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09.23.14

Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 5:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 Reasons to use open source software defined networking

    Software-defined networking (SDN) is emerging as one of the fastest growing segments of open source software (OSS), which in itself is now firmly entrenched in the enterprise IT world. SDN simplifies IT network configuration and management by decoupling control from the physical network infrastructure.

  • Open source is not dead

    I don’t think you can compare Red Hat to other Linux distributions because we are not a distribution company. We have a business model on Enterprise Linux. But I would compare the other distributions to Fedora because it’s a community-driven distribution. The commercially-driven distribution for Red Hat which is Enterprise Linux has paid staff behind it and unlike Microsoft we have a Security Response Team. So for example, even if we have the smallest security issue, we have a guaranteed resolution pattern which nobody else can give because everybody has volunteers, which is fine. I am not saying that the volunteers are not good people, they are often the best people in the industry but they have no hard commitments to fixing certain things within certain timeframes. They will fix it when they can. Most of those people are committed and will immediately get onto it. But as a company that uses open source you have no guarantee about the resolution time. So in terms of this, it is much better using Red Hat in that sense. It’s really what our business model is designed around; to give securities and certainties to the customers who want to use open source.

  • Only FOSSers ‘Get’ FOSS

    About a week later I got another email with the subject, “Did you receive my previous email?” It was Samantha again; she really, really thought that FOSS Force and her software selling partner would be a perfect fit. I remained unconvinced and again ignored the email, figuring that would be the last I’d hear from her. Most affiliate marketing companies don’t try to interest me more than twice for a particular client. After the second go, they’d usually rather wait until they have another client to use as bait on the hook.

    Not Samatha. On Friday I received a third email. She was still wondering if I’d received her previous messages. She still thought FOSS Force would be a perfect fit for her client. “We sell retail, OEM and discounted versions of software titles from Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Corel, Intuit, McAfee, Symantec and many more,” she gushed.

    Obviously she doesn’t understand FOSS or those of us who advocate its use. She’d probably seen the site, noticed a lot of writing about computers and software and jumped to the conclusion that we’d be great for her software hawking client. I wouldn’t doubt that she’d Googled the term “FOSS,” but got no further than the word “software” when reading the definition.

    This time I broke down and sent a reply, thanking her for her interest in our site. Unfortunately, I explained, almost all of our visitors use Linux and most of your client’s software won’t even run on Linux. Besides, I went on, our site advocates the use of free and open source software and a large percentage of our visitors would take exception if we were to offer software by the likes of Microsoft or Apple, even if it would run on their machines. As for McAfee and Symantec, I explained, our visitors rarely need antivirus products.

  • Brocade Launches Commercial Vyatta OpenDaylight SDN Controller
  • Brocade Unveils Vyatta SDN Controller

    The new controller, which will launch in November, is based on the upcoming “Helium” release from OpenDaylight.

    Brocade in November will launch a software-defined networking controller based on the OpenDaylight Foundation’s upcoming “Helium” release and which will represent the vendor’s latest move to grow its Vyatta platform.

  • Brocade intros the open-source inspired Vyatta SDN controller

    Brocade on Monday announced the release of the Vyatta Controller, a new keystone product within its SDN portfolio.

  • 3 tools to make creating presentations easy

    In recent years, there has been a proliferation of JavaScript presentation frameworks. These frameworks use HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to create presentation slides that can be viewed in any modern web browser. Gone are the days of being tied to using PowerPoint, nowadays there are a plethora of tools to choose from when it comes to creating a presentation.

  • Twitter engineer joins Mesosphere to push the open-source project he helped make

    Inside an academic lab, Ben Hindman created key parts of Apache Mesos, an open-source tool for efficiently running lots of applications in data centers. He found himself at Twitter for four years, putting the system in place. But now he is doing what he arguably was destined to do: working on the project for a living to make it a standard everywhere.

  • Visualizing nanotechnology in 3D with open source software

    Modern computers are built with nanotechnology. A processor contains billions of transistors, each around 14 nanometers. A single bit of information on a hard disc drive is confined to a 10 nanometer domain spinning on a disc 75 miles per hour. The accelerometers in our smartphones contain nano-springs that measure gravitational forces to determine orientation.

  • 10 Reasons to use open source software defined networking
  • Major players join hands on open source
  • Reader Forum: Accelerating ‘IoT’ with an open-source, embedded platform for connected applications

    Providing an end-to-end solution for building and deploying new connected applications extremely quickly, at scale, and at a fraction of the cost compared to conventional processes is key to streamlining M2M development. And, using an open-source, Linux-based platform, companies can run applications on any vendor’s hardware and use any cloud management platform.

  • 7 killer open source monitoring tools

    Network and system monitoring is a broad category. There are solutions that monitor for the proper operation of servers, network gear, and applications, and there are solutions that track the performance of those systems and devices, providing trending and analysis. Some tools will sound alarms and notifications when problems are detected, while others will even trigger actions to run when alarms sound. Here is a collection of open source solutions that aim to provide some or all of these capabilities.

  • Technology on a Diet: 5 Reasons to Embrace Open Source

    Sharing information in the name of innovation isn’t anything new. Collaborative intelligence helped publish the Oxford English Dictionary, spur advances in 19th century science and powered the world’s first automobile. Even Ben Franklin insisted on donating his bifocals and lightning rod to the public domain, likely dubbing him America’s first open-source advocate. The notion of “open source” predates software and the Internet by centuries, yet many of today’s largest government IT shops are still reluctant to turn to open alternatives from proprietary software, even in the face of shrinking budgets, overworked staff and heightened citizen expectations.

  • Community at the speed of light: Best practices for the new era of open source

    The methodology of open source development has come a long way in the past twenty years. It took the Linux kernel team eleven years to gain one hundred contributors in a month; it’s taken Ansible two years. Of course, the Linux community had to make up the methodology as they went along; the Ansible team has benefitted from years of studying and participating in Linux and other open source communities.

  • 50 Noteworthy New Open Source Projects

    The list also includes a potpourri of projects from other categories, including Web content management, software-defined networking, desktop publishing, games, IT management, electronic health records, operating systems and more. All of these apps were released for the first time within the last couple of years and most of them haven’t been featured on our lists in the past.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source OwnCloud Seeks to Combine Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds

      Over the past two years IT managers at the public research universities in Germany’s most populous state, Northrhine-Westfalia, have been researching how to build a private inter-university cloud. It will provide about 6 Petabytes of free-to-use storage to 500,000 affiliates of more than 30 public research and applied science universities in the region, Raimund Vogl, director of IT at Münster University wrote on Linux.com.

    • HP Passes Red Hat as Leading Contributor to OpenStack

      It’s no secret that the list of companies backing the OpenStack cloud computing platform is growing mighty long. In fact, most analysts agree that that list has to be whittled down over time. But if you think you have a handle on which companies are the top contributors to OpenStack, you may find some surprises.

    • Dealing with OpenStack’s growth, improving documentation, and more
    • Can Marten Mickos make ‘Linux for the cloud’ work for HP?

      Hewlett-Packard didn’t just buy cloudy startup Eucalyptus Systems to build its fledgling OpenStack cloud biz, it also bought Marten Mickos, the firm’s Finnish CEO.

      HP isn’t the first to pay for Mickos’ expertise – that was Sun Microsystems, when it acquired his venture previous venture, MySQL AB, for $1bn in 2008.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Growing Cloud Business Rapidly

      Larry Ellison announced on September 18 that he was stepping down as CEO of Oracle, but little will actually change at the company he has led for four decades. Ellison is now Oracle’s Chairman of the Board and CTO, while Mark Hurd and Safra Katz now jointly hold the CEO role.

  • CMS

    • Is Your Small Business Website Like a Bad First Date?

      Open source platforms like Drupal and WordPress provide a backend framework that small businesses can use to build and customize their websites while managing key functions like registration, system administration, layout and RSS. Users can also create their own modules to enable new functions or change the website’s look and feel.

      Smaller companies can use open source content management systems (CMS) to reduce or eliminate the need for coding while delivering rich media online, including text, graphics, video and audio. They can use open source assets to create responsive design sites that optimize content for viewing across multiple device types, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, while eliminating the need to scroll from side to side.

      With open source tools available to help small businesses establish an online presence with robust front and backend functions quickly and affordably, there’s never been a better time to focus on content excellence. And the best way to do that is to concentrate on the customer. Engage with your target customers and find out what they value the most. Use that information to develop your content, and speak directly to your customers’ needs.

  • Education

    • Bringing Literacy to Millions of Kids With Open Source

      This is a $15 million competition in which teams are challenged to create Open Source software that will teach a child to read, write, and perform arithmetic in 18 months without the aid of a teacher. This is not designed to replace teachers but to instead provide an educational solution where little or none exists.

    • The XPrize Foundation announces $15-million open-source literacy prize

      I still wear my XPrize t-shirt for the first sub-orbital private manned spaceflight from Mojave Space Port. The XPrize Foundation is best known for this and other high-technology challenges such as the prizes to land a private robot on the moon and to create a true Star Trek style Tricorder. Now, the Foundation has turned its eyes closer to home with its new Global Learning XPrize.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Turin to move to open source desktops

      The Italian city of Turin will switch to a complete open source desktop system, over the next 18 months. In August, the city administration decided to phase-out the current outdated proprietary system on its 8300 PCs and replace it by the Ubuntu open source alternative. Turin estimates the move will save some six million euro over the next five years.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • PyPy 2.4 – Snow White

      PyPy is a very compliant Python interpreter, almost a drop-in replacement for CPython 2.7. It’s fast (pypy 2.4 and cpython 2.7.x performance comparison) due to its integrated tracing JIT compiler.

Leftovers

  • Critics lambaste choices for European Commission technology positions

    Oettinger has no experience in the area he has been nominated for, Reda said. And by appointing Ansip, the Commission is getting a vice president who has been an advocate for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which threatened digital rights of European citizens, she added. The Commission gave up its fight on behalf of the controversial antipiracy trade pact in 2012.

  • Science

    • 50 years of Moog, the analog synth that still beats 1s and 0s

      This time last year, I walked into a Toronto store called Moog Audio and walked out with a Teenage Engineering OP-1—a curious little portable digital synthesizer that looks, at first glance, like a child’s toy. It has a row of just four candy-colored knobs as primary input controls, and there are only enough keys for an octave-and-a-half’s worth of range. But damn does it ever sound cool. Its tiny OLED screen uses all sorts of clever visual conceits to convey otherwise complex audio transformations. Colors and animations explain the differences between synthesizer engines, changes to modulation and frequency, and attack and decay. And it’s done in a way that’s easy for anyone with little synthesizer knowledge to understand while still being powerful in more experienced hands. This is a synthesizer, drum machine, and four-track recorder all-in-one—all in a device that fits inside a purse or messenger bag with ease.

  • Security

    • CipherShed: A replacement for TrueCrypt

      While the Open Crypt Audit Project, headed by cryptographer Matthew Green and Kenneth White, Principal Scientist at Social & Scientific Systems, has been considering whether to take over the development of TrueCrypt and is working on the second phase of the audit process (a thorough analysis of the code responsable for the actual encryption process), one of TrueCrypt’s developers has expressed his disapproval of a project that would fork the software.

    • Google to turn on encryption by default in next Android version

      Google is turning on data encryption by default in the next version of Android, a step that mirrors broad moves in the technology industry to ensure better data security.

      Android has been capable of encryption for more than three years, with the keys stored on the device, according to a Google spokesman.

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Tuesday’s security updates
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Podcast: As Congress Buys Into More War, CODEPINK Becomes the Conscience of America

      The past week was filled with officials coming before members of Congress to sell President Barack Obama’s strategy for escalating war in Iraq and Syria. It worked. Congress approved the arming and training of rebel forces in Syria to fight ISIS. However, this did not take place without members of Congress hearing some voices of dissent loud and clear.

      CODEPINK Women for Peace managed to convince a group of people to be at almost all of the hearings on combating ISIS. They held up pink signs that could be seen behind officials like Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry. The group even provoked a lecture from Kerry, who scolded them for protesting the administration’s war plans.

    • Terrorism and drones change struggles for peace

      Professor Lowell Ewert, director of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College

      “Events in the world today profoundly demonstrate how violence begets violence. It is impossible to kill one’s way to peace. What is needed is a new paradigm of mutual respect, human rights, affirmation of the dignity of everyone, which is formed and strengthened through education.”

    • Pictures from My War

      The photo was taken just after the U.S. invasion of Iraq had concluded. We’d missed the initial combat, but within the next eighteen months Doug would fight in the First Battle of Fallujah and I would fight in the Second. Both of us would be wounded. Doug was decorated for his valor, and a much-circulated profile of him ran in the Los Angeles Times, headlined “The Unapologetic Warrior.” When he was asked about the intense fighting he’d seen in April, 2004, he replied with characteristic bombast. “I’ve told [my troops] that killing is not wrong if it’s for a purpose, if it’s to keep your nation free or to protect your buddy,” he said. “One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy.” Doug often said things like that, and he believed them. I’d anchored myself in his mentorship because of his unshakable faith in being a Marine. Combat made more sense when you held to those kinds of precepts, and when they felt true.

      [...]

      When I look at the photo, I can’t help but think that Suleimani would recognize the irony that his victory was due in part to the very U.S. air power that his surrogates had once dodged in Sadr City, where Doug was killed. I doubt he would be aware of a further irony—that his surveillance drones were taking off right next to Zembiec Landing Zone. Given that America’s wars are no longer punctuated by clear declarations of victory or defeat, the photo seemed an appropriate bookend to my memory of the conflict in Iraq. With American planes once again flying sorties there, and with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff speculating about the deployment of ground troops, it may also mark, for someone else, a beginning.

    • The new military morality: Can the principles of Just War have meaning in today’s world?

      War has changed in recent decades. Once, it was about opposing armies facing off across a battlefield. But in the “war on terror”, one side attacks with air strikes and drones that can be operated by an Air Force lieutenant in Nevada, putting in a 9am-5pm shift before going home for dinner with his wife and kids. And the other side responds by chopping the heads off journalists and aid workers – and is now threatening to do the same to a taxi driver from Salford whose only crime was to deliver nappies and baby food to refugees in a far-off land. We have entered a new and thorny thicket in the military moral maze.

      [...]

      So where lies justice in our modern wars? We clearly have to rethink the rules to reflect our changed reality. But in doing that, we must not throw away the ethical constraints of the classical tradition. We must not sacrifice our openness to self-criticism by becoming trapped in a self-referential morality. Democracies may be at a disadvantage when it comes to terrorism. But we will be even more disadvantaged if we throw away the values on which democracy rests in our determination to win.

    • MoD facing legal challenge over armed drone deployment outside Afghanistan

      News comes amid claims RAF’s Reaper squadron could operate against jihadists in the Middle East

    • Drone Vet Speaks Out: Killer Crafts More Deadly Than Government Admits

      An insider in the U.S. military’s covert drone war has confirmed what critics of the killing program have long-warned: the program is far more “dangerous” than the government admits.

      In an op-ed published in Salon on Tuesday, the unnamed former Air Force imagery analyst writes, “I was the only line of defense between keeping someone alive and providing the intelligence for a strike using technology not accurate enough to determine life and death.”

    • ​‘Obamastein’ is no Machiavelli

      President Obama seems poised to declare war on the world. American policy in 2014 has taken on a “zombie-like” feverishness aimed at war. Terror has been turned into a horror gag reel these days, as Washington acts out some fetish for chaos in our world. And for those who consider Obama a Machiavellian genius, this requires a massive intellect. A modern day political Frankenstein seems more apt.

    • Bill Clinton: Hillary Was Right About Arming Syrian Rebels

      Former president Bill Clinton told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that he agreed with Hillary Clinton that the Obama administration should have taken the chance years ago of arming Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad.

      He said she lost the argument “within the administration and she admitted then and acknowledged in her book that she can’t know that if her recommendation had been followed, it would have worked. That’s one of those things you can’t know,” said Clinton. “That’s why all of these decisions are hard,” according to CNN.

    • Ron Paul – Congress Votes for More War in the Middle East

      Last week, the House and Senate voted to rubber stamp President Obama’s war plans for the Middle East. Both bodies, on a bipartisan basis, authorized the US to begin openly training and arming the rebels who have been fighting for three years to overthrow the Assad government in Syria.

    • Former Pentgon chief Leon Panetta says Barack Obama should have armed moderate Syrian rebels earlier
    • Fmr. Defense Sec. Panetta: Obama Should Have Already Armed Syrian Rebels
    • Clinton backs Clinton on Syria; defends Obama
    • Op-Ed: Troubles continue in Libya as clashes threaten oil production
    • The Power and the Peril of Oil author Firooz Eftekhar Zadeh

      The Power and the Peril of Oil is Firooz Zadeh’s passionately written account about how oil has given strength and empowered some countries while it has imperiled others. It documents the history, politics, and players in the quest for dominance of the Middle East and its highly prized resource.

    • The Lunacy of Sanctions and the Psychosis of US Exceptionalism

      Sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions! Every day we are subjected to an onslaught of stories and reports about how western countries, Europe, certain Asian countries and their master across the Atlantic are imposing new and ever more expanded and devious sanctions against Russia, its leaders, its businesses, industries, entire segments of the financial sector and other parts of the Russian world, even Japan has jumped on the sanctions wagon to show “support” for the hegemon across the Pacific, yet no one stops to question or stand up and say “Wait! All of these sanctions are based on lies.”

    • US says IC could have prevented Sri Lanka’s civilian deaths – If US hadn’t invaded Iraq 1.5m Iraqi’s would be alive today!
    • US is insincere about stopping ISIS

      During the 1980s, the CIA helped arm and train Osama Bin Laden and his mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet invasion, which became a way for the mujahideen to give the USSR “their Vietnam.” Bin Laden’s goal was to bleed the USSR dry of its money and resources; it worked. The USSR soon crumbled and Bin Laden’s new target became his former ally, the U.S. Bin Laden’s new goal was to have the U.S. become involved in the region in the same capacity the USSR had; this also worked. After over a decade of the War on Terror, the U.S. claims to have decimated al-Qaeda and its leadership, with the biggest blow coming when they finally took out Bin Laden. Now, new enemy ISIS has become the U.S.’s biggest concern. ISIS has been moving through Iraq killing tons of innocent people in their path. ISIS must be stopped, but we must ask, how did they become so powerful and, knowing what we do about the history of U.S. involvement in the region, what is the best course of action to take in stopping them?

      [...]

      Chelsea Manning, the jailed Wikileaks whistleblower, recently stated in an op-ed on ISIS that the U.S. should let ISIS die out on its own. The only way for this to happen is if the U.S. stays out of the fight and stops supplying arms to rebels. If the U.S. were sincere about stopping ISIS, they would stop arming rebels. But the U.S. is not sincere; this is not about stopping ISIS. This is about the profits of Boeing, Raytheon, and the entire weapons industrial complex. The U.S. must do what’s best, stop supplying weapons that are only helping to escalate violence and embolden the enemy. Only then will we see ISIS die out.

    • Iraqis suspect CIA and jihadis are united

      US air strikes against the ISIS for more than a month appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the CIA is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.

    • Was ISIS Created By The CIA? Many Arabs Think So
    • When The U.S. Backs Rebels, It Doesn’t Often Go As Planned

      As the U.S. steps up arms and training, Syria’s “moderate” rebels are joining a long line of resistance movements the Americans have backed over the decades, from Angola to Afghanistan.

      The high-water mark was President Reagan’s administration in the 1980s, when the U.S. supplied weapons to three rebel groups on three separate continents in Cold War proxy fights designed to undermine the Soviet Union.

    • Looking back at secret war in Afghanistan

      In the Reagan 1980s, I often attended the annual gatherings of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Several days of meetings featuring speeches by the most influential (domestic) thinkers on the right were capped off by a formal dinner that was often attended by President and Mrs. Reagan.

    • The Myth of Syria’s Moderate Rebels

      Political Islam has a long history of cooperating with Western imperialism at certain times and in certain places, and of turning against it at other times and in other places. For example, Osama bin Laden cooperated with the United States to overthrow a progressive pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan, and then launched a jihad against the domination of the Middle East by the United States. Many Palestinians were sent to Afghanistan in the 1980s by the Muslim Brotherhood to struggle against the atheists in Kabul (much to the delight of Israel) only to return to join a Palestinian national liberation struggle against Israel in the ranks of Hamas.

      What separates the rebels in Syria that the United States and its allies arm, train, fund and direct from those it seeks to degrade and ultimately destroy is not a secular vs. Islamist orientation. Even the so-called “moderate” rebels are under the sway of Islamist thinking. Instead the dividing line between the good “moderate” rebels and the bad “extremist” rebels is willingness to cooperate with the United States and the region’s former colonial powers. The “good” ones are under the control of the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies, or aren’t, but are working in directions that comport with Western foreign policy goals, while the “bad” ones are working in ways that frustrate the attainment of the foreign policy objectives of the West. In other words, one set of rebels is cooperating with Western imperialism while the other frustrates it.

      The “moderate” Syrian rebels who US officials are counting on to battle the Islamic State as part of the Obama administration’s plan to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS comprise dozens of groups which report directly to the CIA [1] and are under the sway of Islamist thinking. [2] According to General Abdul-Ilah al Bashir, who led the Free Syrian Army before its collapse at the end of last year, the CIA has taken over direction of the rebel force and FSA groups now report directly to US intelligence. [3]

    • Neocons Grow Frantic over Iran Progress

      With an agreement on constraining Iran’s nuclear program within reach, Official Washington’s neocons are getting apoplectic about the need to rev up new animosities toward Iran, an approach not helpful to real U.S. security needs, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Linda Tirado: ‘It was insane. I got 20,000 emails in a week’

      In your book you say the rich are afraid of the poor. Do you think fear played a part in the media’s treatment of you?

      In America we have this myth that if you deserve it, you will have it. We’re afraid to look at our downtrodden because it undercuts that myth. There is a fear of the poor that is uniquely American. It’s especially hard to look at someone who could be one of their kids – someone like me who’s white and intelligent – and see them as poor. When the crash happened, there was a panic among the rich because suddenly wealth wasn’t only to do with how hard you’d worked. It could be taken away! They got really fearful. So much of Americans’ self-image is based on what we own and how we present ourselves.

    • On the Trail of Nazi Counterfeiters

      On Thursday, the CIA declassified hundreds of files from its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, after a successful Freedom of Information Act request from a former employee, resulting in a bonanza of fascinating and downright weird tales from the history of the CIA from the 1970s through the 2000s. Among the hundreds of files, available here, we found this intriguing tale of Nazi plans to destabilize the American and British economies in the final days of the Third Reich.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Hidden Interests, Closer to Home

      THE article ran above the fold on the front page early this month, a Times investigation into the influence of foreign money within American research organizations.

      It reported that more than a dozen think tanks “have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities.” It warned of the danger of that big money, which it said was “increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington.”

    • Google Says ALEC Is Literally Lying about Climate Change, Ends Membership

      Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is “literally lying” that climate change is not a reality, and that its membership in ALEC “was some sort of mistake.”

  • Privacy

    • Judge OKs serving legal papers via Facebook

      Social-media users, beware — that next Facebook “poke” could be from a process server.

      In a groundbreaking court ruling, a Staten Island man got permission to use Facebook to serve his ex-wife legal notice that he doesn’t want to pay any more child support.

      A Family Court official ruled that Noel Biscocho could use Facebook to serve Anna Maria Antigua because other, more traditional methods to slap her with papers have not worked.

    • Statement on the Use of Finfisher by Members of the Freedom Online Coalition

      Documents recently released by WikiLeaks have brought new evidence to the public eye that the intrusive surveillance spyware FinFisher may be in use by several members of the Freedom Online Coalition, including Mongolia, Netherlands, and Estonia.

    • ‘Normale Leute’ vs NSA spying: meet Germany’s ‘average’ data protesters

      Normale Leute: a Berlin-based group wants to fight data protection protest prejudices – and government spying – by demonstrating in suits. “Akkurater Widerstand” reject anonymous masks to appear “normal.”

    • When Does Google Hand Over Your Data To Governments?
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt linked with Edward Snowden role for Oliver Stone

      Oliver Stone is set to make a film of Edward Snowden’s story, and is targeting Joseph Gordon-Levitt to star…

    • National parliaments raise the pressure on data protection

      Parliamentary delegations from 16 different EU member states have called upon the EU to rapidly adopt the legislative package on the protection of personal data.

      The EU must act swiftly on the protection of personal data. This is the clear message sent by elected representatives of 16 EU member states, assembled in Paris for an interparliamentary meeting.

    • Why the NSA has no right to recruit on campus—or anywhere (video)

      The first big revelation of NSA criminality in the modern era came from the New York Times’ James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who revealed the NSA was warantlessly wiretapping over 30 million Americans, or roughly one in every ten citizens of the country.

    • 5 Companies That Make Money By Keeping Americans Terrified of Terror Attacks

      On August 11, former NSA head Michael Hayden, the man at the center of the Bush administration’s 2005 surveillance scandal, was defending his former agency on CBS News in the wake of the latest NSA spying scandal. Commenting on President Obama’s half-hearted promises to reform some NSA practices, Hayden told host Bob Schieffer that “the President is trying to take some steps to make the American people more comfortable about what it is we’re doing. That’s going to be hard because, frankly, Bob, some steps to make Americans more comfortable will actually make Americans less safe.”

      Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff had a similar message when he appeared on ABC News August 4. Speaking about the purported threat from an Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen that led to the closure of 19 U.S. embassies, Chertoff said that “the collection of this warning information [about Al Qaeda] came from the kinds of programs we’ve been discussing about, the ability to capture communications overseas.”

      CBS and ABC did not see fit to inform viewers that both Hayden and Chertoff are employees of the Chertoff Group, a private firm created in 2009 that companies hire to consult on best practices for security and combatting terrorism. Some of the companies the firm advises go on to win government contracts. Chertoff is the founder and chairman of the group, while Hayden serves as a principal. So they profit off a war on terror they say is crucial to keeping Americans safe.

    • What we talk about when we talk about sexting

      Like most trends involving nudity, sexting was also started by the most despicable group of people in the world: teenagers. Now, I didn’t actually speak to a real live teen person for this piece. I wouldn’t wish such a fate even on my worst enemy. Instead, I watched an episode of a “reality” show on MTV and accidentally spent ten seconds in the vicinity of a car that was playing a Justin Beiber song. So, by the conventions of the Indian Columnists Association, I am now considered a bonafide expert on #teens and their psychology. In fact, in some circles I’m known as a teen whisperer. Sure, none of those circles exist outside my head, but as a wise fellow once said, it’s the thought that counts.

    • Snowden’s claims no big surprise

      The obvious conclusion to draw from these claims is firstly that the NSA can peer into the databases of Facebook, Amazon, Google (for Gmail) and other large American corporations. Slightly disturbing perhaps, but hardly surprising or news.

    • BFI London Film Festival Announces UK Premiere of ‘Citizenfour’
    • Israel ramps up cyber defense with new national body

      Israel is stepping up its cyber-defense efforts. The government on Sunday announced establishment of a new cyber-defense authority to coordinate cyber-security efforts among government, industry, and the civilian sectors. Just last year, it set up the National Cyber Bureau and the two steps show that the nation is taking cyber threats seriously, now that it’s a favorite target for politically motivated hackers.

    • ORG Manchester surveillance debate 21-Sep-14 report
    • Snowden: New Zealand Is Spying, Too

      Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden warned New Zealanders in a media blitz on Monday that all of their private emails, phone calls and text messages are being spied on despite government denials.

    • Google nixes G+ requirement for Gmail accounts

      The grand unbundling of Google’s G+ social network continues, with Gmail becoming the latest Google service to gain its independence from Google’s campaign of forced integration. As noted in a post on the WordStream Blog, Google has axed the requirement that new Gmail accounts be tied to a G+ social networking account as of “early September.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Could Taking A Selfie In A Museum Violate Copyright Law?

        Copyright infringement is everywhere. A few years back, John Tehranian wrote a paper (and then a book*) called “Infringement Nation” about just how much copyright infringement happens incidentally on a daily basis. The conclusion, from a back of the envelope estimate, is that an average person is likely liable for $4.544 billion in incidental infringement in a normal year. And that’s not for sharing music and movies and what not, but just doing the normal everyday things you do.

      • Why Record Labels Want Kim Dotcom’s Album Taken Down
      • BPI Hits Record Breaking 100 Million Google Takedowns

        The BPI has reached a new milestone in its ongoing efforts to have pirated content removed from the Internet. This week the music industry group reported its 100 millionth URL to Google. Although the takedown notices are processed quickly, the music industry group believes that Google should do more to prevent piracy.

      • “The Letter” Is Still The Best Story To Explain Why Copyright Monopoly Must Be Reduced

        People are still getting distracted by the silly question of “how somebody will get paid” if the copyright monopoly is reduced. It’s irrelevant, it’s a red herring. What this debate is about is bringing vital civil liberties along from the analog environment into the digital – and that requires allowing file-sharing all out.

      • Anti-Piracy Police Begin Targeting eBook Pirates

        After very publicly taking down a number of sites offering music, movies and TV shows without permission, City of London Police appear to have taken down their first ebook-related domain. OnRead is now under police investigation but according to its operators the site operated legally. That seems unlikely, however.

        [...]

        While it seems more than likely that OnRead was operating without licenses recognized by UK publishers, an archive of the domain reveals that the site’s operators tried to claim that in at least one jurisdiction the site had operated legally.

09.21.14

Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

Posted in News Roundup at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What happened to the budget crisis?

      It appears that the much-talked up budget crisis has disappeared because Tony Abbott’s government is spending big on war.

      The Coalition government has quickly allocated half a billion dollars a year to join the new war on Iraq by another US-led “coalition of the willing”, or — if we call it what it is — a “coalition for the killing”.

      The ABC’s 7.30 program said on September 15 that the Australian government has “invested a billion dollars buying into a state-of-the-art military satellite system”.

    • Letter from America: Western Invaders were no liberators

      The western invaders of Muslim lands have never been their liberators and, bluntly speaking, are responsible for the majority of the problems plaguing those nation states today. Their interest has never been stability of those former colonies but the existence of a dynamic balance of power in which all players are effectively paralyzed so that no one would threaten them. Thus, they would rather have murderous criminals like Assad and Sisi rule those former colonies than someone who is perceived as a threat to western interest and hegemony. Period!

    • DECLASSIFIED: CIA intelligence official describes spending 9/11 with the US President

      “HE PUT DOWN the newspaper and said, “Anything of interest this morning?”

      Those were the actions of US President George W Bush on the morning of 11 September 2001, before any news of disturbances on domestic flights emerged.

    • Looking back at secret war in Afghanistan

      In the Reagan 1980s, I often attended the annual gatherings of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Several days of meetings featuring speeches by the most influential (domestic) thinkers on the right were capped off by a formal dinner that was often attended by President and Mrs. Reagan.

      Among the 1,000 or so attendees in an ornate ballroom were a few tables of men who stood out because of their native dress. They were all male, wore turbans, and had beards. Despite their discordant appearance, when they were recognized from the dais, they were greeted with thunderous applause.

      They were introduced as Afghan freedom fighters, representing the front lines in their war against the Soviets in the midst of our Cold War. And those of us gathering in the glow of the Gipper wanted desperately for them to succeed against communism.

    • Letter: Don’t return to Cold War relations with Russia

      In a recent article in The American Conservative titled “Does the CIA believe Obama?” former CIA officer Philip Giraldi stated: “I know of no former or current intelligence official who believes that the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe is a good idea, that toppling Bashar al-Assad would bring anything but chaos, or that bombing ISIS will actually accomplish anything.” Intelligence pros are far more skeptical of government claims than their bosses let on.

      As a fellow CIA retiree, I have to agree that Giraldi’s observations are absolutely correct. Having been invaded at least seven times in its history, a Russia with few natural barriers needs a protective collar of friendly or neutral states as a buffer, and an aggressive NATO pushing ever-closer to its border constitutes a threat Russia cannot afford to tolerate.

    • Threat magnified

      All I was saying was that the threat of terrorism has been magnified and amplified, if not created, to justify war. I did not make this up myself, I got it from a BBC documentary that quotes CIA sources in challenging and rubbishing the perceived image of Al Qaeda.

    • More of the same

      US intellectual and commentator Noam Chomsky explains the likely consequences of US plans to attack Iraq to Nermeen Al-Mufti

    • Ex-CIA Chief Hayden: 5,000 Covert ‘Boots on Ground’ in Syria by Year’s End
    • U.S. boots already on the ground

      Here’s a national-security riddle: How can President Obama provide limited military support on the ground to help “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State without formally violating his pledge not to send U.S. combat troops? The answer may lie in the legal alchemy known as “Title 50.”

      Title 50 of the U.S. Code regulates the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. An often-cited passage is section 413b, which deals with presidential approval and reporting of “covert actions.” In essence, this statute gives the president authority, with a proper “finding,” to send U.S. special forces on paramilitary operations, under command of the CIA. The best-known example was the 2011 raid on Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin Laden.

      Talking with U.S. and foreign military experts over the past week, I’ve heard two consistent themes: First, the campaign against the Islamic State will require close-in American training and assistance for ground forces, in addition to U.S. air power; and, second, the best way to provide this assistance may be under the command of the Ground Branch of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, which traditionally oversees such paramilitary operations.

    • Focus: Wining Hearts

      The U.S. is trying to win a war for the hearts and minds of Africa.

    • Prelude to war

      The old trick, a trial balloon, while POTUS sits pretty and has deniability. The important thing, build war sentiment, feed the public a steady diet of war propaganda. It is working.

    • Fighting ISIS and the Morning After

      Driven by ideological hubris, the Bush administration on the eve of the Iraq war rejected any suggestions that the war could destabilize the whole region and rock the foundations of the Arab nation-state system.

    • Fox Leaves Out Important Context Of Leon Panetta’s Statement On Iraq Troop Withdrawal

      Fox News’ Special Report left out necessary context when previewing former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s upcoming interview with 60 Minutes in which he stated, “it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq.”

      During his September 19 coverage of Panetta’s statement, host Bret Baier depicted Panetta’s account of the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as the latest in “a very public back-and-forth between the White House and the Pentagon.” Baier added, “Now this weekend, 60 Minutes has an interview with former CIA director and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in which he will say the U.S. should not have pulled out all of its troops out of Iraq in 2011″…

    • Obama signs bill to train, arm Syrian rebels

      President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill authorizing the military to arm and train Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group.

      Obama signed the bill Friday in the Oval Office. The Senate gave its final approval Thursday, a day after the legislation drew strong bipartisan support in the House.

    • Risky bet on Syrian rebels

      President Obama’s new strategy for routing ISIS, the extremist Sunni group that controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, rests substantially and precariously on having rebels in Syria fight ISIS, even as they battle the forces of the Syrian president, Bashar Assad. The plan is full of hope and fraught with obstacles.

    • House Poised To Vote On Arming, Training Syrian Rebels
    • After A Long Wait, Syrian Rebels Hope The Weapons Will Now Flow

      President Obama has long been reluctant to provide substantial aid to Syria’s so-called moderate rebels, often dismissed as weak and disorganized. But the rapid rise of the group that calls itself the Islamic State has changed many calculations.

      The CIA has been running a small-scale covert weapons program since early this year, according to rebels who have been trained and are now receiving arms shipments. The modest program has strengthened moderate battalions, according to Western and regional analysts, even as rebel commanders complain about the meager arms flow.

    • Why Everyone in Iraq Believes Islamic State is a CIA Invention?

      Even as the United States, post initial hiccups, enters into an all-out war to destroy Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, many Iraqi still believe in the conspiracy theory that ISIS is a CIA invention.

    • Assad Calls to Stop Funding Armed Groups in Syria, Iraq

      The fight against terrorism must begin by placing more pressure on those countries which are supporting and financing insurgents in Syria and Iraq, Syrian President Bashar Assad said while speaking with an Iraqi security official in Damascus.

    • West to blame for rise of Islamic State, says UK spy chief ["chaos in Syria that opened the door"]
    • US Senate Approves $500 Million To Arm Syrian Militants

      Lawmakers back president’s plan to expand new war in the Middle East.

    • Paul Slams Obama’s Plan To Arm Syria Rebels In Senate Floor Speech
    • ISIS Crisis, Inc.

      The Guardian, as I did, had a certain amount of difficulty coming up with the suitable nomenclature for this force. I don’t think “proxy army” cuts it, because I expect this army, though composed of Syrians and not a US military unit, will be under the day to day command of the CIA and it will not be allowed to slip the leash and pursue its own political, strategic, and tactical agendas as happened with the feckless Free Syrian Army.

    • After 47 years, the US is still pretending Israel doesn’t have nuclear weapons

      Former CIA director Robert Gates said so during his 2006 Senate confirmation hearings for secretary of defense, when he noted — while serving as a university president — that Iran is surrounded by “powers with nuclear weapons,” including “the Israelis to the west.” Former president Jimmy Carter said so in 2008 and again this year, in interviews and speeches in which he pegged the number of Israel’s nuclear warheads at 150 to around 300.

    • Perpetual Fear under Empire

      Think about all the official enemies that have scared the dickens out of the American people since the advent of the national-security state.

    • ‘US, UK disgusted only when their enemies chop people’s heads off’
    • What Washington doesn’t know

      It’s dangerous to demonize a country. Washington can repeat its painful and costly mistakes from Iraq.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Finance

    • Financial Criminals Have Been Fined Billions, but They Rarely Pay

      On a plane earlier this week, I watched The Wolf of Wall Street. The film’s outsized antics—public masturbation, the tossing of little people, lots and lots of Quaaludes—seemed too big for a seatback screen, or, for that matter, reality. As despicable as some of Jordan Belfort’s behavior was, I was able to occasionally laugh at Leonardo DiCaprio’s version of him knowing that, by now, more than 10 years after his real-life sentencing, Belfort has been sufficiently punished.

      But in fact, that’s hardly the case: After pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering, Belfort was ordered in 2003 to pay out about $110 million to those he wronged. Since then, he’s only paid $11.8 million. He was also sentenced to four years in federal prison, but he only ended up serving just shy of two years.

    • Luxury brands in a quandary as China’s wealthy young develop resistance to bling

      Gucci and Prada’s financial results are disappointing and there’s a fear that the west can’t provide what sophisticated Chinese shoppers want

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ex-Gov. convicted

      In this Thursday Sept. 18, 2014 photo, former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland arrives at federal court in New Haven, Conn. A jury convicted Rowland Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 on all charges that he conspired to be paid for work on two political campaigns while disguising those payments in business deals. It is the second felony conviction for Rowland, who resigned as governor a decade ago in a scandal over illegal gifts he received while in office. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

  • Censorship

    • Fight censorship – read a banned book

      Banned Books Week begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday, bringing focus to the censorship of books throughout America. The event began in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. You might remember in the 1984 film, “Footloose,” a group of citizens burning books in front of the library.

      [...]

      Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the National Association of College Stores, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of English, PEN American Center and Project Censored.

    • Book review: ‘Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature,’ by Robert Darnton

      In this provocative study of censorship as it was practiced in three different places at three different times, the distinguished scholar Robert Darnton argues that it can be a considerably subtler and more nuanced undertaking than it is generally assumed to be. He has not written a defense of censorship — far from it — but he emphasizes that when the state sets itself up as arbiter of what goes into books and what does not, the results are not always predictable, but are sometimes surprising and even — occasionally — beneficial to authors and their publishers.

    • The Soul of the Censor

      If the concept of censorship is extended to everything, it means nothing. It should not be trivialized. Although I would agree that power is exerted in many ways, I think it crucial to distinguish between the kind of power that is monopolized by the state (or other constituted authorities such as religious organizations in some cases) and power that exists everywhere else in society. Censorship as I understand it is essentially political; it is wielded by the state.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights and NZ

      • NZ First secures ‘wonderful’ result

        Mr Peters also suggested NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and US journalist Glenn Greenwald are “thoroughly credible witnesses” in recent mass spying allegations.

      • [Washington Post attacks Dotcom et al.] Snowden fatigue is spreading abroad

        If you think Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald have stopped attacking NSA, you haven’t been following them closely enough. While American media have largely lost interest in Snowden and Greenwald, the pair continue to campaign outside the United States against the intelligence agency.

      • [Another example] Kim Dotcom falls short in New Zealand elections

        The opposition Labor Party received just under 25 percent of the vote, its lowest vote total since taking 24 percent in 1922. The left-leaning Green Party took 10 percent, with the populist anti-immigration New Zealand First Party taking 9 percent. The results were disappointing for Labor and the Green Party, Jennifer Curtin, an assistant professor of politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, said in an e-mail. Both parties had expected better results.

      • Dotcom’s Internet Party Fails to Enter New Zealand Parliament

        Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party has scored just over 1.2% of the vote in New Zealand’s parliamentary elections. It’s a disappointing result that doesn’t come close to the 5% required for a seat in Parliament. Dotcom takes full responsibility for the failure which he attributes to his “poisoned brand.”

      • Harre mum on Internet Party’s future

        Internet Party leader Laila Harre will not say if she will stay on with the political movement after it failed to win a seat in parliament.

      • Road ends for Internet-Mana

        Dotcom spent big on the party, ploughing just shy of $4 million into a political marriage of convenience.

      • Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party bombs out of New Zealand election

09.20.14

Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

Posted in News Roundup at 3:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • German Official: Google Should Reveal Its Ranking Algorithm

    One of the unanswered questions in the ongoing European-Google antitrust saga is what concrete changes or concessions critics want (or will accept) from Google. One of those things may have just come to light in a Financial Times interview with German justice minister Heiko Maas.

  • Germany wants Google’s search engine formula
  • With Open-Source Software, You Don’t Have to Start From Scratch

    As an entrepreneur, you always have questions to answer: “How do I efficiently manage my people?” “How can I keep track of my projects?” “Where do I start with my website?”

    It can all feel pretty overwhelming, but luckily, there’s a fantastic resource you can use to solve an abundance of entrepreneurial problems: open-source technology.

    It all began in the ’90s when there was a big push to create operating systems to make using new computer technology more efficient. Companies saw the value in these operating systems and acquired creators such as Linux to write the code.

  • The future of analytics lies in open source technology

    There’s the parquet system that they added to Hadoop. That was based on work that Google did on Dremel. Facebook has introduced things like PrestoDB. There’s just a fascinating array, and the biggest thing about this is that these things are truly freely licensed from companies that have incredible depth of knowledge. They’re really going to drive it now, and I think the open source stack is going to be pushed higher and higher. Even commercial vendors will incorporate it. So, it’s definitely going to work itself into the enterprise.

  • Oculus Makes Rift DK1 Open Source

    The first surprise of the Oculus Connect virtual reality (VR) developer conference in Hollywood, California has been revealed. Earlier today event host Oculus VR announced that the first development kit (DK1) of its Oculus Rift head-mounted mounted display (HMD) was now open source. This means that anyone can now download the company’s full list of workings on the device and use them how they see fit.

  • Open source is on top of the ‘TODO’ list

    Open-source software comes in many different shapes and sizes, and some are better maintained than others. Because of this, organizations need to spend time, money and resources to ensure the quality of source code, and not every company has the ability to do so.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Global Web Literacy Gets a Boost From Maker Party 2014

        This week we celebrated the record-breaking 2,513 events in 86 countries that made up Maker Party 2014. The campaign, which officially began on July 15th and ended this week, brought nearly 130,000 adults and children together to learn valuable digital literacy skills in classrooms, libraries, cafes, and living rooms around the world.

  • Databases

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • A New Update For The Curl Package Has Been Released

      There are two exploits identified by the developer in this package. One of them allows the disclosure of cookies to the wrong sites and malicious sites being able to set cookies for others. The other vulnerability which has been identified by this developer in the curl package incorrectly allows cookies to be set for Top Level Domains (TLD). According to the Canonical’s security notification this could allow a malicious site to set a cookie that gets sent to other sites.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source and the NHS: Two huge disorganised entities without central control

      Newton argues open source is well suited to systems that need to be transparently stable and secure, where a lot of people have an interest in collaborating. He adds it is favoured by intelligence services for exactly these reasons, and if it’s good enough for spooks, it should serve for hospitals.

      Alfresco hit its initial end-of-year download target of 10,000 in the first week, with eventual downloads numbering in the millions for the initial release of its software in 2005. “You want to join the cool party,” Mr Newton said. “That’s what open source is all about.”

    • India yet to catch up with FOSS, says Rushabh Mehta of ERPNext

      We got a chance to interact with Rushabh Mehta, the founder of Web Notes Technologies, a company based in Mumbai, India. ERPNext is the major product of the company. It is a free and Open Source web based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution for small and medium sized businesses with its presence in more than 60 countries. In addition to the regular discussions on their Open Source product, strategy, customers etc. we also got a chance to understand how hard it is to thrive in an environment where the “Open Source” philosophy is not a familiar term yet. A software developer by passion and an Industrial Engineer by training, Rushabh also informed us about their imminent product conference in Mumbai he is quite excited about.

Leftovers

09.19.14

Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

Posted in News Roundup at 2:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source mobile innovation improves Atul’s competitiveness

    Understanding the importance of mobility, the IT team at Atul realized that access to ERP applications on mobile devices could greatly enhance business capabilities and insights. The team aspired to enable its sales team to punch in orders directly from their smartphones into the ERP. However, after prospecting various solutions available in the market – it was inferred that mobile integration was an expensive and complex proposition. The solution costs were in the range of Rs 40-50 lakh in addition to the database license costs which seemed to be prohibitive for Atul.

  • Facebook’s TODO Project brings serious momentum to open source
  • Simple Secure — open source security organization backed by Google and Dropbox

    Strong security is necessary nowadays. However, some solutions can be overwhelming to many users, so they are often not implemented or simply misunderstood. In other words, regardless of how strong a security implementation is, if users do not understand how it works or how to use it, it may be worthless.

  • Google, Dropbox: Open Source Needs to Be More Secure
  • Cloudflare launches open source keyless SSL

    Cloudflare today announced it has made available a keyless SSL solution that enables the content delivery network to provide data transfers that are both authenticated and encrypted, without requiring customers’ private digital keys.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Quietly Shutters its Labs, Delivers Firefox OS Phone in Bangladesh

        Mozilla is much in the news this week, partly for technology efforts that are moving forward, and partly for shuttering a long standing effort from the company. Partnered with Grameephone, an operator in Bangladesh, Mozilla rolled out Firefox OS-based phones for Bangladesh that are priced under $60 and are poised to put smartphones in the hands of some users who haven’t had phones before.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Rackspace Says It’s Not for Sale, Despite Obstacles

      Rackspace names a new CEO, as the OpenStack cloud founder chooses not to sell after evaluating its strategic options.

    • Workload deployment tools for OpenStack

      This is the second part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. Next week, in the final article, I will cover automating “day 2 management”—tools to keep the cloud and workloads up and running.

  • Databases

    • Tesora Delivers OpenStack Database-as-a-Service for Enterprises

      As the OpenStack cloud computing arena grows, a whole ecosystem of tools is growing along with it. Tesora, the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove open source project, is out this week with what it is billing as the first enterprise-ready, commercial implementation of OpenStack Trove database as a service (DBaaS). Tesora also recently announced that it has open sourced its Tesora Database Virtualization Engine, and now is also offering the Tesora OpenStack Trove Database Certification Program.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • King Ellison Abdicates As Oracle CEO

      Under Ellison, Oracle has already squandered all of their open source holdings. We don’t need MySQL anymore, we’ve got Maria. The Document Foundation with LibreOffice has made Open Office irrelevant — and it doesn’t even belong to Oracle anymore anyway. What’s left? Java? What a fine job they’ve done managing that mess. Oracle Linux? OMG, what’ll we do if they screw that up?

      Oracle couldn’t do any worse with Ellison gone than they’ve done with him.

    • Ellison Steps Down as Oracle CEO, but Management Team Stays

      The all-purpose IT vendor reported that its fiscal 2015 Q1 total revenues were up 3 percent; net income was unchanged at $2.2 billion over Q1 2014.
      Few people keep their jobs for life, except perhaps the pope, members of the U.S. Supreme Court, and those who own their own businesses and don’t wish to retire.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Software Freedom Day serves online democracy

      The Christchurch Unix community has its annual technical show this weekend, as part of international Software Freedom Day celebrations. Personal Computer operating systems derived from Unix offer an alternative, to Microsoft desktop security issues and costs, and are maintained by a large international community. Main variants of Unix are GNU/Linux and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) operating systems. BSD is the core of Apple Computer’s OS-X. Licensed free software installation discs, install help and tuition are made available to the public on Software Freedom Day.

    • RCS 5.9.3 available

      GNU RCS (Revision Control System) 5.9.3 is available.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Facebook’s TODO project, Coursera in Brazil, Drupal, and more
    • Open Data

      • Going behind the scenes at Data.gov

        Data.gov wants to be the fuel that helps power the organizations and people that will change the world.

        Data by itself is just the tinder for the spark of imagination and innovation. Without it many of the kinds of innovations we see like iTriage, Bright Scope, and Patients Like Me would not be possible. The Data.gov project is how the United States government, under the Obama administration, is striving to empower citizens to create the change they envision; not just by fixing a temporary problem, but by helping to let citizens solve the problem themselves.

Leftovers

  • Russia cries foul over Scottish independence vote

    Russia has said the conduct of the Scottish referendum “did not meet international standards”, with its observers complaining the count took place in rooms that were too big and that the procedure was badly flawed.

    In an apparent attempt to mirror persistent western criticism of Russia’s own elections, Igor Borisov – an accredited observer – said the poll failed to meet basic international norms.

  • Moving On For Social Justice

    I met numerous voters who had received letters from their employers – including Diageo, BP, RNS and many others – telling them to vote No or their job was in danger.

  • About Apple’s Dead Warrant Canary

    I find Apple’s dead warrant canary of particular interest given the revelation in the recent DOJ IG Report on National Security Letters that some “Internet companies” started refusing NSLs for certain kinds of content starting in 2009; that collection has moved to Section 215 authority, and it now constitutes a majority of the 200-some Section 215 orders a year.

  • Security

    • TrueCrypt Getting a New Life

      When the developers of TrueCrypt delivered the bombshell that they were abandoning their popular open source encryption program, it left many organizations in a hugely difficult position. Should they continue to use it, or heed the developers’ advice that it was no longer secure and switch to another encryption product?

      On the face of it, the decision should be an easy one: If the developers of something as security sensitive as an encryption program say that their program is no longer secure, surely it would be rash not to heed the warning.

    • Encryption goof fixed in TorrentLocker file-locking malware

      The developers of a type of malicious software that encrypts a computer’s files and demands a ransom have fixed an error security experts said allowed files to be recovered without paying.

      The malware, called TorrentLocker, popped up last month, targeting users in Australia, according to iSight Partners, a security consultancy. It now appears to be also geo-targeting victims in the U.K.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Ombudsman ‘appalled’ by ex-Customs lawyer’s OIA allegations

      A former Customs lawyer claim that he was told to bury bad news matches similar stories which have sparked a wide-ranging inquiry by Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem.

      She said she was “appalled” by Curtis Gregorash’s claim. “Having said that one of the reasons I am undertaking of selected agencies in respect of their OIA practices is that anecdotally a number of people have told me similar stories,” she said.

      She said a planned inquiry to be launched after the election could see the Ombudsman’s office using its Commission of Inquiry powers to compel evidence to be given under oath were there signs information was being hidden.

    • Banned Books Week

      On the next Project Censored Show on Pacifica Radio, join co-hosts Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips as they celebrate Banned Books Week. This year, BBW focuses on Graphic Novels. Their first guest is Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Charles will give a history of censorship and comic books and why this theme was chosen for BBW this year; Barbara Jones joins the program to give perspectives on BBW from the American Library Association where she is director of Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom; the second half of the show looks at a recent example of book banning in Delaware regarding The Miseducation of Cameron Post– the librarian of the Dover Pubic Library, Margery Cyr, joins the program to give overall details of the struggle over the book; Susan McAnelly, manager of Browesabout Books in Rehoboth Beach tells of her role and that of independent bookstores in fighting censorship; and recent high school graduate, Maddi Bacon, explains how she was active opposing the ban as a student at the Cape Henlopen High School. We round out the show with a quick update from former CIA analyst, transparency activist and civil libertarian Ray McGovern who will be speaking in the San Francisco Bay Area next week.

    • PROJECT CENSORED is a proud sponsor of Banned Books Week again this year!
  • Civil Rights

    • NYPD suspends “totally unprovoked” officer caught kicking street vendor

      Responding to public outcry after a video showing officers from the New York Police Department assaulting unarmed street vendors in Brooklyn recently was posted online, NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton announced on Wednesday that a cop seen in the video viciously kicking one merchant had been suspended and was under investigation by the department’s office of internal affairs.

    • L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle

      Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the U.S. Department of Defense to halt the practice for schools.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Jimmy Kimmel Joins John Oliver In Explaining Net Neutrality

      A few months ago, John Oliver did an amazing job making net neutrality into a mainstream issue, by reducing it to its core element: that it’s all about “preventing broadband provider fuckery.” That was a great segment that truly went viral. But, still, the TV folks have remained pretty quiet on the issue. However, it appears that another late night comedian has jumped into the game as well, with Jimmy Kimmel doing a segment last week trying to explain the fast lane/slow lane issue in rather graphic form:

    • ​Russia eyes counter to Washington’s internet kill-switch – report

      Facing a possible cut-off from the internet by the US, Russian security officials and IT giants are discussing the possibility to make the Russian sector of the net independent, according to insiders.

      The issue would be discussed at several closed-door events in the days to come, including a national Security Council session on Monday next week, reports Vedomosti newspaper citing a number of unnamed security and industry sources.

      The meeting of security officials, to be chaired by President Vladimir Putin, will to discuss the results of a July Communications Ministry exercise to test how robust the Russian internet infrastructure would be if it were subject to a massive cyber-attack. The answer to that is reportedly “Not robust enough.”

    • Verizon, enemy of Open Internet rules, says it loves the “open Internet”

      No company has gone to greater lengths than Verizon in trying to stop the government from enforcing network neutrality rules.

      Verizon is the company that sued to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order from 2010. Verizon won a federal appeals court ruling this year, overturning anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules and setting off a months-long scramble by the FCC to get enforceable rules into place.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • 7 Amazing Works of Pop Culture That Have Been Lost Forever
      • Only Surviving Recording Of The Very First Superbowl Is Because A Fan Recorded It, But You Can’t See It, Because Copyright

        We’ve written a few times in the past about how the entertainment industry’s woeful job of preserving and archiving old works has resulted in culture being lost — but also how unauthorized copies (the proverbial “damn dirty pirates”) have at least saved a few such treasures from complete destruction. There was, for example, the “lost” ending to one of the movie versions of Little Shop of Horrors that was saved thanks to someone uploading it to YouTube. Over in the UK, a lost episode of Dad’s Army was saved due to a private recording. However, Sherwin Siy points out that the very first Super Bowl — Super Bowl I, as they put it — was basically completely lost until a tape that a fan made showed up in someone’s attic in 2005. Except, that footage still hasn’t been made available, perhaps because of the NFL’s standard “we own everything” policy.

      • Report Brands Dotcom’s Mega a Piracy Haven

        A new report published by the Digital Citizens Alliance estimates that the most popular cyberlockers generate millions of dollars in revenue. The research claims that the sites in question are mostly used for copyright infringement. The list of “rogue” sites includes the Kim Dotcom-founded cloud hosting service Mega, albeit based on a false assumption.

      • Hollywood Workers Demand Peter Sunde’s Dignity & Freedom

        Led by director Lexi Alexander, a collection of Hollywood directors, producers, actors, writers and other workers have teamed up in support of Peter Sunde. As the jailed former Pirate Bay founder prepares for his father’s funeral, the insiders call for his uncuffing. “We oppose your imprisonment,” they say in their video.

      • Hollywood Insiders: Directors, Actors, Producers, Camera People And More Demand Peter Sunde Be Freed & Treated With Dignity

        While we’ve written plenty about Peter Sunde, the former spokesperson for The Pirate Bay, we didn’t cover his eventual jailing earlier this year. Given all the coverage of his trial and efforts post-trial to have the results revisited, the fact that he finally ended up going to jail didn’t seem like much of a story. However, the way in which he’s been treated in jail is simply inhumane. He’s been put in the equivalent of a maximum security prison and basic requests for more humane treatment have been rejected. The latest outrage was that Peter’s father recently passed away, and while prison officials have said they’ll make arrangements for him to attend the funeral, he’ll have to wear handcuffs. TorrentFreak says he’ll have to wear handcuffs while carrying his father’s coffin — but from Peter’s brother’s quote, it seems clear that the prison officials were actually saying he can’t even carry his father’s coffin. The handcuff remark was just their way of saying “fuck you.”

09.18.14

Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Sorry, Windows 9 Fans, This Is How Multiple Desktops Should Work – Video

    The Linux platform has always taken pride in this cool feature. Having multiple desktops is a great way to increase the productivity and there are numerous means to implement it. Lots of Linux distributions have this option, which is used in various ways.

  • Germany Seeks The Most Secure IT In The World

    This will be something to watch no matter how it turns out. Practically, I think it is most likely that Germany will ship a government distro with only well-tested software in the vault. I recommend they start with Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • A Linux love story with real love and romance

      Zorin OS had an amazing impact on my relationship. I’m now really well accepted by my girlfriend’s family. For an Italian girl this is quite important. They like me and my girlfriend is so so proud of me. Her family already asked me to update all their Zorin version and I’m willing to do it as soon as I can.

      I love Zorin OS. I feel so grateful to it. My relationship couldn’t work better than now. Love you guys for the amazing work you are doing. Hope you never stop.

    • Is ChromeOS a threat to desktop Linux?

      ChromeOS devices have always struck me as being much more “appliance-like” than traditional Linux distributions. The goal for Google seems to be that you turn them on and just go about your business. With desktop Linux there’s more work involved but along with that extra effort comes a tremendous amount of control over your experience.

      Most ChromeOS users are probably not going to care about having such control. They most likely want to buy a ChromeOS device and then simply do all of their usual tasks without caring much about what’s going on under the hood. No doubt there are some desktop Linux users that are the same way, but I suspect there are many who are the exact opposite and need to be able to fine-tune their systems.

    • 5 more killer features Windows 9 should steal from Linux

      If the latest Windows 9 leaks are any indication, some of the operating system’s coolest new features will look a lot like what Linux users already enjoy: Like the virtual desktops Linux users have had since the 90’s, and a centralized notification center like the one available in GNOME Shell.

      Windows 9 also looks like it’ll co-opt Ubuntu’s vision of a single operating system interface that can run on all form factors, complete with apps that run in windowed mode when it makes more sense to do so. Who would have imagined? Windowed applications are a big new feature in Windows.

  • Kernel Space

    • New Video Series Teaches Kids About Linux

      Growing up in rural Utah, brothers Jared and JR Neilsen spent their free time recording videos that starred a cast of homemade puppets. As adults they’ve reconvened to create their own web series,Hello World, which aims to teach kids about computer science.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The KMS Mode-Setting Driver Was Imported For X.Org Server 1.17

        A few days ago I wrote about the plans to mainline the xf86-video-modesetting driver as the hardware-agnostic DDX driver that (theoretically) works with any hardware having a DRM/KMS graphics driver. Given that this driver doesn’t go through much churn these days and works fairly well, it’s now being merged within the X.Org Server code-base given the increasing number of systems compatible with (and depending on) this driver.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Applications and Platform 4.14.1 Officially Released

        The KDE developers have released an update for KDE 4.14, which is actually the last version in the series. It will soon be replaced by KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Plasma, and KDE Applications. The entire system is now much more modular and the projects have been decoupled. The devs won’t have to follow the same version number, so there will be some misunderstandings in the future.

      • Mathematics that you can touch

        These last months have been intense, so intense I needed a bit of a distraction. I’ve always felt some kind of curiosity for the world of 3D printing and, as I’ve said in different occasions, I always push KAlgebra to the limit when I have the occasion.

      • POW! Digia straps Qt into ejector seat, gleefully pulls handle
      • KDE Touchpad configuration ported to Frameworks 5

        Fedora 20 with KDE SC 4.14 has been very stable, and after a while it gets…boring – especially when Plasma 5 is already released and you see screenshots everywhere. If you cannot hold the urge and feel sufficiently adventurous, Dan Vratil has built the Fedora 20 and 21 rpms here. If you install i386 versions, beware that baloo-widgets cannot be installed due to unmet dependencies. So, once you install dvratil’s copr repo, just do:

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Making of GNOME 3.14

        The release of GNOME 3.14 is slowly approaching, so I stole some time from actual design work and created this little promo to show what goes into a release that probably isn’t immediately obvious (and a large portion of it doesn’t even make it in).

      • GNOME Tweak Tool 3.14 RC1 Ditches Menubar

        The release of GNOME Tweak Tool 3.14 RC1, a utility popular among users of the GNOME 3 desktop environment, has been announced by its developer.

  • Distributions

    • LQ ISO Has Now Facilitated More Than 50 MILLION Linux Downloads
    • New Releases

      • Webconverger 26 released
      • Webconverger 26 Is a Secure Kiosk OS That Doesn’t Store Any Data

        Webconverger is a distribution designed and developed with a single goal in mind, namely to provide the best Kiosk experience possible. This means that people will be able to use that OS as a regular system, although its functionality will be limited and it will be impossible to install any other apps.

        This is a very helpful solution if this is a public PC, like in a library or a cafe, and it preserves the quality of the installation for a very long time. Because users can’t interact with it on a deeper level, the operating system will remain stable and it will be pretty much the same like in the first day that it was used.

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Knoppix 7.4.1 Updated with New Linux Kernel and Multiple Fixes – Gallery

        Knoppix 7.4.1, a bootable Live CD/DVD made up from the most popular and useful free and open source applications, backed up by automatic hardware detection and support for a large number of hardware devices, has been released and is now available for download.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch RTM Officially Released – Screenshot Tour

            In just a few months, two years will have passed since the official announcement of Ubuntu for mobiles and tablets. It looks like Canonical is almost ready to release the OS on a device that’s actually selling in stores, and that will be the true test of the new operating system.

          • AMD, Canonical Partner on Ubuntu OpenStack Cloud Server
          • Ubuntu Touch rtm image released!

            Canonical has finally released the first image of Ubuntu Touch RTM. The news comes to the heels of announcement by Meizu that Ubuntu powered devices will becoming later this year. Another Ubuntu Touch mobile partner Bq has not announced any release date for their Linux powered devices.

            RTM means release to manufacturing or going gold, the term is used for the software products which is ready to be supplied to customer as final product.

            Ubuntu Touch has become an important project and product as it is one of those few open source projects from among Jolla and Firefox OS which is fully open source. So Ubuntu Touch going rtm is great news for partners and users.

          • Learn Ubuntu – The Unity Launcher

            Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment has divided the opinion of many Linux users over the past few years but it has matured very well and once you get used to it you will see that actually it is very easy to use and highly intuitive.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Samsung to accelerate the pace of Tizen based Business from Next Year

      Samsung Electronics are looking at releasing Tizen TV as well as other other home appliances that will use the Tizen Operating System early next year, in fact we should see them at CES 2015. According to an executive that is in charge of the Smart Home range of products, Tizen will be found in increasingly more appliances. This is also what Samsung Co-CEO J.K. Shin mentioned in an Interview in August 2013 with CNET, that Tizen was destined to be the OS of Cross-convergence between many different type of gadgets and Industries.

    • Hackable $39 Allwinner A20 SBC packs HDMI and GbE

      The $39 hackable “pcDuino3Nano” SBC runs Android or Ubuntu on a dual-core Allwinner A20 SoC, and offers GbE, HDMI, and 3x USB, plus Arduino-style expansion.

    • Raspbian 2014-09 and NOOBS 1.3.10 released with new features and software

      The latest version of Raspbian, the official Raspberry Pi distro, and the simple installer package, NOOBS, is out now. There’s lots of new software out of the box including Minecraft Pi and Sonic Pi 2…

    • DiceBot interview

      I worked on it myself. I got a little help on the website from some others at Intridea, but we’ve been working as a company just exploring various interfaces and social machines – Internet of Things, things like that. So it’s kind of how this idea came about. We have a few projects that we’re working on at the moment that are in a similar vein but this is the first one we’ve published. So I came across this little dice roller and I thought ‘Hey, this would make a perfect internet- controlled device’. And it would be a fun project, using something old and retro.

    • Linux-based pedalboard features 100+ virtual effects

      A Kickstarter project called “MOD Duo” is an open source Linux music pedalboard with Arduino hooks and virtual pedals for 100-plus guitar and voice effects.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Launching the project ‘i18nWidgets for Android’

          As of now the platform supported is Android 4.0.3 ICS. One would argue why support an older revision, but that’s exactly where the problem is relevant. As many of the lower end widely used android devices are still to upgrade to the latest version, there are vast number of users still struggling to use their native languages, where as the developers who wish to maintain compatibility with these devices are also struggling while making apps for those users.

        • Motorola Moto X reviews roundup

          The new Moto X phone from Motorola has gotten a lot of attention lately, and now the reviews have started to roll in from many tech sites. But not all reviews are the same, and many folks have waited to see what AnandTech has to say about the Moto X. Their patience has been rewarded because AnandTech has published a very deep review of Motorola’s new phone.

        • How to Give your Smartphone the Android L Look

          Android L is Google’s latest mobile operating system. Apart from a complete UI overhaul, this version brings along a myriad of performance improvements. Compared to its competitor iOS 8, Android L outperforms the Apple mobile operating system in design and performance. Though there is no clear announcement as to when Android L will be reaching our devices, its Material Design has slowly started catching up among app developers. Furthermore, many apps have come up that let you completely change the Android smartphone’s user interface to match that of Android L.

        • How to get iOS 8’s best new features on Android even before iPhone users get them

          When CEO Tim Cook and his fellow Apple executives unveils iOS 8’s great new features on stage during their WWDC 2014 keynote presentation back in June, the most dramatic audience response might have come when the crew unveiled iOS 8’s new Continuity features. With this great new functionality, iOS devices and Mac computers will be more closely connected than ever, able to quickly and easily exchange files and other data. Better still, iOS device notifications appear on a user’s connected Mac, and messages can even be sent and received right from within OS X.

Free Software/Open Source

  • I will never again talk about the benefits of Free Software

    Therefore I am never again going to tell people why they should be using Free Software.

    Instead I am going to ask them why they insist on using closed source software.

    Is it because they love paying lots of money for software that does little more (if anything) than suitable Free Software?

  • Industry titans band together to improve open source

    Facebook, Google, Twitter, GitHub, Walmart, and others have formed a group called TODO, designed to standardize and improve open source releases.

  • TODO – A New Group To Tell Open Source Programmers
  • Another open-source consortium for Facebook, new project to go along
  • Google, Facebook, Twitter Launch Open-Source Project TODO
  • What’s in a job title?

    Over on Google+, Aaron Seigo in his inimitable way launched a discussion about people who call themselves community managers.. In his words: “the “community manager” role that is increasingly common in the free software world is a fraud and a farce”. As you would expect when casting aspertions on people whose job is to talk to people in public, the post generated a great, and mostly constructive, discussion in the comments – I encourage you to go over there and read some of the highlights, including comments from Richard Esplin, my colleague Jan Wildeboer, Mark Shuttleworth, Michael Hall, Lenz Grimmer and other community luminaries. Well worth the read.

  • Events

    • SOSCON Booms with 1,000+ Open Source Software Developers

      The first-ever Samsung Open Source Conference (SOSCON) opened on Sept. 16 at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel located in Samsung-dong, Seoul. Over 1,000 people attended the largest open source conference in Korea.

      Prepared by Samsung Electronics, the software developers’ conference has the purpose of sharing open source knowledge and experience as with the annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) of Apple held in San Francisco.

      The first keynote speaker was former Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon, who is currently a senior director at the X Prize Foundation. He made a speech on the topic of the value of sharing and the way open source software enriches people’s lives.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Chrome Strategy Heads in New Directions, Draws Linux Comparisons

        Google’s Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system are grabbing headlines this week for several reasons. As Susan reported here, Matt Hartley said recently, ‘Anyone who believes Google isn’t making a play for desktop users isn’t paying attention.’ Hartley favors putting Linux in front of a lot of potential Chrome OS users, and says “I consider ChromeOS to be a forked operating system that uses the Linux kernel under the hood.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cisco Acquires Metacloud for OpenStack as a Service Tech
    • Open source is key building block for cloud, says HP

      When it comes to cloud infrastructure tactics in the enterprise, open source is the winning method among enterprise service providers who we see incorporating it into their own services now. For example, Hewlett-Packard Co. delivers private, hybrid, managed and public clouds to enterprise customers worldwide. HP recently announced that it’s acquiring Eucalyptus Systems, Inc., provider of open-source software for building private and hybrid enterprise clouds.

  • Education

    • Redefining the Public Library Using Open Source Ideas

      “I’m interested in open source as a cultural method and philosophy, beyond software creation,” he explained. “To open source the public library means to do more than bring in Linux computers for public use. The heart of the open source method is participation, so a public library that is open sourced has much greater involvement of the public in library decision making, including all uses of library funds.”

    • 12 open education videos for China

      Last summer was special for the Creative Commons China Mainland team, Wenzhou Medical University, and Guokr.com. These three parties co-hosted an Open Education Resources (OER) summer camp on Luxi Island off the coast of China. For Wenzhou Medical University, the summer camp had been a part of their routine volunteering activities for five consecutive years, but it was the first time they partnered with the CC China Mainland Project; a team that brought a need in rural China to the camp’s participants.

    • Teaching open source changed my life

      Teaching open source has been a breath of fresh air for myself and for many of our students because with the open source way, there are no official tests. There is no official certification for the majority of open source projects. And, there are no prescribed textbooks.

    • Back to school with GRASS GIS

      When we started talking about hosting a ‘back to school’ week at Opensource.com, I decided to take that quite literally, and went back to NC State University earlier this month to attend the inaugural Geospatial Forum at the Center for Geospatial Anaytics. Geospatial analytics and GIS (geospatial information science) is a huge field, with a number of open source tools for research and teaching available, and I wanted to learn more about how these tools are being used in the real world.

  • Funding

    • Coinbase Announces Toshi: The Open Source Bitcoin Node For Developers

      San Francisco-based Coinbase announced Wednesday the launch of a new project called Toshi (most likely after Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s creator). Toshi is an open source bitcoin node designed for developers.

      In short, the software makes it simpler for developers to build their web applications, and it’s 100 percent compatible with Bitcoin Core. Or as Coinbase says, Toshi is an API to query blockchain data. It’s written in Ruby, and it’s using the PostgreSQL database.

    • Bitcoin for FOSS Projects

      There has been a growing interest among Free and Open Source Software (“FOSS”) projects in the use of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin and its myriad derivatives (hereinafter “Bitcoin”). However, uncertainty over the treatment of these currencies by US law has dissuaded developers from from using Bitcoin. This post provides some general guidance on the legal consequences of using such convertible virtual currency.

      Please note that different jurisdictions address the issues related to Bitcoin differently. The comments provided in this post are restricted to U.S. law. If you are uncertain of your legal obligations, contact the Software Freedom Law Center or seek other legal counsel.

    • Docker Lands $40M Funding Round As Linux Container Tech Continues Meteoric Rise

      Docker, an open source startup that has emerged as one of the hottest enterprise technologies on the planet, said it closed on a $40 million Series C funding round Tuesday and looks poised to continue making Linux containers more useful for developers.

      Developers love Docker containers because they let them build apps that are portable and can run on any type of machine or cloud. Containers also deliver faster performance than virtual machines because they don’t have the overhead of a guest operating system.

  • Public Services/Government

    • French ministries prove free software is viable

      Free and open source software solutions are suitable for use in public administrations, the extensive use by French ministries proves. The LibreOffice suite of office productivity tools is now installed on more than 500,000 desktops across the ministries. The combination of Postgres, a relational database system and servers running the Linux operating system is also very common.

  • Licensing

    • edX Revisits Completely Open Source License

      Previously, Open edX’s source code had been designated under an Affero GPL license, which stated that developers were free to remix the code—frequently used to create MOOC platforms and individual features—so long as their finished products were open as well.

      However, in a blog post Ned Batchelder, edX Software Architect, wrote that the single license didn’t “fit all purposes.” Given that a key objective of edX is to establish itself as a sort of industry standard platform, it is relicensing XBlock (an API used to create interactive components in MOOC courses that functions as sort of the underlying architecture of the platform) under an Apache 2.0 license, which allows users to choose whether to share their creations or keep them private.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Secessionists in Texas and Alaska are thrilled about Scotland’s independence referendum

    On Thursday, Scottish voters will head to the polls to decide whether Scotland should break from the United Kingdom and become an independent nation. Here in America, members of various separatist groups are closely watching the referendum and hoping it will boost other independence movements.

  • An Independent Scotland Will Hurt Labour

    Forget North Sea oil. The biggest implications of tomorrow’s Scottish vote are political, and they aren’t good for Labour in the long term.

  • How the media shafted the people of Scotland

    Journalists in their gilded circles are woefully out of touch with popular sentiment and shamefully slur any desire for change

  • Scottish independence: Voting under way in referendum

    With 4,285,323 people – 97% of the electorate – registered to vote, it is expected to be the busiest day in Scottish electoral history.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • U.S. militarism won’t eradicate ‘traces of evil’

      Barack Obama’s central dilemma last week, when he tried to sell a new war to the American public on the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, was to speak convincingly about the wisdom and effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy over the last decade-plus while at the same time, alas, dropping the bad news that it didn’t work.

    • Targeted killings and the rule of law

      President OBAMA recently announced that the United States had targeted and killed Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of an Al Qaeda-linked group of terrorists in Somalia, and that it is now targeting ISIS leaders for assassination. We have, of course, targeted several alleged terrorists in the past, including at least one US citizen.

      [...]

      The decision to employ this tactic has generated considerable controversy, most particularly when the target is an American citizen who has joined a terrorist group. But it is also controversial when the target has no connection to our country, other than his hatred of it and his intention to do us harm. The Obama administration’s efforts to provide a legal justification for this practice has proved less than convincing to many.

    • Lanny Davis: Is Obama too much of a hawk for Democrats?

      The day before President Obama’s Sept. 10 speech on the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to American security — in my judgment, one of the best speeches of his two-term presidency — a pundit I like and respect, Chuck Todd, the new moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” was interviewed on PBS’s “Charlie Rose Show.” He told Rose: “If [Hillary Clinton] were running to be the second woman president, I think she would not even be considered a front-runner. She’d be just considered another candidate.”

    • Obama lauds the troops at MacDill – and insists they won’t be fighting on the ground against ISIL
    • Review: Grounded Is Right on Target in BETC’s Powerful Production

      “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” So said J. Robert Oppenheimer of his work on the atomic bomb, quoting the Bhagavad Gita. There’s grief and guilt in the statement, as well a daunting realization of just what he’s unleashed on the world. But as you think about it, you also catch a note of megalomaniacal power.

    • Drones should be restricted to the security forces
    • Stop Postulating the Clash of Civilizations

      The British are mystified by their Muslim citizens becoming “jihadists” and joining the so-called Islamic State. They are horrified by the beheading of an American journalist by “John” a British citizen and member of the IS.

    • How We Missed Mullah Omar

      An inside account of America’s botched first Predator mission.

    • The lost lessons

      Thirteen years have gone by. Thirteen blood-filled years. The number of deaths perpetrated by the United States boggles the mind. The numbers of US deaths, including the first responders dying of cancers and lung ailments, soldiers dying on the battle field, or soldiers killing themselves at home, pales in comparison to the retribution we have meted out across the globe- often to completely innocent victims of our self serving ‘justice’.

      Yet our President endorses more bombing, more destruction, and more death. On the thirteenth anniversary, with the carnage stretching from North Africa to Central Asia our president says, “ISIL has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.” He could very easily be describing us.

    • We don’t need another dumb war: Rosa Brooks
    • Rosa Brooks, Foreign Policy: Why America needs to avoid a dumb war, but probably won’t

      Back when he was just a U.S. senator, Barack Obama used to say that he didn’t oppose all wars, just “dumb wars.” I assumed that by “dumb wars,” he meant wars to address phantom or exaggerated threats (see: Iraq, 2003), or wars launched to achieve domestic political objectives (see also: Iraq, 2003), or wars begun without sufficient attention to alternatives, capabilities or strategic consequences (see yet again: Iraq, 2003).

    • George Jonas: The assassin President

      Last week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that he was ready to destroy the monster IS(IS) he helped create. This wasn’t the way he put it, of course, and no doubt some will find the way I put it unfair. President Obama, they’ll say, welcomed and encouraged the Arab Spring, not the masked head-hackers of IS(IS). True as this is, it amounts to falling back on the defence of the sorcerer’s apprentice. The leader of the free world ought to have known the likely consequences of America’s mea culpa coupled with its endorsement of fundamental changes in the world’s most volatile region.

    • Where Are We With Drone Resistance?

      Last Friday, September 5, the President clarified things for me when, in a press conference at the Wales NATO meeting, he committed the United States to an all out war against the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL) that will depend on the use of drones for surveillance and for assassination.

      The tip-off about the key role of drones in the new war came in his reference to what he sees at success in the US campaign against al Qaeda in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan, a campaign that has been based on drone surveillance and killing.

    • DARPA testing planes with a ‘Star Wars’-style laser cannon

      We don’t have X-wing fighters just yet, but we may soon have their laser weapons. DARPA is working on a system that’s downright Lucasian.

    • Peres: Terror ‘opportunity’ for Israel to win new allies

      Former Israeli president Shimon Peres said that it would not able to kill every terrorist, therefore it must dry out their source of funding.

    • Unit 8200: Teaching NSA A Thing Or Two About Dark Arts – OpEd

      James Bamford spent three days in Moscow with Snowden and wrote about it in Wired. Today, he has a NY Times op-ed focussing particularly on the Snowden revelations about NSA collaboration with the IDF’s Unit 8200. None of this is particularly new. Further, at one point Bamford even dubiously claims that material the NSA shared with Israel might’ve led to some of the blackmail and recruiting of spies, which the Unit 8200 veteran’s letter decried. I think that’s doubtful because the activities criticized by the refusers involved listening to phone conversations and reading e mail and text messages by Palestinians in the Territories. It’s hard to believe (though not impossible, I suppose) that NSA spying on U.S. citizens would help 8200 to target Palestinians.

      [...]

      What the NSA refuses to realize in adopting the Israeli model is that Unit 8200 is oppressing Palestinians who, while occupied by Israel, aren’t Israeli citizens. At least technically, from an Israeli point of view, this allows them freer rein in their invasions of Palestinians privacy and rights. The NSA is often spying on U.S. citizens. If they bring Israeli spycraft to these shores, then the American intelligence community will be treating its own citizens the same way Israelis treat avowed Israeli enemies. Is that the standard under which we want the NSA to operate? Do we wish to allow out own spy agency to treat us as the enemy?

    • Israeli Unmanned Systems Conference showcases drones

      Only a few weeks after the recent truce that ended the Gaza war, Israel weapons manufacturers are displaying weapons used in the conflict at their annual Unmanned Systems Conference in Tel Aviv, from Sept. 14th to 19th.

    • An Israeli drone conference is featuring a product recently used on Gaza

      A few weeks after Israel and Hamas signed an open-ended truce to end their nearly two-month-long war in Gaza, Israeli defense contractors are parading weapons used in the conflict at a conference in Tel Aviv. The annual Israel Unmanned Systems conference, which began Sunday and runs through Friday (Sept. 19), is jointly hosted with the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. According to its website, attendees include “senior officials from commercial and government entities” from Europe, Asia, North and South America.

    • Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution
    • Must-Read Tale Of Predator’s Tortuous Ride To Fame

      Rick Whittle’s superb book on the creation and uses of the Predator drone needs to be read by the Pentagon’s head of acquisition, Frank Kendall, and everyone else who decides what weapons America buys, including the professional staff on Capitol Hill who tell their congressional bosses what’s real and why.

    • “The Kill Team” looks at out-of-control platoon

      A provocative documentary about American soldiers who killed unarmed Afghans for sport comes to the Naro Expanded Cinema on Wednesday evening.

    • Get Out! – The Only Sane Response to the Islamic State

      The Islamic State (ISIS) proves the law of unintended consequences. Congratulations America! We killed Christianity in the Middle East and unleashed a terror organization with far greater reach and power than Al Qaeda ever possessed. If insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results, then our foreign policy needs to have been locked away in an institution a long, long time ago.

    • Don’t Bomb ISIS On My Behalf

      A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted Sept. 4-7 among 1,001 adults nationwide revealed that 59% of Americans believe ISIS (or ISIL or the Islamic State) is a “very serious threat to US vital interests.” Another 31% view ISIS as a “somewhat serious” threat.

    • Henry Kissinger is not telling the truth about his past. Again.

      Henry Kissinger is back. With this new book, World Order, he attempts to explain the chaotic state of the world through the lens of history. But in the interviews he is giving to promote his book, he rewrites history and obfuscates facts—about U.S. war policy and his own bloody legacy—to make himself look good. He has done this before. Here are some of Kissinger’s biggest distortions.

    • Let Truth Prevail

      10 suspected militants were killed in fresh airstrikes in Boya and Digan area, an Army release said on 8th September.

    • Those Who’ve Seen Bloodshed Warn of Endless, Brutal War in Iraq

      For more than a month, Dakheel Ahmed’s family has been living under a bridge in northern Iraq. They are members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority sect, and each night they sleep in the open surrounded by others like them. The families have nowhere else to go. They were displaced earlier this summer when Islamic State — the well-funded, ultra-violent militant group alternately known as IS, ISIS or ISIL — swept into their country, took over major cities, and declared the Yazidis devil worshipers who could either convert to their brand of radical Islam or die.

    • Drones to fly at Reno air races

      A new kind of aircraft is competing for the first time at this week’s National Championship Air Races in Reno: drones.

      More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the annual air races, which ends a five-day run Sunday. The three-day drone competition, called the Small UAS Challenge, ends Sunday, as well.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Corporate Media: Don’t Worry, Be Fracking

      A new study shows that gas leaks from wells associated with the controversial drilling technique known as fracking are responsible for water contamination. Over at Think Progress (9/15/14), the study was summarized under the headline “Study Links Water Contamination to Fracking Operations in Texas and Pennsylvania.”

    • Things Are Bad in the Good Old U.S. of A.

      This weekend is the People’s Climate March, which will almost certainly be the largest climate march in U.S. history. It is more than just a march about the environment, though, it is an opportunity to begin building a mass movement, one that has the potential to radically change the course of U.S. politics. As all of us living through this increasingly dire period of American history know, environmental devastation is just one of the many serious problems we currently face.

  • Finance

    • Sony quadruples annual loss expectations as smartphone sales falter

      These widening losses are due to the firm’s faltering smartphone business, with the firm admitting that it is struggling to match sales seen by Apple and Samsung, as well as Chinese and Asian smartphone makers like Xiaomi, which are offering fully-fledged handsets at lower prices than most.

  • Privacy

    • New e-mail shows “stingray” maker may have lied to FCC back in 2010

      A newly published e-mail from 2010 shows that Harris Corporation, one of the best-known makers of cellular surveillance systems, told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that its purpose “is only to provide state/local law enforcement officials with authority to utilize this equipment in emergency situations.”

      That e-mail was among 27 pages of e-mails that were part of the company’s application to get FCC authorization to sell the device in the United States. Neither the FCC nor Harris Corporation immediately responded to Ars’ request for comment, and Harris traditionally stays mum on its operations.

    • Rogue cell towers discovered in Washington, D.C.

      Towards the end of July, ESD America, the makers of the ultra-secure CryptoPhone, said that their engineers and customers had discovered more than a dozen rogue cell towers (also known as interceptors or IMSI catchers) around the U.S.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • As three million comment on net neutrality, the FCC adjusts its plans

      With AT&T already banning Apple users from using Facetime on its network, and Verizon settling out of court to avoid an investigation of traffic shaping for its mobile data customers, there is already some conflict on the issue that the FCC could be about to turn to its advantage. However, we won’t know until the FCC announces its decision.

    • Why Hasn’t The Obama Administration Weighed In On The FCC’s Net Neutrality Comment Period?

      Marvin Ammori has a good article over at Slate questioning why the Obama White House does not appear to have submitted comments with the FCC concerning net neutrality. As you know by now, the FCC received over 3 million comments when the commenting period finally closed on Monday — but so far, it does not appear that the Obama administration weighed in (it’s possible that not all comments are in the database yet, but still…).

    • More Than 3 Million Told the FCC What They Think About Net Neutrality. Why Hasn’t Obama?

      The FCC has received more than 3 million comments on Commissioner Tom Wheeler’s controversial plan to rethink net neutrality. If the last couple of million comments are anything like the first 1.1 million, 99 percent of commenters were strongly in favor of protecting net neutrality. They include startups, small businesses, artists, and small- and medium-size broadband providers, among many others.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Founder “Will Wear Handcuffs” to Carry Father’s Coffin

        After succumbing to a long illness, Peter Sunde’s father has passed away. While the Pirate Bay founder will be allowed to attend the funeral, prison staff have told him he can expect to carry the coffin while wearing handcuffs. For someone convicted of copyright offenses with just 50 days of his sentence left, it’s an unpalatable threat.

      • Copyright Holders Want Netflix to Ban VPN Users

        If copyright holders get their way it will soon be impossible to access Netflix though a VPN service. The entertainment industry companies are calling for a ban on privacy services as that opens the door to foreign pirates.

09.17.14

Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Taking a Health Hazard Home

      A new study of a small group of workers at industrial hog farms in North Carolina has found that they continued to carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria over several days, raising new questions for public health officials struggling to contain the spread of such pathogens.

  • Security

  • Privacy

    • Revealed: identity of Fifi the stunning wartime spy

      National Archives reveals identity of Britain’s Second World War special agent ‘Fifi’, the beautiful blonde employed to tempt spies from her own side into giving up their secrets

    • More Yahoo vs. The NSA: Government Tried To Deny Standing, Filed Supporting Documents Yahoo Never Got To See

      That’s the normal declassification schedule, which at this point would still be nearly 18 years away. Fortunately, Ed Snowden’s leaks have led to an accelerated schedule for many documents related to the NSA’s surveillance programs, as well as fewer judges being sympathetic to FOIA stonewalling and exemption abuse.

      We’ve talked several times about how the government makes it nearly impossible to sue it for abusing civil liberties with its classified surveillance programs. It routinely claims that complainants have no standing, ignoring the fact that leaked documents have given us many details on what the NSA does and doesn’t collect. But in Yahoo’s case, it went against its own favorite lawsuit-dismissal ploy.

  • Civil Rights

    • WI Election Officials and Advocates Scrambling After Voter ID Reinstated

      Wisconsin election officials and advocates are being forced to make an “extraordinary effort” to adjust to voter ID restrictions that were just reinstated by a federal appellate court. Thousands of absentee ballots have already been sent to voters, and the majority of Department of Motor Vehicle service centers that issue IDs are only open only two days per week.

    • Proposed Anti-Terror Law in France Would Erode Civil Liberties

      A proposed anti-terrorism law in France has freedom of expression advocates concerned. The bill, as our friends at La Quadrature du Net frame it, “institutes a permanent state of emergency on the Internet,” providing for harsher penalties for incitement or “glorification” of terrorism conducted online. Furthermore, the bill (in Article 9) allows for “the possibility for the administrative authority to require Internet service providers to block access to sites inciting or apologizing for terrorism” without distinguishing criteria or an authority to conduct the blocking.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Public Submits a Record Number of Comments on Net Neutrality

      Apparently, people care about preserving a free and open Internet. Earlier this month, I reported on how a consortium of technology companies, many of which depend on speedy and dependable access to their websites, launched a very public protest against controversial proposed changes to net neutrality regulations. The tech companies involved are calling themselves Team Internet. They are concerned that broadband service providers are developing business models that create slow lanes and fast lanes on the Internet, and that the FCC will provide its blessing for doing so.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ISDS: The devil in the trade deal

      A common provision allowing foreign investors to sue host governments has become a ticking time bomb inside trade agreements like the soon to be signed Trans Pacific Partnership. Some countries are now refusing to agree to the provision and are questioning its legal legitimacy. Jess Hill investigates.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Swede ‘mistreated’ in jail

        The brother of Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has questioned the conditions of his brother’s Swedish jail, slamming both the institution and the guards.

      • Search Engines Can Diminish Online Piracy, Research Finds

        New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that search engine results directly influence people’s decision to pirate movies, or buy them legally. According to the researchers, their findings show how search engines may play a vital role in the fight against online piracy.

09.16.14

Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

Posted in News Roundup at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Hello World: Videos That Teach Linux To Kids

    Recently, they launched a new series, “Superusers: The Legendary GNU/Linux Show,” which stars Aramis, a gnu who bares a strange resemblance to Richard Stallman, and a penguin named Adelie. The pilot episode for this series, called “Help,” deals with the Linux command by the same name and features some clever wordplay, utilizing lyrics from the old Beatles song. This would be in keeping with the brothers’ idea of making sure their videos appeal to kids and adults alike.

  • Desktop

    • How to lobby for open source and Linux in schools

      About eight years ago, I started lobbying to bring more Linux and open source software to high schools and higher IT vocational institutions in the Netherlands and Belgium. Here’s how I did it and what you can learn from it to do the same where you live.

    • Ho Hum “9” Inaction

      Real innovation happens in FLOSS and GNU/Linux where the pace of innovation sometimes is annoyingly fast. In the last few years, FLOSS has brought us the cloud in real measure, better and faster IT generally, Android/Linux and “apps”, more distros and rearrangements of the desktop than you could ever think of shipping, and most amazing of all, growth of >100% in users at a price of $0 to end-users.

    • Linus On GNU/Linux And Computers In Education

      It is good to know that his local school used GNU/Linux and OpenOffice before they moved to that community and that his children have no real problem using GNU/Linux at school. That squares with my experience over much of northern Canada. GNU/Linux just works really well for students and teachers. It’s fast, efficient and reliable so folks can get on with teaching/learning and not fighting software. The key thing is that GNU/Linux is affordable and schools can have about twice as much IT for the same cost as with that other OS.

    • Linux Tech Support & Time Warner

      I’ve spent my time in the tech support trenches…and someone else’s time as well. Please mark my dues paid in full. I’ve worked from the script-reader doing basic trouble-shooting, up to floor supervisor and level three support. My point? Not everybody who works support at a call center is an idiot, but some certainly are…

    • Greens urge Saxony to consider open source use

      The Alliance 90 / The Greens in the parliament of the German state of Saxony are urging for a feasibility study on moving the state’s public administrations to free and open source software solutions. The political group, free software users themselves since December 2011, say that lower IT costs and advantages in IT security should drive public administrations to using free and open source software.

  • Server

    • Speed or torque? Linux desktop vs. server distros

      My post about splitting up Linux distributions along dedicated server and desktop lines has produced interesting feedback. The comments — both in public and privately via email — are all over the place.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17-rc5 Kernel Released
    • Linux 3.17-rc5

      So I should probably have delayed this until Wednesday for sentimental
      reasons: that will be 23 years since I uploaded the 0.01 source tree.
      But I’m not an overly sentimental person, so screw that. I’m doing my
      normal Sunday release.

      And as I mentioned in the rc4 notes, the previous rc was pretty small,
      possibly because neither Greg nor Davem had sent in any updates that
      week. Guess what? David’s networking updates came in an hour after I
      did rc4, and sure enough Greg came in this week too, so – surprise
      surprise – rc5 isn’t as small as rc4 was.

      Oh well. It was too good to last.

      I also got a report of an *old* performance regression in the dentry
      cache (since 3.10 – positively ancient), and that in turn made me look
      around some more, and there were a few other special cases that could
      cause us to not do as well as we should. I fixed some of it, and Al
      fixed the rest. So hopefully we not only fixed the reported
      regression, but are actually doing better than we used to.

      Anyway, the size of rc5 means that I’m certainly not cutting the
      release early, which means that I will have to think about exactly
      what I will do about the next merge window. Because it looks like it
      might end up conflicting with my travel around LinuxCon EU. I haven’t
      quite decided what I’ll do – I might release 3.17 normally, but then
      just not open the merge window due to travel. Or, if there are more
      issues than I think there will be, maybe I’ll delay the 3.17 release.

      We’ll see.

      Regardless – the rc5 changes is about half drivers (networking, gpu,
      usb, input, ata..) with the rest being mostly a mix of filesystem
      updates (the aforementioned performance thing in the core vfs layer,
      but also some NFS export issues found by Al and misc other stuff),
      architecture updates (arm, parisc, s390) and core networking. And a
      smattering of other. Shortlog appended.

      In other words, things look fairly normal, even if I’d have been
      happier with rc5 being smaller. But with the bump from networking and
      drivers, I’m not going to claim that this was either unexpected or
      particularly scary. I’m hoping we’re done now, and that rc6 and rc7
      will be noticeably calmer.

      Knock wood.

      Linus

    • Torvalds says he has no strong opinions on systemd

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds is well-known for his strong opinions on many technical things. But when it comes to systemd, the init system that has caused a fair degree of angst in the Linux world, Torvalds is neutral.

    • Linus’ Systemd Indifference, PCLOS Review, and Rebecca

      Today in Linux news Linus Torvalds tells Sam Varghese that he’s Switzerland in the Systemd war as Paul Venezia is back to clarify his “split Linux in two” post and Linuxgrrl takes the community pulse. Jesse Smith reviews PCLinuxOS 2014.08. Clem has announced a change in naming protocol at the Mint project for upcoming 17.1. And finally today, Jim Zemlin talks about what it takes to be a successful Open Source project.

    • Is It Time to Cleave Linux in Two?

      The latest flareup? None other than the suggestion that Linux be split in two.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment E19 Officially Released With Its Own Wayland Compositor

      sWhile E19 didn’t come out last week as talked about, it was released this morning! The Enlightenment E19 update is a huge upgrade over E18 or E17, especially if you’re an early Wayland adopter.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Snippets in Kate 5

        Recently I spent some time to port and clean up the Snippets plugin and the underlying template interface for Kate 5. It’s now fully working again and more powerful than ever. The template code was originally written by Joseph Wenniger and most of what I show here is still working like originally implemented by him. Still, there were some improvements I would like to show; also, I’m sure many readers might not be aware of this great feature at all.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.2.0 Officialy Released
      • Running KDE Plasma 5 on Kubuntu 14.04, Kubuntu 14.10 and Linux Mint 17 KDE

        KDE Plasma 5 is a completely new desktop experience for KDE users. built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5 and it introduces an updated artwork concept with cleaner visuals and improved readability, called Breeze, along with improved high DPI support and a converged shell, as well as a fully hardware accelerated graphics stack.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Black Lab Linux 6.0 Beta 1 Is Now Based on a Heavily Modified GNOME 3 Desktop – Gallery

          Black Lab Linux 6.0 Beta 1, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, is out and users can now download and test it.

          Black Lab Linux was initially released to provide a real alternative to Windows and Mac OS X systems, but as time passed, the developer switched this approach to one focused more on open source design. Gone are the days of dreary desktops with all-too-known designs. We are now entering the GNOME world and it looks like it’s hit the spot.

        • 4MLinux Multiboot Edition 10.0 Beta Lets Users Install Latest Ubuntu and Fedora over Network

          4MLinux Multiboot Edition 10.0 Beta, a mini Linux distribution that is focused on the 4Ms of computing, Maintenance (system rescue Live CD), Multimedia (e.g., playing video DVDs), Miniserver (using the inetd daemon), and Mystery (Linux games), has been released and is now ready for testing.

      • Red Hat Family

        • Second Xfce 4.10 “plugins” COPR repo for Enterprise Linux 7

          I have setup a COPR repository for Xfce 4.10 plugins that can be installed with EL-7. The original Xfce 4.10 repo for EL – 7 (xfce410_epel7) contains the core xfce packages. The new repo contains only plugins. I made a second repo just for organizational sake.

        • Fedora

          • Better font support in LibreOffice on Fedora

            Fedora and LibreOffice developer Caolán McNamara recently blogged about some fonts (specifically some fonts for OSX) not showing up in the font chooser in LibreOffice on Linux. It turns out is was an issue with the way some fonts encode their names, and LibreOffice was not showing these thinking it was an error. Bottom line is that the issue is fixed, and the fix will be seen in Fedora in the future, resulting in better font support in LibreOffice — which is always a good thing!

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Intel’s Edison Brings Yocto Linux to Wearables

        Linux-based platforms for wearables include Android Wear, Samsung’s Tizen SDK for Wearables, and now Intel’s Yocto Linux and Intel Atom-based Edison computing module. The Edison was released last week in conjunction with the Intel Developer Forum. Prior to the formal launch, some 70 Intel Edison beta units have been seeded, forming the basis for about 40 Edison-based projects, says Intel.

      • Phones

        • Android

          • Google reveals the first ultra-cheap Android One smartphones

            Google has unveiled the first smartphones to run on its Android One platform, a standard designed to help push affordable smartphones in the developing world. The initiative kicks off in India, where Micromax, Spice, and Karbonn are all selling phones with 4.5-inch screens, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel main and 2-megapixel front cameras, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processors, dual-SIM slots, microSD expandable storage, and FM radios.

          • With Android One, Google puts itself firmly back in the OS’ driving seat

            Under Android One, Google has developed its reference hardware designs — meaning OEMs no longer have to develop and test their own smartphones; they just pick up Google’s ready-to-wear versions and get manufacturing. Google already has three local Indian smartphone makers signed up to do just that — Karbonn, Spice, and Micromax — all soon be be selling Google-designed, Android One-powered devices for around $100.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The True Measure of a Successful Open Source Project

    A question I get a lot is, “What makes an open source software project successful?” This isn’t a simple question, as every project is really different. But certainly there are some common characteristics: a vibrant and open community and ecosystem of contributors, an innovative goal or technology and investments from a diverse set of stakeholders are just a few.

    Business benchmarks and market share help measure the success of a project over time. A blockbuster like Linux can tout nine code changes per hour, $10.8 billion in shared R&D investment and millions of developers. It runs 65 percent of smart mobile devices, 95 percent of high performance computing market, 55 percent of the embedded systems market, and most of world’s stock exchanges.

  • Open source all the tasks

    During the rise of Windows, I was using a desktop composed of a Conectiva Linux (now Mandriva), a window manager called Window Maker, and a Netscape browser. I connected to the Internet using my modem and PPP. Not bad for those who like alternatives. It so happens that at that time the maturity of the software we were using freely and openly was questionable. Furthermore, we didn’t have a lot of options when it came to the tools we used to perform our daily tasks.

    Recently, I was invited to talk at the Firebird Developers Day about Firebird. Firebird is a completely mature open source database management system and is used by companies worldwide. My presentation was about the launch of the FireServer Project, previously covered on Opensource.com: Migration to open source tool inspires new Linux distributiont. It’s a Linux distribution based on CentOS and dedicated exclusively to providing a high performance environment to a Firebird database server. It also boasts an ecosystem of value-added services.

  • An Alliance of Major Players to Guide Open-Source Software

    Representatives of Facebook on Monday announced the formation of a group, the TODO Project, intended to streamline the way open-source software projects, a big part of cloud and mobile computing, are executed. This may include such things as best practices for updating open-source software, ways of securing legal compliance, or tools and habits for making software that is freely available to anyone.

    Open source is a popular approach to software, in which anyone can contribute to and use the code. Formal approval of changes comes from agreed-upon authorities who speak for the group. It is considered a good way to build software with fewer bugs, and such software makes up much of the world’s mobile and computer server operating systems, as well as many other applications.

  • Open-source project promises easy-to-use encryption for email, instant messaging and more

    Called “Pretty Easy Privacy” (PEP), the project’s goal is to integrate the technology with existing communication tools on different desktop and mobile platforms. The development team launched a preview PEP implementation Monday for the Microsoft Outlook email client, but plans to build similar products to encrypt communications in Android, iOS, Firefox OS, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Jabber, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Twitter.

  • Events

    • Learn more about free and open source software at Software Freedom Day 2014

      The days of free and open source software being something that only pasty white guys living in their moms’ basements cared about are long gone. Today, the FOSS movement is absolutely huge, with even big companies buying into the concept thanks to the cost savings and beneficial functionality offered by increasingly competitive and polished FOSS options.

    • Samsung to host first open-source conference

      South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday it will hold a two-day conference on open-source to allow developers to share ideas on the new industrial trend.

    • Samsung Open Source Group’s Linux Kernel Updates and More from LinuxCon

      This year’s LinuxCon & Kernel Summit North America were notable for several reasons, not the least of which included being able to see the scenic views of downtown Chicago through the hotel lobby windows!

      Below, the Samsung Open Source Group will share our top highlights of the conferences, as well as look forward to what we can expect from LinuxCon Europe next month in Germany.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open source datacenter computing with Apache Mesos

      Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications or frameworks. Mesos is a open source software originally developed at the University of California at Berkeley. It sits between the application layer and the operating system and makes it easier to deploy and manage applications in large-scale clustered environments more efficiently. It can run many applications on a dynamically shared pool of nodes. Prominent users of Mesos include Twitter, Airbnb, MediaCrossing, Xogito and Categorize.

    • No, Citrix did not kill CloudStack

      CloudStack’s lifeblood is its user community, so the Citrix shakeup is much ado about nothing

    • Despite Controversy, CloudStack is Alive and Healthy

      In a post last week, I took note of a big shakeup at Citrix, surrounding its cloud platform tools and the leadership behind them. Specifically, some important Citrix cloud executives (including General Manager Sameer Dholakia) left the company, and Citrix veteran Klaus Oestermann is now in charge of a newly formed cloud group. The the success of OpenStack has been cited as part of the reason for the shakeup, as Citrix officials have been questioned about touting CloudStack as far and away the most widely deployed open source platform in the cloud.

    • Google’s Cloud Platform for Startups Offers Free Tools and Funds

      When the OpenStack Foundation released the results of a broad user survey it did late last year, one of the trends that emerged was that businesses could leverage the open source cloud platform on top of operating systems like Ubuntu and incur nearly no costs for the actual software infrastructure that runs applications. Cloud computing is reducing the cost of doing business for many organizations, especially many startups.

      With that last thought in mind, Google is delivering a package to help startup businesses launch their business with free Google Cloud Platform services. Qualifying startups are to get a $100,000 credit for Google Cloud Platform services, in addition to 24/7 support from the company’s technical solutions team.

    • New features for OpenStack networking, web dashboard improvements, and more
    • HP-Eucalyptus: Buying an edge in a busy, complex market

      HP’s move to acquire Eucalpytus (see HP buys Eucalyptus, puts Marten Mickos in charge of cloud unit by my colleague Larry Dignan) is the latest example of asupplier trying to be a part of every industry party.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Austrian gov computing centre lauds OpenOffice

      Austria’s Bundesrechenzentrum, the federal government-owned computing centre praises the wide range of application uses of Apache OpenOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The solution can be adapted to the data centre’s needs, integrated in its specialist applications and also allows document to be created and submitted automatically and semi-automatically. OpenOffice is the standard office suite at the computing centre since 2008, installed on 12000 PCs across the organisation.

  • CMS

    • Acquia to deliver government’s cloud-hosted, open source CMS

      Boston-headquartered Drupal services company Acquia will deliver the federal government’s govCMS project.

      The project to create a standard content management system for federal government agencies was announced in May.

    • WordPress Resets 100,000 Passwords After Google Account Leak

      Late evening on Sept. 12, WordPress revealed that it was taking proactive measures to secure its WordPress.com users against the Google account disclosure. WordPress has an open-source content management system (CMS) as well an online service at WordPress.com, where users can create their own blogs. WordPress.com accounts can also be used by self-hosted open-source WordPress users to get a number of services from WordPress.com.

    • How Matt’s Machine Works

      And that is how Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, founder of Automattic, and chairman of The WordPress Foundation, runs 22% of the Internet.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • 5 great apps backed with open data

        Data.gov has taken open source to heart. Beyond just providing open data and open source code, the entire process involves open civic engagement. All team ideas, public interactions, and new ideas (from any interaction) are cross-posted and entered in Github. These are tracked openly and completed to milestones for full transparency. We also recently redesigned the website at Data.gov through usability testing and open engagement on Github.

  • Programming

    • Pyston 0.2 Is A Heck Of A Lot Better At Running Python Programs

      Earlier this year cloud storage provider Dropbox open-sourced their own high-performance Python implementation, Pyston. Pyston is a JIT-based Python implementation built atop the LLVM compiler stack. The initial Pyston release was a bit basic but now after months of work, Dropbox is announcing the second version of Pyston.

    • CppCon Wrapped Up & There Was A Lot For C++ Developers

      CppCon ended last week as the annual meeting for any and all C++ developers. CppCon is filled with many interesting talks and the conference overall received rave reviews from C++ developers. While we weren’t in attendance at the event, there’s interesting notes and slides coming out from those in attendance.

    • Git: A Tool for Learning Puppet

      If you have worked through this tutorial series so far, you’ll recall that we’re teaching your cat how to use just enough of the open source tools needed to make it through Puppet Fundamentals. We installed the Learning VM (virtual machine) in our intro, learned some important command line commands, and learned how to edit a document in vim. This blog post — the final one in our series — is about how to use Git. Once you finish this tutorial, you’ll have all the basic learning you need to start learning Puppet on your own, or by taking one of our training courses. (You’ll find all these resources in the Learning section of our site.)

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenForum Europe Challenges Governments to Walk the Open Format Walk

      OpenForum Europe, an advocacy group focusing on IT openness in government, issued a press release earlier today announcing its launch of a new public Internet portal. At that site, anyone can report a government page that offers a document intended for collaborative use for downloading if that document is not available in an OpenDocument Format (ODF) compliant version. The portal is called FixMyDocuments.eu, and you can show your support for the initiative (as I have) by adding your name here (the first supporter listed is the EU’s indominatable digital champion, Neelie Kroes).

      The announcement coincides with the beginning of another initiative, Global Legislative Openness Week, which will involve global activities annd “events hosted by the Legislative Openness Working Group of the Open Government Partnership and members of the parliamentary openness community.” A full calendar of events is here.

Leftovers

  • Huawei opens R&D facility in France

    Chinese networking giant’s new research site in the Sophia Antipolis technology hub is its 17th in Europe and will focus on chipset design and embedded technology.

  • OECD unveils public sector innovation portal

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in June unveiled a new portal for innovation in the public sector, the ‘Observatory of Public Sector Innovation’. The observatory is to collect, share and analyse examples of public sector innovation and to provide practical advice to countries on how to make innovations work. The portal will be demonstrated at the OECD ‘Conference on Innovating the Public Sector: From Ideas to Impact’, which takes place in Paris, France, on 12 and 13 November.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

      The US National Science Foundation, Cisco, Verisign, Panasonic and boffins from around the world have thrown their weight behind a new “Named Data Networking Consortium” that aims to develop “a practically deployable set of protocols replacing TCP/IP that increases network trustworthiness and security, addresses the growing bandwidth requirements of modern content, and simplifies the creation of sophisticated distributed applications.”

    • Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor
    • Comcast Declares War on Tor?

      If you needed another reason to hate Comcast, the most hated company in America, they’ve just given it to you: they’ve declared war on Tor Browser.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

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