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03.27.13

Links 27/3/2013: Document Freedom Day!

Posted in News Roundup at 10:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper faces revolt as Conservative backbenchers complain of muzzlings

    Conservative MP Mark Warawa (pictured) asked the Speaker of the House to intervene Tuesday after party whip Gordon O’Connor struck him from the list of backbenchers who were scheduled to deliver a member’s statement last Thursday.

  • Google pressured Sweden to drop the word ungoogleable [Updated]
  • Security

    • Can the Lords salvage something from the Justice and Security Bill?

      Today Andrew Tyrie MP and Anthony Peto QC have published their follow-up paper on the Justice and Security Bill for the Centre for Policy Studies. It makes for harrowing reading.

      The Bill now heads back to the Lords today, where it started. The House of Lords voted for major amendments, introducing more discretion for judges and making the use of CMPs a last resort. The Government removed most of these amendments during Committee stage, in most cases by a single vote, despite repeated warnings that the Bill’s proposals constitute a radical departure from fundamental constitutional principles.

      As Andrew Tyrie MP says: “The Lords did good repair work on the Bill, but the Government has undone much of it. The Lords now have a final chance to restore their original sensible amendments and further improve the Bill. I very much hope that they will do take it.”

    • What is the Network Control Point for Security? [VIDEO]

      Martin Roesch, founder of IPS vendor SourceFIRE, discusses the need for network visibility, web application firewalls and what it should all be called.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Media Didn’t Fail on Iraq; Iraq Just Showed We Have a Failed Media

      You know what, Paul Farhi? Skeptics are aware that it was possible to “connect the dots,” because they did so, in real time–citing the same exceptional journalists whom you now cite to prove that the media as a whole were doing their job.

      But the real job of the media is not to sprinkle 1 percent truth amidst 99 percent bullshit, so that diligent researchers can search it out like Easter eggs. The job of the media is to present information so that when when its audience consumes it in the usual manner, that audience can get some sense of what reality is like. By this basic standard, the corporate media failed.

    • Long-lost Nazi submarine U-486 found off coast of Norway

      The wreck of a long-lost Nazi submarine, the U-486, has been found off the west coast of Norway, more than 60 years after it was sunk.

      The remains were first spotted north of the port of Bergen last year but have only now been confirmed as the missing U-boat, the Bergen Maritime Museum announced today.

      The U-486 last sailed on April 12, 1945, when she came under attack from a British submarine. A torpedo broke the German vessel in two, sending her and all 48 crew onboard to the bottom of the seabed.

    • THE SPY WHO SAID TOO MUCH

      In 2007, John Kiriakou was settling into a lucrative life as a former spy. His fourteen-year career as a C.I.A. officer had included thrilling, if occasionally hazardous, tours as a specialist in counterterrorism. In Athens, in 1999 and 2000, he recruited several foreign agents to spy for the United States, and at one point was nearly assassinated by leftists. In Pakistan, in 2002, he chased Al Qaeda members, and when Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda logistics leader, was wounded and captured, Kiriakou guarded his bedside. (Kiriakou recounted many of his exploits in a colorful memoir, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the C.I.A.’s War on Terror.”) In 2004, he retired, and soon took a job with the accounting and consulting firm DeLoitte. He worked in the field of corporate intelligence and advised Hollywood filmmakers on the side.

    • CIA Chief advises you to ask: What are your rights? Who owns your data?

      The cloud is old news, it’s “so three years ago,” and Big Data “was so last year,” but according to the CIA’s Chief Technology Officer, Ira “Gus” Hunt, this year is about “how to get value” from Big Data. At the GigaOM Structure Data conference, Hunt presented, “The CIA’s ‘Grand Challenges” with Big Data” and I highly recommend that you take about 30 minutes to personally listen to it.

    • DOD Urged to Cut Ties with Russian Enabler of Syrian Atrocities

      Human Rights First today joined with Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Kay Granger (R-TX) to call on the Department of Defense to uphold its legal responsibility to end its business relationship with Russian-state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, an enabler of the mass atrocities in Syria. Russia, through Rosoboronexport, has served as the chief arms supplier of weapons to the Bashar al-Assad regime since the beginning of the two-year Syrian conflict that has left more than 70,000 dead.

    • Man Speaks of Escape From Nazi Rule at Holocaust Remembrance Service

      Guest speaker Josef Korngruen will tell his story of escape from Nazi rule as a child. Korngruen was born in Austria to Polish parents. It was only after his parents renounced their Polish citizenship and became stateless that they were issued papers that allowed his sisters and him to travel—one sister to Israel, one to America and Josef to England on the Kindertransport.

    • Delays in Poland’s CIA jails case “endangering evidence”

      Delays in Poland’s investigation into whether the CIA ran secret jails on its soil could have caused evidence to be lost and given security services time to cover their tracks, according to a submission to the European Court of Human Rights.

    • Obama’s drone killing program slowly emerges from the secret state shadows

      How much difference does it make for a Pentagon finger to fire a Hellfire missile, rather than the CIA’s? Some, but not enough

    • President Obama: The drones don’t work, they just make it worse

      As the Obama Administration looks to reform its drone program, it should focus on assessing its actual success rate.

    • Woman who helped run CIA torture may get major promotion
    • First female CIA director appointed
    • Obama Appoints First Female Secret Service (Not CIA) Director
    • CIA’s interrogation program deserves public airing

      Americans should assess whether Langley engaged in torture in its war against al-Qaida. The country’s honor is at stake, not just the competence of its primary intelligence service. Neither the CIA nor national security is likely to be harmed if the behemoth were released with the necessary camouflage for operatives, tradecraft and foreign intelligence services.

    • US drones kill 4 in NWA

      The number of drone strikes has decreased dramatically in recent months. The last drone strike took place on March 10. Drone strikes by the United States are deeply resented in the country and considered a violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

    • Commission says no to drones

      County commissioners made it loud and clear Tuesday they want no part of drone testing at the airport.

    • The More Americans Know About Drones, the Less They Like Them

      The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza gave his most recent “Worst Week in Washington Award” to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., whose assault weapons ban got stripped from a Democratic gun control package last Tuesday for lack of support. Fair enough, but if nonhumanoids can be eligible for the award (and why discriminate?), I’d say that drones had the “worst week in Washington” last week.

    • Game of drones

      Federal regulators still have until 2015 to come up with drone rules, but some local and state governments don’t want to wait that long. In February, Charlottesville in Virginia, became the first US city to ban drones for two years.
      While these bans are mostly symbolic and would be overruled by a federal drone law, they highlight the anxiety that surrounds drones and doubts whether the FAA – an agency much more experienced in dealing with safety than privacy issues – can produce drone legislation that addresses privacy concerns.
      Those concerns are real, agrees Joanne Gabrynowicz, director of the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law at the University of Mississippi. “But we can come up with a regulatory system. If we did it for satellites I am confident we can do it for drones. But it will be difficult and there a lot of interests involved.”

    • Mayor Bloomberg admits police drones may be coming to NYC

      New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s been on a roll lately. First he announced he wanted to ban super-size sodas, then it was ear-buds and cigarettes. Now the mayor has announced he may actually allow something. Look up; the Big Apple may soon be called the big brother.

      “What’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building?” Bloomberg asked when comparing aerial drones to the thousands of security cameras already placed around New York City.

    • A 50-Point Swing Against Targeted Drone Killings of U.S. Citizens

      A year ago, as the presidential race was taking shape, The Washington Post’s pollster asked voters whether they favored the use of drones to kill terrorists or terror suspects if they were “American citizens living in other countries.” The net rating at the time was positive: 65 percent for, 26 percent against.
      Today, after a month of Rand Paul-driven discussion of drone warfare, Gallup asks basically the same question: Should the U.S. “use drones to launch airstrikes in other countries against U.S. citizens living abroad who are suspected terrorists?” The new numbers: 41 percent for, 52 percent against.

  • Cablegate

    • Of Wikileaks, Wikitreats, invisibility and Jack the Giant Slayer
    • Julian Assange’s mother to speak at Murwillumbah
    • WikiLeaks reveals how West’s Iran war drive was undermined

      Former chairperson of the US National Intelligence Council, Thomas Fingar, received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on January 23 for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.

      The NIE report’s finding that Iran had no active nuclear weapons program gave lie to years of US-Israeli anti-Iran rhetoric, and has been credited with preventing a pre-emptive war against Iran.

      US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show that the NIE also hampered Western efforts to pass a fourth United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution against Iran.

    • WikiLeaks trial criticized as opaque and “chilling” to freedom of speech

      New York Times media critic David Carr blasted the United States military’s “eyedropper” approach to releasing information about Pfc. Bradley Manning’s public pretrial in a column on Sunday, March 24. Chronicling the hurdles reporters have faced covering the trial, Carr observed, “A public trial over state secrets was itself becoming a state secret in plain sight.”

      According to Carr, the military has released only 84 documents out of nearly 400 requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents released were so redacted the critic wrote they were “mystifying at best and at times almost comic.” Carr also noted that the court did not provide written transcripts from the proceedings.

    • Whistle blowers guard democracy

      The late I. F. “Iffy” Stone was a talented and insightful columnist whose beat was the Washington political arena, and he operated on a premise that every investigative reporter would do well to emulate.

    • ‘Pentagon Papers’ whistleblower defends WikiLeaks ‘hero’ Manning
    • Vietnam War whistleblower defends WikiLeaks ‘hero’

      Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg waited decades for someone like Bradley Manning to follow in his footsteps.

      He hails the US Army private accused of spilling secrets to website WikiLeaks as a champion of truth and not a betrayer of his country

    • Wikileaks, free speech and Assange’s message to Australia

      Wikileaks has had a transformative effect on global politics and our attitudes to government power and responsibility.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Corporate Land Grabs Reveal a Hidden Agenda: Controlling the Water

      Reports on land grabbing reveal that investors target control of both the land and the water beneath. Today’s “water barons”- multi-billionaires, financial institutions and corporate multinationals- are increasingly investing in water resources globally. Over-extraction and large land purchases in the Ogallala Aquifer and Great Lakes region in the US are proof that water scarcity is a growing problem not just in the Global South. Furthermore, efforts to track the water footprint of companies and other water-related risks, such as the “water disclosure project,” could actually backfire by providing information to investors interested in water-grabbing. Thus, regulatory mechanisms at the national and international level are needed to control large-scale land (and water) investments threatening the lives and livelihoods of local communities dependent on these resources.

    • IT’S OFFICIAL: Banks In Europe May Now Seize Deposits To Cover Their Gambling Losses

      Although deposits under 100,000 euros will be spared, deposits over 100,000 euros will be seized and subjected to an as-yet undetermined haircut–with the confiscated money going to bail out the gambling losses of the aforementioned reckless idiots who run some of Cyprus’s banks.
      This seizure, needless to say, will dampen the enthusiasm of rich depositors for keeping money in banks that get themselves into financial trouble.
      And because many, many banks in Europe have gotten themselves into financial trouble, this will create a general state of unease among rich depositors throughout the Eurozone.
      And it should wig out some bank lenders, as well.
      After all, never before in the history of this global financial crisis has a major banking system allowed depositors to lose money, no matter how reckless and stupid and greedy their bank managers have been. And only rarely have bank lenders–those who hold bank bonds–been asked to pony up.

    • CYPRUS’ BANKS TO REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL THURSDAY
    • Detroit’s First Day Under an Emergency Financial Manager

      As of today, Detroit is under the control of a governor-appointed Emergency Financial Manager (EFM). The Motor City is the largest district in the nation to have its voters and elected officials sidelined by this new experiment in “crisis management.”

    • JP Morgan Gets an Award for London Whale Fiasco, Will Schneiderman Harpoon the Corruption?

      A JPMorgan Chase employee stepped onstage at a black-tie gala on Wall Street last week to accept a “best crisis management” award given by an investor relations magazine. The bank, which was recently the subject of a U.S. Senate investigative hearing and an ongoing FBI probe into $6.2 billion in trading losses known as the “London Whale” fiasco, is not the subject of ridicule — but praise – from its cronies on Wall Street.

    • WORLD’S FIRST BITCOIN ATM IS ANNOUNCED – FIRST LOCATION: CYPRUS
    • Goldman Rejects Proposal That Firm Run for Elected Office

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the investment bank nicknamed “Government Sachs” because of senior executives who have moved into public posts, won’t be entering politics itself.

      A shareholder proposal that the New York-based company run for office instead of funding political campaigns was discarded, according to a letter last month from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which agreed the firm can exclude the measure from its annual meeting.

    • Bill O’Reilly Gets Smacked By Economics Professor – Nanny States Actually Do Better (VIDEO)

      Fox News can afford to have economists to give its opinion masters factual information. It is obvious they have no interest in that. O’Reilly could not possibly believe what he is saying. Not only is there evidence from Europe as was stated by Professor Wolff, but it was true here in America.

    • Russian Leader Warns, “Get All Money Out Of Western Banks Now!”

      A Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) “urgent bulletin” being sent to Embassies around the world today is advising both Russian citizens and companies to begin divesting their assets from Western banking and financial institutions “immediately” as Kremlin fears grow that both the European Union and United States are preparing for the largest theft of private wealth in modern history.
      According to this “urgent bulletin,” this warning is being made at the behest of Prime Minister Medvedev who earlier today warned against the Western banking systems actions against EU Member Cyprus by stating:

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • As Supreme Court Hears Challenge to ALEC Voting Bill, Two More States Introduce It

      Within days of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing a challenge to an Arizona voting registration law that had been adopted as a “model” by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), two more states advanced bills that appear to track the ALEC/Arizona template.

      On March 18, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), which will decide whether Arizona’s refusal to register voters that do not provide proof of citizenship is in conflict with federal law.

    • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has political ambitions

      PEOPLE WATCHER Mark Zuckerberg has political ambitions to shake up the US immigration system.
      Zuckerberg is rallying a posse of technology politicos to help him create a lobbying group that will campaign – that is, throw money at – liberalising the US immigration and visa system.

    • Journalist claims Washington Post killed article on Iraq war media failures

      The Washington Post has been accused by a journalist of spiking a piece he was commissioned to write about the US media’s failures in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

      Greg Mitchell, a veteran journalist and author (see here), claims his assigned piece for the Post was killed and replaced by an article that defended the media’s coverage.

  • Censorship

    • Will bloggers be protected? Maybe – if your blog is “small”
    • State Investigates Complaint about Dietrich Science Teacher’s Human Reproduction Lesson

      A Dietrich science teacher is being investigated by the state’s professional standards commission after a complaint from parents over his teaching methods.

      Tim McDaniel is being investigated after a complaint was filed by a handful of parents who objected to how McDaniel taught the reproductive system, Dietrich Superintendent Neil Hollingshead said.

      “It is highly unlikely it would end with his dismissal,” Hollingshead said. “Maybe a letter of reprimand from the school board.”

      According to McDaniel, four parents were offended that he explained the biology of an orgasm and included the word “vagina” during his lesson on the human reproductive system in a tenth-grade biology course.

      “I teach straight out of the textbook, I don’t include anything that the textbook doesn’t mention,” McDaniel said. “But I give every student the option not attend this class when I teach on the reproductive system if they don’t feel comfortable with the material.”

  • Privacy

    • Microsoft discloses online data to the police

      Microsoft handed over online user account details of 2000 Australians to law enforcement agencies last year. Google and other software companies do the same thing.

    • Under CISPA, Who Can Get Your Data?

      Under CISPA, companies can collect your information in order to “protect the rights and property” of the company, and then share that information with third parties, including the government, so long as it is for “cybersecurity purposes.” Companies aren’t required to strip out personally identifiable information from the data they give to the government, and the government can then use the information for purposes wholly unrelated to cybersecurity – such as “national security,” a term the bill leaves undefined.

    • Privacy groups urge Baroness Ludford to support stronger data rights

      In response to her letter to the Financial Times, ORG and Privacy International have written to Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford urging her to support stronger privacy rights in the upcoming and crucial LIBE Committee vote.

    • NSA Facility In Utah To Help Fight Against Cyber-Attacks
    • US Government To Scan Private Firms’ Emails And Web Use

      The US government is planning to scan private firms’ web use and email communications, as part of a bid to prevent cyber-attacks which has been requested by President Obama.

      The government is proposing to extend existing powers, so it can analyse the communications of organisations such as banks, utility providers and transport companies, to prevent online attacks on the country’s infrastructure, according to US security officials.

      The move is in response to an executive order signed by President Obama in February that calls upon the owners and operators of critical US infrastructure to “improve cyber-security information sharing and collaboratively develop and implement risk-based standards”.

    • The Department of Homeland Security Would Like to Talk to Your Hacker Teens

      It’s hard being the Department of Homeland Security. Foreign agents are constantly trying to slip inside the D.H.S.’s computer systems. But America’s hotshot hackers either go for the private sector ($$$) or somewhere you can go on the offensive, like the N.S.A. (which, let’s face it, sounds super-badass).

      So, according to the New York Times, the agency, desperate for recruits, is now making like a college football program and hunting for recruits at high school hacking competitions

    • Calling All High School Hackers
    • To Combat China’s Hacker Army, the U.S. Is Copying Its Methods
    • Government uses video games to recruit teen hackers
    • U.S. government steps up hacker recruiting
  • Civil Rights

    • 102 Years After Triangle Fire, Media Still Wonder How Workers Keep Dying
    • Conscript facing jail again for refusing to go against his conscience

      A handful of Israeli teenagers go to prison every year because they refuse to serve in their country’s army on grounds of conscience.

      Nineteen-year old Natan Blanc from Haifa has been through this seven times in four months.

    • NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Government has right to ‘infringe on your freedom’

      New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Sunday: Sometimes government does know best. And in those cases, Americans should just cede their rights.

    • “Congress has the gall to discretely slip another clause into the #NDAA 2013 that repeals the World War II-era legislation”

      Congress has the gall to discretely slip another clause into the #NDAA 2013 that repeals the World War II-era legislation…

    • Las Vegas City Council Passes NDAA Nullification Resolution

      The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will not be enforced in Las Vegas. Rejection of the unconstitutional provisions of that controversial federal act was the purpose of a resolution passed by the city council just after noon on March 20.

      By a vote of 5-2, the council passed R-18-2013. The resolution, offered by Ward 2 Councilman Bob Beers, will now be presented to the Clark County (Nevada) Commission.

    • Turns Out The One ‘Good’ Change In CFAA Reform… May Actually Be Bad Too

      So yesterday we broke the news about a proposed CFAA reform bill that, rather than fix the problems of the CFAA made the law much, much worse. It added computer crimes as a racketeering issue, increased sentences and made just talking about a potential CFAA violation the equivalent of having committed it. Bad stuff all around. There was one section, however, that we said was slightly good. We noted that they ever so slightly rolled back what would constitute a crime for “exceeding authorized access” listing out a few qualifications that needed to be met — including that the information obtained was valued over $5,000, that you had to be targeting private information and that the access was done in furtherance of a crime. Based on the bill as written, I had assumed that all of those elements needed to be present to qualify.

    • From the Left: The American Republic has become the American Empire

      The USA Patriot Act codified many of the wishes of statists into law. Whether it is the act’s regulation of bank accounts, the broadening of the government’s authority to deport citizens, or the authorization of roving wiretaps and non-consenting business record searches, the act is only the first brick in the construction of the modern police state. We have also had the unfortunate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which appropriates and divides up defense and war spending, but contains a blatantly unconstitutional clause that gives the government the authority to indefinitely detain American citizens. And now – even after the intense political backlash against the NDAA 2012 – our Congress has the gall to discretely slip another clause into the NDAA 2013 that repeals the World War II-era legislation that prevents the government from using state-approved propaganda, and would make Washington immune to any court cases challenging them.

    • Obama rape and plunder of America

      All that Americans have held on to and relied on is being assaulted. Obama won’t stop until America is forced into submission to his dictatorship plans and the rest of us locked up or killed. What survives the Obama battering rams will be taxed and redistributed to his seduced worshipers. They will be slaves and controlled like mutant little toys, but they will thank Obama and give him their worship.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

03.25.13

Links 25/3/2013: GNU/Linux Migration in Boston Education, KDE in Outreach Program for Women

Posted in News Roundup at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Thinking aloud: The Price of Hardware Quality

      Some years ago, we had (one may say) good, classic brands of computers, and others not so good. The price of ones and others vary. An original IBM PC was very expensive (all computers were, at the beginning), but clones came cheaper.

      Quality was also quite well divided by boundaries, and followed the quality and durability of the equipment. A Toshiba, or HP, Compaq, etc., machine was considered of good (hardware) quality, and last as long as what you expected for the money you had paid. Maybe some of you still have one of those running a minimal GNU/Linux distribution today because the hardware lasted. (Image Credit: http://www.whitesettlement.lib.tx.us)

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Miracle grow: Indian farmers smash crop yield records without GMOs

      What if the agricultural revolution has already happened and we didn’t realize it? Essentially, that’s the idea in this report from the Guardian about a group of poverty-stricken Indian rice and potato farmers who harvested confirmed world-record yields of rice and potatoes. Best of all: They did it completely sans-GMOs or even chemicals of any kind.

  • Security

    • Windows Malware Takes Advantage of Weak Linux Setups
    • NSA Critiques Public Key Cryptography

      Revelation of the early public key cryptography work of James Ellis, Malcolm Williamson and Cliff Cocks at GCHQ occurred in 1997, eleven years after this secret 1986 review cites them. Whitfield Diffie, one of the inventors or PKC, commented in 1999 on the British precursors:

    • NSA INFOSEC Excitement

      Some time ago, while I was having lunch with the Director of Security of one of our NATO allies and we were discussing the rash of books on intelligence agencies such as the CIA and Britain’s MI-5 and MI-6 that were flooding bookstores, he asked, “Why aren’t there more best selling books on INFOSEC?” I replied, “It’s because the best days we have in INFOSEC are when nothing exciting happens in the outside world. When we are successful, which we are most ofthe time, the result is a non-event.”

    • CMU, NSA search for student hackers

      …participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the challenge.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Wikileaks: Power and Consent. Raimond Gaita
    • ‘Pentagon Papers’ whistleblower defends WikiLeaks ‘hero’ Manning

      Sydney, Mar 25 (ANI): Former American military analyst and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has backed US Army private accused Bradley Manning for spilling secrets to website WikiLeaks.

    • Vietnam whistleblower defends WikiLeaks

      PENTAGON Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg waited decades for someone like Bradley Manning to follow in his footsteps.

      He hails the US Army private accused of spilling secrets to website WikiLeaks as a champion of truth and not a betrayer of his country.

    • In Leak Case, State Secrecy in Plain Sight
    • New York Times Understand Historical Import of Manning Trial – FINALLY
    • Only a Few Reporters Have Bothered to Truly Confront Secrecy in Bradley Manning’s Court Martial

      Just over one year ago, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sent a letter to the military judge presiding over Pfc. Bradley Manning’s court martial that decried the “lack of openness” in proceedings. It condemned the fact that “documents and information filed in the case” were “not available to the public anywhere.” It complained about the failure to give the public proper “notice of issues to be litigated in the case.”

      The US Army did not respond appropriately to the letter. The military court at Fort Meade rebuffed an attempt by a CCR attorney to make a statement on press and public access to proceedings on April 24. The same day the military judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, issued a ruling that invoked Nixon v. Time Warner, a case involving press access to the Watergate tapes, to justify secrecy in the proceedings, and she said the Freedom of Information Act was available to the press if they wanted records. CCR filed a lawsuit in May about a month later (which I signed on to as a plaintiff).

  • Finance

    • Russian Billionaire In Exile Boris Berezovsky Commits Suicide – The First Cyprus Casualty?

      Just your ordinary run of the mill Russian billionaire oligarch in exile who had so much money he was terminally depressed… or just the opposite, and the first tragic casualty of the Cyprus capital controls which are about to eviscerate a whole lot of Russian wealth (and ultraluxury Manhattan real estate prices)?

    • The Cyprus Cartoon Catalog
    • The future of the NHS—irreversible privatisation?

      JILL MOUNTFORD: Lucy, can you explain to us what is going on right now? The Health and Social Care Act has been law now for almost a year, and we thought surely that’s all going to go ahead. All of a sudden there is a lot of movement, a lot of anxiety and a lot of agitation around something that’s happening in parliament that’s going to have a big effect on the National Health Service. What is it and why?

    • Will Goldman Sachs Celebrate Its Latest Victory at a Strip Club?

      Goldman Sachs won a huge victory yesterday. A federal court ruled that Lisa Parisi, a former managing director, must take her gender-discrimination lawsuit against the firm to arbitration.

      With the ruling, Parisi — who had sued Goldman in 2010, along with two other women — can kiss her chances of victory goodbye. Arbitration is where plaintiffs’ dreams go to die, which is probably why it was in her Goldman Sachs employment contract.

      These plaintiffs aren’t renegade feminists. They’re mainstream financial types who played by the rules and hoped to reap the rewards. The men who fought them are simply corporate types who prefer to keep Wall Street an old boys’ club.

      Some of the allegations in the suit are straight out of “Mad Men.” During their work at Goldman Sachs, the women were subject to sexual banter, which is what passes for conversation among traders, as well as to come-ons and sexual assaults. They were passed over for promotions and bonuses, excluded from some male outings and included in others designed to embarrass them. A celebration for new managing directors was held at a topless bar. Afterwards, a married male colleague pinned one of the plaintiffs to a wall and sexually assaulted her.

    • Goldman gets go-ahead for ‘banking factory’

      Goldman Sachs has been granted approval to build a new “banking factory” in the City, ending a protracted bid to develop the site that was held up by protected murals on the existing building.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • On corporate persons

      And like other giant corporations it already has personhood.

      What makes Google so all-powerful? So Visible? So very Google?

      Are various administrations and Yes, I’m thinking Obama’s, simply afraid of it and the people who run it?

      Is it grandiose?

      Is it a part of the Gobal Elite?

      If Google was Good …

      Google could be everything it touts itself as being — a good company providing genuine services, constantly trying to improve the ‘user experience’.

      It could revolutionise the world of business by being completely transparent in all respects, completely open in its dealings with the people it depends on — you and I — and completely up-front about what it does and how it does it.

      It certainly has enough in the way of hard cash and other reso

    • O’Reilly Demands Respect for the Pagan Goddess Eostre

      Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly (O’Reilly Factor, 3/21/13), claiming victory in the “War on Christmas,” declares that the new battle is the “War on Easter.”

  • Censorship

    • Groups unite to condemn Leveson law

      The Leveson Inquiry was set up to address “the culture, practices and ethics of the press, including contacts between the press and politicians and the press and the police”. Our views diverge on whether the outcome of the Leveson process — and the plans for a new regulator — are the best way forward. But where we all agree is that current attempts at regulating blogs and other small independent news websites are critically flawed.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • “Gaming” can be avoided: bloggers can be protected from the Crime and Courts Bill

      We’re told that politicians are concerned, exempting small and medium size businesses from the Bill could lead to “gaming”. That is, a large publisher could create small subsidiaries to avoid the Leveson sticks applying to them. We believe this can be avoided. The Companies Act anticipates “gaming”, and includes protections against it.

    • Constable wants tougher stance on US defense act

      The American Civil Liberties Union describe the 2012 NDAA as “codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president – and all future presidents – to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield,” it continues. “The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”

      Quiggle made it a written policy last May that he would not cooperate with this portion of the NDAA in his position as constable.

    • Letter: An affront to freedom

      Even the U.S. secretary of defense has expressed misgivings about the NDAA.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Google sued for trademark infringement by ‘Android’ watchmaker company

        It seems suing for trademark infringement is really a prevalent game in the business world. Oko International, the maker of a wide range of watches and timepieces sold under the brand name ‘Android,’ is suing the giant Google for trademark infringement.

        A recent rumor in many tech sites is that Google is reportedly building a smartwatch to compete with Apple and Samsung.

    • Copyrights

      • Spanish Government Bows Down To US Pressures Again, Pushes SOPA-Like Law To Appease Hollywood

        While Spain actually has a fairly vibrant culture and entertainment industry, Hollywood has really had it in for the country for some time, in part because Spanish courts had a more evolved recognition of secondary liability protections, such that they ruled that linking is not infringement, and that neither was basic file sharing. Hollywood flipped out, said all sorts of nasty things about Spain, and US diplomats basically handed the Spanish government a new copyright law. The first few attempts to pass the bill failed, after the public spoke out, economists explained how it would hurt the economy rather than help and even the head of the Spanish Film Academy noted that the American movie industry seemed to be fighting the internet and the public.

03.23.13

Links 23/3/2013: Google and Samsung Android Smartwatches Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux or GNU/Linux: Is the Distinction Worth Preserving?

    I also realize that it’s technically more accurate to call it GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux in Venezuela

      GNU/Linux share according to Statcounter has been hovering around a few percent for a long time but in 2012 it took off with 40% increase in share in one year. It’s probably too soon to be some effect of the death of Chavez so it’s likely a result of something his government set in motion.

    • Google’s Already Working On Haswell Chromebooks

      Intel hasn’t yet even released their Haswell processors to the general public for use within notebooks, ultrabooks, and desktops, but Google engineers are already hard at work on prepping Haswell Chromebooks.

  • Server

    • The Best Servers for Linux in 2013

      Linux may be reaching new heights every day in desktop and mobile computing, but if there’s any domain in which its might has long been undisputed, it’s servers.

      To wit: Linux is now used to run about a third of all websites, W3Techs reports. Linux servers in general now represent 20.4 percent of all server revenue, according to IDC. Then, of course, there’s supercomputing, in which it claims a full 94 percent of the world’s Top 500.

      There are numerous excellent Linux distributions available for use on servers, of course, and their relative merits are frequently debated here on Linux.com and beyond. What’s less commonly seen, however, is a discussion of hardware.

      Which of the many servers on the market are best for Linux? That, like so many such “best of” comparisons, lies largely in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless, there have been a number of exciting new advances over the past year that bring a few particular vendors and machines to the fore. Here are the ones we think look best in 2013.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Standard Base: Misnomer and Misconception

      By the same token, there is a corresponding perceived risk that inconsistencies and incompatibilities may arise born of the need to make changes driven by special interests and the need to make functional improvements. There is also in addition to natural variation an increased possibility for introduction of unintended errors, the result of neglect of implied standards of one kind or another that should be adhered to, but go unnoticed until after production general release.

    • PCI-SSD maker Fusion-io acquires Linux SCST developer ID7

      Fusion-io has announced that it has acquired the UK-based storage technology company ID7, the leading developer of the open source SCSI Target Subsystem (SCST) for Linux. Fusion-io specialises in acceleration technology including high performance and capacity PCIe SSD cards and is also known for employing Steve Wozniak as Chief Scientist. It supplies companies such as Facebook, Apple and HP with its cache technology, though it did note in its 2012 Annual Report that its top ten customers were responsible for 91% of its $359 million revenue and is therefore working to widen its customer base.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The X.Org Foundation Is Undecided About Mir

        The X.Org Foundation hasn’t firmly decided on their position of Canonical’s Mir Display Server versus Wayland.

        The meeting logs for an X.Org Foundation Board of Directors’ IRC meeting from earlier this month have finally been published to the X.Org Wiki.

      • Lima Driver Makes Progress With Shaders

        The open-source Lima driver project that has been working on a reverse-engineered ARM Mali Linux graphics driver is still advancing.

      • Differences Between X.Org, Wayland & Mir

        Canonical’s Christopher Halse Rogers has blogged some more about their views on the Mir Display Server and its design relative to X11/X.Org and Wayland.

        Rogers has already written a lot about Mir in Canonical’s attempt to promote the Wayland alternative and their views for designing it rather than using Wayland or forking it.

      • New VA-API Library Supports Wayland 1.0 Protocol

        VA-API, the video acceleration API preferred by Intel and implemented by their open-source Linux graphics driver, now works with the stable Wayland 1.0 series. There was already VA-API Wayland support since last year to expose this hardware-accelerated video decode/encode process on the X.Org successor while now it’s finally been updated to work with the stable 1.0 protocol.

      • Mesa 9.1.1 release
      • Intel 2.21.5 Driver Brings Fixes For Haswell, GLAMOR

        The xf86-video-intel 2.21.5 DDX driver was released this morning with a handful of fixes by Chris Wilson for the Intel X.Org driver.

        The prominent change warranting the xf86-video-intel 2.21.5 release addresses a crashing problem for Intel’s forthcoming “Haswell” hardware. “Haswell reintroduces a command to load the scanline window from the command stream and so requires its own specialised wait-for-vsync routine – failure to do so was then causing hangs when trying to do tearfree video or use a compositor.”

      • QXL Gallium3D Wrapper Driver Is Brought Up
      • SDDM Display Manager Sees Its First Release

        Mentioned a few times in recent months on Phoronix has been SDDM, a lightweight Qt/QML-based display manager. The good news now is that the Simple Desktop Display Manager has seen its first official release.

      • The State Of OpenGL 3/4 Support In Mesa/Gallium3D
      • PRIME Sharing Comes To GLAMOR

        Michel Dänzer of AMD has provided a patch so that PRIME multi-GPU sharing will work with the GLAMOR 2D acceleration architecture, as needed for the Radeon HD 7000 series support and optionally for other generations of AMD and Intel GPUs.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • like an avalanche coming down the mountain

        When looking over the KDE landscape this week I was felt a similar Spring feeling in the air. There are new maintainers for Qt/KDE integration of PolicyKit and KMix. Sebas updated us recently on the huge progress being made for Plasma Workspaces 2, featuring a working shell on top of libplasma2 and QtQuick2. This itself is just a small part of the larger Frameworks 5 effort, and that is receiving more attention such as the recent sprint in Spain that Albert wrote about. Krita continues to amaze, Ingo has made a breakthrough in taming our web presence continuity and there is even work happening on Akregrator!

      • Plasma Media Center, aka KDE TV, out now

        The Plasma Media Center, built on KDE, offers a “rich experience” in its first release as a competitor to many other open source HTPC offerings

      • KDE Releases Plasma Media Center 1.0
      • QtWayland Shows Signs Of Progress, Plans Features

        A status update has been issued on QtWayland, which allows Qt applications to run on Wayland, and details about what’s being planned for Wayland with Qt 5.2 has been shared.

      • Qt Creator 2.7 Released With Improved C++11

        Version 2.7 of the Qt Creator integrated development environment has been released. There’s better support for BlackBerry development, improved C++11 language handling, and much more.

        Qt Creator 2.7.0 offers a wealth of C++11 improvements, QML support was improved for Qt Quick 2 development, there’s better BlackBerry support, experimental support for the QBS build tool, Android enhancements, and much more.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Have an older PC? Try the new Ubuntu Linux-based LXLE

      For users of Microsoft Windows, frequent hardware upgrades tend to be a fact of life in order to keep each new iteration of the resources-hungry operating system running smoothly.

    • Favorite Distributions for Spring 2013

      Folks sure do enjoy trying to figure out which is most popular or the favorite Linux distribution. For years it was Ubuntu and lately, it’s been Mint. Mageia shows second at Distrowatch.com’s Page Hit Ranking, but others are desputing their ranking reflects real usage. A new Website has begun to try and tract actual popularity, but nothing is as fun me as a poll. Yes, it’s time once again for Your Favorite Distributions, Spring 2013 edition.

    • Clonezilla vs. FOG: The clone wars

      Computer cloning, also referred to as ghosting or imaging, involves setting up the operating system, drivers, software, and data on one computer, then automatically replicating the same setup on other computers. Clonezilla Server Edition and FOG are the most popular open source cloning systems. While both do similar jobs – clone and restore machines over the network using tools and services such as partimage, tftp, and PXE – they go about it very differently. Which is right for you depends on your network’s configuration and composition.

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 11 Review – Usability Upgrades
      • Sabayon 11 Xfce – Still no love for me

        Perhaps the Sabayon dev team did not invest sufficient resources to make the Xfce version shine just as well as their mainstream edition. However, somehow, I doubt it. Given my past experience, the overall behavior and feel appear to be a part of a longer trend. For some reason, Sabayon is losing its charm, and this version is no exception.

        Sabayon 11 is fairly fast, robust, relatively free of errors, and comes with a much improved package manager. But then, it’s also buggy, not really attractive, totes a meager app selection, and has a few really nasty problems, like Samba, multimedia and printing. The friendly tone is gone, and you’re facing a rather somber, unforgiving Gentoo distro that does not favor noobs. If you must then please do, but there are many simpler, more attractive alternatives. Xfce wise, Xubuntu leads the way, by far. And to sum it all up nicely, Sabayon 11 deserves around 6/10. And I want that Italian passion back.

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux Enables Wayland GTK+

        For those Arch Linux users looking to play with Wayland/Weston, the GTK+ package available within the distribution now enables support for the Wayland back-end.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Adding real-time to Linux with Preempt-RT

      Linux.com has published a short Q&A with Steven Rostedt, kernel developer at Red Hat and maintainer of the stable Linux real-time patch. Rostedt discusses issues such as “hard” vs “soft” real-time, what the Preempt-RT patch can and can’t do, and how to get started using it.

    • $250 ARM Linux project kit includes LCD

      Gumstix shocked the embed-o-sphere today by unveiling a new board-level computer that’s neither the shape nor size of a gum stick. The “Pepper” board is based on a 720MHz TI Sitara ARM processor and is supplied in a bundle that includes a Yocto-built Linux filesystem on microSD, a 4.5-inch touchscreen LCD, and a DC power supply.

    • Samsung VP: We are building a smart watch
    • Google’s Android unit reportedly building a smartwatch
    • ARM CEO retires, leaves mobile revolution to Simon Segars
    • Intro to Real-Time Linux for Embedded Developers

      When embedded projects call for for a real-time operating system, Linux developers often turn to PREEMPT-RT, the real-time kernel patch, to get it done.

      “The PREEMPT_RT patch (aka the -rt patch or RT patch) makes Linux into a real-time system,” said Steven Rostedt, a Linux kernel developer at Red Hat and maintainer of the stable version of the real-time Linux kernel patch.

      The thing is, in most cases real-time requirements on embedded projects can be met without turning to a real-time operating system, he said via email. To developers, a real-time system “does what you expect it to do when you expect it to do it.” That’s all.

    • Phones

      • big.LITTLE: coming soon to a smartphone near you

        In this guest post, David Laing, a senior analyst at VDC Research, examines the emergence of ARM’s “big.LITTLE” processor architecture, whereby a single chip integrates multiple high-performance CPU cores along with a power-efficient core, enabling it to deliver greater performance at lower power-points than before.

      • Linux-powered CD player attempts audio perfection

        Parasound, a purveyor of fanatically high-end consumer audio equipment, has introduced a CD player that’s controlled by an internal Mini-ITX computer running embedded Linux. Using a CD-ROM drive for playing CDs, the “Halo CD 1″ sucks in the CD’s contents at 4x normal speed, giving its CPU time to detect and eliminate disc errors before outputting near-perfect audio.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Google’s Schmidt: Android, Chrome Won’t Be Combined

          As for Android and Chrome, it’s a stretch even to call them birds of the same feather, so Schmidt clearly has a point. Chrome wants to makes its bones based on web applications in the cloud while Android’s cloth is cut from native apps installed in the mobile device. But the lines between the two will be blurred more, as evidenced by Google’s Chromebook Pixel, which features touch-screen technology.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Mass. U.S. Attorney Won’t Appeal Tewksbury Motel Ruling

    “A handful of people have done some drug stuff over the years and they try to use that to steal my property without ever accusing me of a single thing,” he said.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • North Dakota Inching Ever Closer to Being First State to Enact Personhood Abortion Law

      The North Dakota House passed a bill this afternoon that would define life as beginning at conception, effectively moving one step closer to banning all abortion in the state without exception for rape or incest. Approved by the state Senate last month, the bill will now go to voters as a ballot initiative. This latest restrictive measure comes only a week after North Dakota legislators approved bills that would ban abortion beyond six weeks into pregnancy and ban abortion in the case of genetic abnormality, like Downs Syndrome.

    • Internet innovations in India will come from Indians solving local issues: Eric Schmidt

      Google boss Eric Schmidt is currently in India, and while speaking on the nature of Internet in the country, Schmidt stated that it is time now that India decided what kind of Internet it wants – an advantageous open Internet or a regressive closed o

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Cyprus Protesters and Bank Employees Clash With Police; Europe and Russia Reject Bailout

      Local news in Cyprus is reporting an escalation in the protests that have begun in the wake of attempts by EU chiefs to confiscate the savings of depositors. The news of possible bank closures has enraged the public. It appears that in order to keep things under control, the Central Bank is discussing a possible bank merger rather than a full shut down.

    • Moyers & Company Part II

      Richard Wolff’s smart, blunt talk about the crisis of capitalism on his first Moyers & Company appearance was so compelling and provocative, we asked him to return. This time, the economics expert answers questions sent in by our viewers, diving further into economic inequality, the limitations of industry regulation, and the widening gap between a booming stock market and a population that increasingly lives in pove

    • Jobcentre sanctions: ‘Your money is stopped, you go into freefall’ – video
    • MasterCard stings PayPal with payment fee hike

      PayPal, Google Wallet and other online payment systems face higher transaction fees from MasterCard in retaliation for their refusal to share data on what people are spending. Visa is likely to follow suit.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • In India, Google’s Eric Schmidt Explains Why He Went to North Korea

      After first making a joke about playing basketball—a reference to the strange visit by Dennis Rodman a few weeks after Schmidt’s trip—the Google executive explained he went to Pyongyang on a mission to spread the good news about the power of the Internet. North Korea “is the last really closed country in the world,” he said. “This is a country that has suffered from lack of information. The Internet was built for everyone, including North Koreans. The quickest way to get economic growth in North Korea is to open up the Internet. I did my best to tell them this.”

    • Press regulation: newspapers bridle at ‘historic’ deal

      Protests from industry as David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband agree to create powerful regulator in late-night talks

    • U.K. to Create New Press Regulator
  • Privacy

    • Google’s Wi-Fi Snooping Settlement is Really, Really Awful

      The recent settlement [PDF] between 38 states and Google over the company’s Wi-Fi snooping fiasco sure is puzzling. While the settlement, called an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, does little to punish Google for accidentally slurping up massive amounts of content from wireless networks using its roaming Street View vehicles, it does require the company to carry out a gratuitous and poorly thought out song and dance.

    • Cops: U.S. law should require logs of your text messages

      Silicon Valley firms and privacy groups want Congress to update a 1986-era electronic privacy law. But if a law enforcement idea set to be presented today gets attached, support for the popular proposal would erode.

  • Civil Rights

    • Inquest to open into death of prisoner convicted of stealing gingerbread man

      Foster family say courts should have considered James Best’s history of mental and physical problems

    • Human rights must be something we own

      Right now, in writing this, I am exercising my freedom of speech, which is a sovereign right, I own it. I can be silenced, either through being censored or physically silenced, but that silencing always requires an exercise of power, it cannot be removed in any other way or can it? What if I have learned to fear to speak out? Therein lies what I think is the problem of our times. We now live in a world where we have been coerced into fearing consequences such that we have learnt to silence ourselves. We haven’t lost the ability to speak out, but our will and determination has been eroded to such an extent that we have given up the right of our own volition, albeit through insidious coercion.

      With the widespread use of CCTV cameras, something that I find an affront to my human dignity, we’ve been fed the line, ‘If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about’. Actually I think we have a great deal to worry about in which the good they might be considered to do does not outweigh the greater harm they give rise to. Being a watched society is an insidious evil in which we are not party to those who make the rules nor those who watch and by whom we are observed and who watch us with suspicion. I feel it daily, in a very personal way which I can in no way put down to an overblown sense of paranoia.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Monsanto’s Death Patents

      Despite this unfortunate posture, the case does provide another opportunity for critical inquiry regarding the unprecedented and perverse level of control Monsanto is asserting over the food supply. It is estimated that 90 percent of the soybeans in the U.S. are genetically modified and thus subject to potential patents. A random handful of soybeans procured anywhere is likely to contain at least some Monsanto-altered beans. Such a near-monopoly effectively gives Monsanto the right to control access to a staple food item that is found in a wide range of consumer products.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • The Pirate Bay Is A Trailblazer In Technical Resilience
      • Prenda Law Continues To Dismiss Lawsuits
      • Lawyer Suggests That Prenda Law May Have Only ‘Released’ Movies It Sued Over As A Honeypot For Lawsuits

        Another day, another story having to with Prenda Law (the hits just keep on coming). Found via FightCopyrightTrolls, we discover some research done by lawyer Graham Syfert, who has taken on Prenda/John Steele in a number of cases, including the infamous Florida case that was tossed out for fraud on the court following an Abbott & Costello-worthy transcript involving John Steele, Mark Lutz, and a variety of guest appearances from others on Team Prenda (despite Prenda claiming to both have nothing to do with the case… and with hiring the lawyers for the case, who were all trying to get off the case).

      • Did Prenda try to intimidate ID theft victim into dropping charges?

        After a Minnesota man named Alan Cooper accused Prenda Law of stealing his identity, the porn trolling firm responded with a defamation lawsuit. The lawsuit targeted Cooper, his attorney Paul Godfread, and numerous anonymous Internet commenters. On Thursday, Cooper and Godfread filed a 24-page response alleging that Prenda’s lawsuit amounts to an illegal SLAPP suit under Minnesota law, that Prenda can’t prove any of the allegedly defamatory statements are actually false, and that Prenda had invaded Cooper’s privacy by stealing his signature.

      • U.S. Congressmen Told About ‘Next Great Copyright Act’ at Hearing

        Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante puts a foot forward towards embracing changes to the music marketplace, cable and satellite transmissions, “bold adjustments” to the copyright term and more.

      • AP v. Meltwater: Disappointing Ruling for News Search

        A federal district judge in New York City issued a troubling ruling today holding that an electronic news clipping service infringed copyright when it republished excerpts of news stories in search results for its clients seeking news coverage based on particular keywords.

      • WOMAN WHO LOST DOWNLOADING CASE SAYS SHE CAN’T PAY

        A Minnesota woman at the center of a long-running court fight over the unauthorized downloading of copyrighted music said there’s still no way she can pay record companies the $222,000 judgment she owes after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear her appeal Monday.

      • Opinion analysis: Justices reject publisher’s claims in gray-market copyright case

        The Court at last seems to have reached a consensus on a seemingly intractable problem of copyright law: whether a U.S. copyright holder can prevent the importation of “gray-market” products manufactured for overseas markets. When the Court tried to address this question two Terms ago – in Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega, S.A. – the Court was equally divided (with Justice Kagan recused). However, in today’s opinion in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Justice Breyer, writing for a strong majority of six, emphatically rejected the publisher’s control over the importation of such products.

      • Righthaven Copyrights ‘Sold’ Back To Stephens Media For $80k To Pay Legal Fees

        Sure, sure, this year we’ve all moved on to the crazy stories about the Charles Carreons and Prenda Laws of the world, but let’s not forget that last year there was just as much focus on Righthaven’s copyright trolling operation collapsing after judges realized that it was all effectively a sham in which the real copyright holder (mainly newspaper publisher Stephens Media) had not really sold off its copyrights to Righthaven, meaning that Righthaven had no actual standing to sue. Technically, Stephens Media tried to give the copyright to Righthaven, but since it retained all of the listed rights under copyright law, it was clearly not an actual transfer. In one of those cases, concerning a guy named Wayne Hoehn, who fought back against a Righthaven lawsuit filed against him, Hoehn’s lawyer, Marc Randazza fought for and won a request for legal fees. Righthaven stalled and complained and bullied, but the court told Righthaven to pay up.

      • Appeals Court Hands Veoh Another Win in Important Copyright Ruling

        The Ninth Circuit rejects Universal Music Group’s challenges on why the video-sharing site didn’t qualify for safe harbor from copyright claims.

      • Documentary Filmmaker Sues AP for Stealing Footage
      • UMG Loses Round Two in Veoh Copyright Case

        The video-sharing website Veoh is not liable for any copyright infringing material posted by its users, the 9th Circuit ruled Thursday for a second time.

      • Surprise: Register Of Copyrights Expected To Call For Reduction In Copyright Term

03.22.13

Links 22/3/2013: Chinese Government Chooses GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • M$ Bars Itself From New Industry
  • Science

    • Celebrated Scientist Renounces National Academy and War

      Last month, University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins resigned from the National Academy of Sciences to protest the election to the group of Napoleon Chagnon, a peer whose specious arguments in favor of a natural human tendency toward violence have helped militarize the discipline and legitimize wars of aggression.

    • CHINA IS ENGINEERING GENIUS BABIES

      It’s not exactly news that China is setting itself up as a new global superpower, is it? While Western civilization chokes on its own gluttony like a latter-day Marlon Brando, China continues to buy up American debt and lock away the world’s natural resources. But now, not content to simply laugh and make jerk-off signs as they pass us on the geopolitical highway, they’ve also developed a state-endorsed genetic-engineering project.

  • Security

    • United States v. Auernheimer, and Why I Am Representing Auernheimer Pro Bono on Appeal Before the Third Circuit

      On Monday, Andrew Auernheimer was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Auernheimer’s case has received a lot of press attention, and I think that attention is merited: I think the case against Auernheimer is deeply flawed, and that the principles the case raises are critically important for civil liberties online. For that reason, I have agreed to represent Auernheimer pro bono in his appeal before the Third Circuit. (I will be joined by the trial counsel Tor Ekeland and his colleagues Nace Naumoski and Mark Jaffe, together with Marcia Hofmann and Hanni Fakhoury of EFF.) In this post, I want to explain some of the issues in play in this case that I think make it so important.

    • Yet Another Reason Not To Use That Other OS

      Some people figure they must have that other OS on their PC even if they have a mess of servers. There’s evidence of malware for that other OS that targets GNU/Linux machines and wipes them…
      “The dropper for Trojan.Jokra contains a module for wiping remote Linux machines. We do not normally see components that work on multiple operating systems, so it is interesting to discover that the attackers included a component to wipe Linux machines inside a Windows threat.”

    • A Letter to Paul Wolfowitz

      Twenty years ago, you became dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and hired me as a minor staff functionary. I never thanked you properly. I needed that job. Included in the benefits package was the chance to hobnob with luminaries who gathered at SAIS every few weeks to join Zbigniew Brzezinski for an off-the-record discussion of foreign policy. From five years of listening to these insiders pontificate, I drew one conclusion: people said to be smart — the ones with fancy résumés who get their op-eds published in the New York Times and appear on TV — really aren’t. They excel mostly in recycling bromides. When it came to sustenance, the sandwiches were superior to the chitchat.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Washington Post Prints Iraq Lies, 2013 Edition
    • Statutes of Limitations Are Expiring on Some Bush Crimes
    • Time’s Rethink on Drones

      Crowley argues that “in political terms, it’s getting hard to tell the difference” between Obama and Dick Cheney. In the last few months, “his drone war has turned from asset to headache,” thanks to dogged criticism from human rights groups, international lawyers and a few politicians, including Republican Sen. Rand Paul.

      Crowley writes that the program “is increasingly straining against its legal authority” and that “a big practical problem with the drone war is that the rest of the world hates it.” He runs through various ideas that could introduce accountability or new legal mechanisms to constrain or refine the program–or “it might seem easier to simply wind down the drone war entirely.”

    • Ten Years After the Invasion of Iraq, Are We Any Closer to Peace?
    • Pepper Spray Torture–in the USA

      Amazing story today out of Maine, where the Portland daily paper has published an account of a prisoner being pepper-sprayed by prison staffers in June 2012–despite already being restrained in a chair. And: They have the two-hour video to prove it. And: They have posted the entire video on their site. Now the law wants to find out how they got the leak

    • Maine officials seeking pepper-spray video leak

      The Maine Department of Corrections is investigating to determine how the press obtained video and documents about a captain’s treatment of an inmate last year.

      [...]

      James Mackie, spokesman for the union that represents corrections officers, said he is not surprised that the department is investigating.

      “The number of investigations since (Ponte) has taken over have just increased exponentially,” he said.

      Mackie said he was surprised that the incident, which happened on June 10, took so long to come to light. Welch was disciplined in August and September.

      “We were all aware of the issue at MCC. There was no way it was going to be kept secret,” Mackie said.

      Breton said she does not know whether investigations have increased under Ponte.

      The newspaper’s story and the accompanying video offered a rare glimpse inside the prison and into a confrontation between officers and a medicated, mentally ill inmate.

      Paul Schlosser had received hospital treatment for a gouge he inflicted on his left arm, but had repeatedly removed the dressing in an effort to get medication and a book to distract him.

      Inmates who hurt themselves to manipulate staff are among the most difficult to deal with, Ponte said last week.

    • DYING VET’S ‘FUCK YOU’ LETTER TO GEORGE BUSH & DICK CHENEY NEEDS TO BE READ BY EVERY AMERICAN

      I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

    • RepeatingHistory.org

      The NDAA and the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans

    • The New York Times and “Liberal Media” Helped Sell the Iraq War

      Michael Ratner: The NYT and other “liberal” commentators led the way in selling the WMD myth and justified the Iraq war; their mea culpas ring hollow.

    • CIA ‘to lose control of drone programme to Pentagon’

      John Brennan, the new CIA director and architect of Mr Obama’s expanded “targeted killing” campaign, is believed to be preparing to transfer more control of the programme to the Pentagon.

    • Obama rumored to shift CIA drone program to military
    • Little Will Change If the Military Takes Over CIA’s Drone Strikes
    • CIA Chief Tech Officer: Big Data Is The Future And We Own It
    • CIA’s Tech Head on Your Data: ‘We Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever’
    • CIA CTO: We want your data and will keep it forever
    • CIA and FBI Counter-Terrorism Officials: Cheney Lied About 9/11 Hijacker

      Mark Rossini, was then an FBI counter-terrorism agent detailed to the CIA. He was assigned the task of evaluating a Czech intelligence report that Mohammed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, had met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague before the attack on the World Trade Towers.

    • Three CIA officials declared Pos

      The three CIA officials, Assistant Sub-Inspector Shakeel Ahmed Butt, Constables Muhammad Ahsan and Mahboob Elahi, are accused of custodial killing of a father of seven, Niamat, by third degree torture.

    • Towards the Globalization of CIA Torture and Rendition

      There is enormous diversity among the countries involved. They include Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, Syria and Jordan, which carried out the torture on suspects that the CIA rendered to them. Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Thailand hosted secret prisons operated by the CIA where detainees could be held clandestinely and have interrogations or torture conducted directly by American intelligence operatives.

      European nations such as Macedonia, Georgia, and Sweden detained and delivered suspects to the CIA to be tortured. Larger countries such as Britain or Germany conducted some of the interrogations themselves while smaller countries such as Iceland, Denmark, Belgium, or Greece provided intelligence, logistical support, use of airspace, etc.

    • US drones kill four in Pakistan: officials

      US drones fired two missiles at a vehicle in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt Thursday, killing four militants, security officials said.

    • Rep. Mike Rogers: No Americans are on drone ‘kill list’

      Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) told the National Journal on Wednesday that no Americans were currently on President Barack Obama’s so-called “kill list.”

      Rogers said as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee he reviews every drone strike on a suspected terrorist after it has been conducted. Though no Americans are currently being targeted overseas, the Republican congressmen described how that situation could change.

    • 400 civilians killed by US drones in Pakistan

      In evidence to Ben Emmerson QC, UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism, the Foreign Ministry has said that the US drones have killed at least 2,200 people in the country, including at least 400 civilians. This is close to the bureau’s low range estimate of 411.

    • Drone Murder: War Crime or Superpower perogative
    • U.S. policy of death by drones is cloaked in subterfuge (Commentary)
    • U.S. drone policy killing hundreds of innocents, Obama says it’s okay
  • Cablegate

    • Wikileaks Was Just a Preview: We’re Headed for an Even Bigger Showdown Over Secrets

      I’ll do a full review in a few months, when We Steal Secrets comes out, but I bring it up now because the whole issue of secrets and how we keep them is increasingly in the news, to the point where I think we’re headed for a major confrontation between the government and the public over the issue, one bigger in scale than even the Wikileaks episode.

      We’ve seen the battle lines forming for years now. It’s increasingly clear that governments, major corporations, banks, universities and other such bodies view the defense of their secrets as a desperate matter of institutional survival, so much so that the state has gone to extraordinary lengths to punish and/or threaten to punish anyone who so much as tiptoes across the informational line.

      This is true not only in the case of Wikileaks – and especially the real subject of Gibney’s film, Private Bradley Manning, who in an incredible act of institutional vengeance is being charged with aiding the enemy (among other crimes) and could, theoretically, receive a death sentence.

    • NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake: All Doubts Dispelled, Bradley Manning’s a Whistleblower
    • Throwing Manning to the Wolves

      In media mythology, the years from the mid-’60s to the mid-’70s were the classical age, a heroic time of moral clarity.

      Mainstream journalism marinated in adversarialism. Little Southern newspapers infuriated their own readers by staring down segregation. Foreign correspondents forced upon an unwilling public the realities of a brutal war. Network news ignored official disdain and showed the bottomless suffering the war inflicted on the innocents it was supposed to save. With the Pentagon Papers, newspapers defied secrecy rules to expose government lies. With Watergate, reporters forced out a corrupt president.

    • Update 3/20/13: Rolling Stone magazine features major Bradley Manning story
    • WikiLeaks: Disappearances, Nishantha Gajanayake And Exclusive Photographs
    • Manning (WikiLeaks) ‘cablegate’ Trial reveals U.S. brutality in anti-terror war

      That’s what the US Marine Bradley Manning said on Thursday, March 01 in military court at Fort Meade, Maryland. He pled guilty to unauthorized possession of certain information, to willfully communicating that information to an unauthorized person, WikiLeaks, and that the conduct was “service discrediting” or prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the military.

  • Finance

    • Europe: Protests hit austerity

      When European Union leaders gathered at their economic summit meeting in Brussels, they were confronted by thousands of protesters who denounced them and their austerity policies. Working people and labor union representatives from all over Europe demonstrated at the European Commission and Council headquarters on March 14.

      At least 10,000 demonstrators denounced the “Troika” — the International Mone tary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission — which has imposed draconian cuts in jobs, wages, benefits and public services in several southern eurozone countries as conditions for loans. Protesters demanded that the Troika stop all austerity plans, provide jobs and end the crises their policies have created.

    • US Begins Regulating BitCoin, Will Apply “Money Laundering” Rules To Virtual Transactions

      Last November, in an act of sheer monetary desperation, the ECB issued an exhaustive, and quite ridiculous, pamphlet titled “Virtual Currency Schemes” in which it mocked and warned about the “ponziness” of such electronic currencies as BitCoin. Why a central bank would stoop so “low” to even acknowledge what no “self-respecting” (sic) PhD-clad economist would even discuss, drunk and slurring, at cocktail parties, remains a mystery to this day. However, that it did so over fears the official artificial currency of the insolvent continent, the EUR, may be becoming even more “ponzi” than the BitCoins the ECB was warning about, was clear to everyone involved who saw right through the cheap propaganda attempt. Feel free to ask any Cypriot if they would now rather have their money in locked up Euros, or in “ponzi” yet freely transferable, unregulated BitCoins.

    • Is Cyprus in Our Future?

      The economic news this week highlights what happens when governments are unable to confront the root cause of the financial collapse – the risky speculation and securities fraud of the big banks. What happens? They blame the people, cut their benefits, tax their savings and demand they work harder for less money.

    • Cyprus – Is this the next phase in austerity – naked theft?
    • The Miracle Product That Cures Degenerative Entitlement Syndrome!

      During last year’s presidential election, Dr. Willard M. Romney diagnosed a previously unrecognized epidemic illness that is eating away at the moral foundations of our country. Romney was the first medical scientist to grasp that 47% of our citizens have been transformed into an army of zombie parasites now known to the experts as “moochers.” The moochers have been infected with DES, Degenerative Entitlement Syndrome, a 21st century plague whose victims live lives solely devoted to sucking funds from the bank accounts of decent people. Not one to sit idly by while an invasive undead horde saps and impurifies our precious bodily fluids, Dr. Romney attempted to sound the national alarm about the moocher scourge. But alas, he was ahead of his time. The country was not yet ready to hear his bracing but prescient DES warning.

      Moochers might appear normal, but don’t be fooled by appearances! While these bloodsuckers are seemingly busy changing bedpans, waxing the floor at your office, serving up stacks of pancakes at Denny’s and standing in long lines to beg abjectly for “jobs’, they are all the while draining our hard-won and well-merited wealth. A tell-tale symptom of DES is that while moochers pay all kinds of sales taxes, payroll taxes and government fees just like the rest of us, they don’t pay any income taxes. Imagine! No income taxes! The DES sufferer will tell you that the absence of income tax obligations is somehow related to the moocher’s extreme deficiency in actual income. A likely story!

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • How to Read Stories About Israel in the NY Times (Hint: Very Carefully)

      So is the Times, in its own way, telling us not to trust the officials speaking on the record? That’s certainly one way to read the piece.

      Elsewhere in the paper we learn that part of Barack Obama’s visit to Israel includes a look at the country’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system, which is funded by the U.S. government.

    • Accidental Email Exposes Trolls of Governing Party in Spain
    • Machine Guns on the Vegas Strip? In Nevada, ALEC/NRA Bill Introduced to Stop Cities from Banning Machine Guns

      A Nevada politician has introduced a bill that would bar the city of Las Vegas from enacting tougher gun laws than the state as a whole, including language that would specifically protect “machine guns” from being barred on the Las Vegas strip if the state did not bar machine guns across the state. At the last known meeting of the “Public Safety and Elections Task Force” of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association proposed amendments to the ALEC “Consistency in Firearms Regulation Act” to add “machine guns” to ALEC’s model bill prohibiting local governments from adopting different rules for guns and ammo than a state has as a whole. On March 18, a Nevada state legislator introduced a bill in the statehouse that is almost a word-for-word copy from that ALEC bill, which ALEC has since attempted to distance itself from while doing nothing to stop or repeal such bills.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and The National Security State
    • CIA’s Gus Hunt On Big Data: We ‘Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever’

      The CIA’s chief technology officer outlined the agency’s endless appetite for data in a far-ranging speech on Wednesday.

      Speaking before a crowd of tech geeks at GigaOM’s Structure:Data conference in New York City, CTO Ira “Gus” Hunt said that the world is increasingly awash in information from text messages, tweets, and videos — and that the agency wants all of it.

      “The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time,” Hunt said. “Since you can’t connect dots you don’t have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever.”

    • Formerly Top Secret NSA Cryptologs From 1974-1997
    • Venezuela: ‘Destabilizing’ Twitter User Ortega Released

      UPDATE: Lourdes Alicia Ortega Perez, the Venezuelan woman who was arrested last week after mocking Hugo Chavez on Twitter, was released from police custody on March 16. Ortega was taken to court on charges of spreading false information and committing fraud. She has since been granted her freedom [es], but will be required to appear before the court every 30 days.

    • The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Is Asking Questions About Guantánamo the US Cannot Answer

      Recent accounts from Guantánamo paint a more chilling picture still: since February 6, 2013, the prisoners have been engaged in a peaceful, mass hunger-strike to protest deteriorating camp conditions and religious provocations by Guantánamo staff, including offensive searches of the prisoners’ Qur’ans. Ghaleb al-Bihani, a severe diabetic, is among the scores of men hunger-striking. He spoke to his lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights recently and explained that he has lost more than 20 pounds in a matter of weeks. His blood-sugar levels are fluctuating so wildly that Guantánamo physicians have told him they fear for his life. Other prisoners have lost consciousness; some are reportedly coughing up blood. This is to say nothing of the less visible, but equally grave health risks produced by years of indefinite detention. As Physicians for Human Rights explained to the IACHR, arbitrary, indefinite detention creates existential uncertainty that can destroy the body and mind. It can even be lethal. The story of Adnan Latif, the most recent prisoner to die at Guantánamo, is a heart-breaking reminder of this.

    • German government drops attempt to ban far-right party
    • Leveson Collateral Damage
    • Urban Exploration Helps Terrorism, Counterterrorism Agency Warns
    • The persecution of Barrett Brown – and how to fight it

      The journalist and Anonymous activist is targeted as part of a broad effort to deter and punish internet freedom activism

  • DRM

    • Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards
    • DRM dispute around HTML5

      A plan by Google, Microsoft and Netflix to integrate an extension for playing back encrypted media content in HTML5 has caused dissatisfaction among US civil rights campaigners. The bone of contention is a proposal to integrate “Encrypted Media Extensions” (EME) that will serve as an interface for playing back DRM-protected content in the browser and which is currently being reviewed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The initiators of the proposal emphasise that this is not intended as a way of anchoring Digital Rights Management (DRM) facilities into the specification. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) translates this into: “We’re not vampires, but we are going to invite them into your house.”

    • Tell W3C: We don’t want the Hollyweb
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why TAFTA Matters, and What We Should Do About It

      Back in January, I wrote about what I called the “Trans-Atlantic Partnership Agreement”, by analogy with the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, TPP, whose negotiations have already dragged on for several years. The formal announcement of what is now variously called the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), took place just over a month ago, but already Mexico has stated that it wishes to join, and there are rumours Canada might tag along too.

      This would then turn the EU-US agreement into a EU-NAFTA agreement – that is between the EU and the whole North American Free Trade Agreement area. If that happens, it’s quite possible that South American countries will start trying to join too, for fear of being “left out” (although they might do better to consider whether being in is actually better for them, given their limited ability to influence the negotiations between the two main partners.)

    • Transatlantic Civil Society Declaration: Leave Copyright and Patent Provisions Out of TAFTA

      Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the launch of a new trade deal between the United States and the European Union. This transatlantic free trade agreement (TAFTA)—or what government leaders are touting as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—is likely to carry copyright provisions that would pose a serious threat to digital rights. Past and currently negotiated trade agreements have enacted rules that would force ISPs to turn into copyright police, place harsh and disproportionate criminal penalties on file sharers, and seriously impair users’ ability to innovate and access content on the Internet.

    • Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards
    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Motion Picture Association: The Cloud Is A Threat To Us And The Best Response Is Censorship

        The Motion Picture Association is somewhat notorious for flipping out over every new technology and how it will, without doubt, mean death for them. Most famously, of course, the prediction that the VCR would be the “Boston Strangler” to the movie industry a mere six years before home video revenues outstripped box office revenues. However, this seems to be somewhat instinctual behavior. Everything new must automatically be classified as a threat, and the best response is to kill it outright. The latest version of this appears to be the threat of (gasp!) “cloud computing.” At a get together in Hong Kong, in which the movie industry was supposed to be talking about “protecting the screen community in the cloud era” apparently there was the typical predictions of doom with little in the way of suggestions. But there were some.

      • Copyright Chief Urges Congress to Produce ‘Next Great Copyright Act’

        Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante told a House congressional subcommittee Wednesday that everything from anticircumvention provisions and fair use to length of copyright and performance royalties should be on the table.

      • European Court: Pirate Bay co-founders lose free speech bid in Strasbourg

        Last week, the European Court of Human Rights (European Court) rejected the complaint of the ‘The Pirate Bay’ (‘TPB’) co-founders against their criminal conviction for facilitating copyright infringement. ARTICLE 19 is concerned at the Court’s apparent reluctance to become the next battleground for advancing the right to freedom of expression against copyright claims.

      • UK ISPs Start Blocking KickassTorrents, H33T and Fenopy
      • Fresh Calls to Congress to Make Movie and Music Streaming a Felony
      • Brazil’s music collecting societies convicted of forming an illegal cartel

        The Competition Authority in Brazil (CADE) convicted om March 20th the country’s six major collecting societies and their central office (ECAD) – responsible for the collection of music royalties for public performance in Brazil – of formation of cartel and abuse of dominant position in fixing prices. According CADE, the Ecad and its associations not only organized to abusively fix prices, but also created barriers of entry for new associations to join the entity.

      • Leaked! MPAA Talking Points On Copyright Reform: Copyright Is Awesome For Everyone!

        With the possibility of comprehensive copyright reform in the US in the air, we warned that lobbyists from all sides were about to be very, very busy on Capitol Hill, and it has already begun. We’ve heard from very reliable sources that the MPAA has basically been blanketing Congress with the attached document, visiting as many offices as possible and leaving it behind as their talking points on why copyright is just freaking awesome.

      • Ebook pirates highjack the name of anti piracy campaign

03.21.13

Links 21/3/2013:Ubuntu to Halve Support Length, Valve Share for GNU/Linux Climbs

Posted in News Roundup at 12:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • You Can Now Avoid M$’s Tax At Best Buy

      For years all you could buy at Best Buy was Wintel for personal computing. Now, there’s Android/Linux and Chrome OS, both Linux operating systems and owing nothing to M$.

    • Google Chromebook rolling out in more countries
    • Google Expands Chromebooks’ Geographic Availability

      Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is opening up geographic availability of the Acer, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and Samsung Chromebooks to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands to consumers, businesses and schools, according to a company blog post.

      “Many of you around the world have told us you’re eager to get your hands on a Chromebook, so we’ve been working with our partners to make this possible,” wrote Caesar Sengupta, Google Product Management director. “Today we’re happy to say we’re one step closer to making Chromebooks truly “for everyone” — or rather, pour tout le monde, für alle, and voor iedereen.”

    • Chromebooks for EVERYONE

      It’s happening. Chromebooks officially go on sale today in several countries which opens the floodgates for sales to those who thus far haven’t been able have this popular, easy to use Internet Appliance.

    • Chromebooks now available globally, almost

      Linux will soon be ‘dominating’ the consumer PC space, thanks to Google’s Chromebook (and Android) which runs Gentoo-based Chrome OS. Google is taking its’ Chromebooks globally, and these devices are now available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.

      Caesar Sengupta, Product Management Director of Google says, “Starting Tuesday, the Acer, HP and Samsung Chromebooks will begin rolling out in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. To help improve computing for organizations, we’re rolling out Chromebooks to businesses and schools in these same countries as well. Learn more on our Enterprise blog.”

    • Tiger Direct

      So far I’ve turned it on, activated Windows (yuck), verified the correct size of RAM and hard disk, and verified that the Ethernet and sound ports work. I had a moment’s dismay when Windows reported that it could not write a DVD, but I remembered something about having to install additional software — device drivers, perhaps? — for that, so I booted Linux from a “live” USB stick, and found that Linux will happily write a DVD. I need to run a RAM test, and hard drive diagnostics, but so far the hardware looks solid.

      This weekend I hope to have time to re-partition the hard drive and install Linux…and put an end to a nearly-three-month quest.

    • Chrome OS and the Cloak of Unhackability

      “Hackers have a hard enough time with a full version of Linux, let alone a pared down version with only a secured browser running as the interface,” said Linux Rants blogger Mike Stone. “All the potential options from Linux? They are gone. The hackers couldn’t get in when they were there — they have no hope of getting in now.”

  • Server

    • The Best Servers for Linux in 2013

      Linux may be reaching new heights every day in desktop and mobile computing, but if there’s any domain in which its might has long been undisputed, it’s servers.

      To wit: Linux is now used to run about a third of all websites, W3Techs reports. Linux servers in general now represent 20.4 percent of all server revenue, according to IDC. Then, of course, there’s supercomputing, in which it claims a full 94 percent of the world’s Top 500.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • A Memory Comparison of Light Linux Desktops

      After I install a new version of Linux, I usually take a good look at the screen. Does it have a task bar? Can you find your window after it was minimized? Lately, some developers have been struck by some sort of amnesia brought on by the stress created by the mobile sector offerings.

      Fortunately, in Linux we do have plenty of other choices. I will describe some of them in this article, and I’ll attempt to measure the RAM memory requirements. I use free command in an xterm before and after the graphic environment is started on a separate X server (Xephyr). The computer is an older 64-bit machine, running Ubuntu 12.04 with LXDE as desktop environment.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma Media Center – Release One

        We are proud to announce the first release (1.0.0) of Plasma Media Center. Built on Plasma and KDE technologies. Designed to offer a rich experience to media enthusiasts.

      • Comparing Qt’s QML vs. Enlightenment’s EFL
      • Simple QML vs EFL comparison

        Recently I found this blog post about complete minesweeper clone – elemines – based on Enlightenment Foundation Libraries. As EFL are designed to efficiently work even on PDAs, I came up with an idea to implement similar clone in plain QML/Javascript (QmlMiner) and perform simple comparative analysis. I wondered how the QML version would compare with the EFL one.
        Following areas were analyzed:

        1. Developer experience
        2. Source code size and used languages
        3. Memory consumption
        4. Startup time

        The comparison was concluded with a limited performance check.
        You can look at it from many angles. Just note that I was comparing virtual-machine-based runtime (Qt4/QML – QtQuick 1.1, JavaScript) with EFL app that is coded in C and compiled into a native binary to see how much advantage the low-level C programming has over more modern technology such as QML.

      • Starting preparations for Qt 5.1
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3.7.14 Fixes a Lot of File Chooser Button Issues
      • 3.8… clocks, gedit, more…

        gnome 3.8 is on track to be released on time as usual (the release candidate will be out later today): it’s a great incremental release with improvements all over the place, but I’ll let the release notes speak.

        For my own part, I put my fingers here and there either making patches or trying to help (annoy?) people doing the real hard work with reviews and suggestions.

      • GNOME 3.8 – Jon McCann talks of future in GNOME

        The GNOME Project is proud to announce the imminent release of GNOME 3.8 in less than two weeks. As with every release, there are many new features and technical improvements. We asked William Jon McCann, a GNOME designer, about the direction of the project and what he is anticipating for GNOME in the future.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Zentyal 3.0-2
      • SparkyLinux 2.1 Has Been Officially Released

        Paweł Pijanowski has proudly announced a few hours ago, March 19, that his SparkyLinux operating system based on the testing branch of Debian GNU/Linux has now reached version 2.1.

        Dubbed Eris, SparkyLinux 2.1 is now powered by Linux kernel 3.2.39-2 and it is based on the Debian testing repos as of March 15, 2013.

        SparkyLinux 2.1 also comes with a new set of wallpapers, a working Live system, which is now compatible with USB flash drivers, support for installing the distro from a USB stick, as well as minor bug fixes.

      • GParted 0.15.0-1
      • AsteriskNOW 3.0
      • AUSTRUMI 2.6.8
      • GNOME Disk Utility 3.8.0 Has Been Officially Released

        GNOME Disk Utility, the utility that allows users to handle storage devices, is now ready for the highly anticipated GNOME 3.8 desktop environment, as announced on March 18 by the development team behind the GNOME Project.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 3 Beta 3 Shaping Up Nicely

        The third beta of upcoming Mageia 3 was released last week, running a few days late themselves. This release brings the final version of KDE 4.10, GNOME 3.6.3, and Steam. There are two more test releases before final, so there’s still time to get your bug reports in.

      • New Mageia Board Members Elected

        The third annual Mageia elections were held during FOSDEM in Brussels recently for new Community Council and Mageia Board members. The Mageia Community Council is made up of elected team representatives such as for packagers or translators who help keep development moving along smoothly. The Board members oversee development while managing and administering the project.

    • Slackware Family

      • Everyday Linux User Review of SLAX

        If you go to distrowatch.com and look down the rankings you will see at number 24 a distribution called SLAX.

        It is very hard for distro developers to make their particular distribution stand out. SLAX is not one of them.

        SLAX weighs in at 210mb and is built to run from a USB drive as opposed to being installed to the hard drive. What you end up with is a fully functional portable operating system.

      • Call for help: Slackware on an ARM Chromebook?

        Well folks, the ARM-powered Chromebook built by Samsung can finally be bought in the Netherlands, and this raises a hairy question. Should I buy one and have a real-life target for my ARM port of Slackware which has been on the backburner for a year?

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon to speak at Open Source Think Tank
      • Red Hat, Inc. : Red Hat Announces Agenda for Red Hat Summit, the Industry’s Premier Open Source Technology Event
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19 Kernel Testing

          I have a sekret. I know what kernel version is going to be used for the Fedora 19 release. Want to know? Well, I’ll be glad to tell you. Why would I tell you? Because we need your help! (Aside from the fact that Fedora doesn’t really have secrets and stuff.)

          So looking into the kernel release crystal ball and comparing it with the Fedora 19 schedule, we’re pretty much settled on using the 3.9 kernel as the release kernel. Fedora 19 (at the moment) is schedule to ship at the end of June, and we’ll still be in the middle of the -rc timeframe for 3.10 kernel at that point. While shipping with a non-released kernel sounds like fun for entirely inappropriate reasons, it’s not something we’re going to do. Even if F19 slips by a month, we’d be hard pressed to really get another kernel rebase in place in that timeframe. Just doesn’t make sense. So we’ll ship with whatever is the latest stable 3.9.y kernel at that point.

    • Debian Family

      • Backports Integrated Into The Main Archive

        The Backports Team is pleased to announce the next important step on getting backports more integrated. People who are reading debian-infrastructure-announce will have seen that there was an archive maintenance last weekend: starting with wheezy-backports the packages will be accessible from the regular pool instead of a separate one, and all backports uploads will be processed through the regular upload queue (including those for squeeze-backports and squeeze-backports-sloppy).

      • Debian Wheezy Linux Nearing the Finish Line as 100 Bugs Remain

        Watching Debian Linux releases come together has always been aDebian long and drawn out process. Few other Linux projects (if any) have the same breadth of platform support or packages and few (if any) have the same fiercely principled approach (hurray Debian Free Software Guidelines) to development either.

      • DebConf13 matching fund

        As part of the DebConf13 fundraising effort, a generous sponsor, Brandorr Group, has proposed to start a matching fund in USD for DebConf13; in place through the end of April 30th.

      • Eaton donates hardware to Debian
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu to halve support length for non-LTS releases

            In a meeting of the Ubuntu Technical Board last night, the technical leadership of Canonical’s Linux distribution decided to halve the support time for non-LTS releases to nine months. At the same time, the developers want to make it easier for users of the distribution to get up-to-date packages on a regular basis without the need to perform explicit upgrades of the whole distribution. Attending the meeting, Matt Zimmerman, Colin Watson and Stéphane Graber unanimously agreed on these points and also clearly voted against moving Ubuntu into a rolling release model. The changes will be implemented in the maintenance schedule starting with the release of Ubuntu 13.04 (“Raring Ringtail”) on 25 April.

          • Ubuntu Cuts Down Non-LTS Support
          • Canonical cuts support for non-LTS versions of Ubuntu, users now get nine months of bug fixes
          • Ubuntu cuts non-LTS support from 18 months to 9 months
          • Ubuntu, openSUSE and the Definition of Easy

            To hear fans talk, without Ubuntu, Linux desktops would be still be basic window managers. Even Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu’s founder, recently implied that those who questioned him held the view that “Linux is supposed to be hard so it’s exclusive.”

            Such attitudes always remind me of how the Soviet Union once claimed to have invented every major scientific theory and new piece of technology in the twentieth century. True, Ubuntu did increase awareness of usability on the Linux desktop, but that does not mean that Ubuntu and its Unity desktop have a monopoly on usability.

            The truth is, long before Ubuntu, other distributions were stumbling towards usability. Although Ubuntu’s ability to grab headlines accelerated their progress, other modern distributions have arrived at very different usability philosophies than Unity.

          • Canonical to halve Ubuntu support lifetime

            Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, is planning a change to how it supports its operating system that will see each major release updated for just nine months after release.

            Founded as a fork of the Debian distribution following dissatisfaction with the length of time between releases, Ubuntu has stuck to a rigid six-month release cycle since it was founded. When released, each six-monthly version – given a release number of the year plus the month of release, along with an alliterative animal-themed codename – was guaranteed to receive software updates for eighteen months, or three full version releases. The exception was the Long Term Support (LTS) releases, designed for corporate and enterprise use, which enjoyed a full three years of guaranteed updates.

          • On the Ubuntu Community (reprise)
          • Wayland
          • Sweet Ubuntu Device QtCreator Integration

            I spent a bit of today using the Ubuntu Device integration features in Qt. It’s fresh software, but it’s really easy and fun. Here is the development version of the game I am running running on my desktop. Noticed that I set the size of the window and therefore the play area very intentionally. But, I had to think to myself “will the touch interactions work ok on my tablet?” “What about the sizes?”. Fortunately, getting it onto my tablet is pretty easy.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Default Wallpapers Released [Download Link Included]
          • Ubuntu Technical Board Looks at Shuttleworth’s Proposal for Release Management Methodology
          • The Coolest Ubuntu Business Cards Ever
          • Changes in Ubuntu releases decided by the Ubuntu Technical Board
          • Can You Help Ferret Out Ubuntu’s Bugs?

            Everyone has their favorite Linux distro and mine happens to be Ubuntu. After years of using the OS, I appreciate the ease with which I can run lots of applications that I can’t run on other platforms, Ubuntu’s security, and more. I also have a long wish list of things that I wish Ubuntu could do better.

            If you have a similar wish list, you may want to keep track of Canonical’s UbuntuBugDays and Hug Days. The next Hug Day is Thursday of this week, and is a community event that anyone can participate in, but Canonical is also serious about inviting developers to find meaningful bugs in Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu Technical Board Meeting Decisions Regarding The New Release Proposals

            It was also decided to implement the above changes “to the maintenance schedule effective in 13.04 and later”.

          • There is Ubuntu, There is Linux and Then There are Others

            The Microsoft Windows users of the world are beginning to experience the pain of the new release of the Microsoft’s flagship operating system, Windows 8.

            While there are some users that are happy with the new release, a lot of them are not satisfied and some even very bitter. Microsoft are pushing the marketing for Windows 8 pretty hard. There is advertising on Facebook, banners on all of the popular websites and also TV commercials. And it’s also in newspapers and magazines everywhere you read. Microsoft does always markets a new Windows operating system release pretty heavily, but more so with Windows 8. Why? Because Microsoft have accepted the fact that the strong and viable competition can actually effect their bottom-dollar. And there’s public evidence of this when you look at the share price for MST. It has flat-lined and has been this way for quite some time. They are facing stiff competition from both Apple and Linux operating systems alike.

          • Review: Sidebar Pro and Lite, multitasking the Ubuntu Touch way [VIDEO]

            The greatest part about Android is the sheer flexibility developers have with the platform. Sometimes we see a rival OS come out with some pretty interesting ideas and features and as Android users, we don’t have to mope around wondering when Google will introduce something similar to their mobile OS. No. A random developer from the Play Store can create an app with much of the same functionality.

          • Ubuntu unveils its next-generation shell and display server

            Ubuntu publicly announced its plan for the future of its Unity graphical shell on March 4, a plan that includes a new compositing window manager designed to run on the distribution’s device platforms as well as on desktop systems. The plan will reimplement the Unity shell in Qt and replace Compiz with a new display stack called Mir that will incorporate a compositor, input manager, and several other pieces. Mir is not designed to use the Wayland display protocol (although the Ubuntu specification suggests it could be added later), a decision that raised the ire of developers in several other projects.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • SODIMM-like COMs snap ARM SoCs into embedded apps
    • RasPlex – Plex on Raspberry Pi, Beta out now

      Plex comes to Raspberry Pi, threatening to usurp XBMCs throne by adding a server functionality to a Pi HTPC

    • Android vs Linux in automotive apps: a role for each?

      The role of Android as an alternative to embedded Linux has been a subject of quite a bit of discussion recently. As the use of open source software in automotive gains momentum there are differing opinions on the subject of using Android, Linux or both. The Linux Foundation recently wrote a post summarizing a discussion during a panel at the Android Builders Summit as well as some interviews from a number of experts. The post attempts to define Android vs. Embedded Linux and brings up some interesting points on the subject.

    • More Raspberry Pi manufacturing moves back to the UK

      UK distributor Premier Farnell, which owns Raspberry Pi-maker element14, announced on Friday that 100 percent of element14′s manufacturing is now back in the UK, marking the completion of a transition away from Chinese manufacturing it began last September. To bring production to the UK, Premier Farnell signed a deal with Sony to build the device at a contract electronic manufacture facility in Pencoed, South Wales.

    • Newly purchased Raspberry Pi is not booting? Defective unit? Sending it back….

      The Raspberry Pi team is noticing an increase in the returns of the unit where the customers claim that its not booting up. If you are one such customer who received a ‘defective’ Raspberry Pi and are planning to send it back, read this before you do that.

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation has made a public announcement clarifying what could be the cause of non-booting units.

    • Tiny $50 ARM-based COM runs Linux, Android

      BDD Group is readying a tiny, sub-$50, SODIMM-style computer module powered by an SOC (system-on-chip) containing a single ARM Cortex A8 core along with a Mali-400 GPU, among other functions. The business card-sized “A10 COM” will be supported with Android and Linux BSPs.

      BDD’s CEO, Rowdy VanCleave, says the A10 COM was created to enable rapid design and development of a wide range of “industrial embedded” products.

    • Software Company Anahata to Explore Development on ARM Linux
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Ubuntu For Tablets: Hot or Not?

        This year, Ubuntu has been in the news more than it’s ever been. Week after week, a new announcement from Canonical inundates tech sites and blogs. And this time, it’s not just the Linux-based news sites that are covering them. 2013 is all about Ubuntu going mainstream. Coming from the Linux world, the word mainstream has many connotations, but when compared to what Apple, Microsoft, and Google are doing, Ubuntu is a relatively unknown player. Going head-to-head with these giants is probably what mainstream means at this moment.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Taking Control: Interview with FLIRC Creator Jason Kotzin

    We’ve covered a lot of hardware projects here on “The Powerbase”, from completely open source creations such as the OsciPrime, to 2012′s incredible influx of Kickstarter campaigns. But none of them have kept our attention as closely as Jason Kotzin’s FLIRC.

    Jason has managed to achieve a delicate balance between the obsessive attention to detail that comes from a one-man project and the high production quality you would expect from a commercial product. But what makes FLIRC really special is that Jason didn’t just create this project for his own personal gains, but instead did it as a way to raise money for Dr. Heinz Lenz at the USC Cancer Research Center, the oncologist who helped him through his 6 month battle with cancer.

  • Documenting Your Work With Liferay

    I’m generally adverse to large software bundles, especially ones that are aimed at businesses. All too often they are a cludgy mess of disjointed and barely related applications that have been thrown together. Not so with Liferay, Liferay is an open source portal that actually makes sense.

  • Open Source Ubuntu Speech Recognition App is Shaping up Nicely, Already Installable in Ubuntu!

    Ubuntu Speech Recognition app is shaping up nicely. During the first video preview of the Ubuntu Speech Recognition software, author did promise open sourcing of the app. He has kept his promise. Ubuntu Speech Recognition is now open source and is licensed under GNU General Public License Version 3 aka GPLV3. See github page for more information. Installation instructions for Ubuntu Speech Recognition app can be found below.

  • EdX Releases Open Source Tool For Building Interactive MOOC Courseware

    EdX has released source code to the general public that supports interactive learning built specifically for the Internet.

    The nonprofit online learning platform founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has released XBlock SDK, the underlying architecture supporting EdX course content.

  • Netflix Invites Open Source Cloud App Development

    Netflix‘s lack of official support for Linux may not do much to help its popularity within the open source world. Yet in a sign that the company does remain eager to wield stronger influence in this space–especially where it intersects with the cloud–it has announced a contest for open source developers “to build something cool using or modifying our open source software.” And it has committed a fair amount of cash to seeing the initiative through.

  • Vagrant 1.1 adds first paid plugin for VMware Fusion
  • Open Source Project Mimics Yahoo Pipes on Your Own Machine

    When you move your life onto the web, you lose control of your data. And — who knows? — your web app of choice may even vanish from the face of the Earth while you’re still using it. Think Google Reader.

    The growing Indie Web Movement hopes to alleviate these problems, working to give web users more control over their online data and identity. The latest example is an open source software tool called Huginn.

  • The Fourth Dimension of Open Source

    In 2006, I wrote at ZDNet about what I called the open source incline, the idea being that the more even-handed the license, the more likely it was people would contribute code and other help to a project.

    The news peg here was a company called Appcelerator, which was then gaining significant developer support by licensing its mobile app code under the General Public License, or GPL. This requires that companies offer back their contributions to the code, while the Apache or Eclipse licenses let companies make enhancements proprietary.

  • Why your future PC may be disaggregated
  • The Math of FOSS Freeloaders

    oncerns are raised every once in a while in the broader free and open source software community about freeloaders. The attitude expressed is that if you’re getting the benefit of FOSS, you should contribute. Building a business on a FOSS project you don’t own, whether you’re providing a service or product around a FOSS project should in return garner some sort of quid pro quo. In reality, freeloaders are desirable.

  • Wikimedia adopts Lua for page generation

    Wikimedia has activated Lua-based templating on several of its sites including English Wikipedia. Driven by a new MediaWiki extension called Scribunto which allows scripting languages to be embedded in MediaWiki, it is hoped that the Lua templating will help improve performance where editors take advantage of its capabilities.

    Lua code is stored in module pages like Module:Bananas and is then referred to in pages with {{#invoke:modulename|functionname}} like this example page. Lua offers a more powerful, and much less obscure, way of performing complex tasks which are reused within pages. There is already a queue of requests to get existing templates converted to Lua.

  • Kenya: Open Source

    Does open source have a place in the enterprise outside experimenters? find out how Radio Africa group is running almost entirely on open source and how Madison insurance has blended in the open “sauce’ to derive the best benefits of both worlds.

    Radio Africa is a media company that invests in radio, television and print. The group operates 5 radio stations, a single TV station and a newspaper and employs just under 500 employees. The group has offices in Mombasa as well as sales and correspondence offices in Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret and Meru. Other operations include a printing press in Nairobi’s Industrial area.

  • Business Usage of FLOSS Increasing in Kenya
  • Open eCard releases open source eID middleware

    Open eCard has released the sources of the ISO/IEC 24727-based Open eCard app, as an alternative to proprietary eID middleware solutions.

    “In order to use national eID cards and electronic health cards on the internet, a corresponding software application running on the computer system of each citizen is required,” the company said in an announcement on its website. “Interoperability across borders is achieved by supporting the international standard ISO/IEC 24727.”

  • Open eCard releases open source eID middleware
  • Design in open source projects and my experiences
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox DevTools Get an Overhaul

        Firefox has always been a popular browser with developers, and we’ve covered some of the extensions and tools available for development with Firefox, such as the Firebug extension. Recently, Mozilla’s Paul Rouget surveyed developers about what they would like to see in terms of Firefox DevTools. The developers provided feedback, and now Rouget has an update on what to expect in the future. Here are details.

      • Happy Birthday, Mozilla!
      • Is Firefox Too Customizable for its Own Good?

        Alex Limi, who heads up product design for Mozilla, asks an interesting question in a new blog post: “If I told you that a company is shipping a product to hundreds of millions of users right now, and included in the product are several prominent buttons that will break the product completely if you click them, and possibly lock you out from the Internet — can you guess which product it is?”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Rackpace’s Open Cloud Academy Offers OpenStack Certification

      For months now, data from recruitment organizations has shown that skills with the OpenStack cloud computing platform commands power in the job market. Rackspace Hosting, which has been focused on OpenStack-based cloud computing, has announced a number of training initiatives. For example, the company has announced a strategic agreement with Hortonworks, which provides Apache Hadoop development, support and training, to empower customers with an enterprise-ready Hadoop platform targeted to be easy to use in the cloud.

    • OpenStack Certified Professionals: New Cloud Pros Coming
    • Amazon Cloud Storage Clone Goes Open Source

      Riak CS started life as a proprietary version of the open source NoSQL database Riak. But unlike many other “open core” systems, Riak CS wasn’t a souped up version of the open source version, but a purpose-built application with new features specifically designed for large scale storage. Riak CS added support for “objects” — i.e., files — of up to 5 GB each, and tools for billing individual users or departments for resource use. And of course, an S3-compatible API that let you plug applications into it in much the same way you’d plug them into Amazon’s online service.

  • Databases

    • MongoDB refines load balancing

      The MongoDB data store can now randomize placement of data on different shards to smooth load balancing

    • NoSQL Database MongoDB Reaches Beyond Software Coders

      But the company that develops Mongo — 10gen — is hoping to reach beyond the developers and into big businesses. On Tuesday, with this in mind, the company unveiled a the “enterprise edition” of the database that’s specifically designed for use in the business world.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Open-Xchange to launch open-source, browser-based office suite

      Collaboration software vendor Open-Xchange plans to launch an open-source, browser-based productivity suite called OX Documents.

      The first application for the suite is OX Text, an in-browser word processing tool with editing capabilities for Microsoft Word .docx files and OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice .odt files, the Nuremberg, Germany, company announced on Wednesday.

  • Education

    • Open source eliminates lack of resources at inner city schools

      Fifty years ago, on January 17, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC. And it is worthwhile to reflect on how much or little has changed in terms of education. His belief that “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” still resonates today. Five years later, in 1968, King was assassinated as he was working on his Poor People’s Campaign, a multiracial effort to gain economic justice and alleviate poverty regardless of race. His underlying concern had been social justice and altering the balance of power in society by reforming society, which remains controversial today.

  • Healthcare

    • AHRQ: Open source EHR improves care in developing nations

      Global nonprofit Partners in Health (PIH) helped develop an open source electronic health record system that is improving care in developing countries, as well as in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, according to an announcement from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • Business

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • MongoDB 2.4 Released
    • Etherpad 1.2.9 fixes “massive security issue”

      Etherpad Lite was recently security audited by Mozilla. The developers say the result of that audit was an urgent effort from them to fix “gaping loopholes” in the collaborative editor’s security and, in turn, release version 1.2.9 of Etherpad Lite. Issues addressed include a major security problem where an attacker could submit content as another user and a problem with unescaped user input.

    • OpenSMTPD 5.3 released

      It will also be shipping with OpenBSD 5.3.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Time to be open-minded about open source contact centres?

      Following news that the UK government has mandated open source software, James Passingham, Technical Services Director for independent managed communications provider, Foehn, explains why more organisations are opening their eyes to open source.

      This week, the UK government mandated a preference for using open source software for future digital developments. The new Government Service Design Manual, released as a beta version on the 14th of March and effective from April, lays out standards that must be used for all new digital public services. For the first time, the UK government has expressed a formal preference for open source over proprietary software.

    • Newark Mayor Cory Booker Says Government Must Embrace Tech, Be Open Source

      Monday afternoon Newark Mayor Cory Booker crossed the Hudson River to chat at the OnMedia NYC conference about changes he believes government can make through technology. His administration uses social media to get residents more active in improving their community. “I could crowdsource my entire city,” Booker said, “and involve them in empowering Newark.”

    • April publishes English translation of France’s free software policy

      The French government policy on free software is now available in English. The translation was published earlier today by April, a French advocacy organisation. It is not an official translation. However, experts involved in the creation of the original French text have not found misinterpretations, the advocacy group commented. The group hopes other public administrations will use the guideline to their benefit.

  • Licensing

    • One year on OSI’s board (aka one year in OSI’s licensing)

      Since it has been roughly one year since Mozilla nominated me to sit on the OSI board, I thought I’d recap what I’ve done over the course of the year. It hasn’t been a perfect year by any stretch, but I’m pretty happy with what we’ve done and I think we’re pointed in the right direction. Because my primary public responsibility on the board has been chairing the license committee, this can also sort of double as a review of the last year in license-discuss/license-review (though there is lots of stuff done by other members of the community that doesn’t show up here yet).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • STC Announces Open ImmuCast™, an Open Source Immunization Forecasting Web Service

      Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC) is excited to announce the release of Open ImmuCast™, a free and open source immunization forecasting web service now available to public health entities in the United States. Open Immucast™ is the open source version of STC’s commercial Stand Alone Forecasting algorithm that has been integrated with production immunization registries since 1999. Open ImmuCast™ is backed by STC’s more than twenty years of experience in developing immunization evaluation and forecasting solutions. STC’s Clinical Decision Support Specialist is a nationally recognized subject matter expert and an invited panelist for CDC’s Clinical Decision Support Logic Specification Panel. The significant implementation history of the forecasting algorithm and STC’s expertise combine to make Open ImmuCast™ a tried and proven product.

    • How do you start fixing the GOP? Open source the platform

      The Republican Party must engage its members in an open and collaborative process to discuss exactly what the party should stands for and believes in. In so doing, they will effectively create a new Party platform and update the concept of the platform for the 21st century. Such a platform is proposed, written, and ratified in an open process should be the foundation behind which the GOP rallies and will the beginning of a real effort to establish a modern social media presence.

    • Guardian of open source
    • Open Access/Content

      • Startups are about to blow up the textbook

        A raft of startups is using open-source materials in an attempt to transform learning – terrifying traditional publishers.

      • The American Library Association Has Given Aaron Swartz Its First Ever Posthumous Award

        Famed Internet activist Aaron Swartz was honored Friday by the American Library Association. He became the first person to posthumously receive the association’s James Madison Award.

      • Plans for releasing Swartz evidence

        In a letter this morning, MIT’s president announced plans to make requested Swartz-related evidence public, with names redacted to “protect the privacy and safety of those members of our community.” However, much of this information is already publicly known and has been published by The Tech and the New York Times, among others.

      • Neanderthal Genome Published As Open Source

        A high-quality full Neanderthal genome has been sequenced for the first time, and the open source data is now available to everyone. That’s the exciting announcement today from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

        The team, led by paleogeneticist Svante Pääbo, used material from a toe bone found in 2010 in a cave in southern Siberia. They had previously released information about the Neanderthal genome that same year including evidence of inbreeding between the Neanderthals and modern humans. The Neanderthal species (or subspecies, according to some scientists who place it in our own species) died out about 28,000 years ago.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • The CIA, Amazon, and the Fast Trajectory of Cloud Computing

    Although the CIA is certainly not going to confirm or deny on the topic, there has been a lot of buzz this week about a report in Federal Computer Weekly that says that the CIA has approached Amazon about building a private cloud infrastructure for it. While there is no confirmation, the idea makes sense. The CIA has contracted with numerous technology companies for private platforms before, and as all things move toward the cloud, the CIA is probably heading there as well. If the report is true, it’s more evidence of how much clout the cloud has taken on in a very short period of time.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • FDA Ready to Approve Frankenfish Despite Fishy Science

      Some day soon, you might tuck into a plate of salmon without knowing that the fish you are eating was genetically engineered. The so-called AquAdvantage salmon, a salmon genetically engineered to grow faster than normal salmon, just moved one step closer to legalization. If so, it will be the first genetically engineered (GE) animal allowed for consumption in the United States. Thus, every part of the regulatory process related to the GE salmon sets a precedent for all future GE animals in the United States – and so far, according to experts, that precedent is a sloppy, inadequate one.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Scarborough Remembers Some Iraq Words–But Not His Own
    • NYPD Spent 1 Million Hours Over Last Decade On Marijuana Arrests, Analysis Finds
    • Why We Won’t Learn From Iraq

      1) Avoidance. After Pearl Harbor, after Vietnam, after World War II, after the 9/11 attacks, even after civilian disasters like the Challenger explosion or Katrina, there were official efforts, of varying seriousness and success, to find out what had gone wrong, and why, and to yield “lessons learned.”

    • New report on CIA: Rendition and torture on a global scale

      A report released in early February by the Open Society Justice Initiative titled “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition” establishes that the Central Intelligence Agency, acting under the direction of the highest levels of the US government, has utilized a global network of secret prisons, foreign intelligence agents, and interrogation and torture centers to send detainees to without any legal protections.
      This arrangement is worldwide and includes the involvement of at least 54 different countries touching almost every continent.

    • The FBI’s anticipatory prosecution of Muslims to criminalize speech

      A court ruling in one of the most abusive prosecutions yet highlights the dangers posed by this familiar tactic

    • Looking Back at Iraq With…Michael Gordon?

      New York Times reporter Michael Gordon was the lead author on that infamous tubes article, but his record goes deeper than that. A few days into the U.S. bombing (3/25/13), Gordon appeared on CNN to endorse the bombing of Iraqi TV’s offices, calling it “an appropriate target,” since “we’re trying to send the exact opposite message.”

  • Cablegate

    • Update 3/19/13: Correcting dangerous errors in the press about Bradley Manning

      Until recently, with Bradley Manning’s historic statement in court taking responsibility for releasing documents to WikiLeaks, mainstream media outlets had largely ignored or paid only passing attention to the biggest leak case in U.S. history. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that when they do report on it, in addition to typically taking government arguments as fact, they frequently get basic information about Manning and his legal proceedings wrong.

      These pernicious mistakes can malign Manning’s character and obscure the public’s understanding of his case. It’s left to lesser-known but far more attentive writers and legal experts who’ve been following this case more closely (some since its inception) to correct their mistakes to keep the record straight.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Animal Cruelty for Profits is More Pervasive Than Imagined

      “The Greatness of a nation, and its moral progress, can be judged by the manner in which its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi.

    • EXCLUSIVE: State Dept. Hid Contractor’s Ties to Keystone XL Pipeline Company

      Late on a Friday afternoon in early March, the State Department released a 2,000-page draft report downplaying the environmental risks of the northern portion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would ferry oil from Canada’s tar sands to refineries in Texas, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. But when it released the report, State hid an important fact from the public: Experts who helped draft the report had previously worked for TransCanada, the company looking to build the Keystone pipeline, and other energy companies poised to benefit from Keystone’s construction. State released documents in conjunction with the Keystone report in which these experts’ work histories were redacted so that anyone reading the documents wouldn’t know who’d previously hired them. Yet unredacted versions of these documents obtained by Mother Jones confirm that three experts working for an outside contractor had done consulting work for TransCanada and other oil companies with a stake in the Keystone’s approval.

    • BP accused of rewriting environmental record on Wikipedia

      A British Petroleum representative allegedly rewrote 44 percent of the oil giant’s Wikipedia page, including the environmental sections. Some Wikipedia editors are crying foul.

  • Finance

    • GOLDMAN: The Bailout Could Be A Great Deal For Cyprus

      Goldman Sachs is out with a reaction to the Cyprus bailout deal negotiated over the weekend, the most controversial part of which entails a haircut on bank deposits, something that hasn’t yet been seen until now in the euro crisis saga.

      Goldman analyst Francisco Garzarelli says that while the deal could cause some short-term volatility, the fallout from Cyprus will likely be contained, assuming the controversial measures are able to survive a vote in the Cypriot parliament this week (which remains an open question).

    • Why yes, a global agricultural corporation acting like a monopoly *IS* evil, thanks for asking.

      Around here, we Linux geeks tend to focus on technology, its place in society, and why monopolizing it into the iron fists of a few global corporations is a Bad Thing. The reasoning is that technology is central to all of our lives, cradle to grave, school to office, and we dare not allow a tiny oligarchy of billionaires to control everything that technology does.

      What could be more dastardly than monopolizing the world’s computers? Monopolizing the world’s food.

      Monsanto, in the emerging science of biotechnology, has become the Microsoft of food. Here in Iowa (a state with no small interest in agriculture) I get to witness the struggle firsthand; Monsanto commercials aimed at farmers dominate much of local television. Very few non-Monsanto companies manage to get equal billing.

      The parallels between Microsoft and Monsanto are plain. Just the Wikipedia page on legal actions involving Monsanto reaps bold examples: Monsanto has filed patents on numerous genetically engineered specimens. They have filed suit against 145 individual U.S. farmers for violating those patents. The Public Patent Foundation has blown the whistle on some Monsanto patents. The U.S. Justice Department in 2009 has also opened investigations against Monsanto for anti-trust; that’s still pending. And the legal battles outside North America are even more telling; stories abound of farmers being driven out of business, markets controlled, and even child labor. Oh, and Monsanto is a political lobbyist – a really, really big one – in the US, UK, and continental Europe. And corporate food patents, litigation, and fallout damage has been the subject of at least one documentary name of Food, Inc.

    • The Best Of The Internet’s Reaction To George Osborne Joining Twitter

      1. This is Osborne’s first, and so far only, tweet

    • Capitalism efficient? We can do so much better

      For all its vaunted efficiency, capitalism has foisted wasteful inequality and environmental ruin on us. There is an alternative

    • On implications of Cyprus
    • Bill Maher Urges Vilification of Bill Maher

      On his last HBO show (3/15/13), Bill Maher complained about how much he and his wealthy cohort pay in taxes: “You know what? Rich people–I’m sure you’d agree with this–actually do pay the freight in this country.”

      Maher added that wealthy Californians pay nearly 40 percent to the federal government and nearly 15 percent to the state: “I just want to say liberals: You could actually lose me. It’s outrageous what we’re paying–over 50 percent. I’m willing to pay my share, but yeah, it’s ridiculous.”

    • When You Weren’t Looking, Democrat Bank Stooges Launch Bills to Permit Bailouts, Deregulate Derivatives
    • Strikes across UK as George Osborne delivers budget speech
    • In Spain, The Bitcoin Run Has Started

      Something extreme is happening in Europe. Since Sunday, Bloomberg Businessweek reports a trio of Bitcoin apps have soared up Spain’s download charts, coinciding with news that cash-strapped Cyprus was planning to raid domestic savings accounts to pay off a $13 billion bailout tab. “This is an entirely predictable and rational outcome for what’s happening in Cyprus,” says ConvergEx’s Nick Colas. “If you want to get a good sense of the stress European savers are feeling, just watch Bitcoin prices.”

      The value of the virtual currency has soared almost 30 percent in the last two days. “One hundred percent of that is due to Cyprus,” says Colas. “It means the Europeans are getting involved.” As German economist Peter Bofinger warned in an interview with Spiegel Online: “European citizens must now fear for their money.”

    • French authorities raid IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s home in ‘embezzlement’ probe

      French magistates and anti-fraud police have raided the Paris home of the International Monetary Foundation (IMF) chief, Christine Lagarde, as part of an investigation into alleged misuse of public office and “embezzlement” when she was French finance minister in 2008.

    • Manila, March 18-22: Week of ‘Black Protest’ after Student Suicide triggered by inability to pay for Tuition Fees

      A week of ‘Black Protest’ at public and private colleges and universities across the Philippines takes place between March 18 and 22. It commemorates the death of Kristel Tejada who committed suicide, because she couldn’t pay for tuition fees in time. The ‘Black Protest’ is marked by walk-outs and is also directed against another possible increase in tuition fees.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Sen. Sanders and Rep. Deutch Press for New Democracy Amendment

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) have introduced a new constitutional amendment to overturn the damage done by Citizens United, Buckley v. Valeo, and other judicial decisions that have diluted the role of ordinary people in American democracy.

      “The Democracy is for People Amendment will stop corporations and their front groups from using their profits and dark money donations to influence our elections while reaffirming the right of the American people to elections that are fair and representatives that are accountable,” Rep. Deutch said in a statement.

    • Two Peoples, Two Pictures
  • Privacy

    • Two clicks for more privacy

      More and more web pages incorporate “Like” buttons for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and this was also on the to do list for both The H and our associates at heise online; however, implementing these buttons means that data will be transmitted to the operators of a networking platform when the page is loaded – without any user interaction. In addition to the URL of the current page, that information also includes an ID that is directly connected to a person, at least if the user has an account with these platforms. This allows companies such as Facebook to create full browsing profiles of their users. As this doesn’t harmonise with our idea of data protection and privacy, heise online developed a two-stage solution that will only transmit data with the user’s permission.

    • City Council stumbles upon warrantless surveillance by police unfit for public discussion and unqualified for private discussion
    • Demand A Proper Consultation

      The UK’s Home Office continues to push for maximum surveillance powers with minimum accountability in the latest adjustments to the Communications Data Bill. I decided to find out just how much consultation with non-corporates there had been before the Bill was introduced originally.

    • Is the tide turning in the fight for our privacy rights?

      The latest vote on the EU Data Protection Regulation suggests MEPs are starting to realise why privacy protections are important. We need your help now to get the message across.

    • Visualizing Google’s Transparency Report, Part 3: What Countries Ask For The Biggest Share of Netizen Data?

      India is ranked at number two by total number of data requests but if you take into account its large Internet population, its ranking falls. Neighboring countries can vary a great deal. The U.K. and France demand a disproportionate amount of user information, compared to Ireland and the Netherlands.

  • Civil Rights

    • Pentagon Papers lawyer on Obama, secrecy and press freedoms: ‘worse than Nixon’

      …James Goodale sounds the alarm about the current president

    • James Goodale: It’s a bad time for press freedoms

      James Goodale has a message for journalists: Wake up. In his new book, Fighting for the Press (CUNY Journalism Press, 2013), Goodale, chief counsel to The New York Times when its editors published the Pentagon Papers in 1971, argues that President Obama is worse for press freedom than former President Richard Nixon was.

      The Obama administration has prosecuted more alleged leakers of national security information under the 1917 Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined, a course critics say is overly aggressive. Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller wrote in a March op-ed that the administration “has a particular, chilling intolerance” for those who leak. If the Obama administration indicts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act, Goodale argues, the president will have succeeded where Nixon failed by using the act to “end-run” the First Amendment.

    • How Weev’s Long Prison Term Makes You More Vulnerable
    • EFF Joins Andrew Auernheimer Case on Appeal

      Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer today was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for revealing to media outlets that AT&T had configured its servers to allow the harvesting of iPad owners’ unsecured email addresses. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is joining Auernheimer’s legal team to litigate his appeal before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that fundamental problems with computer crime law result in unfair prison sentences like the one in this case.

    • Angela Davis: making waves since 1961

      Once on the FBI’s ‘most wanted’ list, the civil rights activist has no intention of slowing down. She talks to Frank Barat about her inspiration.

    • Meeting Hacked Off

      The explosive revelations that websites will be included in the post-Leveson press regulation arrangements this weekend led to a flurry of analysis — and a meeting between Hacked Off, bloggers and free speech groups yesterday.

    • The 21st-Century Version of Slavery Is Widespread In America

      A 21st-century version of slavery—captive labor—is rampant at the bottom of the U.S. economy, and Washington politicians and business lobbies want to keep it that way, or even expand it as part of the immigration reform talks now in Congress.

    • The Steubenville Case: Social Media Plays Role in the Prosecution of a Rape Case

      From the outset of the now widely publicized Steubenville rape case, social media has played an integral role in the local grassroots action, growing media buzz, and prosecution. Local bloggers and Internet activists helped bring the case to national attention.

    • Less than 48 hours before we are part of the Leveson regulation

      3pm Friday is the deadline for amendments to be submitted to the Crime and Courts Bill, which is in the Lords on Monday. The clauses being considered include those for various parts of the Leveson “deal” (Of course, given this isn’t statutory regulation of the press we may well be imagining it.)

    • U.K. police hope to sniff out pot growers with marijuana-scented cards

      Thousand of houses in the United Kingdom are being sent marijuana-scented “scratch and sniff” cards in a new bid to track down marijuana growers.

      In a press release, the charity group Crimestoppers explained the cards were designed to educate residents about the smell of marijuana. They hope once people can recognize the smell of cannabis plants, they will be able to help law enforcement officials identify illegal growing operations.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • France draws red lines for EU-US free trade negotiations

      ood safety, GMO cultivation and France’s cherished “cultural exception” for audiovisual services are non-negotiable areas in view of upcoming EU-US free trade talks, the French stressed. The message was apparently well received by the European Commission in Brussels.
      Speaking at the conclusion of a two-day European summit on 15 March, French President François Hollande said he was “in favour of opening a negotiation” with the US to lift trade barriers and “promote growth” in Europe.

    • Patents, Trademarks And Copyrights Have No Place In Trade Agreements

      As we’ve discussed before, one of the sneakier moves of the content industry (and, later, the pharmaceutical industry) was to jump into the international trade process, to circumvent national governments and to effectively force them into passing laws that they liked. We’ve been raising concerns about this whole process, and it appears that many public interest/civil service groups agree. With the US and Europe getting ready to start negotiations on a “trans-atlantic free trade agreement” (TAFTA), a large group of public interest/civil service groups have teamed up to issue a declaration that “intellectual property” has no place in free trade agreements. It also demands much more transparency in any negotiation.

    • First Sale Doctrine Upheld by US Supreme Court ~pj

      This is the one you have been waiting for: Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. [PDF]. Mr. Kirtsaeng has prevailed. Hugely. I’ll work on a text version for you next, but I didn’t want you to have to wait one second longer to hear the news.

    • Supreme Court reaffirms resale of copyright works

      Justices say a prohibition on the resale of products made overseas would cause multiple problems

    • Supreme Court upholds first-sale doctrine in textbook resale case

      The importation of copyrighted goods made abroad has been an increasingly contentious issue in recent years. Easy access to Internet resale markets like eBay and Amazon have made it possible for a new breed of entrepreneurs to buy low and sell high in a wide array of areas. The Supreme Court handed these resellers a major victory today, issuing a decision [PDF] that makes it clear that the “first sale” doctrine protects resellers, even when they move goods across national boundaries.

    • Trademarks

      • Python Settles Trademark Dispute

        The Python Software Foundation (PSF) have announced they have reached a settlement with POBox Hosting Ltd of the UK over their trademark application for the term ‘Python’ in connection with cloud hosting and their application for a figurative trademark incorporating the word “Python”. While the PSF own the trademark for Python within the United States, it did not have an equivalent filing within the European Union.

      • Settlement reached in Python trademark dispute

        The Python Software Foundation (PSF) has announced that it has reached a settlement with PO Box Hosting, who also trade as Veber, over the latter’s use of the name Python and application to trademark Python. The Python Software Foundation called for help in fighting the application in February.

    • Copyrights

      • NEW EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPORT FINDS THAT ‘PIRACY’ DOESN’T HURT, AND IN FACT HELPS, MUSIC SALES

        The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, part of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, just published a new working paper entitled “Digital Music Consumption on the Internet: Evidence from Clickstream Data.” This report demonstrates that online ‘piracy’ does not have a negative effect on sales, and often, in fact, has a positive impact. As they put it, their research suggested “a stimulating effect of [online streaming] on the sales of digital music.”

        One key part of the paper was their finding that “much of what is consumed illegally would not have been purchased if piracy was not available.” In other words, each illegal download should not be perceived as being equivalent to a lost sale. For better or for worse, the music industry has (d)evolved into being singles-driven rather than being album-driven; now consumers can download just the songs they want, rather than having to download an album filled with bad songs.

      • Google Further Highlights Wrongful DMCA Takedowns
      • Head of US Copyright Office wants to shorten terms, just barely

        US Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante is about to give testimony (PDF) to part of the House Judiciary Committee, in which she proposes that the US government do something it hasn’t done, ever—shorten copyright terms.

        “You may want to consider alleviating some of the pressure and gridlock brought about by the long copyright term for example, by reverting works to the public domain after a period of life plus fifty years unless heirs or successors register their interests with the Copyright Office,” Pallante’s written testimony states.

03.19.13

Links 19/3/2013: Linux 3.8 Approaching, Cyprus Banks News

Posted in News Roundup at 7:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux can read optical discs, Windows can’t
  • Taking Stock of Linux Security and Antivirus Needs

    Open source fans like to brag that Linux needs no antivirus software. Yet as executives at security vendor ESET were keen to remind me in a recent interview, that truism holds true only to a certain extent. In an age where Linux commands greater market share, and where a growing number of threats are platform-agnostic, demand for security enhancements may well be on the rise. Is the channel ready?

    That is, of course, what one would expect ESET representatives to say. As a major developer of security software for all operating systems, with a strong presence in the MSP world and about 2,500 VARs in North America alone, the company stands to grow along with demand for antivirus and other security products for Linux.

  • Fusion-io gobbles Brit Linux SCSI gurus ID7

    Fusion-io flogs software to turn a server fitted with its PCIe flash cards into a shared storage appliance. It turns out that the software is based on UK developer ID7′s code and Fusion-io has just bought the company.

  • Ubuntu Gets New Display Server, Goes Rolling Release? openSUSE 12.3 Released
  • Cheap Linux webcam

    Sainsbury’s in the UK is selling the HP HD-2200 Webcam for a very cheap price…

  • Jaguar Land Rover Seeks Automotive Leadership With Linux

    The automotive industry is undergoing a major technological shift and Jaguar Land Rover is at the forefront. The UK-based JLR has embraced Linux as the operating system underlying its next generation In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems. The company has also taken a leadership role in advocating for open source development within the automotive industry.

  • The Pirate Bay’s Oldest Torrent is “Revolution OS”

    After nearly 9 years of seeding The Pirate Bay’s oldest working torrent is still very much alive. Interestingly, the torrent is not a Hollywood classic nor is it an evergreen music album. The honor goes to a pirated copy of “Revolution OS”, a documentary covering the history of Linux, GNU and the free software movement.

  • Desktop

    • The Linux Setup – Dolores Portalatin, Admin/Designer

      Dolores has an interesting setup, especially her window manager, but I’m really most impressed by the amount of outreach she does in the Linux and Free and Open Source communities. I found Dolores through Arch Linux Women, as I was trying to diversify the kind of people I interview here. Linux is an amazing concept that speaks to lots of different people, but the public face can be a bit homogenous. Dolores and her work helps to more accurately represent the typical Linux users, which seems to be getting less typical—both demographically and in terms of technical skill—all of the time.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

      In this episode: OpenSUSE 12.3 is out, Red Hat takes ownership of Java 6, SecureBoot is coming to FreeBSD and Ubuntu ditches Wayland for Mir. We report back on our challenge from a couple of episodes ago, come up with a new challenge, and discuss IT education in our Open Ballot.

    • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 496
  • Kernel Space

    • The Kernel Column – Linux Kernel 3.8

      Jon Masters summarises the latest happenings in the Linux kernel community, including the closing of the development ‘merge window’ for the 3.8 kernel

    • What Are We Breaking Now?

      End of February devconf.cz took place in Brno, Czech Republic. At the conference Kay Sievers, Harald Hoyer and I did two presentations about our work on systemd and about the systemd Journal. These talks were taped and the recordings are now available online.

      First, here’s our talk about What Are We Breaking Now?, in which we try to give an overview on what we are working on currently in the systemd context, and what we expect to do in the next few months. We cover Predictable Network Interface Names, the Boot Loader Spec, kdbus, the Apps framework, and more.

    • Linux 3.9-rc3 Kernel Brings More Changes
    • Linux 3.9-rc3

      Not as small as -rc2, but that one really was unusually calm. So there
      was clearly some pending stuff that came in for -rc3, with network drivers and USB leading the charge. But there’s other misc drivers, arch updates, btrfs fixes, etc etc too.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The X.Org Foundation Is Undecided About Mir

        The X.Org Foundation hasn’t firmly decided on their position of Canonical’s Mir Display Server versus Wayland.

        The meeting logs for an X.Org Foundation Board of Directors’ IRC meeting from earlier this month have finally been published to the X.Org Wiki.

  • Applications

    • yocto-reader, Will it Replace Google Reader?

      I came upon Yocto-reader in the Debian repositories in my search for a replacement of Google Reader. The front-end is fine, it feels comfortable and familiar. People who live in their browsers and want to keep up with numerous of news should love it.

    • KDE File Manager, Hamsi Manager 1.2, Gets New Tools

      Hamsi Manager, a file manager that can process multiple files at once and that aims to be really simply to use, is now at version 1.2.

    • Migrating to KDE Telepathy

      Last Friday I decided to migrate from Kopete to Telepathy. Believe it or not it was Microsoft that convinced me to migrate. I explain, I used to use Kopete for gtalk, jabber, Windows Live Messenger (wlm), skype and icq. I have just a few contacts in the alternative (to gtalk) jabber server and icq and most of them I can contact using other protocols. Now that wlm contacts are migrating to skype and Kopete’s skype support is kind of broken* I used to use Kopete only for gtalk, so there was no need to wait for the metacontact bug to be fixed anymore.

    • Gaming tip for KDE users

      I am really enjoying playing some of my long-time favorite games under Linux now, and I hope every day when I open Steam that I will see that Valve has ported Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I’m still waiting though :-)

    • Looks like Lightworks for Linux Beta is Almost here!
      Tweet

      Video editing software are not a rarity in Linux. OpenShot and Kdenlive are two good examples. But when it comes to professional grade video editing software, Linux lacks good alternatives. But according to redshark news, that is all going to end now. Lightworks for Linux is not a distant dream anymore. It seems like the first beta release of Lightworks for Linux is almost here. Here’s a live video demo of Lightworks running on Ubuntu.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Kickstarted Legend of Dungeon Game On Now On PC, Mac, Linux (video)
      • Kickstarter overachiever Legend of Dungeon out now for PC, Mac, Linux

        Don’t expect to survive in Legend of Dungeon – at least, that’s what the creepy announcer in the above video warns. From developer Robot Loves Kitty, Legend of Dungeon is a roguelike action RPG beat-em-up with dynamic lighting and soundtrack systems, featuring more than 240 responsive music tracks. Legend of Dungeon is available now for PC, Mac and Linux in “nearly beta,” for $10.

      • Steam’s hardware survey now shows many distro’s

        So the Steam Hardware Survey got updated again, this time they are now including lots of Linux distro’s so we can see just how popular they are!

        It’s good to see see them do it, but we really need a Linux only category like they have for Mac.

      • Skullgirls pencils in Linux port, Squigly to be voiced by Lauren Landa

        Mike Zaimont, the creator of the fighting engine powering Skullgirls, has revealed that a Linux port is currently in the works. Word came via Zaimont’s Salty Cupcakes tournament series, which he’s been hosting on a weekly basis in Los Angeles and streaming through Twitch.

        Skullgirls is currently seeking donations through Indiegogo, having already successfully funded the DLC characters Squigly and Big Band. During his weekly stream, Zaimont also revealed that Squigly will be voiced by Lauren Landa, the voice actress perhaps best known for her voice work as Kasumi from Dead or Alive. Squigly’s sidekick Leviathan will be voiced by Liam O’Brien, who has belted out lines as Rig in Dead or Alive 5 and himself every other time he says anything.

      • The Castle Doctrine Alpha

        Jason Rohrer of Passage fame has released his first Alpha build of The Castle Doctrine. He describes it as A massively-multiplayer game of burglary and home defense.”

      • Kerbal Space Program released for Linux

        KSP is a game where the players create and manage their own space program. Build spacecraft, fly them, and try to help the Kerbals to fulfill their ultimate mission of conquering space.

        The game is currently under heavy development. This means the game will be improved on a regular basis, so be sure to check back for new updates. Right now, KSP is in Sandbox Complete state, but we want you to try it out and have fun with it. The first versions are free to download and play, and will remain so forever.

      • Valve Reveals More Steam Linux Distribution Details

        Valve’s hardware/software survey for Steam that shows details about their user-base, is now showing a lot more Linux distribution details.

        At the beginning of March, the February details were revealed that showed overall about ~2% Linux usage and about one percent behind the Apple OS X adoption levels. Only Ubuntu and a few other distributions were shown but now in an updated version of the list are a whole lot more.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment Starts Taking Shape On Wayland

      Enlightenment is starting to take shape on Wayland with its own compositor.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • what’s going on in plasma workspaces 2?

        While moving its codebase to Qt5, the KDE Development Platform is undergoing a number of changes that lead to a more modular codebase (called KDE Framework 5) on top of a hardware-accelerated graphics stack. In this post, you’ll learn a bit about the status of Frameworks 5 and porting especially Plasma — that will be known as Plasma Workspaces 2, paying credit to its more convergent architecture.

      • Digikam 3.0 Receives Highly Desired Features

        Digikam has released a new version of their popular photo management software. Exciting new features and plug-ins are now available for users to try. Unfortunately 3.1 has also just been released, though the changes are not as significant. I still wanted to look back to make sure nothing important was overlooked. Here I will investigate some of the most important changes offered with the Digikam 3.0 release.

      • KDE sets its sights on Wayland

        Following the GNOME developers’ decision to focus on porting their desktop environment to the Wayland display server, the KDE project has also indicated that it will go ahead with a Wayland port of its own project. Currently, the developers are debating which display manager will be used in the port. KDM, the display manager the project is using currently, has apparently already been discounted in favour of LightDM or possibly the QML-based SDDM.

      • Slax 7.0.6 Has KDE 4.10.1

        Slax, a modern, portable, small and fast Linux operating system with a modular approach and outstanding design, is now at version 7.0.6.

      • News and answers (Plasma, Lancelot, etc.)

        Me again. I haven’t been online for a week – went on some pub crawls in Dublin : ) – so I haven’t been able to reply to the comments to my last post which showed some nice things coming to Plasma.

      • # Plasma Workspaces 2 Coming To Wayland, KDM Not Invited
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Artistic Differences: Wayland, Mir, and X
      • GNOME 3.10 Might Be Ported to Wayland

        Matthias Clasen sent an email today, March 15, to the GNOME mailing list, in which he proposes the porting of the GNOME desktop environment to the Wayland display server.

        Many of us thought (read: believed) – including myself – that Wayland is the next-generation X.Org server for Linux operating systems, but in order for it to be that popular, it requires a big push from a ginormous project, such as GNOME.

      • Moving from Unique to GtkApplication
      • GNOME 3.8 is Nearly Ready

        GNOME 3.8 is due March 27 and developer Giovanni Campagna says it’s looking good. Campagna is proud of how many bugs and details were addressed this cycle describing the detail board color coding as eco-friendly because of all the green. This evening he spoke of several in particular.

        Campagna reports that “OSDs and global keybindings work in the overview, the screen lock and when a modal dialog is up” in addition to addressing a number of little “annoyances and inconsistencies in the shell.” Campagna also worked quite a bit on adding filters and toggles to Notifications, and with this the Panel can be tidied up a bit. He continues to discuss his work on a new application framework, so see the rest of his post for that.

      • GTK+ Support Merged For Wayland CSD

        For a fair amount of time now there’s been work on client side decorations for Wayland so that the Weston compositor with GTK+ can do the window decorations on the client-side rather than server-side as done with the X.Org Server. That work has now been merged to master.

  • Distributions

    • openSUSE shows how to promote a release
    • Skolelinux 6 got a video review from Pcwizz

      Via twitter I just discovered that Pcwizz have done a video review on Youtube of Skolelinux / Debian Edu version 6. He installed the standalone profile and the video show a walk-through of of the menu content, demonstration of a few programs and his view of our distribution.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. : Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon to speak at Open Source Think Tank

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon will be a featured keynote speaker at Open Source Think Tank on March 21, 2013. Open Source Think Tank brings leading global industry experts and visionaries together to discuss the future of open source. This year’s event will focus on building the bridge to innovation with open source in the enterprise.

      • Taking on a new job at Red Hat

        [Christian Schaller:] So I assume most of you have read Jonathan Blanfords blog post about leaving Red Hat and me taking over for him as head of the Red Hat desktop team. First of all I would like to thank Jonathan for both his contributions to GNOME and Red Hat, but also for being a good friend for over a decade now. Luckily Linux is also a major piece of his new job, so I am certain we have not seen the last of Jonathan in the community.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Six Weeks to Wheezy?

        I’ve been using Debian 7/Wheezy for more than a year but Debian is still working at getting the bug-count down to meet the high standards for Debian Stable:

      • The newsletter for the Debian community

        Holger Levsen announced the first update of Debian Edu Squeeze since its initial release. “This update contains all the changes between Debian 6.0.4 and 6.0.7, as well as Debian Edu specific bugfixes and enhancements”, explained Holger. The updated installer images are available for downloading.

      • Debian Project News – March 18th, 2013

        Welcome to this year’s sixth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian Edu Squeeze updated
        * DPL election campaign
        * A deeper look inside the freeze
        * Kali Linux: a new Debian derivative for penetration tests
        * Other news
        * Upcoming events
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • Ideas from the -vote@ DPL election discussions
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • What’s really important

            So . . . I had written a blog post addressing the remote hope that I’d at least get a postcard from the vacation from reality that Canonical’s self-appointed hubris-monger Mark Shuttleworth has recently taken, while urging those in the various *buntu communities do some soul searching when your project leader says, “If you’ve done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on.”

            Then I sat on the blog post for a few days, wondering if it was too incendiary. I took walks. I had coffee with friends. I bounced the theme of what I was writing off a few people. I embarrassingly lost a huge Tetris smackdown to my darling daughter at the arcade at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

          • Ubuntu Linux 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ hits beta 1

            Fans of Ubuntu Linux may recall that the Ubuntu 13.04 development cycle is a little different from those of versions past, as Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth outlined back in October.

          • Putting Dell’s Ubuntu Ultrabook to the test

            Our very first keypress after turning on the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (running Ubuntu 12.04) drew no response from the Unity desktop. And with that we thought our test of Dell’s Ubuntu Ultrabook for developers was set to go the way of most Linux laptop tests – Linux kind of works, but not really.

          • Unity Tweak Tool gets added to Raring repository

            Good news for Ubuntu fans. Unity Tweak Tool is now available in the Ubuntu 13.04 repository. The tool brings a lot of customization to Ubuntu’s Unity shell and allows users to manage everything – from fonts to Web Apps.

          • Unity Tweak Tool Available In The Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail Repositories
          • Like Ubuntu Linux? This week, help make it better
          • Recent Ubuntu Community Refinements
          • Ubuntu SDK Days: Day 2 is just around the corner

            We had a spectacular response to the Ubuntu SDK Days yesterday. Lots of people showed up, asked their questions and found out how their app for Ubuntu might work best.

          • You can help the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter!
          • First Ubuntu SDK Days kick off today
          • [Ubuntu QML] Writting a game.. Alpha Version
          • ‘New Unity Stack’ Approved for Ubuntu 13.04, Will Bring ‘Smarter’ Search to the Desktop
          • Some Programs I Tested On Ubuntu 13.04 Daily Build
          • Top Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 13.04

            There will always be a lot of things to do after a fresh Ubuntu installation. Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail was scheduled to be released on April 25th. Here are some steps may help after installing Ubuntu 13.04.

            1. Select Best Download Server: The default server may not be the “Best Server” which will speed up your regular update and software installation by apt command or software center.

          • Ubuntu to halve support length for non-LTS releases

            In a meeting of the Ubuntu Technical Board last night, the technical leadership of Canonical’s Linux distribution decided to halve the support time for non-LTS releases to nine months. At the same time, the developers want to make it easier for users of the distribution to get up-to-date packages on a regular basis without the need to perform explicit upgrades of the whole distribution. Attending the meeting, Matt Zimmerman, Colin Watson and Stéphane Graber unanimously agreed on these points and also clearly voted against moving Ubuntu into a rolling release model. The changes will be implemented in the maintenance schedule starting with the release of Ubuntu 13.04 (“Raring Ringtail”) on 25 April.

          • Dispelling FUD About Ubuntu

            It seems like every time Ubuntu makes any sort of change, the Linux community finds itself up in arms as if the world is about to end. First, they expressed concern over Unity, then the Amazon search results inclusion and now Mir vs Wayland. Admittedly, I don’t personally use Unity as my default desktop these days, as I don’t use any of its features. That said, however, I’m a big fan of the Ubuntu base that I run with XFCE. This desktop environment serves me well, and my experience with the Ubuntu base has never given me any serious problems.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 307
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 308
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu vUDS

              Kubuntu held it’s own mid-release cycle virtual meeting today. The primary technical output was an agreed community position on the latest release management proposal. Rather than quote the whole thing here, I’ll provide a link to the message I sent on behalf of Kubuntu to the Ubuntu Technical Board. The bottom line is that this is a pretty good proposal from our point of view.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Book helps Windows Embedded developers transition to Linux
    • New Nvidia quad-core SoC packs 60 GPUs, 4G LTE modem
    • ARMBRIX Zero SBC’s bubble bursts

      A project to develop a low-cost ARM Cortex A15-based single-board computer (SBC) reportedly has been abandoned. Initially named “ARMBRIX Zero,” the $145 board got as far as its prototype debug phase when the company behind it abruptly shuttered its doors.

    • Turn your TV into a smart TV for just $27: RapPlex for Raspberry Pi

      We were having dinner with our friends at their place when our friends asked my advice on getting a hard-drive which he can connect to his TV to watch the media he has on it; it was non-networked TV. I looked around and saw they had an iPad two Android smartphones, 3 PCs and to watch movies or listen to music they used the traditional method of copying the media on the device they wanted to play it on. He wanted a hard-drive which had a build-in PC. Well, I think he never heard of a media server; just like the most of us.

    • Building an always available Linux terminal: Shell-In-A-Box on Raspberry Pi

      Recently I was looking for a way to SSH from a network that blocked my outgoing SSH connection. I’d be nice to have a way around firewalls and be able to access your private Linux terminal. To be able to debug a problem from an remote location, for example.

      A collegue suggested a tool called ‘Shell In A Box‘. Shell In A Box implements a web server that can export arbitrary command line tools to a web based terminal emulator using just JavaScript and CSS without any additional browser plugins. This means: connecting your browser via HTTPS to your own hosted Shell In A Box web site, and access a Linux terminal from there.

    • Phones

      • Preview of the Smartphone Wars: Bloodbath Year 4: Smartphones Galore. This year will be pretty ‘stable’ within the context of this industry

        So we’re up to the Smartphone Wars, Bloodbath Year 4, Smartphones Galore. We’ve seen the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4. We’ve seen Blackberry 10 and Windows Phone 8. We’ve seen announcements from Tizen and Firefox and Sailfish and Ubuntu. What will this year bring? I do think this year brings ‘stability’ and ‘predictability’ to what has been the most volatile industry in economic history of any 100 Billion dollar annual business or bigger (the handset industry is worth $240 Billion dollars annually and the vast majority of that revenue is from the smartphone side). And within the context of smartphones, that is ‘relative’ stability, less volatile than the past three years.

      • Motorola Device Codenames: “Yeti” and “Sasquatch” to AT&T, “Ghost” to All Carriers

        Last week, a never-before-seen Motorola device surfaced that caught most of us by surprise. The device, sort of deemed “mid-range” is actually far from being mid-range. In fact, the more you look at the specs, the more you can see that it’s as good as the Nexus 4, just not necessarily where the Galaxy S4 or HTC One sit because it lacks the newest processor available and a 1080p screen. But that device with model number XT912A could be our first preview at a new Google-powered Motorola. Gone was the kevlar backing and RAZR styling – in was a more rounded Nexus design. If this is Motorola’s next, though, will it be good enough to compete with Samsung and HTC’s newest? Or does Motorola have something else in the works. It appears as if they do.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • USC starts a web hub for DIY, open source virtual reality projects USC starts a web hub for DIY, open source virtual reality projects

    For the sheer variety of virtual reality headsets available, there’s been few resources available for those who want to craft their own devices. USC wants to save us the effort of searching around. Its MxR Lab has just launched a showcase of creations and modifications that DIY enthusiasts can build, including open source code for both the devices and integrating full-body motion control through Kinect for Windows or OpenNI. The most ambitious is Socket HMD, a complete 1,280 x 800 headset that involves a 3D-printed shell and custom-assembled electronics. If your own ambitions don’t stretch that far, you can still build the VR2GO viewer, which uses iPhones and iPod touch players as the eyepieces, as well as mods for the Oculus Rift developer kit that add stereo cameras or increase the field of view. Yes, you’ll need a 3D printer and a knack for programming to get most of these projects going, but you won’t have to wait for someone to make them for you — a big help when many ready-made VR displays are either in development or priced out of reach for the average person.

  • The freedoms, concerns of an ‘open source’ society
  • Google’s Open Source YouTube Channel — Worth a Look

    If you’ve followed Google for any length of time, you already know that the company has donated many open source projects and leverages a lot of open source code internally. But did you know that the company has a dedicated video channel for information on open source topics? If you haven’t explored it, it’s worth visiting, found here. Here is more on what’s available there, and other good open source resources from Google.

  • The spread of open source at SXSW

    If you need evidence of the spread of interest in open source, look to the history of SXSW Interactive schedules. Just between this year and last, the number of talks tagged with “open source” grew from 17 to 26, and that doesn’t include the growth in relevant book readings, meetups, sponsors, and parties. Even one of this year’s keynotes was delivered by Julie Uhrman, founder and CEO of OUYA.

    And it’s not just about the code, though there’s plenty of that, from sessions on APIs and datacenters to (of course), the cloud. Daniel Buckley, a design researcher at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design talked about his work studying interpersonal connection and what it means to be human, which he titled, “open source empathy.”

  • Don’t blame security breaches on open source technology – the problem is lack of oversight

    Open source software is an easy punching bag when security breaches arise. But getting rid of open source isn’t the answer — it is too valuable. Instead, we need to take some key steps to ensure the security of components throughout development.

  • Developer releases source code of Linux speech recognition program

    Independent developer James McClain has developed a program which uses Google Voice API in the back-end to conduct various tasks on a GNU/Linux machine, just the way Siri does on the iDevices. The program allows a user to open sites, ask questions and perform other tasks just by voice. While initially developed for Ubuntu it is distro agnostic and can be used by other distributions as well.

  • Only our name is changed

    I’m not sure I’ve mentioned before that SourceForge has been acquired by Dice Holdings back in Septmeber 2012. As a result the name of our parent company has been changed in Slashdot Media. As you could easily guess the name comes from the heritage of Slashdot, one of the three Geeknet media properties bought by Dice (namely FreeCode, Slashdot and SourceForge).

  • Open source genealogy with Gramps

    Genealogy is a fun hobby for many people around the globe. While there are lots of programs for Windows, Linux options have been lacking. Gramps helps fill this gap

  • Quick looks aLinux 15.0 and MINIX 3.2.1
  • Main reason to use open source software: customizability
  • Open source culture: Do you vote with your code or participation?

    CTO of Getable, Mikeal Rogers, talks open source and the Github generation. What’s the next big thing on the innovation horizon? And who’s leading the charge? Find out in this interview.

  • Rolling Release – w/ Upstream Stable Cadenblah blah blah
  • The freedoms, concerns of an ‘open source’ society

    Imagine a large vault that houses everyone’s personal information: medical records, financial data, Facebook pictures, etc. Now imagine everyone in the world has a key to that vault.

    That’s how several students at Coahulla Creek High School describe an extreme version of an “open source society” where digital coding blueprints are freely accessible and easily understood to the point where all digital information can be accessed and redistributed.

  • Events

    • ESC to feature dozens of embedded Linux, Android sessions

      Next month’s Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) to be held April 22-25 in San Jose, Calif. will offer embedded developers a sumptuous menu of embedded Linux, Android, and open source session topics. ESC, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is now part of UBM’s big Design West show.

      UBM describes Design West as “the world’s only technical conference and expo for electronics design engineers, entrepreneurs, and technology professionals.” In addition to the venerable ESC event, Design West now also includes Black Hat and Android design summits.

    • Live from PyCon 2013
  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 3.0 Review: Complete operating system and FreeBSD on steroids!

      For quite sometime I was thinking of trying out a Unix operating system, something a bit different from the usual Linux distros I try out every week. I didn’t want to jump directly to FreeBSD and hence, I chose the Gnome derivative of FreeBSD, GhostBSD. Eric Turgeon announced the release of GhostBSD 3.0 on 10th March 2013. The reason for my choice of GhostBSD over FreeBSD is obvious – I wanted to use something easier and ready-to-use over FreeBSD.

  • GNU/Project Releases

    • gv 3.7.4 released
    • March 2013 GNU Toolchain Update

      It has been a very quiet month this month. The GCC sources are still closed to new features, pending the creation of the 4.8 branch.

      The binutils sources now have support for a 64-bit cygwin target called x86_64-cygwin. Patches for GCC are currently under development and a full gcc port should be ready soon.

    • Guile 100 Programs Project Challenge #2, ls

      Challenge #2 in the Guile 100 Programs Project is to write a version of the Posix program ls. ls is a program that lists the files in a directory, and it is the second challenge in this month’s theme, which is “/bin – reimplementing common Posix tools”.
      The completed version need only support the standard flags -a -l and -R

      The Guile 100 Programs Project is an attempt to collaboratively generate a set of examples of how to use the GNU Guile implementation of Scheme.

    • Announce: NoZone 1.0 – a Bind DNS zone generator
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Death Star petition inspires citizen collaboration

      In October, I used “We the People” as an example of how to get citizens engaged with government in an open manner. In November, those engaged citizens petitioned the government to consider building a Death Star. By January, enough signatures had been gathered to garner the administration’s consideration and, in my mind, a well authored response. The exercise may have been a geeky back and forth which you may see as a joke, but I feel any citizen engagement is good engagement. You may also think that’s the end of the story, however, someone who read my earlier post sent me a link to the Death Star Kickstarter page.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • FIXING THE WORST LAW IN TECHNOLOGY

        On the opening day of this year’s South by Southwest festival, in Austin, an audience gathered in a giant conference hall to remember the life and tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, spoke of Swartz’s curious and restless mind. Swartz’s girlfriend Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman described him as a man who was constantly asking whether what he was doing was the most important thing that he could be doing. (A quality extensively documented by Larissa MacFarquhar in “>her profile of Swartz.) The proceedings were yet another reminder that Swartz’s suicide was heartbreaking beyond belief, and that something must be done about the law that he was aggressively prosecuted under, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Leftovers

  • Washington Post latest newspaper to put faith in paywalls

    Post’s parent company last month announced losses of $45.4m as newspaper asks readers to ‘help support our news-gathering’

  • 9 Google Reader alternatives
  • Disruptions: Stuck With a Provider Over the Long Haul

    If dating were like the cellphone industry, you would have to sign a contract when you entered a relationship stating that you would remain monogamous for two years, even if you wanted to break up. That’s what cellular carriers have pulled off by successfully lobbying for a recent government ruling that you cannot take the phone you paid for and switch to another provider.

    It’s the latest reminder that owning a cellphone on one of the biggest United States providers can sometimes feel like an unhappy relationship. Time and again, in the minds of many customers, these companies take advantage of us and there isn’t much we can do about it.

  • Science

  • Security

    • Crooks Spy on Casino Card Games With Hacked Security Cameras, Win $33M

      A high-roller and hacker accomplices made off with about $33 million after they gamed a casino in Australia by hacking its surveillance cameras and gaining an advantage in several rounds of high-stakes card games.

    • JOIN US – Tor Project Boston Hack Day Event – March 20, 2013 – Hosted by Boston University’s Department of Computer Science
    • AT&T Hacker ‘Weev’ Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Prison

      A hacker charged with federal crimes for obtaining the personal data of more than 100,000 iPad owners from AT&T’s publicly accessible website was sentenced on Monday to 41 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

      The judge handed down the sentence following a minor skirmish in the courtroom when the defendant, Andrew Auernheimer, aka Weev, was pinned and cuffed. Auernheimer was reportedly asked to hand the court a mobile phone he had with him during the hearing, and after handing it to his defense attorney instead, court agents cuffed him.

    • Kickstarter overachiever Legend of Dungeon out now for PC, Mac, Linux

      Don’t expect to survive in Legend of Dungeon – at least, that’s what the creepy announcer in the above video warns. From developer Robot Loves Kitty, Legend of Dungeon is a roguelike action RPG beat-em-up with dynamic lighting and soundtrack systems, featuring more than 240 responsive music tracks. Legend of Dungeon is available now for PC, Mac and Linux in “nearly beta,” for $10.

    • Rep. Gohmert Wants A Law That Allows Victims To Destroy The Computers Of People Who Hacked Them

      Last week, we had talked about some concerns about how various cybersecurity provisions would allow those hit by malicious hackers to “hack back” or, as some call it, engage in an “active defense.” There were significant concerns about this, but as Marvin Ammori briefly mentioned in last week’s favorites post, Rep. Louis Gohmert seems to not only think hacking back is a good idea, but that it should be explicitly allowed under the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act).

    • Telenor reports industrial espionage

      Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor has, for the the first time, reported a case of serious industrial espionage to the national police unit Kripos. Newspaper Aftenposten reported Sunday that high tech-spies managed to infiltrate Telenor’s extensive security network and empty the contents of top executives’ personal computers.

    • SSH – Can It Be More Secure?
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Update 3/18/13: Recap of Bradley Manning’s statement and audio coverage
    • On the Tenth Anniversary of the US Invasion of Iraq: When WikiLeaks Exposed the ‘War Logs’

      The release of the Iraq documents, some 391,000 in number, was originally set for August. But a week before that happened, Julian Assange told The Guardian’s David Leigh that he wanted a more diverse group of partners for this round, “and asked that Leigh delay publication to give the other outlets time to prepare programs,” Sarah Ellison would recount in Vanity Fair.

      Leigh said he’d agree to a six-week delay if Assange handed over so-called “package three,” the biggest leak of all (which would become Cablegate). According to Leigh, Assange said, “You can have package three tonight, but you have to give me a letter signed by The Guardian editor saying you won’t publish package three until I say so.” Leigh agreed.

    • The New York Times’ Bill Keller smears Bradley Manning

      On February 28, at his pretrial hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, Private Bradley Manning revealed that before releasing government files to WikiLeaks, he contacted major newspapers, including the New York Times, in an effort to pass on the documents in his possession. Manning did so, he explained, because the files contained “some of the most significant documents of our time, removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.” These files exposed government crimes and atrocities, including the deliberate murder of civilians by the US military.

    • Correcting the Error-Riddled Wall Street Journal Column on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, and Press Freedom

      Since the audio of whistleblower Bradley Manning’s statement to the court leaked last week, it’s becoming clear how much of a threat the government’s “aiding the enemy” charge against Manning threatens all whistleblowers. Famed law professor Yochai Benkler and First Amendment scholar Floyd Abrams wrote an op-ed in the New York Times denouncing the unprecedented charge, and this past weekend, On The Media dedicated its whole program to Manning’s trial.

    • WSJ Claims That Wikileaks Is Not Journalism But Espionage By Taking A Bunch Of Quotes Out Of Context

      Um, might that have something to do with the fact that the US government went absolutely apeshit over the release and charged Manning with a variety of offenses that have the possibility of capital punishment? We’ve already discussed the fact that the administration’s reaction likely created massive chilling effects for whistleblowers around the world. Pointing to the lack of anyone willing to step into that breach doesn’t mean Manning was necessarily an “outlier.” It just means the government’s intimidation campaign against whistleblowers may have been quite effective.

    • More Iran lies exposed by WikiLeaks, honest intelligence

      Former US National Intelligence Council chairperson Thomas Fingar received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on January 23 for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.

      The NIE finding’s that all 16 US intelligence agencies judged “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program” removed the immediate threat of a US-Israeli military attack on Iran.

      It contradicted the previous NIE report from 2005, which had judged with “high confidence” that “Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure”.

    • WikiLeaks reveals US fury at Chavez’s legacy of solidarity

      Tens of thousands of Haitians spontaneously poured into the streets of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on the morning of March 12, 2007. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez had just arrived in Haiti all but unannounced.

      A multitude, shrieking and singing with glee, joined him in jogging alongside the motorcade of Haiti’s then President Rene Preval on its way to the National Palace (later destroyed in the 2010 earthquake).

      There, Chavez announced that Venezuela would help the impoverished Caribbean half-island by building power stations, expanding electricity networks, improving airports, supplying garbage trucks, and supporting widely-deployed Cuban medical teams.

    • Legal Errors in Wall Street Journal’s Dangerous Manning Article

      The Wall Street Journal has an article about Bradley Manning that is self-serving and dangerously wrong on the facts and law–including the assertion that he aided the enemy.

    • Wall Street Journal Publishes Weird Hit Piece On Wikileaks

      Crovitz has a history of being fact-challenged…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The Bankers’ New Clothes

      What is wrong with today’s banking system? The past few years have shown that risks in banking can impose significant costs on the economy. Many claim, however, that a safer banking system would require sacrificing lending and economic growth. The Bankers’ New Clothes examines this claim and the narratives used by bankers, politicians, and regulators to rationalize the lack of reform, exposing them as invalid.

      The book argues that we can have a safer and healthier banking system without sacrificing any of the benefits of the system, and at essentially no cost to society. Banks are as fragile as they are not because they must be, but because they want to be–and they get away with it. Whereas this situation benefits bankers, it distorts the economy and exposes the public to unnecessary risks.

    • Faced With A Lawsuit, J.P. Morgan Chase Claims Plaza is Private

      A year and a half after the fences first went up around Chase Manhattan Plaza, new court filings show the fight over public access to the space is still heated.
      We’ve written extensively about the fight over the fences, which were first erected the day before Occupy Wall Street protesters first gathered in Lower Manhattan. Open space activists initially challenged Chase’s unilateral closure of a treasured downtown plaza on the grounds that the fencing violated prohibitions against altering the exterior of landmarked buildings. Chase countered that the fencing was only temporary, and was needed not to keep out the bank’s critics, but rather to protect the public during scheduled maintenance on the plaza. The landmarks challenge fizzled, and the fences stayed up, though neighborhood residents saw little if any maintenance work being performed behind the fences.

    • Supreme Court Rejects Goldman Sachs Appeal in Mortgage-Backed Securities Case

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider an appeal by subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) that sought to derail a class-action lawsuit alleging the company provided false and misleading information about mortgage-backed securities it underwrote and issued.

    • UPDATE: Riots Hit Cyprus After Bank Accounts Frozen

      Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades agreed to the deal, which completely reversed his previous assurances that it would not happen. It sets a very dangerous precedent for future bailouts. As if brutal austerity wasn’t enough, the EU is now demanding a bailout tax making citizens and expat depositors alike personally liable for government and private bank debts. Reuters also notes that according to a draft of the legislation, criminal penalties of up to 3 years in jail and 50,000 euros could be imposed upon anyone who doesn’t comply.

    • Cyprus bailout: crisis deepens as MPs reject savings tax – live
    • Former Cyprus Central Bank Head Slams ‘Blackmailing’ European Leaders

      In a brief 30-second clip during a Bloomberg TV interview, none other than Anthanasios Orphanides, the former Central Bank of Cyprus Governor, explains the terrible reality of what just happened in Europe: “What we have seen in the last few days is a very serious blunder by the European governments that are essentially blackmailing the government of Cyprus to confiscate the money that belongs rightfully to the depositors in the banking system in Cyprus.” He then concludes quite clearly, “It is not clear how this can affect in a positive manner the European project going forward.” The Cypriot then goes on to explain how the EU is making a mockery of the idea of a banking union…

    • National planning Cyprus-style solution for New Zealand
    • The Great Cyprus Bank Robbery Shows That No Bank Account, No Retirement Fund And No Stock Portfolio Is Safe
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Royal Charter or Star Chamber For Stars?

      Alec Muffett points out that the new Royal Charter being rushed through the UK Parliament includes some drafting that appears to drag blogs, Twitter and other social media into the penalty net. This is an extremely worrying development that needs rapid response from the meshed society of citizen creator-consumers (that almost certainly means you).

    • Outstanding questions about Leveson’s Royal Charter

      The Lib/Lab version amended the test for third party reduced the threshold for ‘representative’ groups to make complaints to the new regulatory body. Will this remain?

      The amended version was: “b) where there is an alleged breach of the code and there is substantial public interest in the Board giving formal consideration to the complaint from a representative group affected by the alleged breach”

      Why do we need ‘representative’ bodies making complaints to a press regulator? If so much harm is done to individuals and we have a regulator with a simple and accessible process, what is wrong with having a test of a substantial public interest? Will the EDL use this loophole to complain about its coverage? How about

    • Royal Charter or Star Chamber For Stars?

      The new Royal Charter being rushed through the UK Parliament includes some drafting that appears to drag blogs, Twitter and other social media into the penalty net. This is an extremely worrying development that needs rapid response from the meshed society of citizen creator-consumers (that almost certainly means you).

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • ACLU finds domestic drones the Worst. Thing. Evah.

      One of the stable of writers at Huffpo is getting the Left all up in arms over the latest complaint from the ACLU. This week, the new topic of outrage is drones, but not the ones flying over Afghanistan. (At least not today.) They’re more concerned with the idea of domestic law enforcement using the new technology to fight crime. Because they’re way worse than helicopters or something.

    • Matthew Keys Was An Undercover Journalist, Attorney Says

      Matthew Keys, the Reuters deputy social media editor charged with helping Anonymous attack the website of his former employer, acted as an “undercover” journalist when he communicated with members of the hacker group, his attorneys told The Huffington Post Friday.

    • Settlements, cell phones, and red tape: challenges to Palestine’s mobile market

      Israeli settlements within the West Bank are connected by a highly regulated road system. Palestinians are unable to access some roads within the West Bank, and forced through checkpoints on many others. The International Court of Justice concluded in 2004 that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.” An independent UN inquiry has also called for a halt to all settlement activity due to resulting human rights violations in the region.

    • Prison Profiteers Are Neo-Slaveholders and Solitary Is Their Weapon of Choice

      If, as Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” then we are a nation of barbarians. Our vast network of federal and state prisons, with some 2.3 million inmates, rivals the gulags of totalitarian states. Once you disappear behind prison walls you become prey. Rape. Torture. Beatings. Prolonged isolation. Sensory deprivation. Racial profiling. Chain gangs. Forced labor. Rancid food. Children imprisoned as adults. Prisoners forced to take medications to induce lethargy. Inadequate heating and ventilation. Poor health care. Draconian sentences for nonviolent crimes. Endemic violence.

    • The Shame of America’s Gulag

      If, as Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” then we are a nation of barbarians. Our vast network of federal and state prisons, with some 2.3 million inmates, rivals the gulags of totalitarian states. Once you disappear behind prison walls you become prey. Rape. Torture. Beatings. Prolonged isolation. Sensory deprivation. Racial profiling. Chain gangs. Forced labor. Rancid food. Children imprisoned as adults. Prisoners forced to take medications to induce lethargy. Inadequate heating and ventilation. Poor health care. Draconian sentences for nonviolent crimes. Endemic violence.

      [...]

      The bodies of poor, unemployed youths are worth little on the streets but become valuable commodities once they are behind bars.

    • At Putin’s Order, FSB Now Using Social Networks to Target Opposition

      At the direction of President Vladimir Putin, the FSB is not only monitoring social networks but using one of their features to create problems for those opponents of the regime who use them by posting statements on their sites and then invoking the appearance of those materials to intimidate or even bring charges against them.

      This disturbing new development is documented by Irina Borogan, a researcher on Russia’s security services who writes for the Agentura.ru site. In an article last week entitled “Social Networks as a Field for Provocations,” she describes how FSB has begun to operate in this regard (agentura.ru/projects/identification/provocation/).

      When Putin met with the FSB leadership a month ago, Borogan says, he called on the security service to act “decisively to block the attempts of radicals to use the possibilities of information technologies and he resources of the Internet and social networks for their propaganda (kremlin.ru/transcripts/17516).

    • Challenge To NYPD’s Stop-And-Frisk Policy Begins In Federal Court

      A class-action suit challenging the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy got under way Monday with a lawyer saying that officers have been wrongly stopping tens of thousands of young men based solely on their race.

      Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights said the policy is legal, but the department is doing stops illegally. Changes must be ordered by a federal judge to ensure the department stops wrongly targeting black and Hispanic men, he said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Python Software Foundation wins a battle for the Python name

        The Python Software Foundation (PSF) announced it has reached a settlement with POBox Hosting Ltd. of the United Kingdom over the latter’s trademark application for the term “Python” in connection with cloud hosting and its application for a figurative trademark in Europe incorporating the word “Python.” While the PSF owns the trademark for Python within the United States, it did not have an equivalent filing within the European Union.

    • Copyrights

      • No Copyright in EU-US Trade Agreement

        Last year, millions of Americans told their government not to undermine the open internet. We sent the SOPA and PIPA bills down to defeat.

        Soon after, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Europe to protest against ACTA, a secretive trade agreement that would have violated our rights online and chilled generic drug competition.

        Meanwhile, leaked trade texts revealed US and EU threats to access to affordable medicines, which significantly disrupted trade talks in India and the Pacific.

      • Kim “Billy Big Steps” Dotcom Still Causing Headaches For Spy Agency

        Yet more embarrassing information on the Kim Dotcom spying fiasco has surfaced in New Zealand. Documents show that in December 2011 when the spying began, police already had information which stated that Dotcom – codenamed “Billy Big Steps” – was a NZ resident. As those deemed responsible are held accountable, the GCSB spy agency’s deputy director has become the first high-profile casualty, and the Prime Minister is warning of more “big changes” to come.

03.17.13

Links 17/3/2013: Qt 5.1, GNOME 3.10 Talks

Posted in News Roundup at 11:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • In Pictures: A visual history of Linux
  • Tired of broken Windows? Try Linux
  • Rosa Guillén on Why Linux?

    When I started six years ago in Linux, I didn’t know that not only would my operating system change, but also my life.

    I am a basic user of Ubuntu and in these several years I have met many people using Linux, ranging from new user to Distro Developer, to those with their wallpapers or those who created the countdown banners to those who file [package] a new application.

  • SprezzOS Is Indeed Trying To Be A Faster Linux

    SprezzOS, a Linux distribution that most people have likely not heard of, is aiming for real change with their open-source operating system. They previously claimed their ambitions were to become the “most robust, beautiful and performant Linux”, and it turns out they are indeed trying to at least live up to their performance goals.

    SprezzOS was exclusively covered on Phoronix earlier this year in the aforelinked article. Many downplayed this Linux distribution that sent information to the Phoronix news box. The developers later made claims of a 120 second Linux server installation.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXLE extends life of ageing computers

      LXLE, the Lubuntu Extra Life Extension, is a respin of LXDE-based Lubuntu, aimed at ageing computers. Based on the last LTS release (12.04) of the official Ubuntu derivative Lubuntu, it retains drivers and utilities for older graphics and audio hardware that have been dropped from newer releases. The developers say that with the normal Lubuntu releases, “support is sometimes lost too quickly with a 6 month core release cycle” and that LXLE is designed to bridge the gap between LTS releases.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Move Over GIMP, Here Comes Krita

        GIMP isn’t the only graphics application for Linux, though you might think so since it gets all the attention. Today we turn our attention to the wonderful Krita drawing, painting, and illustration program for Linux. We’ve talked about Krita before: Demystifying Krita with Comics, Modern Art: A Look at Krita 2.3, and Calligra Suite, the Promising Not-An-Office Suite. Today we’re going to learn about the important fundamental Krita tools, Tools, Brushes, and Colors. I’m not much of an artist, but I can show you how to use the excellent Krita features.

      • Qt 5.1 Offers More OpenGL Functions

        Last year I wrote how OpenGL may take on a greater role within Qt. Thanks to work by KDAB and others, the forthcoming Qt 5.1 tool-kit will offer enhanced OpenGL support.

        With Qt 5.1 it will be easier to take advantage of specific OpenGL functionality, such as an OpenGL 4.3 Core Profile context, Qt functions for checking the existence of certain OpenGL extensions, and other helpful features.

      • Android application support is coming with Qt 5.1
      • KDE KWin Progresses With Qt 5, KDE Frameworks 5

        KDE’s KWin compositing window manager is making steady progress in supporting the Qt 5 tool-kit and KDE Frameworks 5.

        The lead developer of KWin has shared an update regarding the work he and others have been doing to bring KWin to Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5, for the eventual release of KDE 5.

      • Plasma Workspaces 2 Coming To Wayland, KDM Not Invited

        The first part of today’s headline is probably obvious to many of you. KDE will be moving on from Xorg to Wayland. And considering Gnome’s aggressive plans to move to it, this may happen sooner rather than later. KDE & Gnome having a mutual interest in Wayland is great, and we can’t wait to reap the benefits of it. But it seems that one technology — one that’s synonymous with KDE — will likely not be making the transition.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome proposed to be ported to Wayland

        Gnome developer Matthias Clasen recently proposed to make Gnome work on Wayland, today he has proposed to set a new goal for Gnome community and ‘port GNOME to Wayland’.

        Clasen writes on the mailing list, “Wayland has reached the 1.0 milestone recently and it has already had some good success in the embedded space. Many of us have silently assumed that Wayland is the future display system on Linux, and that we will get to using it eventually. But to reach its full potential, it needs the push of a full desktop porting project. I think GNOME is the right project for this and now is the right time for us to embrace Wayland.”

      • GNOME 3.10 Might Be Ported to Wayland

        Matthias Clasen sent an email today, March 15, to the GNOME mailing list, in which he proposes the porting of the GNOME desktop environment to the Wayland display server.

        Many of us thought (read: believed) – including myself – that Wayland is the next-generation X.Org server for Linux operating systems, but in order for it to be that popular, it requires a big push from a ginormous project, such as GNOME.

  • Distributions

    • Kali Linux 1.0 review

      Kali Linux is the latest incarnation of BackTrack Linux, an Ubuntu-based distribution for penetration testing. It is developed and maintained by Offensive Security, an outfit that provides security training and certification courses for IT professionals.

      It has been described by its developers as the “the most advanced and versatile penetration testing distribution ever created.” Whether you agree with that statement or not, this article gives you an idea of what types of applications and features are available on this first edition of Kali Linux.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva’s “Get a Face” Finalists Chosen

        Well the public has had its say and now it’s up to the committee. A recent OpenMandriva announcement said, “Vote for a Face! has ended, and public has pronounced its favorites. Now is time for OpenMandriva Association (OMA) to choose the Final Logo for the Association.”

      • Connecting PCLinuxOS and Mageia to a WPA2 Enterprise Network

        The University where I work has proudly put up a new network for remote access. Among its advantages, one can count that there are more access points, its has a more robust security, and that the user only needs to register once. One additional point for Linux users is that, as opossed to Windows, you do not need to download any software, install it and run it to be able to log in. It is a WPA2 Enterprise network that uses PAP for authentication.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Linux 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ hits beta 1

            Fans of Ubuntu Linux may recall that the Ubuntu 13.04 development cycle is a little different from those of versions past, as Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth outlined back in October.

          • Ubuntu in smartphones: opportunities and challenges

            In this guest column, Daniel Mandell, a research associate at market analyst firm VDC Research, examines Canonical’s recent efforts to morph Ubuntu into a smartphone operating system. Given the wild success of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS, and the mixed success of Limo, Meego, OpenMoko, WebOS, and other earlier attempts, how likely is it that a Ubuntu smartphone OS can successfully gain a foothold in the smartphone market?

          • Ubuntu development hits 13.04 beta 1 milestone

            The Ubuntu developers have just passed the beta 1 milestone in development of Raring Ringtail, Ubuntu 13.04. Although the milestone does not see a release of the Ubuntu distribution, it does see a release of a beta 1 version of most of the various remixes, as previously disclosed by the project’s leadership. The announcement notes that 13.04 Beta 1 images are available for Edubuntu (download), Kubuntu (download), Lubuntu (download), UbuntuKylin (download), Ubuntu Server Cloud (images), Ubuntu Studio (notes, download) and Xubuntu (download).

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu Raring Ringtail hits beta, flagship desktop and server flavors left out

              Canonical’s taken the next step in pushing Raring Ringtail out of its nest by releasing the very first beta version, but only for Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Studio and Xubuntu. Plain ol’ Ubuntu for desktops and servers will arrive with the final 13.04 beta release on March 28th, so that devs will be able to focus on the software and keep things under wraps for a little longer. These early versions aren’t for the faint of heart, but adventurous folks can download them at the source if they don’t mind some kinks. However, those who aren’t interested in tempting fate can wait for the polished release in April.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • SendThisFile® Supports Open Source Development Community
  • Insert Coin finalist: smARtPULSE open source, Bluetooth oximeter hands-on

    Dimitri Albino is the proudly self-proclaimed smARtMAKER #1, and he’s brought his company’s Insert Coin finalist, the smARtPULSE oximeter, here to Expand. Using photodetection tech to produce readings of oxygen levels and pulse. While this is standard functionality, the company claims its advantage is in being able to cheaply deliver the product, and stream the data via Bluetooth to a computer or mobile device.

  • EdX releases open source code for online learning

    EdX has made publicly available source code that it built specifically to support online interactive learning, writes Sharleen Nelson for Campus Technology. The non-profit online learning platform founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has released XBlock SDK, the underlying architecture supporting EdX course content.

    XBlocks are a prototype, second-generation application programming interface for hierarchically combined EdX courseware components such as video players and learning sequences. The XBlock source code allows course developers to combine independent XBlocks to create engaging online courses such as wiki-based collaborative learning environments and online laboratories, or create integrated education tools such as a circuit simulator for an electronics course or a molecular manipulator for teaching biology.

  • SwiftStack Exits Stealth With Open Source Swift Software-Defined Storage
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Open Badges to Vouch for Credentials and Skills

        Mozilla has just announced Open Badges 1.0, which it is billing as “an exciting new online standard to recognize and verify learning.” The project has apparently been in development for two years with the MacArthur Foundation and Mozilla claims that 600 leading organizations are now using Open Badges to issue badges that count toward education, careers and lifelong learning.

        “Today, we learn things in a wide variety of ways, but there are fewer opportunities to gain formal recognition,” said Mozilla Executive Director Mark Surman, in an announcement. “Open Badges lets you take all those skills and show them off in one place, regardless of where you’ve earned them.”

  • CMS

    • WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg On Working From Home, Making Money Without Ads, And More [TCTV]

      And there was quite a bit to talk about. Mullenweg has some pretty informed opinions on the recent hot topic of remote working, as 130 of the 150 people who work for Automattic (WordPress.com‘s parent company) work remotely from outside of the company’s San Francisco headquarters. And with his growing activity investing both in startups and artistic projects along with the continued success of WordPress as a publishing platform, there’s no shortage of things to discuss.

  • Education

    • Computers For Schools Speaks

      Well. When I was teaching at my last school we had already converted to GNU/Linux when we made the first of two requests for batches of 20 CFS PCs. I asked them for GNU/Linux and they said they don’t do that. I had to re-image the machines, not a huge chore but wasted effort by CFS and myself. Can education afford to waste manpower on supporting that other OS? I don’t think so. Again, if CFS doesn’t offer GNU/Linux how do they know there is no demand? It’s just like retail shelves stocked with nothing but M$’s OS. How is the retailer to know they have choice? I took the trouble to contact CFS Manitoba to request GNU/Linux. How many computer teachers would do that?

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open versus closed source: a delicate balance

        Today, there is still nothing like a level playing field for open source and closed source software. Even so, regulators need to think about how they will recognize it, and then maintain a delicate balance afterwards. Recent research using mathematical economics shows that a mixed market in which open source and closed source companies coexist delivers the most value to society.

        Unfortunately, analysis shows that equilibrium mixed markets consistently produce too many open source firms to maximize welfare. Many governments have turned their own major spending on software and accompanying services into a policy instrument — some more successfully than other — by establishing formal preferences (and even mandatory requirements) that systematically favour open source over closed source. Unlike the case of government provided open source code, however, this intervention could actually reduce welfare.

      • New FUD… FLOSS Too Efficient…
  • Funding

    • Netflix Offers Cash Prizes for New Cloudy Open Source Tools

      On the cloud computing scene, there is some very interesting action going on with organizations open sourcing valuable software components designed to make cloud deployments much more efficient and secure. This week, I reported on DBSeer, a component from MIT researchers that can increase the efficiency of database-centric cloud applications and reduce the need for expensive hardware.

      It may come as a surprise to some, though, that Netflix is one of the big organizations open sourcing valuable cloud components. Netflix–which has a very robust cloud-based proprietary platform–has released Chaos Monkey and a number of other meaningful open source components in recent months. Now, the company has unveiled the Netflix OSS Cloud Prize, a contest that will reward the best cloud developers with $200,000 in prizes.

  • BSD

    • AMD KMS/DRM Driver Moves Along For FreeBSD

      Last month I reported on the AMD Linux DRM/KMS driver being ported to FreeBSD. With the developer receiving funding from the FreeBSD Foundation, progress on this open-source AMD kernel mode-setting driver is moving in a steadfast manner.

      There’s an Intel KMS/DRM driver to FreeBSD 9.1, but that’s it as far as ports go of the Linux DRM drivers. However, the AMD KMS driver along with support for TTM memory management within the FreeBSD kernel is taking shape quickly.

    • GhostBSD 3.0 Now Available
    • FreeBSD Foundation announces new technical staff member

      The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Konstantin Belousov has been hired as its first full-time member of technical staff, a key milestone of the Foundation’s investment in staff for 2013.

    • Handling Kernel Panic
    • DesktopBSD brought back to live

      The DesktopBSD project is in the process of being revived. EchoD has brought the website and the forums back to live.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Connectivate! GNU GPL – Free Software Ecosystem

      Organizations still have a long way to go to to fully integrate the social web to connect to their customers. Here are some great examples, curated by Hult International Business School and Center for Innovation, Excellence and Leadership (IXL Center). Their book Connectivate! is a collection of real world stories from 54 innovative companies whose breakthroughs are changing the world.

    • Richard Stallman turns 60, continues to fight for our freedom

      Richard M Stallman has turned 60 today. He was born to Alice Lippman and Daniel Stallman on March 16, 1953 in New York City. Popularly known as RMS, Stallman wears many hats – most notably the creation of Free Software Foundation, the GNU project, the GNU GPL licence and Emacs. Stallman has dedicated his life to software freedom. He says if you don’t control your computing, someone else will.

      I have been fortunate enough to spend quite some time with Richard in India and then here in Belgium and each time learned more about him.

    • GCC 4.8.0 Release Candidate available from gcc.gnu.org
  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • There Was That Whole Internet Thing, Too
  • After 17 Months, Senate Confirms New Federal Circuit Judge

    The Senate unanimously confirmed Washington lawyer Richard Taranto to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Monday, more than 17 months after he was first nominated for the position and more than a year after his confirmation hearing.

    The nomination of Taranto, a name partner at the D.C. firm Farr & Taranto, never faced much opposition but got caught up in election-year politics last year. The Senate voted 91-0 for the specialist in intellectual property and patent law, who has argued 19 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and taught patent issues at Harvard Law School.

  • RSS inventor doesn’t see what all the fuss is about closing Google Reader

    As far as Dave Winer, one of RSS’s creators, is concerned, Google turning off Google Reader isn’t a big deal. The potential for Google to control the news flow is what he finds worrisome.

  • Security

    • Security reporter tells Ars about hacked 911 call that sent SWAT team to his house (Updated)
    • Peter G. Neumann: Top cop on the hair-raising cybersecurity beat

      The threat is always there — in your car, at the office, on the table next to where you sleep at night: a near-biblical plague of worms, phisher kings, identity thieves, even cyberterrorists.

      As computer networks have been transformed into a global battlefield, where America faces what former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently called a “cyber-Pearl Harbor,” security experts who understand those vast neural systems have become prized recruits in an invisible war.

      No one has stood watch on the wall holding back the hidden hordes longer than Peter G. Neumann (pronounced NOY-man). He was there at the dawn of the computer age and helped usher in its more muscular modern era with his pioneering work in Multics, an innovative operating system in the 1960s. Now, at 80, Neumann is leading an effort to rescue the computer from potentially fatal flaws encoded in its DNA.

    • Giving biometric scanners the (fake) finger

      Doctors in Brazil are using phony silicon fingers to fool biometric scanners. Sneaky? Sure. But you really gotta hand it to them.

    • Ubuntu: 1764-1: OpenStack Glance vulnerability
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Enlightenment desktop – Yes or no?

      My experience with the Enlightenment desktop slash window manager hails back to 2007, when I started exploring distributions like openGEU and friends. Then, fast forward two years, I’ve had my first encounter with Bodhi Linux, which comes with E17 as its default desktop. Fast forward some more, and we enter the year 2013, with yet another review of Bodhi.

      Half a decade ago, I was rather impressed with what the desktop could do. It managed a fair share of bling-bling, smooth transitions, shadows, transparency, and other cool effects, without having to rely on an expensive graphics card. It was all done in 2D. From the purely aesthetic perspective, E17 was not the best looking, but it was not bad, nor that much different from the contemporary rivals. But then, when I tested the desktop again two years back and just now, I noticed that little has changed in the visual phase space. Which brings a question, is Enlightenment a suitable desktop environment for modern machines?

  • Finance

    • Jaw-Dropping Crimes of the Big Banks

      Here are just some of the improprieties by big banks:

      * Funding the Nazis

      * Laundering money for terrorists

      * Financing illegal arms deals, and funding the manufacture of cluster bombs (and see this and this) and other arms which are banned in most of the world

      * Launching a coup against the President of the United States

      * Handling money for rogue military operations

      * Laundering money for drug cartels. See this, this, this, this and this (indeed, drug dealers kept the banking system afloat during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis)

      * Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments. See this, this and this

      * Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here

      * Manipulating gold prices … on a daily basis

    • Facing Bailout Tax, Cypriots Try to Get Cash Out of Banks

      In a move that could set off new fears of contagion across the euro zone, anxious depositors drained cash from automated teller machines in Cyprus on Saturday, hours after European officials in Brussels required that part of a new 10 billion euro bailout be paid for directly from the bank accounts of ordinary savers.

    • Europe Just Pissed Off A Whole Bunch Of Russian Mobsters And Oligarchs With Its Stunning Bailout Of Cyprus
    • Retailer Sues Visa Over $13 Million ‘Fine’ for Being Hacked

      A sports apparel retailer is fighting back against the arbitrary multi-million-dollar penalties that credit card companies impose on banks and merchants for data breaches by filing a first-of-its-kind $13 million lawsuit against Visa.
      The suit takes on the payment card industry’s powerful money-making system of punishing merchants and their banks for breaches, even without evidence that card data was stolen. It accuses Visa of levying legally unenforceable penalties that masquerade as fines and unsupported damages and also accuses Visa of breaching its own contracts with the banks, failing to follow its own rules and procedures for levying penalties and engaging in unfair business practices under California law, where Visa is based.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bad Move: Google Removes AdBlock Plus From Google Play Store

      Another day in which Google makes a move that leaves me scratching my head about what it’s thinking. It has decided to remove Adblock Plus from the Google Play store arguing that it interferes “with another service or product in an unauthorized manner.” Obviously, some will argue that of course Google is doing this to protect its own ad revenue, but it still surprises me. Google’s entire premise was built on the idea of building advertising that was non-intrusive and non-annoying such that it created value for people. The whole reason that Adblock exists is to fight back against bad advertising. On top of that, Adblock is a very popular tool, in part because it helps stop annoying advertising. If anything Adblock represents a useful way of exposing information about when and why people find advertising annoying.

    • The ‘Nasty Effect’: How Comments Color Comprehension

      At its best, the Web is a place for unlimited exchange of ideas. But Web-savvy news junkies have known for a long time that reader feedback can often turn nasty. Now a study in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication suggests that rude comments on articles can even change the way we interpret the news.

  • Censorship

    • Iran cuts off ‘illegal’ VPN workaround to Internet filters
    • Prof. Lawrence Schiffman’s Lawyer Demands Removal of Post Containing the Text of a Court Opinion

      Please be advised that the undersigned represents Professor Lawrence Schiffman, previously Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, now Vice Provost of Yeshiva University.
      Dr. Schiffman’s name was the subject of illegal and criminal misconduct by Raphael Golb. Your website has been provided to me as one of the locations where the criminal postings occurred.
      Please confirm that within five (5) work days of the date of this email the following will occur:
      1. Complete removal of the blog material;
      2. Removal of index entries on search engines;
      3. Cancellation of fraudulent email accounts;
      4. Removal of any other mention or reference to Dr. Schiffman by Mr. Golb or anyone responding to him.

  • Privacy

    • Remains of the Day: White House Petition to Stop CISPA Reaches 100,000 Signatures
    • The Internet is a surveillance state

      One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.

    • How SCOTUS wiretap ruling helps Internet privacy defendants

      I’ve spent the last two weeks vacationing out of the country, with only intermittent access to headlines from the United States. Every time I checked in, I felt as though I’d missed another huge legal story: the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling onmateriality and securities class certification in Amgen v. Connecticut Retirement Plans; oral arguments in Argentina’sappeal in the renegade bondholder litigation; a New York state court’s long-awaited holding that insurance regulators were within their rights to approve MBIA’s $5 billion restructuring in 2009; Credit Suisse throwing in the towel on Ambac’s mortgage-backed securities claims; and the slashing of Apple’sbillion-dollar patent infringement damages against Samsung. But one of the great things about legal journalism is that first-day coverage isn’t usually the end of the story, especially when it comes to judicial opinions.

    • 34 Civil Liberties Groups Speak Out Against CISPA in Lead Up to Hearings
  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Don’t auction off empty TV airwaves, SXSW activists tell FCC

      Activists at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, TX, built a free wireless network to help publicize the power of unlicensed “white spaces” technology. The project is part of a broader campaign to persuade the FCC not to auction off this spectrum for the exclusive use of wireless carriers.

      Almost everyone agrees that until recently, the spectrum allocated for broadcasting television channels was used inefficiently. In less populous areas, many channels sat idle. And channels were surrounded by “guard bands” to prevent adjacent channels from interfering with each other. A coalition that includes technology companies such as Google and Microsoft and think tanks such as the New America Foundation has been lobbying the FCC to open this unused spectrum up to third parties.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Cave or Cancel?: The Future (or End) of the Canada – EU Trade Agreement

      Last November, Maclean’s columnist Paul Wells wrote a piece on the Canada – EU Trade Agreement in which he expressed doubt about the ability to conclude the deal (“Everybody connected to the negotiations assures me there will be a deal. Every public sign I see makes me think there won’t.”). I was skeptical about the prospect of years of negotiations falling apart and expected the political level meetings in November to wrap things up. They didn’t. Last month, International Trade Minister Ed Fast and his European counterpart Karel de Gucht tried again. Still no deal.
      While Fast wants everyone to believe that momentum is building toward an agreement, it clearly is not. Over the last year, Canada’s lead lawyer on the negotiations resigned, Canada’s lead agricultural negotiator was re-assigned, and the EU’s lead negotiator has added the EU – Vietnam agreement to his responsibilities with rumours that he will head the EU – Japan trade talks. Fast says he won’t negotiate the agreement in the media and then proceeds to do exactly that by staking out positions on agriculture and investment. The same business groups that have been lobbying for the deal issue a public letter on the agreement that does little other than promise “future support.”

    • Copyrights

      • Appeals Court: ‘Ed Sullivan’ Clip in ‘Jersey Boys’ is Fair Use

        The ruling is intended to discourage lawsuits that have a “chilling effect on creativity.”

        On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on an issue that always causes trouble — when it is permissible to use a short clip of copyrighted material.

      • Judge “came in like a tornado” at Prenda Law lawyers

        Porn-trolling firm Prenda Law is getting dressed down in federal court today. Ars will have a more thorough update when our own reporter gets out of court, but some basics about what is happening are becoming clear based on early tweets.

        Brett Gibbs, the former Prenda lawyer who was first told to show up and explain himself, is there. So too is his attorney, who has been “awfully quiet” according to Adam Steinbaugh. (Steinbaugh tweeted several observations during a break in the proceedings.) Gibbs has been distancing himself from the firm’s actions recently; it’s John Steele and Paul Hansmeier who are seen as the brains behind the operation.

      • Brett Gibbs Gets His Day In Court — But Prenda Law Is The Star
      • Appeals court rejects record label’s effort to neuter DMCA safe harbor

        A federal appeals court has rejected a major record label’s effort to undermine the legal safe harbor provided to user-generated content sites by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Under that 1998 legislation, sites like YouTube and Flickr are immune from copyright liability as long as they promptly respond to takedown requests by copyright holders. The safe harbor has become a foundation of the Internet economy, allowing entrepreneurs to build new user-generated content sites without worrying about being held responsible for their users’ infringing uploads.

03.15.13

Links 15/3/2013: Mir Still in Headlines, S4 Enters Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 8:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Real-Time Messaging

    Want to send messages to all the browsers connected to your site? The pub-sub paradigm, run through Web sockets, might be just the solution.

  • Comment: Fragments of win

    Fragmentation is this month’s word of the day, whether it be related to Canonical’s plan to develop and launch its own Mir display server fragmenting a consensus around Wayland or to Miguel de Icaza’s tale of his journey away from a fragmented desktop Linux world. But if we step back and look at the bigger picture, fragmentation isn’t just a part of the Linux story, it is in many ways core to its power to bring free software to the world.

  • Server

    • Cisco Details Plans for Internet of Things

      The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept where everything in the world is connected to everything else via an IP address. The IoT is no longer the dream of futurists, it’s soon to become a reality in the view of networking vendor Cisco Systems.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

      In this episode: OpenSUSE 12.3 is out, Red Hat takes ownership of Java 6, SecureBoot is coming to FreeBSD and Ubuntu ditches Wayland for Mir. We report back on our challenge from a couple of episodes ago, come up with a new challenge, and discuss IT education in our Open Ballot.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Puts Out New THP Cache Code For Linux Kernel

      Kirill Shutemov of Intel has published his second version of the work that’s going on for Transparent Huge Page (THP) Cache support within the Linux kernel.

    • Linux Kernel Gets A Wait-Free Concurrent Queue

      Introduced to the world on Monday and already revised today is the Linux Kernel Wait-Free Concurrent Queue Implementation.

    • Five Years Later, Intel Poulsbo Is Still A Linux Mess

      Next month marks five years already since Intel released their Atom “Silverthorne” processors for netbooks and nettops in conjunction with the Intel “Poulsbo” SCH bearing PowerVR-derived GMA 500 graphics. To this day, aging Intel hardware with PowerVR-based graphics continue to be a big problem for the Linux desktop.

    • Linux Kernel 3.8.3 Is Now Available for Download
    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland’s Weston With Bubble-Style Notifications

        For those using Wayland’s Weston compositor with the stock shell, a patch was proposed today for implementing “bubbles list” style notifications.

        This basic “wl_notification_daemon” interface also allows for user-configurable attributes of the anchor corner, margin, and order for these Weston desktop notifications.

      • Nouveau vs. NVIDIA Drivers On Quadro Laptop

        For starting off Friday’s benchmarking at Phoronix are some numbers when looking at the Nouveau driver with Ubuntu 13.04 against NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux graphics driver when both are controlling a Quadro GPU found on a ThinkPad laptop.

        In the lead-up to releasing Phoronix Test Suite 4.4.1-Forsand, a wide variety of hardware is always benchmarked to ensure there are no last minute bugs or other snafus concerning the Phoronix Test Suite client itself, the Phoronix Device Interface (Phodevi) library for hardware/software detection, or any other problems. One of the combinations tested was the NVIDIA and Nouveau drivers from a Quadro NVS 140M laptop since it hasn’t been tested in a while at Phoronix.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • logging into Plasma Workspaces 2

        You’re probably wondering what I was doing at 1am last night. I get asked that all the time. Well, mostly by people I live with, now that I think about it. “What were you doing on your computer at one in the morning?” they ask. The answer is usually quite exciting. Take last night, for instance: I was having a meeting with people to discuss display managers. Yes, the wonderful world of login screens.

      • An update on KWin on 5

        I realized I haven’t written a blog post to highlight the latest changes in KWin for quite some time. The reason for this is that we currently are mostly focused on getting KWin to work on Qt 5/KDE Frameworks 5. As I have mentioned already in the past KWin is a little bit special in the transition to Qt 5 as we used the low level native, non-portable functions provided by Qt (last week I found one usage of a native function which is not even documented). For us it mostly means that we transit from XLib to XCB and remove code which uses methods which got removed or replaced.

      • KDE’s wonderful usability
  • Distributions

    • The 2013 Top 7 Best Linux Distributions for You

      There have been several shifts and shakeups on the lists presented since then, of course, and -– as you’ll soon see – this year’s offering holds true to that pattern. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the past year has seen so much upheaval in the desktop world – particularly where desktop environments are concerned – that 2013′s list could come as a surprise to some.

    • For a fully free desktop OS, try Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0
    • New Releases

      • Slax 7.0.6 is now available for download

        I’d like to announce the next update of Slax Live Linux version 7.0.6. The main change is new Linux kernel 3.8.2 and updated KDE to 4.10.1. It was a bit harder than I expected, mostly due to some really odd changes made by KDE developers, which I had to work around to get the same functionality like we are used to.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva returns, challenges Microsoft in small and medium enterprise segment

        Mandriva was once one of the most popular GNU/Linux distribution. It has been around since 1998, but the company and the project went through hard times in the last two years. The company got forked then reached the brink of being sold. However, this resilient company faced hardship bravely and is now making a comeback with a concrete business plan. Could this be the ‘Red Hat’ move by Mandriva, turning the company into a ‘billion’ dollar revenue earning company?

    • Red Hat Family

      • JBoss Fuse and JBoss A-MQ join Red Hat’s middleware

        Red Hat has added JBoss Fuse and JBoss A-MQ to its enterprise middleware portfolio. The products are based on technologies acquired from FuseSource in September 2012. According to the company, these are designed to enhance Red Hat’s enterprise integration and messaging capabilities.

        Red Hat JBoss Fuse is a flexible open source Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) based on popular Apache projects such as Camel, an enterprise integration pattern framework, which enable faster time-to-solution integration implementations.

      • Red Hat shares fall after Citi downgrade

        Shares of Red Hat Inc. fell Tuesday after a Citi analyst downgraded the software maker citing concerns about slowing growth.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir Code Moves Along, Branches Begin Appearing

            There’s code being committed to the new Mir Display Server every few hours. There’s also numerous Bazaar code branches appearing too that show early work on other functionality.

          • Canonical’s Bazaar Still In Stagnant State

            With Canonical allocating its resources elsewhere, the Bazaar revision control system has fallen stagnant.

            While Bazaar was promising in its early days, the open-source distribution revision control system has seen better times. The original developer of Bazaar, Martin Pool, left Canonical last year and the company ended up shuffeling around the other developers formerly working on the project. Bazaar isn’t a money-maker for Canonical and the control system in its current form is good enough for the company while most other free software projects prefer Git or even SVN over Bzr.

          • Ubuntu Offspring Go Forth With Their 13.04 Beta

            While Canonical no longer does a beta release of Ubuntu itself, many of the Ubuntu derivatives are doing their first 13.04 beta today.

          • Ubuntu Unity 7 Coming Soon

            Unity 7, the latest release of Unity which is currently in development, should be available for user testing via a PPA in a few days. According to Michael Hall’s blog post, it will be available there for 2 weeks, before it lands.

            One of the most prominent changes in Unity 7 is the Smart Scopes service. Currently, Dash searches are processed on the local system by installed lenses. In future, Dash searches will be sent to the Canonical servers for processing by the Smart Scopes service. This service will determine which scopes are most relevant for the entered keywords, and return the search results from those scopes to the user’s system. In short terms this should mean more relevant search results and less system resources will be used.

          • Why I support Ubuntu

            Today, on Linux blogs everywhere and on Google+, it’s open warfare between Ubuntu supporters and those who who believe it is committing free software heresy. Muktware’s own Swapnil Bhartiya suggested on this site that the company was morphing into a new Apple, with Shuttleworth in the roll of Steve Jobs.

            And there’s not much worse you could call an open source company than Apple.

            I get the criticism and the discomfort with many of Ubuntu’s decisions. I appreciate that the heads of various open source projects feel betrayed in many ways and that longtime users feel that they’ve been left out of the loop. Decisions are now made at the top not the bottom. The community opportunities at Ubuntu are no longer up to the standards of many free software advocates that once championed the distro.

          • Ubuntu development hits 13.04 beta 1 milestone

            The Ubuntu developers have just passed the beta 1 milestone in development of Raring Ringtail, Ubuntu 13.04. Although the milestone does not see a release of the Ubuntu distribution, it does see a release of a beta 1 version of most of the various remixes, as previously disclosed by the project’s leadership. The announcement notes that 13.04 Beta 1 images are available for Edubuntu (download), Kubuntu (download), Lubuntu (download), UbuntuKylin (download), Ubuntu Server Cloud (images), Ubuntu Studio (notes, download) and Xubuntu (download).

          • Canonical Targets Mobile Market with Ubuntu Mir

            In what appears to be a growing penchant among open source developers for naming things after Soviet spacecraft, Canonical recently announced a new project called Mir. And while it doesn’t actually have much (or anything) to do with outer space, it could have major implications for open source user interfaces throughout the channel–not to mention for Canonical itself as it strives to “converge” its Ubuntu offerings across a range of hardware devices.

            Quite unlike the space station of the same name, the Mir project exists to create a new display server for Linux. It will replace the venerable X.org implementation of the X Window System, which comprises one of the core components of virtually every major Linux distribution out there today.

            Mir, according to Canonical, will offer a number of improvements over X that will prove particularly beneficial for tablets, phones and other touch-enabled mobile devices. But it is being designed to work across all hardware platforms, and–if it gains wide adoption by other Linux distributions besides Ubuntu–it could help to drive innovation in interface design across the open source channel.

          • Is Canonical Heading In Apple’s Direction?

            I have been a huge supporter of Canonical and Ubuntu from its early days and have done my share of spreading the word about Ubuntu and invested hours and hours in converting people and installing Ubuntu on their systems. Canonical spent a lot of money and resources in making Ubuntu popular. Ubuntu was one such distribution which was putting the users ahead of anything else. The company created an awesome community which was ‘driven’ by the code of conduct, which made a very welcoming community.

          • Celebrate Ubuntu (but keep an eye on what they’re up to…)

            Ubuntu has come under a decent amount of flack over the past few months, particularly over their decision to use the ‘Dash Search’ to return results from Amazon by default in their most recent release.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • From US Soldier to IT Manager… with Linux Mint

              During my earlier years, I was in the US military as an enlisted soldier. Money was extremely tight for my wife and I, but I had a passion for computers.

              I couldn’t afford a new system, and certainly couldn’t afford to pay for Microsoft Windows. So, I purchased a used computer from a yard sale that had no operating system on it.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-powered soundbar also streams Internet music

      Sonos, a well-known maker of Linux-powered, WiFi-mesh networked, streaming audio systems, has added an HDTV soundbar to its line. The “Playbar” aims to bring “immersive HiFi sound” to home entertainment centers — not just from TV content, but streamed from Internet and local sources as well.

    • GCW-Zero $159 Linux-based retro gaming handheld coming in May

      The GCW-Zero is a portable gaming device designed for playing retro games — basically anything up until the era of the original PlayStation. It packs a 3.5 inch display, a 1 GHz MIPS processor, and and an open source Linux-based operating system called OpenDingux.

      Thanks to that operating system, you’ll be able to run a range of apps on the platform, including emulators for classic gaming consoles.

    • Raspberry Pi-powered open-source bartending robot nearly funded on Kickstarter

      Who wouldn’t want a Raspbery Pi-powered open source bartending that you control with your phone or tablet?

      For at least 353 people who have tossed $134,551 in tip money towards the project on Kickstarter, that question has an easy answer: everyone. And with a project goal of just a little more, $135,000, it seems certain that “Bartendro” will see the bright lights of night-time parties.

    • Windows Embedded Expert Jumps Into Open Source

      Sean Liming, Owner of Annabooks, has been heavily involved with Windows embedded for years, dating all the way back to 1995. With the growth of Linux and open source, Sean decided that he’d like to beef up his Linux knowledge in-order to create a new book to help people transition from Windows to an open software solution. He decided to attend a Linux Foundation event in 2012 and has taken two Linux Foundation courses, which he says helped with the development of his new book: Open Software Stack for the Intel Atom Processor.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Android expected to dominate tablets, too

          After having its way with the smartphone market, Android is now poised for a repeat performance in the tablet market, according to market anlyst firm IDC.

        • Android Builders Summit 2013 videos now available

          Videos from keynotes and presentation sessions at the Android Builders Summit 2013 held last month in San Francisco are now available for free viewing, courtesy of the Linux Foundation, which held the event. The videos cover a wide range of embedded Linux development, deployment, and marketing topics.

        • Android plus Chrome OS equals Google’s future operating system

          We still don’t know where Google is going with Android and Chrome OS, but putting Chrome’s top executive in charge of Android is a big, honking hint.

        • Why Google Won’t Merge Chrome OS and Android

          There are big moves going on at Google, with possible implications for the company’s operating systems Chrome OS and Android. Longtime Android chief Andy Rubin is stepping aside, although he is staying at Google. Meanwhile, Sundar Pichai, VP of Chrome and Apps, is a star on the rise. Pichai has been overseeing the delivery of Google’s well-recieved Chromebooks, and many of its very slick apps, in addition to steering Chrome OS forward.

        • Intel Atom Z240-powered X1000 lands in India

          XOLO has officially launched the new X1000 smartphone, powered by an Intel CPU, in India. Featuring Android 4.0.4, the X1000 phone hits online stores for Rs 19,999 ($369).

        • Do You Know What’s Inside Android App Code? Bluebox Does

          For many types of applications, in order to accurately understand what is going on within them, access to source code is typically required. When it comes to Android Apps, a new effort from startup Bluebox Security is set to make access and visibility into mobile code easier than ever before.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Benchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 7

        Last month I delivered extensive benchmarks of Ubuntu Linux on the Google Nexus 10 using the recently released Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview. In that article were benchmarks from the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (Cortex-A15) tablet against a range of ARM Cortex and Intel/AMD x86 systems. This article builds upon those earlier Ubuntu Linux x86/ARM results by now adding in the results from Ubuntu on the Google Nexus 7 plus more comparison processors have been tossed into the mix as well. This article offers Ubuntu Linux performance results for a dozen different Intel, AMD, and ARM systems. The ARM SoCs represented are from Texas Instruments OMAP, NVIDIA Tegra, and ARM Exynos families.

      • Pwnie Express Releases Pwn Pad Ahead of Schedule

        The team at Pwnie Express seems to have a lot of trouble standing still, as it doesn’t seem more than a few months go by before they are talking about yet another disruptive open source product that they are about to unleash on the security community.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The “Linux” of online learning? edX takes big step toward open source goal
  • edX MOOC Software Goes Open Source

    The non-profit pioneer in the phenomenon of massive open online courses (MOOCs) is releasing a core element of its platform for offering online courses as open-source software.

  • Video: Open-Source Oximeter Prototype Is Bluetooth Connected

    Do you know how much oxygen you have in your blood? You may not be worried about knowing since you’re alive and thus can infer you have enough. But, visiting high altitudes can be made safer, and implementing a new workout regimen can be made more effective, with an oximeter.

  • 5 Awesome Open Source Projects You Should Know About

    The amount of free content on the Internet is partially a result of horrid copyright infringement and partially a product of the open source movement, an umbrella term that applies to any kind of software that allows for its source code to be openly copied, edited, and distributed. Many of these programs are often quite amazing and frequently very cost-effective so, for your consideration, here are five really awesome products of the open source movement.

  • Olympus to showcase open source microscopy
  • Web Browsers

    • Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 25, Firefox 19, And IE10
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Delivers New Version 3.0 Preview of Firefox OS

        Three months ago, the folks at Mozilla rolled out the 1.0 version of the Firefox OS Simulator, which provided folks–especially developers–an opportunity to try out the company’s promising new mobile operating system. Mozilla has been making lots of noise about its entry into the mobile OS business, and early Firefox OS phones (a couple of them seen here) are arriving. Now, Mozilla has rolled out a preview version 3.0 of the simulator, which can provide a lot of the mobile operating system’s flavor.

        Mozilla has warned that the version 3.0 simulator is “a little rough around the edges,” but can still be experimented with. All three of the preview versions do reflect the fact that Mozilla means to develop this new mobile OS fully out in the open.

      • Mozilla launches Open Badges 1.0, delivers virtual kudos for real skills
      • Introducing Open Badges 1.0
      • Mozilla releases Open Badges 1.0

        Mozilla has announced the launch of Open Badges 1.0—a new way to recognise and verify learning. The free, open source software will allow users and institutions to digitally recognize and verify learning that happens anywhere, and use it to get a job, further education, or add to a growing skillset.

        In other words, a digital badge is an online representation of a skill you’ve earned. Open Badges takes that concept one step further, by creating an online ecosystem where users can verify, display, and combine badges.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • SwiftStack Exits Stealth With Open Source Swift Software-Defined Storage
    • A new look for private cloud ownCloud 5.0
    • Did EMC Just Say Fork You To The Hadoop Community?

      In Derrick Harris’ article on GigaOM entitled “EMC to Hadoop competition: See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.”, EMC unveiled their new Pivotal HD offering which effectively re-architects the Greenplum analytic database so it sits on top of the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). Scott Yara, Greenplum cofounder, is excited about the new product. Since a key focus for us at Hortonworks is to deeply integrate Hadoop with other data systems (a la our efforts with Teradata, Microsoft, MarkLogic, and others), I’m always excited to see data system providers like Greenplum decide to store their data natively in HDFS. And I can’t argue with Scott Yara’s sentiment that “I do think the center of gravity will move toward HDFS”.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Open Education: Take Back The Curriculum

      Education technology consultant Karen Fasimpaur sounds like a revolutionary when she gets fired up talking about the potential of open educational resources (OER), the textbooks and other educational tools made available as free downloads or interactive Web experiences.

      “We have an opportunity to take back the curriculum!” she told educators at last week’s SXSWedu event. “What if we took the $5 billion annually spent on textbooks and invested that in teachers and their work?”

    • US States Rebel

      That’s from a request for proposals developed jointly by Maine and other states. Another request for proposals by Los Angeles Unified School District explicity excludes “RT” and includes Linux in the acceptable list of OS. It also includes, “Proposer does not have a reputation for practices including, but not limited to, unethical business practices, discrimination, and unfair labor practices.”

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Google backslides on federated instant messaging, on purpose?

      According to a public mailing list thread, Google is doing this on purpose, to handle a spam problem. We sympathize; we spend a disappointing amount of energy combating similar problems on the services we provide for the free software community. But the solution can’t be something that breaks legitimate communication channels, and especially not in a way that enhances Google’s disproportionate control of the network. While Google is offering to whitelist servers whose operators write to them, this just accentuates the inequality and doesn’t realistically solve the problem.

      We hope that Google will retract this change and find a solution that does not undermine the distributed nature of the Internet. We have already reached out to them toward this end.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Publishers Have A New Strategy For Neutralizing Open Access — And It’s Working

        Over the last few years, Techdirt has been reporting on a steady stream of victories for open access. Along the way publishers have tried various counter-attacks, which all proved dismal failures. But there are signs that they have changed tack, and come up with a more subtle — and increasingly successful — approach.

      • #ami2 liberating science; more SpringerGate: I have to ask their permission to re-use CC-BY 2.0
      • Details Come Out On US Attorneys Withholding Evidence In Aaron Swartz Case

        Last week, we wrote about Aaron Swartz’s girlfriend, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, releasing a statement accusing the DOJ of a variety of things that hadn’t really been covered before, including lying, seizing evidence without a warrant and withholding exculpatory evidence. That resulted in an interesting discussion in the comments, in which a few DOJ defenders suggested that since there were no details, we were probably making this up (as if we don’t have better things to do). Now, however, the details have come out. In a letter that was sent at the end of January (but just now leaked to the press), Swartz’s lawyers highlight how Assistant US Attorney Steve Heymann was responsible for the charges above.

        The key issue is the search of Aaron’s laptop. Cambridge police seized the laptop on January 6, 2011. The Secret Service did not obtain a warrant until February 9, 2011, even though it had clearly been involved since before the arrest and was leading the investigation. Swartz’s legal team, quite reasonably, argued that the evidence from the laptop should be suppressed due to the massive delay in obtaining the necessary warrant. Heymann hit back that it was the Cambridge Police who had the laptop, so the Secret Service had nothing to do with it until it got the warrant. There was a court hearing about all of this, and Heymann again insisted that the Secret Service had no responsibility until after the warrant.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • The Pope and Politics

    Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as the new pope this week. But coverage often glossed over the most intense political controversies about him.

  • Crime Lab Scandal Leaves Mass. Legal System In Turmoil

    A scandal in a Massachusetts crime lab continues to reverberate throughout the state’s legal system. Several months ago, Annie Dookhan, a former chemist in a state crime lab, told police that she messed up big time. Dookhan now stands accused of falsifying test results in as many as 34,000 cases.

  • A Fool and His Money

    It turns out that the cause of my problem was not technical, but disciplinary.

  • RIP Google Reader. RSS is Not Dead No Matter What Google Says
  • Why I love RSS and You Do Too
  • Matthew Keys: ‘I Am Fine’
  • Former Web Producer Indicted in California for Conspiring with “Anonymous” Members to Attack Internet News Site
  • Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to counteract ‘Facebook fatigue’
  • CNN: Unlike – Why I’m Leaving Facebook
  • 14 March 2013: International Day to Defend Apostates and Blasphemers

    Countless individuals accused of apostasy and blasphemy face threats, imprisonment, and execution. Blasphemy laws in over 30 countries and apostasy laws in over 20 aim primarily to restrict thought, expression and the rights of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

  • Science

    • Here’s my paper on evidence and teaching for the education minister.

      I was asked by Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) and the Department for Education to look at how to improve the use of evidence in schools. I think there are huge, positive opportunities for teachers here, that go way beyond just doing a few more trials. Pasted below is the briefing note from DfE press office, and then the text of a paper I wrote for them, which came out this week. You can also download a PDF from the DfE website here.

  • Security

    • Treacherous backdoor found in TP-Link routers

      Security experts in Poland have discovered a treacherous backdoor in various router models made by TP-Link. When a specially crafted URL is called, the router will respond by downloading and executing a file from the accessing computer, reports Michał Sajdak from Securitum.

    • Kaspersky fixes IPv6 problem in Internet Security Suite

      Security researcher Marc Heuse discovered that the firewall in Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 has a problem with certain IPv6 packets. The researcher said that he publicly disclosed the details of the problem because Kaspersky didn’t respond when he reported it. Shortly after his disclosure, Kaspersky did release a fix.

    • Brian Krebs gets SWATted

      Brian Krebs got a visit from a SWAT team today, after having his site DDOSed and served with a fake takedown notice, possibly in retaliation for this article.

    • Researchers resurrect and improve CRIME attack against SSL

      Two researchers from security firm Imperva have devised new techniques that could allow attackers to extract sensitive information from users’ encrypted Web traffic.

      The new methods build on those used in an attack called CRIME revealed last year that abuses the compression feature of SSL to achieve the same goal.

      CRIME decrypts authentication information stored in headers sent during HTTP requests, in particular the session cookies. It works by tricking the victims into loading a malicious piece of JavaScript that forces their browsers to make specifically crafted requests to SSL-enabled websites where they’re already logged in.

    • CIA and the FBI is investigating President Obama’s financial condition / US News

      The website Exposed.su posted the Social Security Numbers, home addresses and phone numbers to an array of influential Americans on Monday, including President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, actor Mel Gibson, US Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Robert Mueller and others. Additionally, the hackers have posted documents that they perpetrate to be legitimate credit reports for many of the victims, including singer Beyoncé, rap artist Jay-Z and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, among others.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A Lost Renoir? River in China Looks Like an Oil Painting

      The Chinese government has reportedly spent 7.4 billion yen (about 77 million US dollars) in an effort to restore life to the lake shown here.

      Comments posted on the Internet in reference to the top photo include, “it looks like a piece by Van Gogh,” “it resembles a green tea latte,” and “it’s like a landscape painting.” We in Japan cannot be too smug, however, as our own country experienced a plethora of similar environmental issues during its rapid growth stage in the 60s and 70s. Hopefully those experiences can be leveraged to help improve the situation in China and we can work together in creating and sustaining a better global environment.

  • Finance

    • After Watering Down Financial Reform, Ex-Senator Scott Brown Joins Goldman Sachs’ Lobbying Firm

      During his nearly three years in the U.S. Senate, Scott Brown (R-MA) frequently came to the aid of the financial sector — watering down the Dodd-Frank bill and working to weaken it after its passage — and accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from the industry. Now, the man Forbes Magazine called one of “Wall Street’s Favorite Congressmen” will use those connections as counsel for Nixon Peabody, an international law and lobbying firm.

      The Boston Globe noted Monday that while Brown himself will not be a lobbyist — Senators may not lobby their former colleagues for the first two years after leaving office, under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 — “he will be leaning heavily on his Washington contacts to drum up business for the firm.” The position will also allow him “to begin cashing in on his contacts with the financial services industry, which he helped oversee in the Senate.”

    • Fed Rebukes Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase Over Capital Plans

      Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, the Wall Street giants that emerged from the financial crisis in a position of strength, are now facing questions about their ability to withstand future market shocks.

    • Washington Post’s Austerity Backer, Still Trying

      If you read enough Paul Krugman columns, you know that there are politicians–in this country and elsewhere–who continue to assert that the best way to turn around slumping economies is to slash government spending. The problem, as Krugman has written countless times, is that there’s no evidence that this works in the real world–and plenty of evidence that it does not.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Google Takes the Dark Path, Censors AdBlock Plus on Android

      In a shocking move, Google has recently deleted AdBlock Plus from the Android Play Store. This is hugely disappointing because it demonstrates that Google is willing to censor software and abandon its support for open platforms as soon as there’s an ad-related business reason for doing so.

      Until now, the Internet and software development communities have relied on Google to be safely on their side when it comes to building open platforms, encouraging innovation, and giving users maximum choice about how their computers will function. But with today’s news, that commitment to openness suddenly looks much, much weaker.

    • Google Blocks Adblock Plus, Puts Revenue Before Users

      Adblock Plus, the popular free ad blocking tool for PCs and smartphones, was removed by Google from its Google Play store for Android apps. Though the app will no longer be available through Google Play, Adblock Plus has made a downloadable version of the app available directly from its website. Of course, it’s still available for PC and Mac computer users, while it has never been an option for iPhone and iPad users.

    • Google Kills Adblock Plus from Google Play Store; Open Source Tool Releases Statement
    • Sunshine “Weak:” Wisconsin Leaders Failing State’s Open Government Traditions

      “If Wisconsin were not known as the Dairy State it could be known, and rightfully so, as the Sunshine State,” the Wisconsin Supreme Court observed in 2010. “All branches of Wisconsin government have, over many years, kept a strong commitment to transparent government.”

      But just in time for Sunshine Week 2013, GOP leaders in the state are showing how they are failing that proud tradition.

    • ALEC Corporate Bill Mill Posts (Some) Model Bills Online for First Time; Watchdogs Say Move Falls Far Short on Transparency

      A two-year campaign by a coalition of public interest groups has pushed the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to release hundreds of pieces of “model” state legislation secretly developed and pushed into law by corporate interests. The coalition includes the Center for Media and Democracy, ColorOfChange, Common Cause, Greenpeace, People For the American Way, Progress Now, Voters Legislative Transparency Project, and a variety of labor organizations.

  • Censorship

    • Venezuela: Twitter user detained for spreading “destabilizing” information

      In the wake of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s death last week, government authorities in Venezuela seem to have resumed taking action against freedom of expression online. On March 14, 2013, Lourdes Alicia Ortega Pérez was detained by the Scientific Penal and Criminal Investigation Corps (CICPC, by its Spanish acronym), for allegedly having “usurped the identity of an official of the Autonomous Service of Registries and Notaries” and having sent Tweets that authorities deemed “destabilizing [to] the country.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • HTML5 DRM comes to all Chrome OS devices

      Google updated the dev channel of Chrome OS to version 27.0.1438.8 for all Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of stability fixes and feature enhancements. But the most important update is the arrival of ‘kind of’ HTML5 DRM to all Chrome OS devices (earlier HMTL5 was DRMed only on ARM based devices).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US ambassador says renegotiation of free trade deal with Seoul possible
    • Copyrights

      • Takeover Panel claims copyright on regulatory information

        The Takeover Panel (which regulated mergers and takeovers inn the UK) has sent me an email telling me that reproducing the list of takeover offers (i.e. a list of company names and dates) would be a breach of copyright, and that they would be unlikely to allow commercial reproduction except though “official news channels”.

      • Veoh Wins Important Case Against Universal Music Over DMCA Safe Harbors Again; But Is Still Dead Due To Legal Fees

        We’ve written a few times about the sad case of Veoh. Veoh was a YouTube-like site, funded by Hollywood insiders like Michael Eisner, but who got sued by Universal Music Group, claiming copyright infringement (using more or less the same theories used by Viacom against YouTube). Technically, Veoh sued first (filing for declaratory judgment after receiving a threat letter from UMG, but UMG quickly followed with its own lawsuit). UMG played dirty, not just suing the company but directly suing its investors as well. This was a pure intimidation technique, designed to scare major investors into either pulling investment or ordering the company to change course, even if what they were doing was legal. While the court dismissed the charges against the investors (and scolded UMG in the process), the intimidation might have worked. In the middle of all of this, Veoh shut down, because it ran out of money, mainly due to the lawsuit. It sold off its assets to another party, and somehow scraped together a little money to keep the lawsuit, and just the lawsuit, going.

      • Surprise: Register Of Copyrights Expected To Call For Reduction In Copyright Term

        For a long time now, the idea of an overhaul of copyright law in the US has mostly been seen as a pipedream. However, it appears that the Register of Copyright, Maria Pallante, may actually be angling for a major bit of copyright reform. Coming up next Wednesday, she’s going to be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on her supposed “Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law.” Apparently, on March 4th, she gave a talk at Columbia University which has remained amazingly under the radar until now, in which she proposed a long list of possible copyright reforms, which are likely to headline the hearings next week. It’s fairly impressive, given how much attention copyright law has been getting lately, that she could present a surprising call for massive changes to the law, and not have a single person report on it immediately after the event ended. However, that is the case.

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