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08.03.14

Links 3/8/2014: Wine 1.7.23 Out, New Linux Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Experts to expose flaws in cyber security devices

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      Internet-connected cameras, USB sticks and even a web browser promising anonymity have serious security flaws, according to researchers preparing to lay bare the dangers of online life at conferences in Las Vegas this week

      Cyber security researchers from across the world will gather for the Black Hat and Def Con conferences, aiming to expose vulnerabilities in devices and software that people trust in order to fix the problems and try to make companies more careful when designing technology.

    • Hackers show the dangers of USB Thumb Drives. But this may be nothing new
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israel withdraws most troops from Gaza as it seeks to wind down monthlong war

      Israel withdrew most of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip on Sunday in an apparent winding down of the nearly monthlong operation against Hamas that has left more than 1,800 Palestinians and 60 Israelis dead.

    • Gaza is not as I expected. Amid the terror, there is hope

      The world is not so blessed that it can afford to waste the lives of the 1.8 million Palestinians who live there

    • Sainsbury’s forced to close stores after pro-Palestine demonstrations

      SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s were forced to close several stores after pro-Palestine demonstrations were held in response to the retailer stocking Israeli goods.

    • Terra Incognita: Hypocrisy of the first order

      Why do people who self-identify as “Jewish Americans” not subject the “American” part of that identity to the same high standards?

    • Report: Israel tapped John Kerry’s phone when he was brokering peace talks

      Several sources in the intelligence community confirm to ‘Der Spiegel’ that Israel listened to US Secretary of State’s unencrypted calls.

    • Ed Miliband accuses David Cameron of ‘inexplicable silence’ in row over Gaza

      “Sustainable security for Israel cannot be achieved simply by permanent blockade, aeriel bombardment and periodic ground incursion. Instead, it requires acknowledging the legitimate claims of Palestinians to statehood, and sustained efforts to secure a viable Palestine alongside a secure Israel.

    • Gaza crisis: Ed Miliband demands David Cameron ‘stands up to Israel’ after air strike on school
    • How Gaza became one big suicide bomb

      Gaza is a suicide bomb. It is rigged by its leaders to explode.

      This is not a metaphor. It is a war crime. It makes the calculus of proportionality in the use of armed force by the Israeli Defence Forces complex and uncertain.

      The Hamas use of suicide bombings is well-developed. A decade ago, it involved the leadership preparing vulnerable Arab individuals to end their lives by blowing up Jews in Israeli cities. The use of Hamas towns and local populations in their entirety as huge suicide bombs to kill Israeli soldiers drawn into them by repeated Hamas provocations is an innovation.

    • MAPPING DEATH (IGNORE THE STUFF ABOUT THE TUNNELS; PURE NONSENSE)
    • You learn a lot very quickly in Gaza…

      Remember one other fact: about half of Gaza’s people are under the age of 18. No one fights in Gaza without maiming, killing, displacing or traumatising legions of children. This not a campaign waged in empty desert, mountain or plain – forget Iraq or Afghanistan – but a battle fought in narrow alleyways crowded with infants and families.

    • Israeli air strike hits UN school in Gaza

      An Israeli air strike has killed at least 10 people and wounded about 30 others in a UN-run school in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses and medics said, as dozens died in renewed Israeli shelling of the enclave.

      The Israeli military declined immediate comment on the attack, the second to hit a UN school in less than a week.

    • Israel-Gaza conflict: At least 100 dead in 24 hours in Rafah

      The death toll in Rafah has risen to more than 100 in 24 hours since the Israeli military unleashed its fury on the town after announcing that one of its soldiers, Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, had been captured and two others killed in an ambush in which a suicide bomber was used. Last night, Israel’s military declared that the missing 23-year-old had been killed in battle on Friday.

    • British drones kill hundreds of Taliban fighters in secret SAS attacks in Afghanistan

      British drones have killed ­hundreds of Taliban fighters in secret SAS attacks, reveals the Sunday People.

    • British drones kill hundreds of militants

      Since 2008 RAF Reapers have been armed with smart weapons like Hellfire anti-tank missiles and 500lb bombs. They can fly unseen and unheard for 18 hours a day at altitudes of 30,000ft, transmitting real-time video of suspects to their controllers.

    • Secrets kill

      Why Pakistan must declassify wars in order to stop them

      It was 2004 when a bird like object turned into a missile mid-air and killed Nek Muhammad, who was a tribesman leading a tribal revolution with allies in the government and the Taliban. The drone strike was one of the first where CIA had agreed to kill him and Pakistan government allowed them to enter the air space of Pakistan to hunt down the American enemies on the soil.

    • On Roboethics and the Robotic Human

      Let me begin with whether robots can kill, since whether we should or should not kill another person is ultimately a moral question. Unmanned and remotely operated Predator drones (Telerobots as they are sometimes referred to) have, in the last five years, killed more than 2,400 people. However, since Predator drones are robots programmed and remotely controlled by human soldiers, it would be more accurate to say they are the proximate not the ultimate cause of death. Given this, moral accountability and the bestowal of praise or blame continues to remain with the human soldier-pilot. Recently, however, the UN hosted a debate between two robotics experts on the efficacy and necessity of “killer robots.” In a report on the debate, the BBC described the latter as “fully autonomous weapons that can select and engage targets without any human intervention.” Although such robots do not presently exist the authors assure us that “advances in technology are bringing them closer to reality.”

    • After US, British involvement in arming Israel revealed

      The documents, which were obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that the weapons used by Israel against Gaza contain British-made components.

    • [Scotland] Yes vote will distance us from bloody foreign policy
    • UK involvement in arming Israel revealed
    • Britain to review arms sales to Israel after criticism of Gaza war

      British government’s Business Innovation and Skills Department (BIS) to review all UK export licenses for arms sales to the Jewish state.

    • Israel gets boost from US, UK

      US Congress okays $225m fresh aid to strengthen Israel’s anti-missile defence system

    • Israeli Soldier With UK Links ‘May Have Been Killed’ In Gaza, Hamas Say, As Britain’s ‘Role’ In Arming Israel Is Revealed

      Hamas have said an Israeli soldier with links to the UK may have been killed in a strike on his captors by the Israeli military, Hamas has said.

    • US aid, Pakistani anger

      The US Mission in Pakistan started requiring the display of US flags along with its logo so that illiterate Pakistanis became aware of the origin of assistance

    • Alleged terrorist worked for airlines

      Jones, 30, and Australian Christopher Havard were killed in a US drone strike in Yemen in November. They were not the primary targets of the attack, but were described as “collateral damage”. Australian media have quoted anonymous intelligence officials as saying Jones, also known as Muslim bin John and Abu Suhaib al-Australi, and Havard were “foot soldiers” for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

    • US drone strike kills three people in Afghanistan

      Another US-led assassination drone strike in Afghanistan’s eastern Khost Province has reportedly left at least three people dead.

    • Op-Ed: Libya’s new parliament holds crisis meeting in Tobruk

      Libya’s new parliament elected earlier this year held an emergency meeting to discuss Libya’s deteriorating security situation in the eastern city of Tobruk. Handover of power to the new parliament was scheduled to happen August 4 in Benghazi.

    • Throw the Book at Him

      W.’s fear of being unmanned led to America actually being unmanned. We’re in a crouch now. His rebellion against and competition with Bush senior led directly to President Obama struggling at a news conference Friday on the subject of torture. After 9/11, Obama noted, people were afraid. “We tortured some folks,” he said. “We did some things that were contrary to our values.”

      And yet the president stood by his C.I.A. director, John Brennan, a cheerleader for torture during the Bush years, who continues to do things that are contrary to our values.

      Obama defended the C.I.A. director even though Brennan blatantly lied to the Senate when he denied that the C.I.A. had hacked into Senate Intelligence Committee computers while staffers were on agency property investigating torture in the W. era. And now the administration, protecting a favorite of the president, is heavily censoring the torture report under the pretense of national security.

      The Bushes did not want to be put on the couch, but the thin-skinned Obama jumped on the couch at his news conference, defensively whining about Republicans, Putin, Israel and Hamas and explaining academically and anemically how he’s trying to do the right thing but it’s all beyond his control.

      Class is over, professor. Send in the president.

    • Police files reveal ‘endemic corruption’ at the Met

      Scotland Yard holds an astonishing 260 crates of documents on police corruption in one corner of London alone – and very few of the rogue detectives have ever been successfully prosecuted.

      A review led by one of Britain’s most senior police officers has unearthed a mammoth amount of intelligence spawned by Operation Tiberius, a secret police report written in 2002 that concluded there was “endemic corruption” inside the Metropolitan Police.

      The file found organised crime networks in north-east London were able to infiltrate the Met “at will” to frustrate the criminal justice system.

      The huge number of crates, revealed in a letter by Craig Mackey, the Met’s deputy commissioner, indicates the scale of criminality inside Scotland Yard’s north-east London units, which appears to have gone almost unchallenged since Tiberius was compiled 12 years ago.

      Research suggests that only a tiny number of the scores of then-serving and former police officers named as corrupt by Tiberius have been convicted.

    • July 2014 Update: US covert actions in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia

      At least 32 people died in three CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, making this the bloodiest month since July 2012.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Slow and steady: Hungary’s media clampdown

      “Soft censorship,” including actions such as quiet dismissals, punitive tax laws, denied radio frequencies and abuse of privacy legislation, is arguably the most worrisome type. It creeps and grows in small increments and therefore often goes unnoticed until it has become institutionalized, at which point it is difficult to reverse. Over the past four years, Hungary has seen dozens of small, and not so small, encroachments on the right to free expression. Taken en masse, certain developments in Hungary indicate a clear trajectory towards authoritarian regulation of the media, and the situation is becoming increasingly dire.

    • Book censorship prompts freedom of expression fears for Indian publishers

      Dinanath Batra, dubbed “the book police” and “the Ban Man” by local media, is a self-appointed censor with wide influence. When he sends a legal notice to publishing houses informing them that their authors have injured Hindus’ feelings, they listen. Fearing long court battles and violent protests by Hindu activists, they have withdrawn and pulped titles or asked authors to rewrite.

    • Why Canadian media embraced censorship during WWI: Ira Basen

      “The first casualty when war comes,” U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson reportedly declared in 1918, “is truth.”

      Johnson was an isolationist who opposed U.S. entry into the First World War, and his concern over the fate of truth in that conflict was justified.

    • Censorship and Myth-Making About Hiroshima and the Bomb

      The US atomic destruction of 140,000 people at Hiroshima and 70,000 at Nagasaki was never “necessary” because Japan was already smashed, no land invasion was needed and Japan was suing for peace. The official myth that “the bombs saved lives” by hurrying Japan’s surrender can no longer be believed except by those who love to be fooled. The long-standing fiction has been destroyed by the historical record kept in US, Soviet, Japanese and British archives — now mostly declassified — and detailed by Ward Wilson in his book “Five Myths about Nuclear Weapons” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).

    • Mahathir calls for Internet censorship

      Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad has called for the Internet to be censored to preserve “public morality”, in what the opposition suggested on Saturday was an attempt to silence government critics.

    • Dr Mahathir calls for Internet censorship
    • Censoring the Internet
    • Times Foreign Editor Responds on Israeli Censorship

      Still, the very idea of censorship or gag orders by a foreign government is a disturbing one, not only for journalists but for all who value the free flow of information. It’s heartening to hear that The Times has not submitted any articles for review, and I hope that that will remain the case as this situation develops.

    • Israel Censor Wants To Pre-Approve New York Times Coverage Of Soldier

      The Israeli military told The New York Times on Friday to withhold publishing additional information about an Israeli soldier reportedly captured by Palestinian militants until it is first reviewed by a censor.

    • Censorship in Your Doctor’s Office

      WHEN a doctor asks her patient a question, is the doctor engaged in free speech protected by the Constitution? If you think the answer is obvious, think again. According to a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, everything a doctor says to a patient is “treatment,” not speech, and the government has broad authority to prohibit doctors from asking questions on particular topics without any First Amendment scrutiny at all.

  • Privacy

    • Surveillance paradise: How one man spied on NSA in Bahamas (VIDEO)

      Following reports the Bahamas are under total NSA surveillance, Nimrod Kamer went to the Caribbean state to investigate for RT how its people cope without any privacy and why local authorities refuse to lift a finger to restore it.

    • Privacy as a premium: Why it’s time to say goodbye to the free internet

      The concept of privacy changed once it went online. What was once a sacred tomb of personal information has been twisted and altered by the digital age, like so many analog and now antiquated concepts before it.

    • Foundation supporting Snowden asks Russian goverment to extend his asylum

      The Courage Foundation dedicated to supporting former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIS) employee and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has forwarded a letter to the Russian embassy to the U.S. to extend his asylum in Russia.

    • Dear America, Would You Please Give Edward Snowden His Medal Of Freedom Already?

      What happened? You guessed it: everyone’s favorite hero/villain/demon/saint, Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia exactly one year ago. This week, the tech industry threw its weight behind a bill that proposes “sweeping curbs on NSA surveillance” and “would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since Congress passed the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago.” And it could actually pass — again, thanks to Snowden.

    • Glenn Greenwald says Germany’s NSA investigation is an illusion to keep US happy

      Glenn Greenwald has refused to go to Germany as a witness for their investigation into NSA spying. He has released a full statement where he says that Germany is conducting an illusion of investigation to keep the German public satisfied.

    • The death of privacy

      Google knows what you’re looking for. Facebook knows what you like. Sharing is the norm, and secrecy is out. But what is the psychological and cultural fallout from the end of privacy?

    • Students at Oxford will learn to spy from the NSA’s best friends

      Students in the UK can now get graduate degrees in cyber-spying approved by the masters of the craft at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters, the British counterpart of the US National Security Agency. Students at the University of Oxford and five other universities can get masters in cyber-security signed off by the best eavesdroppers in the country, the BBC reported.

    • Computers still vulnerable to hackers of start-up codes

      And in December, Der Spiegel reported that a leaked internal NSA catalogue described a tool called DeityBounce that attacked the BIOS of Dell Inc servers.

    • Eye of the spy, there is no escape

      Google has rolled out the beta version of an anonymising proxy service, called uProxy. But Google is allegedly a partner to the NSA in PRISM project. There are other anonymiser browsers like Tor.

      But then while the NSA is trying to take it down, U.S. agencies are funding it.

      Germany and Brazil want a U.N. Resolution for internet privacy. European and Latin American countries are thinking of joining the effort.

      Russia and Germany have switched to typewriters to type out important documents, to avoid electronic snooping.

    • Letters: Bill targets surveillance of Americans

      On Aug. 6 bill SB-828 (4th Amendment Protection Act) will move to keep California from co-opting with the National Security Agency and its massive surveillance programs, many of which will end up in California if this bill is not passed.

    • Twitter insists government precision over user data requests

      In the first half of this year, Twitter’s seen a 46% increase in user data requests from 2013: the majority of these have come from the US (1,257), followed by Japan (192) and Saudi Arabia (189). Due to the large increase in user data requests, Twitter’s talking to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in an effort to have more transparency about what user data the Federal Government wants when it makes requests about Twitter users.

    • Free VPN to surf anonymously and protect your privacy

      Digital security is more important than it’s ever been. Hacks and other digital attacks are on the rise, and to no one’s surprise the NSA is snooping as much as ever.

    • Time India woke up to US surveillance

      AT&T has partnered the NSA since 1985. US court records in the class action suit Hepting Vs. NSA are revealing. (Details at https://www.eff.org/cases/hepting). Page 102 of a “top secret” slide presentation of the NSA shows AT&T as one of the “80 major global corporations” supporting its missions. Page 103 shows the NSA has a ‘Special Source Operation’ which has a list of three major corporates giving it access to various kinds of telecommunication facilities.

    • Google alerts police to man with child abuse images in his emails

      So where does this leave the average user? Does one give up certain privacies for the greater good, or is what someone does online entirely their own business, even if it’s illegal? Only time will tell, but hopefully if Google is watching they’ll continue to help put men like Skillern away.

    • New revelations about Cuban spy Ana Montes

      She “unhesitatingly agreed” to work with them and travel clandestinely to Cuba as soon as possible. The following March, she went there via Spain and Czechoslovakia. The Pentagon report does not state the obvious: while there, she must have received specialized training in intelligence tradecraft.

    • Breach of privilege

      The Sarkozy case raises important questions about the issue of technology and lawyer-client confidentiality.

    • 20140803-torbrowser-launcher
    • What happens during Facebook outage? People dial 911 and turn to Twitter

      While some of us are comfortable with the fact that we can eat breakfast without having to tell our 429 Facebook friends about it, a few users apparently think it is an emergency if Facebook goes down for 30 minutes and prevents them from sharing pictures of the soggy cereal and milk they had for breakfast.

      That is what happened on Friday when Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram experienced a brief outage affecting millions of users around the world and prompting them to take to Twitter to complain. One user, Sgt. Burton Brink of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, posted the following tweet.

    • John Kerry Just Visited. But Should We Just Forget About India?

      Here’s how bad things are between Washington and New Delhi these days: It’s news that Kerry even made the trip. Why this reluctant partnership might be best left to wither.

    • Senate bill on spying strikes a balance

      A pan-ideological group of senators this week unveiled the most high-profile bill yet for reforming the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. The proposal does not go far enough for many civil liberties advocates. But that’s fine: The bill represents a careful, politically achievable balance, advancing several worthwhile reforms without seeking to dismantle the nation’s intelligence capabilities. Just as important, it would insist on the public release of much more information about U.S. intelligence collection, and it would provide a clear timeline for renewed debate on a range of NSA and FBI activities so the country would be able to take another crack at the issue if the bill’s balance proves unsatisfactory.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Quantifying Comcast’s Monopoly Power

      Comcast is a monopoly. The question is, how much of a monopoly is Comcast, and how much of a monopoly will it be after it absorbs Time-Warner Cable (TWC)?

      To help quantify market influence, economists use the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index (HHI), a metric that is calculated by adding the squares of the market shares of every firm in an industry. HHI produces a number between 0 (for a perfectly competitive industry) and 10,000 (for an industry with just one firm).

    • What is net neutrality?

08.02.14

Links 3/8/2014: Ubuntu 14.10 Alpha 2, XBMC Becomes ‘Kodi’

Posted in News Roundup at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mitro makes password manager open source as team heads to Twitter

    The team at Mitro Labs, the developer of a password manager, is joining Twitter, and its software is being released under a free and open source license, Mitro said Thursday.

  • Mitro Releases a New Free & Open Source Password Manager

    Today, Twitter acquired a password manager startup called Mitro. As part of the deal, Mitro will be releasing the source to its client and server code under the GPL.

  • GSA CIO calls for open source to be considered first

    Open source and open data solutions now should receive top consideration at the General Services Administration.

    Sonny Hashmi, the GSA chief information officer, said Thursday during an online chat with Federal News Radio that he recently signed out a memo requiring agency software developers to look at open source before they consider traditional commercial solutions.

  • SDN blogs: Open source SDN; SDN adoption pace remains high

    This week, SDN bloggers took a look at how open source SDN continues to take shape among vendors, how SDN adoption rates are higher than initially predicted, and all you need to know about OpenFlow.

  • New day dawns for open source

    One of the major driving forces behind the plethora of technological innovations in the cloud computing arena is the concept of open source software. With nearly one million open source projects related to the cloud believed to be in progress, new technologies such software as a service are on the rise.

    Companies are contributing more in terms of time, money and support for user-led open source initiatives, with big business benefits such as operational cost reductions, application flexibility and boosts to competitive advantage being on offer.

    Vendor-led development initiatives are gaining ground too, buoyed by massive collaboration projects on a global scale. The increasing ‘democratisation’ of the open source world is a major contributor to its burgeoning success.

  • Open source IT is the way forward

    A PRESENTATION by the European nuclear research organisation CERN at the recent open source convention (OSCON) has provided a glimpse at where IT organisations are going to have to go in order to remain competitive. They will need to leave old legacy proprietary approaches behind and adopt open source.

    CERN collects huge volumes of data every day from thousands of detectors at its nuclear collider ring located under the border between France and Switzerland near Geneva. It organises and archives all of this data and distributes much of it to research scientists located throughout the world over high-speed internet links. It presently maintains 100 Petabytes of legacy data under management, and collects another 35 Petabytes every year that it remains in operation. One Petabyte comprises one million Gigabytes.

  • Bitnami Changes the Face of Application Deployment

    Brescia said that Bitnami’s goal is to make it as easy to deploy an application on a server as it is to install an application on an endpoint computer. Bitnami has more than 90 different open-source applications and development environments in its software library that can be deployed with one-click installer packages on desktop, virtual machine and cloud deployments.

  • Belkin’s WRT54G Router Successor Is Crap On The Software Front So Far

    Belkin revived the Linksys WRT54G in a new 802.11ac model earlier this year and one of its selling points has been the OpenWRT support as what made the WRT54G legendary. However, OpenWRT developers and fans are yet to be satisfied by this new router.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Want Firefox without Australis? Try Pale Moon

        If the release of Firefox’s Australis interface got you down, there are Firefox-based alternatives out there with a more traditional Mozilla UI. One such alternative is Pale Moon and here’s how you get it.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Contributing back as an OpenStack operator

      Paying talented developers to write high quality code isn’t cheap; why on Earth would you then turn around and give that code to your competitors? Turns out, there’s probably a competitive advantage in doing so.

    • ownCloud 7 Arrives with New Features and Improvements

      ownCloud Inc, the popular open source enterprise file sync and share project, has launched the latest ownCloud 7.

    • Cash and Development Resources are Heading Fast for Hadoop

      June and July brought lots of big news surrounding enterprise analytic data management powered by the open source Hadoop platform. Cloudera, focused on supporting enterprise Hadoop, announced in June that it raised a staggering $900 million round of financing with participation by top tier institutional and strategic investors. It also firmed up a partnership with Dell and Intel to launch a dedicated Dell In-Memory Appliance for Cloudera Enterprise that facilitates Hadoop-driven analytics.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • TechCrunch Open Sources Its WordPress Async Task Library

      Back in early 2012, when the TechCrunch developer team (Nicolas Vincent, Alex Khadiwala, Eric Mann, and John Bloch) started working on the TechCrunch redesign, one of the main goals was to improve site performance. During the development process, we implemented several tools to help achieve that goal.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF at CommonBound conference on economic equality

      The FSF is happy to building bridges to new communities, and exploring the role of free software in social justice and economic change.

    • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 18 new GNU releases!

      A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you’d like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at https://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to the GNU operating system, see https://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

    • Recap of Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 1

      Join the FSF and friends every Friday to help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open-Source Space

      As I write this, NASA has just passed another milestone in releasing its work to the Open Source community. A press release came out announcing the release on April 10, 2014, of a new catalog of NASA software that is available as open source. This new catalog includes both older software that was previously available, along with new software being released for the first time. The kinds of items available include project management systems, design tools, data handling and image processing. In this article, I take a quick look at some of the cool code available.

      The main Web site is at http://technology.nasa.gov. This main page is a central portal for accessing all of the technology available to be transferred to the public. This includes patents, as well as software.

    • CQC sticks with open source for data capture needs

      The commission’s consideration of open source options for content management was based on Cabinet Office requirements for public sector organisations to look at potential alternatives to proprietary systems dating back to 2010.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • What’s that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you’re joking, Facebook

      A group of Facebook developers has decided to break with 20 years of tradition and release a formal specification for the PHP programming language.

    • Group Test: Linux Text Editors

      If you’ve been using Linux long, you know that whether you want to edit an app’s configuration file, hack together a shell script, or write/review bits of code, the likes of LibreOffice just won’t cut it. Although the words mean almost the same thing, you don’t need a word processor for these tasks; you need a text editor.

      In this group test we’ll be looking at five humble text editors that are more than capable of heavy-lifting texting duties. They can highlight syntax and auto-indent code just as effortlessly as they can spellcheck documents. You can use them to record macros and manage code snippets just as easily as you can copy/paste plain text.

    • August 2014 Issue of Linux Journal: Programming

      Programming always has been that “thing” people did that I never understood. You’ve heard me lament about my lack of programming skills through the years, and honestly, I never thought I’d need to learn. Then along came the DevOps mentality, and I started introducing programmatic ways of managing my system administration world. And you know what? Programming is pretty awesome.

    • Text Editors, Note Takers, and Program Languages

      Today in Linux news, Jack Germain has a look at the perfect note taker. The Linux Voice has a comparison of text editors for programmers and the Linux Journal introduces their current issue on program languages. In other news, XBMC becomes Kodi and Linux.com has 10 reasons to take the Linux Foundation’s Introduction to Linux edX course.

Leftovers

07.31.14

Links 31/7/2014: Zorin OS Educational 9, Android Nearing 90% Share

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Looking for a technology job? Learn as much as you can about open source

    The Friday afternoon I received an offer for an internship at Red Hat was hands down one of the most important days of my career. Every time people asked me where I was working and I saw their reactions when I told them, I knew I was in a fortunate position.

    Just look at all the headlines surrounding open source today: Facebook is opening its hardware, Tesla is opening its patents, even Apple has a page on its website dedicated to the open source projects it implements and contributes to.

  • Google release source code for the 2014 I/O app as a learning tool

    Google have today released the source code for their I/O app as a means of providing a glimpse into what Google expect from their open-source developers.

  • Open Source provides compelling benefits to business

    Executives have traditionally viewed proprietary systems as safer, lower-risk options. However in recent times increased scrutiny of capital expenditure has forced corporations to consider alternative technologies in an effort to extract maximum value from their IT budgets.

  • NICTA unveils seL4 open source operating system
  • Secure Microkernel seL4 Code Goes Open-Source

    General Dynamics C4 Systems and Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre (NICTA) today open sourced the code-base of a secure microkernel project known as seL4. Touted as “the most trustworthy general purpose microkernel in the world,” seL4 has previously been adapted by organizations like DARPA as high-assurance systems used onboard military unmanned aerial vehicles and for similar defense and commercial uses.

  • Fresh attacks on open source miss the mark

    Critics are laying siege to open source, but their arguments both mistake what open source is and how companies benefit from it

  • Futures Lab Update #69: Open Source Commenting System; the Verification Handbook

    This week we learn about a collaboration to build an open-source commenting and discussion platform for news organizations, and we explore how the Verification Handbook can help inform the use of citizen-generated materials.

  • Apache Spark Gets Billed as the Next Big Data Thing

    People in the Big Data and Hadoop communities are becoming increasingly interested in Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley. According to Apache, Spark can run programs up to 100 times faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, and ten times faster on disk. When crunching large data sets, those are big performance differences.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor on a $25 smartphone

        Mobile privacy concerns are at a fever pitch right now with all the NSA spying, tracking by advertisers and other privacy violations happening on the Internet. I came across an interesting video that demos a new mobile operating system called OrFoxOS. OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor to help protect your privacy.

      • My Life with Firefox OS

        It is not the best smartphone in the market, I know. In fact, I read lots of reviews before buying this phone. The most interesting point was that it was labeled a “developer” device, not an end-user phone. Even with its many “flaws,” I made up my mind and bought this smart thingie because it has everything I want on a cellphone: Firefox OS ;-)

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Coding all summer long in OpenStack

      The end of Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is near, so I wanted to share with you how things worked out for me as an intern with OpenStack. Precisely, I wanted to let you know my perception about what it takes to participate in GSoC,

      the blockers you may encounter and how to overcome them, what to expect after the internship, and a brief description of what I have been doing during my internship.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

      Every so often, people who don’t really understand the importance of anonymity or how it enables free speech (especially among marginalized people), think they have a brilliant idea: “just end real anonymity online.” They don’t seem to understand just how shortsighted such an idea is. It’s one that stems from the privilege of being in power. And who knows that particular privilege better than members of the House of Lords in the UK — a group that is more or less defined by excess privilege? The Communications Committee of the House of Lords has now issued a report concerning “social media and criminal offenses” in which they basically recommend scrapping anonymity online. It’s not a true “real names” proposal — as the idea is that web services would be required to collect real names at signup, but then could allow those users to do things pseudonymously or anonymously. But, still, their actions could then easily be traced back to a real person if the “powers that be” deemed it necessary.

    • Govt.nz, built on open source code, goes live

      A new website making it easier for government in New Zealand to deliver information and services was designed and developed in-house by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), using the Common Web Platform. The templates are written in PHP, which DIA runs on the Silverstripe CMS.

      Govt.nz is based on the open source code available through Gov.UK. Its design and content was tested with users on a publicly available beta site, and content fact checking was undertaken in collaboration with more than 40 government agencies.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GDB 7.8 Betters Python Scripting, Adds Guile Support

      Version 7.8 of the GNU Debugger is now available with a variety of enhancements.

      GDB 7.8 notably brings Guile scripting support, improvements to Python scripting, a variety of new options, PowerPC64 litt-endian target configuration, BTrace enhancements, ISO C99 variable length automatic arrays support, and a variety of other new features.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Company Offering Open-Source Biological Reagents Hopes To Recapitulate Free Software’s Success

      I have synthesized, manufactured, tested, and fully validated a collection of open source plasmids [small circular DNA strands] coding for some of the very basic building blocks of biotechnology. I do charge an initial purchase price to pay for storage, ongoing quality control, and the provision of a reliable source of these molecules. But there is no proprietary barrier of any type on their use. You may grow them on your own, modify them, give them to others, sell them, sell products derived from them, and do whatever you (legally) want to do with them.

      What’s fascinating here is to see the application of the business model commonly found in the world of open-source software — whereby the code is freely available, and customers effectively pay for a service that provides quality control — in the world of DNA. Given the easy profits that will be put at risk by this new offering, we can probably expect the same kind of scaremongering and lobbying from the incumbents that free software experienced when it became clear that it posed a serious threat to the traditional, high-margin world of closed-source code.

    • Open Source iPipet System Created as an Alternative to Costly Liquid-Handling Robots

      A team of Whitehead Institute researchers is bringing new levels of efficiency and accuracy to one of the most essential albeit tedious tasks of bench science: pipetting. And, in an effort to aid the scientific community at large, the group has established an open source system that enables anyone to benefit from this development free of charge.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

Leftovers

07.30.14

Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

Posted in News Roundup at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • From Clouds to Cars to Kitchens, Linux Making an Impact Everywhere

    There’s no operating system more ubiquitous than Linux. It’s everywhere. It’s even running in devices and computers you may not suspect—our cars, our cell phones, even our refrigerators. Linux supports businesses and organizations everywhere, and because it underpins open-source innovation, it is the platform of choice for new applications. Companies such as IBM and their work with organizations like the OpenPOWER Foundation are creating such new innovations as Big Blue’s new scale-out servers running Linux and putting them in places all around us. In fact, eWEEK recently ran a slide show depicting how prevalent the operating system is in the supercomputing space. Linux has quickly become the operating system of choice in the high performance computing (HPC) market, growing from relative obscurity 15 years ago to powering 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world. But its appeal is found in more than cost or choice. This list, compiled with assistance from IBM, provides some examples of where Linux is making an impact.

  • ARM’s first 64-bit servers: Just what can you expect to run on them?

    That’s what is being worked on by Linaro, an engineering group supported by a range of ARM-based chip designers, server OEMs and Linux operating system custodians, all of which share an interest in broadening the range of open-source software for the ARM platform.

    By the time the first 64-bit ARM-based SoCs become generally available for use in production servers later this year, Linaro is confident that certain core enterprise software packages used for serving websites, data analytics and databases will be running acceptably on the 64-bit ARM-based architecture.

    These enterprise software packages include the LAMP stack – an acronym for software widely used for websites, commonly referring to a Linux OS, Apache web server, MySQL database and PHP scripts – as well as the NoSQL database MongoDB and the distributed storage and processing framework Hadoop, together with other web-serving technologies such as memcached and HAProxy.

  • Why Use Linux for Device Drivers?

    The fun factor continues to draw developers to Linux. This open-source system continues to succeed in the market and in the hearts and minds of developers. The success of Linux is clearly a testament to its technical quality and to the numerous benefits of free software in general. But for many, the true key to its success lies in the fact that it has brought the fun back to computing.

    One of the authors of the book Linux Device Drivers is quite clear about the fun aspects of playing with Linux. In the introduction to the book, Jonathan Corbet noted that, “The true key to the Linux success lies in the fact that it has brought the fun back to computing.” Corbet insists that Linux is a system where technical excellence is king. “With Linux, anybody can get their hands into the system and play in a sandbox where contributions from any direction are welcome, but where technical excellence is valued above all else.”

  • UK Surveillance Bill: giving up privacy for security but with no guarantee of security

    By now, people are aware of at least some the spying being conducted by the NSA and the GCHQ. The two programs working together form the largest data collection project in human history.

  • Desktop

    • Reglue: Opening Up the World to Deserving Kids, One Linux Computer at a Time

      They say you never forget your first computer. For some of us, it was a Commodore 64 or an Apple IIe. For others, it was a Pentium 233 running Windows 95. Regardless of the hardware, the fond memories of wonder and excitement are universal. For me, I’ll never forget the night my father brought home our first computer, a Tandy 1000. Nor will I forget the curious excitement I felt toward the mysterious beige box that took up a large portion of the guest bedroom. This happened at a time when simply having a computer at home gave a school-age child an advantage. I have no doubt my experiences from that time positively influenced my path in life.

      In the decades that have passed since the beginning of the personal computer revolution, computers have gone from being a rare and expensive luxury to a mandatory educational tool. Today, a child without access to a computer (and the Internet) at home is at a disadvantage before he or she ever sets foot in a classroom. The unfortunate reality is that in an age where computer skills are no longer optional, far too many families don’t possess the resources to have a computer at home.

  • Server

    • CoreOS Stabilizes Cloud Container Linux Operating System

      The open-source CoreOS Linux operating system hit a major milestone on July 25, issuing its first stable release. CoreOS is an Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup that offers the promise of a highly available operating system platform that is fully integrated with the Docker container virtualization technology.

    • Linux Top 3: CoreOS Goes Stable, Oracle Clones RHEL 7 and Tails Updates
    • Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready

      The developers behind the stripped-down CoreOS Linux distribution have pushed version 367.1.0 to the Stable release channel, marking the first time the project has delivered a production-ready release.

    • Bright Computing raises $14.5M to expand services for Linux cluster management

      Bright Computing, which helps companies manage Linux clusters, has picked up $14.5 million in Series B funding.

      The funding is an indication of how much demand there is, in modern corporate computing environments, for clusters of servers that can grow to include hundreds or even thousands of nodes. That’s because of the increased popularity of Hadoop and other clustered storage technologies, which help companies store enormous quantities of often unstructured data on cheap commodity servers, rather than the more-expensive storage area networks and dedicated storage hardware that an earlier generation of data center architects preferred.

    • Radio Free HPC Looks at the Need for Better Resource Management in Linux

      In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC teams looks at Henry Newman’s recent straw proposal for better resource management for Linux in HPC.

    • Who’s using Docker?

      I’ve spent the last couple of months working an internship for The Linux Foundation, doing research on new developments and adoption trends in the open source industry. If you have spent any amount of time reading about open source over the last year, you have probably heard about Docker; a lot of people are talking about it these days and the impact it’s going to have on virtualization and DevOps.

      With new technologies like this, it can often be challenging to filter out the hype and understand the practical implications. Additionally, complex jargon often makes subjects like Linux containers confusing to the layman and limits discussion to those who are deeply knowledgeable on the subject. With this article, I will step back for a moment from the discussion of what Docker can do to focus on how it is changing the Linux landscape.

  • SUSE/Microsoft

  • Kernel Space

    • The Shocking Truth About Torvalds’ Home Office

      “I am really incredibly surprised that my work space is very similar to Linus’ and also the working hours are almost identical,” said Google+ blogger Rodolfo Saenz. In Saenz’s setup, though, “the treadmill stands alone. I use it religiously every day, but I don’t like to mix work with exercise. I climb on the treadmill to clean my mind, listen to music and think about many things.”

    • Linux 3.16-rc7 released; final may be tagged next week
    • My First Unikernel

      Unikernels promise some interesting benefits. The Ubuntu 14.04 amd64-disk1.img cloud image is 243 MB unconfigured, while the unikernel ended up at just 5.2 MB (running the queue service). Ubuntu runs a large amount of C code in security-critical places, while the unikernel is almost entirely type-safe OCaml. And besides, trying new things is fun.

    • Introducing the OpenDaylight Ambassador Program

      Someone who is passionate about OpenDaylight and open SDN and recognized for their expertise and willingness to help others learn about the software. Usually hands-on practitioners. Someone who has the characteristics of being helpful, hopeful and humble. People like bloggers, influencers, evangelists who are already engaged with the project in some way. Contributing to forums, online groups, community, etc.

    • New Linux Foundation Members Leverage Global Linux Growth

      BearingPoint, Daynix, Linaro Limited and Systena Expand International Reach of Linux-Based Solutions

    • Graphics Stack

      • Hawaii Bug-Fixes Start Hitting Mainline RadeonSI Gallium3D

        For those excited about the recent working Radeon R9 290 “Hawaii” Gallium3D support, a number of bug-fixes were committed in recent hours to Mesa for bettering the support for those wishing to use this open-source AMD Linux driver for their ultra high-end graphics hardware.

      • Updated Source Engine Benchmarks On The Latest AMD/NVIDIA Linux Drivers

        Benchmarks of Valve’s Source Engine games (and other Steam titles for that matter) aren’t done in all Phoronix driver tests and graphics card articles for various reasons, among which is that there’s other more GPU-demanding OpenGL tests to utilize for modern hardware. However, for those curious about the performance of various AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards using the latest proprietary drivers, here’s some updated numbers.

      • NVIDIA Is Working Towards VDPAU H.265/HEVC Support

        NVIDIA is working on adding HEVC/H.265 video decoding support to VDPAU.

        NVIDIA developers are extending the “Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix” interfaces to allow the HEVC/H.265 requirements. The work aims to enable hardware-accelerated decoding of HEVC content under VDPAU and to provide a reference implementation for this video decoding. José Hiram Soltren, the developer that worked on this support, is also working on a HEVC decode patch for FFmpeg and MPlayer based upon the new API.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • An unusual comparison of Desktop Environments

      I created and published a series of videos few months ago, that show how to set up multiple keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.4 Going Into Feature Freeze Next Week With Exciting Changes

        The Qt 5.4 feature freeze is set to go into effect on 8 August with already there being a large number of changes for this next major Qt5 tool-kit release.

        Heikkinen Jani of Digia sent out a reminder this morning that the 5.4 feature freeze is effective beginning 8 August. The Qt 5.4 code will be branched from Qt’s “dev” branch on 11 August.

      • Tor Bounty, Plasma 5 ISOs, and Best Desktops

        Today in Linux news, the Kubuntu team have released ISOs with the Plasma 5 desktop for all to test. Russia has offered 3.9m roubles to anyone who can crack the Tor network. And Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a round-up of the best in Linux desktops.

      • KDE Applications and Platform 4.14 Beta 3 Is Out, Final Version Just a Month Away
      • KDE Software Compilation 4.13.3 available in the stable repositories
      • KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
      • meta-kf5 usable

        Finally I’ve had the time to work over the final issues in meta-kf5. Right now, I build most tier 1 and tier 2 components. I’ve packaged most functional modules and integration modules from these tiers.

      • Layout Guidelines: A quick example

        The guidelines suggest layout patterns for simple, complex and very complex command structures. So where does our calendar app fit? Well, I wasn’t quite sure either. And that’s ok! Some things are tough to know until you start delving into the design work. The guidelines suggest starting with a pattern for a simple command structure when you’re not sure. So that’s what I did. As I started putting together a design and thinking about how Sue would use it for the purposes described, it became clear that not only were there several other desirable functions (like switching calendars, setting up calendar accounts, setting calendar colors, and more) but there are also certain commands Sue might use quite often (like switching between a day, week and month view of her schedule, adding an event and quickly getting back to today after browsing forward or back in time). So I settled on the suggested Toolbar + Menu Button command pattern for a complex command structure.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A talk in 9 images

        My talk at GUADEC this year was about GTK+ dialogs. The first half of the talk consisted of a comparison of dialogs in GTK+ 2, in GTK+ 3 under gnome-shell and in GTK+ 3 under xfwm4 (as an example of an environment that does not favor client-side decorations).

      • Eye of GNOME 3.13.3 Features Improved GUI Test Handling

        According to the changelog, the deprecated GtkMisc and GtkAlignment usage has been dropped, the GUI test handling has been improved, the dialogs made with Glade have been converted to GResource and widget templates, disabling the dark theme plugin no longer disables the dark theme, and the plugin manager is now resizing in the preferences window.

      • GUADEC 2014, Day Three: GTK+ and Wayland

        The third day of GUADEC was mostly devoted to lower level parts of the GNOME stack. There were talks on GTK+, CSS, Wayland, and WebKitGTK+, but also an annual general meeting of the GNOME Foundation.

      • GUADEC 2014 Core Days Finish

        They say you never forget your first computer. For some of us, it was a Commodore 64 or an Apple IIe. For others, it was a Pentium 233 running Windows 95. Regardless of the hardware, the fond memories of wonder and excitement are universal. For me, I’ll never forget the night my father brought home our first computer, a Tandy 1000. Nor will I forget the curious excitement I felt toward the mysterious beige box that took up a large portion of the guest bedroom. This happened at a time when simply having a computer at home gave a school-age child an advantage. I have no doubt my experiences from that time positively influenced my path in life.

      • GNOME Stakeholders Take Issue With Groupon Over their Gnome

        Earlier this year the Groupon discount web-site introduced Gnome, a tablet software solution for helping business owners run their business. This software is completely unrelated to the open-source GNOME desktop environment on Linux systems. The Groupon Gnome announcement reads, “Today we announced Gnome, a new tablet-based platform that will provide sophisticated tools to local merchants to run their businesses more effectively and understand their customers better. The tablet will let merchants instantly recognize their Groupon customers as they enter their business, seamlessly redeem Groupons and save time and money with a simple point of-sale system and credit card payment processing service. Gnome will soon integrate with popular accounting software programs such as QuickBooks and Xero and offer a suite of customer relationship management tools, including the ability to customize marketing campaigns based on purchase history, share customer feedback via social media and respond to customer inquiries or comments.”

      • GNOME/GTK On Wayland Gains Focus At GUADEC

        GTK+ and GNOME Wayland support were frequent focal discussion points at this year’s GUADEC — GNOME’s annual conference — for getting rid of X11.

  • Distributions

    • Minimal Linux Live

      Minimal Linux Live is a set of Linux shell scripts which automatically build minimal Live Linux OS based on Linux kernel and BusyBox. All necessary source codes are automatically downloaded and all build operations are fully encapsulated in the scripts.

    • Minimal Linux Live
    • Adventures in live booting Linux distributions

      Building highly customized live images isn’t easy and running them in production makes it more challenging. Once the upstream kernel has a stable, solid, stackable filesystem, it should be much easier to operate a live environment for extended periods. There has been a parade of stackable filesystems over the years (remember funion-fs?) but I’ve been told that overlayfs seems to be a solid contender. I’ll keep an eye out for those kernel patches to land upstream but I’m not going to hold my breath quite yet.

    • 10 reasons to try Zorin OS 9, the Linux OS that looks like Windows

      Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. With a Windows-like interface and many programs similar to those found in Microsoft’s proprietary OS, it aims to make it easy for Windows users to get the most out of Linux.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Leaders are catalysts for shared purpose and results

        On every floor at Red Hat Tower in downtown Raleigh, you’ll find a brand message sign that describes Red Hat’s values and culture. On my floor, where I am an intern at Red Hat, the brand message is “Leaders are catalysts, turning shared purpose into shared results.” I see this sign multiple times everday. Coming into work. Going to meetings. Grabbing a coffee. It’s always there.

      • When Metrics Go Wrong

        In one open source project (on which I was a release manager), the main metric I cared about was the bugs open against a milestone. As time went on, and the number was not going down fast enough, we regularly would bump bugs to the next milestone, not because they were not important issues, but because we knew that they would not be fixed by the date we had set ourselves. Having participated in a number of projects, I have a pretty good idea that this is a universal tendency as release approaches.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 will feature “solarized” color schemes in both the Terminal and Gedit

          Recently, I have been using what will become Fedora 21 as my day-to-day machine, (side note: I have found it to be pretty stable for pre-release software). One really nice improvement that i am enjoying on Fedora 21 is the addition of the solarized color scheme in both the default terminal (gnome-terminal), and the default graphical text editior (gedit). Solarized comes in both light and dark variants, and really makes these applications look fantastic and works really well on a wide range of displays and screen brightness levels. From the solarized website:

    • Debian Family

      • The FFmpeg vs. Libav War Continues In Debian Land

        Long story short, due to security concerns, package incompatibility issues, and being too short of time before the Debian 8.0 Jessie release, and there’s some measurable resistance to adding FFmpeg back to the repository. However, others are after FFmpeg in Debian for features it has over Libav with regard to some codecs and other abilities, some programs not compiling against Libav, and other differences between it and the forked Libav project. Time will tell if/when FFmpeg will be allowed back in Debian and whether it will happen in time for the 8.0 Jessie releae.

      • Debian Squeeze Reaches Version 6.0.10

        This is the tenth major update and unfortunately the last one in the life of this branch of the Debian distribution. According to the official changelog this update corrects alot of security problems due to the old stable release and contains a few fixes for serious problems. It is very important to mention the fact that this major update of the Debian 6.x included all the security updates that have never been part of a point release.

        Read more

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

07.28.14

Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems

    By running an experiment among Germans collecting their passports or ID cards in the citizen centers of Berlin, we find that individuals with an East German family background cheat significantly more on an abstract task than those with a West German family background. The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task. While it was recently argued that markets decay morals (Falk and Szech, 2013), we provide evidence that other political and economic regimes such as socialism might have an even more detrimental effect on individuals’ behavior.

  • Men are happier with a smarter wife

    Dramatic shift in divorce patterns shows younger husbands are the first generation of men not to find more highly educated women ‘threatening’

    [...]

    …in previous generations marriages where the husband was better qualified

  • Small Data: Getting stuck on things or in things

    My favourite figure of last week came from the London Fire Brigade, writes Anthony Reuben.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Corporate Takeover of “All Natural” Food

      Walk through your local grocery store these days and you’ll see the words “all natural” emblazoned on a variety of food packages. The label is lucrative, for sure, but in discussing the natural label few have remarked on what’s really at stake — the natural ingredients and the companies themselves.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Zimbabwe Wikileaks probe on

      Investigations into the WikiLeaks saga, that saw government ministers and senior Zanu-PF officials quoted by United States diplomats speaking ill of President Robert Mugabe, are still on, Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana confirmed on Sunday.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Armed robbery in Gaza – Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine’s stolen gas

      Israel desperately covets Gaza’s gas as a ‘cheap stop-gap’ yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK’s BG and the US’s Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work – but first Hamas must be ‘uprooted’ from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia’s Gazprom.

    • Gaza: Israel’s $4 billion gas grab

      Never mind the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel’s escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory’s 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas – and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis.

  • Finance

    • Can Argentina escape the inflation trap?

      Taking into consideration Argentina’s historic precedents, it’s not a venture to say that soon this crisis will hit rock bottom, with a strong devaluation, a significant economic set-back, and a rise of unemployment and poverty levels. Then, as always, the economy will start to recover, and after some years of prosperity, the cycle will start again.

    • Why should anyone trust Paul Ryan’s poverty plan?

      Paul Ryan’s budgets can be summed up in a single sentence: Cut the deficit by cutting programs for the poor. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that fully two-thirds of Ryan’s cuts came from programs to the poor. Meanwhile, Ryan refused to raise even a dollar in taxes. Politics is about priorities, and Ryan’s priorities — lower deficits, no new taxes, steady defense spending, no near-term entitlement changes — meant programs for the poor got hammered.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wikipedia blocks Congress from editing

      An IP address from a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives has been temporarily blocked from making edits to Wikipedia articles after some of its changes were deemed disruptive.

    • How Big Tobacco Went To War With A Tiny Country

      The small South American nation of Uruguay might be forced to pay a heavy price for trying to curb smoking and avert a public health disaster. The country is currently embroiled in a high stakes legal battle with Phillips Morris, the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer. The industry giant, whose annual profits outsize Uruguay’s entire yearly GDP, is suing the government of Uruguay over a 2008 law that requires cigarette packs to be 80 percent covered by health warnings.

    • The Conservative War Over Impeachment

      Largely relegated to the fringe for years, the prospect of impeachment has been invigorated thanks to conservative media figures like Fox News contributors Sarah Palin and Allen West, who have spent recent weeks loudly demanding Obama’s removal from office. But not everyone in conservative media is on board, with several prominent figures arguing that impeachment is ill-fated, politically toxic, and could severely damage Republicans’ chances in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections.

  • Censorship

    • Media freedom remains under threat in Hungary

      A free and plural media is the foundation of a free society, and a safeguard of democratic tradition. The new “advertising tax” in Hungary shows it is still very much under threat.

    • The New York Times editorial: Censorship back in India “with vengeance”, reminiscent of Emergency days

      In a move without precedence, one of world’s most influential dailies, the New York Times, has editorially declared that “press censorship” is back in India “with a vengeance.” But there is a caveat, it suggest. During the Emergency, imposed on June 25, 1975, Prime Minister India Gandhi imposed “strict” censorship, but this time it is “not direct government fiat but by powerful owners and politicians.” Titled “India’s Press in Siege”, the top daily, however, compares it with the censorship imposed Indira Gandhi, recalling how, “with defiant exceptions, much of the press caved in quickly to the new rules.”

    • Civil Rights and “Censored” Groups support Whistleblowers on Capitol Hill
    • As wounded Israeli troops return home, military censorship is harder to enforce

      The Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv is on a war footing. In the 10 days since Israel started its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the hospital has received more than 50 soldiers with wide-ranging combat injuries.

    • Right to be forgotten: Wikipedia chief enters internet censorship row

      Internet search engines such as Google should not be left in charge of “censoring history”, the Wikipedia founder has said, after the US firm revealed it had approved half of more than 90,000 “right to be forgotten” requests.

    • Foreign Social-Networking Software Banned as China Tightens Censorship

      The Chinese Central Propaganda Department has banned the downloading of all foreign social-networking products. Previously downloadable social-networking products have also been blocked on a large scale.

    • Is censorship on the rise in Canada?

      After a week of the Harper government again drawing criticism for hiding information or clamping down on dissent, the public’s eyes may have glazed over at the latest in a litany of cases. But are we getting inured to something serious going on at the federal level and throughout society?

    • B’Tselem to petition High Court against ‘censorship’ of Gaza dead

      The High Court of Justice should force Israel Radio to run an advertisement with the names of 150 Gaza children killed during the last 16 days of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli NGO B’Tselem said on Thursday.

      B’Tselem plans to petition the High Court on Sunday to overturn the Broadcasting Authority’s (IBA’s) decision and that of its appeals board, which also rejected its ad, titled “The children of Gaza have a name.”

  • Privacy

    • Kim Dotcom wants to ‘abolish mass surveillance’… with more legislating?

      In an interview with The Guardian he is quoted as saying that his party will “abolish mass surveillance and rejuvenate politics by giving the internet generation a voice.”

    • Bugging devices at Gadkari residence, minister calls reports speculative

      It reported: “Initial investigations have revealed that the bugs were ‘planted in the house by a foreign agency since the sophisticated listening devices found are used only by western intelligence operatives, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA)’”.

      The paper said “it may be recalled that Edward Snowden’s revelations carried by Washington Post on 30 June stated that top BJP leaders were under surveillance by a premier US spy agency. ”
      - See more at: http://indiablooms.com/ibns_new/news-details/N/3036/bugging-devices-at-gadkari-residence-minister-calls-reports-speculative.html#sthash.kIHnEH5V.dpuf

    • Gadkari house ‘bugged’: BJP Sarkar on US radar?

      But the denial emanating from Gadkari has been far from categorical. Also, another BJP leader, Subramaniam Swamy, has conceded that Gadkari, a former BJP president and known for his proximity to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, could well have been on the radar of intelligence agencies.

    • Nitin Gadkari house bugged: Congress demands probe as Gadkari dismisses reports as ‘speculative’

      BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has asked the government to make an official statement on the issue and said, “My own investigations and my sources reveal that this may happen not later than October last year. The planting of the device and that means at that time, when the UPA was in power, the NSA has specifically targeted the BJP and Gadkari was a very important person. He had the confidence of the RSS.”

    • Snooping and bugging: Five high profile cases

      Was Nitin Gadkari’s house bugged? The reported recovery of listening devices from Union Minister Gadkari’s house has set tongues wagging in political circles, with Congress suggesting that this shows there is lack of trust among the NDA leaders. Even former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has demanded a probe into this matter.

    • SORRY STORY

      Very recently, her patience with persistent American spying even after Snowden’s revelations snapped quite dramatically, when she ordered the US Central Intelligence Agency’s “chief of station” at the American embassy in Berlin to leave the country. The US has never formally apologized for tapping Merkel’s phone. It refused to give her access to the NSA file on her before she visited Washington. And it went on paying a spy who worked for the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND-Federal Intelligence Service) right down to this month.

    • Reward offered by Russia to crack Tor likely to improve the anonymity network, Finnish expert views
    • A Stronger Bill to Limit Surveillance

      The Senate is about to begin debate on a bill that could, at long last, put an end to the indiscriminate bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records and bring needed transparency to the abusive spying programs that have tarnished the nation’s reputation.

    • Four Senators Team Up on Anti-NSA Letter to Clapper

      These assaults on personal privacy included reading random people’s emails, text messages, and Facebook conversations en masse, recording Skype calls between users, and even passing around nude photos picked up from webcams that were spied on through services like Yahoo.

    • Obama quietly expands government’s ‘watchlist’

      The Obama administration has quietly rewritten the rules on how it goes about designating Americans as terrorists, according to a new report by Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept online investigations project.

    • Silicon Valley sees hope in battle against NSA

      Tech companies and civil liberties groups are becoming more optimistic that the Senate will take major steps to rein in the National Security Agency this year.

    • US govt wiretapping online media makes systems less secure

      Right now, only phone companies, broadband providers and some Internet phone services are required by law to build in intercept capabilities, but the government wants to extend that requirement to online communication providers.

    • Facebook posts can land Americans on watchlists

      Concrete evidence of being a suspected terrorist is not necessary before nominating people to watchlists; leaked “guidance” states that uncorroborated posts on social networking sites are sufficient grounds for the government to add people to watchlist databases.

    • NSA losing interest in deal for Snowden

      The Obama administration is increasingly less inclined to make a deal to allow Edward Snowden to come back to the United States, according to a top National Security Agency official.

    • NSA: Less need now for Snowden deal

      A top National Security Agency offficial says there’s less need now for the U.S. Government to cut a deal with leaker Edward Snowden than there was after his wave of surveillance disclosures began more than a year ago.

    • Securing IC Magazine from facebook and other troublemakers

      Why did we do this? With Google continuously expanding its social media reach and the long line of controversies surrounding facebook’s practices of tracking users and reportedly providing the NSA with unfettered access to user data–not to mention the incessant location tracking features that come with mobile phones, tablets and cameras–it’s becoming dangerously simple for anyone to gather intelligence on us whether it’s a corporation, some government agency or a rag-tag group of racist rice farmers with mad computer skillz. That intelligence can in turn be used to hurt or undermine our movements, organizations, campaigns, networks, families, communities and Nations.

    • Data privacy isn’t political — it’s personal

      Two recent examples in Germany are particularly telling. First, the German government ended its contract with Verizon in late June, saying the U.S.-based telco was a liability due to its relationship with intelligence agencies like the NSA. Then, in early July, Deutsche Telekom unveiled a new highly secure German data center, which it touted as “Fort Knox” for data protection. Germany is well known for its strict data privacy standards, and clearly, new privacy concerns are reshaping how service providers do business within German borders.

    • The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is just CISPA in new clothing — and this bill is even worse!

      The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is just CISPA in new clothing — and this bill is even worse!

      CISA would give the NSA even more authority to access our data and force companies to hand it over without a warrant than CISPA did, strengthening and legitimizing the toxic programs we’re working our hardest to eliminate.

    • NSA partnering with Saudi regime ‒ Snowden leak

      The National Security Agency has increasingly been working hand-in-glove with the repressive Saudi Arabian government since 2013, sharing intelligence and assisting with surveillance, according to the latest Snowden leak.

    • Edward Snowden Wants To Build Anti-Surveillance Technology, But Can We Trust Him?

      Edward Snowden claims he wants to keep up the fight against the NSA and other high-level spy agencies. The question is whether or not we can trust him, or if he’ll just go back to spying on us like a secret cell of the NSA.

    • Common Core Expert: Techno-Progressives Seek To Violate Your Child’s Privacy

      “Common Core is not a political issue. It’s an issue of their children,” Robbins told The Daily Caller. “You can mess with a lot of things. You can have the IRS going after people. You can have the NSA spying on people, but when you start to mess with people’s children, they start to pay attention.”

    • The NSA, Snowden, And Citizen Cryptology

      More ambitiously, the NSA is hoping to build a quantum computer that “could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business, and government records around the world,” according to the Washington Post (NSA source documents stored on Electronic Frontier Foundation server here and here). A quantum computer could conceivably break “all current forms of public key encryption,” the article says, “including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.”

    • Data bill is ‘new Big Brother’: Manchester activist slams ‘Orwellian’ government for trying to force through law

      A Manchester activist has claimed the government are using George Orwell’s 1984 as a ‘handbook’ as it tries to push through new laws that threatens to further encroach on people’s privacy.

  • Civil Rights

    • Chinese police remove church cross amid crackdown
    • Netanyahu’s driver accused of serially raping young girls under 12

      A driver for the Prime Minister’s Office was arrested in Jerusalem three weeks ago on suspicion of serially raping young girls between the ages of 8 and 12, it emerged Thursday.

    • How to survive in post-constitutional America

      You can’t get more serious about protecting the people from their government than the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, specifically in its most critical clause: “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In 2011, the White House ordered the drone-killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without trial. It claimed this was a legal act it is prepared to repeat as necessary. Given the Fifth Amendment, how exactly was this justified? Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly redacted — about one-third of the text is missing — Justice Department white paper providing the basis for that extrajudicial killing, we finally know: the president in Post-Constitutional America is now officially judge, jury, and executioner.

    • Obama administration grants architects of torture sneak peek at Panetta review of CIA programs

      In close collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, President Obama has granted the masterminds of the Bush administration’s torture programs access to the agency’s “Internal Panetta Review” in advance of the review’s expected August publication.

    • Some in ‘torture’ report denied chance to read it

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

    • European Court exposes illegal detention facilities linked to CIA’s extraordinary rendition program in Poland
    • Ron Paul: Shut Down The CIA

      The cover-up continues with the Obama administration, Paul claims, citing last week’s European Court of Human Rights verdict that two suspects were illegally detained and tortured in so-called “black sites” in Poland. The Polish government was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation to those men in that verdict.

    • End Torture, Shut Down the CIA!

      Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos of Iraqis tortured at Abu Ghraib prison four years earlier.

    • Top German court rejects effort to access Eichmann files

      Ruling thwarts journalist’s attempt to shed light on whether West German authorities knew in the 1950s where Eichmann fled after the Holocaust.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Gets Snarky, But Basically Admits That It’s The One Clogging Its Networks On Purpose

      So the war of words over interconnection has continued. Last week, we wrote about the back and forth between Verizon and Level 3 on their corporate blogs concerning who was really to blame for congestion slowing down your Netflix video watching. As we noted, Level 3 used Verizon’s own information to show that Verizon was, in fact, the problem. Basically, in spite of it being easy and cheap, Verizon was refusing to do a trivial operation of connecting up a few more ports, which Level3 had been asking them to do so for a long time. In other words, Verizon was refusing to do some very, very basic maintenance to deliver to its users exactly what Verizon had sold them.

    • How tiered Internet in US may help create a surveillance state

      The net neutrality debate has been going on the United States for a number of years now, put simply, net neutrality means keeping a non-tiered internet, all content can reach users at the same speed.

    • Home Stretch For Supporting Our Net Neutrality Reporting
  • Intellectual Monopolies

07.27.14

Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Millions Stranded as US Passport and Visa System Hit by Mystery Glitch

    Millions of people awaiting US travel documents have been left in limbo, as a major computer glitch crashed the United States global system for passport and visa services.

  • Daniel Radcliffe refused entry to US due to visa problems

    But he was allegedly turned away by border control when he tried to get back to the US for the Comic-Con conference in San Diego.

  • Science

    • 1969 Kokomo grads share space stories

      Shortly before the mission, though, the CIA got word that Russia was about to send a two-man craft to orbit the moon. The U.S. couldn’t let Russia get ahead in the space race, so they changed the mission.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UN finds second black box of Air Algerie jet among scattered debris in northern Mali
    • Second black box found at Air Algerie crash site (+video)
    • US has not been able to show Russian government was involved in downing of airliner

      A series of unanswered questions about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shows the limits of U.S. intelligence gathering even when it is intensely focused, as it has been in Ukraine since Russia seized Crimea in March.

    • The Mystery of a Ukrainian Army ‘Defector’

      U.S. intelligence officials suggest that the person who fired the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may have been “a defector” from the Ukrainian army, an apparent attempt to explain why some CIA analysts thought satellite images revealed men in Ukrainian army uniforms manning the missile battery, writes Robert Parry.

    • Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future?

      The Russian government has finally realized that it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining bitterly about the propagandistic lies and disinformation issued without any evidence whatsoever against the Russian government by Washington, its European vassals, and presstitute media.

    • Palestinians don’t blame Hamas for civilian deaths

      As the Gaza conflict intensified, the Palestinian death toll surpassed 700, more than two-thirds of them civilians. Add to that 4,000 injured, widespread infrastructure destruction, and 1.8 million Palestinians trapped in an area the size of Manhattan. On the Israeli side, the civilian death toll is three.

    • Over 50 Israeli Reservists Declare ‘We Refuse to Serve’
    • Decrying “Brutal Operation Taking Place in Our Name,” Israeli Military Reservists Refuse to Serve
    • Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked

      Israel has killed almost 800 Palestinians in the past twenty-one days in the Gaza Strip alone; its onslaught continues. The UN estimates that more than 74 percent of those killed are civilians. That is to be expected in a population of 1.8 million where the number of Hamas members is approximately 15,000. Israel does not deny that it killed those Palestinians using modern aerial technology and precise weaponry courtesy of the world’s only superpower. In fact, it does not even deny that they are civilians.

    • How the Media Is Helping Hamas

      Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.

      [...]

      Palestinian sources have confirmed that Hamas has executed at least 13 Palestinians on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel. None of the suspects was brought to trial, and the executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner, with torture that included severe beating and breaking arms and legs.

    • Israeli soldiers kill three Palestinian demonstrators in West Bank protest

      Army says it has used ‘riot dispersal means’ against protesters but refuses to comment on live round use

    • Israel’s fears are real, but this Gaza war is utterly self-defeating

      An old foreign correspondent friend of mine, once based in Jerusalem, has turned to blogging. As the story he used to cover flared up once more, he wrote: “This conflict is the political equivalent of LSD – distorting the senses of all those who come into contact with it, and sending them crazy.” He was speaking chiefly of those who debate the issue from afar: the passions that are stirred, the bitterness and loathing that spew forth, especially online, of a kind rarely glimpsed when faraway wars are discussed. While an acid trip usually comes in lurid colours, here it induces a tendency to monochrome: one side is pure good, the other pure evil – with not a shade of grey in sight.

    • Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
    • It is a war crime to target densely packed Gaza homes

      Once again the Gaza Strip is subject to intense attack from Israeli forces. As of yesterday the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has documented 593 killed, among them 483 civilians – 151 children, 82 women – and 3,197 injured. Among the injured are 926 children and 641 women, although this does not include the figures for the border areas or the Shejeia area.

    • OPINION: Truth also a casualty of Gaza war

      I don’t know about you, but if the attack had happened to me, I would be pretty damn angry. Yet on Monday, Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading human rights organizations, issued a report on the fighting in Gaza that accused Israel of “war crimes” because one of its “accurate missiles” had struck a hospital (unlike in my parable, no one was killed but four patients and staff were wounded). Therefore, according to Human Rights Watch, given the accuracy of the Israeli weapons, this must have been an “intentional or reckless attack” deserving of a war crimes prosecution even though, according to Israel, the hospital grounds were being used by Hamas to fire rockets and Israel had given an advance warning.

    • 45,000 Descend on London to Protest at Israel’s Actions in Gaza

      An estimated 45,000 people marched through London from the Israeli Embassy to Parliament Square, via Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police.

    • Kerry: Libya evacuation not permanent
    • US evacuates embassy in Libya
    • U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

      The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighbouring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.

    • US embassy in Libya evacuated amid unrest
    • Ceasefire ends as Gaza militants resume firing rockets into Israel

      Militants resumed firings rockets into Israel from Gaza on Saturday, rejecting an extension to a ceasefire in a conflict in which more than 1,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died.

    • Being strategic partner of liars & cowards

      Sunday, July 27, 2014 – Pakistan from the 1950s onwards, is insisting to go together with the US despite all the negative and even shameful experiences we have made in this relationship. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan, preferred to visit the US instead of Moscow first, and was afterwards assassinated when he refused to give air bases to US for spying on USSR.

    • Hamas rejects 4-hour Gaza war truce extension

      A Hamas official says the group has rejected a four-hour extension of a humanitarian truce proposed by Israel.

    • Sign Company Deluged By Orders For “Guns Are Welcome” Signs

      We’ve written twice about the Maryville, Tennessee restaurant that has seen it’s business go through the roof after posting signs that lawfully carried handguns were welcome.

    • Protestors to prison, drones to Afghanistan

      On July 10, 2014, in New York State, Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores to a year in prison and fined her $1,000 for photographing a peaceful demonstration at the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field (near Syracuse) where weaponized Reaper drones are remotely piloted in lethal flights over Afghanistan. Dozens have been sentenced, previously, for peaceful protest there. But uniquely, the court convicted her under laws meant to punish stalkers, deciding that by taking pictures outside the heavily guarded base she violated a previous order of protection not to stalk or harass the commanding officer.

    • Moral authority doesn’t mean diddly

      Can’t Golding see the distinction between collateral killing of another nation’s civilians during ‘war’ and extrajudicial slaughter of Jamaican citizens by Jamaican police sworn to protect all citizens? For someone Booklist Boyne insists is brilliant, surely he could’ve found more suitable analogies such as the treatment of black Americans under Jim Crow laws particularly by crazed mobs, including law-enforcement officers hiding under white hoods. Still, the distinction is Jim Crow is defunct, while we still butcher innocents and guilty alike without troubling the courts.

    • Call for more information on Kiwi drone death

      Former Green MP Keith Locke is urging New Zealanders to demand information about the Kiwi killed in a drone strike overseas last year.

    • Why People Are Organizing to End U.S. Empire

      World history is filled with empires, e.g. the Roman and Byzantine empires, the European colonial empires, various ancient Iranian empires, the Arab Caliphate and Ottoman Empire, the Soviet Union to name a few. These historic empires have one thing in common: they no longer exist. As the lifecycle of empire wanes, rather than being a benefit to the home country, sustaining empire becomes more expensive than it is worth.

    • Israeli military resumes Gaza operations

      Around 5,000 people took part in a protest against the war in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, with a heavy police presence to deter rightwing extremists who abused and attacked the demonstrators.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • What in the name of Zeus is Bitcoin?

      Bitcoin is a digital currency that became popular in 2013. It’s not controlled by banks, or anyone. It’s a decentralised currency designed to free out money from those who would oppress us. But how does a digital currency work? How can it be valid if there’s no one to say who has what? Ben Everard investigates.

    • NHS manager redundancy payouts total £1.6bn since 2010

      The cost of redundancy payments for NHS managers has hit almost £1.6bn since the coalition came to power and embarked on its sweeping reorganisation, according to the latest Department of Health accounts.

      The total includes payouts to some 4,000 “revolving door” managers, who left after May 2010 with large payouts but have since returned either on full-time or part-time contracts.

    • China gaining on US as top economy

      China is supplanting America’s international role, new data from the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project shows the growing international consensus in this regard.

      The median percentage of people naming US as the world’s leading economic power has dropped from 49% six years ago to 40% today. During the same period, the percentage of people naming China has risen from 19% to 31%, according to Pew’s analysts.

    • 1 per cent Chinese own one-third of national wealth: report

      About one per cent of Chinese households own one-third of the nation’s wealth, a report has said, raising concerns about income inequality in the world’s most populous country led by Communist Party of China.

    • Green party calls for wealth tax on assets of multimillionaires

      Presenting the radical new proposal, Natalie Bennett, the Green leader, said other political parties only offered minor tweaks to the UK’s failed economic system, instead of major changes to deal with inequality.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Met worse than Murdoch

      The revelation that undercover Met officers spied on the family of Jean Charles De Menezes after they murdered him, leaves me utterly appalled.

      You have to consider this in the context of the lies that the Met assiduously spread about De Menezes – that he entered the tube without buying a ticket, that he vaulted the ticket gates, that he ran away from officers, that he was wearing a bulky jacket.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • What I Learned from Edward Snowden at the Hacker Conference

      His audience was the crowd at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference, a group of people no one would ever mistake for attendees at a political convention. Amid the sea of black clothing were many unconventional fashion statements: purple bandanas and balloon pants, and tartan kilts, and white robes, and green hair. The only man in sight in a suit and tie was also toting around a pair of payphones of murky provenance. Even the federal agents present had found a way to blend into the crowd of EFF merchandise and white dude dreadlocks.

    • Two MPs to sue government over data law ‘stitch-up’

      Two MPs, Tom Watson and David Davis, are to sue the government for introducing “ridiculous” emergency legislation allowing police and security services access to people’s phone and internet records.

    • Snowden: “If I end up in chains at Guantanamo, I can live with that”
    • Should NZ reporters fear spying?

      Pen, notebook – and encryption key. It’s time to add digital security to the reporter’s toolkit, security experts say, and that includes journalists in New Zealand.

    • Rogers, Telus Launch Charter Challenge To Police Mass Spying Request

      An Ontario judge has agreed to hear a Charter of Rights challenge brought by Telus and Rogers after they were asked by police in April to release cellphone information of about 40,000 to 50,000 customers as part of an investigation.

      Justice John Sproat says that the case has highlighted important issues about privacy and law enforcement that should be challenged in open court, even though Peel regional police tried to withdraw the requests.

    • US spied on Berisha, Thaci and Tadic

      NSA in 2009 spied also on other leaders of the Balkan countries, like the PM of Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation, Nexhat Brankoviq and the former Croatian president, Stipe Mesiq. The news was made public by the digital library “Kriptom”, that deals with secret documents.

  • Civil Rights

    • Prosecutors Are Reading Emails From Inmates to Lawyers

      The extortion case against Thomas DiFiore, a reputed boss in the Bonanno crime family, encompassed thousands of pages of evidence, including surveillance photographs, cellphone and property records, and hundreds of hours of audio recordings.

      But even as Mr. DiFiore sat in a jail cell, sending nearly daily emails to his lawyers on his case and his deteriorating health, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn sought to add another layer of evidence: those very emails. The prosecutors informed Mr. DiFiore last month that they would be reading the emails sent to his lawyers from jail, potentially using his own words against him.

    • How are execution drugs supposed to work?

      A combination of midazolam-hydromorphone led to Joseph Wood ‘gasping and snorting’ for almost two hours during his execution on Wednesday night

    • Contemporary Democracy Is a Fraud

      What if democracy as it has come to exist in America today is dangerous to personal freedom? What if our so-called democracy erodes the people’s understanding of natural rights and the reasons for government and instead turns political campaigns into beauty contests? What if American democracy allows the government to do anything it wants, as long as more people bother to show up at the voting booth to support the government than show up to say no?

    • CIA Intercepted Whistleblower Communications Related to Senate Investigation into Torture

      The inspector general for the CIA obtained a “legally protected email and other unspecified communications” between whistleblower officials and lawmakers related to alleged whistleblower retaliation. The CIA inspector general allegedly failed to investigate claims of retaliation against an agency official for helping the Senate intelligence committee with the production of their report on torture, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

    • Ex-CIA officials decry no access to detainee study

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

    • Ex-CIA officials denied access to torture report

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

      Then, on Friday, many were told they would not be able to see it, after all.

    • CIA Does the Torture, U.S. Ally Pays the Price

      The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled against Poland, charging our ally with human rights violations for helping the CIA operate an ‘extraordinary rendition’ program in which two persons suspected of terrorism were delivered to a “black site” in 2002-2003, for detention, interrogation and torture — in the attempt to extract bogus confessions.

    • ‘Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report’

      A tentatively titled and reported New York Times article glimpses former agency director George Tenet’s efforts to suppress and discredit a report accusing “former C.I.A. officials of misleading Congress and the White House” about the agency’s detention and interrogation program.

    • Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report

      Over the past several months, Mr. Tenet has quietly engineered a counterattack against the Senate committee’s voluminous report, which could become public next month. The effort to discredit the report has set up a three-way showdown among former C.I.A. officials who believe history has been distorted, a White House carefully managing the process and politics of declassifying the document, and Senate Democrats convinced that the Obama administration is trying to protect the C.I.A. at all costs.

    • Ex-officials demand to see CIA report
    • Some Named In Senate’s CIA Torture Report Denied Chance To Read It

      It’s the latest chapter in the drama and recriminations that have been playing out behind the scenes in connection with what some call the Senate torture report, a summary of which is being declassified and is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

      “I am outraged,” said John Rizzo, one of the former officials who was offered, and then refused, a chance to see the summary report before publication. He retired in 2009 as the CIA’s top lawyer after playing a key role in the interrogation program.

    • Former CIA Officials Furious They Can’t Review Senate Torture Report

      Several former CIA officials are outraged that the Senate withdrew its offer to allow them to read an extensive report on interrogation techniques that many of them are implicated in.

    • Senate Report on CIA Interrogations Could Be Released Next Week

      The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is set to publicly release — as early as next week — selected and carefully redacted portions of its 6,300 page report on controversial CIA detention, rendition, and interrogation techniques used after 9/11, several administration and intelligence officials said.

    • The Gospel vs. hysteria

      From El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, these people are coming from nations where the U.S. in the past frequently meddled in their internal affairs, often with quite negative effects.

    • Interview with US immigrants’ rights activist: “This administration has been terrible for us on many fronts”
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Chattanooga and Wilson Petition FCC to Remove Anti-Competitive Restrictions

      Chattanooga and Wilson, North Carolina, are two of the most successful municipal fiber networks by a variety of metrics, including jobs created, aggregate community savings, and more. This has led to significant demand from surrounding communities for Wilson and Chattanooga to expand. We have profiled both of them in case studies: Wilson and Chattanooga.

      [...]

      And both Sam Gustin and Karl Bode were quick to post on the matter as well. Sam wrote on Motherboard at Vice:

      In states throughout the country, major cable and telecom companies have battled attempts to create community broadband networks, which they claim put them at a competitive disadvantage.

      Last week, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican who has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the cable and telecommunications industry, introduced an amendment to a key appropriations bill that would prevent the FCC from preempting such state laws. The amendment passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 233-200, but is unlikely to make it through the Senate.

    • Net Neutrality Astroturfing Stirs Up Conflict Between Latino/Minority Groups

      We’ve written a few times about the highly cynical astroturfing practice in Washington DC, in which certain lobbyist groups basically have “deals” with certain public interest groups. The basic deal is that the lobbyists guarantee big cash donations from their big company clients, and then the lobbyists get to write letters “on behalf of” those organizations for whatever policy they want enacted (or blocked).

  • DRM/Locking

  • Intellectual Monopolies

07.26.14

Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • CoreOS Stable Release

    First off, Happy SysAdmin Day. We think we have a pretty good SysAdmin surprise in store for you today as we are announcing the CoreOS stable release channel. Starting today, you can begin running CoreOS in production. This version is the most tested, secure and reliable version available for users wanting to run CoreOS. This is a huge milestone for us.

  • CoreOS Experiences Its First Stable Release

    CoreOS, the lightweight Linux distribution designed for clustered deployments and depends upon utilization of Docker/LXC software containers, has experienced its first stable release.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • On LibreOffice and the Challenge to Install Linux to the New Office Computer

      Anyway, I took the leap of faith and proceeded with the installation. OpenMandriva Lx worked like a charm: it took care of the partitioning (interestingly, it said “Moondrake” instead of “OpenMandriva” :D) and installed itself in less than 10 minutes. When we booted the machine (expecting a catastrophe, if I must be honest), none of our visions of doom panned out. GRUB2 picked up Windows 7, that OS was fully operational, and OpenMandriva also launched (desktop effects included, yay!).

    • Dialogs and Coverity, current numbers

      We’ve now converted all but 54 of LibreOffice’s classic fixed widget size and position .src format elements to the GtkBuilder .ui format. This is due to the much appreciated efforts of Palenik Mihály and Szymon K’os, two of our GSOC2014 students, who are tackling the last bunch of hard to find or hard to convert ones.

  • Healthcare

    • Google Joins Samsung, Other Tech Titans, in Open Healthcare Race

      Will the next revolution in healthcare be built on open source collaboration and principles? There are increasing signs that it will be, and that the old model of scientists and doctors pursuing breakthroughs behind closed doors might be broken. Samsung, for example, has announced the Samsung Digital Health Initiative, which will be based on open hardware platforms and open software architecture. The initiative has several arms, and one surrounds an open healthcare platform called SAMI. Apple, too, announced its HealthKit at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, although it remains to be seen how open that effort will be.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Program Octave

      GNU Octave is a project started by James Rawlings and John Ekerdt, but its main developer is John Eaton, with the name inspired by the chemist Octave Levenspiel.

    • Guix 0.7 Can Now Install The GNU Operating System

      The Guix package manager that’s designed to be a purely-functional package manager for GNU with an emphasis on being dependable, hackable, and liberating is out with its latest release.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Bugcrowd Seeks to Streamline Reporting and Handling of Bugs

      “All software contains security flaws,” touts the homepage of Bugcrowd, a new site that seeks to streamline the way flaws are reported by enforcing crowdsourced “responsible disclosure” policies. The Bugcrowd statement is probably pretty close to correct, too. As we’ve reported, Google, Mozilla and other companies have had success offering cash bounties for people who find security flaws, and those who find them are often security researchers.

Leftovers

07.25.14

Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks Emerge as Major New Linux Force on Notebooks

      The Linux faithful have mixed opinions on the success of Google’s Linux- and Chrome browser based Chrome OS. The lightweight OS came along years after Fedora, Ubuntu and other Linux distros, and shares relatively little of their mainstream Linux codebase. Some dismiss it as a limited, browser-only platform — a complaint often applied to Firefox OS — while others warn that Google is co-opting and subjugating Linux, a process already begun with Android.

    • Google targets students with new Chromebook ad

      Google is all geared up to push Chromebooks to students in the US. They have uploaded a new ad on YouTube targeting students. The video titled Chromebook: For Students shows student lockers and a very clear text ‘everything a student needs in a laptop’.

    • Celebrate Chromecast’s first birthday with 3 months Google Play Music free
  • Server

    • Docker Acquires Orchard Laboratories to Manage Containers

      With the rise of containers as an alternative to virtual machines in Linux environments, IT organizations that make that shift will need a way to potentially manage thousands of containers. Looking to become one of the vendors that not only supplies those Linux containers but also manages them, Docker today announced it has acquired Orchard Laboratories Ltd.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Developers Jump Quickly On ACPI 5.1, Helps Out ARM

      Fresh off the release of ACPI 5.1 by the UEFI Forum, Linux developers are updating their support against this latest revision to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. In particular, ACPI 5.1 is supposed to help out ARM.

      While accessing the ACPI/UEFI specifications still require jumping through some hoops, the ACPI 5.1 update is reported to fix major gaps in supporting ACPI on ARM. Hanjun Guo has already laid out patches for providing Linux ARM64 support compliant with the ACPI 5.1 specification. ACPI 5.1 has “major changes” to the MADT, FADT, GTDT, and _DSD for bettering up this non-x86 platform support.

    • Linux Foundation SysAdmin Eric Searcy Lives By Regex

      Eric Searcy is the IT Infrastructure Manager at the Linux Foundation. Here he tells us how he got started as a sysadmin and at the Linux Foundation, describes his typical day at work, and shares his favorite sysadmin tools, among other things.

    • Linux Foundation SysAdmin Aric Gardner Avoids a GUI at All Costs

      Aric Gardner is a Linux Foundation SysAdmin who works on the OpenDaylight collaborative project. Here he tells the story of how became a sysadmin, shares his specialty in scripting and automation, and describes a typical day at work, among other things.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source AMD Hawaii Support Should Now Be Working!

        While the Radeon R9 290 series is now mature in the marketplace, the open-source Linux driver support has lagged. The Hawaii support had been broken for months (no working 3D on the open-source driver, but will work under the Catalyst Linux driver) and the few open-source AMD developers weren’t tasked with fixing it over not being sure why it wasn’t working and having no immediate business cases for fixing the support. Fortunately, with a bug comment made tonight, it seems things might be in order.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • No Gmail integration in 4.14 after all :(

        I’m sorry to bring bad news, but after trying to fight some last minute bugs in the new Gmail resource today, I realized that pushing the resource into KDE Applications 4.14 was too hurried, and so I decided not to ship it in KDE Applications 4.14. I know many of you are really excited about the Gmail integration, but there are far too many issues that cannot be solved this late in 4.14 cycle. And since this will probably be the last 4.x release, shipping something that does not perform as expected and cannot be fixed properly would only be disappointing and discouraging to users. In my original post I explained that I was working on the Gmail integration to provide user experience as close as possible to native Gmail web interface so that people are not tempted to switch away from KMail to Gmail. But with the current state of the resource, the effect would be exactly the opposite. And if the resource cannot fulfil it’s purpose, then there’s no point in offering it to users.

      • Plasma’s road to wayland

        With the Plasma 5.0 release out the door, we can lift our heads a bit and look forward, instead of just looking at what’s directly ahead of us, and make that work by fixing bug after bug. One of the important topics which we have (kind of) excluded from Plasma’s recent 5.0 release is support for Wayland. The reason is that much of the work that has gone into renovating our graphics stack was also needed in preparation for Wayland support in Plasma. In order to support Wayland systems properly, we needed to lift the software stack to Qt5, make X11 dependencies in our underlying libraries, Frameworks 5 optional. This part is pretty much done. We now need to ready support for non-X11 systems in our workspace components, the window manager and compositor, and the workspace shell.

      • KDE Developers Continue Working Toward Wayland Support

        KDE’s Sebastian Kügler has provided an update regarding KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5 support for Wayland as an alternative to running on an X11/X.Org Server.

      • A wild “monday” report appears …

        The work on revisiting and expanding the Human Interface Guideline on tooltips has begun. If there’s something that has always bothered you about how tooltips in KDE Applications and Plasma look and feel consider to join in. The work is still in its early stages, so now would be the best time to voice your concerns. [https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=285&t=121892]

      • Cutelyst 0.3.0 is now C10K ready!

        Cutelyst uWSGI plugin now has support for –thread, which will create a QThread to process a request, however I strongly discourage its usage in Cutelyst, the performance is ~7% inferior and a crash in your code will break other requests, and as of now ASYNC mode is not supported in threaded mode due to a limitation in uWSGI request queue.

      • Kate “master” branch now KF5 based!

        from today on, the master branch of kate.git is KF5 based.

        That means, for the next KDE applications release after 4.14, Kate will use the awesome KF5 stuff!

        The KTextEditor framework is already in a good shape and most active KatePart development is since months pure KF5 based.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Model B+ review – a new evolution

      Over the past two years we’ve come to really grow fond of the design of the Raspberry Pi. It’s almost iconic in a way, and we don’t think we’re the only ones to believe this: as you can have see with the Banana Pi review on the previous page the layout is almost identical to the standard model B.

    • Raspberry Pi-based signage player sips 7 Watts

      TinyGreenPC launched a Raspberry Pi and Linux based digital signage player that runs on just 7 Watts, and offers optional WiFi and an OPS interface.

      The Pi Media Player is one of the most power-efficient signage players on the market, according to TinyGreenPC, a subsidiary of UK-based embedded manufacturer and distributor AndersDX. It helps that the 7 Watt, Raspian Linux-enabled signage player runs on a Raspberry Pi.

    • Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN

      Three Bulgarian engineers who co-founded a firm called StorPool – which builds a virtual SAN using the aggregated storage of Linux KVM servers – are aiming to expand the reach of their three-year-old project.

      Boyan Ivanov, CEO, Boyan Krosnov, chief product officer, and Yank Yankulov, the chief tech officer, started the firm in November 2011 with $261,600 seed funding. In February this year they raised an undisclosed amount of cash in an A-round. We’d guess it’s in the $1m – $2.5m area.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • 35 Free Android Apps for Business
        • Best Android Apps for Disney Fans

          Disney movies have the uncanny ability to make us laugh, cry, and dance with joy at the same time. Whether you are a young kid or an adult, these films have a special place in many people’s hearts. Apart from winning many Oscars, these movies have garnered fans across all generations. From overbearing grandmas to unapologetically brash kids, Disney movies are so irresistible that they can make anyone laugh or cry. That’s why today we have for you a list of some of the best Android apps out there that are made for Disney fans.

        • Xiaomi unveils Mi4 flagship smartphone and Mi band fitness tracker
        • How open sourcing Android made it a mobile market leader

          About 10 years ago, when I got my first mobile phone, I hardly knew anything about its operating system or its processor. Even its screen size didn’t matter. I was just happy to have a ‘mobile’ phone.

          Today, the mobile phone paradigm has shifted from feature phones to smart phones. When people consider purchasing a new mobile phone, they examine its operating system, its configuration, and its screen size. Increased attention to these details can be attributed to technological advancements—and, more importantly, to the slew of new mobile operating systems available today. In this highly competitive market, Android has obtained about 80 percent of the global market share, making it the clear leader among mobile operating systems.

          What makes Android so popular? Why has the mobile market swung toward Android lately? Let’s take a quick look at how Android has achieved this, as well as the role of open source in the Android story.

        • OnePlus AOSP stock ROM for those who don’t want CyanogenMod

          OnePlus have developed quite a buzz over the last few months with the release of their first device the OnePlus One. Part of the allure is the incredibly low asking price of $300 – which is typically half the cost of its on-spec rivals. However another feature which has greatly attracted attention is the OnePlus One comes with CyanogenMod (CM) custom ROM as stock out of the box.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • SAP Stamps Cloud Foundry and OpenStack with Meaningful Endorsements

      SAP may not be on every individual user’s radar, but the company is a giant global force in running enterrprise back-end systems, new forays into the cloud and other new platforms, and managing enterprise class applications. Now, SAP has announced that it is committing to Cloud Foundry and OpenStack, providing a clear path forward for an open cloud ecosystem.

    • Let’s party!

      Yesterday, we released ownCloud 7. You might have read that somewhere on the internet – it was widely announced and broadly picked up. If you do not have ownCloud yet, you really should try it now, and if you are one of the people happily using ownCloud for a while, update soon!

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Open source education for lifelong learners

      In the world of the Internet, where everything is so easily available, it seems like all technology is a benefit to online learners. For those who aren’t able to use the available traditional resources for various reasons, open source technology specifically is a huge boon. Let me share my seven-year journey of using open source and how it helped me add more value to both my personal and professional lives.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Nginx Plus r4 Improves Web Server Security

        Nginx, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Nginx Web server, is out today with a new release of its Nginx Plus server. The Nginx Plus r4 release provides users with new security and load balancing features.

  • BSD

    • Pkg 1.3.0 Released To Improve Package Management On FreeBSD

      After more than a half-year in development and working on tens of thousands of lines of code, Pkg 1.3.0 has been released by FreeBSD developers.

      Pkg 1.3.0 introduces a new solver to automatically handle conflicts and dynamically discover them, pkg install can now install local files and resolve their dependencies via remote repositories, sandboxing of the code has happened, improved portability of the code took place, the pkg API has been simplified, improvements to the multi-repository mode, and a ton of other changes and fixes took place.

      More on the pkg 1.3.0 release for improved package management on FreeBSD can be found via this mailing list post.

    • FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report – Second Quarter 2014
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • We Have Strayed from the Original Ideas of Unix

      In some ways we have actually made improvements to the Unix Philosophy with Richard Stallman’s GPL. We also have a mostly standardized graphical system with the X Window System. I can’t find any overt references to sharing of source code from the early days of Bell Labs but it clearly did happen even if it was de facto
      rather than de jure.

    • GNU Guix 0.7 released

      We are pleased to announce the next alpha release of GNU Guix, version 0.7.

      This release is an important milestone for the project since it is the first to provide an image to install the GNU system from a USB stick.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Toulouse moves to LibreOffice, saves €1 million

      The United Kingdom recently made an announcement about its decision to adopt the Open Document Format (ODF) as its in-house standard for all new documents. And now, Microsoft has lost another important fight in yet another European city.

      Toulouse, France’s fourth largest city, has ditched Microsoft Office in favor of LibreOffice.

  • Licensing

    • An Interview with Karen Sandler

      Karen Sandler is a veteran of the free and open source software world. Having completed an engineering degree, she has worked as a lawyer for the Software Freedom Law Center, was Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. I interviewed Karen via email to ask her about her background and insight into various issues in the free and open source world.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How do team dynamics relate to open source?

      Recently I had the opportunity to watch a soccer game (football to the majority of the world). This game was one of the most amazing displays of team effort I’ve ever had the privilege of watching. (Here’s an obligatory link if you don’t know to which game I refer). Almost every score was predicated with a series of passes and touches by various players. There was a level of unselfish play and team spirit I don’t often see when observing professional sports.

    • Open source product development most effective when social

      Benetech started out in the 90s without even understanding the meaning of the term open source. They just “needed an easy way to interface with different voice synthesizers” to develop readers for people who are blind and “shared the code to be helpful.”

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.5.15 Officially Released

      PHP 5.5.15, an HTML-embedded scripting language with syntax borrowed from C, Java, and Perl, with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in, has been released and it’s now available for download.

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