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03.13.14

Links 13/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Samsung Galaxy Back Door, NSA Malware, Congressional Backlash, More Drone Strikes, and Ukraine Intervention

Posted in News Roundup at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android

Privacy

  • Think Deleted Text Messages Are Gone Forever? Think Again

    Last month, National Football League special investigator Ted Wells delivered a shocking report about Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito’s bullying tactics aimed at teammate Jonathan Martin. At the heart of the report: More than 1,000 text messages, many of them outrageously explicit, that Incognito and Martin swapped between October 2012 and November 2013.

NSA’s Latest Scandal

US Congress

European Parliament

Google

Drones

  • 8 Questions the World Faces as Lethal Drones Proliferate

    His report on targeted killing, discussed on Tuesday, is partly an effort to spur the United States and other countries to bring drone killing under the auspices of international law. The report sets forth key questions raised by targeted and semi-targeted killing, and encourages the international community to grapple with them.

  • U.N. Report on Drone Strikes Calls for Clearer Global Norms and More Accountability
  • What Obama Doesn’t Get About Gitmo

    We cannot “kill” terrorism with a drone.

  • The CIA Is Not a Fourth Branch of Government

    John F. Kennedy once said he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” He reached that conclusion after CIA officials, including Director Allen Dulles, had misled him on many of the planning details of the disastrous April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

    With the revelations that the CIA has been aggressively obstructing the work of the Senate Intelligence Committee, even to the point of spying on Senate staff conducting a long overdo review of its “detention and interrogation” program, we see the CIA has not changed its ways.

    The Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, called the committee’s current battle with the CIA “a defining moment for the oversight role of our intelligence committee . . . and whether we can be thwarted by those we oversee.”

  • US drone kills three Al Qaeda suspects in Yemen

    Sana’a, March 13: A US drone strike killed three suspected Al Qaeda militants in Yemen’s Al Jawf province on Wednesday, Yemeni officials said.

  • Fear is fear, no matter where you are from

    Earlier this month, I spoke at a panel in Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. During the talk, I showed a photo of a young Yemeni boy in the province of Mareb (which was hit by five drone strikes this month), demonstrating how he ducked in his school as soon as he heard the sound of a plane. He was not sure whether it was a drone or a fighter jet, but he has become used to ducking this way ever since his village was hit and his friend hit with a shrapnel.

  • How can secret drones campaign really make us safer?
  • How can secret drones really make us safer?

Ukraine

  • Between the Lines

    International law is suddenly very popular in Washington. President Obama responded to Russian military intervention in the Crimea by accusing Russia of a “breach of international law.” Secretary of State John Kerry followed up by declaring that Russia is “in direct, overt violation of international law.”

  • McCain to lead delegation to Ukraine

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and a group of senators are slated to travel to Ukraine on Thursday to show support for the new interim government there.

03.12.14

Today’s General News: Extraordinary Power and Extraordinary Surveillance

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

Aggression

Drones

  • North Africa: Maghreb Jihadists Killed in Mali Airstrike

    France recently acquired the two American-made drones. They are based in Niamey, Niger.

  • The bleak comedy of Barack Obama: Mallick

    When politicians perform, as Obama did with comedian Zach Galifianakis this week, the joke’s on us.

    [...]

    Jeremy Scahill has reported that Obama holds what are known as “Terror Tuesdays,” in which he says yes or no to “nominated” targets on a drone kill list. Few Americans know that because they didn’t buy Scahill’s book, Dirty Wars, or see his subsequent documentary. But many Americans will indeed see Obama sitting down with a comic actor and joking with him about drone killing, not comprehending Obama’s sheer gall.

  • National Security: Going “Up” or “Down?”

    Of course, both of these documents pre-date the latest explosion of new knowledge about aggressive NSA spying. They don’t reflect new information about the NSA’s forthcoming code-breaking supercomputer that can breach every “secure” https ever created.(2) The two documents I’ve cited above also preceded the current level of critique, both at home and abroad, of U.S. war-proxy drone attacks. New information is now available about not-so-reliable, way too general, and far too remote NSA drone targeting info that does kill the innocent. (3)

  • Students asked to help build drone sculpture

    Construction will begin March 16 on a life-size replica of a military drone, an art project on campus that aims to display lives lost in attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Privacy

Ukraine

  • ​World Bank to lend Ukraine $3bn

    The World Bank is ready to grant almost bankrupt Ukraine a loan of up to $3 billion this year to support reforms and infrastructure projects.

    The Washington-based organization already has several projects in Ukraine aimed at reducing poverty.

  • Ukraine: How to Hide a Nazi Army

    Still, the impression the Daily Beast would like to get across to readers is that the concept of Neo-Nazis leading the so-called “revolution” in Kiev, is absurd. In fact, the truth that Kiev’s Independence Square was full of Nazis, was right under the nose of the entire world – with a handful of Western journalists even admitting as much.

Venezuela

  • What is Going on in Venezuela?

    The majority of the media in today’s Venezuela are private. Many of the private TV stations were actively involved in 2002 coup attempt. Today, the majority of Venezuelans still watch TV stations owned by private corporations. The majority of these stations and most of the main newspapers, although a little bit more diverse politically than in 2002, are anti-government and anti-Chavista. They have not been taken off the air, prevented from printing and the social media has not been shut down. Social media like Facebook and Twitter have been particularly active and inaccurate in portraying Venezuela as a repressive police state with total suppression of the media.

    The mainstream U.S. media (e.g., CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, NBC, etc.) have a very strong anti-Chávez bias and a continued hostility to the building of 21st century socialism in Venezuela. For example, pictures that supposedly showed violent police brutality and repression in Venezuela were actually old photos from police repression in Bulgaria, Egypt and Chile. The New York Times, while generally hostile to the Venezuelan revolution with very biased reporting, has been slightly more balanced recently, even admitting that in the poorer areas of Caracas, there are no signs of protest,

Lockerbie

  • Lockerbie

    The UK authorities have known for over 20 years that Megrahi was innocent. The key witness, a Maltese shopkeeper named Tony Gauci, was paid a total of US $7 million for his evidence by the CIA, and was able to adopt a life of luxury that continues to this day. The initial $2 million payment has become public knowledge but that was only the first instalment. This was not an over-eagerness to convict the man the CIA believed responsible; this was a deliberate perversion of justice to move the spotlight from Iran and Syria to clear the way diplomatically for war in Iraq.

Police

Ubuntu News: Wallpapers, Beta, Phones, Chromium…

Posted in News Roundup at 4:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some of the past week’s news about Ubuntu, the most hyped up distribution of GNU/Linux

Desktop

  • Linux Bugs, Cheese Quesadilla, and Ubuntu Looks
  • Ubuntu 14.04 default and community wallpapers revealed

    Continuing the new trend of adding community wallpapers to the default Ubuntu installation, Ubuntu devs released today 11 community contributed wallpapers to be included in the latest iteration of Ubuntu, 14.04 LTS. These 11 wallpapers were chosen from a community wallpaper contest which ended on 5th March. Shortly after releasing the community wallpapers, the default wallpaper was also released.

  • Distro diaspora: Four flavours of Ubuntu unpacked

    Version 14.04, nicknamed Trusty Tahr, will be an important one because it culminates in a Long Term Support (LTS) version, the first in two years.

  • What to expect in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

    Every two years a Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu is made available to the public. Every LTS is supported for 5 years by Canonical. This year is the year of LTS release and its just 1 month away. Canonical will be keen to keep up the stability of LTS release like it has done in the past. Lets have a quick look at what can we expect from this year’s LTS release.

  • Ubuntu 14.04 beta 1 offers a sneak peek at ‘Trusty Tahr’

    Not long ago we learned that Ubuntu will be ditching Unity’s global menu and returning to in-app menus instead. I’m hoping we’ll see that later this month when the next beta release arrives, since the main, Unity-based Ubuntu version will be participating in that one. Stay tuned for more updates when that happens.

  • Local Menus are making a comeback in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – albeit, with one small twist!
  • Early Look at How Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Is Shaping Up

    The next Ubuntu Long-Term Release, codenamed Trusty Tahr, will be released on April 17th, 2014 and will ship with several notable features, while mainly focusing on stable main components rather than bleeding-edge software, a very good decision which fits perfectly such a big release. Trusty will be supported for five years on both the desktop and the server. I must say, this is a long awaited release, and probably not only by Ubuntu users, but also the ones of Mint and other distributions based upon Ubuntu, since the upcoming Mint 17 will be based on Trusty. I’m really expecting a solid experience here, which could last for years as a main desktop and development machine.

Mobile

  • CeBIT: Ubuntu smartphones to cost between $200 and $400

    Smartphones on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system will cost between $200 and $400, according to the firm’s chief executive Mark Shuttleworth.

    Speaking at CeBIT, he said: “Ours will come out in the mid-higher edge, so $200 to $400. We’re going with the higher end because we want people who are looking for a very sharp, beautiful experience and because our ambition is to be selling the future PC, the future personal computing engine.”

    The Ubuntu project aims to produce hardware that can act as a smartphone and also work as a PC when plugged into a monitor, something Shuttleworth said many audiences found attractive.

    Canonical teamed up with phone makers Meizu and BQ earlier this year to produce the devices, following what Shuttleworth called the “spectacular failure” of the firm’s efforts to raise $32m for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. But he also called it a “spectacular success” because of the amount of attention it drew and the influence it could have on the industry.

  • Mark Shuttleworth Talks Up The Phone’s Bottom Edge On Ubuntu
  • Canonical Has Stopped Promoting Ubuntu Touch Images Yet Again, Due To Some Unity 8 Regressions And QMLScene Crashes
  • How to get a side launcher like Ubuntu on your Android device

    Ubuntu users get to take advantage of a sidebar giving them access to shortcuts for many programs. Thanks to the Glovebox, this app allows you to get this Ubuntu feature on your Android smartphone.

  • Android woes could be an opportunity for Ubuntu smartphones

    Canonical announced in February that it plans to release smartphones based on its widely used Ubuntu distribution of the Linux platform are back on, with the first devices expected later this year.

    This triggered eager anticipation among some members of the V3 team, including yours truly, as Canonical’s original vision for an Ubuntu phone sounded like a compelling prospect, as well as a novel one for those of us who have seen smartphones become ever-more generic over recent years as vendors try to copy Apple’s formula for success.

    First disclosed early last year, Canonical proposed a version of Ubuntu with a touch-optimised user interface that could run on high-end smartphone hardware. While some mobile platforms, notably Android, are already underpinned by the Linux kernel, Ubuntu for phones was going to be the real deal; it would be able to run full Linux applications as well as HTML5 web apps optimised for mobile devices.

Chromium

Misc.

  • Is Ubuntu Animosity Misplaced?

    As for the feelings of the Linux community in general, the consensus is that it felt like GNOME was somehow being slighted or ignored. Remember early on, Ubuntu was a GNOME-centric experience. While today, Ubuntu is most definitely Unity-centric instead. Obviously alternative desktop environments are a mere “apt-get install” away, but most people will use Ubuntu because they’re fans of the entire experience – end to end.

03.11.14

DroNSA: Targeted Assassinations, Surveillance on Torture Reporters/Researchers, and Snowden’s Latest Speeches

Posted in News Roundup at 11:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drones

Ukraine

War on Privacy

  • NSA Barred From Destroying Phone Records

    The US National Security Agency was stopped by a judge from destroying phone records collected via its controversial surveillance practices, after a privacy group said they are still relevant and could be used in the lawsuits against the agency.

  • So Far, The FBI Is Benefiting The Most From The NSA Leaks

    The FBI is now basking in the darkness the NSA used to occupy. The first leak had the FBI’s name all over it, and it’s the power granted to the FBI that allows the NSA to collect millions of domestic phone records. The NSA technically isn’t allowed to vacuum up domestic records. The FBI, however, is. But the NSA “takes home” the bulk collection and “tips” a few hundred phone numbers to the agency whose name is listed on the first page.

  • Yahoo Selects NSA Critic For Chief Security Role

    Internet giant Yahoo has recruited Alex Stamos, one of the more vocal opponents of mass US spying, as its new chief information security officer (CISO).

  • NSA views encryption as evidence of suspicion and will target those who use it, security journalist says

    Glenn Greenwald, editor of the newly launched digital publication The Intercept, told attendees at SXSWi that the National Security Agency is wary of anyone who takes steps to protect their online activity from being hacked, such as using encryption tools.

    “In [the NSA's] mind, if you want to hide what you’re saying from them, it must mean that what you’re saying is a bad thing,” Greenwald said via a Skype video call. “They view the use of encryption… as evidence that you’re suspicious and can actually target you if you use it.”

  • NSA leading us to phones that may well outsmart even the spooks

    If the physical handset case is prised open, the phone will automatically erase all data it holds.

    Ask Boeing for more details if you dare.

    Call us paranoid, but you may very well find the NSA has opened a file on you.

  • Vodafone’s SecureCall app ‘could have protected Angela Merkel from NSA’

    Vodafone’s new smartphone app Secure Call could have protected Angela Merkel from the NSA.

  • Change Agents: The Curious Case of the “Responsible” NSA Revelations

    Well, hold on there a minute, Arthur, you incorrigible skeptic you. What about the latest revelation from The Intercept, the flagship enterprise of First Look? Just last weekend, the Interceptors dug into this vast trove of criminality to inform us that … the NSA’s newsletter has its own Dear Abby column (or “agony aunt,” as the Brits would say). Now how about that! The NSA has an internal advice column offering tidbits on personnel issues. Now that’s transformative journalism with a vengeance! Just think how many innocent lives now doomed to die from Washington’s surveillance state-supported death squads will now be saved because of this revelation!

  • Debates on beefing up EU data protection and NSA inquiry findings

    A major overhaul of the EU data protection rules and MEPs’ findings and recommendations after six months investigating US mass surveillance schemes will be debated on Tuesday from 15.00. The data protection reform would greatly strengthen EU citizens’ control over their personal data and punish firms which pass it on without permission.

  • Germany rejects Snowden claim it bowed to NSA

    Germany on Monday dismissed a claim by NSA leaker Edward Snowden that it had bowed to US demands to water down privacy rights for German citizens.

    Snowden told the European parliament in a statement published Friday that Germany was pressured to modify its legislation on wiretapping and other forms of lawful telecoms surveillance. The former National Security Agency contractor didn’t elaborate on how the laws were changed or when, but suggested it was standard practice for the NSA to instruct friendly nations on how to “degrade the legal protections of their countries’ communications.”

  • NSA gave ‘legal guidance’ to NZ

    NSA leaker Edward Snowden says New Zealand is one of a number of countries the US spy agency helped to change laws in order to enable mass surveillance.

    The revelation came during his written answers to questions from the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. The committee is undertaking an inquiry into mass electronic surveillance of EU citizens launched following Snowden’s original allegations of widespread internet surveillance.

  • Michael Rogers goes before Senate committee to outline vision for NSA

    The likely next director of the National Security Agency will testify on Tuesday for the first time about his new job, in perhaps the agency’s best chance for a post-Edward Snowden reboot.

  • Surveillance by Algorithm

    Increasingly, we are watched not by people but by algorithms. Amazon and Netflix track the books we buy and the movies we stream, and suggest other books and movies based on our habits. Google and Facebook watch what we do and what we say, and show us advertisements based on our behavior. Google even modifies our web search results based on our previous behavior. Smartphone navigation apps watch us as we drive, and update suggested route information based on traffic congestion. And the National Security Agency, of course, monitors our phone calls, emails and locations, then uses that information to try to identify terrorists.

  • Edward Snowden speaks up for encryption at SXSW

    SURVEILLANCE WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden has taken part in a video conversation at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference along with representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • Edward Snowden discusses NSA leaks at SXSW: ‘I would do it again’

    Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose unprecedented leak of top-secret documents led to a worldwide debate about the nature of surveillance, insisted on Monday that his actions had improved the national security of the United States rather than undermined it, and declared that he would do it all again despite the personal sacrifices he had endured.

  • Google’s Schmidt ‘Pretty Sure’ Networks Are Now Secure After Being ‘Attacked’ By The United States

    Among the biggest revelations made by the Snowden documents so far was of course the fact that in addition to negotiating with companies like Yahoo and Google for user data via the front door (PRISM), the NSA was also busy covertly hacking into the links between company data centers for good measure (trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship, you know). The moves pretty clearly pissed off Google engineers, who swore at the agency and immediately began speeding up the already-underway process of encrypting traffic flowing between data centers.

  • Please Contact MEPs: Big Votes in European Parliament

    Two of the biggest stories over the last year have been data protection and – of course – Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive spying by the NSA and GCHQ on all online activity in Europe (and elsewhere). As it happens, both of these important issues are coming to a head this week: after a preliminary debate tomorrow, on Wednesday the European Parliament will vote on both (draft agenda.) That means we still have time to drop them a friendly email today asking them to support strong privacy and civil liberties in Europe.

  • US intelligence officials to monitor federal employees with security clearances

    Intelligence officials have long wanted a computerized system that could continuously monitor employees, in part to prevent cases similar to former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden. His disclosures bared secretive U.S. surveillance operations.

  • Snowden On Going Through ‘Proper Channels’: Reporting Concerns Gets You Flagged As A ‘Troublemaker’

    The NSA defenders who label Ed Snowden a “traitor” (senators, congressmen and any number of former intelligence officials) often assert the whistleblower had an opportunity to use “proper channels” rather than take the route he chose: leaking documents to journalists.

War on Peace

  • The Propaganda of Death

    The terrible loss of life in the Malaysian air crash is tragic. But the attempt to ramp up a terrorism scare is ghoulish. We even had both the BBC and Sky speculating that it was the Uighurs. Now the suppression of Uighur culture and religion by the Chinese had been a great and long-term evil, and the West has been only too eager to shoehorn their story into the “Islamic terrorism” story. There is of course an enormous security industry, both government and private, which makes a very fat living out of “combating Islamic terrorism”, and a media which make a fat living out of helping to ramp it.

Covert Intervention/Spying

  • Selling a Mossad Book

    Raviv reported that President Barack Obama would raise the assassination issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their March 3rd meeting at the White House. The book also repeats previous claims that Israeli spies who were possibly drawn from Persian Jews who had emigrated to Israel had infiltrated Iran and, using a string of safe houses and some help from friendly Iranians, had managed to kill five scientists. The authors have added the new information about the White House talks, noting also that Netanyahu has already decided to end the program because of the risk to Israel’s “most talented and experienced spies,” choosing instead to focus Mossad efforts on proving that the Iranians are cheating on their nuclear program.

    The motto of Israel’s foreign intelligence service the Mossad translates as “By way of deception you shall make war,” and one might modify that a bit to claim that “by way of deception you can sell books.” The whole story, intended to create some buzz for the new edition while at the same time touting the invincibility of Israeli intelligence, smells. It is the kind of narrative that is impossible to check. The sources are “secret,” Israel has never admitted its involvement, there is no indication that the president and prime minister actually spoke regarding the assassinations, and there is no suggestion why Obama would have any motive raise the issue. The Iranians are not demanding any action from Washington regarding the killings as part of the ongoing nuclear negotiations, so why would Obama even mention it?

  • US war movie military policy: Baby Boomers grew up on films where battle was noble and Americans never died

    War, these movies taught me, is entered reluctantly and only after due, transparent discussion by the nation’s leaders. But as a child eating popcorn and tossing Jujubes from the balcony of the theater, I learned nothing about the imposition of freedom, of democracy, of American values on those who hold different values and beliefs and refuse to adopt what America “offers.”

  • Dianne Feinstein launches scathing attack on CIA over alleged cover-up

    The chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, on Tuesday accused the Central Intelligence Agency of a catalogue of cover-ups, intimidation and smears aimed at investigators probing its role in an “un-American and brutal” programme of post-9/11 detention and interrogation.

  • CIA accused of spying on Congress over torture report

    According to the Associated Press, Sen. Feinstein said the CIA improperly searched a stand-alone computer network at the agency’s Langley, Virginia headquarters that was put in place so that Intelligence Committee staffers could view sensitive documents.

  • Snowden: Feinstein a Hypocrite for Blasting CIA Spying
  • 4 reasons the latest CIA revelation is serious

    The latest fight over America’s spycraft has triggered serious constitutional questions.

    On the Senate floor Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the CIA searched computers used by Senate staff to investigate the CIA, confirming a story reported by the New York Times last week.

  • Temple intern breaks national story involving CIA

    A senior in Temple University’s journalism program helped break a recent national story that has members of the U.S. Senate pointing fingers at the CIA.

    Ali Watkins, currently a 22-year-old intern for McClatchy in Washington, D.C., received a tip from sources who came to trust her while making herself a presence on Capitol Hill, according to a posting by Temple’s School of Media and Communications.

  • Analysis: Why Does Congress Lack the Backbone to Oversee the CIA?

    Ongoing efforts to make public a report on torture perpetrated by the CIA has the spy agency “nearly at war” with its Senate overseers, Eli Lake reports in The Daily Beast. In theory, that would mean that the CIA is in deep trouble. Congress has the power to destroy the CIA if it desires. Congress could cut the CIA budget to zero! Yet the press is filled with stories about the CIA and its overseers written as if they are on equal footing, or even as if the CIA has the upper hand.

OpenStack Advocacy and Promotion (Especially From Red Hat) and Other Stack Initiatives

Posted in News Roundup at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OpenStack

Other Initiatives

Recent and Upcoming Events

Posted in News Roundup at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Great Wide Open

  • Atlanta Meets Open Source at ‘Great Wide Open’

    Like All Things Open, which is now an annual event, Great Wide Open is aimed at those who earn their living by plying their trades in the tech sector. In other words, don’t expect any workshops or presentations on “How to Setup Ubuntu for Grandma” here. However, this doesn’t mean there’ll be nothing for people who mainly use Linux and open source at home. Indeed, all FOSS supporters should look into enterprise events like this because what happens in the enterprise often eventually ends up on the desktop, either as improvements/additions to Linux or as new open source applications.

Linux Foundation Events

SCALE 12X

Desktop Environments News: KDE, GNOME, XFCE…

Posted in News Roundup at 9:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

  • Conf.kde.in 2014 – Knowledge. Power. Freedom.

    The primary goal of the conference was to encourage people to get involved with open source and to understand its power and its reach. We also wanted to help them get started by teaching them the basics and by getting them to know more about KDE. When the conference was over, it didn’t matter how many lines of code anyone could understand or even actually write. If some people were convinced of the magic of open source and of KDE, and are now willing to be contributors to this noble cause even if only slightly, then the event accomplished its aim. Events, speakers and mentors like these add fuel to the fire inside. Students were inspired to reach out and experience the power of free and open source technology.

  • “KDE5″ and Wayland

    As my readers probably know there won’t be a combined release as the software compilation used to be. There are independent ongoing projects around the libraries (frameworks or KF5) the workspaces (Plasma Next) and the applications. These projects have independent release cycles and are not one product. I know, I know, many people will disagree and say that it’s still one. But if we go for this strong simplification both “will support Wayland” and “will not support Wayland” are true.

  • The State Of Wayland Support With KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma Next
  • oldest krunner plugin ported to sprinter

    Today I ported the ~7.5 year-old “services” KRunner plugin to Sprinter and added support for some of the new Sprinter features in the process, which I show in the video below. It felt like something of a milestone to have the first plugin I wrote for KRunner now running on libsprinter. :)

  • Not the monday report but some clarification

    “Community” why is that more important than “Design”? Because it is design. It is the basis of Open Source Design. One of my favorite distros and desktops (aside from Plasma Desktop) is Crunchbang. It’s one of my first pure Linux Loves and will always have a certain place in my heart.Crunchbang got one huge chunk of design right: communication. Design is communication – it is not just “make pretty”, its the ability to communicate goals, ideals and ideas to a group. In Open Source the benefit we have is that everyone can be a part – we use it in almost every aspect, from the Kernel up to Widget programming. But we tend to forget Design because design have a myth about it of the “Lone Genius” and that “Design by committee” it’s supposed counterpart is somehow “bad for design”.

  • KDE Ships First Beta of Applications and Platform 4.13
  • First beta of KDE Applications 4.13 is out

    It’s Christmas time for KDE Software users, the team has just announced the first beta of the 4.13 versions of Applications and Development Platform. This release also marks a freeze on APIs, dependencies and features so the team will now focus on hunting down bugs and polish it further.

  • Replacing KDE4 with Xfce

    With these things in mind, I very quickly focused on two desktop managers that might provide the desired desktop: Xfce and Trinity. Since I prefer to use openSUSE as the underlying operating system and Xfce is one of the desktop manager options fully supported by openSUSE installations, Xfce was an obvious first choice for consideration. This article will consider the Xfce desktop manager from the perspective of a KDE4 user and it is addressed to all those KDE4 users who feel similarly frustrated with the development direction KDE4 has taken.

  • Krita Lime: Localization Support
  • Krita 2.8.0 Milestone Release, Steam [Ubuntu Installation]

    Krita 2.8.0 was released yesterday, and this version comes with quite a big list of changes. In addition to the new features that were implemented, Krita is also available for Windows with an installer available from here.

  • Major new version of free Photoshop replacement Krita released for Linux and Windows

    The KDE Project has released a major new version of its Krita image editing software, with the latest version of the free and open source Photoshop replacement available for both Windows and Linux.

    The latest update, version 2.8, marks a significant milestone for the software, marking the first stable version of the software released for Windows.

  • Krita 2.8 Provides Many New Features To Artists

    Krita 2.8 offers better tablet support based upon Qt’s tablet code, a new high-quality scaling mode for Krita’s OpenGL canvas, a new wrap-around mode, new brush presets, a layer picker, support for G’mic filters, and tons of new artist features and other improvements.

  • Calligra 2.8 Released

    The Calligra team is proud and pleased to announce the release of version 2.8 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. This version is the result of thousands of commits which provide new features, polishing of the user experience and bug fixes.

  • KDE Commit-Digest for 2nd February 2014

GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Ubuntu Gnome wants to get LTS status

    Ubuntu Gnome team wants to join the elite club of Ubuntu flavours which enjoy the LTS (Long Term Support) status. 14.04 is going to be an LTS release and its apt for Ubuntu Gnome team to get extended support of 2 years and 3 months as an LTS release which will make it easier for those users to use Gnome who want to use stable LTS releases.

  • GNOME Music 3.12 Beta 2 Arrives with Minor Improvements and Bugfixes

    Several other minor improvements have been added to this release, and various bugs have been fixed, including the removal of the “Now Playing” entry from the App Menu, songs are no longer being replayed when they’re paused, the current track is now restarted when the Previous button is clicked, and the position is greater than 3 seconds.

Mixed

  • Why XFCE beats KDE and GNOME

    The sleeper desktop environment – which I didn’t even considered years ago – has been XFCE. I’ve found that XFCE offers more robustness than say, LXDE, which lacks much of XFCE’s polish in its default configuration. XFCE provides all the benefits one may have enjoyed in GNOME 2, but with a lightweight experience that makes it a hit on older computers.

  • Linux desktop environment Mate achieves 1.8 release

    Linux users do not like change. Well, actually, they do not like change for the sake of change. If something works, they typically hang on to it until something truly better comes along. A good example of this is GNOME 2. People love it and it works well. However, the GNOME Project moved to version 3 and radically changed how it works. GNOME purists were angry as version 2 worked just fine — for them. And so, many hung onto the outdated version, shunning version 3.

  • Totally Legal, LMDE Reviews, and R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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