When a program needs a place to store files temporarily on a Linux server, a RAM file system keeps disk storage free for other tasks.
When a program needs a place to store files temporarily on a Linux server, a RAM file system keeps disk storage free for other tasks.
While working on Replicant, a fully free/libre version of Android, we discovered that the proprietary program running on the applications processor in charge of handling the communication protocol with the modem actually implements a back-door that lets the modem perform remote file I/O operations on the file system.
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
The latest batch of top-secret intelligence documents from the hoard collected by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden detail the massive increase in the agency’s use of its Tailored Access Operations (TAO) hacking unit – including a system dubbed TURBINE that can spam out millions of pieces of sophisticated malware at a time.
While U.S. law enforcement agencies have long tried to stamp out networks of compromised computers used by cyber criminals, the National Security Agency has been hijacking the so-called botnets as a resource for spying.
The NSA has “co-opted” more than 140,000 computers since August 2007 for the purpose of injecting them with spying software, according to a slide leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept news website on Wednesday.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said yesterday that he favors ending the National Security Agency’s widespread collection of U.S. citizens’ phone data, making him the first of the four leaders of the congressional intelligence panels to do so.
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT is miffed about data snarfing by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and has threatened the country with an end to the Safe Harbor agreement.
The European Parliament voted yesterday (12 March) to adopt a resolution condemning spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on EU citizens.
The European Parliament’s consent to the EU-US trade deal “could be endangered” if blanket mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) does not stop, MEPs have warned.
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.
We cannot “kill” terrorism with a drone.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
The normally cool and calm director of the CIA, John Brennan, may have flinched Tuesday. After a scathing speech from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the committee that oversees his agency, Brennan largely defended the CIA from charges that it illegally spied on Senate staffers poring through documents related to the agency’s black site program.
Israel uses drones to gather intelligence on militant activity in Gaza, a territory governed by the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas and where other armed groups also operate.
France recently acquired the two American-made drones. They are based in Niamey, Niger.
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.
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)
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.
How to move beyond our SXSW talk: revenge of the nerds, one everyday security tool at a time
President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command said on Tuesday liability protection for corporations that share information with intelligence agencies is crucial in any new U.S. cybersecurity legislation.
Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, nominated by President Barack Obama to head the agency at the center of a public firestorm over surveillance, told lawmakers the NSA needs to be able to access the vast amounts of metadata to thwart terror attacks.
Arizona is one of thirteen states where legislators have proposed a bill that would prohibit states from providing assistance to a federal agency, like the NSA, that collects electronic data or metadata without a warrant. Originally drafted by nonpartisan legal activists, the bill, which is often referred to as the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, has proven popular across the political spectrum thanks to growing unease about the government’s ability to track virtually everything a person does online.
Three of the government bodies designated by Reporters Without Borders as ‘Enemies of the Internet’ are located in democracies that have traditionally claimed to respect fundamental freedoms, a report by the Reporters Without Borders said.
Vice Admiral Michael Rogers told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Snowden caused significant damage by releasing information about the NSA’s surveillance programs, but when asked by Sen. Joe Machin, a West Virginia Democrat, whether he viewed Snowden as a traitor, Rogers said, “I don’t know that I would use the word ‘traitor.’ But I certainly do not consider him to be a hero.”
The exasperation with the Democratic senator from California is that she hasn’t also directed her outrage at the NSA
Earlier today, we wrote about Senator Dianne Feinstein’s justified anger over the CIA “spying” on the Senate Intelligence Committee staffers as they went about putting together a massive (and apparently incredibly damning) report condemning the CIA’s torture program. Having now watched the whole video of her speech, as well as read the transcript, there’s a lot more here to discuss. You can watch the speech yourself if you’d like, or read the full transcript, which we’ve embedded below…
Back when we first started getting reports of the Chinese breaking into U.S. computer networks for espionage purposes, we described it in some very strong language. We called the Chinese actions cyber-attacks. We sometimes even invoked the word cyberwar, and declared that a cyber-attack was an act of war.
When Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA has been doing exactly the same thing as the Chinese to computer networks around the world, we used much more moderate language to describe U.S. actions: words like espionage, or intelligence gathering, or spying. We stressed that it’s a peacetime activity, and that everyone does it.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Summary: Some of the past week’s news about Ubuntu, the most hyped up distribution of GNU/Linux
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Robert Carr at Canonical has ported Google’s Chromium web-browser to Mir. The “Mir-Ozone” component allows Chromium to run natively on Mir, which in turn is based on Wayland code.
When Canonical decided to shun the Wayland display server for its own, called Mir, the Linux community was up in arms. Many people felt that Canonical was not being a team player. While I understand that point of view, the company is well within its right to go in a different direction with Ubuntu. After all, open-source and free software is about choice — not falling in line.
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.
What the public needs to understand is that a U.S. citizen, under the protection of the Constitution, was denied due process despite criminal accusations. Instead of going through the justice system like any other alleged criminal, the government found it more convenient to use a killing machine as judge, jury and executioner. The president of the United States is tasked with upholding the Constitution, not throwing it away when it suits him or her.
After a year long study of the use of drones to kill people, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Ben Emmerson has released his final report. It’s a manageable read at 22 pages. The summary by NYU’s Sarah Knuckey is the next best thing.
Rapporteur says MoD has no wish to bring squadron of unmanned aircraft back to Britain after Afghan campaign ends
And there has not been a reported drone strike for more than two months in Pakistan.
Israel pulled its troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, but maintains a naval and air blockade of the enclave and severely restricts the overland movement of people and goods across the volatile border.
A suspected al Qaeda militant was killed in a drone strike late on Monday in Yemen’s central Maarib province, an oil-producing area where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operates, local tribesmen said.
The sources said three rockets, presumed to be fired by a U.S. drone, hit a car that a man who went by the name of Ebad al-Shabwani was driving. The car was completely burnt, the tribesmen said.
The media is clamoring to get Russia for attacking Ukraine, as if the US has had no influence on events.
Events of the last few weeks in Ukraine have shown how fragile the state of the world is, how interdependent, and yet how badly served it is by leaders of the biggest countries. If there were a “Nobel Anti-Peace Prize,” Putin might win it, but it would be hard to separate him from so many leading contenders.
U.S., Europe slam Russia over Crimean referendum
Alarm at Russian expansion had at this time caused a flurry of British intelligence activity.
War on Privacy
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.
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.
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).
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.”
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 new smartphone app Secure Call could have protected Angela Merkel from the NSA.
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!
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every six months or so, a new release of the open-source OpenStack cloud platform debuts. The open-source release is followed by the stream of commercial vendors, including Piston Cloud Computing, that harden the upstream bits and enhance the platform with their own solutions.
Or is it the case that 75,000 live OpenStack virtual machines can’t be wrong?
Gone are the days of benchmarking one Pentium processor performance compared to the last… and come to think of it, Apple has not pushed benchmarking as a key selling point in years and appears to be able to shift quite a few products.
Plus anyway, benchmarks are static metrics that fail to take into account an ongoing analysis of how a) hardware of any kind is used on a longer term basis and b) how real world data flows affect the software implementation being assessed.
The OpenStack cloud computing platform continues to head in a lot of interesting directions. There are many IT departments interested in deploying it for its flexibility and customizability, but there are also those who simply want a well supported OpenStack platform that will let them take advantage of private cloud functionality.
OpenStack remains a young cloud computing platform, but it’s becoming clear that we will see its compatibility with other technologies getting much better this year. As reported here, Mirantis is calling for and helping to build a standard, open set of tools that vendors can use to self-certify compatibility of their solutions with the upstream OpenStack codebase. This will help everything from drivers to APIs to become more friendly for those deploying OpenStack. Meanwhile, Red Hat and others are pursuing their own compatibility and certification-focused efforts.
The way that IT certifications have long worked is that they have largely been vendor-specific. That’s something that is about to change with the open-source OpenStack cloud platform.
OpenStack Object Storage (code named Swift) has a fairly frequent release schedule for improvements and new capabilities but naturally, there is always significant gravity around integrated releases for any OpenStack project. Even though the Havana release was very big for OpenStack Swift, with new support for global clusters, the upcoming Icehouse will be the biggest release yet for the OpenStack Swift project.
The Cloud Foundry Foundation will be backed by ActiveState, CenturyLink, EMC, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Rackspace, SAP and VMware.
IBM believes it’s making a safe bet by opening its middleware stack to its SoftLayer Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud. They’d better be. Big Blue’s putting a billion dollars on the table.
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
The Internet of Everything, container virtualization and KVM virtualization for the OpenStack cloud are all on the list of open source initiatives the Linux Foundation will be highlighting at its Collaboration Summit next month, which provides some useful clues as to where the open source ecosystem is headed next.
The Linux Foundation has announced the keynote speakers for ApacheCon and the CloudStack Collaboration Conference. ApacheCon takes place April 7-9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The CloudStack Collaboration Conference takes place April 9-11, 2014 in the same location. In particular, the CloudStack conference sounds like a very interesting event, and given all the hype about OpenStack, it’s easy to forget that CloudStack has momentum, too.
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.
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.
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.
“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”.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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