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Links 4/6/2013: Honouring Atul Chitnis

Posted in News Roundup at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • US University leverages Linux for high performance computing (Part I)
  • The Linux Setup – David Burke, IT Consultant

    What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?

    ChromeOS with Ubuntu 12.04 in a chroot environment using crouton. This is pretty recent. Before that I was using stock Ubuntu.

  • Linux Top 3: Linux Mint Olivia, Fedora 19′s Cat and Ubuntu’s Mission Accomplished Moment
  • A house divided: Linux factions threaten success

    Linux is at a major tipping point, yet it faces being undermined from within. Jack Wallen calls for the Linux community to end the fighting between the Linux camps.

  • A Community Being Built

    This is, again, another rant along the lines of “fragmentation is killing FLOSS…”.

  • The University of Linux

    No degree? No problem. Free software companies value aptitude and community involvement, and apprenticeships offer a leg up

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • What Linux OS Is On Your Web Server?

      Well, that’s really not the question. Most of you probably don’t have a web server. If you do, you very well might be using something that’s not on our list. There are some great distros, known to make dependable and trouble-free servers, that aren’t listed here. The most glaring omission is probably Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), considered by some to be the Cadillac of server distros.

      The list of GNU/Linux operating systems we’ve supplied in our poll is one we’ve compiled from looking at the choices of operating systems being offered by many hosting companies in virtual private servers (VPS) packages and on dedicated servers.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Freedreno Running On Nexus 4 With The GNOME Shell

        The Freedreno Gallium3D graphics driver that’s a reverse-engineered incarnation of the Qualcomm Snapdragon driver, has support for the A320 graphics core coming along quite well. The A320 found in the Nexus 4 is now running the Freedreno 3D driver and can even handle bearing the load of the GNOME Shell desktop.

      • How Microsoft shattered Gnome’s unity with Windows 95

        There never will be a year when Linux conquers the desktop, because desktop computers are going to merge into tablet-style touch-driven devices and disappear. But desktop Linux was getting close, until Microsoft derailed it a few years back.

        The GNOME project’s recent release, GNOME 3.8, served to remind me of the significance of Microsoft’s actions.

        That’s because GNOME 3. 8 introduces a new GNOME desktop, something it’s calling Classic mode and which the project describes as “the traditional desktop experience”.

        GNOME Classic mode brings to six the total number of GNOME desktops and takes the Linux and open-source community down a path of fragmentation they seem only too willing to venture down.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Lite 1.0.6 Beta
    • Chakra 2013.05 gets graphical package manager

      Chakra 2013.05 is the third edition of the Arch-Linux-based distribution to come with KDE 4.10 – the latest version uses KDE 4.10.3 – and makes use of more applications built for the Qt-based desktop environment. For example, the default package manager is now Oktopi, a graphical frontend for pacman that has only recently made its way into the stable package repositories. The Akabei tool, a similar tool that the Chakra developers have been working on, is still unfinished. The new release also includes kio-mtp, which ensures that file manager Dolphin is able to access mobile devices that use the MTP protocol.

    • Manjaro Linux 0.8.6 Unleashed, Uses Linux Kernel 3.9
    • Chakra 2013.05 gets graphical package manager – Update

      Chakra 2013.05 is the third edition of the independently developed distribution to come with KDE 4.10 – the latest version uses KDE 4.10.3 – and makes use of more applications built for the Qt-based desktop environment. For example, the default package manager is now Oktopi, a graphical frontend for pacman that has only recently made its way into the stable package repositories. The Akabei tool, a similar tool that the Chakra developers have been working on, is still unfinished. The new release also includes kio-mtp, which ensures that file manager Dolphin is able to access mobile devices that use the MTP protocol.

    • New Releases

      • antiX 13
      • Manjaro 0.8.6 got unleashed!

        We are happy to announce our stable release for June 2013 – Manjaro 0.8.6 – a set of installation medias for Manjaro Linux. With this update we present to you more than 25 mirrors hosting our packages all over the world. To get the fastest mirror nearest to your current location we introduced pacman-mirrors, a tool adjusting your mirrorlist. You can rank your list by connection speed or by country. A random option is also available.

      • Snowlinux 4 “Frosty” released!
    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • I am a Mage!

        I officially became a packer on Mageia, Mandriva-based Linux distro. The date marks the creation of an account with access permission to repository and build system for me.

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • First Impressions of aptosid 2013-01

        After spending a peaceful week with Debian’s latest Stable release I decided it was time to experiment with something a little less predictable, something a little more cutting edge. In short, I was looking for a distribution which would offer the opposite experience from Debian’s dependable, conservative approach. As it happens, the opposite of Debian Stable is Debian Unstable. One of the Debian project’s repositories is called “sid” and this repository provides a collection of new and ever changing software. The aptosid project tracks this sid repository and spins it into a cutting-edge distribution. The aptosid distribution is available in a variety of editions including KDE Full, KDE Lite (for people who wish to balance performance with features) and there is an Xfce spin. Each of these editions is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. For my experiment I decided to try aptosid’s Xfce edition, the download for which is 530MB in size.

      • DreamHost Gives Debian Wheezy Linux the Boot in Favor of Ubuntu

        Dreamhost is one of the most popular web hosting companies and it has long been a strong support of Debian Linux.

        Dreamhost isn’t making the move to Wheezy which was recently released. Instead Dreamhost is moving to Ubuntu – apparently because they see it as being more stable.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Full Circle Magazine #73 is OUT!
          • Hello, My Name is

            This project is awesome because we are all part of the same community and are all working on the same thing together. This project is important because it’s free and open, and it is reaching out to all kinds of people. This project is revolutionary because it is taking risks, redefining concepts, and developing more than just a product.

            This project has a name: Ubuntu. And, therein lies the problem.

          • Linux News: 100 Scopes Is Not Ready for Ubuntu 13.10 Yet

            Because Canonical was blamed for not bringing new features to Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail, they work hard in order not to get the same treatment with Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander.

          • Inktank’s Ceph solidifies OpenStack role with Ubuntu enterprise support

            Canonical isn’t the first Linux player to provide full support for the Ceph distributed storage system, but with Ubuntu’s popularity in the OpenStack world, the addition of this subscriber option is timely.

          • Unity 8, Mir Changes Landed Last Week

            Here’s an update on the Mir display server changes and the adjoining next-generation Unity 8 user-interface that were made to end out May.

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod

            Since my current case mods are nearly finished (i still need a pump and the final photoshoot), i’m going to try and make a case mod based on Ubuntu. I have no money however, so i’ll either be re-using parts or needing sponsorship. I’ve sent out a few emails but i’ve not got any good responses. If anyone is willing to sponsor the build, let me know.

          • Full Circle Magazine #73 is OUT!
          • Smart Scopes Update

            One feature that didn’t land in Ubuntu 13.04 was the new Smart Scopes functionality in the Ubuntu dash. This feature greatly widens the scope (pun intended) of the dash returning results for a wide range of online services as well as local results. The whole system was re-architected to be more efficient, and designed to scale across our multi-device strategy.

          • Canonical Launches Ubuntu Community Website

            Canonical, through Daniel Holbach, had the pleasure of announcing on the last day of May that the community.ubuntu.com website is now online.

          • Canonical and Inktank get closer on storage

            Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, and Inktank, the company behind the open source distributed storage technology Ceph, have announced a collaboration which will result in an integrated and supported implementation of Ceph for OpenStack on Ubuntu. Ceph offers object and block storage for cloud platforms and has been available on Ubuntu for some time. The new arrangement means that customers of Canonical’s Ubuntu Advantage Cloud will also get Inktank-backed support for Ceph.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Use Raspberry Pi to stream to any device with SqueezePlug

      Outside of education, the most popular use of a Raspberry Pi is to play multimedia. For starters, you can use it as a nifty little HTPC with the XBMC media centre. In this tutorial, we’ll transform the Raspberry Pi into the ultimate media streaming box.

    • Haswell CPUs shrink TDP to 7-15W, says Intel

      Intel has released new information on its more power-efficient next generation “Haswell” family of Core processors. Quad-core Core i7 Haswell CPUs will offer 15W TDP power consumption, down from 20W on similar Ivy Bridge processors, resulting in up to 9.1 hours of HD playback, while future tablet-ready dual-core parts could lower power consumption by up to 50 percent, to 7W TDP.

    • Real-time friendly Linux for communications uses Yocto

      Enea has integrated Yocto technology into its third generation of Linux to provide a comprehensive cross-development tool chain and runtime environment with guaranteed performance and quality of service (QoS) for communications systems.

    • Linux and Android gain NIST-certified security support

      Inside Secure announced that its Linux- and Android-ready SafeZone Encryption Toolkit has achieved U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FIPS 140-2 certification. SafeZone, which is integrated within Inside Secure’s MatrixDAR and QuickSec VPN Client for Android products, now secures data in transit over SSL/DTLSand IPSEC, as well as “data at rest” on Android devices.

    • ARM aims speedy, power-stingy Cortex-A12 at mid-range mobiles

      ARM announced a 28nm-fabricated Cortex-A12 processor design claimed to offer 40 percent higher performance than the Cortex-A9, while drawing the same power. The Cortex-A12 is paired with a power-efficient Mali-T622 GPU and Mali-V500 video coprocessor, and supports hybrid Big.Little SoC configurations in partnership with the Cortex-A7.

    • APC Paper nabs Computex ‘s Design and Innovation Award

      Taiwan External Trade Council (TAITRA) and the International Forum Design Hannover (iF) have awarded the APC Paper the Design and Innovation Award at Computex 2013, which kicks off tomorrow and ends June 8.

      APC Paper is one of two Neo-ITX form-factor computers announced by VIA Technologies in January. The other is the APC Rock, which is a plain motherboard (it has no built-in case).

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Twitter brings Vine to Android

          Twitter has announced the availability of Vine app for Android devices. The app was already available for iOS devices. Android Vine users will get what iOS users don’t yet have – zoom. Twitters also teased that there may be some features which will be available exclusively to Android only.

        • Android porting suite targets x86 devices

          Insyde Software announced a development platform for deploying Android on Intel x86 reference platforms. “Software Platform for Android” offers production-ready software components built around Insyde’s UEFI Secure Boot technology and “Humanos” version of Android, and provides a variety of Android tools, as well as customization and testing services.

        • Attack of the Intel-powered Androids!

          Several Android tablets running on Intel Clover Trail+ Atom processors broke cover at Computex Taiwan. Intel’s dual-core, 1.6GHz Atom Z5260 is fueling a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 tablet, as well as Asus’s 6-inch Fonepad Note and 10-inch MemoPad FHD10 tablets, while Asus also unveiled a hybrid 11.6-inch Transformer Book Trio, combining an Android slate based on a 2GHz dual-core Atom Z2580 with a keyboard dock running Windows 8 on an Intel Haswell processor.

        • Asus announces Transformer Book Trio, runs Windows 8 and Android with two Intel CPUs
        • Samsung unveils 8-inch and Intel-powered 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablets, coming in June
        • ARM: A ‘generation ahead’ of Intel?

          A senior ARM executive claims that ARM is generations ahead of Intel, according to reports.

        • ARM’s new Cortex-A12 is ready to power 2014′s $200 midrange smartphones

          We already know what ARM has planned for 2014′s high-end smartphones, but what about cheaper handsets? The company is preparing new mid-range silicon that it believes can offer increased performance in phones which could cost as little as $200 off-contract. The new Cortex-A12 core will offer 40 percent more performance as the existing Cortex-A9 which appears in chips like today’s Tegra 3, though it won’t be quite up to the standard set by the Cortex-A15 you’ll find in devices that have Samsung’s Exynos 5250 or Nvidia’s Tegra 4, to say nothing of next year’s Cortex-A57 based chips.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • ASUS Announces Transformer Book Trio, Dual-Boots Android and Windows

        ASUS have taken their love for Android one step ahead. As part of their products unveiling at Computex 2013, Taipei, ASUS announced a bold new member of their Transformer family, the Transformer Book Trio. This new device looks much like its not-so-distant cousin, the Transformer Book, but comes with a big differentiating edge, apart from some better hardware specs.

      • Samsung launches Intel powered Android tablet, also goes 8-inch

        Samsung, the Android market leader, has added two new tablets to its Android family of devices. The 8-inch tablet is powered by 1.5 GHz Dual Core processor and features a 8-inch WXGA TFT(1280 x 800, 189PPI) display. With 5Mpx main and 1.3 front facing camera, the tablet is complimenting its 7-inch devices. The tablet runs Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) with TouchWhiz on top of it. The tablet is clearly targeted at average tablet users who want it mainly for ‘reading.

      • Tablet Growth in USA Education

        Tablets are just about ideal for school in terms of mobility, compact size and ease of use. One downside is loss/theft/breakage but that is offset by the lower cost of a tablet. Compare a ~$200 tablet with a notebook of ~$300 or ATX setup at ~$400. Some schools solve this problem by giving ownership of the tablets to students. Over the career of a student, two or three tablets is just a small part of the cost of education. Mobility may be just a matter of clearing desks/tables from time to time or students lugging tablets around instead of books. It’s all good. Typing is another downside but students tend to have good dexterity so they may be able to type acceptably well on touch-screens.

      • Android tablet, phone kits use 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800
      • HP’s First Android Hybrid SlateBook x2 Slated for an August ’13 Release

        HP’s first Android-based hybrid tablet, the SlateBook x2, is set to make its appearance in markets sometime in August 2013, as per HP’s official SlateBook page. With SlateBook x2, HP has finally joined ASUS in the Android-powered hybrid tablet market. For starters, a hybrid is a kind of tablet with a detachable keyboard that gives it a notebook-like experience.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Clavin seeks to make its mark in open-source world

    But what makes Clavin — an acronym for Cartographic Location and Vicinity Indexer — more unusual, its founders and others say, is that it is open-source software. Its source code is available for free so that users can change and customize it.

  • RIP Atul Chitnis
  • Atul Chitnis—champion of open source in India

    In Atul Chitnis’s untimely death, the world of open source has lost a passionate advocate

  • R.I.P Atul Chitnis : The Man Who Changed the Open Source World

    He was involved in much of India’s open source activities and was a columnist and consulting editor for PCQuest magazine. He was instrumental in setting up communities around Linux and open source software.

  • Open Source guru Atul Chitnis, 51, no more

    FOSS.in founder and former PCQuest consulting editor, Chitnis, loses his battle against cancer and leaves a huge void to fill

  • Open source advocate Atul Chitnis passes away
  • Open source luminary Atul Chitnis dies of cancer at age 51
  • Blinkx Provides App, Open Source Video Player for Tizen Device Platform

    Tizen, the open source, standards-based mobile device platform that resides in the linux foundation now has a dedicated blinkx app, plus an open source blinkx video player. The blinkx API requires registration to see any documentation but more information on the video player for Tizen is available.

  • Review: LiveCode Community is open-source HyperCard for the 21st century

    Many years ago, there was HyperCard, included free with the Macintosh in the late 1980s. It got a lot of attention because it was one of the first tools that made it trivial to create GUI applications. Apple couldn’t figure out how to properly market or position it, so it eventually died of apathy. RunRev has been publishing Revolution, now named LiveCode, as a spiritual successor to Hypercard, for a while, and LiveCode now shares one more important trait with Hypercard: It’s now free.

  • How the ‘internet of things’ can spark an open source community
  • Open source crusade blocks geospatial standard

    An open standard proposal by mapping giant Esri has failed after a backlash from open source developers within the geospatial community led it to withdraw from the process.

  • The Value of Free Software

    I think it is invaluable, but let’s try to figure out how important is, as assigning a monetary value is almost impossible.

  • Hacking the change you want to see

    On June 1, the City of Oakland will co-host ReWrite Oakland as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. ReWrite Oakland will be an all day writeathon that will culminate with the launch of a new website called “Oakland Answers,” based on last year’s Code for America project “Honolulu Answers.”

    Oakland Answers will be citizen-focused website, written in plain-language, that makes it quick and simple for people to find City information and services they are looking for online. City staff and the community will collaborate to answer common questions generated by citizens.

  • Behind the scenes with Bugzilla Project Leader Dave Miller

    Bugzilla is an open source bug-tracking system that prides itself on offering server software that is free but skillfully designed to help developers manage their work. Their installation list is long and robust. So, how do they manage to not charge expensive licensing fees like most other commercial vendors?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google to Deliver Two Chrome Mobile Events This Month

        If you use Google’s Chrome Mobile on either an Android or iOS device, you’re not alone. Google has been steadily increasing its focus on mobile browsing, even as Mozilla prepares to align its whole company strategy around its Firefox OS mobile platform. Now it looks like June will bring some significant news regarding Chrome Mobile, as Google has officially announced two events focused on it, one to take place on June 7, and one on June 13.

    • Mozilla

      • Foxconn and Mozilla confirm Firefox OS partnership

        Mozilla has confirmed earlier reports saying that Foxconn is entering into a “wide ranging partnership” with it to develop and use the Firefox OS in Foxconn devices. Mozilla’s SVP of Mobile Devices said: “This cooperation demonstrates the full potential of Firefox OS, the open Web mobile operating system, to enable not only the smartphone but also a wide range of mobile devices”.

      • iPad manufacturer Foxconn puts its weight behind Firefox OS

        Contract manufacturer Foxconn is backing Mozilla’s open source Firefox OS. The company made the announcement in Taipei. Firefox OS already has a decent partnership will carriers and device makers to bring the OS to the market.

      • Mozilla Prepares to Re-Invent Firefox with Australis Update

        Mozilla is gearing up for a major user interface overhaul for the open source Firefox web browser. Code-named Australis, the new UI is likely to debut as part of Firefox 25, due out in October of his year.

        The Australis overhaul will be the biggest UI change since Firefox 4, which became generally available in March of 2011. After Firefox 4, Mozilla changed its release approach, from having only one or two releases in a year, to a rapid release cycle with new browsers released every six to eight weeks.

      • Foxconn backs Firefox OS play

        Can the open-source, Linux-based Firefox mobile operating system become a mobile-space player? The question is far from answered but Mozilla has a new supporter: major electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn.

      • Firefox OS: Go away fanbois, fandroids – you wouldn’t understand
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Why The Data Problem Is A Good Thing For The Open Cloud Movement

      Piston Cloud Co-Founder Joshua McKenty says the OpenStack customer ecosystem has four emerging market segments. On one side are the customers who hire consultants to build them a cloud. On the other side are the IBM customers who will always be IBM customers.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Making sense of the new features in LibreOffice 4.1

      As the LibreOffice project moves forward with the development on its 4.x branches we sometimes get the feedback that while new features are documented in detail as well as in a summarized fashion (on the wiki and on the website), it is not easy to understand what’s unique about the features in LibreOffice. We often hear things like “but their interface is outdated!” or people asking us to compare LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice.

    • Oracle sets out future Java security plans

      From October 2013, Oracle will be releasing Java security updates as part of its Critical Patch updates. The announcement came as part of the company’s plans to revamp how it will secure Java over the coming years. In a blog post, the lead for the Java platform software development team, Nandini Ramani, outlined both the scheduling and technical security plans.

  • CMS

    • Disaster relief now from DrupalCon

      In an overnight, grassroots movement, the open source platform Drupal has made an impact in Oklahoma. A group of more than 70 volunteer code sprinters—made up of developers, designers, and sys admins—congregated late Tuesday night at DrupalCon in Portland to create help4ok.org.

    • WordPress Development-Amazing Open Source CMS Platform

      WordPress is most popular open source CMS Blogger Platform based on PHP and MySQL. It has many beautiful options and user-friendly plug-in, which help to custom temple and individual web page. WordPress Contain almost 60 million websites worldwide.
      WordPress has strong and easy content management system. As WordPress is open source software it can be operate by any one for personal or professional use.
      Best Part of WordPress is it’s plug-in, and this make wordpress out of the box. There are numbers of effective plug-ins in wordpress which can be use to develop website easily and make it user friendly.

  • Education

    • Open source software experience for educators

      The Professors’ Open Source Software Experience (POSSE) workshop is being held this year in Philadelphia from June 2-4. To prepare for the workshop, online activites are were assigned to be completed in stages and culminated on June 1.


  • Openness/Sharing

    • APJ Abdul Kalam for open source R&D for medicines

      If the concept of ‘open source’ (universal access and contribution to a budding idea/technology via free licence) can be applied to developing software, then why not to promoting research and development into finding cure of diseases like malaria? Former president APJ Abdul Kalam put forth this thought at an event in the city on Sunday.

    • The OWL: open-source, programmable effects pedal
    • Software aids ex-prisoners’ reintegration

      A grassroots organisation is using an open source business intelligence program to improve its chances of helping integrate ex-prisoners into the community.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Aaron Swartz: hacker, genius… martyr?

        Aaron Swartz was a tech whiz-kid and political activist devoted to a free and open internet. When he hacked a website to ‘liberate’ data, US authorities responded fiercely. He faced a fine of up to $1m and 35 years in jail. Then he took his own life. Here, his former girlfriend talks about the circumstances of his death

  • Programming

    • Open Source: Density of Software Defects Increase with the Size of the Code Base

      Coverity has published an annual update of those results over each of the last seven years.

    • GCC 4.8.1 is C++11 feature complete

      The GCC developers have now released GCC 4.8.1 – the latest update to the GNU Compiler Collection after completing their switch to C++ as the implementation language for GCC in March. With this release, the developers now consider their compiler to be the first to implement all major language features of the C++11 standard. LLVM’s Clang compiler is close behind, however, with its upcoming version 3.3 also implementing the major features of C++11. LLVM 3.3 is scheduled for release on 5 June.

    • GitHub releases API libraries for Ruby and Objective-C
    • Processing goes 2.0 with an OpenGL core

      Version 2.0 of the open source Processing language and development environment for creative arts and visual design has been released. Processing was created in 2001 by Ben Fry and Casey Reas as a way for non-programmers to create electronic sketchbooks that could give instant gratification through visual feedback. Based on the Java language, but using a simplified syntax and graphics model, Processing allows creative users to build interactive, graphical programs, or sketches as they are called in Processing, quickly with a supporting simplified IDE. The project’s mission statement explains, succinctly, that

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Zynga lays off 580 employees

    Social gaming company behind FarmVille is also closing offices in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles to save $80m a year

  • Hardware

    • Small Business Less Dependent On Wintel This Year

      Eliminating complexity and bloat is undoing a lot of the lock-in that M$ has cultivated over the years. Instead of needing a super-computer on every desk, small businesses are discovering they just need a network and any old client and OS will do the job. Step forward, */Linux, ready, willing and able to work for less.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Google’s New Disclosure Policy: Helpful, or Who Cares?

      Google shakes up the InfoSec world with a new seven-day disclosure policy. But do top security researchers think it’s a good idea?

    • Google Sets New ‘Aggressive’ 7-Day Deadline For Vendors To Reveal Or Fix Zero-Day Bugs Under Attack

      New policy narrows window for software vendors’ public response to zero-day bugs discovered by Google researchers

    • EVE Online servers suffer two-day DDoS attack

      CCP Games has published details of repeated distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks it has suffered over the last two days. The company develops and runs the popular massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) EVE Online. Attackers targeted the “Tranquility” server cluster and managed to exploit a vulnerability in the backend services that support the game servers. After detecting the attack, CCP decided to take the cluster offline while “a taskforce of internal and external experts” investigated the situation. The company now says it has closed the vulnerability and all game services are back to normal.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Pablo Neruda, Murdered by US corporations.

      For Contreras, whoever the man was, “the important fact is that this was the person who ordered the injection” that allegedly killed Neruda.
      Neruda’s former assistant Manuel Araya also said he believed the poet was poisoned by Pinochet’s agents.

      The Nobel Prize winner’s body was exhumed on April 8, and is being analyzed by Chilean and international forensic specialists.

    • House Bill Would Give Military 1.8 Percent Pay Raise

      Members of the military would receive a 1.8 percent pay increase in 2014 under legislation the House Armed Services Committee is considering on Wednesday.

      Lawmakers are proposing a higher annual raise for service members next year than the 1 percent pay increase that President Obama recommended in his fiscal 2014 budget. Current law mandates a 1.8 percent boost for service members for 2014; the formula for determining service members’ annual pay increases is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Employment Cost Index and the growth in private-sector wages.

    • War and drones

      The fact that drones have now caught the imagination of some in the US as the secret weapon that administrations since 9/11 have resorted to for killing – some call them assassinations – of terrorists in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq, means there are questions now being asked of the legality of these engagements and the consequent issue of morality in using drones for such killings.

    • The CIA: Keepers of the Hit Lists. War Crimes as Policy

      Including economic sanctions, and a 50 year history of sabotage and subversion, America and its Iraqi collaborators visited far more death and destruction on Iraq than Saddam Hussein and his regime.

    • Jill Kelley, Tampa socialite embroiled in CIA Director David Petraeus scandal, sues government

      Jill Kelley, the woman described as a “Tampa socialite” who became enmeshed in last year’s scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus, filed a lawsuit Monday alleging employees of government agencies violated her privacy.

    • Jill Kelley, Florida socialite who helped expose shamed former CIA Director David Petraeus’ career-ending affair, sues federal government for leaking her identity
    • Keeping things secret: Reporter should have avoided revealing CIA’s source

      As Attorney General Eric Holder wrings his hands in remorse over his feverish pursuit of Fox News reporter James Rosen’s phone records, it’s worth noting that, when it comes to national security leaks, some things are secret — and should be kept that way — for a reason.

    • CIA blamed for intelligence failures
    • Could clearance rules put whistleblowers at risk?

      A proposed rule change to streamline the process of conducting security investigations of federal workers in sensitive posts potentially expands the number of positions deemed “sensitive,” and critics worry that the measure could be used to deprive whistleblowers of civil service protections.

      The proposal, from the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is intended to harmonize the way agencies determine eligibility for posts requiring security clearances, or otherwise afford access to sensitive information or restricted facilities. The goal is to allow agencies to rely on one another’s assessments for federal workers moving between departments, eliminating the need for duplicative investigations.

  • Cablegate

    • Suppressed By The BBC

      I was asked to appear twice, once after 7 and once after 8, and to explain why the case of Bradley Manning ought to concern people in the UK. BBC Breakfast is based in Salford. So the BBC sent me train tickets, booked a room in the Holiday Inn and organised a cab for me from Manchester Piccadilly. I had reached so far as Euston from St Pancras yesterday when I discovered, rather by chance that my slots on BBC breakfast had been cancelled. I was instead offered a single live interview at 6.40 am that would not be repeated.

    • Bradley Manning, Thank You For Your Service

      This is a critical time in US History, when the US Government, desperate to cover up war crimes it is committing in the Middle East and Africa, are imposing the most cruel and illegal torture against members of the US military; the sons and daughters of this nation who stepped up to fight for what they believed to be wars for our freedom. The US Government lied to them then, just as the US population is being lied to now by our government, that these wars are anything other than a profit machine for a few rich men. But now we are waking up.

    • No signs of hatred in WikiLeaks soldier’s laptop – investigator

      An Army investigator testified on Tuesday he found no evidence that a soldier accused of the biggest breach of classified information in U.S. history hated his country or had any terrorism-related material on his laptop.

    • Bradley Manning trial ‘dangerous’ for civil liberties – experts

      The trial of Bradley Manning, the US soldier who leaked a trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks, could set an ominous precedent that will chill freedom of speech and turn the internet into a danger zone, legal experts have warned.

      Of the 21 counts faced by the army private on Monday, at his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland, by far the most serious is that he knowingly gave intelligence information to al-Qaida by transmitting hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the open information website WikiLeaks. The leaked disclosures were first published by the Guardian and allied international newspapers.

    • What did WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning do for us?

      As Bradley Manning stands trial in the US, Channel 4 News looks back at what the soldier’s leaks published by WikiLeaks revealed – and the impact they had.

    • WikiLeaks’ Assange says leaker Manning is ‘political prisoner’ in show trial

      Assange called the court-martial a “fully choreographed extravaganza” and said that rulings from the judge have compromised Manning’s ability to mount a complete defense.

      The real defendant, Assange wrote, is the United States: “A runaway military, whose misdeeds have been laid bare, and a secretive government at war with the public. They sit in the docks. We are called to serve as jurists. We must not turn away.”

    • Julian Assange: Media’s Failure To Defend Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks Emboldened DOJ
    • Britain and Ecuador May Discuss Assange Status

      The development concerning Mr. Assange came the day that the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning of the Army, who is accused of passing on sensitive diplomatic and military information, began in Maryland. Private Manning has pleaded guilty to 10 counts, but he has not admitted to the more serious charges of violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy, which could bring a life sentence.

    • Michael Ratner, lawyer for Julian Assange and Wikileaks
    • Film Commissioned by Comcast-Owned Studio Tries to Smear, Discredit Assange, Manning

      Alex Gibney’s new film, “We Steal Secrets,” is about WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. It dutifully peddles the state’s contention that WikiLeaks is not a legitimate publisher and that Bradley Manning, who allegedly passed half a million classified Pentagon and State Department documents to WikiLeaks, is not a legitimate whistle-blower. It interprets acts of conscience and heroism by Assange and Manning as misguided or criminal. It holds up the powerful—who are responsible for the plethora of war crimes Manning and Assange exposed—as, by comparison, trustworthy and reasonable. Manning is portrayed as a pitiful, naive and sexually confused young man. Assange, who created the WikiLeaks site so whistle-blowers could post information without fear of being traced, is presented as a paranoid, vindictive megalomaniac and a sexual deviant. “We Steal Secrets” is agitprop for the security and surveillance state.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Solar’s Rise, Nuclear’s Demise: June Issue of TerraJoule.us
    • Documents Reveal Exxon Mobil Lied and Downplayed Contamination from Pipeline Rupture

      A new batch of documents received by Greenpeace in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has revealed that Exxon downplayed the extent of the contamination caused by the ruptured pipeline. Records of emails between Arkansas’ DEQ and Exxon depict attempts by Exxon to pass off press releases with factually false information. In a draft press release dated April 8, Exxon claims “Tests on water samples show Lake Conway and the cove are oil-free.” However, internal emails from April 6 show Exxon knew of significant contamination across Lake Conway and the cove resulting from the oil spill.

    • Masses turn out to protest nuclear power

      Muto, whose group is studying the prefecture’s future after the Fukushima No. 1 plant is finally decommissioned, told the crowd that since March 11, the people in Fukushima have had to make decisions every day on matters ranging from whether to evacuate and force children to wear masks to such mundane tasks as drying laundry outside and plowing their fields.

    • ‘No nukes’: Thousands in Tokyo rally against nuclear power (PHOTOS)

      Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Tokyo to protest restarting of nuclear reactors the government is considering.

    • California Democrats experience anti-fracking setback

      California Democrats have suffered a setback in their anti-fracking efforts, but will continue to push for more rules on the controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

      The California legislature opted not to follow in the footsteps of New Jersey and New York, defeating a bill that would have put a moratorium on fracking within the state until regulations could be imposed.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Turkish protesters using encryption software to evade censors

      Facebook and Twitter reported to have been blocked in run-up to protests, with people turning to VPNs to broadcast content

    • British Politicians: There’s Child Porn On The Internet And Google Needs To Do Something About It

      It’s that time again. Something bad happens and someone thinks it’s the “internet’s” fault. Where do they turn? Google. If people are seeing and/or doing bad things, it must be Google’s fault for not policing the internet thoroughly enough.

    • Google must take more action to police explicit content, says Vince Cable

      Business secretary admits policing the internet is very difficult, as Keith Vaz calls for code of conduct to be set up for ISPs

    • Sky Broadband blocks Piratebay proxies

      Those blocked from the PirateBay and in possession of a little common sense merely accessed TPB via a proxy and now, as Sky Broadband is stealthy blocking access to these proxies, one has to question, why?

      When you consider that the people this will effect are the ones whom have sought out and facilitated a proxy for access to TPB, any blocking of these will merely result in another search? On top of that there’s hundreds of proxies out there with new ones being created far quicker than Sky Broadband or anyone else can block.

    • Google bans the first Glass porn app Tits & Glass

      Google has removed the first porn app from its Glassware hub, a store for Glass apps. The app was published by a porn company Mikandi and was aptly named Tits & Glass. Google banned and pulled the app within hours of availability. Mikandi says the app was already a success, “Since we announced the availability of Tits & Glass this morning, nearly 10,000 unique vistors have visited TitsAndGlass.com, and a dozen Glass users have already signed up with our app.”

    • June 4th: The Struggle Of Memory Against Forgetting

      Today is June 4th, a day pretty much like any other day in most parts of the world. But in China, June 4th has a unique significance because of the events that took place in Tiananmen Square on that day in 1989.

  • Privacy

    • Disk encryption: This is why you should always use it
    • The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’

      “THE New Digital Age” is a startlingly clear and provocative blueprint for technocratic imperialism, from two of its leading witch doctors, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, who construct a new idiom for United States global power in the 21st century. This idiom reflects the ever closer union between the State Department and Silicon Valley, as personified by Mr. Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, and Mr. Cohen, a former adviser to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton who is now director of Google Ideas.

      The authors met in occupied Baghdad in 2009, when the book was conceived. Strolling among the ruins, the two became excited that consumer technology was transforming a society flattened by United States military occupation. They decided the tech industry could be a powerful agent of American foreign policy.

      The book proselytizes the role of technology in reshaping the world’s people and nations into likenesses of the world’s dominant superpower, whether they want to be reshaped or not. The prose is terse, the argument confident and the wisdom — banal. But this isn’t a book designed to be read. It is a major declaration designed to foster alliances.

      “The New Digital Age” is, beyond anything else, an attempt by Google to position itself as America’s geopolitical visionary — the one company that can answer the question “Where should America go?” It is not surprising that a respectable cast of the world’s most famous warmongers has been trotted out to give its stamp of approval to this enticement to Western soft power. The acknowledgments give pride of place to Henry Kissinger, who along with Tony Blair and the former C.I.A. director Michael Hayden provided advance praise for the book.

    • Kids and the cloud – who is protecting their privacy?
    • Schools conducted iris scans on students as young as six without permission (Photos)
    • FL Schools Go Minority Report On Students, Give Parents Opt Out Choice Afterward

      In past discussions around the use of technology to achieve school security, we have typically found that the practice has more to do with money than safety. Such was the case when a Texas school district issued RFID-chipped student IDs, the impetus for which was actually all about receiving government funding based on attendance. While there was backlash from students and parents in that case, the ire was likely somewhat muted by the fact that these were still basically just ID cards with a little extra juice in them.

    • Google+ isn’t a social network; it’s The Matrix

      Pretty much everyone (myself included) has been reading Google+ wrongly. Because it bears many superficial resemblances to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter – you can “befriend” people, you can “follow” people without their following you back – we’ve thought that it is a social network, and judged it on that basis. By which metric, it does pretty poorly – little visible engagement, pretty much no impact on the outside world.

    • Mobile data for sale: meeting with EE sheds new light

      Last Friday ORG met with representatives of EE to discuss the details of their mobile data analytics operation. The discussion was triggered by a Sunday Times article apparently claiming that Ipsos Mori was trying to sell highly personal information about EE customers to the Met Police, and our campaign following it.

    • How Extensive is the NSA Domestic Surveillance of U.S. Media? Is it legal?

      When the Obama administration started to pursue whistleblowers they took it to a whole new level than previous administrations by going aggressively after the journalists—the government watchdogs, and their whistleblowing sources by misusing government agencies.

    • Need A Job? The NSA’s Utah Spy Center Is Hiring

      A recent, two-year bipartisan investigation by the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations demonstrates concern – even among some members of Congress – that data centers (also known as “fusion centers”) represent a major source of government waste.

  • Civil Rights

    • Blockupy paralyzes Frankfurt for second year in a row

      On June 1, the next Blockupy action took place: a demonstration in Frankfurt. The march started peacefully – until riot police blocked the route. Fighting broke out, with a demonstrators throwing objects at police, and with police kettling demonstrators and attacking them with pepper spray. Exact numbers are not clear, but the Turkish news site Zaman mentions 7,000 protesters, signs reading ‘Make love, not war’ and ‘IMF, get out of Greece’”. Dutch media speak of “thousands of demonstrators”, which, translated back into the reality-based community, probably means many thousands.

    • Turkey protests unite a colourful coalition of anger against Erdogan

      Be they lecturers or street vendors, Turkish nationalist or Kurdish separatist, the Taksim Square protests have brought together Istanbul’s disparate groups … but for how long?

    • Did Obama Flip Flop on the War Against the Press?

      One of the hallmarks of the Tim Russert era of Meet the Press was the gotcha video: A politician would be confronted with some archival footage demonstrating that they had, once upon a time, taken a different position than the one they were taking today.

    • Supreme Court says police can take DNA from arrestees

      A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday said police can routinely take DNA from people they arrest, equating a DNA cheek swab to other common jailhouse procedures like fingerprinting.

      “Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court’s five-justice majority.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Defending Internet Freedom at ORGCon2013

      ORGCon2013 has expert speakers responding to the way the latest tragic news stories are being used for point scoring and clamping down on online freedoms, focusing on online censorship, the Snoopers’ Charter and the Digital Arms Trade, plus many more on relevant current issues.

    • Neelie Kroes sets forth her vision of European net neutrality

      VICE PRESIDENT of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has spoken up on net neutrality policy, saying that choice, preferred services, and openness are key.

      Kroes was talking about net neutrality and the open internet last week, and she returned to the topic today in a speech entitled, “The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Watch Out for the Coming TAFTA/TTIP “Science-Based” Negotiating Trick

      As anyone who has been following me recently will know, one of the most important geopolitical developments is the decision to negotiate a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), also known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which makes clear its kinship with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) currently being drawn up.

      Equally, you will know that my chief concern with TAFTA/TTIP is not so much any section on intellectual monopolies – although those might well turn out to be ACTA 2.0 – but the clauses dealing with unmemorably-named “Investor State Dispute Resolution”.

      I’ve explained what these are and why they are so dangerous on Techdirt (twice, actually.) In a sentence, this system allow a company to sue a country, directly, for alleged loss of future profits caused by tiresome things like environmental legislation or health and safety laws.

    • Copyrights

      • ARM Launches Hollywood Approved Anti-Piracy Processor

        Chip manufacturer ARM has announced a Hollywood-approved video processor that enables content producers to prevent piracy on mobile platforms. The Mali-V500 video chip features hardware embedded anti-piracy capabilities which secure playback of high-definition video. According to ARM the new chip meets the toughest anti-piracy standards for mobile devices.

      • Canadian ACTA Compliance Bill Inches Forward

        Earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced a bill aimed at ensuring that Canada complies with the discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The bill raises a host of concerns including granting border guards increased powers without court oversight or review. The bill had not been heard from since its introduction, but yesterday Paradis moved that the bill be read a second time and referred to committee for further study.


Links 2/6/2013: Arch Linux 2013.06.01, Slackpkg

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Reinventing Simple

    The days when Linux applications were small and simple are long gone. With Firefox and LibreOffice installed on most desktops, the community has embraced monster-sized apps so unreservedly that you can sometimes need to look twice to see what operating system you are using. In fact, the complexity has become so great that simplicity is being reinvented again and again — by adding complexity.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The systemd journal is a broken piece of crap.

      Why, you ask? Well, it is a write-only database, which means there is no tool to actually read or fix a journal files, should they become corrupt. Or even notice the corruption. And they become corrupt all the time.

    • You’re Invited to Contribute to the Future of Linux.com
    • Intel Linux Driver For Ivy Bridge Still Catching Up To Windows

      After yesterday’s Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Linux graphics comparison using the very latest Intel Linux graphics driver, here are new benchmarks using the latest Windows and Linux Intel OpenGL graphics driver. Facing competition this morning is Microsoft Windows 7 Pro x64 and Ubuntu 13.04 with its updated open-source stack.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Works On Intermediate Pixel Storage

        A new feature being worked on for the Intel DRM Linux kernel graphics driver is IPS. Short for Intermediate Pixel Storage, this feature should allow modern Intel HD graphics cores to let the CPU enter deeper PC states to increase power-savings.

      • Genode OS 13.05 Brings Automated Tests, Exynos 5

        New features to this original open-source operating system is automated quality assurance testing, improvements to the terminal infrastructure, there’s support for Samsung Exynos 5 platforms with drivers for USB 3, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit networking, eMMC, and SATA. The ARM-based Freescale i.MX53-based devices has new display, touchscreeen, and GPIO drivers. Lastly, the TI OMAP4 display driver has better LCD and HDMI support. There’s also been a custom kernel added for the Raspberry Pi.

    • Benchmarks

      • The First Experience Of Intel Haswell On Linux

        Haswell is here, Haswell is here, Haswell is here!!! After talking for months about the Linux kernel and driver development for Intel’s Ivy Bridge successor, the heatsink can be lifted today on talking about Intel’s Haswell processor. For the past few weeks I have been running and benchmarking an Intel Core i7 4770K “Haswell” processor on Linux to mixed success. While the Haswell improvements are terrific, the Linux experience now is awaiting improvements.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kévin Ottens – Akademy 2013 Community Keynote

        Kévin Ottens is a long-time KDE hacker, known as ervin on IRC and email. He contributes to the KDE Community at large, with a strong emphasis on API design and frameworks architecture. He was instrumental in developing the KDE Manifesto, a process that started during Akademy 2012.

      • This month (May) in Redhat KDE
      • Marble and the KML Editor

        I am Adrian, a Romanian first-year student majoring in Computer Science at Imperial College London. I have recently been accepted to work on a KML Editor feature for the Marble Virtual Globe as part of KDE and this blog is where I plan to regularly post updates on the progress of the project.

      • Kdenlive: spring cleaning

        Here are some news on what is happening with Kdenlive’s video editor. Last year, we launched a successful IndieGoGo campaign to sponsor Till Theato’s work on Kdenlive.

      • KStars Summer of Code 2013

        Hello Planet KDE — my name is Henry de Valence, and I’ll be doing a GSOC project this summer for KStars. The main goal of the project is to rewrite the astronomy engine in KStars so that it runs much more efficiently and in parallel.

      • Supercharge Your Desktop With Kupfer

        Gnome-Do was once my application launcher of choice, but soon after I adopted it the project seemed to go stale. Luckily, a new project has stepped up to fill the void, and so far I’m impressed. Kupfer has all the feature I’m looking for, and a fantastic Python API for easy expansion.

        Kupfer is another clone of the popular OS X application Quicksilver. At it’s most basic level, Kupfer is an application launcher, but if that were all that it did there would be little sense in running it. The function of launching applications, once the domain of the quicksilver clone category of apps, has made it’s way into to the main desktops. Unity, Gnome, KDE, and their respective derivatives all have basic app and file launching support, but none are quite as full featured as Kupfer. The main benefit of a keyboard launcher is the expandability of its feature set. In fact, launching applications is one of my least used features of Kupfer. For example, here are a few things I use it for every day.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • One Week With GNOME 3 Classic: Day One (Paradigm Shift)

        tl;dr GNOME Classic has some polish problems, but it’s a solid desktop and a significant improvement in workflow over GNOME standard.

        Over the course of a week, I’m going to be experimenting with the new GNOME Classic desktop in Fedora 19 beta. I will be recording my experiences (hopefully) daily on this blog. This series of blog entries are entirely my own opinion and do not reflect the opinions of my employer, the Fedora community or anyone besides myself (though I hope my findings will be useful to all).

      • One Week With GNOME Classic: Day Two (Reorientation)

        After my experience on Day One, I decided to make two significant changes to my working environment in order to adapt to the GNOME Way. Despite many years of using Pidgin as my primary communications application (since way back when it was still called gAIM… get off my lawn), I decided that the lack of notification availability was a significant detriment to my ability to get things done in my day job, so I bid it a tearful farewell and started looking for an alternative.

  • Distributions

    • Review: SolydXK 2013.04.06

      What is SolydXK? Debian-based Linux Mint never had a KDE edition, so SolydK was born out of the unofficial project featuring KDE in Debian-based Linux Mint. Then, Linux Mint pushed its Xfce edition back to an Ubuntu base, necessitating the emergence of SolydX. Together they form SolydXK, based on Debian Testing but with update packs, just as Debian-based Linux Mint is.

    • Selecting a distribution is a personal decision

      maddog explains what’s behind his use of particular Linux distributions.

    • 10 Linux Distributions and Their Targeted Users

      Do you know from where does the power of Linux comes from? Well Linux is getting richer everyday with the presence of so much distros and every distro possessing a large group of users and developers working voluntarily on the project. Linux distributions come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re aimed at addressing every conceivable need. This article aims at briefing why a certain distro exist, who are the targeted user of the distro, and what special features it has as compared to its’ counterpart.

    • Comment: Don’t develop just for your favourite distribution

      The Cinnamon desktop has yet to be updated in such a way that it can be installed on a system together with GNOME 3.8, released in late March. That makes Cinnamon, developed as part of the Linux Mint project, yet another example of software built by short-sighted developers – who are only hurting themselves, since this behaviour hinders growth and deprioritises users.

    • SolydK Linux review – Very solid

      SolydXK is probably the weirdest name you can give your Linux distributions, mostly because it is an amalgamation of two names, SolydK and SolydX, two sub-versions of this distribution, graced with the KDE and Xfce desktop environments, respectively. See the confusion already? But never mind that.

      I was asked to take a look and review, if I please. And I did please. Now, as always, with any small distro, there’s the huge risk of one-man-show development and all the other associated issues. But I will put these aside now. Just be aware that SolydXK, no matter how good or bad, might simply vanish, just like the ultra-awesome Fuduntu did. With that in mind, it’s time to check the KDE flavor of this distro, hence the SolydK review.

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

      • Slackpkg Update Fixes Long Standing Annoyance

        Slackware’s Slackpkg has long had a design flaw default behavior that could result in inoperative applications or systems. But Patrick Volkerding recently addressed the issue with a simple but significant change. In addition, Slackware is getting some new native packages and updates.

        Willy Sudiarto Raharjo, Slackware enthusiast and contributor, recently reported of a significant change in slackpkg that will instruct the package manager to download all packages needed when installing a new application or applying updates. This avoids the condition where a package in a series is installed or updated before its full dependencies and, in some extreme cases, rendering the application or subsystem inoperative. Now, as Raharjo says, “In the normal operations, slackpkg will download the packages one by one and install/upgrade them sequentially.”

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora’s Schrödinger’s Cat Linux gives coders claws for thought

          The Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment, devised by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, pits the theory of quantum superposition against what we observe to be true.

          In the world of Linux distros, in theory the beta version of Fedora 18 was slated for release in early October 2012; what we actually observed in practice was six rounds of delays until the end of November 2012 when the software finally emerged.

        • Pidora: The Raspberry Pi Fedora remix
        • Get Java 8 Tech Preview in Fedora 19

          One reason that someone will pick Fedora is to get the latest and the greatest open software available. Well, that isn’t always true and you might find more updated distros around, but Fedora additionally is quite user friendly and it has evolved in a pretty nice Operating System -for any taste.

        • tboot in Fedora 19: Don’t worry, it’s just a bug

          After installing Fedora 19 beta and rebooting my test computer, I noticed that one of the options available in GRUB’s menu is tboot 1.7.0. Not sure what it’s for, I selected it and hit the Enter key.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Opens Portal to Rejected Community

            Ubuntu, or its managers, have snubbed their loyal users more times than I can even remember now, but they’ve more or less let it be known by their actions that they aren’t interested in the community anymore. They have commercial aspirations and prospects now, but constantly reassure users that they’re all about the community. Apparently their users aren’t buying it. So, today brings just the latest attempt at wooing the community back under their rock.

          • Surface Pro Owner? Here’s How to Install Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu Phone Dogfooding Update

            A while back I blogged about dogfooding Ubuntu Phone; that is, eating our own dogfood by using it on a daily basis. I have been tracking this here.

          • community.ubuntu.com

            For some time now we have wanted to improve the community pages on ubuntu.com. While the pages there provided an overview of the community they really didn’t serve us or our new community members very well.

          • Ubuntu Opens Portal to Rejected Community

            Ubuntu, or its managers, have snubbed their loyal users more times than I can even remember now, but they’ve more or less let it be known by their actions that they aren’t interested in the community anymore. They have commercial aspirations and prospects now, but constantly reassure users that they’re all about the community. Apparently their users aren’t buying it. So, today brings just the latest attempt at wooing the community back under their rock.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Minty fresh Linux: Olivia hits the virtual shelves

              The Linux Mint project has released version 15 of the desktop that they’re calling the “most ambitious release since the start of the project.”

            • Linux Mint 15 hits the web, begs for ‘Olivia’ Munn endorsement

              As with previous releases, the newest Mint iteration, “Olivia,” comes in two distinct flavors: Cinnamon and MATE. While both have received a bit of polish, it’s the fresher Cinnamon that has gotten the most attention. Version 1.8 of the desktop environment has received plenty of bug fixes, along with a new dedicated settings panel that bypasses the GNOME control center. Support for “Desklets” (read: widgets) has also been added and the log-in screen is completely customizable through HTML5. Both versions benefit from the addition of MintSources, for managing software repositories, and MintDrivers, for managing drivers, obviously. While they’ll come in handy for consumers, the biggest advantage is that IT managers may now be more accepting of the refreshingly green Ubuntu derivative. The developers are calling version 15 their most ambitious release yet, and while we’re not completely convinced that’s true, it’s certainly a significant upgrade over November’s Nadia. You’ll find the full changelog
              and download links at the source.

            • Linux Mint 15 ‘Olivia’ Features Update With An Ambitious Release
            • Linux Mint 15 MATE and Cinnamon screen shots
            • Linux Mint 14 : Nadia released
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Gumstix touchscreen baseboard can be customized online

      Gumstix announced a touchscreen baseboard for its Linux-ready Overo computer-on-modules built entirely with the company’s new Geppetto custom design platform, and available for further modification via the web-based Geppetto. The Alto35 is available with a 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen from InTouch Electronics.

    • Tiny module runs Linux on Altera ARM+FPGA SoC

      Critical Link announced a tiny, Linux-ready, SODIMM-style module based on the Altera Cyclone V SX-U672 ARM/FPGA SoC. The MityARM-5CSX builds on the Cyclone V’s mix of FPGA logic and dual-core 800MHz ARM Cortex-A9 processing power, adding two GigE channels, a PCI Express bus, and 145 GPIO lines.

    • ARM Launches DS-5 Development Tools for ARM Linux-Based Systems

      ARM [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMH)] today announced, at the Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, Germany, the launch of the Keil™ Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Application Edition, a software development tool suite which simplifies the development of Linux and Android native applications for ARM® processor-based systems, reducing the learning curve and shortening the development and testing cycle.

    • UDOO: Android Linux Arduino in a tiny single-board computer

      UDOO takes your DIY projects to the next level and it’s a powerful tool for education and creativity.

    • Raspberry Pi Gains Graphics Speed as Wayland Replaces X

      On May 24, Raspberry Pi Foundation executive director Eben Upton announced that the open source board’s recommended Linux distribution, Raspbian, will be adding support for a customized Wayland display manager.

      While the Pi’s Broadcom BCM2835 system-on-chip may be limited to a 700MHz ARM11 processor, it also has an impressive graphics processing unit (GPU) called the VideoCore 4. The Wayland windowing interface is optimized for the VideoCore and will offer much faster and more capable display performance compared to the current X Window, wrote Upton.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tizen Linux running on the Google Nexus 7 (video)

        Tizen is an open source, Linux-based operating systems designed for smartphones, tablets, TVs, laptops, and just about anything else that needs an operating system. It’s backed by Intel and Samsung, and it’s been in development since the MeeGo Linux project shut down two years ago.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Program Can Turn Humans Into Robots [Video]

    Graduate students in New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) have developed an open API platform that allows users to move another person’s arms remotely, using an internet connection and an iPhone.

  • Open Source Phones May Have Brighter Futures Than You Think

    Three years ago, In a post here on OStatic, I asked this question: “Is It Too Late for an Open Source Challenge to Android?” And now, as we’ve been covering recently, a number of players are seeking to answer that question. Mobile phones based on Mozilla’s Firefox OS and Ubuntu are imminent, as are smartphones based on Tizen Linux. There are other smaller players in the mix as well.

  • Events

    • TrueAbility Sponsors Contest at the 2013 Texas Linux Fest

      The 2013 Texas Linux Fest takes place today in Austin at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

      And the team from San Antonio-based TrueAbility will be holding a Linux showdown, similar to the one they had at SXSW Interactive earlier this year.

      The contest will test the skills of Linux administrators and the top programmers will be awarded prizes. First place will get a Lenovo laptop, second place a Nexus tablet and third place with get a Beagle Bone Black starter pack. This contest is only open to those in Texas attending the conference, said Luke Owen, co-founder and CEO of TrueAbility.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Hortonworks release HDP 1.3 with Hive enhancements

      Hortonworks has announced HDP (Hortonworks Data Platform) 1.3, the latest version of its all open source Hadoop platform. The company points out that it has achieved a steady rate of releases of the platform – 1.0 in June 2012, 1.1 September 2012, 1.2 February 2013 and now 1.3 in May – and with the latest release it has been able to focus on Hive and SQL access in Hadoop; Hive is the de facto route for accessing Hadoop data in SQL.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • Open source mentoring scheme to select talented developers

      International Centre for Free and Open Source Software here has launched a joint mentoring programme with the Apache Software Foundation, a leading producer of free and open source software.

    • Students to rock on open source platform this summer

      While more and more users worldwide are moving towards open-source platform such as Android and Linux, the developers from the city see it as a major opportunity for future. A large number of students are all ready to participate in Google Summer of Code this year. A total of 22 students from colleges of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar will be working with open source giants to develop applications and platforms to get practical exposure.

      Mitesh Sanghvi, manager of Google Business Group in Ahmedabad, told TOI that from this year onwards, they are trying to reach out of metros to create awareness about the event that has more than 100 companies working in open source software. “The students will work from India and abroad for three months and apart from stipend, would get invaluable experience by working with experts,” he said.

    • State to tap expertise in open source software domain

      Kerala that lagged behind its counterparts in the IT race, is tapping its expertise in the open source software domain, for a paradigm shift. The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), one of the largest global companies on free and open source software, has now launched its pilot project in the country in Kerala. Oracle had sent in its feelers, while discussion with other IT giants, including Google, are on the cards.

      Satish Babu, director, International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), an autonomous institution under the Kerala Government, told Express that the tie-up with the ASF would give open source developers in the state an international exposure. “Compared to other states, Kerala has a good talent pool in the open source software as the state was one of the pioneers in the country to promote free and open software movement.


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Crowdsourcing- The Good, The Bad, And the Uglords

      However, too much of a good thing can be bad, as old dearies like to say. Crowdsourcing is full of projects that have become victims of their own success, and come close to imploding from all the effort to cope with subsequent demand.

    • Science finds a better foundation for research in the open
    • The sharing economy blooms on campus, saves Higher Ed?

      Burdened by runaway costs, unsustainable infrastructure, outrage over tuition increases, declining public dollars, and outmoded degree programs, colleges and universities are struggling to satisfy the needs of their current patrons, let alone cater to a global student population that is expected to double by 2025.

    • Anesthesia Illustrated Tests Open-Source Education Model

      In its first year, Anesthesia Illustrated, an open-source repository of anesthesia video lectures, attracted users from more than 150 countries who downloaded videos 94,213 times, according to an assessment presented at the 2013 Society for Technology in Anesthesia meeting.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino Robot to Drive Robotics Concepts on Wheels

        Perhaps you have already found some time to do a bit of tinkering with Arduino. It’s a popular open source electronics platform based on a microcontroller and microprocessor with I/O capabilities that allow it to drive many kinds of surprising inventions. We’ve covered the platform and the community that creates with it before.

  • Programming

    • Dynamic languages have jumped the shark

      I still remember the heated arguments I’d have with my high school professors about dynamic languages. What do you mean python isn’t a real language? What’s wrong with you!? Dynamic languages are the coolest thing ever!


  • HTC , The Problem Is Not The Hardware. It’s The Monopolist’s Software.

    A 7 inch tablet with that other OS still won’t match the price/performance of */Linux on ARM. To compete, you have to sell Android/Linux or GNU/Linux on your products. Check out ASUS… They even sell gadgets with keyboards running Android/Linux.

  • Amazon cloud threatens ENTIRE IT ECOSYSTEM – report

    The moneymen have finally looked up from beneath their golden canopies and noticed, hovering above them, a cloud named Amazon that is putting traditional IT companies in the shade.

    Amazon’s cloud poses a major threat to most of the traditional IT ecosystem, a team of 25 Morgan Stanley analysts write in a report, Amazon Web Services: Making Waves in the IT Pond, that was released on Wednesday. Brocade, NetApp, QLogic, EMC and VMware are said to face the greatest “challenges” from the growth of AWS,

  • Amazon cloud threatens ENTIRE IT ECOSYSTEM – report

    Microsoft has just released some information about Windows 8.1 and the Start button isn’t being reinstated. If you have read other headlines and new reports that say that it is, then you are simply being misled.

  • Lawsuit Over Who Gets Starbucks Tips

    I imagine Mr. Pink doesn’t tip at Starbucks. Hell, I don’t “tip” at Starbucks. Occasionally, I don’t feel like having 30 cents clanging around in my pocket all day, so I throw it in the tip jar. But there’s only so much I can pay for a cup of coffee in good conscience.

    Apparently, there’s a lawsuit kicking around the New York Court of Appeals over who owns the tips at Starbucks. The baristas are fighting to keep control over the jar and not share the tips with assistant managers.

  • Retired Justice warns against ‘politicians in robes’

    Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor made a plea for preserving the impartiality and independence of the American judicial system in a lecture Thursday at Elmhurst College.

    O’Connor, who addressed a crowded audience at Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on the west suburban campus, delivered the Rudolf G. Schade lecture on history, ethics and law.

  • Science

    • Awesome Stuff: Print Stuff, Make Stuff

      from the make-stuff-in-your-home dept
      One of the biggest and most important trends right now is the increasing ability for people to make physical stuff that used to be impossible to make themselves. 3D printing is, obviously, a big part of that, but a variety of other advancements are happening at the same time. We’re in the very early days, but machines that help you make stuff are getting cheaper and cheaper, as they get more and more powerful.

    • Graphene-based image sensor to enhance low-light photography

      A team of scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has developed a new image sensor from graphene that promises to improve the quality of images captured in low light conditions. In tests, it has proved to be 1,000 times more sensitive to light than existing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) or charge-coupled device (CCD) camera sensors in addition to operating at much lower voltages, consequently using 10 times less energy.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Obama and Drone-Speak: Targets Intentional or Otherwise

      Well it was that President Barack Obama would make the claim that the way prisoners are detained and the way drones are used in terms of targeting would “define” the United States as a nation. A nation of opportunistic, moneyed hustlers intent on bruising the next foreign nose is already a definition worth having. But Obama wants something else. He wants a different style in counter-terrorism strategy, one of death under the guise of law. This has been every nation’s greatest challenge: finding the legitimate means of killing your opponents without feeling too bad about it.


      Obama claims that a new classified policy will deal with the use of unmanned aircraft in areas where the term war is simply not used – Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen. Lethal force will be deployed against those who pose “a continuing, imminent threat to Americans”, and cannot be captured in any practicable way. That, at least, is the drone-speak humming from the pen of Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

    • Obama speech can’t bury drone damage

      “America is at a crossroads,” declared President Obama in a major speech he delivered at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. The speech was essentially a lengthy, carefully argued, yet contradictory defense of his highly controversial drone war.

    • Obama’s Willful Foreign-Policy Blindness

      There is a vast chasm between “saying” and “doing” in the Obama administration.

    • Legalize murder via ’69 Cambodian mayhem!

      Where are similar figures of conscience in the Obama White House, or even the Democratic Party? Where are the leaks and resignations? Perhaps this is the ultimate object lesson on display in the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning. Internal dissent, regardless of its legal and moral standing, shall not be tolerated. Indeed, it will be considered sedition and will be smothered by the supreme sanction of the government. Acts that were once considered outrages against conscience are now routine.

    • Drone crashes in southern Somalia, may have been shot down

      Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon was seeking to send drones to Kenya as part of a $40 million-plus military aid package to help four African countries fighting al Qaeda and al Shabaab militants

    • Four numbers that everyone needs to know about drone strikes

      The number of people killed in U.S. drone strikes for every high-level suspect.

    • Prison officers ‘treat us like subhumans’, claims former CIA officer convicted of leak

      John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer jailed for revealing the name of a covert agent in charge of the US government’s Bush-era enhanced interrogation programme, has claimed he is treated as “subhuman” by wardens at the Pennsylvania prison where he is held.

      Kiriakou began serving a 30-month sentence in February, after being convicted of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by e-mailing the name of a covert CIA agent to a freelance reporter, who did not publish the name. He is the first current or former CIA officer to be convicted of leaking classified information.

    • Op-Ed: Obama refuses to pardon or commute sentence of CIA whistleblower
    • The Rendition Project: Secret CIA Flight Network Revealed?

      A team of academics have launched the world’s largest interactive database detailing suspected CIA rendition flights, many of which may have transported detainees to Guantanamo Bay, RT Reported.

    • Bishops Say Grave Concerns Remain Over Obama Drone War

      The president insists the U.S. will use drones in accordance with just-war principles, but Catholic leaders say some moral questions still remain.

    • Add morality to list of drone victims
    • When it comes to unmanned warfare it’s nothing personal
    • ‘Killer robots’ which are able to identify and kill targets without human input should be banned, UN urged

      Human rights investigator Christof Heyns to lead calls against lethal robotic weapons

    • Agonizer in chief

      The hypocrisy of praising Obama for ‘asking the right questions’

    • Civilization has no place for drones

      There is no avoiding an international drone race; they should be banned like chemical weapons

    • Inside the Murky World of ‘Signature Strikes’ and the Killing of Americans With Drones
    • Syrian opposition fighters arrested with chemical weapons

      While widely reported in the Turkish press, the arrests Wednesday have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media in the US. Newspapers like the New York Times, which have openly promoted a US intervention in Syria, citing alleged chemical weapons use by the regime of Bashar al-Assad as a pretext, have posted not a word about the raids in Turkey.

    • Drones Kill Seven People in Yemen

      Yemeni political media affirm the majority of victims of those attacks are civilians that are then identified as members of Al Qaeda…

    • Two U.S. Drones Kill Seven in Southern Yemen

      Two cars, traveling on a Yemen highway, exploded Friday. There were seven al-Qaeda militants inside. Two U.S. drone strikes killed all seven.

    • UPDATE 1-Two drone strikes kill seven in southern Yemen-local official

      Two drone strikes killed seven suspected al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen on Saturday, a local official said, nine days after U.S. President Barack Obama said he would only use such strikes when a threat was “continuing and imminent”.

    • US drone attacks are further radicalising Pakistan

      President Obama might believe he is rooting out terrorists, but the drone attacks in Pakistan are also creating more radicals

    • Bush policies still alive in Obama White House

      President Obama came into office promising to be the opposite of George W. Bush, but after nearly five years as commander in chief, his policies are more like his Republican predecessor than he would care to acknowledge.

    • How Many People Has Barack Obama Killed With Drones?

      The actual number of drone deaths is at least 200 times the “22 top Al-Qaeda leaders plus Bin Laden” noted by President Obama. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) recently floated the number 4,700. Independent studies by both U.S. and British investigators have confirmed numbers in that ballpark, with many of those being “collateral damage.” But let’s, for the sake of simplifying the arithmetic, take a conservative round number of 4,000 deaths against a hypothetical 300 senior operational enemy leaders. After all, President Obama did not say that we have killed only 23 people with drones.


      The reality is that U.S. drones have killed thousands, rather than dozens or a few hundred, and that many of them were civilians. The lion’s share of these killings surely could not occur under any dictionary definition of “imminent threat.” Most questionable are the so-called “signature strikes,” where targeting is based on circumstantial evidence rather than known identity of the target.

    • John Kerry’s iffy drone, climate claims

      KERRY on drones: “The only people that we are going after are confirmed terrorist targets at the highest level. … We will not fire when we know there are children or collateral damage. … I am convinced that we have one of the strictest, most accountable and fairest programs.”

      THE FACTS: President Barack Obama’s recently amended drone policy includes some of these elements, but that was not always the case. According to the New America Foundation, the CIA and U.S. military have killed 3,364 militants and civilians with drones over the last decade. Although the number of noncombatants killed is not known, the dead have not all been “highest level” terrorists.

      The New America Foundation maintains a database of the strikes and compiles its numbers from reports in major news media that rely on local officials and eyewitness accounts. It estimates that one in five of those killed by drones is a noncombatant. The Obama administration said the number of civilians killed is in the single digits. As for comparisons, no other country is known to use armed drones to kill individuals in foreign lands.

    • Germany shies away from comment on possible role in US drone war

      It looks like a computer game, but it’s deadly serious news in Germany: US soldiers control drone attacks with a joystick. According to new media reports, military bases on German soil play a key role in the drone war.

    • Report: US drone attacks via US bases in Germany

      The US military’s use of unmanned aircraft to kill terror suspects in foreign countries has come under media scrutiny in Germany. US bases in Germany may be involved in drone killings.

    • Kotarski: Obama’s drone jokes gloss over real casualties

      Another joke. According to a May 2012 New York Times report, Obama’s drone policy “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants … unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”

    • Beyond the drones

      THE renewed debate on drone attacks in Fata and the response from the Pakistan authorities deserve due attention.

  • Cablegate

    • New poll reveals that Julian Assange could win senate seat in Australian elections

      Assange’s bid for a senate seat was seen by many as a stunt, but a poll has found 26 per cent of Australians would vote him in.

    • Julian Assange miffed by mainstream media

      Julian Assange has accused the conventional media of losing their bite and behaving like a “fresh-faced coquettes with too many suitors”. Writing in The Spanner journal, the WikiLeaks founder argues that most print and online journalists have become lazily reliant on press releases or stories that are fed to them by lobbyists.

      “These coquettes long ago stopped cooking their own food and now expect everything to be lovingly presented on a silver platter,” complains Assange, who has been eating from the Ecuadorean Embassy’s crockery since he claimed asylum there last year.

    • Guarding Assange in London

      Whether the British tax payer starts foaming at the mouth at the extensive and expanding bill will be something worth seeing. The bloody mindedness of the British government is considerable. The spectacle has ceased merely being absurd. It has become absurdly expensive.

    • Bradley Manning Accused Of Aiding [Classified Enemy]

      Okay, so in Orwell’s 1984, the powers that be may have switched who the “enemy” was arbitrarily and then rewritten history to argue we were always at war with Eurasia or Eastasia. But, at least there was a defined enemy. In the court martial case against Bradley Manning, for supposedly “aiding the enemy” by releasing State Department cables and other documents to Wikileaks, he’s being charged with aiding a “classified enemy” along with aiding Al-Qaida. We’ve already explained why the aiding the enemy charge is highly dubious, since that charge is normally reserved for directly handing information to an enemy, not leaking it to the press.

    • Protesters Support Soldier Ahead of WikiLeaks Court-Martial

      Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a U.S. army base Saturday to voice support for Private First Class Bradley Manning, whose court-martial begins there Monday for the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.

    • Bradley Manning Wikileaks Trial to Spur US Demonstrations [VIDEO]

      US authorities were accused of torture after putting Manning on “extreme suicide watch”, meaning he was held in solitary confinement, kept in his cell for 23 hours a day, had all possessions withheld. and was held overnight under lights and repeatedly stripped of his clothes.

    • Protesters rally at Fort Meade before WikiLeaks trial

      Members of the Bradley Manning Support Network and others gathered Saturday near Fort Meade’s main gate.

    • US: Protesters Support Bradley Manning Ahead of WikiLeaks Trial [photo,video]

      Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a U.S. army base Saturday to voice support for Private First Class Bradley Manning, whose court-martial begins there Monday for the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.

    • Protesters Support Bradley Manning Ahead Of WikiLeaks Court-Martial
    • Daniel Ellsberg: WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning deserves to be seen as a hero

      Former Defense Department official Daniel Ellsberg praised WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning in video published Thursday.

    • CODEPINK to Stage Creative Action on the Eve Of WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning’s Court Martial

      The peace group CODEPINK will join the efforts of the Bradley Manning Support Network in a march and rally outside Ft. Meade where the WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning is scheduled to face court martial on Monday, June 3, 2013. They will dress as Lady Justice, blindfolded, with togas and scales, in front of a huge mural depicting Manning with a Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award. They will speak out about how Manning’s revelations have contributed to the group’s work for peace and justice.

    • Bradley Manning Trial: Support Surging For Wikileaks Whistleblower

      The trial of Army Private First Class and two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning is set to finally begin on Monday, at Fort Meade, Maryland. Supporters are planning a rally for Manning on Saturday, with ABC News reporting that large crowds are expected to come out in a demonstration of support for the intelligence analyst who leaked over 700,000 government and military documents to WikiLeaks in the largest leak in U.S. history. Manning potentially faces up to life in prison if found guilty of the most serious charges against him, aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act. The trial is expected to last three to four months.

    • Feds, soldier’s supporter in Wikileaks case settle

      BOSTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says the federal government has agreed to destroy all data obtained from a computer and other electronic devices seized from an advocate of the Army soldier accused of sending classified U.S. documents to Wikileaks.

  • Finance

    • Time Magazine Stands With Rahm

      Time doesn’t dwell on criticisms of Emanuel’s policies; readers are told that “the Chicago Teachers Union, a power unto itself, loosed its heavy artillery”–which sounds menacing–and that some people “charged that the closures targeted majority-black schools with majority-black faculties.”

    • Former Cahill aide, Goldman banker fined $100,000

      In its toughest sanction yet on pay-to-play-schemes, the Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered Neil M.M. Morrison, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and former top aide to ex-state treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, to pay a $100,000 civil penalty for his role as chief political adviser and fund-raiser for Cahill.

    • CME Group Fines Goldman Sachs and Former Partner

      Goldman Sachs and Glenn Hadden, one of Wall Street’s top traders, have been fined by the CME Group over a Treasury futures trade in 2008.

      The CME Group, which runs commodity and futures exchanges, has notified both Goldman and Mr. Hadden, once a trader and partner at Goldman Sachs who now runs the global interest rates desk at Morgan Stanley, that both face fines and other sanctions in connection with the trade, according to a disciplinary action reviewed by The New York Times.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Scaife-Funded Network Works Hard to Kill Immigration Reform

      With immigration reform advancing through Congress, an anti-immigrant network funded by a small group of right-wing foundations is trying to kill reform by pressuring moderate Republicans and appealing to the party’s xenophobic wing. The groups could stymie efforts by some Republicans to appeal to the country’s growing Latino population by moving to the center on immigration.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • UK needs prompt action on human rights record, UN panel warns

      The British government’s human rights record since the attacks of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq is facing ferocious criticism from a United Nations panel, which warns that prompt action is needed to ensure the country meets its obligations under international law.

    • American Muslim Who Claims He Was Tortured Abroad Sues FBI

      Yonas Fikre, an American Muslim who claims that he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates at the behest of the US government, sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department on Thursday. Fikre, whose story was first reported by Mother Jones in April 2012, claims he was abused by local authorities in the UAE after refusing to become an informant for the FBI.

    • Sacrificing freedom on the altar of political fears

      The news debate moves onto more calls for Internet restrictions debates today, prompted by April Jones’ murderer possessing illegal child abuse images. Some commentators have sought to blame Google – who takedown links to such material – and others have sought to link access to child abuse images to access to pornography in general, advocating restrictions for all adults.

    • What mobile internet filtering tells us about porn blocks

      Whether you think that website blocking is a good idea or not, it is important to at the very least recognise that it has serious, tangible, negative consequences, especially when it is switched on by default at the network level. This post helps demonstrate what some – but by no means all – of these issues are and why they happen.

    • UN Condemns UK

      Trenchant criticism of the UK by the United Nations over its human rights record would have been major news in the pre-Blair days. One of Blair’s “achievements”, which in the 1990s I should have thought impossible, was to win the acceptance by the public and the media of the practice of torture and other gross abuses by the state.

    • Schools scanned students’ irises without permission

      Parents in Polk County, Florida are outraged after learning that students in area schools had their irises scanned as part of a new security program without obtaining proper permission.

    • TSA Eliminates All Invasive, ‘Gumby’ X-Ray Machines

      The Transportation Security Administration announced it has finished removing from all airports the X-ray technology that produced graphic and controversial images of passengers passing through security screening checkpoints.

      In a letter released Thursday, TSA administrator John Pistole told the House Homeland Security committee that as of May 16, all US airports scanners equipped with the ability to produce the penetrating images will now only show a generic outline of a passenger to the operator. A colored box pops up if the full-body scanner detects a potentially forbidden item.

    • Google: ‘We won’t be approving any facial recognition Glassware at this time’

      While the public decides how to deal with Google Glass-wearing cyborgs walking among us, there are already startups trying to add facial recognition to the device. That includes the MedRef for Glass app for Doctors and an API created by Lambda Labs that’s on the way. Unfortunately, apparently due to privacy concerns, a post tonight by the Project Glass team says that it will not approve any app using the tech for release — at least until it has some privacy protections in place. That’s the same standard it previously said would need to be met before it added facial recognition to its own services.

    • Talking Turkey

      In fact civil conflicts are usually horribly complex, anent a variety of very bad people all trying to gain or retain power, none of them from an altruistic desire to make the world a better place. There may be ordinary people on the streets with that altruistic desire, being used and manipulated by these men; but it is not the ordinary altruistic people on the streets who ever come to power. Ever.

    • The NSA Reportedly Tested Its Top Spyware on New Zealand

      The United States’ war on its citizens’ privacy has been so successful in the last decade that now even well-respected judges are stating that privacy is not a right. But it hasn’t stopped there: with the cooperation of allied governments, the US reportedly tested its most sophisticated surveillance software on the citizens of friendly nations.

    • NSA Whistleblower: Obama’s Attacks on the Press Indicate a ‘Soft Tyranny’

      Drake accurately describes himself as someone who “became a criminal and was labeled an enemy of the state because I was calling out government wrongdoing and illegality.” Someone that has gone through that experience can be expected, at this point, to be calling out the Obama administration attacks on press freedoms.

    • Jim Comey’s shining moment

      All true. But Comey also helped to institutionalize the very program — the National Security Agency’s orderless domestic collection — that his refusal to sanction had put the breaks on. He did not object to the part of the program declassified by the Bush administration. He believed that the president’s Article II power did in fact provide enough cover for the NSA to collect call records from subscribers who were reasonably believed to be connected to overseas terrorists or their associates.

    • On Indefinite Detention, California Assembly Tells Washington DC, Not Here!

      Today, the California Assembly voted to approve a bill that will help render toothless the federal “indefinite detention” powers under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, by Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, was previously passed unanimously by both the Public Safety and Appropriations Committees and now moves on to the State Senate for concurrence. The final vote was 71-1 (roll call here)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • EFF files formal objection against DRM’s inclusion in HTML5

      Regular readers will know that there’s a hard press to put DRM in the next version of HTML, which is being standardized at the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3), and that this has really grave potential consequences for the open Web that the WC3 has historically fought to build.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU Mandate For TAFTA Leaked: Includes Investor-State Dispute Resolution For Intellectual Monopolies

      One of the concerns about TAFTA/TTIP is that it would repeat the mistakes of ACTA and SOPA as far as intellectual monopolies were concerned. This led to a call by a group of public interest organizations for things like copyright and patents to be excluded from TAFTA (disclosure: I was involved in the drawing up of the text.)

    • Trademarks

      • New York Continues Its Trademark Bullying Ways: Threatens Coffee Shop With Bogus Threats

        I recall, a few years ago, filmmaker Kevin Smith talking about how the state of NY demanded money because a background player (I think a dancer) in Clerks II was shown wearing an “I ♥ NJ” t-shirt, and NY, somewhat infamously, holds the trademark on “I ♥ NY.” I don’t recall all of the details, but I’m pretty sure Smith said that a significant sum of money had to be paid to the state of NY. Of course, that’s an abuse of trademark law on multiple levels. The likelihood of confusion is likely nil, and even if they were arguing dilution, that seems unlikely as well. The t-shirt was in a movie, not for sale by the movie. Another time, NY threatened the guy who created the I ♥ NY design in the first place when he tried to make a new version after September 11. Because NY is an obnoxious trademark bully, that’s why.

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian ACTA Compliance Bill Inches Forward

        Earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced a bill aimed at ensuring that Canada complies with the discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The bill raises a host of concerns including granting border guards increased powers without court oversight or review. The bill had not been heard from since its introduction, but yesterday Paradis moved that the bill be read a second time and referred to committee for further study.

      • Meet the New George Soros

        On the night of March 23, 2011, four political operatives arrived for dinner at Scarpetta, a posh Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle. They wore DC power suits but ditched the ties—their one concession to LA fashion. For a bunch of hacks more at ease on Capitol Hill than Rodeo Drive, they blended in well enough. Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney had spent their adult lives climbing the rungs of Democratic politics, including a stint together in the Obama White House; pundit and consultant Paul Begala had advised Bill Clinton in the 1990s; Geoff Garin had been a top pollster for some 30 years. A hostess led them through the Mediterranean-themed dining room, all dark woods and tan walls lit by golden glass lamps, then up a flight of stairs to a private room. Awaiting them was the man they hoped would be their bell cow.

      • IP Commission: Cut Off WHO Funding If It Doesn’t Make IP Protection Priority One

        The IP Commission Report on the “theft” of American IP is the gift that keeps on taking. We’ve already discussed the commission’s suggestion that infringers’ computers be loaded up with spyware and malware and the apparent “fact” that China has singlehandendly destroyed every IP-reliant industry in America.

      • Universal Music Demands $42,000 From Danish Mayors For Gangnam Style Parody

        Last year, we noted that one of the reasons why Psy’s Gangnam Style video and song had become so incredibly popular was Psy’s decision not to crack down on copies at all. Instead, he’s mostly celebrated the copycats and parodies, talking about how awesome they were. But, of course, once a major record label gets involved… TorrentFreak reports that Universal Music is demanding $42,000 from four mayors in Denmark who teamed up to produced a video of the four of them dancing to the song.

      • Prenda Law, the Porn Copyright Trolls

        Tony Smith had a porn problem. A 27-year-old nursing student in Collinsville, Ill., Smith was listening to music and doing homework one night last August when he heard a knock on his apartment door. He opened it and an imposing-looking man with a flashlight handed him a lawsuit and his business card. A name was written in pen on the back. “Give this guy a call, he can help you get through this,” the man told Smith. “He’s looking out for people like you.” Smith turned it over and read the name: John Steele.

      • Prenda’s Former Porn Client Comes Forward About His Fears Of Working With Prenda
      • Florida ‘Abbott And Costello’ Prenda Case Ends Not With A Bang, But A Whimper
      • Art And Copyright In The Age Of Compulsive Looking
      • Why Can’t We Take Pictures in Art Museums?

        In an attempt to balance copyright restrictions and ever-present camera phones, some museums are loosening their ‘no photography’ policies

      • Three Strikes For File-Sharing Fails to Halt Music Sales Decline


Links 31/5/2013: Vivaldi Tablet is Coming, GNU/Linux Growing In China

Posted in News Roundup at 10:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Ask Slashdot: Is GNU/Linux Malware a Real Threat?
  • GNU/Linux flag at the top of the Americas

    GNU/Linux enthusiast Sebastian Satke has taken GNU/Linux to new heights — literally. He summited Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, with a GNU/Linux flag in tow.

  • In Case You Missed It: Linux In Space!
  • GNU/Linux Doing Well In China

    16.84 million of 55.01 million PCs shipped with an OS in 2011 bore GNU/Linux. That’s 30.6%. Only a million or so shipped without an OS but I would bet a good share of them had GNU/Linux as well. Good show, China. I doubt “8″ would have helped M$’s numbers in 2012.

  • GNU/Linux News From Brazil

    If a national government of a substantial nation can run on GNU/Linux, FLOSS and open standards, anyone can.

  • Desktop

    • Google Chromebook Pixel Review

      Earlier this year, Google did something almost ground-breaking when it introduced the Chromebook Pixel. Sure, the Chromebook line as a whole has existed for a few years, but the entire premise of such a range of notebooks revolved around only a couple of design goals. One of those was accessibility, and almost by default, the other was affordability. The original Chromebooks were priced at $500 or less — in some cases, far less. The reason seemed obvious: Chrome OS was a great operating system for those who did little more than browse the Web and connect to cloud-based services such as Evernote, but it served less of a purpose in the productivity-minded “real world.”

    • Why I bought a Samsung Chromebook

      It’s no secret that I find Chromebooks to be extremely useful laptops. I have come to that conclusion from actually using them, and most of them on the market at that. All of that hands-on usage led to my hitting the One-Click button on Amazon to buy the Samsung Chromebook for $249.

      It’s the end of the month and that means packing up test laptops to send back to the companies that sent them for review. This month the returns include the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook, the Chromebook Pixel, and the Lenovo ThinkPad T432s.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 9

      In this episode: Mint 15 is here! There’s a new Fedora-based respin for the Raspberry Pi. The city of Munich and the country of Australia make great progress in moving towards open source and there’s a new Humble Bundle. Hear our discoveries and your own Open Ballot opinions, plus, we welcome a new member to the team.

    • Mayan EDMS
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Thermal Daemon Monitors and Controls Temperature in Tablets, Laptops

      Intel’s Open Source Technology Center has released an open source tool to monitor and control temperature in tablets, ultrabooks and laptops. The Linux Thermal Daemon can use the latest thermal drivers in the Linux kernel, not just the standard cpufreq subsystem, to provide CPU temperature control.

      Due to constrained system size, small form factor devices reach their maximum temperature with relatively less load than desktops and servers. And as they get smaller and thinner, traditional cooling methods such as heat sinks and fans are being designed out of the devices. Developers can’t rely only on hardware and BIOS to regulate temperature without negatively impacting performance.

    • What IT Managers Can Learn About Retention From 2013 Linux Job Report
    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Introduces $400 GeForce GTX 770 GPU

        To join the GeForce GTX TITAN and GTX 780 as the newest high-performance NVIDIA GPUs, rolled out this morning was the GeForce GTX 770. NVIDIA has introduced the GTX 770 as a new high-performance graphics card that’s priced at $399 USD.

      • Intel HD 2000/2500/3000/4000 Linux OpenGL Comparison

        For seeing where the current OpenGL driver performance stands for Intel’s open-source Linux graphics driver on Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, the very latest Linux kernel and Mesa development code were tested across four different processors to stress the HD 2000, HD 2500, HD 3000, and HD 4000 graphics capabilities atop Ubuntu.

      • X.Org Foundation BoD Summaries
      • X.Org Has Some Interesting Summer GSoC Projects

        The accepted Google Summer of Code 2013 projects concerning X.Org, Nouveau, and Mesa / Gallium3D is now known. There’s some exciting stuff!

        Martin Peres on the behalf of the X.Org Foundation has shared the X.Org GSoC 2013 projects on the X.Org mailing list. The projects to be attempted this summer include:

      • Intel Begins Lining Up Graphics Changes For Linux 3.11

        While the Linux 3.10 kernel is only mid-way through its development cycle, the Intel Open-Source Technology Center has already begun piling up many changes they would like merged for their DRM graphics driver into Linux 3.11.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • wattOS R7 – release

        wattOS-R7 has been released – . The 64bit and 32bit versions are available for download immediately. Spread the words to friends and have fun with the latest version. Help is always welcome in the forums.

      • Chakra-2013.05-Benz ISO released

        The Chakra Project team is very happy to announce the third release of Chakra Benz. “Benz” is the name of a series of Chakra releases that follow the KDE Software Compilation 4.10 series.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Hands on with Mageia 3

        But if you want to look at an alternative for any reason (perhaps you just don’t like Ubuntu/Canonical/Shuttleworth, you don’t like Cinnamon or MATE, you prefer a smaller, more “personal” distribution, one where you might be able to get involved and really make a contribution, or you are just curious), I would strongly encourage anyone to give Mageia 3 a try, it is very likely to impress you, as it did me.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Has Ubuntu bitten off more than it can chew?

            Canonical wants to put Ubuntu onto our TVs, tablets and smartphones, as well as our PCs. Barry Collins weighs up its chances of success.

          • Printing with Ubuntu and Why Microsoft Will Never Be Obsoleted

            Recently my Olivetti Olibook S1300 – a gift of Salvo Mizzi, of the Working Capital fame – died. I decided it was great time to face the experience of making my Acer Aspire one printing. While below you’ll find a detailed report about my journey to make possible to print via Linux with a Canon LBP 810, first I wish to share my thoughts about what all this means.

            Plug&Play maybe a frustrating experience if something goes wrong for some reason, since most of the times you have little chances to fix an issue if that arise. On the contrary with Linux you’re given the unique opportunity to be in full control of your destiny, and you can litterally build your own future (no pun intended).

            As you can easily figure out yourself – or if you don’t have the time just go on and read my painful experience to make it print – freedom really come at a price here. Note that the problem is not that by bad luck my old Canon printer for some weird reason doesn’t come with Linux drivers. To be honest the LBP810 doesn’t even come with Mac drivers.

          • Has Ubuntu bitten off more than it can chew?

            Canonical wants to put Ubuntu onto our TVs, tablets and smartphones, as well as our PCs. Barry Collins weighs up its chances of success.

          • You Want Ubuntu On Your Phone Says Poll

            The votes have been counted and most of you want Ubuntu on your smartphones, according to our unscientific poll. This doesn’t come as a surprise, since an earlier poll showed a preference for Ubuntu on tablets as well. Not bad for an OS that’s not really available yet on those hardware platforms.

          • Create your second QML app for Ubuntu touch
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” released
            • Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” released ! May 29th, 2013
            • Linux Mint 15 review

              Linux Mint is a comprehensive and beginner-friendly Linux distribution. To that extent it’s a rival to Ubuntu – and in fact it’s derived from the Ubuntu codebase, which means all the same software and drivers can be used. Releases run to a similar six-monthly schedule, with periodic long-term support releases following Ubuntu’s. This newest release is Linux Mint 15, known to its friends as Olivia.

            • Linux Mint 15

              The Linux Mint project has released the latest version of its Ubuntu-based Linux distribution and its developers are setting their sights on making the distribution the go-to choice for all Linux users on the desktop. With Ubuntu and Canonical apparently being focused on the mobile and entertainment spaces, Linux Mint 15 has a shot at accomplishing this goal. The H investigates whether “the most ambitious release since the start of the project” delivers on it.

            • First Look: Linux Mint 15 “Olivia”
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Enea AB: Real-time Friendly Linux for Communications

      Enea® (NASDAQ OMX Nordic:ENEA), is today announcing Enea Linux v3.0 – a comprehensive cross-development tool chain and runtime environment with guaranteed performance and quality of service (QoS), flexible support offerings, worldwide support and maintenance, and expert professional services.

    • Hacker-friendly SBC runs Linux on ARM+FPGA SoC

      Avnet Electronics Marketing has begun shipping an improved, production-grade version of its community-supported, Linux-ready Xilinx Zynq-7020-based development kit. The $395 ZedBoard includes a Zynq-7020 SoC with dual 667MHz Cortex-A9 cores and FPGA programmable logic, and offers gigabit Ethernet, USB OTG, HDMI, A/V ports, and more.

    • Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 SoC integrates 3G and WiFi
    • Enea Linux turns 3.0, offers real-time and QoS features

      Enea announced a new version of its embedded Linux distribution compatible with Yocto Project 1.4 code, and available with extensive service and customization options. The Enea Linux 3.0 cross-development tool chain and runtime environment also features varying levels of real-time Linux support for guaranteed performance and quality of service (QoS).

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Is On The Way

          Samsung has officially confirmed the Galaxy S4 mini, a smaller version of the flagship smartphone Galaxy S4. The android phone manufacturer will target the mid range market with this moderate version of its flagship phone.

        • DARPA unveils Android-based ground sensor device

          DARPA announced a sensor reference system device based on a new Android-based sensor processing core called the Adaptable Sensor System (ADAPT). The initial ADAPT reference device, called UGS (unattended ground sensor), is designed as the basis for a series of lower-cost, more upgradable sensor devices for military applications.

        • Is Android a Suitable Software Platform For Home Phones?

          A growing number of manufacturers are integrating smartphone operating systems into home phone handsets. But is this software actually appropriate for use as part of a landline setup in the domestic environment? Here is an overview of the ins and outs of this trend.

        • Google Makes Android Design Decisions Using ‘Jars of Emotion’

          According to the noted psychologist Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, it takes three positive emotions to balance out a single negative. As Fast Company reports, Fredrickson’s findings are at the heart of Google’s Android design philosophy. When considering any user interface decision, designers working on Android have to work out how to inform users of an issue — such as reaching the final homescreen — without making them feel like they’ve done something wrong, meaning pop-ups and other invasive techniques are a no-go. For the homescreen problem, Google settled on the now-familiar glimmering animation, which subtly shows that a user has no more homescreens to swipe across to, while rewarding them with an artistic flourish.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • An update on KDE’s ambitious Vivaldi tablet

        A KDE Plasma Active powered tablet has been in works for quite some time. Aaron Seigo, the lead behind the project has given a quick update on the Plasma Active powered tablet hardware.

      • Vivaldi Tablet Finally (Almost) Finalized

        Per Aaron Seigo, the once-hotly anticipated –and still hotly-anticipated-by-me — Vivaldi tablet is in the very final stages of design. Many of the necessary components are in place and the new design belongs almost entirely to the Plasma Active team. Many of you might remember that we’ve covered Plasma Active and the Vivaldi tablet quite a bit when it was a hot topic. We even went so far as to purchase the reference hardware that most closely resembled the Vivaldi tablet. Aaron will have you think that was only months ago, and he’s not lying, but those months are now dangerously close to turning into years.

      • Vivaldi “Flying Squirrel” Linux tablet is making progress (still not ready to ship)

        It’s been more than a year since KDE developer Aaron Seigo announced plans to build a tablet designed to run open Mer Linux and the KDE Plasma Active environment. The Vivaldi tablet project’s hit a few speed bumps since then, but this week the team has a mostly working prototype.

      • KDE Vivaldi Tablet Upgraded, Closer To Release

        The KDE Vivaldi Tablet, which has been a project led by Aaron Seigo for having a Linux-friendly tablet powered by Plasma Active and Mer Core, is finally getting closer to hopefully seeing the light of day.

        This project has been going on for more than a year and originally was conceived as the KDE Spark Tablet, but then renamed to Vivaldi. In September of last year as the tablet project was struggling, they switched to a new design.

      • quick update on vivaldi hardware
      • theming plasma

        Lately I’ve noticed a number of new themes popping up for Plasma Desktop, which is quite cool.

      • Android poised to overtake Apple in tablets, ABI says

        Apple shipped half of all tablets in the first quarter, but the popularity of low-cost Android tablets in China is boosting that OS.

Free Software/Open Source

  • MIT’s Einsteinian game engine goes open source

    OpenRelativity, the game engine designed by the MIT Game Lab for its educational game A Slower Speed of Light, is being released as an open-source toolset.

    The engine was designed to model Einstein’s special relativity in a game environment, to communicate its principles in an exploratory format. “Education can be assisted through the use of games and other interactive media,” says MIT Game Lab’s Rik Eberhardt. “Especially for topics that frequently are hard to understand and visualize.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Tests In-App Payments Functionality for Chrome

        Several users of the latest build of Chromium, the open source core of the Chrome browser from Google, have taken note of the fact that Google is adding in-app payment functionality to Chrome. As noted on The Next Web: “The addition was first spotted by developer and Google open-source Chromium evangelist François Beaufort. He points to a Chromium code review titled ‘Make sure the Google wallet in-app payment support app is always installed.”

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Branches Out with ‘Messaging as a Service’

      It’s a rare enterprise cloud manager today who isn’t already familiar with OpenStack, the open source Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing project for building public, private and hybrid clouds. Included in OpenStack are several key components dedicated to virtual machine provisioning and management, storage, virtual disk management and more, but recently a new service made its debut.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Exiting new design initiative

      Through out the last couple of years we have seem quite a few suggestions to a new and more modern look and feel for LibreOffice. Some of these initiatives has already found its way into the product, and you can e.g., see a much more light weight ruler in Writer and the whole sphere around using and handling templates has been reworked with a new design. Each of these examples are small steps ahead towards a more modern layout. But when will we see something more like a jump into the future?

  • CMS

    • Drupal.org compromised

      The Drupal.org security team says it has discovered unauthorised access to Drupal.org and groups.drupal.org account information which has exposed user names, country, and email addresses along with hashed passwords. No credit card information was stored on the servers, but the investigation is ongoing and the team says it “may learn about other types of information compromised”.According to Drupal.org, there are over 967,000 registered users on the Drupal.org.

    • Important Security Update: Reset Your Drupal.org Password
    • Semantria Announces an Innovative Open Source Plug-in for WordPress

      Semantria announces a new innovative Open Source Plug-in for WordPress that will assist bloggers, writers, and authors in streamlining their publication processes. As a leader in cloud based text and sentiment analysis, Semantria is excited about the application of its services to a major blogging and publishing platform.

  • Education

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Government supports open-source RF initiative

      Universities and companies are being given the opportunity to use the open source RF hardware platform, MyriadRF and configurable transceiver technology developed by Lime Microsystems as a result of a tie-up with Europractice, a government-funded project of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.

      Europractice will promote Lime’s LMS6002D field programmable RF transceiver and associated boards for use in research and teaching of wireless technology to its member establishments throughout Europe.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Prank Resulting In 2 NFL GMs Talking To Each Other Results In Up To 5 Years Of Prison, $500k Fine

    Insane legal actions over relatively mild pranks are coming fast and furious these days. We just recently discussed the 17 years old high school girl staring down felony charges over a childish year book prank. There have also been several cases of those that fall victim to pranks turning to intellectual property law as a way to hide their gullibility. There’s something — embarrassment perhaps — that spurs victims into unreasonable legal action once the trap has been sprung.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Hackers Disable Monsanto’s Web Site

      Protesters from at least 268 cities in 40 countries participated in the May 25 international outcry against that company.

    • Monsanto website downed as Anonymous claims hack

      Hackers from the Anonymous collective claimed to have infiltrated the website for the biotech giant Monsanto, which has been the subject of recent international protests.

    • Russians Proving That Small-Scale, Organic Gardening Can Feed the World

      When it’s suggested that our food system be comprised of millions of small, organic gardens, there’s almost always someone who says that it isn’t realistic. And they’ll quip something along the lines of, “There’s no way you could feed the world’s growing population with just gardens, let alone organically.” Really? Has anybody told Russia this?

  • Security

    • Log file vulnerability in Apache server
    • Robert Kugler and Paypal’s bug bounty eligibility requirements

      For professional security researchers, participating in bug bounty programs is one means of earning money on the side. It is also the easiest means of building up street-cred. And many companies take advantage of their skills, recognizing that its either they find and fix bugs in their products first or the bad guys do and exploit them. For Black Hats, the underground market for exploit code is a very lucrative one.

    • PayPal vulnerability finally closed

      On Wednesday night, payment processor PayPal closed the security hole in its portal that had been publicly known for five days. The company had been aware of the vulnerability for about two weeks. The hole was a critical one: it allowed attackers to inject arbitrary JavaScript code into the PayPal site, potentially enabling them to harvest users’ access credentials.

    • Judge orders porn suspect to decrypt his hard drives

      After having first decided against forcing a suspect to decrypt a number of hard drives that were believed to be his and to contain child pornography, a U.S. judge has changed his mind and has now ordered the suspect to provide law enforcement agents heading the investigation with a decrypted version of the contents of his encrypted data storage system, or the passwords needed to decrypt forensic copies of those storage devices.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • CIA Thwarts Polio Vaccination Campaign

      A polio vaccination campaign worker was shot to death in Pakistan on Tuesday, which The New York Times wasted no time in reporting. What the Times article neglected to mention was that the killing followed a CIA operation in which agents orchestrated a fake vaccination program in order to gain entry to Osama Bin Laden’s home.


      Like some kind of Billy Mays infomercial—‘But wait, there’s more!’—the Times’ shameful coverage doesn’t end there. They go on to say that, “Also [in addition to the Taliban], religious extremists claim that the real aim of vaccination campaigns is to sterilize Pakistan’s Muslim population.” The implication is again that Pakistan is populated with menacing religious zealots whose fundamentalism stands in the way of scientific progress. Characterizations such as these conform very nicely to the view that clashes between the West (i.e. NATO) and the Middle East are not rooted in any sort of real economic or political grievances (e.g., the U.S.’ installation of dictators like the Shah in Iran; or the U.S.’ theft of oil resources), but rather “a clash of civilizations”, as Foreign Affairs once put it. The view that there are irrevocable religious differences between the West and the Middle East is very useful to Western leaders seeking to justify acts of aggression, like the invasion of Iraq.

    • Guns in the home proving deadly for kids

      While efforts at gun control are still being fought, children’s advocates are urging parents and communities to take their own steps to protect kids.

    • Gun Deaths Since Newtown Now Surpass Number of Americans Killed in Iraq

      The number of gun deaths in the U.S. since the Newtown elementary school massacre has exceeded the total number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war.

      According to a tally of gun deaths from Slate, the number of people killed since the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is now 4,499. The number of U.S. armed forces killed during the Iraq war was 4,409, according to the Defense Department.

    • CIA Nominee John Brennan Had Detailed Knowledge of Bush-Era Torture

      While serving as deputy executive director of the CIA under the Bush administration, President Obama’s nominee for CIA chief and current counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan “had detailed, contemporaneous knowledge” of the use of torture on detainees in US prisons, Reuters reports.

    • SNP demands answers over alleged CIA torture planes

      The UK Government faced fresh questions last night over what it knew about CIA-linked flights which landed in the north and north-east at the height of the US “extraordinary rendition” programme.

    • CIA rendition flights ‘landed at north of Scotland airports’

      Researchers looking at the use of CIA-linked planes for prisoner transfers in the “war on terror” have highlighted “conclusive” evidence of landings at Scottish airports.

    • The Danger of Overcorrecting on Terror

      Thus, in the mid-1970s the Church and Pike Committees revealed abuses by the CIA, FBI and NSA, including “domestic spying on Americans, harassment and disruption of targeted individuals and groups, assassination plots targeting foreign leaders, infiltration and manipulation of media and business.” As a result, Congress created in 1978 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which greatly limited the surveillance of U.S. citizens.

    • US military bases in Australia: The role of Pine Gap

      The purpose of the stepped-up military activity and basing arrangements are surrounded in secrecy, misinformation and outright lies—including the claim by Defence Minister Stephen Smith that “there are no US bases in Australia.” In fact, the new facilities being opened up represent an expansion of the US military’s longstanding use of Australia, facilitated by successive Labor and Liberal-led governments since World War II, for some of its most critical bases in the world.

      Chief among them is what is known as Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, which was established in central Australia near the town of Alice Springs in 1970. Pine Gap is one of three major satellite tracking stations operated by US intelligence agencies and military. The others are located in Colorado and Britain.

    • 5 Reasons to Challenge Obama’s War on Terror Speech
    • CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou shares prison experience in open letter
    • CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou shares letter from prison

      Through his lawyer, the former agent who spoke out against torture, details federal prison experience

    • CIA Global Renditions: Abductions and Extrajudicial Transfers from one Country to Another

      Extraordinary renditions include arbitrary abductions and extrajudicial transfers from one country to another. Targeted individuals are called terrorists.

      Corroborating evidence isn’t needed. What Washington says goes. Rogue hegemons operate that way.

      International, constitutional, and US statute laws don’t matter. They’re spurned. Victims are guilty by accusation. It’s official US policy.

    • The CIA And The Comedy Of Errors

      The CIA recently had another embarrassing reminder that it remains a spy agency without many competent spies. This incident occurred in Russia where a CIA agent was expelled from the country on May 14th after getting caught while trying to carry out an embarrassingly amateur operation. The man (operating as a junior State Department employee at the U.S. embassy) had been arrested earlier while trying to recruit a senior Russian security official. That offer failed and the CIA man did not detect a trap. Russia later revealed that this also happened back in January but was kept quiet so as to maintain good relations with the U.S. But now the Russians saw an opportunity to use these sloppy CIA operations for domestic propaganda, to remind Russians that in one area at least they are better than the Americans. To add insult to injury the Russians also showed their displeasure by revealing the name of the senior CIA official (the “resident” in spy-speak) in Russia. This fellow will also have to leave now, which is what the Russians apparently want. They hold the CIA resident responsible for this sloppy and embarrassing use of spy craft. By mutual consent, Russia and the U.S. usually keep the names of their own and the other nation’s residents secret. That rule is only breached when you want to send an important message to the other side.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Walker’s Dismal Jobs Performance Gets a Gold Star in ALEC’s “Rich States, Poor States” Report

      Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker got a boost last week from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in its annual Rich States, Poor States report. Despite Bureau of Labor Statistics data putting Wisconsin in 44th place for private-sector job creation, ALEC placed the state as 15th in the country in its ranking of economic outlook, giving Walker — a former ALEC member — a boost as he lays the groundwork for a re-election campaign and a possible Presidential bid.

    • WI Appellate Judge Upholds WI Voter ID, But Indicates Another Challenge Could be Successful

      A Wisconsin appellate court has overturned one decision by a lower court finding the state’s voter ID law unconstitutional, but the legislation remains blocked, with a separate challenge to the law pending before a different appellate court. Despite upholding the voter ID law, the judge deciding today’s case appeared to imply that there could be a different outcome for a challenge that provides more evidence of the law’s burdens on the right to vote.

  • Censorship

    • Raspberry Pi puts holes in China’s Great Firewall

      A tech-savvy China-based Redditor has spotted a hassle-free way of ensuring he or she is always able to bypass the Great Firewall, even when out and about, using the Raspberry Pi to connect to a virtual private network (VPN).

      VPNs are a necessity for foreigners living in the People’s Republic who want to access sites prohibited by the country’s ubiquitous internet censorship apparatus – business users and consumers alike have come to rely on them to connect to a banned site.

    • Singapore Seeks Even More Control Over Online Media

      Currently ranked 149th globally in terms of press freedom, alongside Iraq and Myanmar, the Singapore government has chosen to further tighten its grip on the media instead of letting up.

    • Singapore to regulate Yahoo, other online news sites

      Websites that regularly report on Singapore including Yahoo News will have to get a license from June 1, putting them on par with newspapers and television news outlets, in a move seen by some as a bid to rein in free-wheeling Internet news.

    • Matthew Rhys interview for The Americans: ‘Our scripts go to the CIA for approval’

      Most actors are good at deception. But Matthew Rhys – a Welshman playing a Russian pretending to be American – takes things to extremes in ITV’s new US spy thriller, The Americans. He talks to Craig McLean.

  • Privacy

    • CIA’s sugar daddies shovel MEELLLIONS into Pure Storage

      All-flash array upstart Pure Storage has received the blessing of the CIA after the spooks’ venture capital arm In-Q-Tel made an investment in the firm.

    • How Chinese hackers steal U.S. secrets [example of CBS government propaganda]

      While no computer networks are impenetrable, federal agencies like the FBI, DOD and NSA devote significant resources to guard their computer networks, and also have in place rules to protect sensitive data.

    • Leak investigations: What happens to those under the microscope?

      It is not clear how often the government has obtained communications records of reporters. While Fox News was informed nearly three years ago about the subpoena for call logs for five lines related to Rosen – apparently after the phone company had already provided them – it did not publicly disclose the action. Instead, it emerged only this month when court papers were unsealed that also showed that the government had separately obtained a warrant for the contents of Rosen’s private email account. A lawyer and spokesmen for Fox did not respond to requests for comment.

    • Do we already live in a police state?

      Many people fear that the government will use the Boston Marathon bombings as an excuse to push more surveillance on us. However, the National Security Agency has spied on American citizens since at least 2001, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    • Don’t freak out, but the government records and stores every phone call and email
    • Snoopers’ Charter debate at ORGCon

      This week has seen an extraordinary deluge of comment on the Snooper’s Charter, seemingly co-ordinated by the Home Office. A succession of hardline Home Office sympathisers have sought to link the events at Woolwich with a need to spy on every citizen: despite the fact that the perpetrator was known to the police.

      Even MI5 agents have declared that the Snooper’s Charter could not have prevented Woolwich, and that calls for its revival are a “cheap argument”

    • NSA Hacking Unit Targets Computers Worldwide

      New details have emerged about a secretive unit inside the National Security Agency called Tailored Access Operations that hacks into foreign computers to conduct cyber-espionage. According to a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article titled “How the U.S. Government Hacks the World,” the Pentagon hackers harvest nearly 2.1 million gigabytes every hour.

    • How the U.S. Government Hacks the World

      The key role NSA hackers play in intelligence gathering makes it difficult for Washington to pressure other nations—China in particular—to stop hacking U.S. companies to mine their databanks for product details and trade secrets. In recent months the Obama administration has tried to shame China by publicly calling attention to its cyber-espionage program, which has targeted numerous companies, including Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), and Intel (INTC), to steal source code and other secrets. This spring, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, traveled to Beijing to press Chinese officials about the hacking. National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon is scheduled to visit China on May 26.

    • NSA Caught Unawares By Data Center Tax

      The whole purpose of an organization like the National Security Agency (NSA) is to know things far enough ahead of time that its human nodes are never surprised. Certainly that’s a big part of the reason the agency has been building a heavily fortified, $2 billion data center on the thinly populated, dry mountain plain just south of Salt Lake City.

    • Looking back at Tony Scott’s Enemy Of The State

      Dreamt up by Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson in 1991, Enemy Of The State follows the exploits of naughty NSA director Thomas Reynolds (played by professional scene chewer Jon Voight), who, angry that he can’t blackmail a congressman into supporting a law giving the NSA greater snooping powers, decides to kill him instead and make it look like a heart attack.

    • Would you like the truth about the NSA? Watch this one minute video

      Much of the details of NSA’s work must be kept secret, but processes are in place to let leaders like John talk about the agency, which means when he speaks it can be a great opportunity to learn about an important agency.

    • White House has legitimate concerns in press cases

      Almost needless to say, Republicans sensing an Obama weakness are going along for the ride — even many who thought Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzales’ threat to prosecute New York Times reporters for revealing the existence of a massive NSA eavesdropping operation was a terrific idea.

    • The FBI’s New Wiretapping Plan Is Great News for Criminals

      The FBI wants a new law that will make it easier to wiretap the Internet. Although its claim is that the new law will only maintain the status quo, it’s really much worse than that. This law will result in less-secure Internet products and create a foreign industry in more-secure alternatives. It will impose costly burdens on affected companies. It will assist totalitarian governments in spying on their own citizens. And it won’t do much to hinder actual criminals and terrorists.

    • Will journalists take any steps to defend against attacks on press freedom?

      Media outlets have awakened to the serious threats posed to journalism, but show little sign of doing anything about it

    • Shaming Chinese hackers won’t work because cyber-espionage is here to stay

      Economic cyber-espionage is particularly thorny point of discussion because the US, unlike China, distinguishes between attacks on private industry and more bread and butter political and military espionage. The US would like to limit Chinese theft of intellectual property from American companies, but is not particularly interested in negotiating any constraints over US intelligence gathering. As Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, put it: “You spy, we spy, but you just steal the wrong stuff.’ That’s a hard conversation.”

    • What a REAL White House Scandal Looked Like: James Comey’s Riveting 2007 Testimony

      AP and others are reporting that President Obama plans to nominate, for FBI Director, Republican James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General under then AG John Ashcroft, during some of the darkest days of the George W. Bush Administration.

      The news offer a moment to revisit what a real White House scandal looked like — back when Republicans had no interest in them and back when there were real investigative Congressional hearings and no need to create pretend “whistleblowers” in order to gin up political “outrage” and “scandal”!

    • Revealed: Australian spies seek power to break into Tor

      In a major admission, the Attorney-General’s Department has revealed Australia’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies are seeking the legal power to break into internet routing encryption services such as Tor, after admitting the centerpiece of its proposed national security reforms, data retention, will be “trivially easy” to defeat.

      The admission by officials to Senate Estimates last night will give rise to further concerns that the department, which has systematically and aggressively expanded the powers of intelligence and law enforcement agencies at the expense of civil liberties and privacy, wants far stronger powers to regulate the internet and break into encrypted systems in order to keep an eye on what Australians are doing online.

    • Bridgewater Counsel Comey Is Lead Pick For New FBI Director

      Comey resigned from Bridgewater in February and is currently serving at Columbia University as senior researcher and lecturer. Comey is a registered Republican and has served as Deputy Attorney General under the Bush administration. During that time, Comey received high praise for his vicious opposition of Bush’s no holds barred surveillance program. Reports say that he had threatened to quit if the NSA implemented the intrusive program. He was also against the interrogation tactics practiced under the Bush regime.

    • A Contrarian Futurist

      Indeed, the stigma associated with offensive cyber activity is breaking down, now that cyber attacks have exploded in frequency and scale. The banks are now asking the Feds to join the fight, so DHS, FBI and NSA are trying to figure out how to collaborate, without going to jail themselves for hacking or disclosing classified data.

    • The White House War Against Whistleblowers
    • What can government snoops get by with?

      Big Brother has become more emboldened than ever with the recent revelation that the Justice Department had obtained from telephone companies the records of Associated Press and other reporters to investigate an alleged national security leak, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

    • Government still spying on emails and phone calls with no stinkin’ warrant
    • Secret Court Document Finds Spy Techniques Unconstitutional, Justice Department Fights To Keep It Hidden

      The Justice Department may soon be forced to reveal a classified document that details unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens. The Justice Department has fought to keep the document secret for about a year, but a recent court order demands that they respond to a formal request filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation by next week, June 7, 2013.

    • Kotarski: The snoop factor is shocking

      In October 2008, a 39-year-old former U.S. navy linguist who worked at a National Security Agency (NSA) centre in Georgia went on ABC News and blew the whistle on himself and his fellow NSA operators for listening in on the private conversations of hundreds of American aid workers and soldiers calling home to the United States from Iraq.

      “Hey, check this out,” David Murfee Faulk says he would be told. “There’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out.”

    • TechMan Texts: Take advice from the National Security Agency

      Well, put out is not quite the right phrase, because the super-secret NSA won’t tell you anything about what they are doing with your tax money unless forced to.

  • Civil Rights

    • Father of man FBI shot claims his son was executed

      The father of a Chechen immigrant killed in Florida while being interrogated by the FBI about his ties to a Boston Marathon bombings suspect said Thursday that the U.S. agents killed his son ‘‘execution-style.’’

      At news conference in Moscow, Abdul-Baki Todashev showed journalists 16 photographs that he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue. He said his son had six gunshot wounds to his torso and one to the back of his head and the pictures were taken by his son’s friend, Khusen Taramov.

    • ‘Why did the FBI execute my boy?’ Father of Boston bomber’s friend displays gruesome photos of his son’s corpse showing unarmed man was shot SEVEN times during questioning – including once in the back of the head
    • What’s Happening at ORGCon2013: Digital Arms Trade Debate

      ORGCon2013 is a great place to find about new threats to our online rights – and ways to combat them. One of these issues is the Digital Arms Trade, a new area for ORG, but one that is increasingly gaining attention and action. We’re delighted that Eric King of Privacy International, Hauke Gierow, Reporters without Borders and Simone Halink, Bits of Freedom will be sharing their expertise at the conference.

      The Internet is a tool for communication that has been shown over and over again to be a source of empowerment. It connects the LGBT teenager who is being bullied to find support and a network of friends online, it connects the activists suffering under oppressive regimes to one another, and allows groups on the ground to communicate human rights abuses to the world.

      But the trade in surveillance technology undermines this potential and treats this technology as a tool for governments to surveil citizens and control their communications.

    • The U.S. media muddle

      …governmental action against leaks and the constitutional right of the press to inform the public.

    • Constitutional Sheriffs Convention Focus: States’ Rights, 2nd Amendment
    • “Conservative” Magazine Counsels Rand Paul to Join the CFR

      Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is currently on his nationwide “I’m probably running for president” tour. He’s made the requisite stops in the early election states of Iowa and New Hampshire, courting the GOP faithful and bringing the figurative freezers full of red meat to throw their way. Demonstrating impressive political savvy, he’s also making a habit of making bold statements that set him apart from potential Establishment competitors from both sides of the aisle.

    • The Obama Doctrine: Kill civilians to save them from ‘terrorism’

      Obama’s speech included a full-throated defense of drone strikes. Disturbingly, the speech all but wrote off the hundreds – if not thousands – of civilians who died from U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and other nations. Obama claimed that as president, he “must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies [civilian causalities from drone strikes] against the alternatives.” He followed this assertion with the equally bizarre justification, “Let us remember that the terrorists we are after target civilians.” This is the Barack Doctrine: To save the civilians who would die in terrorist attacks, we need to kill them before the terrorists do.

      Although the U.S. media already clamors over the very minor changes to the president’s drone program – the Los Angeles Times called it “throttling back on drones” – these changes will do little to nothing in reducing civilian casualties. The president calls for tougher standards when deciding to launch drone strikes. This requires “a near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,” according to White House staff.

    • Media Gets Targeted by Obama, Discovers No One Cares Except the Media

      This leads me to more salient matters. While my local press corps was babbling about some ancient history-Michael Jackson-related minutia bullshit, another media storm was brewing. Apparently the Associated Press and Fox News recently found themselves on the business end of the Obama Administration’s hostility toward journalists. The AP learned the Justice Department searched troves of their phone records. Meantime, Fox News’ James Rosen had his personal email account scoured by the DOJ and he’s being called an “aider and abettor” and “co-conspirator” in a criminal case regarding classified document leaks.

    • Priests in training allegedly gave Nazi salutes

      A Catholic seminary in Germany says it is investigating claims that trainee priests made anti-Semitic jokes, played far-right music and gave Nazi salutes.

    • Is This Nazi-Killing Video Game Hero Jewish? Maybe.

      In one level, Blazkowicz discovers some Nazi plans. He looks over some documents. They’re written in Hebrew. He’s able to translate.

      The hints are there that B.J. Blazkowicz, video game killer of Nazis since his debut in 1992′s Wolfenstein 3D, is Jewish.

    • President Obama uses a sledgehammer against dissent

      From Jeremy Hammond to Bradley Manning and the AP, Obama’s ‘assault on journalism’ is a threat to our democracy

    • Reporter Who Connected CIA, Crack Epidemic Now the Subject of a Film

      In 1996, the newspaper and its fledgling website published a jaw-dropping series called “Dark Alliance,” in which Webb drew a connection between the Central Intelligence Agency and the crack cocaine epidemic plaguing U.S. inner cities.

      The series was not well received by the nation’s top newspapers. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the L.A. Times all attacked Webb’s reporting, and his career sharply declined. He committed suicide in 2004.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Innovators, Public Interest Groups & Open Access Supporters Pull Out Of Talks On EU Copyright In Protest

        Back in February we reported on a worrying attempt by the European Commission to reframe the discussion about modernizing copyright in Europe purely in terms of licensing, reflected in the name of the initiative, “Licences for Europe”. Although originally a series of discussions were promised to “explore the potential and limits of innovative licensing and technological solutions in making EU copyright law and practice fit for the digital age,” in practice moderators shut down discussions of things like exceptions or even Creative Commons licensing. As far as the Commission was concerned, it seemed the answer to updating copyright for the modern age was just old-style licensing and nothing else.

      • Taiwan’s Copyright Proposals Would Combine SOPA With A Dash Of The Great Firewall Of China

        The new measures will move Taiwan closer to China’s Great Firewall in terms of censorship, and will therefore probably be well-received on the mainland as a result. But there are surely better ways of improving relations between the two countries than instituting these kind of measures that won’t stop people sharing unauthorized copies online, but will damage the Internet, and not just in Taiwan.

      • FBI and New Zealand police ordered to return all personal data seized from Megaupload

        The FBI and authorities in New Zealand have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Kim Dotcom and Megaupload, after a New Zealand court ordered them to return all personal data from the service that was seized during raids last year. Furthermore, they must specify exactly what information is at the core of their case against the file-sharing service.

        High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled (once again) that the raid on Dotcom’s mansion in January 2012 was illegal due to incorrect warrants. Today, the Justice ordered the national police to return to Megaupload any digital data they possess that is not relevant to the case, as Stuff NZ reports.

      • Rapidgator Not Responsible for Pirating Users, Court Lifts ISP Blockade

        As part of a criminal investigation by Italian authorities, 27 file-sharing related sites had their domains blocked by local ISPs last month. Rapidgator, one of the largest cyberlockers on the Internet, was among the targeted sites and chose to appeal the verdict. This week Rome’s Court of Appeal ruled that the Rapidgator blockade should be lifted as the site’s operators are not responsible for alleged copyright infringements carried out by their users.

      • Universal Music Tells Gangnam Parody Mayors: Pay $42,000 By Tomorrow, Or Else

        The guys over at Humble Bundle are offering another set of great games to users, for which they can pay as much or as little they want and as always the money raised is used to support good causes.

        This package, the Humble Indie Bundle 8, includes five games for those who pay below the average (which stands at $5.69 at the time of writing) and seven for those who pay above the average.

        The five games that are unlocked, through Steam, to those who pay between $1 and the average are Little Inferno, Awesomenauts, Capsized, Thomas Was Alone and Dear Esther, with the two extra unlockable games that come with a payment larger than the average being Hotline Miami and Proteus.

      • CBS Tells Court: No One Could Possibly Read Our Statements ‘We Will Sue Aereo’ To Mean We Will Sue Aereo

        Aereo then did exactly what it should: it sued first, seeking a declaratory judgment that its service was legal and that it could launch in other markets without fear of expensive lawsuits from CBS. This is what the whole declaratory judgment setup is for. Exactly cases like this where one party threatens another in an effort to scare them off by the threat of expensive court battles.

      • Italian Court Overturns Seizure Of Cyberlocker Rapidgator

        In April we wrote about how Italian law enforcement had blocked over two dozen websites after the industry claimed they were responsible for copyright infringement. There was no trial, no adversarial hearing where the sites were able to defend themselves. Just: entertainment industry complains, law enforcement buys the complaints, tells a judge and boom, site gone. One of the cyberlockers blocked in this effort, Rapidgator, challenged this blockade, and it has quickly won a reversal. Rapidgator’s lawyer, Fulvio Sarzana, was kind enough to send us the details, and it appears the court understood why the initial blockade was hugely problematic.

      • IP Commission Thinks YOU Should Pay For China’s Infringement

        As Mike discussed in a previous post, the IP Commission’s report on “theft of American IP” points a finger almost exclusively at China. And, as was pointed out in another post, the report is also loaded with some genuinely terrible ideas (protect IP with malware, anyone?). Here’s another one: starting a trade war with China over intellectual property. This recommendation, taken from the final pages of the document, is both a broadside against China and a genuinely terrible idea.

        Generally speaking, instigating a trade war is a bad idea, even when you have the upper hand. Instigating a trade war over something as poorly defined (especially in this report) as “IP theft” is a worse idea. Instigating a trade war with a country that already has you staring down the barrel of a steep trade deficit is just asking for trouble. The US has tried this sort of thing before (to protect the American steel industry) and found itself facing retaliatory tariffs from European nations as well as having its tariffs declared illegal by the World Trade Organization.

      • Massive Growth In Independent Musicians & Singers Over The Past Decade

        We’ve discussed in the past a favorite talking point of the RIAA, claiming a 40% decline in employment for musicians over the past decade or so, which simply isn’t supported by the numbers. We’ve been seeing a lot of people claiming this again lately, so we decided to take a look at what the numbers actually showed, and can’t seem to figure out where that decline is coming from, because the numbers show a very different story — one that suggests things are actually much better for independent musicians than in the past, just as we would expect. In fact, there’s been an astounding 510% increase in independent musicians making their full time living from music in just the past decade.

      • John Steele’s Claims About Alan Cooper Contradicted By History

        Earlier this week, we wrote about John Steele’s attempt at the character assassination of Alan Cooper, his former home caretaker who accused Steele of forging his name on various documents concerning shell companies associated with Prenda, the law firm Steele worked for. As part of that filing, Steele tried to suggest that Cooper was a willing participant, and that Steele was merely helping his “friend” get introduced into the porn copyright trolling business. As we noted, Steele’s story directly contradicts Cooper’s story, which certainly suggests that one of them is not telling the truth in court. That’s generally a bad idea. As more people look into Steele’s claims, they don’t seem to hold up under scrutiny, suggesting that if one of the two has a credibility problem, it’s probably Steele.

      • RIAA: There’s Been No Innovation Stifling Here!

        In the end, though, the crux of the RIAA’s argument entirely misses the point of Carrier’s piece. It basically says “look, there are lots of services today, what are you complaining about?” But the point was never that killing Napster stopped innovation, but rather that it hindered the pace and nature of that innovation. And the RIAA doesn’t address it at all. There’s a difference between the direction of change and the rate of change, and the key point is the rate of change, but all the RIAA wants to discuss is the direction, which is meaningless. Innovation can’t be denied forever, so of course the direction will move forward. What Carrier’s piece discussed, quite clearly, was the pace — and the RIAA wants to avoid that, and pretend that everything that happened between 15 years ago and now didn’t happen to get here. If we were at the point we’re at today in 2003, they might have a point. The fact that it’s taken us this long and we’re still just reinventing radio… well, we’ve got a long way to go and should have been much further along.


Links 30/5/2013: Linux Mint 15 Released, Linux Reigns in Embedded

Posted in News Roundup at 4:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Transformers: More Than Meets the Automotive Eye

    Cadillac, Ford, Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota. These carmakers are transforming their industry through software. Cars are no longer just about metal. A new car already has 5 to 15 million lines of software code that are reliant on and integrated with thousands of mechanical and electrical components. If you’re in the car business today you’re also a software maker.

  • [VIDEO] Former Microsoft Exec Embraces Linux for Networking Software

    For more years than I care to count, I read statements and saw Microsoft server events where Bob Muglia declared why Microsoft’s server was so good.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland they’d called it

        Let’s commence with a joke. If the British automotive industry of the 70s had been the one to invent the display server protocol, they would have called it British Wayland. Get it? It’s subtle. Very subtle. Anyhow, without focusing too much on the technical lingo, Wayland is a new protocol, designed to replace the sturdy and reliable X Windows System. The idea is to create a more modern, more relevant method of transferring video frames from applications to the on-screen display, in a manner that is fast, efficient and extensible. On paper, it’s an interesting approach to an old problem, but the question is, is there a problem really?

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Ivy Bridge: UXA vs. SNA – Updated Benchmarks

        With the testing of the very latest Intel X.Org graphics driver, the SNA 2D acceleration back-end for the Ivy Bridge graphics is now the clear-cut winner for the Linux desktop over using the default UXA back-end.

        If you aren’t familiar with Intel SNA, you surely haven’t been reading enough of Phoronix as it’s been extensively covered on the site over the past two years through many articles. Long story short, SNA is an experimental 2D acceleration architecture that’s been extensively tuned to insane detail by Intel OTC’s Chris Wilson. For the past several months now it’s generally been working well across all generations of Intel hardware from Sandy/Ivy Bridge to even old Intel IGPs.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • XBMC running in Linux on a TV box with an Amlogic AM8726-MX chip (video)

      The folks behind the XBMC media center application have made a lot of progress porting the software to run on Android. But if you’d rather have a small, low-power XBMC box that runs on Linux, new options might be available soon.

    • Linux strong, Android surging says embedded survey

      Linux crept up slightly in the EE Times 2013 Embedded Market Study, representing 34 percent of current projects while Android showed the greatest growth, jumping to 16 percent, for a total of 50 percent for Linux-based platforms. Meanwhile, ARM processors continue to attract more embedded developers.

      In early March, UBM Technology shared some preliminary details on current OS use from its survey-based EE Times “2013 Embedded Market Study.” Now, UBM has released the full report, showing further details on future OS plans among embedded developers, processor preferences, and much more.

    • BeagleBone Black Review
    • Add More Fruit to Your Raspberry Pi!
    • Phones

      • Android

        • How to Get Android as Google Intended

          Ever since Android became a mainstream mobile operating system, companies like Samsung and HTC have continuously tinkered with their phone and tablet interfaces to deliver their own unique take on the platform. While these manufacturer modifications have improved over time, some users still yearn for the stock Android experience — one that can only be found on a handful of devices, primarily with Google’s own Nexus line of smartphones and tablets. Fortunately, there is more than one way to use the OS in the way Google intended, which can be enjoyed by owners of both rooted and non-rooted devices.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Nivis Announces Open Source ISA100 Wireless Software Platform

    Nivis, a global company active in smart grid and industrial wireless networks, has announced the release of an ISA100 Wireless Application Layer Software Development Kit (SDK) along with the availability of the ISA100.11a communication stack and related code on an open source basis. The SDK and open source ISA100.11a code can improve supplier’s ROI for ISA100 Wireless products by reducing development time and per-unit costs.

  • Web Browsers

    • What’s the best Firefox or Opera browser alternative?

      One of Google Chrome’s major weaknesses or shortcomings is the browser’s lack of user interface customization options. It is a take it or leave it interface that is giving users no options whatsoever to customize it.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s WebFWD accelerator helping Anahita become ‘the Linux of social’

        Anahita is the ancient Persian goddess of water, which is essential for life, health, and fertility. It’s also a very modern set of software building blocks for a social infrastructure for everything essential for enterprise-level life, health, and — in a sense — fertility.

        At least, according to Vancouver-based project founder and core architect Rastin Mehr.

      • Foxconn to announce Firefox OS devices, maybe a tablet

        Apple OEM contractor Foxconn is prepping several products based on Mozilla’s Firefox OS, says an industry report. The new products, one of which is rumored to be a tablet, are expected to be announced on June 3 in collaboration with Mozilla.

        On May 27, Focus Taiwan reported that Mozilla and Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., better known as Foxconn, will on June 3 unveil a device running Mozilla’s Linux- and HTML5-based Firefox OS. The story also noted that an industry insider told the publication the product was likely to be a tablet.

      • Rumour: Foxconn Firefox Tablet Coming June 3rd

        Foxconn is rumoured to be making a new tablet PC for Firefox OS, and we could catch our first glimpse next week.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Healthcare


    • Take action for free JavaScript

      Choosing to run free software on your computer is a powerful statement. Unfortunately, regardless of what you have installed on your desktop or laptop, you are almost certainly running hundreds of nonfree programs as you surf the Web. Web sites often use programs written in JavaScript to expand the capabilities of HTML, adding menus, buttons, text editors, music players, and many other features. Browsers come configured to download and run the JavaScript without ever making the user aware of it. Contrary to popular perception, JavaScript does not run “on the Web site” — it runs locally on users’ computers when they visit a site.

    • Free Software is Activism

      The Free Software is defined such as software that gives some freedoms to his users: use, copy, modify and redistribute modified copies. So, we can understand the free software as collective property generated by the users and developers.

      Although, from the Open Source philosophy, this problem has changed until that if the Free Software continues being collective property, sometimes is not being generated by the real interests of users and developers, it’s generated by the market interest, with especulative criteria and financial bumbles in a similar way than another market product.

      So, the Open Source philosophy, drop the ethical arguments about if is reasonable or don’t use Free Software, the only argument will be if technically is or don’t a good option, if is a good business and another similar arguments. But they don’t think if it’s good the good common, it’s out of the discourse. Many corporations has done good contributions creating Free Software products from this philosophy, but sometimes mixed with the philosopy of the propietary software: Ubuntu, Android, etc.

    • Denemo – News: Release 1.0.4 is imminent
  • Licensing

    • VP8 cross-license draft compatible with FOSS licensing

      Google and MPEG-LA recently disclosed a draft cross-license under which patents related to the VP8 video compression format would be licensed to the general public. SFLC reviewed these terms and considered some criticisms that have arisen in the free software community. Our opinion expressed here is ours alone, and does not necessarily reflect the position of any client of SFLC.1

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Open source, 3D printing and the race to re-engineer manufacturing

        While we’re all arguing about the future of Australian manufacturing in the wake of Ford announcing the closure of their Australian factories, the entire manufacturing industry is facing another wave of massive change as 3D printing and open source hardware change the economics of the sector.


  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Internet: Basket In Which We Put All Our Eggs

      Naturally, we’re filled with umbrage and are busy blaming the Chinese military for being dastardly. How dare they do what we would expect any country’s military to do? Also naturally, we’re not putting any blame on ourselves. No one is suggesting that such sensitive information, perhaps, shouldn’t be placed on a computer facing the Internet, no matter how secure. Nor is anyone suggesting that maybe the largest and most advanced military on the planet needs to have their own world wide web that’s not connected to the one used by the rest of us. No one is suggesting that this isn’t the way we won World War II.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Julian Assange: Stratfor Hacker Jeremy Hammond Guilty Plea Part of Crackdown on Journalism, Activism

      Jeremy Hammond of the hacktivist group Anonymous has pleaded guilty to hacking into the private intelligence firm Stratfor, the FBI and other institutions. Hammond says his goal was to shed light on how governments and corporations act behind closed doors. Some five million Stratfor emails ended up on the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, shedding light on how the private intelligence firm monitors activists and spies for corporate clients. In a statement, Hammond said he accepted the plea deal in part to avoid an overzealous prosecution that could have resulted in at least 30 years in prison. He has already served 15 months, including weeks in solitary confinement. Joining us from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says Hammond’s prosecution comes as part of a wider crackdown “on effective political activists and alleged journalistic sources.” Click here to watch our web-only extended interview with Assange.

    • Assange: U.S. Probe of WikiLeaks & “Show Trial” of Bradley Manning Aims to Scare Whistleblowers

      Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of disclosing a trove of government documents and cables to WikiLeaks, is set to go on trial next week. Manning has already pleaded guilty to misusing classified material he felt “should become public,” but has denied the top charge of aiding the enemy. Speaking from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange calls Manning’s case “a show trial … to terrorize people from communicating with journalists and communicating with the public.” Assange also discusses his own legal status as he continues to evade extradition to Sweden. Assange fears that returning to Sweden would result in him being sent to the United States, where he fears a grand jury has secretly indicted him for publishing the diplomatic cables leaked by Manning. Click here to watch our web-only extended interview with Assange.

  • Finance

    • Good News, Everyone! (Except You Wage-Earners)

      When you look into the numbers, it looks more dubious still. The average U.S. household spends about 4 percent of its gross income on gasoline–so you’d need a pretty dramatic change in gas prices to have an appreciable impact on a typical family’s finances. In fact, they’re down roughly 15 percent from their peak earlier this year, but they’re still about 15 percent more than the low they hit around this time last year–and if you look at gas prices over the past couple of years, they’ve bounced up and down without really going anywhere.

    • Meet the New and Improved Goldman Sachs

      The bank announced plans to undergo a “rigorous self-examination” to avoid an Abacus repeat. Goldman certainly took its time, but the deep look into the mirror is complete. Meet the new and improved Goldman Sachs.

    • German Official Warns of Immediate ‘Revolution’ if EU Adopts US Model

      German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble urges adherence to Europe’s welfare model

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

    • The courage in Egypt is breathtaking, Europe should push for it in leadership too

      I’ve just returned from Egypt: impressed by the courage and ambition I found, worried by some of trends I saw, and pleased that the Minister was willing to commit the open internet.

      Deep inside one of the Pyramids in Giza (you can climb many stories into them! incredible experience), the guide turned and announced: “the problem with Egypt is that we talk too much about the things we DID, and nothing about the things we will DO.”

    • The Denial of Justice

      I don’t think any single person who has considered the matter seriously, has any real doubt that Jack Straw was complicit in torture in an active and involved way, and has lied about it continually. There are some who would argue he was ethically justified, but that is a different argument. It is not worth engaging in ethical argument with anybody who maintains that the facts which are the basis of the argument, should not be known.

    • Reporters Tell Attorney General Eric Holder They Won’t Agree To ‘Off The Record’ Meeting As Scale Of Journalist Spying Expands

      A few quick updates on the continuing saga of the DOJ’s highly questionable spying on the communications of reporters. First up, we find out that the AP is claiming that the DOJ’s scooping up of phone records wasn’t nearly as limited as some people have suggested, but rather contained records for “thousands and thousands” of phone calls. Remember, the DOJ’s own guidelines say that any such record retrieval must be very targeted rather than broad.

    • Holder’s Regrets and Repairs
  • DRM

    • EFF Makes Formal Objection to DRM in HTML5

      Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a formal objection to the inclusion of digital rights management (DRM) in HTML5, arguing that a draft proposal from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) could stymie Web innovation and block access to content for people across the globe.

      The W3C’s HTML working group is creating a technical standard for HTML5, an upcoming revision to the computer language that creates webpages and otherwise displays content online. The working group has accepted a draft that includes discussion of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), which will hard-wire the requirements of DRM vendors into the HTML standard.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU Ombudsman: EFSA fails on conflict of interests

      European Food Safety Authority mishandled a major revolving doors case with biotechnology company Syngenta

    • WHO warns countries not to hoard secrets of coronavirus

      The World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries with possible cases of the SARS-like novel coronavirus on Thursday that they must share information and not allow commercial labs to profit from the virus, which has killed 22 people worldwide.

    • How Long Before A Patent Kills A Hundred Million People?

      Fortunately, the virus does not seem to have spread widely during that three-month delay, but next time we might not be so lucky. It seems bordering suicidal that concerns about patenting should over-ride health concerns, especially when a viral pandemic could potentially kill a hundred million people, as it did in 1918. Let’s hope that the Supreme Court recognizes this as yet another reason not to allow patents on genes, and that this becomes part of a broader move to share freely vital knowledge that can save lives and alleviate suffering around the world.

    • Copyrights

      • White House Makes It Impossible For The Blind To Sign Petition Supporting Copyright Treaty For The Blind

        Last week, we discussed a recent We The People petition at the White House, asking the administration to support the treaty for the blind, which would make it easier to access creative works for the blind by creating a few small “exceptions” to copyright law (i.e., returning rights to the public) for the sake of sharing formats that are accessible to the blind across borders. However, some blind advocacy groups have discovered that, if you happen to be blind/visually impaired, it’s basically impossible to sign the petition.

      • Blind advocates blast White House

        The National Federation of the Blind is fuming mad over the White House web site, complaining that its members have been unable to sign an important online petition.

      • TV Broadcasters Launch Aereokiller Lawsuit in Washington

        Is the battle over the digital distribution of broadcast television eventually headed to the U.S. Supreme Court?

      • Inside the GOP Labs – Internet Association at odds with RIAA over DMCA – Swire: Consensus doesn’t equal unanimous – New tech makes gov’s buying easier, cheaper
      • Internet Association Hits Back At RIAA’s Desire To Wipe Away DMCA Safe Harbors

        On Friday, we wrote about how the RIAA has already started pitching the terrible idea that we should do away with the important DMCA safe harbors, which make sure that liability for infringement is properly applied to those actually infringing, rather than tools and services. The RIAA, however, thinks that it should be everyone else’s responsibility to prop up their increasingly obsolete business model, so they want to do away with the safe harbors and make every internet service liable if anyone uses their service for infringement. Of course, what this would do is stifle innovation broadly, because companies would avoid any kind of user generated services, because the liability would be super high. Sure, some of the big players would stick around, because they’ve got enough money and lawyers, but new startups would be few and far between.

      • The Aftermath Of Napster: Letting Incumbents Veto Innovation Slows Down Innovation Drastically

        Last fall, law professor Michael Carrier came out with a really wonderful paper, called Copyright and Innovation: The Untold Story. He interviewed dozens of people involved in the internet world and the music world, to look at what the impact was of the legal case against Napster, leading to the shutdown of the original service (the name and a few related assets were later sold off to another company). The stories (again, coming from a variety of different perspectives) helps fill in a key part of the story that many of us have heard, but which has never really been written about: what an astounding chill that episode cast over the innovation space when it came to music. Entrepreneurs and investors realized that they, too, were likely to get sued, and focused their efforts elsewhere. The record labels, on the other hand, got the wrong idea, and became totally convinced that a legal strategy was the way to stem the tide of innovation.


Links 29/5/2013: Humble Indie Bundle 8, Fedora 19 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • A lesson from Tumblr: Who’s in control?

    It’s no surprise that many Tumblr users are less than pleased with Yahoo!’s recent acquisition of their favorite personal publishing platform. The news is a sobering reminder that creators who don’t control the tools of their trade are at the mercy of those who do.

  • Open source project management on the rise

    Frank Bergmann, founder of ]project-open[, talks with us about the open source project management solution and how the company strives for an open culture at the office. He says maintaining communication is essential, and it entails complete transparency and honesty.

  • Glyn Moody Trashes Latest BSA-Study

    After seeing MSCEs spend hours trying to update one of my computer labs I found I was able to convert most labs to the latest installation of Debian GNU/Linux in one hour and update all the software in a few minutes for routine updates and less than an hour for migration to a new release. The rest of my time was then freed for useful business, education. With that other OS, I was a slave giving very little economic benefit to my employer because that other OS was constantly giving us trouble.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Foxconn reportedly building a Firefox OS smartphone

        According to Focus Taiwan, Taiwan’s Hon Hai, which trades as Foxconn, and Mozilla will be holding a press conference on Monday 3 June to announced a partnership around the Firefox OS mobile device operating system. The event will take place in Taipei in the run up to the Computex trade show and will, says the news site, be the nineteenth wireless telecomms company to form a partnership with Mozilla.

      • Is Mozilla Aiming Firefox OS at Tablets and Phones?

        While Mozilla has not officially taken the wraps off a specific device, The Register, CNET and other media outlets have followed up on reports regarding the Mozilla Foundation saying that it is working with Apple hardware specialist Foxconn on a tablet device that will run the new Firefox OS mobile platform. Until now, there had only been phones discussed for the operating system, which Mozilla is putting massive resources behind. Not only is the news of a tablet of interest, but Foxconn is a world-class hardware partner for Mozilla to have.

      • Mozilla teams up with Foxconn for Firefox ‘fondleslab’

        Mozilla is working with Apple hardware-maker Foxconn to release a mobile device running Firefox OS, it told news outlets on Monday, and plans to unveil it at an event next week.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What Will Follow OpenStack Havana?

      The current OpenStack open source cloud platform release is named Grizzly – due to the fact that OpenStack had a Summit in San Diego, which is in California, which has a Grizzly bear on its flag.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business


    • GnuCash 2.5.2 (Unstable) released

      The GnuCash development team proudly announces GnuCash 2.5.2, the third 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.

  • Project Releases

    • Xine Now Supports VA-API, GL 2.0 Output, EAC3

      A new version of xine-lib was released today, which is the library that powers the Xine multimedia playback engine. The xine-lib 1.2.3 release brings numerous features including VA-API hardware video decoding and support for OpenGL 2.0 output.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Civic coding strengthens open source skills

      I’ve been thinking a bit too much lately about GitHub and Drupal.org. More broadly, I’ve had my mind on open source + community. Sometimes this is called social coding.

    • Slow progress on govt open source policy

      More than six years after Cabinet approved a policy for free and open source software (FOSS) in government, little has been achieved.

      This was conceded by chairman of the State IT Agency’s (SITA’s) board, Jerry Vilakazi, at the Government Information Technology Officers (GITO) Council Summit yesterday.

    • Schools In Basel Are Using The Open Source Groupware Kolab

      Following their overall Free Software and Open Standards strategy, the public schools in the Swiss city of Basel are providing the Open Source Kolab Groupware Solution to their teachers, students and administrative staff. This enables them to coordinate their work and collaborate as efficiently as possible. The students are learning early to make use of modern information and communication technologies. Markus Bäumler head of the responsible ICT Media department in Basel says “We are delighted to have a Free Software solution that we can deploy for this purpose which reliably meets our professional requirements.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google defends its use of proprietary tech in Hangouts

      oogle is feeling the heat over its decision to build its new Hangouts IM and audio/video chat product with proprietary technology that doesn’t support server federation via the XMPP industry standard, but the company is defending its move.

      Specifically, Google maintains that XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) industry support is weak, which dilutes its purpose as a common protocol, and that its technology hasn’t kept up with the times.


  • Bob Schieffer Is Tired of Booking Bad Guests on His Show

    It’s more good than bad that a lot of mainstream reporters are speaking openly about the chilling effect of the Obama White House’s investigations into leaks of classified material. But this willingness to talk about how the White House operates can lead some journalists to make some rather strange arguments.

  • Yearbook prank leads to high school student’s arrest in Columbia, Mo.

    A Columbia high school student faces a possible felony charge after her arrest for changing a classmate’s name in the school yearbook to a sexually suggestive term.

    The 17-year-old Hickman High School junior was arrested May 14 after she allegedly changed a student’s last name from Mastain to “masturbate” in the 100th edition of the Hickman Cresset yearbook. She could be charged with first-degree property damage, a felony, and harassment.

  • Science

  • Security

    • DoS vulnerability in ModSecurity fixed – Update
    • PayPal vulnerable to cross-site scripting again

      17-year old German schoolboy Robert Kugler has posted information on a cross-site scripting vulnerability in payment processing service PayPal to the Full Disclosure mailing list. Kugler wanted to report the bug to PayPal as part of its official Bug Bounty Program, but the program only pays out to participants who are 18 or over. To vent his frustration, he has now gone public with the bug.

    • OpEDL: ‘Anonymous’ targets far-right English Defense League

      Individuals claiming to be part of international hacktivist group Anonymous have published phone numbers and addresses for supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) as part of what they said was the first phase of a campaign to destroy the far-right street protest movement.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Standing up to Golden Dawn in Greece

      The economic crisis in Greece has led to a rise in support for the far-right Golden Dawn and an increase in racist attacks. Jamal Osman talks to one man who is fighting back.

    • Toronto cops hospitalize hotel guest who recorded them arresting another guest

      A man staying at Toronto’s Sheraton Centre Hotel used his Blackberry to video-record police who were arresting another guest. The police objected and several of them piled onto him, beating him savagely while screaming “Stop resisting! Stop resisting!” They broke two of his ribs. The whole thing was captured on the man’s phone and on hotel CCTV. He’s suing.

    • Did Senator McCain Violate NDAA by Hanging Out with Syrian Rebels?

      In case you missed it, Senator John McCain took the opportunity this Memorial Day to cross the Turkey-Syria border and hang out with Syrian rebels. These are the same rebels with ties to Al Qaeda. These are the same rebels cutting out and eating the hearts of dead soldiers. According to reports, Senator McCain wanted to go further into combat but was not allowed.

    • Stop NDAA in your State? Grassroots Activism Works

      Last week, the California Liberty Preservation Act, AB351, was passed unanimously by the Assembly Appropriations Committee and sent to the full State Assembly for a vote.

      The bill would play a big part in nullifying the “indefinite detention” provisions of both the NDAA and the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF).

    • Washington steps up hacking allegations against China

      On Monday the Washington Post published a classified list compiled by the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board of military systems and technologies allegedly compromised by Chinese hacking. Though the previously undisclosed report does not present any evidence for these claims, it is being used to escalate charges against China that it is hacking US secrets.

    • Guantanamo: the Legal Mess Behind the Ethical Mess

      LAW profs deem force-feeding “cruel, inhuman, and degrading”

    • Tyranny Got You Down?

      Our political strategy brings to mind the definition of insanity often attributed to Albert Einstein..

    • America’s Greatest Challenge

      I’ve been reading a few articles on the “alternative” media which really have me thinking. One, by Chris Hedges entitled “Rise Up or Die” made me think about just how bad things really are nowadays here in the USA. The other article by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, “You are The Hope” was also a particularly dark piece.

      It’s not that I don’t agree with what the two have said…I do; still, I don’t think they quite accurately reflect the growing dis-connects between what many Americans and the mainstream media, along with the Powers That Be would have us believe.

    • Woolwich Attack: Overreacting To Extremism ‘Could Bring Back Al Qaeda’ Ex CIA Officer Warns

      One of the world’s leading terrorism experts has branded the government’s proposals to muzzle Islamist hate preachers and crack down on violent extremism in the wake of the Woolwich attack as “a waste of time”.

      Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA operations officer who worked with the Afghan mujahedin in the late 1980s, says that “a good [counter-extremism] policy should be based on an understanding on what’s happening on the ground.

      “The notion that there is any serious process called ‘radicalisation’, or indoctrination, is really a mistake. What you have is some young people acquiring some extreme ideas – but it’s a similar process to acquiring any type of ideas. It often begins with discussions with a friend.”

    • Drone Strikes Mostly Transferred from CIA to DoD

      As promised in his speech this week, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is largely assuming control of the embattled unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) combat operations in the Middle East. The program had been run over the past several years by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and was responsible for death strikes on four Americans, only one of which was an intended target for death.

    • CIA/MI6 helped spawn a Frankenstein’s monster

      In response to the hacking to death of Lee Rigby, a young off-duty British soldier killed on a London street in broad daylight, Britain’s Home Office plans measures to prevent the radicalization of Muslim youth which include censorship of jihadist Internet websites, a crackdown on extremist organizations and the cleansing of mosques and place of learning from preachers promoting “a poisonous narrative.” That’s all very well but unless the government acknowledges the root of the problem those steps will constitute a mere band-aid covering a suppurating sore.

    • Kern County Coroner Declares David Silva’s Death To Be ‘Accidental,’ Heart Disease-Related

      Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood held a press conference last Thursday to declare his department’s innocence in the death of David Silva. This claim is based on the coroner’s report prepared by the Kern County Coroner’s office, which reports to the Sheriff’s Office. David Silva’s death has been declared “accidental,” with the official cause of death listed as “cardiac hypertension.”

  • Cablegate

    • AGP slams Rahul Gandhi after WikiLeaks revelation

      Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Guwahati, AGP secretary Durga Das Boro said that the party was contemplating legal action against Rahul Gandhi for making such a comment on the Assam’s regional party, which formed the government in the state for three terms since 1986. Boro said that the WikiLeaks had recently revealed that “(Gandhi) had said that AGP leaders were insurgents and India allowed separatists to form the government in Assam and the United States should also allow Hamas.”

    • Julian Assange’s human rights are being violated by UK, says Ecuador
    • Ecuador accuses UK of ‘violating Assange’s human rights’

      Ecuador has accused the UK of violating Julian Assange’s human rights by refusing to allow the WikiLeaks founder to take shelter in South America, which granted him political asylum nearly a year ago.

    • Ecuador: Concern for Rights of WikiLeaks Founder
    • ‘Hactivist’ Faces 10 Years in Fed Prison for Stratfor Leaks

      Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammond agrees to “non-cooperating plea agreement” as alternative to endless court battle and decades of prison time

    • LulzSec Hacker Jeremy Hammond Pleads Guilty To CFAA Charge; Faces 10 Years

      In yet another Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case, in which the DOJ piled on charge after charge after charge until the person they were pressuring accepted a plea bargain, Jeremy Hammond has officially accepted a plea deal for helping LulzSec/Anonymous hack Stratfor. He admits that he did it, and given that, it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that some punishment is warranted, but it still seems troubling the amount of pressure that the DOJ used to get him to take a plea bargain.

    • Setting an example: Why we must defend Manning and Assange

      WikiLeaks released an enormous treasure-trove of classified US government documents in 2010. It included US military logs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 250,000 diplomatic cables, and Collateral Murder, a video depicting the killing of 12 civilians by a US helicopter gunship in Iraq.

      The source of the leaks, US Private Bradley Manning, acted on his conscience. He believed that people have a right to see the information he had been privy to as an army intelligence analyst. He was prepared to risk his life and liberty to reveal that information.

    • Bradley Manning’s Trial begins 3 June. Call-out for solidarity everywhere
    • ‘We Steal Secrets’ Documentary Focuses on Personalities of Assange, Manning Over Significance of WikiLeaks

      Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney held a special screening for his new documentary, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, in Washington, DC, on May 21. Gibney also participated in a question and answer session after the film that was moderated by POLITICO‘s Josh Gerstein.

      First, the title reinforces widespread perceptions created by the United States government that the WikiLeaks organization is out to “steal” secrets. Gibney has claimed that the title is “ironic.” Actually, the US government steals secrets. Former NSA director Michael Hayden says this in the film, but this aspect of US government operations takes up only a few seconds of the film. He does not explore how US government agencies are actually the ones engaged in stealing so the “irony” does not come through at all.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Solar-Powered Hospital in Haiti Yields Sustainable Savings

      But in Haiti’s Central Plateau, the flow of energy is intermittent at best. Consider that in Mirebalais, located 30 miles north of Port-au-Prince, the power goes out for an average of three hours each day. This poses an enormous challenge to running any hospital; surgeries are jeopardized, neonatal ventilators stall, the cold chain is interrupted, and countless everyday tasks get derailed. As Partners In Health co-founder Paul Farmer noted during a recent lecture at the Harvard School of Public Health, “It’s not great if you’re a surgeon and you have to think about getting the generator going.”

    • South Korea’s faked safety certificates: just another nuclear scandal
    • Solar Power Notches A Victory In Minnesota

      By 2020, 1.5 percent of the energy that public utilities in Minnesota generate will have to come from solar. It’s estimated that this new requirement, signed into law last week by Gov. Mark Dayton, will result in a 32-fold increase in solar capacity in the state, up to 450 megawatts.

  • Finance

    • The Real Numbers: Half of America in Poverty — and It’s Creeping Upward

      Since the recession, the disparities have continued to grow. An OECD report states that “inequality has increased by more over the past three years to the end of 2010 than in the previous twelve,” with the U.S. experiencing one of the widest gaps among OECD countries. The 30-year decline in wages has worsened since the recession, as low-wage jobs have replaced formerly secure middle-income positions.

    • Digital currency biz Liberty Reserve shut down, founder arrested

      Digital currency Liberty Reserve has been shut down after U.S. and Costa Rican authorities arrested founder Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk in Spain.

    • Stressed Ecosystems Leaving Humanity High and Dry

      On average, humanity has built one large dam every day for the last 130 years, which distorts the natural river flows to which ecosystems and aquatic life adapted over millennia. Two-thirds of major river deltas are sinking due to pumping out groundwater, oil and gas. Some deltas are falling at a rate four times faster than global sea level is rising.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook gives way to campaign against hate speech on its pages

      Company agrees to update policies in response to protest by more than 100 advocacy groups

    • Now PETA Wants to Sue People Who Leave Anonymous Comments

      PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is incensed over an article in the Huffington Post that details that organization’s unsettling practice of euthanizing animals in a Virginia facility that many have assumed is a no kill shelter.

      According to the New York Post, PETA wants to sue some of the people who have left comments on the article. The problem is that, following the practice of many on the Internet, many of the comments are under assumed names or are anonymous. PETA is attempting to discover the true identities of their critics so that it can sue them for defamation.

    • Judge Deems Facebook-Posting Rapper Cameron D’Ambrosio A ‘Threat,’ Denies Bail

      Cameron D’Ambrosio, the Massachusetts teen arrested and charged with “communicating terroristic threats” (or “bomb threats,” depending on who’s doing the reporting) via a Facebook post (in the form of rap lyrics — CammyDee has aspirations), has been denied bail by the state’s Superior Court.

    • In Denmark, Online Tracking of Citizens is an Unwieldy Failure
    • Danish Police Admit That Data Retention Hasn’t Helped At All

      There’s been a big push around the globe to ramp up data retention rules, which require various online services to keep all sorts of data on their users for a long time, just in case it’s possible that law enforcement officials might need that data at some later date. That this only adds to the pile of data, and often makes it more difficult to find useful data, is never discussed. That this likely puts more people’s private data at risk of being hacked or accidentally revealed is never discussed. Also, almost never discussed: whether or not such data retention laws actually help solve crimes.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Hundreds of workers ‘illegally’ dismissed in Alexandria

      Around 350 workers have been dismissed from their jobs at a factory in Alexandria on Sunday morning, without adequate justification, according to the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR).

      Mohamed Adel, a lawyer at ECESR said that between 350 and 400 workers at the Hi Tech Textile factory in Alexandria were relieved of their duties because they demanded higher wages. According to Adel, the owner of the factory laid off the Egyptian workers in favour of foreign workers because their wage demands are lower than the Egyptian workers.

    • Teacher facing discipline for reminding students of Constitutional rights

      An Illinois community is rallying around a teacher who is reportedly up against disciplinary action for informing his students of their rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment before the high-schoolers answered a survey regarding their personal behavior.

    • Amnesty International defends refugees in Kenya
    • How Prosecutors Fought to Keep Rosen’s Warrant Secret

      The Obama Administration fought to keep a search warrant for James Rosen’s private e-mail account secret, arguing to a federal judge that the government might need to monitor the account for a lengthy period of time.

      The new details are revealed in a court filing detailing a back and forth between the Justice Department and the federal judges who oversaw the request to search a Gmail account belonging to Rosen, a reporter for Fox News. A 2009 article Rosen had written about North Korea sparked an investigation; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department adviser who allegedly leaked classified information to Rosen, insisted that the reporter should not be notified of the search and seizure of his e-mails, even after a lengthy delay.

    • Two Judges Told DOJ It Had To Disclose Spying On Journalist; DOJ Found A Third Judge Instead
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Authoritarian Governments Still Trying To Seek More Control Over The Internet

      There was plenty of attention paid to the failed WCIT meeting last year, in which some countries effectively sought greater control over the internet, leading many countries to refuse to sign on. There has since been plenty of reasonable concern that the end result of this is a fragmented internet, with one internet for those who believe in internet freedom and openness… and one for those who don’t.

      And, of course, the whole ITU WCIT process was never going to be the end of such discussions. Eli Dourado, who has been following this stuff closely for a while, recently had a good report about how various authoritarian governments made a bit of a power play for more control over internet governance. The issue may seem bureaucratic and messy, but that’s also why it’s important to pay attention. Because mixed in with all that bureaucracy are some key decisions.

    • Jaron Lanier’s Ignorance Of History, Basic Economics And Efficiency Is Getting Ridiculous

      So… we’d already taken a stab at debunking Jaron Lanier’s “gobbledygook economics” a few weeks back when it started appearing, but since then there’s been more Lanier everywhere (obviously, in coordination with his book release), and each time it seems more ridiculous than the last. Each time, the focus is on the following economically ridiculous concepts: (1) there should be micropayments for anyone doing anything free online because someone benefits somewhere (2) modern efficiency via technology has destroyed the middle class. Both of these claims make no sense at all.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Fear Mongering Report Suggests ‘IP Theft From China’ One Of The Biggest Problems America Faces

      A bunch of folks have been sending in variations on a report that came out last week, grandly titled “The IP Commission Report” as if it were some sort of official body. In the subhead, we find out that it’s actually by the even more ridiculously named “The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.” Who put together this “commission”? Well, it’s the National Bureau of Asian Research, which also is not an official government organization as you might think, but a private think tank that more or less was spun out of the University of Washington, and was originally the National Bureau of Asian and Soviet Research, put together at the behest of Senator Henry Jackson, who believed strongly that America should intervene around the globe to promote American interests, often at the expense of those where we were intervening. He supported interning Japanese Americans during WWII. He strongly supported the Vietnam War. He’s considered the spiritual father of today’s neoconservatives. As you may have guessed, the “National Bureau of Asian Research” is not exactly about figuring out the best way to understand and improve relationships between the US and Asia. It’s about how US interests can dominate Asia.

    • US-EU Trade Deal In Trouble Before It Even Starts?

      For the last few months, Techdirt has been following the surprisingly rapid embrace on both sides of the Atlantic of the proposed transatlantic free trade agreement, known variously as TAFTA or TTIP. Coming out of nowhere, the agreement is being talked about as if its success and benefits are more or less guaranteed.

    • WHO calls Middle Eastern virus, MERS, ‘threat to the entire world’ as death toll rises

      …they patented the virus…


Links 28/5/2013: Salix 14.0 (Live Xfce), Elive 2.1.42

Posted in News Roundup at 6:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Top 3: Puppy, Backbox and Linux 3.10

    Linux continues to grow not just because of any one vendor or particular use case, but because Linux is applicable to so many different use cases.

    Two such very different use-cases were on display this past week, with new releases of Pupply Linux and Backbox Linux

  • Is Linux Still Short on Apps vs Windows? Reality Check

    Sometime this July will mark my seventh anniversary of becoming a desktop Linux user. While I may or may not bake a cake to celebrate the occasion, it has gotten me thinking about what has changed in the world of Linux since I entered it — and, especially, how much more usable my Linux PC has become then. And what better way to quantify those improvements than to take stock of just how many apps are now available for Linux users that were not seven years ago?

  • Desktop

    • DesktopLinux.com Finally Dies

      A while back DesktopLinux.com changed ownership when the corporation owning it was sold. Since then the site has been rudderless with no moderator/authour and gradually fewer contributors to the public forum.

  • Kernel Space

    • Did You Know? – 15 Less Known But Interesting Facts About Linux and Linus
    • Rustboot: A 32-Bit Kernel Written In Rust

      Rust, the general purpose programming language developed by Mozilla for being a safe, concurrent, and practical language, can even be used to write a system kernel.

    • Linux Foundation Adds New Members From Car Software and Gaming Industries

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that AllGo Embedded Systems, Suntec Software and Wargaming are joining the organization.

      The demand for devices to become more intelligent and connected in the gaming and automotive industries is driving more demand for interactive entertainment and embedded software in the Linux market. The newest Linux Foundation members are expanding investment in Linux in order to advance software in-vehicle systems and online gaming and leverage the collaborative development model. These and other topics will be discussed this week at the Automotive Linux Summit Spring 2013 in Japan on May 27-28 followed by LinuxCon Japan and CloudOpen JapThe Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that AllGo Embedded Systems, Suntec Software and Wargaming are joining the organization.

      The demand for devices to become more intelligent and connected in the gaming and automotive industries is driving more demand for interactive entertainment and embedded software in the Linux market. The newest Linux Foundation members are expanding investment in Linux in order to advance software in-vehicle systems and online gaming and leverage the collaborative development model. These and other topics will be discussed this week at the Automotive Linux Summit Spring 2013 in Japan on May 27-28 followed by LinuxCon Japan and CloudOpen Japan on May 29-31.an on May 29-31.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Replacing X With Wayland On The Raspberry Pi

        Last week I wrote about the emergence of a new Wayland Weston compositor renderer for the Raspberry Pi. There was a fair amount of discussion about it and since then additional details have emerged.

      • Intel 2.21.8 Driver Takes Care Of COW Regressions

        Just one week after the Intel X.Org driver was updated with support for all known Haswell variants and introducing some new copy-on-write support for cloning pixmaps, a new release has been warranted.

      • Raspberry Pi’s Raspbian Improves Its Performance

        The Debian-based “Raspbian” Linux distribution for the Rasperry Pi ARM development board is now a heck of a lot faster thanks to recent software improvements.

        Raspbian is the Debian Linux distribution optimized for the ARMv7 Raspberry Pi. Older versions of Raspbian are based upon Debian Linux 6.0 on the Linux 3.1 kernel and GCC 4.4.5. However, the latest Debian Linux 7.0 on the latest Raspbian package-set has the Linux 3.6.11 armv6l kernel and GC 4.6.

    • Benchmarks

      • Eight-Way BSD & Linux OS Comparison

        Being benchmarked today at Phoronix is a comparison of eight different BSD and Linux operating systems. The contenders for this performance roundabout include PC-BSD 9.1, DragonFlyBSD 3.4.1, Ubuntu 13.04, Linux Mint 15 RC, CentOS 6.4, Fedora 18, Mageia 3, and openSUSE 12.3. Which of these operating systems are the fastest and slowest for a variety of different workloads? Read on to find out.

      • CPU-Z for Linux?: 6 Free Linux System Profilers

        A system profiler is a utility that presents information about the hardware attached to a computer. Having access to hard information about your hardware can be indispensable when you need to establish exactly what hardware is installed in your machine. For example, the information will help a technical support individual diagnose problems, or help to evaluate whether a system will support certain software or hardware.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Akademy-es 2013 schedule ready!

      As you probably know we are having Akademy-es 2013 just a few days earlier than Akademy in Bilbao, from 11th to 12th of July.

    • News in kdepim 4.11: Header theme (3/3) Grantlee theme generator (headerthemeeditor)

      For helping user to generate a KMail theme based on Grantlee, I created an application: “headerthemeeditor”.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • One serving of 53 amazing students please

        The accepted students for Google Summer of Code and the Outreach Program for Women have just been announced. I am so happy that we were able to accept 50 students for GSoC.

      • A Summer of Coding — and More!

        Google has just announced the 2013 Google Summer of Code students! And that means that the Outreach Program for Women list is also announced. It’s been some weeks of anxious waiting, not just for the students and interns involved, but also for the whole Krita community, developers and artists. But everyone can breathe again now!

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 3 on the loose

        I’ve used Mageia 3 full time since its release and it’s not perfect – but it’s darn close. Nothing is perfect and that is so true for Linux. It’s a matter of what bugs bug you less. I used Mageia 1 for quite a while and I’ll probably hang around in Mageia 3 too. It performs well. It boots really quickly and the desktop as well as most applications are very responsive. Never underestimate the charm of instantaneous results. I have a nice fresh install of Sabayon Linux 13.04 just waiting, but it looks like I may end up not using it.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – May 27th, 2013

        The Debian GNU/Hurd team announced the release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2013. This is not an official Debian release, but it is an official Debian GNU/Hurd port release. On the Debian Ports archive you can find the installation ISO images to download (netinst, CD or DVD), as well as a pre-installed disk image which makes it even easier to try Debian GNU/Hurd. Debian GNU/Hurd is currently available for the i386 architecture with more than 10,000 software packages available.

        Please make sure to read the configuration information, the FAQ, and the translator primer to get a grasp of the great features of GNU/Hurd.

      • Elive 2.1.42 development released

        This version includes some misc features like:

        Bug fixes in the automatic date and time configuration
        If you move to another country it is automatically detected and your time is updated to the new location
        Updated firmwares to support a wider range of wifi’s and other devices
        Automatic detection of lvm devices inside crypted filesystem
        Fixed a bug with thumblerd process, which can sometimes block devices from unmounting

      • Debian Linux 7.0 Wheezy: Hands on

        I’ve been experimenting with installing the new Debian release across a number of devices – here’s what I’ve found so far.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Another Reason Why Open Source Wins: Fairness

    I’ve written a number of posts looking at less-familiar advantages of open source over closed source, and here’s another one. Proprietary systems can’t be forked, which means that it’s not possible to change the underlying ethos, for example by tweaking the software or using code on a different platform. But you can with open source, as this interesting example shows.

    Fairphone is, as its name implies, built with fairness in mind. That contrasts with today’s smartphones which contain many minerals sourced in a variety of unsavoury ways, ranging from being “merely” exploitative to downright bloodstained. That’s not something we think about much as we play with our latest shiny toy, but Fairphone wants to change that. And of course, as part of its fairness, everything will be open (although it’s based on Android 4.2, so I wonder whether some elements will be closed nonetheless.)

  • Migrating to open source needs a plan

    Perhaps you’ve considered migrating your company to an open source desktop productivity suite? There are a host of good reasons for such a move. The most obvious one that comes to mind is to save on license fees, but don’t be fooled. For the migration process to be a success and the full benefits to be reaped, you must invest in the changeover itself. Don’t believe that because you want to save money long term you should skimp short-term. A look at the City of Freiburg’s attempted migration reveals the dangers of treating the new software as a drop-in replacement.

  • When It Comes To FOSS, Who Don’t You Trust?

    Probably the best corporate ownership of free and open source products comes from Red Hat, for reasons that should be obvious. Red Hat makes their living developing and supporting FOSS products, so they tend to be excellent FOSS players, obeying both the spirit and letter of the GPL. In addition, they defend the license, because what’s good for free and open source software is good for Red Hat.

    The other side of the coin, the bad players in the free software world, might be best represented by Oracle, who inherited a slew of important open source projects with their takeover of Sun Microsystems a few years back. As we’ve observed before, part of the problem with Oracle is that sharing and software freedom isn’t in the company’s genetic structure. Like many proprietary vendors, they believe in nurturing their clients by using the mushroom philosophy–that is by keeping them in the dark and feeding them plenty of malarkey.

    Oracle also obviously has some conflict-of-interest issues when it comes to one of their most important FOSS offerings, the MySQL database, which probably steers at least half of the worlds websites. Oracle, of course, became one of the biggest companies in tech by selling their own proprietary database. Although in most instances Oracle’s database doesn’t directly compete with MySQL, we know it gripes Larry Ellison’s arse to be giving a database away when he thinks he could be making money selling it.

  • BSA Study Demonstrates Open Source’s Economic Advantage

    I love the spring. Not, of course, because of the glorious weather, since we don’t have any. But because it’s time for the annual BSA report on piracy, which is guaranteed to provide me with hours of innocent fun as I go through finding its methodological errors and dodgy data.

  • One Small Step for NASA, One Giant Leap for Open Source

    “When you really need performance/weight as in the space program, who are you going to call: an OS designed by salesmen in secret and in league with hardware suppliers,” asked blogger Robert Pogson, “or an OS designed by computer geeks trying hard in the open to get the last bit of performance and reliability out of hardware?”

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cloud Hosting For Static Sites

      GitHub Pages: GitHub is most well known as a popular source code repository, but they also offer free hosting as part of GitHub Pages. You can use a standard git repository to publish your site, which is how I managed my personal blog for years. For each new article, run the jekyll command line tool, and then push the site to GitHub. GitHub’s Pages takes care of the rest. There is also a web based tool with a few themes and an online markdown editor.

    • OpenStack Brings Open Source Cloud to CeBIT

      The OpenStack® community will take part in CeBIT Australia for the first time when the show opens in Sydney this week, bringing the promise of cost savings, speed of deployment and freedom from vendor lock­in to Australian enterprises. CeBIT will run from May 28th through 30th and will be held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour; OpenStack will be on stand O01 in the Cloud Ecosystem section in Hall 4.

  • CMS

    • Open Source Blogging Platform WordPress Turns Ten, And Its Community Gets To Blow The Candles Out

      Ten years ago today, WordPress, the open source blogging software, was born. It’s amazing to think that it’s been that long, but considering it had all of the elements that other startups and projects have tried to emulate over the past 10 years, then it makes sense.

      When speaking with WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, you’d think that he was only a small part of the movement that attempted to empower anyone and everyone to self-publish. While that might be partially true, Mullenweg has taken all of his learnings over the years and poured them into the for-profit arm, Automattic.


  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open-Source House Building

      Think of a world where you could simply download the blueprints of your future home for free just like you download any open source software today. A team of British architects developed just that and they are hoping their project called WikiHouse will radically change the way we think about building homes.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • CGit Update Adds Exciting Features, Security Fix

      CGit, the widely-used replacement to GitWeb, has out a new release today. Besides incorporating some useful new functionality, it also takes care of a security fix where out-of-date CGit installations could allow arbitrary access to files from the system.

    • OCLint: Another Way For Clang Static Code Analysis

      For those looking at new static code analysis tools, OCLint is an open-source utility powered by LLVM’s Clang foundation to provide a variety of features when inspecting C, Objective-C, and C++ code-bases. In recent testing of OCLint for an internal C-based Phoronix code-base, OCLint proved to be quite useful.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • This Pentagon Project Makes Cyberwar as Easy as Angry Birds

      For the last year, the Pentagon’s top technologists have been working on a program that will make cyberwarfare relatively easy. It’s called Plan X. And if this demo looks like a videogame or sci-fi movie or a sleek Silicon Valley production, that’s no accident. It was built by the designers behind some of Apple’s most famous computers — with assistance from the illustrators who helped bring Transformers to the silver screen.

    • PayPal denies teenager reward for finding website bug

      A 17-year-old German student contends PayPal has denied him a reward for finding a vulnerability in its website.

      Robert Kugler said he notified PayPal of the vulnerability on May 19. He said he was informed by email that because he is under 18 years old, he did not qualify for its Bug Bounty Program. He will turn 18 next March.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • F*ck You NRA! Principal Fires Guards, Expands Arts and Sees Test Scores Soar

      In defiance of societal trends, a K-8 principal fired all his public school’s security guards and reinvested in the arts, drastically improving grades and test scores in a school that once “had a prison feel,” NBC News reports.

      Orchard Gardens, of Roxbury, Massachusetts, was founded in 2003, but quickly fell to the bottom of public schools in the state. Of 800 students, “more than 90% qualify for free or reduced lunch, 25% are learning to speak English, and 25% require Individual Education Plans to meet special needs,” according to the pilot school’s website.

    • Did Obama’s Speech Really ‘Narrow’ the War?

      followed the coverage of President Barack Obama’s May 23 speech at the National Defense University, you would think something big happened to the “war on terror.” Specifically, its scope was narrowed, perhaps considerably, as the war as it is currently being waged winds down.

  • Cablegate

    • Statement from Jeremy Regarding His Plea

      Today I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline.

  • Finance

    • Is EVERY Market Rigged?

      Unless you live under a rock, you know about the Libor scandal.

    • Delinquent US student loans hit record high, with over $100 billion past due

      The number and value of overdue student loans has reached an all-time high in the US as nearly a third of 20- to 24-year-olds are currently unemployed, according to a report by the Department of Education.

      With continued concern regarding rising college costs, the amount of outstanding student loans has now reached $1 trillion, making that the largest category of consumer debt in the US aside from home mortgages.

    • UK courts face radical privatisation shake-up

      The idea would establish the courts service as a commercial enterprise, paying its way and freed from Treasury control, with court buildings and thousands of staff put in the hands of private companies. It would save the Ministry of Justice pound stg. 1 billion ($1.56bn) a year.

  • Censorship

    • Houston police shut down Kanye West screening at Rothko Chapel

      Houston singer Dominique attended the library screening and said it was shut down due to “technical difficulties.” It was rescheduled for later that night/morning, but police eventually shuttered that screening, too, after a tense back and forth.

  • Privacy

    • Labeling Reporters “Criminals,” or Just Complying With the Privacy Protection Act?

      There has been a lot of outrage expressed recently over the contents of an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant to search the e-mail accounts of reporter James Rosen. The government’s affidavit offered the view that Rosen violated the law by aiding and abetting the alleged violations of laws prohibiting the disclosure of classified national security information. Specifically, the affidavit stated, “there is probable cause to believe that the Reporter . . . has committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(d) either as Mr. Kim’s co-conspirator and/or aider and abetter.” To some, the fact that the government would make this argument shows that the Obama Administration is engaging in a War on Journalism. According to this thinking, the Obama Administration is not only trampling on the rights of a free press by going after its sources. Incredibly, they even think of a reporter as a criminal — and are willing to say so in court.

    • Leakers, Recipients, and Conspirators

      Leaks to reporters — and investigations of the leaks that included subpoenas of reporters’ e-mail logs and searches of reporters’ e-mail — have been in the news; see this post by Orin about the AP story and this post by Conor Friedersdorf (The Atlantic) about the Fox News story. I thought I’d say a few things about the First Amendment issues involved in such matters, especially in response to the Friedersdorf post.

    • Yet more Communications Data Bill confusion

      During the debate about the Communications Data Bill, one of the points we repeatedly made was that while this bill was not about reading the contents of messages, but that the details of who you communicate with were still incredibly private information.

    • Snoopers’ Charter – How You Can Stop it Coming Back…Again

      The Snoopers’ Charter is back in the news. It’s come back sooner than any of us expected. We’ve stopped it twice already so we know we can win. What can you do to help stop a revived Snoopers’ Charter?

    • Metropolitan Police were offered access to mobile users’ individual personal information

      The reports suggested that the Metropolitan Police were offered access to mobile users’ individual personal information – including web history, location and spending patterns. The claims were subsequently rejected by Ipsos MORI and mobile operator EE.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Russia Warns Obama: Monsanto
    • Trademarks

      • Trademark Protection: Is Litigation Worth the Cost?

        Anybody who has any involvement with Intellectual Property (“IP”) knows full well that protecting IP means a multi-step process. Obviously, step one is the conception of the invention, idea, trademark, trade name, or other innovation where protection might be necessary. Step two is the decision about what to do with the “new” idea, etc. in terms of the need to try for exclusivity on it –or not. Many “new” things do not need IP protection – and other “new” things may not qualify for it. If the “new” idea fits into the area where protection is desirable and it qualifies, then the next step is to seek legal protection. Of course, such protection will have a cost – whether or not the protection is sought by the inventor/conceptualizer himself/herself or itself (in the case of an organization) or assistance of counsel is required.

    • Copyrights

      • US entertainment industry to Congress: make it legal for us to deploy rootkits, spyware, ransomware and trojans to attack pirates!

        The hilariously named “Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property” has finally released its report, an 84-page tome that’s pretty bonkers. But amidst all that crazy, there’s a bit that stands out as particularly insane: a proposal to legalize the use of malware in order to punish people believed to be copying illegally. The report proposes that software would be loaded on computers that would somehow figure out if you were a pirate, and if you were, it would lock your computer up and take all your files hostage until you call the police and confess your crime. This is the mechanism that crooks use when they deploy ransomware.

      • Vine, hip-hop and the future of video sharing: old rap songs and new copyright rules

        What does video tool Vine have in common with iconic rappers like the Beastie Boys and the Notorious BIG? More than you think. Like hip-hop, Vine is a way to sample and collect culture — and it may have to run the same legal gambit that rappers did a decade ago.

      • Hollywood Studios Want Google to Censor Dotcom’s Mega

        Two major Hollywood studios have asked Google to remove the homepage of Kim Dotcom’s Mega from its search results. Warner Bros. and NBC Universal claim that their copyrighted content is hosted on the URL and want it taken down. Dotcom is disappointed by the news and points out that constant takedown abuse is restricting access to legitimate files. “This is in line with the unreasonable content industry behavior we have experienced for years,” he says in a response.

      • Commission suggests hacking and hijacking the computers of suspected IP pirates

        Should owners of intellectual property be allowed to attack anyone they suspect of pirating their goodies? That’s a question that was raised last week by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.

      • Five Undercover Police Cars Sent To Arrest Single Alleged Movie Pirate

        Police assisted by the Federation Against Copyright Theft showed up in large numbers to arrest an alleged movie pirate in the UK this week. Armed with an emergency search warrant issued out of hours by a judge, five undercover police vehicles containing detectives and FACT officers were deployed to arrest a 24-year-old said to have recorded the movie Fast and Furious 6.

      • Why Are UK Police Allowing Entertainment Industry Employees To Arrest And Interrogate People With Their Help?

        We’ve discussed in the past the oddity of how a UK anti-piracy group, FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft), which is a private organization set up and controlled by large entertainment industry players, being deeply involved in criminal investigations and cases against individuals. In the case against Surfthechannel, FACT was directly involved in seizing and keeping the computers involved and then in paying the police for the prosecution. Even if you can reasonably argue that they should be involved in helping with providing information for the investigation, you’d think most people would agree that that’s where the industry’s involvement should end. They shouldn’t be present on raids. They shouldn’t get to touch or keep the evidence. And they certainly shouldn’t be financing and pressing the criminal case.


Links 27/5/2013: Linaro Connect, Linux 3.10 RC3

Posted in News Roundup at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source is a Mindset, says Appcelerator CEO

    While covering the launch of Appcelerator Enterprise Platform at Mountain View last week, we enjoyed a short chat with Jeff Haynie, co-founder and CEO of Appcelerator.

    Haynie explained that his company’s new enterprise platform is important because it leverages mobility, cloud, and Big Data. These three game-changing advancements have really transformed the way the enterprise does business. We are moving away from package software deployed inside of middleware and enterprise app software that has been the trend for the last 15 years, and now towards on-demand subscription-oriented software, Haynie says.

  • “30 day” office suite Joeffice launched

    Joeffice is an alpha version of a open source Java-based office suite, which was created by its author, Anthony Goubard, in thirty days. Goubard documented the development process in a series of videos now available on YouTube.

    The application’s framework, and the tool used to develop the application, is the NetBeans platform. It is well known that NetBeans is an IDE, but the IDE also supports being effectively hollowed out and being used as the basis for applications. This is called the NetBeans platform and gives applications all the support for customisable editors for documents and having a fully tab-supporting, dock-enabled, single window or multi window environment with toolbars, menus and other interface elements.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Brings Open Source Cloud to CeBIT

      Local OpenStack Innovators and Tech Leaders Will Demonstrate Cloud Capabilities at Premier Technology Event

      SYDNEY May 27, 2013 – The OpenStack® community will take part in CeBIT Australia for the first time when the show opens in Sydney tomorrow, bringing the promise of cost savings, speed of deployment and freedom from vendor lock in to Australian enterprises. CeBIT will run from May 28 through 30 and will be held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour; OpenStack will be on stand 001 in the Cloud Ecosystem section in Hall 4.

  • Education

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Taking the Open Source Enterprise Plunge

        Devops represents a dramatic change from the old siloed developers and script-heavy system administrators of yesterday. Any tools that can provide some common ground for developers and IT operations professionals can help, and it seems Chef and Puppet often do.

  • Project Releases

    • Libjpeg-Turbo Gets New Release

      The libjpeg-turbo library, which is the increasingly-used fork of the JPEG library that provides faster performance through SIMD optimizations, has out a new release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • The Philippines adopts Indonesia’s open source disaster mitigation tool

      The Department of Science and Technology revealed plans to adopt InaSAFE, a disaster mitigation technology from Indonesia, to its Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard (NOAH) project in a bid to improve disaster planning and preparedness in the country.

    • Philippines: Adoption of Indonesia’s Open Source Disaster Mitigation Tool

      The website Futuregov Asia reported that the Philippines are planning to improve their disaster mitigation efforts by adopting an Indonesian mapping and planning tool: “The Department of Science and Technology revealed plans to adopt InaSAFE, a disaster mitigation technology from Indonesia, to its Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard (NOAH) project in a bid to improve disaster planning and preparedness in the country. InaSAFE, or Indonesia Scenario Assessment for Emergency, is an open source software that produces realistic natural hazard impact scenarios to help decision makers in their disaster planning, preparedness and response activities.

  • Programming

    • The Best Features Of LLVM / Clang 3.3

      With next month’s release of LLVM 3.3 quickly approaching, here’s an overview of some of the best and most exciting features coming to this next major update of the LLVM compiler infrastructure and Clang C/C++ compiler front-end.

      Some of our favorite features coming to LLVM 3.3 include:


  • Science

    • Intelligence linked to ability to ignore distractions

      People with higher IQs are slow to detect large background movements because their brains filter out non-essential information, say US researchers.

      Instead, they are good at detecting small moving objects.

      The findings come in a study of 53 people given a simple, visual test in Current Biology.

      The results could help scientists understand what makes a brain more efficient and more intelligent.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Victory for Food Rights and Wisconsin Farmer Vernon Hershberger

      In what has been roundly declared a victory for food rights and private food transactions by supporters, a jury returned a verdict of not guilty on three of four charges against Wisconsin raw milk farmer Vernon Hershberger in the early morning hours of March 25. “It’s a beautiful day. . . . They tried their best to set me free,” Hershberger told The Complete Patient after a few hours of sleep.

  • Security

    • Labeling Reporters “Criminals,” or Just Complying With the Privacy Protection Act?

      There has been a lot of outrage expressed recently over the contents of an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant to search the e-mail accounts of reporter James Rosen. The government’s affidavit offered the view that Rosen violated the law by aiding and abetting the alleged violations of laws prohibiting the disclosure of classified national security information. Specifically, the affidavit stated, “there is probable cause to believe that the Reporter . . . has committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(d) either as Mr. Kim’s co-conspirator and/or aider and abetter.” To some, the fact that the government would make this argument shows that the Obama Administration is engaging in a War on Journalism.

    • Reporters use Google, find breach, get branded as “hackers”
    • Privacy on the Line: Security lapse exposes some Lifeline phone customers to ID theft risk
    • Reporters threatened with CFAA, labeled hackers for finding security hole

      Scripps News reporters discovered 170,000 Lifeline phone customer records online that contained everything needed for identity theft. After requesting an interview with the COO of TerraCom and YourTel, the reaction was kill-the-messenger style; the reporters were called “Scripps Hackers” and threatened with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

    • One-Time Pad Reinvented to Make Electronic Copying Impossible

      The ability to copy electronic code makes one-time pads vulnerable to hackers. Now engineers have found a way round this to create a system of cryptography that is invulnerable to electronic attack.

    • Ragebooter: ‘Legit’ DDoS Service, or Fed Backdoor?

      On Monday, I profiled asylumbooter.com, one of several increasingly public DDoS-for-hire services posing as Web site “stress testing” services. Today, we’ll look at ragebooter.net, yet another attack service except for one secret feature which sets it apart from the competition: According the site’s proprietor, ragebooter.net includes a hidden backdoor that lets the FBI monitor customer activity.

    • Twitter’s 2FA: SMS Double-Duty

      Twitter introduced multi-factor login verification on Wednesday. Good news? Well… that depends.

      Twitter’s initial implementation of two-factor authentication (2FA) relies on SMS.

      But… Twitter also uses SMS as a way to send and receive Tweets (making use of SMS for double-duty: social and security). It’s possible to “STOP” incoming Tweets via SMS, and that makes sense, because people sometimes end up roaming unexpectedly — and there needs to be a way to stop the SMS feature. Otherwise it could generate a costly bill.

    • How to Hack Twitter’s Two-Factor Authentication
    • 0-days in Novell Client for Windows

      Those users who are still using Novell Client for Windows should look around for alternatives. In recent weeks, at least two 0-day exploits for the kernel driver have surfaced on the internet. The security firm eEye has documented the issues with the ids 20130510 and 20130522.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Still Getting Gitmo Wrong

      Those 86 prisoners have not been, and will not be, charged with any crime whatsoever; they are not “terror suspects.”

    • We’ve moved on from the Iraq war – but Iraqis don’t have that choice

      The dust in Iraq rolls down the long roads that are the desert’s fingers. It gets in your eyes and nose and throat; it swirls in markets and school playgrounds, consuming children kicking a ball; and it carries, according to Dr Jawad Al-Ali, “the seeds of our death”. An internationally respected cancer specialist at the Sadr teaching hospital in Basra, Dr Ali told me that in 1999, and today his warning is irrefutable. “Before the Gulf war,” he said, “we had two or three cancer patients a month. Now we have 30 to 35 dying every month. Our studies indicate that 40 to 48% of the population in this area will get cancer: in five years’ time to begin with, then long after. That’s almost half the population. Most of my own family have it, and we have no history of the disease. It is like Chernobyl here; the genetic effects are new to us; the mushrooms grow huge; even the grapes in my garden have mutated and can’t be eaten.”

    • 20 injured, 61 arrested as Swiss street parade turns violent (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

      The rally, now in its third year, is tolerated by the authorities, but just like a year ago when 10,000 participated, it was not given official permission to take place.

      Like last year’s parade, hardliners managed to spray graffiti on parliament, leading authorities to take extra precautions. Bern’s Old Town was locked down on the eve of the event, with extensive riot police deployments and barricades erected around Parliament Square.

    • Clashes at Cairo demo calling on Morsi to resign
    • ‘Conclusive proof’ CIA torture flights landed at Scottish airports

      Investigators believe they have found “conclusive” new proof that CIA-linked planes landed regularly in Scottish airports as part of the “extraordinary rendition” programme.

    • UK government must come clean on rendition flights

      SNP MSPs have urged the UK government to come clean on what knowledge it has on rendition flights using Inverness, Wick and Aberdeen airports.

      Rob Gibson, who has campaigned against these flights, said new findings that claim to have “conclusive” proof rendition planes landed regularly in Scottish airports, was “shocking”.

      The study by Kingston and Kent universities found that 13 flights to these airports may have been involved in the US security service’s rendition programme.

    • UK provided more support for CIA rendition flights than thought – study

      The UK’s support for the CIA’s global rendition programme after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US was far more substantial than has previously been recognised, according to a new research project that draws on a vast number of publicly available data and documentation.

    • CIA’s ‘al-Qaida Mole’ Morten Storm Had Links to Woolwich Murder Suspect’s Network

      Storm was offered $250,000 (£165,000) to help track down the radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in 2011. But the relationship soured when the CIA refused to pay him, saying that despite his assistance, the information that led to the kill came from other sources.

    • The Real Costs of CIA Cash

      When the New York Times reported recently that the CIA routinely provides cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, totaling in the tens of millions of dollars, many were surprised. I wasn’t among them. The Karzai scandal cycle has developed a certain amount of redundancy: his odd outbursts, his family’s endless corruption, the vacillating positions on peace negotiations and about faces on the Taliban one day and the United States the next — it has lost the power to shock. CIA payments are not even at the front of this parade of infamies.

    • LISTEN: The CIA Shapes the #Torture Debate
    • Obama should pardon CIA whistle blower

      Currently ex-CIA agent John Kiriakou is serving a 30-month prison term essentially for embarrassing the U.S. government. What was so embarrassing? He exposed the CIA’s torture program during the Bush administration.

    • Boston Marathon bombing: Suspects’ mum was on CIA terror list

      Russian agents warned them that both Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and 26-year-old Tamerlan were militant Islamists

    • The entire globe is a battlefield for Pentagon

      Forget it; the Global War on Terror (GWOT) is not becoming more “democratic” – or even transparent.

      US President Barack Obama now pledges to transfer the responsibility of the shadow ‘Drone Wars’ from the CIA to the Pentagon – so the US Congress is able to monitor it.

    • Gmail and the CIA … and China! … and Fox News!

      On the other hand, we now also know (again thanks to the Washington Post) that James Rosen, the Fox News reporter almost certainly communicated some of the time with his alleged source Stephen Jin-Woo Kim through a Gmail account. Those communications are at the heart of a leak investigation in which DOJ is, as Jack has noted, pushing very hard. So, apparently what I consider an obvious lapse in tradecraft is, to at least one sophisticated news reporter, …. a surprise. And if Fox News doesn’t know that Gmail is insecure, maybe it is too much to expect that the CIA would know.

    • Boston and the CIA ‘Snafu’: The grey eminence behind Turkey’s Erdogan and AKP

      In the first part, geopolitical analyst William Engdahl discussed the role of CIA’s Graham Fuller in creating the policy of using angry Jihadist Muslims as trained terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere against the Soviet Union. Herein—largely drawing on the revelations made by FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edwards—Engdahl throws the spotlight on the entire CIA-sponsored Islamic Jihadist operations run through Fetullah Gülen across Turkey into Central Asia and Russia and China.

    • Amnesty International challenges Poland’s ‘slow’ CIA prisons probe

      Amnesty International has stated in its annual report that it is concerned about the pace of Poland’s investigation into alleged CIA prisons for terrorists on Polish soil.

    • CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ flights mapped

      Following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States rounded up suspected terrorists wherever they were and then moved them to secret prisons around the globe, where they were detained and questioned. The program, largely carried out by the CIA, was known as extraordinary rendition.

    • Prosecutors applying to extend CIA prison investigation

      Prosecutors are applying to the Attorney General to extend the investigation into an alleged CIA prison in Poland, where renditioned prisoners have complained they were imprisoned and tortured.

  • Cablegate

    • ‘Filled with errors and speculation’: WikiLeaks slams ‘We Steal Secrets’ doc film

      WikiLeaks has lashed out at a forthcoming US-made documentary on founder Julian Assange. The whistleblowing group decried the film for its alleged inaccuracies, chiefly implications that Assange conspired with Bradley Manning to commit espionage.

      The anti-secrecy organization released an annotated copy of the film’s transcript that took no prisoners. Even the documentary’s name – ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks’ – was condemned by the group as misleading.

    • WikiLeaks vs. Alex Gibney Battle Over New Film Intensifies

      As I noted in intro to my interview with Alex Gibney, director of the new We Steal Secrets film re WikilLeaks, he has been slammed by Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks Twitter feed for months, for various reasons, no doubt. It seems that Assange early on got some kind of leaked script or transcript for the film in process. Gibney hit back for basing a critique on some words on the page, when a film is a quite different experience.

    • Bhopal gas tragedy-WikiLeaks expose US role

      The disclosures known as the “Kissinger cables” make the US Administration ethically and morally, if not legally, responsible for the Bhopal Gas Disaster that took thousands of lives, sickened and maimed many more. If one looks at the larger picture of the Bhopal tragedy one would find officials of the US Administration including those in its Indian embassy and some Indian collaborators working against all ethical or moral and legal norms from the beginning to end for the benefit of a big corporation. The entire script, however, was prepared and choreographed by the US.

    • Wikileaks Cables Reveal State Dept. Promoting GMOs Abroad
    • New Analysis of Wikileaks Shows State Department’s Promotion of Monsanto’s GMOs Abroad

      In Nigeria, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the drafting of legislation to assist the progress of GE crop approval there. Other forms of coercion were more gentle, even glamorous; they included a “magical evening” with famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on Venice’s San Giorio Maggiore island and State-sponsored biotech conferences, receptions and delegations of agriculture officials and reporters to U.S.-based biotech centers.

    • Everything done to WikiLeaks is now being done to US reporters
    • Virtually Everything the Government Did to WikiLeaks is Now Being Done to Mainstream US Reporters

      At Freedom of the Press Foundation, we believe it’s vital to defend WikiLeaks’ right to gather and publish classified information in the public interest, just as it’s vital to protect the rights of Associated Press and Fox News to do the same. Under the law, the AP, Fox News, and WikiLeaks are no different (a fact that even the government argues). If one falls, the others will not be far behind.

    • Meet the smart lawyer for WikiLeaks
    • WikiLeaks cables dismantle Labor’s Iraq withdrawal spin

      Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd fulfilled his campaign pledge to withdraw Australian “combat” forces from Southern Iraq on June 2008. Rudd used the occasion to condemn former Prime Minister John Howard for joining the war, but US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show the Rudd government wanted to keep more Australian forces in Iraq than it had withdrawn.

      After the withdrawal of soldiers, about 1000 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel remained in Iraq, including sailors on board warships in the Persian Gulf ― Australia’s contribution to the multinational Task Force 158 (TF158) guarding Iraqi oil platforms.

    • New Head Of CIA National Clandestine Service Featured In Wikileaks Cables On Torture Case

      The Aafia Siddiqu case that Archibald was involved with became controversial in Pakistan. The facts surrounding Siddiqui’s activities and arrest remain disputed and though she was eventually tried and convicted in New York City her case remains controversial due to questions surrounding her possible kidnapping, detainment, and torture by U.S. forces as well as disputes regarding forensic evidence and due process rights.

    • ‘Interview with Julian Assange costs million dollars’

      London: An interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would cost an interviewer as high as a million dollars.

  • Finance

    • Professor Wolff on the Economic Crisis
    • I Bought Some BitCoins

      On Tuesday evening I gave an envelope full of hundred-dollar bills to a friendly long-haired young man I’d never met in an undistinguished coffee-shop in an undistinguished neighborhood. By the time I got home, the BitCoins I’d bought were worth noticeably less than I paid.

    • Google’s Eric Schmidt: change British law and we’d pay more tax

      Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, has continued to defend the company’s tax affairs, insisting it would comply with British law if it was changed and claiming to be perplexed by the debate.

      In a phrase less snappy than the more celebrated “don’t be evil”, Schmidt said Google had “a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders” that prevented the internet company from paying more tax abroad. However, he said: “It’s not a debate. You pay the taxes.”

    • The End of the Beginning of the End

      nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day.


      The incomes of 100 people out of the seven billion on the planet could fix that, and then fix it again, and then fix it again, and then fix it again. The exact total of the wealth of these individuals is actually something of a mystery, thanks to the tax havens they use to hide their fortunes. There are trillions of dollars squirrelled away in those havens – no one knows quite how much – and the subtraction of that money from the global economy has a direct and debilitating effect on the people not fortunate enough to be part of that elite 100.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Communications data bill response

      Responding to calls to revive the communications data bill…

    • Four-star general in eye of U.S. cyber storm

      Depending on your point of view, U.S. General Keith Alexander is either an Army four-star trying to stave off a cyber Pearl Harbor attack, or an overreaching spy chief who wants to eavesdrop on the private emails of every American.

    • NSA Utah Data Center Facing Unexpected Energy Taxes

      The 1 million square-foot Camp Williams facility in Bluffdale, Utah will house a 100,000 square foot data center, while the remaining 900,000 SF will be used for technical support and administrative space. Wired has estimated the Utah Data Center would consume $40 million of electricity a year, which translates into about $2.4 million annually in additional taxes under HB325.

    • Inside the Ring: NSA under Reagan

      It was the first time the NSA made public the number of people who work for the agency, whose post-9/11 workforce is now estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000.

    • Are All Telephone Calls Recorded And Accessible To The US Government?

      ….every telephone conversation… with or without a search warrant — “is being captured as we speak.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Justice Department’s scrutiny of Fox News reporter James Rosen in leak case draws fire

      Journalists, First Amendment watchdogs and government transparency advocates reacted with outrage Monday to the revelation that the Justice Department had investigated the newsgathering activities of a Fox News reporter as a potential crime in a probe of classified leaks.

      Critics said the government’s suggestion that James Rosen, Fox News’s chief Washington correspondent, was a “co-conspirator” for soliciting classified information threatened to criminalize press freedoms protected by the First Amendment. Others also suggested that the Justice Department’s claim in pursuing an alleged leak from the State Department was little more than pretext to seize his e-mails to build their case against the suspected leaker.

    • Immigration reform may spur software robotics

      The Senate immigration bill’s H-1B restrictions have clearly upset Indian firms. But sometimes being in a tough spot can prompt new ways of approaching problems. One firm is implementing software robots.

    • Cleared of Charges of Setting Off a School Explosion, Florida Honor Student Heads to Space Camp

      In late April, the 16-year-old central Florida honor student was accused of igniting a chemical explosion on school grounds, leading to her arrest and suspension from school, but authorities dropped criminal charges last week.

    • Judge finds Ariz. sheriff’s office racially profiles Latinos in immigration patrols

      A federal judge has ruled that the office of America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff systematically singled out Latinos in its trademark immigration patrols, marking the first finding by a court that the agency racially profiles people.

    • Woolwich murder: Theresa May vows to get tough on extremist websites

      A dramatic battery of measures to prevent radicalisation of British Muslims was outlined on Sunday by the home secretary, Theresa May, including tougher pre-emptive censorship of internet sites, a lower threshold for banning extremist groups and renewed pressure on universities and mosques to reject so-called hate preachers.

    • Full California Assembly to Vote on Rejecting NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

      Today, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee gave a “Do-Pass” approval to a bill that could render toothless the federal “indefinite detention” powers under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, by ASM Tim Donnelly was previously passed unanimously by the Public Safety Committee and is expected to get a vote in the full state assembly in the coming week.

    • Obama Impeachment: Articles Of Impeachment Must Be Issued to Recover Faith in Government

      In the past few years we have witnessed the worst of government. President Barack Obama now represents a lawless government incapable of any accountability. It’s my belief that “Articles of Impeachment” must be brought forward in order to check the executive branch. Congress must make itself relevant again; otherwise no president will fear anything and the executive branch of will become more and more tyrannical.

    • In Guantanamo, fine words are no substitute for freedom

      When President Obama delivered a major speech on America’s drone program and the ongoing existence of the Guantanamo prison, the majority of those most affected by the latter – the prisoners themselves – were, ironically, unable to hear his speech.

    • AP probe: White House claims no knowledge, Justice Dept defends actions
    • On Guantánamo, The Three Steps Obama Needs To Take Now – OpEd

      Late on Friday evening, RT published an article I had been commissioned to write for them, entitled, “In Guantánamo, fine words are no substitute for freedom.” In it, I examined in detail the parts of President Obama’s national security speech on Thursday that dealt with the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where a prison-wide hunger strike has been raging for nearly four months.

      The 166 men still held are expressing their despair at having been abandoned by all three branches of the US government — by President Obama and his administration, by Congress and by the judiciary, and for good reason — 86 of these men were cleared for release three years ago by an inter-agency task force that President Obama established when he took office in 2009, and most of the 80 others would be entirely justified in concluding that, in their cases, justice has gone AWOL.

    • English Defence League protest met with cries of ‘Nazi scum, off our streets’ in Newcastle

      A counter-rally, under the name of Newcastle Unites, was also held in the city, with people chanting: “NazI scum, off our streets”.

    • LibertyReserve.com shuttered, founder arrested in Spain

      Website of Liberty Reserve, a digital currency, has been shut with the founder arrested by police in Spain this week over his alleged involvement in money laundering.

  • DRM

    • Judge says leaning toward U.S. in Apple e-books case

      In an unusual move before a trial, a federal judge expressed a tentative view that the U.S. Justice Department will be able to show evidence that Apple Inc engaged in a conspiracy with publishers to increase e-book prices.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New International Coalition to TPP Negotiators: We Demand a Fair Deal for the Internet

      Today EFF joins organizations from the around the world representing a diversity of interests in launching a new coalition to ask for A Fair Deal on intellectual property (IP) in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The coalition has launched a website at www.OurFairDeal.org calling for TPP negotiators to “reject copyright proposals that restrict the open Internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and our fundamental rights.” The TPP meetings are taking place in Lima, Peru this week until May 25th, and EFF has been on the ground working with groups to fight those provisions and demand a seat at the table at these secretive negotiations.

    • Brocade and A10 settle patent case one hour before a jury hears it

      One of the longer-running and higher stakes high-tech patent disputes has been laid to rest. Brocade and A10 Networks settled their patent and copyright dispute over their competing application delivery controllers today. The deal was struck just one hour before a San Jose jury was going to hear opening statements in a damages trial, according to Mike Swift, a reporter for the MLex legal and regulatory news service.

    • Copyrights

      • Prenda Law: The Sound of One Shoe Dropping

        There have been many small-to-medium developments in the Prenda Law saga. I’m preparing for trial, so I won’t be covering them any time soon. But I will leave you with one: a consequence for a Prenda Law lawyer in the Ninth Circuit.

      • Prenda blows sanctions deadline, ordered to pay an extra $1,000 per day

        The four lawyers linked to the Prenda Law copyright-trolling organization were slapped with an $81,000 sanctions order, which as of today, they have missed the deadline to pay. They did make time to file a last-minute motion to delay the sanctions, which only got referred back to the judge who’s angry at them in the first place: US District Judge Otis Wright.

      • First Hand Account Of Judicial Smackdown Of Prenda In Minnesota

        Yesterday we had a story about how a judge in Minnesota, Judge Ann Alton, angrily accused Paul Hansmeier of fraud in the lawsuit filed by Alan Cooper against Prenda. There was some confusion by the judge about whether Cooper and Godfread were in on the fraud too, which seems to have made the judge less open to possible damages against Prenda. Either way, without a court reporter, Matthew Sparby, who was in attendance, wrote up the following first-hand account of what happened in the court room. It’s definitely disappointing to see that the judge made a few bad assumptions about Cooper/Godfread, but good to see that she knew that Prenda has been up to no good.

      • RIAA losing money, firing employees, giving execs raises

        The RIAA has submitted its latest Form 990 tax filing to the IRS, which details the organization’s precipitous shelving off in budget and employees (though the execs gave themselves fat raises)…

      • RIAA Makes Drastic Employee Cuts as Revenue Plummets
      • Broadcasters go after Aereo by suing smaller competitor, Aereokiller

        ABC, NBC, and Fox file a new copyright suit against a far less formidable opponent

      • Pirate Bay Blessing Propels New BitTorrent Tracker to Great Heights

        In recent weeks a new Demonoid-inspired standalone tracker entered the BitTorrent ecosystem with a bang. Blessed by The Pirate Bay, Demonii has quickly become one of the most used BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. TorrentFreak decided to catch up with the admin to find out how it all came to be.

      • Pirate Bay Blessing Propels New BitTorrent Tracker to Great Heights

        In recent weeks a new Demonoid-inspired standalone tracker entered the BitTorrent ecosystem with a bang. Blessed by The Pirate Bay, Demonii has quickly become one of the most used BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. TorrentFreak decided to catch up with the admin to find out how it all came to be.

      • Someone’s Trying to Nail the RIAA for Downloading Porn

        With a reputation of taking harsh measures against unauthorized file-sharing, the RIAA has made quite a few enemies over the years. How ironic is it then that the RIAA website now appears to be seeding more than a dozen pirated porn videos? Or could it be that someone is trying to nail the RIAA in a clever way?

      • Copyright… Patent… It’s All The Same To The World’s Third-Largest News Agency

        While we realize that the intricacies of IP law (and its often-attendant ridiculousness) can be rather difficult for the average, uninterested person to parse, it’s really not asking too much to expect large international news agencies to make an effort to get the terminology right.

        As you recall, Kim Dotcom recently announced he holds a patent for two-factor authentication, which he then waved in the direction of other internet titans like Twitter and Google, promising not to sue in exchange for contributions to his legal defense fund.

        Here’s how AFP (Agence France-Presse), the third-largest news agency in the world (and one of the oldest) titled its coverage of the Dotcom/patent story: Kim Dotcom might sue Twitter, Google and Facebook over copyright infringement.


Links 25/5/2013: Beaglebone Black (BBB), Tizen Comeback

Posted in News Roundup at 5:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Dandelion Linux Desktop

    Some desktops are featured because of their widgets, while others because they’re full of useful data. This week’s featured desktop, from Lifehacker Chookstar, gets the nod because it’s simple, elegant, and uses smart GNOME tweaking to bring everything together neatly.

  • Considering a Linux career? Four tips for new college grads

    Tis the season for college graduations, and that means there are countless fresh grads out there looking for their first real, professional jobs.

    Those in IT would be hard-pressed to come up with a better area to focus on than Linux, which is consistently shown to offer higher salaries and more opportunities than do other parts of IT. There’s tremendous demand for Linux skills today, so those who possess them are in a nice position as they enter the job market.

  • It Seems I Won’t Be Writing For Linux Advocates After All

    Last week I had announced in the LXer forums that I would be a contributing author to Linux Advocates. That was followed by a post on the site announcing that I would be joining their team. I was honestly excited about this. I felt that writing for Linux Advocates would add credibility to my stories and bring me back some of the wider audience I had when I wrote for O’Reilly Media. The additional exposure would help me market my consulting business which brings Linux and FOSS solutions to businesses and organizations looking to reduce IT costs and enhance the reliability, stability and security of their IT infrastructure.

    Today it became clear that I wouldn’t be writing for Linux Advocates after all. I’ve learned a lot in the past week and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is for the best.

    First, a number of prominent writers and developers in the Linux community tried to get me to reconsider. The big issue for them was what they saw as heavy handed moderation by Dietrich Schmitz, including banning a number of them from the site entirely. I’ve argued that website owners have the right to moderate and control the content on their sites. I’ve made clear that such editorial control is most definitely not censorship as some have claimed. The dispute between Mr. Schmitz and those who felt they were unfairly treated, including several former Linux Advocates writers, spilled over into five different threads in the LXer forums and several Google+ pages and included a great deal of rather heated language.


    Mr. Schmitz’ response was direct and to the point. If I can’t accommodate how he chooses to run his site then I should go elsewhere. Once again, he was getting writing from me on a voluntary basis on a website were he is currently begging for money to make ends meet. This is a Linux advocacy site. You’d think he’d be the one to accommodate an aversion to proprietary tools that aren’t in any way necessary for him to publish my writing. I guess not.

    So.. no, sorry, Mr. Schmitz, I won’t be accommodating you. I’ll find ways to bring traffic to my blog which don’t require sacrificing my security, privacy or principles. I still have other outlets who would like me to write for them as well.

  • More Twists And Turns On the GNU/Linux Advocacy Site That’s Not

    Welcome to the club of refugees from some tyrant on an ego-trip, Caitlyn. You and others might be more comfortable at GNU/Linux Advocates.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • The apps of KDE 4.10 Part VI: Calligra Suite

        You may be a bit confused as to what Calligra Suite is, in fact you may not have ever even heard of it before now. Essentially Calligra Suite is a fork of the KOffice project from back in 2010 and has now become the de facto group of KDE publishing/office applications, as KOffice isn’t really being developed any more. It consists of the following applications:

      • Solutions Linux and KDE Paris Dinner

        This year we also have a KDE Paris Dinner on Tuesday evening, at 21h. Location has not been defined but it will be in Paris (of course).

  • Distributions

    • Linpus Lite 1.9 review

      Linpus Lite is a desktop distribution published by Linpus Technologies, Inc., a Linux software solutions provider headquartered in Taiwan. It is based on Fedora, but with a focus towards modern hardware and mobile computing.

      The latest edition, Linpus Lite 1.9, was released back in early February of this year, and was updated in the first week of this month. The last edition before this latest round of releases, was Linpus Lite 1.7, which was released in March of 2012, and reviewed here. This article presents a detailed review of this latest release, based on test installations on real hardware and in a virtual environment.

    • A New X.Org-Free Wayland LiveCD Released

      For technology demos and testing, the “first true Wayland LiveCD” has been released that can start Wayland directly without depending upon an X.Org environment.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandrake, Mandriva Archives Safe

        For those that still hold some nostalgia for Mandriva/Mandrake, there’s good news. The OpenMandriva project was able to obtain a lot of the files before their server was scrapped. An archive has been set up by the OpenMandriva gang for all to share.

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • IT Thought Leaders to Keynote at Red Hat Summit 2013

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced a lineup of keynote speakers featuring executive thought leaders from Accenture, Cisco, HP, IBM and Intel for the ninth annual Red Hat Summit, to be held June 11-14, 2013 in Boston. Red Hat Summit brings together a diverse group of senior business and technical leaders to learn, network and experience open source and to discuss the innovative technologies and best practices organizations are applying to drive innovation and business.

      • Red Hat OpenStack, Linux, Virtualization: Cloud Triple Play?

        OpenStack has hundreds of backers. But the Red Hat OpenStack distribution, still under development, could emerge as the preferred open source platform for public and private clouds. Here’s why.

      • Red Hat Discusses Gluster Roadmap Ahead of LinuxCon Japan Workshop

        Fresh on the heels of his talk on achieving total data center victory at Collaboration Summit in April, John Mark Walker, Gluster community leader at Red Hat will show us how to get there at the Gluster Workshop at LinuxCon Japan on Friday, May 31 in Tokyo.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project, Community, Mourns Loss of Ray Dassen

        The Debian Project today is mourning the loss of legendary Linux developer Ray Dassen. Ray Dassen served the Linux community and Debian at large for nearly all of Debian’s life, having joined the project in the very beginning working hand-in-hand while the project’s founder, Ian Murdock.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Important Points about Beaglebone Black (BBB)

      If you can’t communicate to your BBB from Browser, Use Google Chrome Browser. There is Some Problem with Firefox. Never use Internet Explorer.

    • Intel Shows Off GNOME3-Based Tizen Shell
    • Latest Tizen sightings: Samsung phone, Intel laptop demo

      Days after releasing version 2.1 of the Linux-based Tizen mobile operating system, Samsung confirmed an upcoming GT-I8805 Tizen smartphone, and Intel demonstrated a laptop running Tizen 3.0 in a GNOME shell. Other developments around this week’s Tizen Developers Conference include a Tizen App Challenge and 2013 phone launch promises from NTT DoCoMo and Orange.

    • Introducing the BeagleBone Black’s Linux 3.8 kernel

      This guest column by BeagleBoard.org co-founder Jason Kridner introduces the BeagleBone Black’s cutting-edge Linux 3.8 kernel, up from the original BeagleBone’s 3.2 kernel. The new kernel incorporates a new Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) display driver architecture, as well as full support for the Device Tree data structure introduced in Linux 3.7 in order to streamline ARM Linux development and hardware support.

    • BeagleBone Black ships, climbs Linux 3.8 Device Tree
    • Handheld SDR Transceiver runs Linux on ARM/FPGA SoC

      Epiq Solutions announced a handheld software defined radio (SDR) device with an RF transceiver that tunes from 300MHz to 3.8GHz, plus a built-in 1PPS GPS. The Matchstiq Z1 is built around a Linux-ready iVeia Atlas-I-Z7e computer-on-module equipped with a Xilinx Zynq Z-7020 SoC, which integrates dual ARM Cortex-A9 cores along with FPGA circuitry.

    • Phones

      • blinkx launches open-source video player for Tizen

        For mobile app creators in the Tizen community, blinkx has developed an open source HTML5 video player to help developers incorporate a fully functional video player into their applications. The lightweight and easy-to-use code allows developers to build a single- or multi-video player experience with their own videos in multiple formats. As a result, creators of new and existing Tizen apps will be able to easily incorporate a video player with customisable playlists and configurable settings.

      • Tizen Linux demo on an ultrabook (video)

        Tizen is a Linux-based operating system that’s backed by Samsung and which is expected to ship on Samsung smartphones this year. But the OS isn’t just for mobile devices like phones and tablets.

      • Tizen with GNOME 3 shell shown by Intel

        Tizen, the mobile operating system that has yet to see a device launched with it, is already widening its reach to laptops. Tizen, a Linux Foundation project with Intel and Samsung collaborating on development, is due to appear on smartphones in the latter part of the year with Tizen 2.1, which uses a Linux base layer with a user interface built using Enlightenment libraries to run HTML5-based apps. At the Tizen Developers Conference held this week though, Intel showed an early version of what will become part of Tizen 3.0 later in the year. Tizen Experts recorded a video of the Intel Tizen variant running on an i7 Ultrabook.

      • Samsung, carriers tout first Tizen mobes for late 2013

        ou could be forgiven for thinking there’s not much going on with Tizen, the Linux Foundation’s open source mobile OS. It’s been two years since the project was launched and there still are no Tizen devices on the market. But that’s about to change – and there has been a lot happening behind the scenes, as well.

      • Ballnux

        • HTC One ‘Google Edition’ with stock Android reportedly in the works

          HTC may follow Samsung’s lead and produce a “Google Edition” of its latest flagship smartphone running stock Android. According to sources that spoke to Russell Holly at Geek, work on a version of the HTC One without its Sense software customizations is underway, with a US launch said to be “imminent.” Holly previously leaked accurate information on the Galaxy S4 Google Edition ahead of its announcement at the I/O conference.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • 62 Open Source Replacements for Popular Financial Software

    The open source community offers a wide array of options to assist you, whether you’re tracking your personal bank accounts, managing your small business, setting up an online shop or monitoring finances for a large enterprise.

    Like much of the software industry, financial software is in the midst of great change. While many consumers and companies still use traditional software that they have installed on their PCs and/or servers, many are turning to cloud-based solutions. In addition, many users are looking for solutions that include mobile capabilities.

  • Five Companies Partner, Launch Open Source Video Viewability Tech
  • Japplis Releases the First Open Source Office Suite Written in Java
  • Is Google Code In Trouble? No More Open Source Downloads For You

    At the time of its creation, I had thought that it would competitive with Sourceforge (which it was), but as it turns out Sourceforge will now get the last laugh.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 28 Beta gets faster, brings fullscreen mode to Android

        Google has released a beta version of Chrome 28 that introduces a number of new developer features and performance improvements. The increased page rendering speed is, Google says, due to a new threaded HTML parser that is part of its WebKit fork Blink. The company claims the new parser improves page loading times by ten per cent, mostly through pipelining DOM content. The parser also has to stop less during parsing which also reduces load time.

    • Mozilla

      • Restore Firefox’s All Tabs preview feature

        If you have upgraded the Firefox web browser to version 21, the most recent version at the time of writing, you may have noticed that it is missing the All Tabs preview feature that was included in previous versions of the browser.

      • Mozilla’s Firefox Flicks Contest Is Calling for Your Short Video

        There are lots of people in the U.S. gearing up for a long Memorial Day weekend, and if you happen to have extra time on your hands this weekend you may want to consider entering Mozilla’s Firefox Flicks contest. It’s a global video contest designed to give budding filmmakers the opportunity to create and submit short videos about letting people discover “the power of the web on mobile devices.” (We covered it when it launched.)

      • Poll: Firefox Does Not Need Fewer Options

        You may remember that back on March 22, Christine Hall penned an article here on FOSS Force concerning worries expressed by Alex Limi, a project design strategist at Mozilla, over configuration issues with Firefox. It seems that Mr. Limi expressed concerns on his blog over the fact that was possible for a user to “render the browser unusable to most people, right in the main settings.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Building a cloud ecosystem with open source software

      Mention the words “open source” to IT pros interested in adopting cloud computing, and their ears likely will perk up. Open source software offers a solution to the vendor lock-in concerns many enterprises have with committing to a cloud platform. And cloud platforms like the OpenStack Foundation, which fosters ‘coopitition’ among seeming competitors in the hot cloud computing market, give companies the option to build interoperable open source clouds. But what options do enterprises have when seeking open source PaaS?

    • Open Source Big Data: DataStax Expands Cassandra, Hadoop Business in Europe

      Big Data is becoming a big deal beyond the United States, and it’s time for the international channel to pay attention. The latest evidence: DataStax, which provides enterprise database management services based on open-source software. The company is making an aggressive push into the European market in what may be the first move toward a greater presence throughout the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region as a whole.

    • Introduction to OpenStack Part One, From Zero to Domination

      OpenStack is a cloud software stack designed to run on commodity hardware, such as x86 and ARM. It has no proprietary hardware or software requirements, and it integrates legacy systems and third-party products. In other words you can adopt it into your existing tech infrastructure without disruption.

    • Cloudscaling, Focused on OpenStack, Gets $10 Million in Funding

      San Francisco-based company Cloudscaling is the latest small company focused on the open source OpenStack cloud computing platform to score some meaningful venture capital. The company has raised $10 million in Series B funding from partners including Trinity Ventures, Juniper Networks and Seagate. That’s some pretty solid backing, and Cloudscaling–which provides infrastructure-as-a-service support–is just the latest Northern California company to get solid funding.

  • CMS

    • Matt Mullenweg on how open source is democratising the web

      From the mind of a 19-year-old to the world’s most popular content management system (CMS) — WordPress has done some serious growing up in 10 years. Used by major publishing houses such as CNN and the New York Times and influential blogs like TechCrunch, the CMS has making publishing easy for a decade.

  • Education

    • Computers are today’s pencils

      Not everyone has a computer. And, not all schools have access to the types of technology that are second nature to many of us at our workplace. It is also true that many people in the general public don’t know about open source and the free alternatives that are available to them, like LibreOffice instead of Micrsoft Word.

      The Kramden Institute is doing something about it by refurbishing computers and installing Ubermix on them, which is an open source operating system preloaded with over 60 educational, science, and learning applications for students.

  • Funding

    • Gittip Wants to Make Working on Open Source A Sustainable Living

      What if I told you could work on open source projects full-time and make a living from that? You would get to do what you love and make money for it. That’s what Chad Whitacre is looking to accomplish with Gittip. The site, which uses the tag line: inspiring generosity, is doing just that. With over 1,110 active community members on Gittip in under a year, they are currently exchanging over $3,000 every week. While it’s not necessarily at the point where you would be able to quit your job and work on open source projects full-time, the site has been continually growing.

    • Wargaming to Support Open-Source Foundations
  • BSD


  • Public Services/Government

    • OpenGov Voices: Data.gov relaunches on open source platform CKAN

      Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions profileof the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Deborah Estrin wants to (literally) open source your life

      Estrin talks about how this is a big departure from traditional medical research. “Instead of relying on federal grants or venture capital, we want to bring rapid prototyping to this field, innovating on modular software methods so that clinicians can borrow, blend and adapt mobile tools to transform chronic disease management.”

      Will Cornell Tech work at reinventing CS grad school? Will Estrin’s Open mHealth project bring open source down to the cellular level? It is certainly worth watching both efforts to see her progress.

    • Transparency Camp event report and review of new tools

      I got bitten at camp this weekend, but indifference would have been the only relevant repellant and thankfully, I’m allergic to that. Here’s what I learned as a first-time camper.

  • Programming

    • LLVM Clang 3.3 RC2 Is Ready For Testing

      The release of LLVM 3.3 along with its sub-projects like the Clang C/C++ compiler front-end and Compiler-RT is imminent. A second release candidate was posted just prior to the weekend to usher in some last minute testing.


  • Peak Facebook: British users lose their Liking for Zuck’s ad empire

    Facebook’s popularity is slumping in the UK as users become fed up with being bombarded with advertising, a YouGov survey has revealed.

    In a report examining social media use among web-savvy Brits, the market research firm found a 9 per cent drop in Facebook usage since April 2012.

  • The Price of Popularity: $18/1K Followers!

    No, I’m not referring to the army of ‘Bielbers’ with posters of the singer hanging in their bedroom. I mean ‘bots’ or fake Twitter accounts. Of the international pop sensation’s 37.3 million followers on Twitter, 53% are so called ‘bots’. And he’s not alone. Recent news has exposed many celebrities with a significant percentage of their Twitter followers coming from inactive or automated accounts. This doesn’t stem solely from Hollywood either. Supposedly, President Obama’s Twitter audience is made up of around 70% inactive or fake profiles, totaling over 21 million. That’s more than the population of the state of New York (which has 29 electoral votes!).

  • Security

    • News service served with cease and desist after server access

      The Scripps Howard News Service recently reported on a data leak it had found which exposed the sensitive information of up to 170,000 phone company customers who had applied for discounted phone lines. But instead of a statement from the data’s owners, the authors got a cease and desist.

    • Google to replace SSL certificates

      Google will update its certificate infrastructure and has, as a precaution, warned of potential problems. Starting in August, the company will replace its SSL certificates to implement new, longer keys. The change will also affect the root certificate that Google uses to sign all its own certificates.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs’s New Business Standards

      We could believe that Goldman Sachs is now taking on new ethical standards if they even mentioned how they would change the old unethical standards used before the financial crisis. When a bank does not have to even admit wrongdoing, why in the world would they stop doing wrong ? The whole effort by Goldman is really a public relations exercise that investors will probably believe but we don’t.

    • Looking for Gulnara

      Truly disgraceful behaviour by the Swiss authorities.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Alex Jones: Conspiracy Inc.
    • NFIB and AHIP: Hidden influence-peddling in Washington

      I was not among those who believed the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision would open the floodgates of corporate money to influence elections and public policy. While the decision enables corporations to call for the election or defeat of federal candidates, those expenditures have to be reported and few corporations will take the risk of losing customers by getting involved in politics so publically.

  • Civil Rights

    • Security forces fire rubber bullets at striking South African miners

      Police fired volleys of rubber bullets at striking South African miners at a mine owned by Lanxess Chrome Mining Ltd on Tuesday, near the city of Rustenburg. Some 500 miners had assembled at daybreak, taking action without union approval. At least 10 miners were hospitalized, and police forces subsequently took control of the mine.

    • “Operation Tripwire” — the FBI, the Private Sector, and the Monitoring of Occupy Wall Street

      This article was first published by PRwatch.org on December 31, 2012, while we were writing our report “Dissent or Terror: How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street,” published by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy in May 2013. We re-release it now as part of a PRwatch series on the new report.

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