefits for users, and we’ve run many posts on successful forks of open source projects.

    When the topic of fragmentation comes up, people often gravitate toward arguments surrounding how centralized funding could advance many open source projects, or how centralized marketing efforts could. But what about development? Recently, at the Libre Graphics Meeting in Madrid, the developers of GIMP, MyPaint and many other free graphics applications got together and talked about an important topic: how to work together better.

  • How An Open Source Operating System Jumpstarted Robotics Research
  • Non-Linux FOSS: Seashore

    As Linux users, we tend to take programs like GIMP for granted. Thankfully, as of version 2.8.2, GIMP is available as a native application for OS X! Because everyone reading this most likely is familiar with how awesome GIMP is for photo editing, it’s worth mentioning there is another open-source photo-editing application for OS X named Seashore.

  • Events

    • CloudStack Collab 2013 – Open Source Cloud Conference
    • Dear Schmuck

      Despite our minuscule differences and preferences in software and hardware, in the FOSS realm there is really no “us and them.” There’s just “us” to varying degrees of participation. Understand that and you’re more than halfway there.

    • Leaders from Raspberry Pi and Valve Top Keynote Speaker Line Up for LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the keynote speakers for LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America, taking place September 16-18, 2013 at the Hyatt New Orleans in New Orleans, La.

      LinuxCon, which has sold out every year since its debut, is the world’s leading conference addressing all matters Linux for the global business and technical communities. CloudOpen, which debuted just last year, features technical content that addresses open cloud platforms, tools and big data strategies. It will cover technical content such as Chef, Gluster, Hadoop, KVM, Linux, OpenStack, oVirt, Puppet, the Xen Project and more.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Business

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source solutions offered through Canada’s web experience toolkit

      When Canadian government departments weren’t meeting accessibility requirements, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the Canadian equivalent of the Office of Management and Budget, decided to create a web experience toolkit.

      “It actually became much easier for everyone to meet their requirements and a lot less costly by everyone pooling their resources into a common solution that everyone could repurpose,” said Paul Jackson, project lead for Canada’s WET, during an April 17, DigitalGov University webinar.

      The toolkit is a code library and framework for web design with a heavy emphasis on accessibility, usability, interoperability, and mobile-friendly and multi-lingual features. The WET is open source, so it can be used commercially or for government, and is on GitHub, allowing it to be constantly updated, improved and added to, said Jackson.

    • Driving Better Governance with Open Source

      “Ten years ago, Open Source — notably Linux — was often labelled a ‘fad’ or destined for the ‘hobbyist’ market,” said Mark Bohannon, Vice President for Corporate Affairs & Global Public Policy at Red Hat.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Building a digital life form: OpenWorm, Open Source
    • Get your very own open source nematode

      The OpenWorm project has been working on its virtual nematode since December 2011, with the ambitious aim of modelling the entire organism in software. C. elegans is the organism of choice for the project, because it’s also closely studied in biology labs.

    • Why do we share and what is the value?

      It’s not news that popular media have undergone significant changes due to participatory digital platforms. We tweet. We connect. We comment. Above all, we share. And the ability to share media has become a need and expectation in networked culture. There are already all sorts of buzzwords swirling around this topic—viral media, memes, prosumers, attention economy, Web 2.0, etc.

    • Openness in the workplace changes everything

      Often when talking to friends and family and colleagues in the library science field I find that the number one complaint boils down to the closed/boxed-in nature of their jobs. The other day I spoke with a friend who shared her frustrations over the fact that her employer wouldn’t let her step out of her defined role to assist in other areas of the business. She had other jobs before this one and knew a lot that would help in new efforts the company was pursuing, but she wasn’t allowed to consult because it was outside of her job description. Another friend constantly talks to me about how he could offer so much more if people would just include him in the discussions that happen before decisions are made.

    • Play video games with an open-source Arduino-based gun replica

      If you regularly play both console games and PC games, you’ll likely be fully aware that one platform is much, much more suited to games that require you to precisely aim at things. Unfortunately, most console games do not support a full keyboard-and-mouse setup, so often times you’re left wishing the right analog stick would stop being so floaty. However, for certain console games, a light gun ends up being the true savior of aiming, but here in 2013, most games don’t utilize any sort of peripheral. If you long for the day when you could aim as well on a console as you do on a PC, a new Kickstarter project might be the answer.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Bangladesh survivor Reshma Begum: I never dreamed I’d see daylight again

      Reshma’s mother and sister, Asma, were reported to have rushed to the hospital to meet her.

      Army officers co-ordinating the rescue said they were astonished by the woman’s strength. “It is incredible that someone could have survived in the wreckage 408 hours after the building came down,” said army officer Shah Jamal. “Her will to live is amazing.”

      Nine people have been arrested in connection with the disaster, including the owner of the Rana Plaza and owners of the factories it housed.

      Several major western retailers were being supplied by factories based in the building. Primark and its Canadian counterpart, Loblaw, have announced they will compensate the victims of the disaster, the world’s worst industrial accident since the Bhopal gas leak in India in 1984.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Stephen Hawking Boycotts Israeli Conference, Gets Twitter Abuse About Disability

      Stephen Hawking has been subject to vile abuse targeting his disability after it was announced he is planning to boycott a conference in Israel, hosted by the country’s president Shimon Peres.

    • Stephen Hawking Confirms Support of Israel Boycott
    • Benghazi Bias on One Page
    • When Libyans Die From NATO Airstrikes, It’s Not Benghazi

      The reason people care, apparently, is because people died, and U.S. officials may not have told the truth about the circumstances of those deaths.

      If that’s what makes this a scandal, then there’s another Libya story that should be getting attention. It’s not, and never really has, because the dead are Libyan civilians, killed by U.S./NATO airstrikes.

    • Drones Program Shakeup: Increased Transparency or Increased Killings?

      This spring, three senior Obama Administration officials informed Daniel Klaidman of The Daily Beast that the CIA would no longer operate targeted killings with unmanned drones. All targeted killings using the controversial technology would from now on be conducted by the Department of Defense, which has its own drones program in place.

    • Noam Chomsky helped lobby Stephen Hawking to stage Israel boycott

      Noam Chomsky was among 20 academics who privately lobbied Professor Stephen Hawking to boycott a major Israeli conference, it has emerged.

      Chomsky, a US professor and well-known supporter of the Palestinian cause, joined British academics from the universities of Cambridge, London, Leeds, Southampton, Warwick, Newcastle, York and the Open University to tell Hawking they were “surprised and deeply disappointed” that he had accepted the invitation to speak at next month’s presidential conference in Jerusalem, which will chaired by Shimon Peres and attended by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

      Hawking pulled out this week in protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, in the wake of receiving the letter and soundings from Palestinian colleagues. The 71-year-old theoretical physicist’s decision has been warmly welcomed by Palestinian academics, with one describing it as “of cosmic proportions”, but was attacked in Israel.

    • Blood and Humanity: Recent Aspects of Fascist Hatred in Greece

      On Saturday April 30th the Greek fascist party, Golden Dawn, attempted to create blood banks for the exclusive use of Greek nationals. Across the country, Golden Dawn members, with much pre publicity arrived at general hospitals to donate blood which they demanded was to be restricted to Greeks only. At the general hospital in Samos, as in many other places, the fascists were met by a broad coalition of opponents as well as medical staff who blocked their approach to the blood donation centre. The face off started at 9.30am and ended at 4.00 pm when the blood centre closed for the weekend. Golden Dawn members departed without success.

    • Former Guatemalan dictator convicted of genocide and jailed for 80 years

      Efraín Ríos Montt held to account for abuses in campaign that killed an estimated 200,000 and led to 45,000 disappearances

    • For over 100 hunger strikers, death is preferable to life in Barack Obama’s Guantanamo

      There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where not being charged with a war crime keeps you locked away indefinitely and a war crime conviction is your ticket home.

    • Privatised justice is no justice at all

      Chris Grayling’s radical changes to legal aid could mean being represented by the same company that jails you

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Surpass 400 PPM Milestone

      Readings are taken at the NOAA-operated Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and form part of the Keeling Curve — a continuous record of CO2 measurements dating back to 1958. Bubbles found inside Antarctic ice core samples provide a longer record of CO2 in the air for the past 800,000 years.

      CO2 measurements surpassed 400 ppm in the Arctic last summer, but the readings from Hawaii mark the first time prolonged levels above 400 ppm have been observed at more moderate latitudes.

    • Fugitive Methane Emissions: The Climate Implications of U.S. Shale Gas Exports

      U.S. natural gas production is booming. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), production grew by 23 percent from 2007 to 2012. Now—with production projected to continue growing in the decades ahead—U.S. lawmakers and companies are considering exporting this resource internationally. But what are the climate implications of doing so?

  • Finance

    • Fat Cat Culture

      The Guardian today published a photo of a bit of derelict yard where kids had been playing, as evidence that because of cuts the local council – Blackburn – could not afford a proper playground.

      The reason Blackburn council cannot afford a proper playground is nothing to do with cuts. It is because. like most local governments in this country, it blows far too much money on the excellent lifestyles of fatcat senior officers. In the town hall of Blackburn there are an astonishing 16 council officers on over £75,000 per year plus allowances, gold-plated pension, car and benefits.

    • 100 of UK’s richest people concealing billions in offshore tax havens

      More than 100 of Britain’s richest people have been caught hiding billions of pounds in secretive offshore havens, sparking an unprecedented global tax evasion investigation.

      George Osborne, the chancellor, warned the alleged tax evaders, and a further 200 accountants and advisers accused of helping them cheat the taxman: “The message is simple: if you evade tax, we’re coming after you.”

      HM Revenue & Customs warned those involved, who were named in offshore data first offered to the authorities by a whistleblower in 2009, that they will face “criminal prosecution or significant penalties” if they do not voluntarily disclose their tax irregularities, as the UK steps up its efforts to clamp down on avoidance ahead of the G8 summit in June.

    • Who’s Building Bitcoin? An Inside Look at Bitcoin’s Open Source Development

      Slowly but surely, over the past few months, we’ve figured out exactly what bitcoin is, how it works, and what it all might come to. We witnessed events in Cyprus that put into question the current system and the U.S. Treasury issued guidance validating the legality of a brand new form of virtual money. We experienced a frenetic bubble as well as the inevitable crash.

    • More Foreclosure Settlement Fiascoes: Rust Consulting Underpays Some Harmed Borrowers
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Report Exposes ALEC’s Influence In Nevada

      Bills introduced in Nevada to allow machine guns on the Vegas strip, privatize public education, and thwart federal healthcare reform can be tied back to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to a new report from ProgressNow Nevada detailing ALEC’s influence in that state.

      Former Nevada Senator Bill Raggio, the longest-serving senator in state history, was ALEC’s National Chair in 1993 and told an ALEC meeting in 1992 that “Those who founded ALEC in 1973 probably did not imagine that in just 20 short years ALEC would grow to become the most influential state-level organization in the country.”

    • L.A. Times’ Distorted Report on USAID

      And so, the report seems to suggest, there’s something a little off about foreign leaders, nine in recent years, who’ve expelled the agency. Why else would Bolivian President Evo Morales expel an anti-poverty group from his “impoverished” country, if he wasn’t just a little bit crazy? And Russian President Vladimir Putin can’t be playing with a full deck either; he recently expelled USAID and a bird lovers group.

      Of course, these leaders and other USAID critics aren’t crazy; they argue that USAID undermines national sovereignty and democracy. The story includes charges that USAID manipulates the internal politics of host nations, but it leaves the allegations unexplored and lets supporters bat them away.

      [...]

      And just last month, U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks revealed that USAID and its Office of Transition Initiatives had been secretly tasked with destabilizing Venezuela’s democratically elected government.

    • The Night the Digital Lights Went Out In Syria

      Indeed, manipulation of broadcast outlets seems to have been in the playbook last night…

  • Censorship

    • Panorama journalist and former UK drugs adviser blocked from holding lecture in Cardiff

      It was hoped John Sweeney, known for investigation into Scientology, and controversial drugs adviser Professor David Nutt would speak at Cardiff Central Library event

    • Fracking Activists Could Face Felony Charges as “Ag-Gag” Laws Spread

      The same “Ag-Gag” laws that make it a crime to film or document egregious abuses on industrial farms may soon be used to criminalize anti-fracking activists who seek to expose environmental harms brought on by the gas drilling industry—if a bill recently proposed in Pennsylvannia passes.

    • Pirate Bay Takes Over Distribution of Censored 3D Printable Gun

      A few days after the blueprints for the world’s first printable gun were published online, Defense Distributed has been asked by the State Department to pull them down, citing possible arms trafficking violations. The blueprints, however, are still available on The Pirate Bay and many other file-sharing sites, which adds a 3D chapter to the IP enforcement debate.The Pirate Bay says it welcomes the blueprints and has no intention of taking the files down.

  • Privacy

    • LinkedIn: The Creepiest Social Network

      This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. In fact, it stems from something I noticed way back in August of last year. After digging for answers and even a couple attempts at contacting their customer support, I’ve concluded that LinkedIn is by far the creepiest social network. The primary reasons LinkedIn is the mustached, trench coat and wire frame glasses wearing mouth breather of the internet are the “People You May Know” and “People Also Viewed” features.

    • Mozilla blasts spurious disguise of online surveillance tools

      Open source focused developer of the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email client and Bugzilla bug tracking system Mozilla has issued a “cease and desist” notice to Gamma International.

    • The FBI has warrantless access to emails

      The ACLU has been peeking through an FBI handbook and there it stumbled across the revelation that the FBI can look at emails as long as they are at least six months old. The handbook, which was published last year, offers this advice to men in suits in the field.

    • ‘Sofa snooping’ councillors watch youth shelter kids on CCTV

      HUSBAND and wife councillors who watch CCTV of kids on their living room telly have been accused of ‘sofa snooping’.

    • Michael Chertoff on Google Glass

      It’s not unusual for government officials — the very people we disagree with regarding civil liberties issues — to agree with us on consumer privacy issues. But don’t forget that this person advocated for full-body scanners at airports while on the payroll of a scanner company.

      One of the points he makes, that the data collected from Google Glass will become part of Google’s vast sensory network, echoes something I’ve heard Marc Rotenberg at EPIC say: this whole thing would be a lot less scary if the glasses were sold by a company like Brookstone.

    • Google Glass, the beginning of wearable surveillance

      Imagine a world in which every major company in America flew hundreds of thousands of drones overhead, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, collecting data on what Americans were doing down below. It’s a chilling thought that would engender howls of outrage.

    • Chertoff on Google Glass

      We’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking about the implications of consumer wearable cameras like Google Glass, and I’m sure we’ll have more to say in this space on the subject. But meanwhile, we’re pleasantly surprised to report a very trenchant analysis of the technology’s implications for our privacy by none other than Michael Chertoff.

  • Civil Rights

    • Cops Beat Woman For Filming Another Beating

      “You want to film something b**ch? Film this!”

    • Chilean students clash with police in protest for free education

      Tens of thousands of students in Chile have clashed with riot police while protesting for improvements to the education system. Police said they were attacked with petrol bombs and used tear gas and water cannons to break up protesters.

      The march in the capital Santiago was mainly peaceful, but police used water cannons and tear gas to break up one group of demonstrators when they were attacked by petrol bombs.

    • Balancing Privacy and Free Expression in the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

      Today, CDT is releasing a paper analyzing the free expression implications of the proposed “Right to Be Forgotten” in the draft European Data Protection Regulation (DPR). The Right to Be Forgotten concept has received much attention since the DPR was first introduced, and while we understand the concerns that motivate the proposal, CDT continues to have serious misgivings about the DPR’s approach to the concept. As described in Article 17, the Right to Be Forgotten would put private companies in the position of balancing users’ free expression and privacy rights – a difficult task that has traditionally been the purview of courts and legislatures, and one that companies are not equipped to undertake. Further, the DPR puts a heavy thumb on the scale on the side of privacy, promising high fines if companies violate the regulation, but providing only narrowly scoped safeguards for journalistic and artistic expression.

      The proposed Article 17 allows any user to request that an online service provider delete all of the data about her that the service provider possesses. If that information has been made publicly available, data controllers are required to notify third parties that link to, or have copies of, the data about the deletion request. This broad conception of the Right to Be Forgotten fails to adequately consider the free expression concerns inherent in a right to remove true, lawfully published information from the public record. Quoting and commentary are integral to free expression; yet Article 17 could chill such expression, since a deletion request would extend to third-party references to data that an individual requests deletion of. Article 80 requires Member States to make a limited accommodation for free expression, but that provision falls short of standards required by international human rights instruments. If adopted, the “Right to Be Forgotten” proposal would generate a variety of regulations to
      protect free expression throughout Member States, creating a lack of clarity for both individuals and data processors regarding what standards apply to a deletion request and what balance must be struck between privacy and free expression.

    • UK Libel Law Gets Much Needed Update – But Also Threatens Online Anonymity

      A long-fought-for bill to reform libel law in the UK received final passage and became law late last month. The Defamation Act makes many needed changes to the law and is largely a victory for free expression advocates, but its partial liability protections for website operators leave something to be desired, and pose significant risk to the ability to speak anonymously on the Internet.

    • Tahrir Square youth leader arrested in Cairo

      A leader of one of the youth movements behind Egypt’s 2011 uprising has been detained by security forces, officials have told reporters.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • BT Sport Channel: what does it mean for the Internet?

      Today’s news about BT’s new sports service certainly doesn’t mean the end of the Internet, but the changes we are seeing, where Internet providers are providing parallel content delivery services does change the dynamics in the industry in a worrying way.

    • Culture and the Internet: the report

      The publication of the report on culture and the Internet requested by French president Hollande to Pierre Lescure – former CEO of Canal +, a major TV station owned by Vivendi-Universal – will be the object of a major media buzz in France. For those interested in what would be ambitious public policies adapted to the digital era, La Quadrature du Net brings back on the table its Elements for the reform of copyright and related cultural policies. Will those 14 propositions, attentive to the freedoms and uses of everyone, to the interests of authors and other contributors, be a part of it, or will the Lescure report perpetuate the repressive policies led by Nicolas Sarkozy?

    • Interop Video Exclusive: Don’t Bet Against Ethernet

      After 40 years, Ethernet has come to dominate network connectivity. This is in part thanks to John D’Ambrosia, a key figure in today’s Ethernet world. Currently the chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, D’Ambrosia has done much to advance IEEE standards, in particular the 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet specifications. D’Ambrosia is also set to be confirmed as chair of the new IEEE group that will define 400 Gigabit Ethernet.

  • DRM

    • World Wide Web Consortium takes next step with controversial DRM proposal, Defective by Design condemns decision

      The HTML Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today released a First Public Working Draft of the controversial Encrypted Media Extension (EME) specification, despite massive opposition from public interest organizations and members of the public.

    • Here’s to 20 years of the Web — may it stay open and free

      Today’s business models typically focus on gaining leverage with a large group of people, from software developers to end-users. Yet the behavior of many entrepreneurs suggests they’d prefer control of their intellectual property to successful adoption by millions — at least, that’s the consequence of their choices. By erecting barriers to adoption, they unwittingly discourage the very usage that would build their market and drive their success. However, CERN’s celebration of 20 years of the open Web refutes this strategy and provides a useful insight into the dynamic of gaining broad adoption.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • NZ part of International Day of Action against TPPA

      NZ part of International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

      Actions are taking place across five countries today to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

      ‘This coordinated action is designed as a shot across the bow for negotiators as they head to the next round of TPPA negotiations in Lima, Peru starting on 15 May’, said Jane Kelsey, who is part of the international campaign.

    • Copyrights

05.09.13

Links 9/5/2013: Facebook Exploitation of Android, Copyright and Privacy Legal Threats

Posted in News Roundup at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source for software taxation

    Finance Act 2012 introduced several retrospective amendments, purportedly ‘clarificatory’, to the Income-tax Act, 1961, with respect to non-resident taxpayers. A key amendment was the extension of ‘royalty’ to include payment toward shrink-wrapped software, connectivity charges, transponder hire charges and so on. Another significant amendment related to “indirect transfer” of capital assets located in India, thereby overcoming the Supreme Court decision in the case of Vodafone.

  • Continuent Tungsten Replicator Is Now 100% Open Source
  • Using open source to build sustainable communities

    A forthcoming documentary from Filament Features will feature the work of the Open Source Ecology project, which aims to produce a set of open source tools capable of building environmentally sustainable communities.

  • Open-source goes RF

    Radio frequency (RF) signals run from about 3kHz to 300GHz. As a test and measurement designer, some of my data acquisition rates will get into the 100s of kHz, or perhaps up to 10s of MHz with a digital oscilloscope, but usually that’s all. I also typically try to use existing protocols for as much of the communication as I can, typically USB, Serial, GPIB, SPI, I2C or occasionally Ethernet, Wi-Fi or radio.

  • Advantages of open source for SMEs

    More and more SMEs are turning to open source IT and telephony solutions for a variety of reasons, among them cost savings and the flexibility to manage systems such as scaling up or down, according to business needs.

  • Open Source Homomorphic Cryptography

    How fast things move from theoretical, through experimental to implementation. It was only recently that a semi-practical scheme for homomorphic encryption was invented and we already have an open source implementation in C++.

  • Open Source Geospatial Laboratory established at the University of Southampton, UK

    We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Open Source Geospatial Laboratory at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

  • Gluu Provides Toshiba Open Source Authorization and Authentication Platform for New Cloud TV Services

    Gluu’s open source authorization and authentication platform, OX, will enable the next generation of Toshiba Cloud TV Services to authenticate consumers and integrate with popular Internet apps.

  • MapR releases M7, its commercial HBase distro
  • “Open Source Technology Will Bring In A Services-Based Model With A Reasonable Opex, Zero Capex”

    OSS facilitates the preservation of a wide range of information for future developments and it comes with considerable financial savings. Government institutes and PSUs are looking forward to more adoption and implementation of OSS in their IT infrastructure. The increasing awareness of open source in the public and government sector has been one of the significant developments in IT technology.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Packaged apps now available in Chrome Web Store

        Chrome users can have enhanced experience with what Google calls the packaged apps which are now available throuh the Chrome Web Store. Google had announced the developer preview of Chrome packaged apps and the Chrome App Launcher a few months ago. Google enabled developers to upload their packaged apps to the Chrome Web Store and test them, but there was no way for users to find those apps an install them.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • MySQL storage engine TokuDB goes open source

      Version 7 of TokuDB, Tokutek’s high performance MySQL Database storage engine, has been released as an open source community edition and as a new supported TokuDB Enterprise Edition. TokuDB has previously been a proprietary storage engine for MySQL which has specialised in handling write-intensive workloads. Developed orignally by researchers at MIT, Rutgers and the State University of New York, the storage engine uses Fractal Tree indexing, a technique based on cache-oblivious algorithms.

    • Another Open-Source Win with Tokutek’s MySQL Storage Engine
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • New Project to Create the First Java Open Source Office Suite

      At the moment most of the office suite are developed in C++ or in JavaScript. Joeffice is the first open source office suite in Java. Japplis has chosen the Apache license 2.0 which makes it possible to change the code without the need to share the modified code.

  • CMS

    • The Four Worst Myths about Open Source CMS

      4. There is no training or support if you choose open source.

      Um, no. Any developer who has spent time honing his open source craft can tell you that this is untrue. Just because some well-funded proprietary CMS hosts an annual conference doesn’t mean that the open source users lacks support. Open source users can find online help, forums, paid classes, local meet ups, YouTube how-tos, expensive manuals, more expensive consultants, and whizz-bang contract developers. The support and training are there; they just don’t get packaged into some monthly fee along with the CMS itself.

    • Victoria Legal aid taps Drupal for website redesign

      Victoria Legal Aid has gone live with a new Web presence based on Drupal. Previously the organisation, which provides legal aid to disadvantaged Victorians, used the proprietary RedDot content management system.

    • Arlington Board OKs Sharing Website Code with Open-Source Community

      With a nod to the open government movement, the Arlington County Board this weekend unanimously approved making portions of the programming behind the county website publicly available.

    • Joomla! 3.1 Released; Open Source Content Management System (CMS) Adds Tags to Its Core

      Joomla, one of the world’s most popular open source content management systems (CMS) used for everything from websites to blogs to Intranets, today announced the immediate availability of Joomla 3.1. The biggest feature of Joomla 3.1 is Tags, a built-in tagging system that allows dynamic tagging across content-types. Tags hasn’t been created for articles only, but rather Joomla integrated tagging into other areas of its core that made sense (e.g. contacts, feeds, etc). For example, Tags allow end-users to create lists, blogs, or other layouts that combine articles with other content types any way they like. These tags can be dynamically created from the content, without having to navigate to the Tags component, thus bringing both power and simplicity.

    • Joomla finally gets built-in tagging

      Administrators of the Joomla blogging platform and content management system can now tag their content so it will be better indexed and automatically routed to the correct locations on their websites.

    • Alert: What’s Coming Up for Open Source CMS in May 2013
  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.67 renders cartoons

      For about 2 years, the Blender open source 3D modelling package has included Cycles, a render engine that uses path tracing. This engine can be used to produce photorealistic images with little effort. Until now, those who wanted to render a graphical or cartoon-like image for a 3D model had to use Blender’s internal render engine for such Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR). However, this engine is quite old and doesn’t always produce convincing results. The new version 2.67 of Blender closes the gap by offering the Freestyle cartoon render engine. Freestyle uses 3D geometry to calculate lines that can either be used on their own or combined with the surface rendering results from other engines.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Just how secure is open source software?

      The US government is also a vocal supporter of open source software. Examples of recent initiatives include whitehouse.gov, the Federal Register and data.gov. Much of the internet is run using open source tools such as Linux, Apache, PHP and MySQL, while a plethora of companies have found good business cases for using open source software. Don Smith, director of technology at Dell SecureWorks, says the main reason businesses would pick free and open source software (FOSS) over proprietary technology is to save money. He also suggests that open source software frequently offers greater innovation than proprietary systems.

      [...]

      So, good reasons to go for open source software, but what about security? Many people view open source software as something that can be changed or edited by anybody, much like a Wikipedia entry. That generally isn’t the case, however, as open source communities usually have mechanisms in place to prevent such random tinkering – for example, submitting new code to a peer review before it is entered into a particular project. Furthermore, Smith says one of the most common misconceptions about FOSS is the belief that it is written by amateur coders – again, typically untrue.

      “The vast majority of FOSS is written by software professionals, very often employed by a company that is making money from that same software, either through subscriptions, support or professional services. It is obviously in the interest of these businesses to ensure their software works well and their coding is of high quality,” he says.

    • Government can reap benefits of IT commoditisation by embracing open source

      Government departments can improve competitiveness in procurement by increasing use of open source software in an increasingly commoditised IT market, according to Tariq Rashid , head of IT reform at the Cabinet Office.

    • Second Open Gov Summit hosted by Zaizi challenges UK public sector to put users at the centre of the IT universe

      The second Open Gov Summit took place yesterday April 25th at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, in the heart of Westminster. London-based open source consultancy Zaizi hosted the fully-booked Summit, which attracted IT professionals from central and local government and third sector organisations. The Summit revealed encouraging progress for open source in the public sector, helped by the government’s decision to adopt open standards last November. This year’s debate also emphasised the growing relevance of Cloud as organisations migrate to more open, flexible architectures and deliver applications through a wider range of devices.

    • Study: Greek authorities need education on open source and its procurement

      Public administrations in Greece would benefit from a campaign to increase their knowledge on open source, including how to best procure such solutions, recommends a study published on Joinup yesterday. In procurement, public administrations should request experience in managing open source projects.

    • Open source software quality floated

      Pham Hong Quang, Chair of the Vietnam Free and Open Source Software Association (VFOSSA) has confirmed that the quality of products is the greatest concern of the agencies and enterprises planning to use open source software.

    • Spanish region saves a fortune by moving to open source

      In a victory for the free software movement, the Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura has started to switch more than 40,000 government PCs to open source.

    • Open Gov Summit: Bristol aspires to match New York’s smart use of data

      We caught up with Gavin Beckett, chief enterprise architect at Bristol city council, to discuss open data and designing smart cities

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • EU retailers pledge support for Brazilian non-GMO soy

      Today (8 May 2013) major European retailers from five countries, including Germany’s REWE Group, EDEKA and LIDL have released the Brussels Soy Declaration in which they have pledged support for the non-GMO soy production system of Brazil.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Jehovah’s Witnesses could face civil service duty

      Jehovah’s Witnesses’ current exemption from military service could extend to other groups with strong convictions, if one proposal in a new report on the matter is accepted. Alternatively, they could be required to perform civil, rather than military, service.

    • Deputy to NSA Donilon: a sweet stepping stone

      Others in the Donilon-Deputy Alumni Club include Denis McDonough, who’s now Obama’s chief of staff, and CIA Director John Brennan, who was Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. (And it’s worth noting that Donilon himself was the Deputy NSA before becoming the head honcho.)

    • Pakistan’s court declares US drone strikes as illegal

      A Pakistani court on Thursday declared that US drone strikes in the country’s lawless tribal belt were illegal and directed the Foreign Ministry to move a resolution against the attacks in the United Nations.

    • PHC orders govt to move resolution against drone attacks in UN

      PESHAWAR: Branding drone attacks on Pakistani territory as war crimes, the Peshawar High Court on Thursday ordered the foreign ministry to move a resolution in the United Nations against the strikes.

    • Dealing remote-control drone death, the US has lost its moral compass

      The armed drone is being heralded as the next generation of American military technology. It can fly overheard with its unblinking eye, almost invisible to its targets below. Without warning, its missiles will strike, bringing certain death and destruction on the ground. All the while, the military pilot, sitting in a cushioned recliner in an air-conditioned room halfway across the world, is immune from the violence wrought from his or her single keystroke.

    • Yemeni anti-Qaeda cleric killed in US drone strike

      Yemen has quickly become one of the most active theaters of operations for America’s drone fleet, though the killing of a local anti Al-Qaeda cleric underscores the rising collateral damage of the unmanned attacks.

      Sheik Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber, a prominent cleric within his small village in Yemen, was known for preaching of the evils of the al-Qaida network, warning villagers to stay out of the group and renounce their military ideology.

    • Drone Strikes Fuelling Fear in the Middle East

      Drone Strikes Fuelling Anti-U.S Hatred as Fear Spreads in Middle East

    • RAF’s role in US drone attacks that killed hundreds of Iraqis: MoD admits for first time that Britain helped pilot the aircraft from American bases
    • Armed drones in Afghanistan flown from UK for first time
    • UK Is Using Drones In Afghanistan, Ministry Of Defence Confirms

      After the Ministry of Defence confirmed the UK’s use of armed drones in Afghanistan, anti-war protestors are set to gather outside an RAF base in Lincolnshire.

      The RAF began remotely operating its Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles deployed to Afghanistan from the Lincolnshire airbase earlier this week.

    • Israel Drone Strikes: There’s Another Drone War You’re Not Paying Attention To, and It’s Not Obama’s

      While the lethal drone strikes carried out by the U.S. in Afghanistan (where Britain is also operating armed drones), Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, get the vast majority of media attention, and rightly so, when it comes to the issue of drones being used to carry out extrajudicial killings, other countries are also engaged in the practice. On Tuesday an Israeli drone attack on Gaza City killed 29-year-old Haitham al-Mishal and wounded another Palestinian man. The attack was the “the first targeted assassination carried out by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip since an Egyptian-brokered truce went into effect on Nov. 22, 2012.”

    • Afghanistan: Karzai says CIA funding will continue

      Afghan president Hamid Karzai says the director of the CIA has assured him that regular funding his government receives from the agency will not be cut off.

    • Failing At Its Job Is The Best Thing the CIA Has Ever Done

      No organization in U.S. history has amassed a reputation quite like that of the Central Intelligence Agency. Often referred to by its acronym, CIA, or simply just “the Agency,” it is often regarded as the long and shadowy arm of the U.S. government’s foreign policy. It can be tempting to see the agency as force for good in the world, or at the very least a necessary evil, especially when publicly vaunted heroes like Mike Spann join because in doing so they believed they “would be able to make the world a better place to live in.” The problem is that the CIA really does not do that. In fact, most of the agency’s activities are underhanded and dishonest when they are not misguided or simply futile. Even with a poor reputation at home and abroad, the CIA has done some things that actually resulted in long-term benefits to the rest of the world, mainly by publicly failing to carry out an operation to its intended end and exposing its misdeeds to the rest of the world.

    • ’67 Interview With Famous Spook About US Coup In Syria Could Easily Apply Today

      Western diplomats, politicians and analysts have combined to float quite a few options to supposedly resolve the two-year civil war engulfing much of Syria right now.

      Talk of everything from a no-fly zone to an all-out intervention has flown around the digital media and political sphere, and yet, it seems a very few have stated the obvious option: do nothing.

    • The CIA, the FCPA and the double standard on policing corruption

      It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Justice Department’s versatile and hard-working anti-bribery law. On April 22, Ralph Lauren paid an $882,000 penalty in a non-prosecution agreement that resolved FCPA allegations of bribing a customs official in Argentina to permit the import of Ralph Lauren products. On May 7, prosecutors in Manhattan unsealed a criminal complaint accusing two Florida brokers of paying kickbacks to a Venezuelan state bank official who directed the bank’s financial trading business to them. The FCPA has taken some recent lumps from judges, and last year prosecutions fell off slightly from their blistering pace in 2009, 2010 and 2011. But as Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher noted in its January report on FCPA enforcement, bribery prosecution has become routine. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” the report said, warning businesses not to let down their guard.

    • FBI, CIA, and DOD Experts Share Information Security Secrets with San Diego Companies at a Two Day Conference in La Jolla
  • Cablegate

    • Listen: Chris Hedges Interviews Julian Assange

      In these audio excerpts from their extended conversation in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Chris Hedges asks Julian Assange about legal strategy and the WikiLeaks founder’s thoughts on Pfc. Bradley Manning.

    • An Interview With Julian Assange
    • Julian Assange: The Internet threatens civilization

      However disappointing, the Wikileaks founder’s new book offers a fascinating — and discomfiting — thesis

    • Julian Assange plans to develop new crypto system
    • Special: WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Open’s Up … On George Bush’s Library and Bradley Manning’s Trial
    • WikiLeaks Threat: Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen

      But context matters, too. How different would the reaction have been, from Western governments in particular, if WikiLeaks had published stolen classified documents from the regimes in Venezuela, North Korea and Iran? If Bradley Manning, the alleged source of WikiLeaks’ materials about the United States government and military, had been a North Korean border guard or a defector from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, how differently would politicians and pundits in the United States have viewed him? Were a string of whistle-blowing websites dedicated to exposing abuses within those countries to appear, surely the tone of the Western political class would shift. Taking into account the precedent President Barack Obama set in his first term in office— a clear “zero tolerance” approach toward unauthorized leaks of classified information from U.S. officials— we would expect that future Western governments would ultimately adopt a dissonant posture toward digital disclosures, encouraging them abroad in adversarial countries, but prosecuting them ferociously at home.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Sonora, Mex. Bans Bullfighting, a First for the Country

      Sonora has become the first Mexican state to ban bullfighting, recently passing the long-awaited Animal Protection Law addressing cruelty to animals.

      In a statement on Formato 21 radio, Perez Rubio hailed the unanimous vote on May 2 by the legislature of Mexico’s northwestern border state.

      “It has caused quite a stir because we are the first state of the republic to pass this law. I really didn’t expect–I say this with all the honesty in the world–I didn’t expect the repercussion this would have, nationally and internationally,” said local lawmaker of the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico, or PVEM, Vernon Perez Rubio, the Global Post reports.

  • Finance

    • Between Two Economists Lies the American Center

      Where media define the “center” or the “middle” tells you a lot about the worldview they are promoting. The “center” doesn’t usually indicate where most of the public is, but rather where elites have determined an appropriate middle between opposing arguments. Confusing the two concepts is common (and not an accident).

    • Goldman Sachs must face fraud claims from insurer – New York court

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc must face fraud claims brought by CIFG Assurance North America over insurance it provided for $275 million (177 million pounds) in mortgage-backed securities, a New York state appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

    • Social Security’s Explosive Injustices

      People over 65, a growing share of the US population, are suffering a crisis-ridden capitalist system. High unemployment, reduced private pensions, fewer job benefits, less job security, high personal debt levels, and falling real wages make Social Security payments more important than ever. Yet President Obama and Congress recently agreed to bargain over how much to reduce Social Security payments from current levels. That would not only hurt seniors – but also the children who help them.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

05.08.13

Links 8/5/2013: Linux in Space, Android’s Growing Tablet Domination

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Android and Linux Nanosats Shine Bright in Open Source Space Race

    Three Android-powered NASA “PhoneSat” nanosatellites deorbited and burned up in the atmosphere on April 27 after successfully completing their six-day mission. Meanwhile, the Android- and Linux-powered STRaND-1 nanosat, which was launched by the U.K.’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. and Surrey Space Centre on Feb. 25, is still orbiting, but has yet to phone home.

    Despite the risks of space, a growing number of organizations are developing tiny, low-cost nanosatellites built with Linux, Android, and Arduino gear. Like the NASA and Surrey missions, many are using open source designs.


  • What’s next? Linux powered guns, apparently

    When Austin startup TrackingPoint calls their product “Precision Guided Firearms – PGFs” they are serious about it living up to the name. We are talking about customized hunting rifles, such as the .300 Winchester Magnum, that have been fitted with scopes out of a sci-fi movie.

  • Linux still “benchmark of quality” in this year’s Coverity Scan

    Coverity has called Linux the “benchmark of quality” in its newly published 2012 Coverity Scan Open Source report. The company annually brings together millions of lines of code from open source and, using the same defect-scanning technology that it uses with its enterprise customers, scans that code for problems to produce data on defect densities.

  • How Linux Conquered the Fortune 500
  • Google and Adobe beautify fonts on Linux, iOS
  • Linux Enterprise User Stories: IT Research and Game Development

    Linux use in the enterprise is increasing as the Linux Foundation verified last month in its Enterprise End User Survey.

    In fact, more than 80 percent of respondents plan to increase the number of Linux servers in their organizations over the next five years. And 75 percent reported using Linux in the last two years in new applications, services and Greenfield deployments.

  • Picuntu home://io for RK3066 TV sticks makes installing Linux easy(ish)

    Android TV sticks with Rockchip RK3066 dual-core processors available sell for as little as $42. But these little boxes let you turn a TV or monitor into a computer capable of running thousands of Android apps. Or if you really want to use an RK3066 stick as a computer you can install Ubuntu.

  • Desktop

    • The State of the Chromebook

      Quck, when did the first Chromebooks (portable computers running Google’s Chrome OS platform) arrive? The answer is that the initial Chromebooks went on sale in June of 2011, nearly two years ago.

      It’s no secret that Chrome OS has not been the same striking success for Google that the Android OS has been. But at the same time, many users have taken notice of the low prices that these portables are offered at, and the many freebies that they come with. For example, the Acer C7 Chromebook, shown here, sells for only $199.

    • The Linux Setup – Katherine Noyes, Journalist

      I currently run Fuduntu Linux on my main desktop PC. Until just recently I dual-booted Ubuntu and Windows 7, but I finally wiped Windows (hadn’t actually needed it for a long time) and installed Fuduntu, which came really highly recommended. I’m loving it so far. Meanwhile I also have a Samsung Chromebook and an Android phone. We have a bunch of other laptops in my family, but my 12-year-old son is constantly installing new distros on them (he got the Linux Diversity collection for Christmas), so I couldn’t tell you what’s on them at the moment. ;)

    • Square Wheels

      That’s a much better deal for you than that other OS which forbids all of those things. Oh, sure, you can run that other OS but there are restrictions like a limit of 20 machines networked before having to pay extra, not sharing the software with a friend nor having more than one person at a time using it. That prevents you from getting the value you paid for in the hardware you buy. A computer knows no limits. Why accept such limitations in the software you use? As well, GNU/Linux is much easier to maintain as a few clicks updates all software in the operating system and the applications rather than you having a bunch of applications vulnerable to attack and having to do lots of re-re-reboots. Then there’s malware… In more than a decade of use of GNU/Linux on hundreds of PCs, I have never seen any malware on GNU/Linux while a high percentage of machines running that other OS have malware sapping resources.

      You know you want GNU/Linux as an option when you shop for computers. Insist on it and the retailers will supply it. The manufacturers will ship it.

    • ET deals: $599 for Alienware X51 mini gaming PC with Ubuntu Linux

      On the whole, PC gaming is typically a Windows-only affair. Both Mac and Linux users have had a significantly more limited selection of games to choose from and also a more limited hardware selection too.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel version 3.9 adds better support for Chromebooks, maybe even yours
    • Linux kernel 3.9 adds full Chrome OS support
    • Linux 3.9 brings SSD caching and drivers to support modern PCs
    • Linux 3.9 kernel release offers SSD caching and server performance improvements
    • New Linux kernel release adds native SSD caching
    • New Linux kernel brings Android development support and SSD caching

      A new version of the Linux kernel has been released. Numbered at version 3.9, the new release has some nifty new features, including support for SSD caching, new processor architectures, power management improvements aimed at tablets and phones, support for Chomebooks and support for Android development.

    • Leaders From Raspberry Pi and Valve Top Keynote Speaker Line Up for LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America
    • SATO America Releases Linux And Mac OS X Drivers For Thermal Printers
    • Linux kernel 3.4 gets you Android developing

      A new Linux kernel 3.4 has been released, according to a post from Linux fellow Linus Torvalds.

      Often a huge barrier for aficionados of both Tux and Android; they now play nicely as Linux kernel brings support for development on Google’s OS along with SSD caching and other Jelly Bean-sweet improvements.

    • AMD says IOMMU v2.5 is key for Linux HSA support

      CHIP DESIGNER AMD said it is working to get IOMMU v2.5 support in the Linux kernel ahead of the first heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) chip that will come out later this year.

      AMD’s upcoming Kaveri chip will be the first to support HSA, which enables the CPU and on-die GPU to access system memory. The firm told The INQUIRER that it is working with the Linux community to get IOMMU v2.5 supported in the kernel in time for the launch of its Kaveri chip.

    • Full DynTicks Proposed For Linux Kernel Integration
    • ARM64 Support Will Improve In Linux 3.10 (AArch64)

      Support for the emerging 64-bit ARM Architecture, a.k.a. ARM64 or AArch64, will see better support with the Linux 3.10 kernel.

    • 6 Key New Features in Linux 3.9

      Ten weeks to the day after the arrival of version 3.8, Linux creator Linus Torvalds on Monday released version 3.9 of the Linux kernel.

      “This week has been very quiet, which makes me much more comfortable doing the final 3.9 release, so I guess the last -rc8 ended up working,” wrote Torvalds in the announcement email early Monday. “Because not only aren’t there very many commits here, even the ones that made it really are tiny and not pretty obscure and not very interesting.”

    • Linux 3.10 Gets New ARM, AMD Power Improvements

      Along with an assortment of other power management improvements to land with the Linux 3.10 kernel, a cpufreq driver for ARM’s big.LITTLE is being introduced. There’s also a cpufreq driver for the Exynos 5440 quad-core and the new AMD frequency sensitivity feedback support.

    • Announcing Outreach Program for Women Internships for the Linux Kernel: Please Apply

      I am pleased to announce The Linux Foundation is funding three Linux kernel internships through the Outreach Program for Women administered by the GNOME Foundation. These internships have a $5,000 stipend and come with a $500 travel grant to attend and speak at LinuxCon this fall. This is a great opportunity to work with a mentor and get started with kernel development, which as many articles report, is a great way to land a high-paying job.

    • Linux 3.9 Brings SSD Caching and Drivers to Support Modern PCs

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds last night announced the release of version 3.9 of the kernel. Available for download at kernel.org, Linux 3.9 brings a long list of improvements to storage, networking, file systems, drivers, virtualization, and power management.

    • GDB supports AArch64 Linux

      The developers of the GNU Project Debugger (GDB) have released version 7.6 of their tool. Among GDB’s new features are native as well as target configurations for ARM’s new AArch 64 architecture and the addition numerous new commands and options.

    • The State Of ARM SoC GPU Linux Drivers

      A Phoronix reader, Emmanuel Deloget, has written in to share an interview he carried out on his personal blog of various ARM SoC GPU driver developers. The drivers covered include Lima (ARM Mali), GRATE (NVIDIA Tegra), Videocore (Broadcom), Freedreno (Qualcomm Adreno), and etna_viv (Vivante) hardware.

    • Jim Zemlin at TEDx: What We’ve Learned from Linus Torvalds
    • Student Shares Feedback on Virtual Linux Training

      The Linux Foundation offers a variety of ways to get Linux training, including online Linux training courses for those who are not able to travel to a Linux Foundation event or one of our classroom Linux training options. We recently caught up with embedded systems engineer Adrian Remonda of the FuDePAN Foundation to ask about his experience in the Linux Kernel Internals & Debugging course (LF320).

    • Boosting Linux Power Efficiency with Kernel Scheduler Updates

      From data centers to embedded sensors, energy use is one of the toughest issues facing computing. The Linux kernel community has already made great progress in boosting energy efficiency, but there’s still more work to be done to optimize Linux systems, with one area of focus on power-aware scheduling.

    • Sound Updates To Be Played In Linux 3.10 Kernel

      Beyond knowing about the graphics driver changes coming for the Linux 3.10 kernel, the ALSA/sound kernel driver changes for the soon-to-open merge window are becoming more clear too.

    • Systemd 202 Starts Playing With D-Bus In The Kernel

      Systemd 202 has been released and it begin experimental work on supporting kdbus, the implementation of D-Bus within the Linux kernel. There’s also other fixes and features to this new systemd release.

    • Interesting Features, Changes In The Linux 3.9 Kernel

      With the release of the Linux 3.9 kernel being imminent, here’s a recap of the most interesting features coming to this next Linux release.

    • Graphics Stack

      • DRM Pull Request Submitted For Linux 3.10 Kernel

        The DRM graphics driver pull request has been submitted for the Linux 3.10 kernel.

        If you have been keeping track of Phoronix content, the pull request shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Key changes for the open-source Linux graphics drivers on the kernel-side come down to:

      • GLSL 1.30 Support For AMD RadeonSI Driver With LLVM

        Michel Dänzer of AMD has provided a set of patches that should provide for the necessary patterns and intrinsics for AMD to round out GLSL 1.30 support within their RadeonSI open-source Gallium3D driver for Radeon HD 7000/8000 series graphics cards.

      • NVIDIA 319.17 Linux Driver Brings In New Features

        One month after releasing the very first NVIDIA 319.xx Linux driver beta, NVIDIA has now released their 319.17 driver as a certified Linux driver that supports an assortment of new features.

        The NVIDIA 319.12 Beta for Linux introduced support for Optimus-like functionality, initial support for RandR 1.4, improved EFI support, new hardware support, performance fixes, and a whole lot of other work.

      • Wayland Gets Flavored With Weston SPICE Back-End

        This new Weston back-end supports SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments) remote rendering protocol as used by Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization on the desktop. There’s been a lot of SPICE driver activity as of late with a QXL KMS driver and talk of a potential Gallium3D wrapper driver. This new driver though isn’t out of Red Hat.

      • Compressed Textures, Tiling Merged For RadeonSI

        The RadeonSI Linux driver that supports the Radeon HD 7000 series and future HD 8000 series of graphics cards can now handle compressed textures and 2D tiling.

      • Intel Graphics Will Change In The Linux 3.10 Kernel
      • Talking About Wayland Support On KDE’s KWin

        One week after a desktop developer meet-up, the lead developer of the KWin window manager, Martin Gräßlin, has written about the history of using KDE/KWin on the Wayland Display Server.

        Martin’s blog post began by talking indirectly about Canonical abandoning Wayland in favor of Mir for future releases of Ubuntu Linux, Wayland support for KWin has been a primary goal of Martin’s for the past two years, it took a while for Wayland 1.0 to have a stable and reliable API/ABI, and then earlier this year plans were talked about the KDE/Qt5/Wayland combination.

      • Wayland 1.2 Release Planned For June, XWayland

        An extensive list of plans for the Wayland/Weston 1.2 release were shared by the project’s founder, Kristian Høgsberg.

        On the Wayland mailing list, Kristian laid out his Wayland 1.2 vision. Key points from his e-mail include:

        - New major releases on a quarterly basis (every 4 months) while a six month cadence was talked about long ago in the past. Kristian explains, “The motivation for this is that we have a lot of new features and new protocol in the works and a time-based release schedule is a good way to flush out those features. Instead of dragging out a release while waiting for a feature to become ready, we release on a regular schedule to make sure the features that did land get released on time.”

      • Intel Mesa 3D Driver Gets Some Performance Tweaks

        At least three commits seeking to improve the performance of Intel’s open-source 3D/OpenGL Mesa driver were merged on Monday.

        On the same day as bringing GL2 to Intel’s i915 Mesa driver, Eric Anholt committed a set of improvements to the Intel i965 driver that supports back from the i965 hardware up through the latest Ivy Bridge, Haswell, and Valley View graphics processors. The performance improvements committed today come down to:

      • Intel Brings OpenGL 2.0/2.1 To Classic i915 Mesa Driver
    • Benchmarks

      • 32-bit vs. 64-bit Ubuntu 13.04 Linux Performance

        While nearly all modern Intel/AMD x86 hardware is 64-bit capable, among novice Linux users the question commonly is whether to install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of a given distribution. We have previously delivered benchmarks showing Ubuntu 32-bit vs. 64-bit performance while in this article is an updated look in seeing how the 32-bit versus 64-bit binary performance compares when running Ubuntu 13.04 with the Linux 3.8 kernel.

      • Nouveau vs. NVIDIA Linux Comparison Shows Shortcomings

        One week after delivering updated Radeon Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux, we have to share this morning similar results for the open-source and reverse-engineered “Nouveau” Linux graphics driver compared to the proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver. While the Nouveau driver has come a long way and does support the latest Fermi and Kepler GPUs, it’s not without its share of shortcomings. Eleven NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards were used in this latest Phoronix comparison.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE 4.10.3 Brings over 75 Bugfixes

        The KDE Project has announced today, May 7, the immediate availability for download and update of the third maintenance release of the KDE Software Compilation 4.10 environment for Linux systems.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.10 Release Schedule

        While many of you, GNOME fans, are still enjoying the newly released GNOME 3.8 desktop environment, the GNOME developers are working hard on the next major version, GNOME 3.10, due for release this Autumn.

      • Cinnamon 1.8 Desktop Adds In New Features

        Cinnamon, the popular GNOME Shell fork developed by the Linux Mint crew, has released a major update to their software stack.

      • GOCL: Bringing OpenCL To GNOME Software

        GOCL has been introduced, a new GLib/GObject wrapper to OpenCL for GNOME applications. This new wrapper library seeks to make it easier for GNOME software to take advantage of OpenCL.

      • Cinnamon 1.8 adds desklet support

        Desklets, a new screensaver and a Spices management component are among the major improvements of the just released Cinnamon 1.8. Like KDE plasmoids and Android widgets, these desklets can be positioned on a desktop screen’s background to display information. The new version includes three default desklets: a launcher, a clock and a photo frame; further community-developed desklets are available on the project’s web page.

  • Distributions

    • Can Cloverleaf Linux be the Ubuntu of rpm world?

      The now defunct Fuduntu team has come together to create a new distribution which they initially called FuSE Linux which was complementing Fedora and openSUSE. The distribution will be based on openSUSE, one of the most popular GNU/Linux based distribution which also contributes heavily to core open source technologies such as the Linux Kernel, Gnome, KDE, LibreOffice and much more.

    • 5 Linux Distributions With Fastest Boot Speeds

      Usually we say enterprises are the home for Linux operating systems across the globe. Apart from being used inside the companies for managing servers and databases, today Linux operating systems have turned out to be quite user-friendly that they are now used across homes.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS “So Cool Ice Cubes are Jealous”

        PCLinuxOS was born as a set of RPMs for Mandrake Linux. Remember Mandrake Linux? It was one of the first distros to aim for ease-of-use and user-friendliness with nice tools for system administration, a slick graphical installer, and a full complement of drivers and multimedia codecs. My first Linux was Red Hat 5, but Mandrake (initially based on Red Hat) was the first distro that gave me video acceleration and good video quality, and didn’t choke on my fancy Promise Ultra66 IDE controller. That’s right, 66 screaming megabytes per second transfer speed, which was double the poky 33MB/s of the onboard controllers of that era. Our modern SATA buses deliver gigabytes per second, but back then megabytes were enough, and we liked it that way.

      • The Elegant Mageia Linux Prepares a New Release
    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat renames JBoss application server as WildFly

        After tallying the votes in a naming contest that kicked off in October 2012, leading Linux vendor Red Hat has announced that the product formerly known as the JBoss Application Server (AS) will henceforth be known as WildFly.

      • Red Hat OpenStack Distribution: June 2013 Partner Surprises?

        Red Hat OpenStack, the open source company’s next big product, will grab a massive spotlight during Red Hat Summit (June 11-14, Boston). For channel partners and cloud services providers (CSPs), the summit could provide new clues about when Red Hat OpenStack will actually launch, and which CSPs and enterprises will be among the first customers to embrace the new platform.

      • Red Hat gains FIPS 140-2 certification for RHEL
      • Red Hat’s Gluster gets a community project forge

        The GlusterFS distributed filesystem community is expanding to take in a range of other storage-related, and generally Gluster-related, projects. The change was announced by Red Hat, who acquired Gluster Inc, the company behind the cloud/cluster-oriented distributed filesystem, in October 2011. Since then, Red Hat has maintained the Gluster Community at Gluster.org while marketing the GlusterFS software as its Storage Server.

      • Fedora

        • Video: Korora 18 Install Video
        • Korora 18
        • Fedora 19 Sneak Peek

          An alpha version of Fedora 19 has been released, so it’s a good time to take a sneak peek at what Fedora 19 will have to offer users. As always you should note that alpha releases like Fedora 19 should be considered for testing purposes and fun only. You should not rely on it as your daily desktop distro.

        • Fedora Is Testing Out Radeon, Nouveau, Intel Graphics

          Fedora developers are running another “Graphics Test Week” and are seeking your help in evaluating the open-source Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau graphics drivers.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7.0 ‘Wheezy’ Review

        Just short of two weeks after the big release of Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’, I had Debian 7.0 ‘Wheezy’ arrive on my desk for testing. I have a huge amount of respect for Debian, as do most other Linux users. It’s been around since the very beginnings of the Linux revolution in 1993, just short of 20 years. And it’s contributions to GNU, Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) and Linux over its many years make Debian one of the real-true grandfathers of Linux and is most probably the most respected Linux operating systems to date.

      • Debian 7.0 Wheezy

        Debian 7.0 (Wheezy) is out and it’s time for another review of this venerated linux project.

      • Debian 7.0 ‘Wheezy’ now available, lets Linux users mix architectures
      • Derivatives

        • Debian release triggers distribution updates

          The recent release of Debian 7.0, also known as “Wheezy”, has triggered distribution updates of CrunchBang and aptosid. CrunchBang project leader Philip Newborough has moved CrunchBang 11 “Waldorf”, which has been in development for over a year and according to Newborough is likely to be “the most thoroughly tested #! release to date”, to stable status. Newborough, who is also known under his online handle of “corenominal”, has rebuilt the images of CrunchBang 11 for the occasion of the Wheezy release and the new images can be downloaded from the CrunchBang site.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu without the ‘U’: Booting the Big Four remixes

            It’s the end of April, so that means that there’s a new release of Ubuntu. Well, actually, no – it means that there are eight of them. Don’t like standard Ubuntu’s Mac-OS-X-like Unity desktop? Here’s where to look.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Boosts Graphics Performance to Prepare for Phones, Tablets

            The stable release of Ubuntu 13.04 became available for download today, with Canonical promising performance and graphical improvements to help prepare the operating system for convergence across PCs, phones, and tablets.

            “Performance on lightweight systems was a core focus for this cycle, as a prelude to Ubuntu’s release on a range of mobile form factors,” Canonical said in an announcement today. “As a result 13.04 delivers significantly faster response times in casual use, and a reduced memory footprint that benefits all users.”

          • Where’s my Ubuntu for Android?

            I can clearly remember the day when Canonical announced Ubuntu for Android. My first reaction was – finally, the true convergence is here! The ability to turn smartphone into a full-blown PC is something we’ve been hearing about for quite some time now. And Canonical was first to make that dream into a reality. Except that the mentioned software was never released to the general public. Instead, the company decided to pitch OEMs and allow them to pre-install the application on their devices. Bad idea, considering the tight relations major OEMs have with carriers.

          • Using zRAM On Ubuntu 13.04 Linux

            The Linux kernel zRAM module allows for creating RAM-based compressed block devices and for common situations can reduce or eliminate paging on disk. The zRAM feature can be particularly beneficial for systems with limited amounts of system memory. It’s quite easy to setup zRAM on Ubuntu Linux, so in this article are some before and after benchmarks.

            For some cursory benchmarks this weekend, from an old Apple Mac Mini with 1GB of system memory and Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 processor and i945 graphics, benchmarks were conducted atop Ubuntu 13.04 with the Linux 3.8 kernel. A variety of system benchmarks were carried out immediately after a clean Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail” development installation and then again after setting up zRAM.

          • 13.04 based Ubuntu Touch arrives with few changes

            The Canonical developers have announced the availability of Ubuntu 13.04 based Ubuntu Touch images. These “Raring Ringtail” images, available for the Galaxy Nexus (codename: maguro), Nexus 4 (mako), Nexus 10 (manta) and Nexus 7 (grouper) – the four officially supported devices – have been described by some as “beta” images, but are in fact regression test images to ensure the transition from basing Ubuntu Touch on 12.10 to 13.04 goes smoothly.

          • Ubuntu’s Raring Ringtail Is Kind of a Snore

            Ubuntu 13.04 is an upgrade that’s a downer. Not that Raring Ringtail is a total failure — it’s just that it lacks any real electricity. Yes, it is easy to use and comes preloaded with lots of apps. However, hardcore Linux enthusiasts will give this distro a pass and wait for the next long-term release.

          • One Linux over all: Mark Shuttleworth’s ambitious post-PC plans for Ubuntu

            Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth has really big, plans to put Ubuntu on your smartphone, on your tablet and (via OpenStack). What he doesn’t offer is details on revenue.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Balance of the force – the Open Source Column

    Human beings are still worth cherishing, even if the computer can do it all, argues Simon

  • $50,000 prize for new open source Open Flow driver

    The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has initiated a competition with a $50,000 prize to develop an essential component for the OpenFlow software defined networking (SDN). The ONF is dedicated to promoting SDN, where the routing of traffic in a network is independent of the underlying hardware using the OpenFlow protocol. OpenFlow is at the heart of many plans for software defined networking; for example, the recently announced OpenDaylight project uses the protocol as part of its architecture. The Open Networking Foundation’s board members include Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft, and it has an industry-wide membership.

  • Sizing up open source: Not so simple

    Open-source software throws a wrench into traditional software evaluation criteria. Here’s what to look for and what you’ll be expected to contribute.

  • KVM

    • IBM Makes Push for Open Source Virtualization with KVM

      IBM is not at all new to virtualization, but with its shift last month to an open source cloud architecture, the company has put a fresh effort into boosting market share for KVM, the open source Linux “Kernel-based Virtual Machine” for x86 servers.

    • Join Us For the KVM End User Technical Summit at the New York Stock Exchange

      KVM and open virtualization are being rapidly adopted as end users look for lower-cost, enterprise hypervisors. One the major use cases for KVM is to virtualize and consolidate Linux workloads, and the pre-integration of KVM in major Linux distributions makes it easy for Linux enterprise end users to adopt KVM.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Packaged offline-ready apps will be the new normal for Chrome

        Google has made changes to the developer edition of Chrome running on Windows, shuffling around categories on its Chrome Web Store. Now, the “Apps” category only means the new class of packaged apps that are installed in Chrome. Packaged apps are written in HTML5, JavaScript and CSS and designed to behave much more like native apps, most notably by having the ability to run without an internet connection.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox’s Inspector Tool as 3D Modeler (Seriously)

        Firefox 20.0 — and a couple earlier versions I think — has a nifty little feature of its “Inspector” tool that allows you to view HTML elements as 3D objects. This lets you to graphically see the DOM structure and how elements lay against one another. As soon as the feature appeared I knew what I wanted to do with it, I wanted to use it for something it wasn’t intended for: 3D Modeling.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Digium Asterisk, Switchvox Leader Joins Hosted PBX Specialist

      Tristan Barnum, a former Digium leader, has joined Telcentris as VP of marketing. Barnum is well-known as a pioneer of Asterisk, the open source IP BPX, within business circles and the IT channel. So what is Barnum up to at Telcentris? Here are some educated guesses from The VAR Guy.

    • ForgeRock’s Open Identity Stack

      Identity and access management (IAM) is an integral part of online security across every industry. It is the power of effective IAM solutions that give responsible enterprises the ability to validate the identity of an individual and control their access in the organization, protecting data, information, and privacy of its employees and customers.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Letter to Local Government Minister for Manitoba, Lemieux

      Governments of all sizes can benefit themselves and their constituents by using GNU/Linux operating systems on servers and PCs and Android/Linux operating systems on tablets and smartphones. Similarly, Apache web server, PostgreSQL database, SugarCRM customer relations, WordPress blogging, and LibreOffice are key applications capable of industrial strength information technology at the lowest cost. The Government of the United Kingdom runs its whole public domain on WordPress. The UK plans to replace much of its bureaucracy with a network of servers cutting the cost of transactions by as much as fifty times over person to person interaction. The UK plans to make Free Software (Open Source, in their terminology) the default for all changes in IT. Typically, it costs about half as much money to run IT with Free Software as with non-free software. Often savings are immediate with less need to upgrade hardware or to fight malware.

    • Swiss government consider re-use of Swedish open source procurement program

      The Swiss government is studying if it can organise procurement of open source services similar to the way it is done for Sweden’s public administrations. The Swiss government’s Federal IT Steering Unit FITSU funded the translation into German of Sweden’s open source procurement framework.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Open source hardware projects from OSS Watch event

        At Open Source Junction 4 we invited attendees to present their hardware projects. Some were open source hardware, while some used consumer hardware components in conjunction with open source software to provide an innovative solution to a problem.

      • LulzBot’s 3D printer and open biz model

        Not all businesses can stand behind their products, and even fewer can stand on top of them. At LulzBot, it’s not uncommon to find the multi-talented and seriously committed team mounting their 3D printers upside down or bumping along Colorado mountain roads with a functioning 3D printer in tow—all in the interest of testing the durability and strength of their product under the most extreme conditions. And that’s only part of what makes LulzBot different.

      • The Era of the Open Source Gun

        May 6th, 2013 will stand out in the memory of anyone involved in the 3D printing community as the day that the mass media, for better or for worse, really took notice of this rapidly evolving field. That’s because as of right now, anyone in the United States can legally download and print their own fully functioning handgun.

      • Open Home Control: New home automation hardware project

        Open Home Control Many open source home automation projects have relied on driving proprietary devices, but the newly created Open Home Control project aims to change that by creating a framework for hardware devices that can be integrated with open sourced home automation platforms such as the respected openHAB software.

  • Programming

    • Areas Where LLVM’s Clang Still Needs Help

      While LLVM’s Clang C/C++ compiler already has feature complete C++11 support and the developers have already been working on C++14 features, there are some open projects where the GCC alternative is in need of some assistance.

      As pointed out within the latest SVN trunk for the Clang compiler code-base in their documentation (or within the Git mirror), there’s several open work items that could use some development help. Here’s some of the highlights for the most pressing Clang projects seeking some love:

    • Git Turns 8, Sees Wide Adoption in the Enterprise

      This April marks both the eighth anniversary of Git and the fifth anniversary of GitHub, so it should come as no great surprise that the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) system has been the focus of extra attention this month.

    • LLVM 3.3 Planned As A Phoronix Birthday Present
    • LLVM 3.3 To Introduce SLP Vectorizer

      One of the prominent features to be introduced with the LLVM 3.3 release this summer is the SLP Vectorizer. Introduced in the LLVM 3.2 release was the LLVM Loop Vectorizer for vectorizing loops while the new SLP Vectorizer is about optimizing straight-line code by merging multiple scalars into vectors.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Messaging standard for machine-to-machine sensors makes headway

      The move will enable better applications and analytics for the so-called Internet of things. Cisco, Eclipse Foundation, Eurotech, IBM, Kaazing, M2Mi, Red Hat, Software AG, and Tibco, members of the OASIS open standards consortium, will develop one version of the Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol.

Leftovers

05.07.13

Links 7/5/2013: Linux in Space

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mapping the ASF, Part II

    In my last post I showed you one view of the Apache Software Foundation, the relationship of projects as revealed by the overlapping membership of their Project Management Committees. After I did that post it struck me that I could, with a very small modifications to my script, look at the connections at the individual level instead of at the committee level. Initially I attempted this with all Committers in the ASF This resulted in a graph with over 3000 nodes and over 2.6 million edges. I’m still working on making sense of that graph. It was very dense and visualizing it as anything other than a giant blob has proven challenging. So I scaled back the problem slightly and decided to look at the relationship between individual members of the many PMCs, a smaller graph with only 1577 nodes and 22,399 edges.

  • Open source text analysis tool exposes repurposed news

    Churnalism US is a new web tool and browser extension that allows anyone to compare the news you read against existing content to uncover possible instances of plagiarism. It is a joint project with the Media Standards Trust.

  • Open or die: Innovation led by open source

    Businesses are moving from closed systems to open, collaborative innovation. Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst, focused on the three major components influencing this shift in his keynote, Open or die?, at the Open Business Conference held in San Francisco this week (April 29-30, 2013).

    First, there are two major shifts happening in technology and innovation that are laying the foundation for the open innovation model. On the technology side, the way computing is being built and delivered has changed. During the industrial revolution, the auto lathe revolutionized the making of standard parts. We’re seeing that same paradigm shift happen today in how computing is becoming a commodity.

  • IBM open sources new approach to crypto

    A group of IBM researchers has released a Github project that implements a homomorphic encryption system – a way to work on encrypted data in a file without first decrypting the whole file.

  • Open source tool for test engineers
  • The next generation digital experience is built on open source

    Massive disruption is occurring as marketing goes digital. Business is moving steadily towards providing a fully personalized and truly integrated digital experience—building upon recent advances in user experience, analytics, cloud computing and storage, and an omni-channel experience across mobile platforms and social media.

  • Open source beginnings, from classroom to career

    During my second year at Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s University, the first of its kind in India as well as in South-East Asia, I attended a workshop on Python and Orca by Krishnakant Mane. My classmates and I were novices to free and open source software (FOSS) and astonished when we saw a visually impaired person using a computer with the same ease as we did.

  • Speaking the language of an Open Source Officer

    Here’s a job title you may not have considered: Open Source Officer. The CIA hires Open Source Officers (OSOs) to collect and analyze publicly available information in foreign affairs to provide unique insights into national security issues. OSOs may specialize in an area of the world (country or region) or a specific topic (like, emerging media technologies or cyber security).

  • Puppet Labs’ Kanies: ‘The Right Resources to the Right Relationships

    “The biggest danger is when an open source company gets confused about what it sells. If you think you are selling open source software, there aren’t a lot of buyers for that now,” said Puppet Labs Founder and CEO Luke Kanies. “But if you have promises about what you sell, those promises make a very lucrative business. “

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 released, dev phones still sold out

        Mozilla released its first fully-baked simulation engine for Firefox OS, while the first Geeksphone “Keon” development phones for the open source Linux-based mobile operating system remain sold out. Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 adds rotation and geolocation API simulations, faster boot-times, and a push-to-device feature that lets users transfer apps to a developer phone.

      • 1,000 Firefox Phones In the Wild!
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle VM: Past, Present and Future of Oracle Virtualization

      Is Oracle VM, built on the open source Xen hypervisor, a true market alternative to VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization? And will Oracle leap beyond virtualization to support Software Defined Networking (SDN)? Perhaps it’s time to rethink those questions — especially as a new Oracle Desktop Virtualization offering (called Oracle Secure Global Desktop) reaches the market. Here’s the update, including an exclusive interview with Oracle Senior VP Wim Coekaerts.

  • Education

    • Teaching the open source creative tool, Blender, to high school students

      Blender is a powerful open source 3D drawing and animation program. This software was previously a commercial product, but is now available as a free download. Blender has been used to create stunningly beautiful 3D animated videos, including Big Buck Bunny. Check out some of the gorgeous animated movies made with Blender at the web site’s Features Gallery.

  • BSD

    • FuguIta-5.3 †

      Test Releases

      2013-04-19 – First ISO image as a test release.
      Based on OpenBSD 5.3 (not official release yet)
      No additional application softwares

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Trisquel GNU/Linux flies the flag for software freedom

      Trisquel is a 100 per cent ‘free as in free speech’ GNU/Linux distribution started by Rubén Rodríguez Pérez nine years ago.

      “It started as a project at the university I was studying at. They just wanted a custom distro because… everybody was doing that at the time!” Pérez says.

  • Licensing

    • Red Hat CEO: We don’t need Microsoft to succeed

      Jim Whitehurst has been president and CEO of prominent Linux distributor Red Hat since December 2007. During that time, Red Hat has blazed a trail in becoming a profitable vendor in the open source software space, challenging Microsoft and Unix companies and adding such technologies as the JBoss application server. InfoWorld Editor at Large Paul Krill spoke with Whitehurst, asking him about the company’s dealings with Microsoft, how Linux sizes up against rivals, and where Red Hat’s technology is headed.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open Source, Open Standards 2013 conference report

      Last week Open Source, Open Standards 2013 took place in London, an event focused on the public sector. Naturally these being two topics we’re very keen on here at OSS Watch I went along too.

      Overall the key message to take away from the event was just how central to public sector IT strategy these two themes have become, and also how policy is being rapidly turned into practice, everywhere from the NHS to local government.

Leftovers

  • The world-changing libwww is 20 years old today

    On 30 April 1993, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau were given official permission by CERN in Geneva to distribute the libwww library free of charge, “to create a server or a browser, to give it away or sell it, without any royalty or other constraint. Whew!” (Tim Berners-Lee in Weaving the Web).

    The architects of this particular World Wide Web (WWW) anniversary deserve recognition even today, though the commercialisation of the internet was certainly not their objective. Complex negotiations between the universities involved were required before the go-ahead for a general release could be given – there was no commercial involvement at that time.

  • ‘The Single Most Valuable Document In The History Of The World Wide Web’
  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • How to fend off aggressive white-hat hackers

      Nice little business you have there, but it has vulnerabilities. It would be a shame if anything happened to it. Can I help?

    • D-Link update closes voyeur’s ASCII peephole

      Network equipment supplier D-Link has released firmware security updates for five routers and eight IP cameras. Whilst the router vulnerabilities are strongly reminiscent of vulnerabilities previously fixed in other models, the camera vulnerabilities conceal a nasty surprise – unauthorised viewers can intercept the camera stream as either a video stream or ASCII output.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israeli bombing of Syria and moral relativism

      On Sunday, Israel dropped massive bombs near Damascus, ones which the New York Times, quoting residents, originally reported (then evidently deleted) resulted in explosions “more massive than anything the residents of the city. . . have witnessed during more than two years of war.” The Jerusalem Post this morning quoted “a senior Syrian military source” as claiming that “Israel used depleted uranium shells”, though that is not confirmed. The NYT cited a “high-ranking Syrian military official” who said the bombs “struck several critical military facilities in some of the country’s most tightly secured and strategic areas” and killed “dozens of elite troops stationed near the presidential palace”, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “at least 42 soldiers were killed in the strikes, and another 100 who would usually be at the targeted sites remain unaccounted for.”

    • ‘Israel used depleted uranium shells in air strike’ – Syrian source

      Israel used “a new type of weapon”, a senior official at the Syrian military facility that came under attack from the Israeli Air Force told RT.

      [...]

      Depleted uranium is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process that creates nuclear weapons, and was first used by the US in the Gulf conflict of 1991. Unlike the radioactive materials used in nuclear weapons, depleted uranium is not valued for its explosiveness, but for its toughness – it is 2.5 times as dense as steel – which allows it to penetrate heavy protection.

    • Killing Syrians – A Game Anyone Can Play

      Israel’s massive air strikes against Syria are, beyond argument, illegal. There is no provision in international law that enables you to bomb another country because that country is in internal chaos. Yet the reporting on the BBC, and indeed throughout the mainstream media, makes no mention of their illegality, and makes no mention of the people killed. Contrast this to the condemnatory tone of BBC reporting of North Korean ballistic missile tests, or of Iran’s civil uranium enrichment programme, both of which I view as neither wise nor desirable, but both of which are undoubtedly quite legal.

    • What’s the Standard on Reporting Israeli Airstrikes?

      These airstrikes bring to mind the previous round of Israeli airstrikes inside Syria in January of this year (FAIR Blog, 2/4/13). Then, like now, the story from anonymous officials was that Israel struck a convoy of weapons heading to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Those sources were telling U.S. reporters what had happened, and some of those reporters were reporting these anonymous claims as “confirmation” of the story.

      All of this could be true, of course. Or perhaps none of it is. What is certain is that the assessments of the airstrikes are being shared anonymously by governments involved in carrying them out, a scenario that cries out for more skepticism.

    • Peace march for nuclear-free world sets out from Tokyo for Hiroshima

      Around 1,000 people set out Monday on a three-month peace march from Tokyo to Hiroshima in western Japan, calling for the abolishment of nuclear weapons and nuclear power generation, according to organizers.

    • NRA Vendor Sells Ex-Girlfriend Target That Bleeds When You Shoot It
  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs tax deal: minister backed plan to challenge whistleblower

      David Gauke reacted positively to plan to challenge Osita Mba’s account of ‘sweetheart’ deal, according to leaked emails

    • Lawson: The Banker’s Poison is Out

      It was of course Lawson who was Thatcher’s accomplice in destroying most of our real industries, the ones which actually made something visible. It was replaced by the crazed idea of elevating the financial services sector, from providers of middlemen services for a small percentage, into the greatest net recipients of income in the economy, through creation of price gambling instruments and South Sea Bubble schemes. The result has on average cost everybody in the UK and US the equivalent of their housing cost again in extra tax, plus plunged the entire world into recession.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Assembles “Most Wanted” List, and Oklahomans Say “ALEC Is Not OK”

      In anticipation of protests at ALEC’s recent meeting in Oklahoma City, state legislators were handed a set of talking points that read “The American Legislative Exchange Council recognizes the first amendment rights of free speech and assembly, and asks that _____ do the same,” apparently to prepare legislators for press questions about citizen activism. But ALEC didn’t live up to those spoon-fed talking points: ALEC assembled a dossier of disfavored reporters and activists, kicked reporters out of its conference who might write unfavorable stories, and managed to boot a community forum critical of ALEC from its reserved room.

    • ALEC’s Latest “Transparency” Move: Asserting Immunity From Freedom of Information Laws

      Shortly after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) told the press “we really believe in transparency,” new documents show the organization directing legislators to hide ALEC meeting agendas and model legislation from the public. This effort to circumvent state freedom of information laws is being called “shocking” and “disturbing” by transparency advocates.

  • Privacy

    • Privacy Alert: #0 Introduction

      For more than a year, the EU Parliament have been examining the Proposal for a Regulation of the EU Commission aimed at reforming the European data protection legal framework. Until now, the parliamentary committees examining the Proposal have so far proposed to restrict the protections of our fundamental right to privacy. As a crucial vote is approaching1 in the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) Committee, La Quadrature du Net launches a series of analysis dealing with key points, stakes, development and threats of the reform.

  • Civil Rights

    • Those Who Send Innocents to Prison Are Not Like Innocents Who Are Sent to Prison

      Columnist Jim Dwyer, one of the brighter lights at the New York Times, had an exceptionally dim moment on Friday (5/3/13)–comparing sending innocent teenagers to prison with holding the prosecutor who did so accountable.

      Dwyer was writing about a petition that asked that Manhattan assistant district attorney Elizabeth Lederer–the lead prosecutor in the case of the Central Park Five, young African-Americans who were falsely convicted of rape–lose her part-time teaching position at Columbia Law School.

    • NSA plans new computing center for cyber threats

      A new computing facility at the National Security Agency will help the country better defend against cyber attacks , agency officials and members of Congress said Monday.

    • OLC responds to FOIA request about NDAA memos
    • Eric Posner: Why Obama is slow to shut Guantanamo
    • Boston Marathon bombing is no reason to shred the Constitution: As I See It

      During last year’s U.S. floor debate on the reauthorization of the notorious “indefinite detention” sections of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) shouted at a hypothetical detainee, “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up.’ You don’t get a lawyer.”

    • Terror and ‘Terror!’

      The definitions of terror currently employed by Washington are far more ambiguous. The United States government has passed laws (e.g. The Patriot Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA], the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA]) that are grounded on broad formulations of what constitutes terrorist acts. They include an encompassing category of aiding and abetting terrorism. These statutes are so loosely drawn that, as a practical matter, a terrorist is anyone the authorities want to declare a terrorist. It should be noted that the U.S. government’s charge against the Boston bomber includes “the use of weapons of mass destruction.” Anyone want to define WMD in this context? For scholarly and analytical purposes, therefore, the term “terrorism” as widely employed has no value — unless the subject of study is its several uses and abuses. For the purpose of making ethical judgments, these broad formulations are equally pointless since they do not frame the questions of standards, responsibility and accountability in any instructive way. In the vocabulary of American officials, and most commentators, “terrorism” is used for hortatory purposes alone.

    • Noam Chomsky: Obama’s Attack on Civil Liberties Has Gone Way Beyond Imagination

      Noam Chomsky: I don’t know what base he’s appealing to. If he thinks he’s appealing to the nationalist base, well, they’re not going to vote for him anyway. That’s why I don’t understand it. I don’t think he’s doing anything besides alienating his own natural base. So it’s something else.
      What it is is the same kind of commitment to expanding executive power that Cheney and Rumsfeld had. He kind of puts it in mellifluous terms and there’s a little difference in his tone. It’s not as crude and brutal as they were, but it’s pretty hard to see much of a difference.

    • Inside Guantánamo: An unprecedented rebellion leaves a notorious detention centre in crisis

      Special Report: Lawyers and human rights groups say it is just a matter of time before the detainees start to die

    • Greece’s people show the politicians how to fight Golden Dawn

      For many Greeks, Orthodox Easter is a chance to see friends and family, to eat good food or to worship. But for the neo-Nazis in Golden Dawn, who only recently made the switch from “Hellenic” paganism to a professed love for Christianity, it has been an opportunity for propaganda. Last Thursday, the party made headlines with its attempt to stage a “Greeks-only” food distribution in Athens’s Syntagma square. The next day, when Athenians were driving back to home towns and villages, Golden Dawn members held open motorway toll booths – which have become a symbolic point of resistance against the rising cost of living in the wake of austerity – so cars could pass for free.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • FFII letter to European Parliament Trade committee on agreement with US

      Today the FFII sent a letter to the European Parliament committee on International Trade. Thursday 25 April 2013 the committee will vote on 198 amendments to a draft resolution on the EU – US trade agreement (TTIP / TAFTA)

    • Copyrights

      • Federal Judge Fires Phasers, Photons at Prenda for $80k Damages

        The long-awaited order following last month’s Prenda Law sanctions hearing is now out, and it’s a doozy. After a hearing that lasted 12 minutes and consisted of lawyers pleading the fifth, there was little doubt that Federal Judge Otis Wright was not best pleased, and it was evident in the order he released late yesterday.

      • Megaupload Launches Frontal Attack on White House Corruption

        Megaupload’s legal team are not restricting their fight with the U.S. Government only to the courts. Today they published a detailed white paper accusing the White House of selling out to corporate interests, particularly Hollywood. “The message is clear. The White House is for sale. More and more of our rights are eroding away to protect the interests of large corporations and their billionaire shareholders,” Dotcom summarizes.

      • The Copyright Lobotomy: How Intellectual Property Makes Us Pretend To Be Stupid

        Here are two words that have no business hanging out together: “used MP3s.” If you know anything about how computers work, that concept is intellectually offensive. Same goes for “ebook lending”, “digital rental” and a host of other terms that have emerged from the content industries’ desperate scramble to do the impossible: adapt without changing.

      • U.S. Govt. Attack on Megaupload Bears Hallmarks of ‘Digital Gitmo’

        …powerful corporations are deemed to be of greater importance than the rights of individuals.

05.06.13

Links 6/5/2013: International Day Against DRM, Pirate Party Gains, Linux on Tablets Surges

Posted in News Roundup at 3:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Pixar Animation Studios uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux!

    It’s no secret that GNU/Linux is being used by the Hollywood studios to create block-busters. Pixar is working on OpenSubdiv, a new open source library that implements high performance subdivision surface drawing and evaluation on modern GPU and massively parallel CPU architectures.

  • A letter from Linux Evangelist

    Not to being totally free, that is a completely different kettle of fish. Linux is a tantalising sample and example of what freedom can deliver.

  • Spain’s Extremadura region switches 40,000 PCs to Linux and open source software

    THE SPANISH REGION of Extremadura has announced that it will switch 40,000 government PCs to open source software.

    The government of Extremadura has worked out what many already know, that open source software can deliver significant cost savings over using proprietory software. The region’s government has decided to switch 40,000 PCs to open source software, including a customised Linux distribution called Sysgobex.

  • How Linux Conquered the Fortune 500
  • Desktop

    • Linux World Embraces Google Chromebooks

      The latest incarnation of the Linux Kernel was released this week, and for the first time, it includes code for running Linux on Google Chromebooks. Chromebooks come loaded with Chrome OS — a web-happy, Linux-based operating system designed by Google — but the new kernel code will make it easier to run other versions of the popular open source operating system on these machines.

    • 5 Great Laptops for Kids

      Kids don’t always treat technology with care, so we selected systems that were either ruggedized against drops and spills, low-cost to make replacement less painful, or both. The K-5 set probably won’t be using any performance straining software tools, but they will definitely want to play games or get online, so we focused on laptops that would meet those needs without the expense of high-end processors. And finally, we looked for kid-friendly features, such as the educational tools found in the DirAction Classmate PC, or the dead-simple ease of use offered by Google’s Chromebooks.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • KVM Virtualization Gets New Features In Linux 3.10

      The Linux 3.10 kernel will feature new improvements and features when it comes to KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualization.

      The KVM pull request for the Linux 3.10 merge window was volleyed on Sunday morning to the kernel mailing list. Interesting bits include:

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source Radeon UVD Video Support On Fedora

        Are you itching to try out open-source AMD Radeon “UVD” video acceleration support over VDPAU on Fedora Linux?

        It was in early April that AMD provided open-source Radeon UVD video acceleration code at long last for the past few generations of Radeon HD graphics cards for use by their open-source Linux driver. This allows applications that support VDPAU (the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) to leverage GPU-based video hardware acceleration.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • PyGObject 3.8.1 Brings GStreamer Rules

        The first maintenance release of the stable PyGObject 3.8 library for the GNOME desktop environment has been announced some time ago, fixing a few bugs and introducing new rules.

      • First Development Release of GNOME 3.10 Arrives

        Matthias Clasen had the pleasure of announcing last evening, May 3, that the first development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.10 desktop environment is ready for download and testing.

        We, here at Softpedia, are monitoring the development process of the GNOME desktop environment very closely, and we can report that this first development release has very few updated packages, as compared with other testing versions from the past.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The Elegant Mageia Linux Prepares a New Release

        Last week we looked at PCLinuxOS, an excellent Linux distribution based on Mandriva Linux. Today we’re kicking the tires of Mageia Linux, which is a fork of Mandriva. Mandriva Linux has had its ups and downs as a commercial venture, but despite the financial struggles it’s a first-rate distribution that offers enterprise support and a number of enterprise products such as Pulse, their enterprise IT management system, Mandriva Business Server, and training and consulting. Mageia was created in 2010 as an independent, non-profit project, not tied to the fortunes of a commercial company, after most of the Mandriva developers were laid off.

    • Arch Family

      • Open Build Service 2.4 understands Arch Linux packaging

        Almost a year after the last release of the Open Build Service (OBS), the openSUSE developers have announced version 2.4 of their software. The biggest new feature in the distributed packaging and build service is support for the PKGBUILD format from Arch Linux which becomes the third packaging format the service can now use – the other two being RPM and Debian’s packaging system. Furthermore, OBS 2.4 introduces the 64-bit ARM AArch64 architecture as a target infrastructure and kernel, and bootloader packages can now be signed to work with UEFI Secure Boot.

    • Debian Family

      • The new Debian Linux 7.0 is now available

        Debian Linux doesn’t get all the attention it once did, but as the foundation for other, more popular Linux distributions, such as Mint and Ubuntu, the release of a new major Debian version, 7.0, aka Wheezy, is still a big deal in Linux development circles.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.40 development released

          We appreciate your feedbacks about the overall speed/lightness of the system compared to last stable version of Elive. You can say something in our chat channel directly from the running system. If you detect any lagging in the system please consider different setups like disabling composite (which you can select on the startup of the graphical system) in order to report improvements. We would also appreciate feedbacks about composite enabled or disabled in old computers, suggestions for better performances, and memory usage compared to Topaz.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch Progress

            Ubuntu is on an exciting journey, a journey of convergence. Our goal is to build a convergent Operating System that brings a uniformity of technology and experience across phones, tablets, desktops, and televisions, and smoothing the lines between those devices in terms of interoperability and access to content. It is a bold vision, but Ubuntu has a strong reputation both in terms of our heritage in the desktop, server, and cloud, and with our passionate and capable community. I just wanted to provide some updates on work that is going on in delivering this vision.

          • Ubuntu and Their UCK-y Problem.

            Within the past year, there has been an abundance of criticism aimed at Ubuntu and the Gnome 3 projects. At times, it resembled a scorched earth carpet bombing mission. The outer edges of the Linuxsphere are still hearing echos of that event and while it has calmed a bit, there are those who have left one or both of those projects in protest.

            And to be honest…..

          • Top 10 Ubuntu App Downloads for April 2013

            Canonical published a few minutes ago, May 3, the regular top 10 app downloads chart, this time for April 2013, extracted from Ubuntu Software Center.

          • One Linux over all: Mark Shuttleworth’s ambitious post-PC plans for Ubuntu

            Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth has really big, plans to put Ubuntu on your smartphone, on your tablet and (via OpenStack). What he doesn’t offer is details on revenue.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android trounces Apple in Q1 2013 tablet shipments

      Tablet shipments continued to “surge” in the first quarter of 2013, growing 142 percent year-over-year, according to market analyst IDC’s latest “Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker” report. Additionally, Android vendors had an extremely strong first quarter, shipping 27.8 million tablets versus Apple’s 19.5 million iPad and iPad mini devices.

      More tablets shipped during the first quarter of this year than during the entire first half of 2012, with most of the growth “fueled by increased market demand for smaller screen devices,” largely based on a strong performance of Apple and Samsung, notes IDC.

    • Linux 3.9′s embedded gifts include MEMS and more

      The new Linux 3.9 kernel adds driver support for tiny MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) devices made by ST, including accelerometers and motion sensors. Other Linux 3.9 features that affect the embedded world include SSD caching support, a lightweight suspend power mode, and support for Android’s “Goldfish” virtualization system.

      When Linux 3.9 arrived on April 28, its support for MEMS devices was hardly a marquee enhancement. Yet of all the many Linux 3.9 improvements of interest to the mobile and embedded world, MEMs support may have the most significant long-term impact. As devices continue to shrink and sensing applications grow in importance, there is greater demand for the tiny devices, which range in size from a millimeter down to 20 micrometers.

    • Android and Linux device FreeType fonts get a facelift

      f you’re squinting as you read this on a smartphone, here’s some good news: mobile fonts may soon be clearing up. In collaboration with Google and the FreeType project, Adobe has contributed its CFF (Compact Font Format) rasterizer to the open source FreeType font engine.

      The open version of CFF is designed to improve legibility of small fonts rendered by the lightweight, resource-efficient FreeType on devices running Android, Linux, iOS, and other Unix-based platforms.

    • Pico-ITX SBC aims ARM Linux at in-vehicle and mobile apps

      Via Technologies announced a tiny, low-power Pico-ITX SBC with optional 3G connectivity and battery power support, aimed at in-vehicle and mobile applications. The VAB-600 is based on an 800MHz ARM Cortex-A9 system-on-chip (SOC) with on-chip graphics acceleration, offers Ethernet, WiFi, and 3G connectivity, operates from 0 to 60° C, and runs either embedded Linux or Android 4.x.

    • Low-cost, future proof IVI demo runs on Raspberry Pi

      Abalta Technologies announced an in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) solution that inexpensively mirrors browser content from smartphones or tablets to Linux-enabled “head” units. The company’s Weblink IVI demo consists of a client app running on a Raspberry Pi-based simulated head unit acting as a remote touchscreen for WiFi- or USB-connected smartphones running a companion server app.

    • Phones

      • Firefox OS for Raspberry Pi: Now Available

        It has been quite some time since my last post about Firefox OS running on a Raspberry Pi, but the questions didn’t stop to come in “when will it be released”? Well, I’m sorry that it took so long (sometimes finding time is not that easy), but finally, here we are: the sources and build instructions are available!

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung Launches Galaxy Tablet, Smartphone Business Marketing Push

          So you think Samsung Electronics America is just a consumer brand? Guess again. Samsung has launched a B2B branding initiative to promote its laptops, Galaxy tablets, smartphones and management software into business accounts. For channel partners, the key opportunities could involve BYOD, mobile device management, vertical market applications and plenty more.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android pico-projector tablet does it with mirrors

        Shezhen, China-based Promate Technologies claims to have created the world’s first tablet-projector. The “LumiTab” sports a modest 1024×600 7-inch IPS screen, runs Android 4.2, and uses a Texas Instruments digital-light-processing (DLP) chip to render “incredibly sharp 1080p HD images” on walls and projection screens, according to the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • XBMC Media Center 12.2 Brings Numerous UPnP Fixes

    The second point release of the XBMC Media Center 12 software has been announced last evening, May 3, 2013, for the Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Android and Raspberry Pi platforms.

    XBMC Media Center 12.2 is a maintenance release, which brings various improvements and bugfixes over previous releases. The infinite loop on add-on dependencies has been fixed in this release, as well as audio-related crashes for Linux builds.

  • How do you educate others on what open source really is?

    I’ve been educating library professionals about open source software for nearly seven years now, and sometimes I feel like I’ve made huge strides and other times, like today, I feel like I have so much more work to do.

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • Drupal company Acquia partners with Capgemini

      Acquia has entered into an agreement with Capgemini Digital Services. Acquia will collaborate with Capgemini Digital Services to develop and operate content driven applications that deliver rich, immersive digital experiences for its clients.

  • Healthcare

    • ‘Huge growth potential for open source hospital information system’

      GNU Health, an free software hospital information system, medical record system and health information system, is rapidly becoming popular in hospitals around the world, says one of its developers, Sebastian Marro. “This project has the potential to grow really large.”

      Marro presented GNU Health at the Medetal conference in Luxenbourg, earlier this month. The GNU Health software is supported by a not-for profit organisation, GNU Solidario, set up in Spain. Marro, based in Argentina, is one of the board members of the NGO.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GnuCash 2.5.1 (Unstable) released

      The GnuCash development team proudly announces GnuCash 2.5.1, the second release in the 2.5.x series of the GnuCash Free Accounting Software which will eventually lead to the stable version 2.6.0. It runs on GNU/Linux, *BSD, Solaris and Mac OSX.

    • FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom: ThinkPenguin USB Wifi adapter with Atheros chip

      BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the TPE-N150USB Wireless N USB Adapter, sold by ThinkPenguin. The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy. The TPE-N150USB can be purchased from http://www.thinkpenguin.com/TPE-N150USB. Software certification focused primarily on the firmware for the Atheros AR9271 chip used on the adapter.

    • RMS Urges W3C To Reject On Principle DRM In HTML5
  • Licensing

    • Does your code need a license?

      Luis Villa, an OSI board member and Deputy General Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation, sat down with us to share his thoughts on the behavior he is seeing in the community away from copyleft licenses and how to get involved in the upcoming Open Source License Clinic.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tracking real-time health with Twitter data serves as an early warning system

      As the open source ethic has changed the way that we share and develop resources, crowdsourcing is redefining how we can create new resources based upon that willingness to share. One example of crowdsourcing at work for the betterment of us all is public health researchers turning to Twitter to collect real-time data about public health.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open source hardware projects from OSS Watch event

        At Open Source Junction 4 we invited attendees to present their hardware projects. Some were open source hardware, while some used consumer hardware components in conjunction with open source software to provide an innovative solution to a problem.

  • Programming

    • Research explodes myth that older programmers are obsolete

      There’s a prevailing ethos among IT hirers that younger is better when it comes to programmers, but a study by academics in North Carolina suggests that employers might be missing a trick by not hiring the grizzled veterans of the coding world.

Leftovers

  • Facebook loses millions of users as biggest markets peak
  • Facebook profits rise despite drop in US visitors to its website

    The Facebook website has lost 10 million visitors in the US and seen no growth in monthly visitors in the UK over the past year, according to data from market research firm Nielsen.

  • Security

    • Not all hackers bad: academic

      The arrest of a 24-year-old Australian claiming to be the head of an international hacking ring and a Twitter hack that briefly sent Wall Street into a tailspin last week has shone the light on hackers as Perth prepares to host its first “hacker con”.

      But the figures behind this weekend’s WAHCKon conference say the term hacker has been hijacked and most hackers are simply curious people with a computer.

    • What Happened When One Man Pinged the Whole Internet

      A home science experiment that probed billions of Internet devices reveals that thousands of industrial and business systems offer remote access to anyone.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Losing labs to Hurricane Sandy and animal rights protestors

      For better or worse, the biological research community has become heavily reliant upon an animal that most of us would try to kill if we found it in our homes: the mouse. Mice have lots of good points. There’s about a century’s worth of genetic research on it to draw upon, there are sophisticated tools for pursuing genetic studies, and it’s relatively closely related to us. Results from mice often translate into knowledge of human disease.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • George W. Bush Is a Swell Guy, Just Ask His Friends

      If the journalists who were far too generous in their coverage of Bush’s presidency are the same ones writing about how that presidency should be viewed now, he’s in safe hands.

    • Erin Burnett Wants a Different Kind of Terrorism Suspect
    • A Koch Hold on the Tribune and LA Times?

      That’s the unfortunate thought that raced trough my head while reading the report in Sunday’s New York Times that Charles and David Koch — the notorious billionaire bankrollers of climate-change denial, voter suppression, and much of the right-wing noise machine — could be the leading candidates to buy eight major daily newspapers from the recently bankrupt Tribune Company, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • President Obama To Nominate Cable and Wireless Lobbyist To Head FCC

      “The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that longtime telecomm lobbyist Tom Wheeler will be nominated to head the Federal Communications Commission. According to the LA Times: ‘Wheeler is a former president of the National Cable Television Assn. and the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Assn. Despite his close ties to industries he will soon regulate, some media watchdogs are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. “As someone who has known Tom for years, I believe that he will be an independent, proactive chairman,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and chief executive of Public Knowledge, adding that she has “no doubt that Tom will have an open door and an open mind, and that ultimately his decisions will be based on what he genuinely believes is best for the public interest, not any particular industry.”‘”

    • New FCC chairman is “former lobbyist for cable and wireless industries”

      President Barack Obama will nominate venture capitalist Tom Wheeler to be the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, The Wall Street Journal reported today. Wheeler is “a former top lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries” and will be nominated as soon as tomorrow, the Journal wrote. The Hill reporter Brendan Sasso said the White House has now confirmed that Wheeler will be nominated for the post.

    • Obama Nominates Telecom Veteran Tom Wheeler to Chair FCC

      President Obama on Wednesday nominated telecom veteran Tom Wheeler to serve as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

      If the Senate approves Wheeler’s nomination, he will replace outgoing chairman Julius Genachowski, who announced in March that he would step down from his post after four years. Until the Senate vote occurs, Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will serve as interim chair after Genachowski leaves in mid-May.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US and EU see opening for free-trade pact
    • Trademarks

      • Mozilla sends a cease and desist letter to Gamma International over malware

        SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has sent a cease and desist letter to Gamma International, claiming the firm is using Firefox’s branding to trick users into downloading and using its malware.

        Mozilla’s hugely popular Firefox web browser is trusted by many users because it is not a commercial organisation like Google or Microsoft, making it a good target for those that want to steal some of its good will. Mozilla has alleged that Gamma International is trying to do just that, with its malware masquerading as the firm’s Firefox web browser, and Mozilla said it sent Gamma International a cease and desist letter.

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Executive Tampered With IFPI Evidence in Internet Piracy Case

        Earlier this month Finland’s largest ever Internet piracy case ended with four men being found guilty of copyright infringement and two being exonerated. The case involved a so-called ‘topsite’ called Angel Falls and had an interesting twist. During the trial it was revealed that evidence gathered by a local anti-piracy group and the IFPI was also handed to a “senior MPAA executive” who tampered with the evidence before handing it to the police.

      • Pirate Party Enters Iceland’s National Parliament After Historic Election Win

        The Pirate Party in Iceland seem to have booked a major victory in Iceland’s parliamentary election today, scoring 5.1% of the total vote. It’s a truly remarkable achievement for a party that’s only a few months old, and also the first time that a Pirate party anywhere in the world has been democratically chosen in a national parliament. One of the main goals of the Pirates will be to fight increased censorship and protect freedom of speech.

      • Pirate Party wins seats in the Icelandic Parliament

        POLITICAL UPSTART the Pirate Party has won three seats in the Icelandic Parliament.

        The party won just over five percent of the national vote, just enough to ensure its place, according to a celebratory post from Pirate Party spokesman and evangelist Rick Falkvinge.

      • What Is TPP? Biggest Global Threat to the Internet Since ACTA

        The United States and ten governments from around the Pacific are meeting yet again to hash out the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) on May 15-24 in Lima, Peru. The TPP is one of the worst global threats to the Internet since ACTA. Since the negotiations have been secretive from the beginning, we mainly know what’s in the current version of this trade agreement because of a leaked draft [PDF] from February 2011. Based upon that text, some other leaked notes, and the undemocratic nature of the entire process, we have every reason to be alarmed about the copyright enforcement provisions contained in this multinational trade deal.

      • The Pirate Bay Moves to .SX as Prosecutor Files Motion to Seize Domains

        Swedish authorities have filed a motion at the District Court of Stockholm on behalf of the entertainment industries, demanding the seizure of two Pirate Bay domain names. In addition to the Swedish-based .se domain the motion also includes the new Icelandic .is TLD. In a rapid response, The Pirate Bay has just switched to a fresh domain, ThePirateBay.sx, registered in the northeastern Caribbean island of Sint Maarten.

      • Pirate Site Blocking Legislation Approved By Norwegian Parliament

        Norway has moved an important – some say unstoppable – step towards legislative change that will enable the aggressive tackling of online copyright infringement. Proposed amendments to the Copyright Act, which will make it easier for rightsholders to monitor file-sharers and have sites such as The Pirate Bay blocked at the ISP level, received broad support in parliament this week and look almost certain to be passed into law.

05.05.13

Links 5/5/2013: New Debian

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Top 3: Xen Lives, Fuduntu Dies and KDE Slims
  • Linux Shorts: Mageia 3, Slackware, and Fedora 19
  • Linux Shorts: Sabayon 13.04, Korora 18, and SythOS
  • From GNOME Linux Desktop to OpenStack Cloud [VIDEO]
  • Kernel Space

    • Using FreeNAS’ new full disk encryption for ZFS

      Last month’s release of FreeNAS 8.3.1 adds new functionality that allows system administrators of the open source-based network attached storage solution to encrypt entire disks while using ZFS. ZFS has been the primary filesystem for FreeNAS since FreeNAS 8, and has supplanted FreeBSD’s UFS as the project’s focus. The new security functionality applies only to ZFS and is the first time that FreeNAS has supported encryption.

    • Linux 3.9 Clamps Down on Power, Speeds Up with SSDs

      Linus Torvalds is now releasing the second major new Linux kernel milestone of 2013. The Linux 3.9 kernel includes new features that will make the open source operating system faster and more efficient than ever before.

    • Linux User Experience Levels

      Sometimes I wonder about the experience level of all us Linux users. Are we mostly a collection of new users or are most Linux users hard core geeks? Well, much like the user-base of individual distros or even the ecosystem as a whole, pinning down the distribution of experience levels across Linux will never anything more than some kind of guess. Today, I’d like to venture another.

      I’ve mentioned before, but it bears repeating that my crystal ball of choice is a good poll. What better way to find out what folks’ experience level is that to just ask. I simply named the poll I’ma Linux: and offered various levels for tickable answers.

    • It Pays To Advertise FLOSS

      I have been noticing some ads for the Linux Foundation appearing on the web…

      Such advertising is one of the things that is needed to generate demand for FLOSS everywhere. The Linux Foundation may get a deal from Google or they may be able to afford the price. We bloggers can help by providing links to various organizations and individuals producing FLOSS. Every bit helps.

    • The Kernel Column – 3.9 draws near

      Jon Masters summarises the latest news from the Linux kernel community as the final 3.8 kernel release approaches and preparation for 3.9 begins

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • SolydXK Added to Distrowatch Database

      Today’s Distrowatch Weekly brought the news that a new distribution has been added to the official Linux database. You know what that means. It’s time to boot ‘er up.

      SolydXK is a Debian-based distribution aiming to easy to use, stable, and secure. Founders believe SolydXK would be suitable for home and small office settings. SolydXK comes in two flavors: SolydX featuring the Xfce desktop and SolydK featuring KDE. SolydXK began life as a variant of Linux Mint Debian with KDE, but later broke away and became its own distro. Its inaugural release came just two weeks ago and was promptly put right smack on this month’s cover of Full Circle Magazine. SolydXK 201304 features Linux 3.2.39, Xorg 1.12.4, GCC 4.7.2, and Firefox 19.0.2.

    • Too Many Re-Spins, Who Lives Who Dies?

      Ah, yes, it’s that old argument again. But this time there’s a twist. Everyday Linux User is asking visitors to his site which distributions they might save. His list isn’t exhaustive, but his early results are proving interesting.

      Gary Newell, proprietor of Everyday Linux User, says he continues to see that old complaint that there are just too many distributions that are merely re-spins. So Newell asks, “Imagine that tomorrow the world decided there can only be a limited number of distributions. Which distributions would you save?”

      I have a little trouble with his poll choices. His theory is about “re-spins” but yet he included some distros I consider grandfathers and some that were forked so long ago they are now their own full-fledged distributions. But as it is, it’s still an intriguing question and his early results are proving interesting as well.

    • New Releases

      • What is ExTiX 13 64bit?

        Previous versions of ExTiX were based on KNOPPIX/Debian. Version 7.0 of ExTiX was based on the Swiss Linux System Paldo. Version 8 of ExTiX was based on Debian Sid. Version 11 of ExTiX was based on Ubuntu 12.10.

      • SprezzOS 1.1.1
      • Vyatta 6.6
      • Press Release: Sabayon 13.04

        Linux Kernel 3.8.8 (3.8.10 available through updates, 3.9 available in hours) with BFQ iosched and ZFS, GNOME 3.6.3, KDE 4.10.2, MATE 1.6 (thanks to infirit), Xfce 4.10, LibreOffice 4.0, production ready UEFI (and SecureBoot) support and experimental systemd support (including openrc boot speed improvements) are just some of the things you will find inside the box.

      • GParted Live 0.16.1-1 Stable Release

        The GParted team is proud to announce a well-tested, stable release of GParted Live.

        This release includes another critical bug fix for a potential crash that might cause loss of data while moving or copying a partition. We strongly recommend that all users of GParted Live 0.15.0-x and 0.16.0-x upgrade to GParted Live 0.16.1-1 to avoid data loss.

      • OpenELEC Stable – Xtreamer x86_64 Version:3.0.
      • Semplice 4
      • SystemRescueCd 3.5.1
      • Manjaro 0.8.5.1 released

        We are happy to announce a maintenance release for Manjaro 0.8.5, released two weeks ago. With this update we adjusted or install medias to the new repository structure we have now. This will ease the installation of Manjaro Linux for new users a lot. This release features pacman 4.1 and includes all updates from the 25th April 2013. Also we fixed slight issues we found in our initial release of Manjaro 0.8.5.

      • Kajona V4.1 released

        Simplified page-management with Kajona 4.1 “simplicity”

        Five months after the initial release of Kajona 4, the first update v4.1 focuses on simplicity.

      • Descent|OS 4.0

        Good morning, everyone! It’s Day Two of Linux Fest NorthWest, so I’m going to be heading out shortly, but I’m going to elaborate a little bit about what made it into Descent|OS and what didn’t for this release.

      • OpenXange 2013.04
    • Screenshots

      • Release Notes: aptosid 2013-01

        aptosid is a full featured Debian sid based live CD with a special focus on hard disk installations, a clean upgrade path within sid and additional hardware and software support. The ISO is completely based on Debian sid/main, enriched and stabilised with aptosid’s own packages and scripts and adheres to the Debian Social Contract (DFSG).

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Is there an easier transition to Linux from Windows than PCLinuxOS?

        In the past couple of weeks I have taken a look at two of the more popular Linux operating systems.

        Last week I tackled Debian and before that I tackled openSUSE.

      • Mandriva Business Server gets new apps and security fixes

        Paris the 15th of April 2013: Mandriva S.A. has released a host of security fixes as well as new addons for its server platform, Mandriva Business Server.

        Fully integrated with Mandriva Business Server, the Mandriva Proxy-Cache is based on the Squid proxy project and allows the filtering by white and black lists, as well as on an user basis. Specially packaged for the Mandriva Business Server, Mandriva Proxy can be purchased on Mandriva ServicePlace and will install on top of Mandriva Business Server in just a few clicks. Mandriva has also released a dedicated ssh management addon that lets administrators handle their users’ ssh keys in an elegant and straightforward way. It is available free of charge on the ServicePlace.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Sets JBoss Free with WildFly Application Server

        Red Hat is renaming and rebuilding its open source JBoss application server. The new name is WildFly and with it will come a faster and more transparent development process.

      • Smug Red Hat buoyed by UK gov’s open-source three-line-whip

        The UK government’s love affair with open-source technology has given software house Red Hat a shot in the arm, we’re told.

        The company boasted that its government and system integrator business has grown in the “high double-digit rates” over the last three years. Red Hat, which offers various flavours of the open-source operating system Linux, said subscriptions for its software make up the majority of its revenue from Whitehall.

      • Fedora

        • Korora 18′s “Flo” offers a friendlier Fedora 18

          The Korora Project is a Linux distribution which hails from Australia and has been offering a friendly Linux since 2005, when it was based on Gentoo. In 2010, it switched over to Fedora and became a remix – now the developers have released Korora 18, “Flo” based on Fedora 18. Actually, the developers just renamed the beta release as final as they found no major issues during the beta period. Korora 18 comes in two flavours with a GNOME and KDE desktop.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” released

        After many months of constant development, the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 7.0 (code name “Wheezy”).
        This new version of Debian includes various interesting features such as multiarch support, several specific tools to deploy private clouds, an improved installer, and a complete set of multimedia codecs and front-ends which remove the need for third-party repositories.

      • Debian 7 “Wheezy” released

        The release of Debian 7.0, also known as Wheezy, has taken place – the community-driven and built Linux distribution’s most visible change is a new updated look with GNOME 3.4 and the GNOME shell as the default desktop. But there are important changes behind the scenes which will make Wheezy easier to work with and simpler to use to create private clouds. In all, the developers have worked for just over two years, since the release of Debian 6 “Squeeze”, to produce the new stable version of the distribution.

      • Debian 7.0 Wheezy Will Be Officially Released on May 5
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Emerges to Less-Than-Stellar Reviews

            Raring Ringtail, the newest Ubuntu release, is landing with a thud, based on early reviews. It might have some appeal for businesses, though. “In essence, they’re aiming for a more predictable experience, and I think that could make this a potentially interesting offer for businesses that want to get out from underneath the cost and upgrade cycle of Windows,” said tech analyst Charles King.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 preps for mobile convergence

            Canonical released version 13.04 of its popular Ubuntu Linux distro, introducing a Developer Preview SDK for creating apps that run on the desktop as well as Ubuntu Touch-based smartphones and tablets. Ubuntu 13.04 (“Raring Ringtail”) offers a more lightweight memory footprint, faster boot, lower power consumption, faster graphics performance, and the debut of Canonical’s MIR display server.

          • The Connected Desktop – With Ubuntu Linux

            With the recent release of VMWare ESXi 5.1 and the associated fully featured web client management (which we may cover in a later article), Linux in general is getting closer and closer to the ‘do anything’ desktop operating system we have all wanted it to be for some time. Maturity breeds integration and although we have always had any number of tools to manage our command line servers, our Windows desktops and Mac OSX or other Linux graphical environments separately, we were lacking in a tool that put all the pieces together and managed our connections for us. There are several tools that are attempting to integrate system management, today we are going to talk about one, the “Remmina Remote Desktop Client”.

          • Mark Shuttleworth ‘Chillin’ on Ubuntu 13.04 [VIDEO]

            Mark Shuttleworth made the controversial decision to move Ubuntu Linux to the Unity interface back in 2010. It’s a decision that provoked lots of argument, but with the Ubuntu 13.04 Linux release out this week, Shuttleworth remains confident he is moving in the right direction.

            In an exclusive video interview with Datamation, Shuttleworth reflected on the difficult decisions and transitions he has had to make with Ubuntu Linux. Overall Shuttleworth stressed that he deeply cares about the community and its opinions as Ubuntu Linux continues to evolve.

          • Ubuntu Server 13.04 Includes Updated OpenStack, MAAS and Juju

            Canonical has announced today, April 25, the immediate availability for download of Ubuntu Server 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) operating system, along with Ubuntu 13.04, and all the other flavors.

            Ubuntu Server 13.04 includes the Grizzly release of OpenStack software, which delivers a massively scalable cloud operating system.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Linux Server Debuts. Should You Upgrade?

            Every six months, Ubuntu Linux comes out with a new server release. It is however only once every two years that one of those releases is labeled as an Long Term Support (LTS) release.

          • Whether you love or loathe Ubuntu, 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ won’t change your mind
          • Ubuntu 13.04 released: how to upgrade
          • Tracing Ubuntu’s Branding Evolution Since 2004

            Ubuntu has changed a lot since its early days, as we noted earlier this week. So, too, has what we could call the Ubuntu brand, or the image of the operating system as Canonical presents it to the world. And with Ubuntu 13.04 about to debut, this seems like a particularly appropriate moment to consider how Ubuntu and Canonical as brands have evolved over time to become what they are today.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 review

            A modest update, bringing no major enhancements but adding polish to the Ubuntu desktop

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Arrives, and Mark Shuttleworth Responds to Critics

            Canonical is banging the drums for Raring Ringtail, or Ubuntu 13.04 — the much awaited new version, which is available today following beta testing. As the Unity interface and other enhancements to Ubuntu have rolled along, many users have become used to more resource-intensive versions of Ubuntu, but version 13.04 actually offers reduced memory footprint, in addition to a number of other notable features.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Link-o-rama
          • Hadoop + Ubuntu: The Big Fat Wedding

            Now, here is a treat for all you Hadoop and Ubuntu lovers. Last month, Canonical, the organization behind the Ubuntu operating system, partnered with MapR, one of the Hadoop heavyweights, in an effort to make Hadoop available as an integrated part of Ubuntu through its repositories. The partnership announced that MapR’s M3 Edition for Apache Hadoop will be packaged and made available for download as an integrated part of the Ubuntu operating system. Canonical and MapR are also working to develop a Juju Charm that can be used by OpenStack and other customers to easily deploy MapR into their environments.

          • Et tu, Ubuntu?

            Once a symbol of openness and freedom, Ubuntu partners with the Chinese regime

          • The Ubuntu Home Screen

            Reader Ollie Terrance wanted to get the look and feel of Ubuntu phone on his Android device. With a little help from Buzz Launcher and Widget Locker, that’s exactly what he did.

          • Canonical begins developing Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

            The email mentions some of the changes we can expect in Saucy Salamander. The development version incorporates new versions of GCC and boost. GCC (short for GNU Compiler Collection) is a compiler system by the GNU Project supporting various programming languages. Saucy Salamander will use GCC 4.8 as the default compiler, which means it will have improved C++11 support, AddressSanitizer, and a fast memory error detector, among other things. The email also mentions that updates to Glibc and binutils will follow later during the development cycle.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Daily Builds Are Now Available for Download
          • The Ubuntu Android Home Screen
          • Ubuntu Touch OS (For Smartphones and Tablets) – Keeps Getting Better

            News about the Ubuntu Touch OS have been received like a breeze of fresh air, mostly by those who are already Ubuntu fans, or by those simply bored with the Android experience and who would like a change of scenery, without switching to a different ecosystem / operating system. Others have received the news concerning Ubuntu on smartphones / tablets with little interest, but that’s mainly because the OS’ wide release is set for late this year, or early 2014.

          • Canonical’s Newest Ubuntu Faster, More Polished

            The Unity desktop has been seen as an attempt by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth to position Ubuntu as an OS not only for desktops, laptops or netbooks, but also tablets and smartphones, with the same interface across devices. Shuttleworth says that Unity has buy-in from users, developers and OEMs, such as Dell, Lenovo and Acer.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Release Schedule
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-programmable 4G LTE router tracks mobile assets

      CalAmp unveiled a 4G LTE cellular router and gateway for AT&T networks that runs embedded Linux on a 400MHz ARM9 processor. The LMU-5000LTE is equipped with LTE, HSPA, and EVDO routers, a 50-channel GPS, and multiple I/O, and features fleet tracking, as well as user-programmable PEG (Programmable Event Generator) monitoring software.

    • Tough Linux micro-box boasts isolated serial ports

      Artila Electronics has announced an ARM9 micro-box computer with eight isolated RS-485 serial ports and two versions of preinstalled embedded Linux, enabling boot-up from data flash in the event of NAND-boot failure. The Matrix-516 is equipped with a 400MHz Atmel AT91SAM9G20 SOC (system-on-chip), 64MB of RAM, dual Ethernet ports, and two USB 2.0 ports.

      The Matrix-516 appears to be a variation of the company’s Matrix-518, substituting eight 2.5KV-isolated RS-485 ports for the earlier model’s RS-232/422/485 ports. As far as we can see, this is the only difference, aside from the lack of the previous model’s audio out.

    • TheLittleBlackBox: An ARM-based, open source XBMC media center

      XBMC is a media center application that started its life as a project to turn the first-generation Xbox into an audio and video powerhouse. The project has since been ported to run on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and other platforms, and we’ve even seen it running on low-power devices with ARM processors such as the Pivos XIOS DS Media Play.

    • x86 SBC maker hops on ARM bandwagon

      WinSystems has introduced its first ARM-based single-board computer (SBC), based on Freescale’s 800MHz i.MX6 processors. The SBC35-C398 series SBCs are available in single-, dual-, and quad-core versions with varying display, expansion, and I/O capabilities, feature extended temperature operation, and are supported with embedded Linux and Android OS builds.

    • Why use commercial embedded Linux dev tools?

      When developing systems or devices based on embedded Linux or Android, does it make sense to use commercial development tools? In this guest column, Brad Dixon, Director of Open Source Solutions at Mentor Graphics, suggests several reasons why commercial development tools and support can potentially save time, resources, money, and opportunity costs.

    • Early emulation teams with GNU tools to speed-up embedded projects

      Mentor Graphics announced a version of its Sourcery Codebench GNU toolchain and IDE (integrated development environment) that incorporates electronic system-level (ESL) tools for emulating hardware environments, both pre- and post-silicon, on embedded Linux targets. “Mentor Embedded Sourcery Codebench Virtual Edition” integrates trace/debug, hardware analysis, and simulation tools and APIs.

      The new Virtual Edition product combines the company’s Sourcery CodeBench and Sourcery Analyzer tools along with its Vista Virtual Prototyping and Veloce2 Emulation Systems platforms.

    • Gumstix sweetens its tiny ARM Cortex-A8 and -A9 COMs

      Gumstix has upgraded its Linux-ready DuoVero and Overo computer-on-modules (COMs). The OMAP4430-based DuoVero Zephyr adds 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth to the DuoVero design, and the Overo TidalSTORM is based on a TI 1GHz OMAP3730 processor, and doubles the RAM to 1GB compared to the previous Overo Tide.

      Gumstix has been upgrading and revising its Overo line of tiny, Linux-focused COMs since the first ARM Cortex-A8-based Overo Earth arrived in 2008. It is now doing the same with its newer, Cortex-A9-based DuoVero modules, which similarly use Texas Instruments (TI) DaVinci OMAP system-on-chips (SOCs). As before, both new COMs measure 2.28 x 0.67 inches (58 x 17mm), feature dual 70-pin expansion connectors, and are supported with open-source Linux development kits, including Yocto Project build system support.

    • For your robot-building needs, $45 BeagleBone Linux PC goes on sale

      The market for cheap single-board computers is becoming one of the most surprisingly competitive spaces in the tech industry. On the heels of the million-selling Raspberry Pi, a variety of companies and small groups started creating their own tiny computers for programmers and hobbyists.

    • Why The Small Cheap Computers Are Changing Everything

      From the user’s point of view the small cheap computers have huge advantages like price, performance, portability, and running FLOSS operating systems. Underneath that, in the chip itself is a magical combination that used to fill an ATX box with components. For x86/amd64 all of those components were managed well except the graphics which were closely guarded secret places where FLOSS was often second best because the manufacturers did not produce FLOSS drivers and were often not cooperative.

    • Meld 1.7.2 Allows for Manual Synchronization of Split Points

      The Meld developers have announced the immediate availability for download of the 1.7.2 version of Meld, a visual merge and diff utility targeted at developers, featuring a handful of improvements, bug fixes and updated translations.

    • Qualcomm Quad-core Processors For ~$10

      It’s an obvious thing but in case you didn’t notice, the price of IT using multiple sources of software and hardware competitively priced is good for you and everyone else on Earth.

    • Phones

      • IT In Kenya Evolves Free From Wintel

        What a difference a decade makes! Ten years ago, Wintel would have been the only way to go for the IT ecosystem but it was too expensive. Now Kenyans have the choice of small cheap computers running */Linux and are loving it. Wintel need not apply.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Intel reportedly pushing Android convertibles

          Rumour loving Digitimes reports that several major vendors, including Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, Acer and Asus will launch Intel based convertibles sometime in the third quarter. Lenovo will lead the way and it will introduce its first Android based notebook a bit earlier, in May.

          Intel is rumoured to be targeting the sub-$500 market with Android based convertibles. Pricier designs, such as Haswell based Ultrabooks should cost at least a couple of hundred more and they will feature Windows 8 rather than Android. In terms of hardware, the convertibles will have to feature a completely detachable keyboard that will allow them to transform into a tablet. With a completely detachable keyboard, the whole concept sounds a lot like Asus’ Transformer series of Android devices.

        • Sony Launches An Android Open Source Project For The Xperia Z Smartphone

          Sony’s Xperia S AOSP experiment was well-received, though it was eventually moved away from the AOSP main branch to Sony’s own GitHub, owing to the limitations of what could be done with the hardware. Sony software engineers Johan Redestig and Björn Andersson want to help continue that work with Sony’s latest. The Xperia Z project will help developers and tinkerers interested in making contributions to Android, and to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro platform do so using essentially a vanilla Android OS installation on the device, albeit starting out on Sony’s own GitHub, and not as part of Google’s own main AOSP project.

        • Android Phones Pinpoint Snipers

          The military has high-tech equipment to track sniper fire, using microphones carried by soldiers or stationary mics mounted at strategic points. Now that technology is getting shrunk so it can be used in the hands of civilian bodyguards with Android phones.

        • 50 Free Awesome Android Apps

          A free Android app is a great thing – if that app is really worthwhile. And fortunately, the number of free apps for Android is always growing, fueled in part by developers offering freemiums designed to entice you to try the app and then opt for the paid version because, hey, you actually like it. Other developers are looking to cash in on the BYOD trend, so they are offering freebies to individual users in the hopes that you’ll push your boss to let you use it for work too (but your boss will have to pay for the enterprise version). Other apps are of the open source, free and wild ilk, and still others are apps by developers looking to do something good for others.

        • Google Glass kernel software goes public
        • Jelly Bean on DROID Bionic Root Method Released, Instructions For Those Running Ubuntu
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software Isn’t Just Code. It’s Your Résumé

    OpenStack isn’t just a way for tech giants like HP and IBM to mimic Amazon’s wildly successful cloud services. It’s also a teaching tool.

    Created little more than three years ago by NASA and cloud computing outfit Rackspace, OpenStack is an open source project in the truest sense of the term. Hundreds of developers are now contributing to the project, and these developers span myriad different companies, including not only HP and IBM, but the networking giant Cisco, virtualization kingpin VMware, and myriad startups. And then there’s Dinkar Sitaram, a professor at the PES Institute of Technology in Bangalore, India who’s using OpenStack to immerse his students in the ways of open source software.

  • OpenFlow Inventor Martin Casado on SDN, VMware, and Software Defined Networking Hype [VIDEO]
  • Spain’s open source centre publishes model for desktop cost savings

    Cenatic, Spain’s open source centre, has published a model to help calculate cost savings that are possible by switching to open source software on desktop PCs. The model evaluates costs by taking into account the size and complexity of the organisation, Cenatic says. “The methodology is based on our experience with migrations and open source methodologies.”

  • Common Themes in Scaling

    Stick With Open Source – The software that powers many businesses, often also labeled “enterprise”, is equally as bad. Closed source, license restricted, and unbelievably expensive, enterprise software will cause more problems than it is worth at some point. Case in point, we once ran our entire stack on IBM’s WebSphere. The databases, the java application server, the web server, and the load balancer. The load balancer used a kernel loadable module that would break every time we patched the server, and we would have to go back to IBM to have a new binary built before we could patched in production. IBM’s turnaround time was normally around a week or so, but for a load balancer, it was completely unacceptable. Own your datacenter, own your software, don’t let a vendor tell you what you can and can not do, leave that up to your imagination.

  • FOSS: Breaking the Chains of Apple and Microsoft

    This local client had decided to abandon Microsoft and change out their office systems for new hardware with new operating systems. Thus already requiring retraining and all that comes with such a change. Of course, I made the pitch for Linux with all FOSS. In general, they only use their systems for e-mail and creating quote documents for clients. Under FOSS systems, the e-mail is covered with any number of FOSS e-mail applications, while the quote documents are covered with LibreOffice to create PDF files. One of the systems does run accounting software for billing and payments. But they do not do their own payroll, so LedgerSMB would work for their billing and payments accounting system.

  • Web Browsers

    • 18 Years Too Late, M$ Realizes IE Was A Huge Mistake
    • Chrome

      • Google’s Bug Bounties Remain on the Rise

        Bug bounties–cash prizes offered by open source communities to anyone who finds key software bugs–have been steadily on the rise for several years now, ranging from FOSS Factory’s bounty programs to the bounties that both Google (for the Chrome browser) and Mozilla offer. In fact, Google has been setting new records with the bounties it offers for meaningful bugs. And now, in a post on the Chrome blog, Google has confirmed that it has paid out more than $31,000 to a single security researcher who identified three Chrome bugs.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Releases Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 As Firefox Extension

        At the beginning of this year, the folks at Mozilla rolled out the 1.0 version of the Firefox OS Simulator, which provided folks–especially developers–an opportunity to try out the company’s promising new mobile operating system. The simulator worked on computers rather than mobile devices, and many developers used to get a taste of the new platform.

      • A taste of Rust

        Rust, the new programming language being developed by the Mozilla project, has a number of interesting features. One that stands out is the focus on safety. There are clear attempts to increase the range of errors that the compiler can detect and prevent, and thereby reduce the number of errors that end up in production code.

      • Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 now available

        The Mozilla developers have now released the latest version of the Firefox OS simulator. Designed to allow developers to create and test applications for Firefox OS without having to try and get their hands on the limited supply of application-creator-oriented Geeksphone developer preview phones.

      • Could Firefox OS Phones Surprise Everyone?

        Earlier this week, I covered the imminent availability of the first phones for sale based on Mozilla’s Firefox OS mobile platform. The company has already detailed the first five countries that will offically get Firefox OS phones, but the very first phones–aimed at developers–arrived for sale this week and sold out nearly instantly. Mozilla partnered with Spanish start-up Geeksphone to move the phones, and the speed with which they sold could be a very promising sign as Mozilla reorganizes its staff and strategy around mobile phones.

      • Mozilla to FinSpy: stop disguising your “lawful interception” spyware as Firefox
      • Mozilla Announces Heka For Performance Data Collection

        Mozilla is a perennial favorite of the open source world, a poster child for success. Today Mozilla introduced Heka, which they describe as “a tool for high performance data gathering, analysis, monitoring, and reporting”. Gathering performance statistics of web servers is part of the day to day work of a sysadmin, so an announcement from Mozilla in this space is sure to be interesting.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • SkySQL Merges With MariaDB Creator Monty Program To Solidify Its Open Source Database Position

      Some consolidation in the world of open source database startups: SkySQL, a provider of open source database solutions, is merging with Monty Program Ab, the creators of MariaDB, an open source database technology that is used by Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and other services. The merger is also a reunion of sorts: both companies employ key people from MySQL, the database company that was bought by Sun in 2008, and in turn became a part of Oracle. Monty Program was founded and led by Michael “Monty” Widenius, the founder of MySQL.

    • From MySQL to SkySQL to NewSQL

      SkySQL last week signed a merger agreement with Monty Program Ab forming one of the industry’s newest and perhaps most logical business agreements.

      SkySQL is a provider of open source database solutions for MySQL and MariaDB users, while Monty Program is the creator or the MariaDB open source database itself.

      NOTE: MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system, which in itself is a open source Relational DataBase Management Systsem (RDBMS) formerly championed by Sun prior to Oracle days.

    • Wikimedia completes MySQL to MariaDB migration

      More bad new for Oracle owned MySQL, which is heading in the direction of OpenOffice. Wikimedia has completed the migration of the English and German Wikipedias, as well as Wikidata, to MariaDB 5.5.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Exploring SmartOS

      Continuing along in the vein of exploring all the options in datacenter virtualization, my journey has led me, unavoidably some might say, to Joyent’s SmartOS. SmartOS is a decedent of Solaris, one of the first Unix systems I learned on over a decade ago. Being based on Solaris, and on account of a number of other features, SmartOS is definitely a horse of a different color.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Fundraiser for free software NPO accounting software launched

      The Software Freedom Conservancy has started a fundraising campaign to create an open source, free software accounting system for non-profit organisations (NPO). Conservancy’s goal is to raise $75,000 to fund a developer for one year to first evaluate existing technologies and then build a solution designed for non-profit accounting on the best available open source system.

    • Donay Launches A New Way For Businesses And Users To Incentivize And Reward Open Source Programmers At Disrupt NY

      Donay, a Dutch startup that’s officially launching at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 NY, wants to make it easier for companies and users to provide incentives to open source developers. Say your company is using a popular open-source application, but you find a bug or need a new feature. Currently, there is no easy way to pay open source developers for their work and, Donay argues, that makes it hard for companies that don’t have in-house development shops to get bugs fixed or new features added.

    • Bloomington Named To Google Code Initiative

      Google Summer of Code selected Bloomington as a participant for a second year.

      Bloomington will be participating as a mentoring organization to student programmers through the company’s Summer of Code Initiative.

      Bloomington was the first city government establishment to participate in Google Summer of Code in 2012.

  • Project Releases

    • All Good Things Come in 3s, and Great Things are 3 Dot 3

      We are about to ship Eucalyptus version 3.3 – and there is no end to our pride and excitement!

    • Ack 2.0 enhances the “grep for source code”

      The developers of ack have released version 2.0 of their grep-like tool optimised for searching source code. Described as “designed for programmers”, ack has been available since 2005 and is based on Perl’s regular expressions engine. It minimises false positives by ignoring version control directories by default and has flexible highlighting for matches. The newly released ack 2.0 introduces a more flexible identification system, better support for ackrc configuration files and the ability to read the list of files to be searched from stdin.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source should be used to commoditise government IT, says Cabinet Office’s Tariq Rashid

      Open source technology should be used to help commoditise government IT to move from cost-heavy bespoke systems to the more competitive end of the market, Tariq Rashid, IT Reform, Cabinet Office has said.

      He also warned that by using customised IT solutions, or trying to aggregate demand to drive discounts, government departments were losing their power as a customer and missing out on the fierce dynamics of the commodity market.

      Rashid made his comments while speaking at the Open Gov Summit 2013 in London today, where he also reiterated the Cabinet Office’s current approach to IT – specifically, the drive towards user need, agile development and sustained value.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Modelling Chess Positions
    • Python4Kids New Tutorial: A Different View on Our Chess Model

      Cut to a polite, well dressed assistant at a counter with a big sign saying ‘End of Show Department’ behind him.
      Assistant Well it is one of our cheapest, sir.
      Chris What else have you got?
      Assistant Well, there’s the long slow pull-out, sir, you know, the camera tracks back and back and mixes…
      As he speaks we pull out and mix through to the exterior of the store. Mix through to even wider zoom ending up in aerial view of London. It stops abruptly and we cut back to Chris.

      In the last tutorial we saw how to model the position on a chess board. However, the interface was pretty basic. It looked like this:

    • Rails 4.0 goes to release candidate

      The developers of the Ruby on Rails web framework have announced that the first Rails 4.0 release candidate is now available “just in time for the opening of RailsConf”. Rails 4.0 is the first Rails release to prefer Ruby 2.0 and has a minimum requirement of Ruby 1.9.3. The release candidate includes over 1300 commits made since February’s release of the first beta of Rails 4, all landing on top of the numerous changes made since Rails 3.2. The Rails team hope that developers can “give this release candidate an honest try”.

Leftovers

  • Yahoo chairman resigns after one year
  • Creatures of the Dark: Wisconsin GOP Caught Deleting Records, Again

    According to the April 18 court filings, a forensic analysis of computers used during redistricting indicates multiple files were deleted just after Republicans were instructed to turn them over to Democrats — but before they had actually done so.

  • Did Backlash Against GOP Voter Suppression Increase Black Voter Turnout?

    Last September, the research group Project New America tested more than thirty messages on “sporadic, less likely voters who lean Democratic” to see what would motivate them to vote. “One of the most powerful messages across many different demographics was reminding people that their votes were important to counter the extremists who are kicking people off of voter rolls,” the group wrote in a post-election memo.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Over a Million Comments Filed on GE Salmon as New Evidence Emerges of Deeply Flawed Review

      The extended comment period on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review and approval of AquAdvantage genetically engineered (GE) salmon ends April 26. As more comments flood in, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) reports that documents disclosed through a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) “raise serious questions about the adequacy of the FDA’s review of the AquAdvantage Salmon application.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • My Village Was Attacked
      By US Drones in Yemen
    • How Dare Hamid Karzai Take Our Money!

      So the fact that Karzai received money from the United States, presumably in order to do things the U.S. wants him to do…

    • Syria and the ‘Red Line’ Nonsense

      If you were watching the CBS Evening News on April 25, you heard anchor Scott Pelley say, “The Obama administration says nerve gas has been used, and that is something President Obama has called a red line that cannot be crossed.” Moments later reporter Major Garrett weighed in to say, ” The White House says it cannot definitively prove the Assad regime used chemical weapons.”

    • Reporting ‘Says’ Rather Than ‘Says It Believes’ Could Make a War of Difference
    • They’re taking our kids
    • Summary of events in West Papua for April –beginning of May 2013

      There was a crackdown by the security forces on peaceful rallies held by civil society organisations in West Papua to protest the handover of West Papua by UNTEA to Indonesian administration. Fifty years ago on the 1 May in 1963, the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) transferred administration of the Dutch colony of Netherlands New Guinea to Indonesia. From the moment Indonesia took over the administration from UNTEA, the oppression of the West Papuan people began and 50 years later the oppression continues and so does the struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination During the crackdown two people were killed and three seriously wounded in the town of Sorong. In Timika fifteen people were arrested for simply raising their national flag, The Morning Star and six were arrested in Biak.

    • Wrong Bush Arrested at Bush Library Opening in Dallas

      DALLAS – April 25 – During the opening dedication ceremony of the George W. Bush Library & Policy Center in Dallas, Texas, Dennis Trainor Jr. of Acronym TV and Gary Egelston of Iraq Veterans Against the War wearing Bush and Cheney papermache impressions, were brutally arrested for walking off the curb. The Bush and Cheney characters were in the custody of CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin, dressed as a pink police, who was forced back to the sidewalk while the Dallas police dragged Trainor and Egelston to the ground. “It was an appalling use of brutal force immediately. What happened to a warning or a request ‘Sir, hands behind your back’?” said Medea Benjamin, who is still recovering from the whiplash of the event.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay ‘$204k per month if blockade not lifted’

      Iceland’s Supreme Court has ruled that Valitor (formerly Visa Iceland) must pay WikiLeaks $204,900 per month or $2,494,604 per year in fines if it continues to blockade the whistle-blowing site.

      The court upheld the decision that Valitor had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks’ donation processor, DataCell.

    • Anonymous UK leader Malcolm Blackman cleared of raping woman at Occupy London camp

      A leader of the notorious “hacktivist” group Anonymous UK was cleared at the Old Bailey today of twice raping a woman inside the Occupy London camp.

      Malcolm Blackman, 45, had been accused of attacking the woman after she passed out drunk in her tent on the steps of St Paul’s.

      In another incident he was said to have tied her hands behind her back with cable ties before forcing himself on her.

      Blackman admitted keeping a “tally mark” of all the women he had slept with at the camp.

    • Political Rape

      Nigel Evans is fully entitled to the presumption of innocence; and the media seem more inclined to give it to him than they did to Malcolm Blackman, linked to Anonymous. In this particularly disgusting piece of journalism by Paul Cheston of the Evening Standard, the vicious liar who brought false accusations against Blackman is referred to as “the victim” – not even the alleged victim, but “the victim” – even after Blackman was found not guilty.

      [...]

      It is particularly sickening that Blackman’s name and photograph has been published everywhere in relation to horrifying and untrue accusations of binding someone against their will with cable ties and raping them. This terrible publicity will follow him everywhere for the rest of his life. The deranged or malicious person who fabricated this story in court continues to have their identity protected.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Halliburton seeking settlement over Gulf oil spill

      BP’s cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 announced Monday that it is trying to negotiate a settlement over its role in the disaster, a focus of trial testimony that ended last week.

    • Keystone XL Pipeline ‘All Risk, No Reward’ State Dept. Told

      Opponents of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline packed a State Department public hearing on its latest environmental analysis of the pipeline to warn that it is all risk for the United States, with no reward.

    • Bayer and Syngenta Lobby Furiously Against EU Efforts to Limit Pesticides and Save Bees

      Bee populations have been declining rapidly worldwide in recent years — in the U.S., they have declined by almost 50 percent just since October 2012, according to The Ecologist. The problem is complex, with possible culprits including certain parasites (like Varroa mites), viruses, pesticides, and industrial agriculture. But two studies published in early 2012 in the journal Science suggested a particularly strong connection between the use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids and the decline of both bumble bee and honeybee populations.

    • Big Defeat for ALEC’s Effort to Repeal Renewable Energy Standards in North Carolina

      The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) suffered a big defeat in North Carolina today when a bipartisan group of legislators killed a bill to repeal the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require utilities provide a certain percentage of energy from renewable sources. ALEC typically operates in the dark but has expressed rare public support for the North Carolina effort.

    • Madison Joins “Fossil Free” Divestment Effort

      To date, 11 cities have announced their divestment, and student and community organizers are working on active divestment campaigns in cities and on University campuses around the country. Madison joins San Francisco, CA, Richmond, CA, Berkeley, CA, Bayfield, WI, Ithaca, NY, State College, PA, Eugene, OR, Santa Fe, NM, and Boulder, CO in committing to divesting, along with Seattle, WA, which committed to divestment last fall.

  • Finance

    • Jeffrey Sachs Calls Out Wall Street Criminality and Pathological Greed
    • Anti-Worker “Paycheck Protection” Bills Moving in Missouri

      Missouri is the latest front in the attack on organized labor with so-called “paycheck protection” bills moving through the legislature, with backing from the usual array of corporate interests. But according to the Washington D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, the bills primarily disadvantage workers while preserving privileges for corporations.

    • Art Pope Groups Push Extreme ALEC Tax Agenda in North Carolina

      An array of right-wing organizations in North Carolina are arguing loudly for Governor Pat McCrory to radically alter how corporations and people pay taxes in the state — and the not-so-hidden hand behind the effort is North Carolina millionaire Art Pope, a close ally of the Koch brothers, who funds the groups and has been appointed as North Carolina’s Budget Director.

    • End Too Big to Fail: New Bipartisan Bill Aims to Prevent Future Bailouts, Downsize Dangerous Banks

      Last week, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the first bipartisan legislation aimed directly at putting an end to “too big to fail” financial institutions and preventing future bailouts of America’s behemoth banks.

    • Scott Walker Goes to Bat for “Legal Thievery” in Budget Bill

      Opponents of the budget provisions say rent-to-own companies prey on people already deeply in debt or those who have language barriers, while charging hefty interest at the rate akin to payday lenders. Bishop Listecki says it’s a method to keep those already struggling month-to-month in economic servitude. “If someone wants to pay seven times the amount for an item, they are more than welcome to pay more than seven times for the amount for the item,” he said. “The difficulty is when you are not told when you are paying seven times the amount.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Police Flex Muscles Again, Arrest Admin of Sweden’s #2 BitTorrent Site

        After being targeted by a police raid on a web host previously owned by Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm, Sweden’s #2 torrent site took just three weeks to come back online. Taunting the authorities with their return, Tankafetast rented cinemas and launched a clothing range but for the police there was clearly unfinished business. An admin of the site has now been arrested and questioned. The site, however, remains fully operational.

      • Pirate Bay Finds Safe Haven in Iceland, Switches to .IS Domain

        After The Pirate Bay’s new Greenland-based domains were suspended earlier this month, the world’s largest file-sharing site has found a safe haven in Iceland. From now on TPB can be reached via ThePirateBay.is without the imminent threat of another domain suspension. The Icelandic registry informs TorrentFreak that they will not take action against the domain unless a court order requires them to do so.

      • Rhapsody Wasn’t Happy, So Open Source Music Service Napster.fm Changes Its Name To Peer.fm
      • U.S. Government Fears End of Megaupload Case

        The U.S. Government has just submitted its objections to Megaupload’s motion to dismiss the case against the company. Megaupload’s lawyers have pointed out that the Department of Justice is trying to change the law to legitimize the destruction of Megaupload. However, the Government refutes this assertion and asks the court to deny Megaupload’s motion, fearing that otherwise the entire case may fall apart.

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