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08.15.14

Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Calling All Teachers! Google Classroom Arrives as a Preview

    Classroom is, of course, a free and open platform that will improve over time, and Google has the opportunity to add many of its open source tools to the Classroom ecosystem.

  • ClusterHQ floats Flocker open source container data manager for Docker

    Those working with Docker containers can now try out the Flocker open-source, data-focused Docker management framework from ClusterHQ.

  • ClusterHQ Brings Docker Virtualization to Data Storage

    ClusterHQ’s Flocker leverages the ZFS file system to tackle the container storage challenge.

  • Building trust and security through open source governance

    Adoption of open source software in the enterprise continues to grow, with research suggesting the two largest factors fueling this growth are security and quality. Surprising, perhaps, given revelations of the much-publicised Heartbleed vulnerability discovered in a widely used open source cryptography library earlier this year.

  • WhoaVerse for social communities, built on open source

    When a WhoaVerse user deletes their account, all voting history is deleted from the database. Any comments that the user has made and their author tag get overwritten with the keyword “deleted,” as well as all of their text and link submissions.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • SUSE’s Latest OpenStack Icehouse Distribution Joins a Crowded Field

      While we’re eventually going to see a lot of consolidation on the OpenStack scene, for now, the number of competitors remains large. Witness SUSE’s newest OpenStack distribution, SUSE Cloud 4, which is out now and targeted at building Infrastructure-as-a-Service private clouds.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Leaflet provides open source map solution

        Like anything related to Web development these days, there are a number of options available for including map features to your applications. What you decide to use often comes down to personal preferences – one of my requirements is simplicity and Leaflet does not disappoint. As its documentation states, it works across all major desktop and mobile platforms. Leaflet utilizes HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript for modern platforms while remaining accessible and usable on older platforms.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Geometry Shaders / OpenGL 3.2 Finally Comes To Intel Sandy Bridge

      Those still using Intel Sandy Bridge hardware on Linux will be ecstatic to learn this morning that geometry shaders support has been implemented in Mesa by a new patch-set for this older Intel hardware and thereby allowing OpenGL 3.2 support to be exposed for this “Gen6″ hardware.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • German researchers develop defense software: Potential protection against the “Hacienda” intelligence program

      Grothoff and his students at TUM have developed the “TCP Stealth” defense software, which can inhibit the identification of systems through both Hacienda and similar cyberattack software and, as a result, the undirected and massive takeover of computers worldwide, as Grothoff explains. “TCP Stealth” is free software that has as its prerequisites particular system requirements and computer expertise, for example, use of the GNU/Linux operating system. In order to make broader usage possible in the future, the software will need further development.

    • Security advisories for Thursday
    • Who needs hackers? ‘Password1′ opens a third of business’ doors

      Hundreds of thousands of hashed corporate passwords have been cracked within minutes by penetration testers using graphics processing units.

      The 626,718 passwords were harvested during penetration tests over the last two years conducted across corporate America by Trustwave infosec geeks.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former DARPA Chief Broke Ethics Rules, Watchdog Finds

      Fifteen months after its completion, the Pentagon inspector general on Wednesday released a report that found the former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency violated ethics laws by endorsing a product she developed while in the private sector.

      Regina Dugan, now an executive with Google, ran DARPA from July 2009 to March 2012. Prior to that she founded and served as president and CEO of RedXDefense, which received DARPA funding.

    • Killing Programs Record Index Will Come to Light

      The Department of Justice must release a previously classified index of withheld records related to the government’s targeted-killing programs, the 2nd Circuit ruled.

    • Pro-Palestine activists arrested over Israeli arms protest in Melbourne

      Victoria police said officers were deployed to monitor about 20 protesters in total, with the seven people on the roof arrested and then released with a court summons for trespass.

    • Australia: Anti-war activists raid Israeli drone factory

      Anti-war activists stormed a factory in Port Melbourne this morning to protest against the Australian government’s support for Israeli’s war in Gaza. They raided the manufacturing compound which, they said, supplies arms and drones for Israel.

    • From Gaza to Brazil: Stop Financing Drones That Kill Our Children

      This isn’t a war between Israel and Hamas. I am a secular university professor who remembers the time before Israel hermetically locked all the entrances and exits to Gaza. The 398 children that have been killed were not Hamas fighters, the three UN schools that Israel bombed were not Hamas facilities. This isn’t even a war against the population of Gaza, for the majority of those living in Gaza are refugees displaced by Israel in 1948. This isn’t even against the Palestinian people, this is a war against humanity itself.

    • Israel Braces for War Crimes Inquiries on Gaza

      The fighting is barely over in the latest Gaza war, with a five-day cease-fire taking hold on Thursday, but attention has already shifted to the legal battlefield as Israel gears up to defend itself against international allegations of possible war crimes in the monthlong conflict.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil Industry Threatens to Take Its Underwater Air Guns and Go Home

      A game of chicken is shaping up over the Obama administration’s decision to let the oil industry collect fresh data on energy supplies off the Atlantic Coast.

      The Interior Department, over the protests of environmentalists, said in July that it would allow the oil industry to use seismic air cannons to search for oil and gas underneath federal waters in the Atlantic.

    • One Company Is Really Psyched About EPA’s Big Climate-Change Rule

      Several big industry groups have come out with guns blazing against the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft plan to slash carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants.

      But some companies see opportunity in the regulation at the center of the White House climate-change agenda. Case in point: Opower, the software and data company that works with utilities to help customers save energy.

  • Finance

    • Culture as a cause of poverty has been wilfully misinterpreted

      When the term “culture of poverty” was first used by the anthropologist Oscar Lewis in 1959, it was seized upon as “evidence” that poverty is not caused primarily by an absence of material resources. This was never Lewis’s intention. In a 1966 essay for Scientific American, he wrote: “A culture of poverty is not just a matter of deprivation or disorganisation – a term signifying the absence of something. It is a culture in the traditional anthropological sense in that it provides human beings with a design for living, a ready-made set of solutions for human problems, and so serves a significant adaptive function.”

      This was wilfully misinterpreted by those who believed poverty could not be abated by throwing money at it (that sole remedy for all other social ills); it was absorbed into an ancient moral critique of the poor; identified in modern industrial society with chaotic, disorganised lives, absence of parental ambition for children, aversion to hard labour and a tendency to addiction.

    • Apple battered by furious shareholder lawsuit over illegal employee poaching deal

      Apple shareholders have joined forces and filed a class-action lawsuit, suing Steve Jobs’ estate over claims that Apple eroded its own value by striking an illegal recruitment agreement with its rivals.

      The case has been filed by R. Andre Klein, an Apple shareholder, on behalf of all the other shareholders in the Cupertino-based company.

  • Privacy

    • Newly Released Documents Show NSA Abused Its Discontinued Internet Metadata Program Just Like It Abused Everything Else

      James Clapper’s office (ODNI) has released a large batch of declassified documents, most of which deal with the NSA’s discontinued Section 402 program. What this program did was re-read pen register/trap and trace (PR/TT) statutes to cover internet metadata, including sender/receiver information contained in email and instant messages. (Not to be confused with the Section 702 program, which is still active and harvests internet communications.)

    • Snuffing Out The Magistrate’s Revolt: DC District Court Judge Roberts Grants Another Rejected Warrant Application

      As we’ve been covering for the past few months, there seems to be an emboldened set of magistrate judges willing to push back against broad electronic search requests by the government. While it would be nice to see a stronger pushback originate somewhere closer to the top, it is (or was, it seems…) refreshing to see those on the lower rungs defend citizens’ rights by rejecting what can only be termed “general warrants,” the very thing that prompted the Fourth Amendment in the first place.

    • Judge Blesses Justice Department Email Searches

      Magistrate Judge John Facciola had denied the warrant application, which sought the information from Apple Inc., the suspect’s email provider, on grounds that it was too broad and would allow the Justice Department access to heaps of irrelevant, private information. The details of the underlying investigation remain secret, though public court records show it involves potential kickbacks and a defense contractor.

    • New York State Keeps Government Emails Out Of The Public’s Hands With Its 90-Day Retention Limit

      New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office continues to do everything it can to prevent its emails from being accessed by FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests.

    • Why is the Cuomo Administration Automatically Deleting State Employees’ Emails?

      New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration — which the governor pledged would be the most transparent in state history — has quietly adopted policies that allow it to purge the emails of tens of thousands of state employees, cutting off a key avenue for understanding and investigating state government.

    • Where you’re most likely to be wiretapped

      According to Pew Research Center, which analyzed recently released data in a 2013 wiretap report from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, Nevada had 38 wiretaps authorized for every 500,000 people — the most-wiretapped state by a large margin. Colorado and New York follow with around 12 each. The most wiretaps requested in Nevada were in the home of Las Vegas, Clark County, which only has a population of around 2 million.

    • EU legislation and US bullying put cloud users between a rock and a hard place

      Google Glass Alastair StevensonGovernment departments and regulatory bodies have been espousing the benefits of cloud computing for years now, and for good reason. The benefits of cloud computing are huge and have the potential not only to streamline most businesses’ existing work processes, but fundamentally to change the way we do commerce.

    • Eavesdrop using a smart phone without a battery possible: Researchers

      Then I came across another story in Wired that Stanford University researchers and Israel’s defense research group Rafael plan to present a technique at a conference next week for using a smartphone’s gyroscope to eavesdrop on nearby conversations in a room. In case you don’t know the gyroscope are sensors that tell the phone whether its in horizontal or vertical position.

    • Spy agency computer taps face oversight deficiency

      The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has said it will need additional resources to oversee new powers planned for Australian intelligence agencies to access computers and networks during investigations.

    • Edward Snowden: James Clapper’s lies to Congress pushed me over the edge

      Edward Snowden says dishonest comments to Congress by the US intelligence chief were the final straw that prompted him to flee the country and reveal a trove of national security documents.

    • The Switchboard: Twitter vows to improve policies after online abuse drives Robin Williams’s daughter away from service

      Twitter vows to “improve our policies” after Robin Williams’ daughter is bullied off the network. “Internet trolls bullied Robin Williams’s daughter off of Twitter and Instagram just days after her father’s death,” the Switch’s Hayley Tsukayama reports. Now Twitter has vowed to take abuse on its service more seriously — but Zelda Williams is far from the only person who has faced serious levels of vitriol on the platform.

    • Twitter vows to “improve our policies” after Robin Williams’ daughter is bullied off the network
    • They think I still have smoking gun: Snowden on US government’s fears

      Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed mass cybersurveillance by American and British spy agencies, says the US government fears the most damaging leaks are yet to come.

    • Edward Snowden on Booz Allen: Here’s what we’ve learned from his Wired profile

      It was about a month ago that Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. CEO Ralph Shrader talked to me about Edward Snowden. And this week we found out what Edward Snowden had to say about Booz Allen.

    • ​‘NSA – the greatest enemy of American communications and computing security’

      NSA has done more to undermine US banking, commercial communications and computer products than any foreign power could ever have dreamed of, Robert Steele, former CIA case officer and co-founder of the US Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, told RT.

    • PORTAL router puts hassle-free TOR privacy in your pocket

      They say good things come in small packages. In this case, the good thing is a healthy layer of Internet privacy protection. The package is a TP-Link pocket router flashed with open source firmware from the PORTAL project.

      The project itself isn’t new — the code has been available on GitHub for more than a year. What’s different now is that Cloudflare’s Ryan Lackey and Lookout Security’s Marc Rogers went on stage at DefCon to announce plans to make PORTAL more accessible. They want to make it much, much easier for “ordinary” Internet users to take a page from the OPSEC handbook.

    • Proposed surveillance reforms are weaker than the ACLU suggests

      The terms of the debate over NSA reform between Dickinson College professor H.L. Pohlman and the ACLU’s Gabe Rottman are too limited. Pohlman claims the version of the USA Freedom Act sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) still permits the government to collect call-detail records prospectively (he suggests, but does not specifically say, that it permits the government to do so in bulk). Rottman claims that new language limiting the specific selection terms used in queries and mandating minimization procedures would limit that.

      Both men miss the one thing in Leahy’s bill that should limit bulk call-detail records: prohibitions on using the name of an electronic communications service provider as a specific selection term (unless that provider is the target of an investigation). Thus, whereas now the government uses “Verizon” as a selection term, it shouldn’t be able to do this going forward. The government will surely still be able to collect more limited sets of call-detail records — targeting, for example, everyone within 2 degrees of Julian Assange as part of a counterintelligence investigation — and even do so prospectively. That’s bulky collection, but not bulk.

    • Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Terminates 8% Of Workforce While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock
    • Cisco CEO Chambers Defends Plan for Job Cuts

      Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers defended his plan to cut 6,000 jobs, calling it a necessary response to a changing market for networking gear and shifting demands in markets around the world.

      In an interview with Re/code following the company’s quarterly earnings report Wednesday, Chambers said he expects Cisco’s total head count to be about the same at this time next year as it is now — about 74,000 — despite the cuts. And though the cuts will be painful for those who lose their jobs, they’re necessary, he says, if Cisco is to exploit new, faster-growing markets like cloud computing, security and software while keepings its costs about where they are now.

    • Consumer group asks FTC to investigate tech firms and data brokers over Safe Harbor violations

      The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), a U.S. group campaigning for digital consumer rights, has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate 30 companies for non-compliance with the Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and the European Union. The companies include Salesforce.com, AOL and Adobe, as well as a bunch of data brokers like Acxiom and Datalogix.

    • John Schindler Out At Naval War College After Sexting Scandal

      Would you want Dr. Dick Pic and those like him having access to all your private personal information?

    • How To Turn Off Smartphone Apps That Track You In The Background

      A growing number of smartphone apps are tracking your location — even when they’re not being used. Foursquare released a revamped app last Wednesday that joins a list of those tracking location persistently, including Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Google, and a number of shopping apps that access location data all the time, even when they’re off.

      Apps use location information to enhance their service to users. Foursquare, for example, sends helpful tips based on where you happen to be. REI’s app sends deals when you happen to be near a store. The tracking is opt-in, but that doesn’t mean the data is safe. The Target breach is one example of how a large-scale corporation could be susceptible to outside security threats. Meanwhile, tech companies like Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook are sometimes forced to hand information over to government agencies like the NSA.

    • U.S. Tech’s Pain Is Non-U.S. Tech’s Gain

      American tech companies could end up losing tens of billions of dollars in foreign sales stemming from the NSA spying scandal. Then there’s the potential revenue hit from Russia, which is pushing to reduce its reliance on some of the same companies amid heightened tensions with the U.S.

    • China’s cloud grows with a little help from U.S. tech

      U.S. technology companies have dominated the global cloud computing scene, particularly cloud giants like Amazon Web Services and Google. But China’s cloud computing market is slowly building momentum, and Chinese tech giants are making headway into a market that they have the power to significantly change.

    • It’s time for PGP to die, says … no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

      A senior cryptographer has sparked debate after calling time on PGP – the gold standard for email and document encryption.

      Matthew Green is an assistant research professor who lectures in computer science and cryptography at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US. This week, on his personal blog, he argued that it’s “time for PGP to die”, describing it as “downright unpleasant”.

    • An unlimited appetite for data

      Which is why the release in the U.S. of newly declassified court documents are so interesting. It’s a decision by Judge John Bates of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a closed-door court that has no Canadian equivalent for approving electronic surveillance for any communications involving a U.S. resident and foreign powers.

      The decision “offers a scathing assessment of the NSA (National Security Agency) ability to manage its own top-secret electronic surveillance of Internet metadata—a program the NSA scrapped after a 2011 review found it wasn’t fulfilling its mission,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

    • Best Alternatives to Tor: 12 Programs to Use Since NSA, Hackers Compromised Tor Project

      Tor May Have Been Compromised, Linux Based OS’s Like Tails Offer The Best Supplement

    • Will Facebook, Google Delete My Personal Info?

      Deleting Facebook, Twitter accounts leaves old conversations in their place

    • Schneier: Cyber-retaliation like that exposed by Snowden report a bad idea

      The NSA program dubbed MonsterMind is dangerous in that it would enable automated retaliation against machines that launch cyber attacks with no human intervention, meaning that such counterattacks could hit innocent parties.

      MonsterMind came to light through a Wired magazine interview with former NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden, who stole and publicly released thousands of NSA documents.

    • What happens in Europe, doesn’t stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

      More than 30 big US tech firms are breaking international agreed-upon US-EU Safe Harbor commitments to safeguard Europeans’ data, according to a complaint filed with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday.

    • VPNs Integral Part of the Net

      In these days of NSA spying, net neutrality, and internet companies messing with streaming services, a virtual private network, or a VPN, has become an integral part of many people’s internet experience. Though VPNs are becoming more mainstream, there are still people who do not know what a VPN is, or how one is used or what they do.

    • SpiderOak says you’ll know it’s secure because a little bird told you

      Edward Snowden–endorsed cloud storage provider SpiderOak has added an additional safeguard to ensure that its users’ data doesn’t fall into the hands of law enforcement without their knowledge, in the form of a “warrant canary.”

    • Snowden-endorsed file-sharing service SpiderOak to set up ‘warrant canary’
  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Sharks are biting Google’s expensive cables

      Google has had to reinforce its fragile undersea cables with Kevlar – the same material used in bulletproof vests – in order to protect against shark attacks

    • Parallel Conduct: How ISPs Make The Consolidated Internet Service Market Even Worse

      What Crawford is describing is parallel conduct, which is when companies that would otherwise compete create a monopoly-like setting without having to merge or coordinate operations. Parallel conduct in the broadband industry is not hypothetical. In 2011, Comcast and Time-Warner Cable sold parts of the wireless spectrum they owned in exchange for an agreement that Verizon would stop expanding its fiber optic network. Essentially, Comcast and Time-Warner Cable paid Verizon to stop offering new high-speed broadband service. (As part of the deal, Comcast and Time-Warner Cable also further divided up the United States geographically, foreshadowing the merger between the two companies.)

  • DRM

    • Orwell chap snaps in Amazon paperback claptrap yap rap

      Amazon is under fire from George Orwell’s estate for referencing the Nineteen Eighty-Four author in its legal battle with publishers.

      The web bazaar, while mired in a war of words with Hachette over book prices, invoked Orwell’s name and cited comments made by the author at the dawn of paperback books.

      According to Amazon, Orwell had suggested in the 1940s that publishers should collude in order to suppress the sale of the less expensive paperbacks. This, Amazon said, was a sentiment now repeated by Hachette – which is accused of unfairly inflating e-book prices.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

08.14.14

Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

Posted in News Roundup at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Linux

    Linux. It’s been around since the mid ‘90s, and has since reached a user-base that spans industries and continents.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Thanks KDE

        It’s more than year of my encounter with source code of some real life application.(Thanks to KDE) I had never before seen such huge source code. The guidelines on techbase were so comprehensive that I didn’t even realize that I had started fixing imperative bugs. The best part was that KDE had all types of applications, under various categories like multimedia, education, games etc. So I could try my hand on many different applications and recognize my interest. I enjoyed hacking source code of Kstars the most. And I compiled the code with the help of instruction on techbase and KDE’s cool developers at IRC, who are always eager to help. I used to get fascinated on running those awesome application on my plasma desktop. I used to wonder how they work. The secret was revealed then. I sent mail in KDE developer’s mailing list that I want to contribute and how do I start even though answer was there on techbase. And reply came that I can search though bugs related to application of my interest on bugzilla and try to fix it. I did it. It was really so easy.

      • Plugins for KAMD and system settings module

        All plugins from the old activity manager are ported to the new version.

        This means that one of the most requested features is coming back – you will be able to set custom keyboard shortcuts for individual activities as soon as Plasma 5.1 comes out.

      • Volume Configuration
      • what is “the desktop”?

        We all know that the ‘D’ in KDE originally stood for “desktop..

      • Randa: Meeting many people and working together
      • Randa meeting 2014
      • Understanding Icons: Participate in survey no. 2
      • Plasma 5 gets first update

        The first update for Plasma 5 has arrived. 5.0.1, adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important such as fixing text which couldn’t be translated, using the correct icons and fixing overlapping files with KDELibs 4 software.

      • KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

        KMix is now ported to KDE Frameworks 5. After a one day long porting effort, the basic functionality of KMix is available: Main Window, Systray, Volume Key Shortcuts, Sound Menu, volume save and restore. More sophisticated parts require more efforts and are currently missing, like the On-Screen-Display (OSD), which requires a port to Plasma 2.

  • Distributions

    • Slackware Family

      • On LKML: an open letter to the Linux World

        What relation does Christopher’s rant have to Slackware? After all, it’s Debian that got the flak, and in the comments section people indicate they intend to switch to Gentoo… forgetting that Slackware is a good systemd-free alternative (but hey! this automatic dependency resolution thingie that makes life so comfortable in Gentoo is not part of Slackware either).

        Last week I asked the SDDM developers to reconsider their decision no longer to support ConsoleKit because Slackware does not have systemd or logind and thus we need to keep using ConsoleKit. The answer could be expected: “answer is no because ConsoleKit is deprecated and is not maintained anymore” and therefore I had to patch it in myself.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ansible, an open source startup with Red Hat roots, doubles down on Durham

        Ansible, a Durham-based IT automation startup with Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) roots, is doubling down on Bull City.

        That’s according to CEO Saïd Ziouani, who tells me the 30-employee shop will cross the 100 mark next year.

        “Our goal is to continue to grow aggressively in the Durham area,” he says, adding that all facets of the business can happen from Durham.

      • Oracle Linux 7 Now Available

        Oracle Linux is now generally available today. According to the company, the release builds on its approach to providing support for emerging technologies, such as OpenStack, while delivering new Linux innovations, tools, and features.

        “Oracle Linux continues to provide the most flexible options for customers and partners, allowing them to easily innovate, collaborate, and create enterprise-grade solutions,” said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle. “With Oracle Linux 7, users have more freedom to choose the technologies and solutions that best meet their business objectives. Oracle Linux allows users to benefit from an open approach for emerging technologies, like OpenStack, and allows them to meet the performance and reliability requirements of the modern data center.”

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Installer Images Now In Beta For 8.0 Jessie

        Debian has yet to issue an announcement concerning these beta images for the Debian Installer for Jessie, but a sharp-eyed Phoronix reader pointed them out to us this evening, which can be found via Debian.org. Images are available in the plethora of architectures supported by Debian.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Review: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            Canonical is pushing hard to expand Ubuntu into new consumer markets. In the past year, we’ve seen shiny prototypes of Ubuntu-based mobile phones and tablets, and the company hasn’t given up on its 2012 vision of getting Ubuntu onto TVs either. What’s more, serious work is underway on converging all of these roles into a single chameleonic OS, something even Microsoft hasn’t tried to tackle.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sandwich-style ARM9 SBC ships with Linux

      MYIR announced a sandwich-style single board computer that runs Linux on a Freescale i.MX28x SoC and features -40 to 85°C operation and a CAN bus interface.

      MYIR specializes in low-power ARM single board computers (SBCs) and computer-on-modules (COMs), with the latter including the MYC-SAM9X5-V2 (using Atmel’s ARM9-based AT91SAM9X5) and MYC-AM335X (using TI’s Cortex-A8 based Sitara AM335x). With the new MYC-IMX28X COM and associated MYD-IMX28X development board, the company is mining the Freescale i.MX28x, a 454MHz, ARM9 system-on-chip that has been used in many embedded Linux boards, most recently including Technologic’s TS-7400-V2.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Hands on: LG G3 Android smartphone

          So what’s the verdict? If you’re chasing screen real estate and resolution above all else then the LG G3 is certainly going to catch your eye. A larger screen without much extra bulk is an impressive achievement, although there are few situations where you can put all those pixels to good use. The combination of the removable battery, microSD slot and wireless charging will also seal the deal for some Android fans. LG’s G3 sits somewhere between the elegant HTC M8 and the brash Samsung Galaxy S5, perhaps offering the best of both worlds.

        • Galaxy Alpha: Samsung Puts Pedal to Metal

          Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) runs the device, which comes with 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory and a 1,860-mAh battery. It also has real-time high-dynamic-range imaging, as well as an ultra-power-saving mode, private mode, the S Health app, and connectivity with the latest Samsung Gear Fit, Gear Live and Gear 2 wearables.

          The Galaxy Alpha will be available in early September; depending on the market, color choices will include charcoal black, dazzling white, frosted gold, sleek silver and scuba blue. Pricing has not yet been disclosed.

        • Samsung new Galaxy Alpha is more metal

          Samsung have today officially unveiled the newest addition to their Galaxy smartphone range. The Galaxy Alpha has been expected for some time with details filtering through news agencies at a steady stream. However today was the first time we have actually had the images and details released by Samsung.

        • Is the Samsung Galaxy Alpha just another clone of Apple’s iPhone?

          The rivalry between Apple and Samsung in the mobile phone arena has been bitter and hard fought, with each side battling the other in court as well as in the smartphone market itself. Now Samsung has released the Galaxy Alpha phone and some think it bears a suspicious resemblance to Apple’s iPhone.

      • Android

        • Motorola’s ‘Shamu’ the rumored Nexus 6 surfaces

          A couple of weeks ago we reported rumors were circulating that Motorola was building the next Nexus (6). Now we can add a little more speculation to the Nexus rumor mill for your enjoyment.

          There has been wide speculation that a device ‘Codename Shamu’ is the Nexus 6 although this has not been confirmed by either Google or Motorola. However Shamu suddenly appeared on the GFX Benchmark Database fuelling suggesting that the Nexus is getting nearer and nearer.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CenturyLink Thinks ‘Dockerized’ Multi-Container Apps Shouldn’t Be a Pain in the Rear
  • CenturyLink Debuts Panamax for Docker Virtualization Management
  • CenturyLink rolls out Panamax, using Docker even gets easier
  • Upgrading libraries to open source Koha system

    I am constantly looking for ways to make my life easier whether it’s keeping track of my kid’s school activity schedule or not loosing my grocery list. For this, I often look for open source solutions. Why? Because most of the time the open source solution is simple and doesn’t have unnecessary bells and whistles that I don’t need, and even if I need those extra bells and whistles, I know that someone else out there also needs it and most likely has coded it already.

  • Librarian Council, NITDA Train Professionals in Open Source Software Application

    Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has organized a skill gap workshop in information and communication technologies for librarians.

    According to the organizers, the joint workshop with special focus on application of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in library operations was aimed at equipping librarians with skills to measure up new challenges in the ICT sector and be able to deploy and apply the knowledge to improve the lot of all information seekers.

  • LRCN, NITDA Train Librarians In Open Source Software Application
  • Why Umbrella Company techies should brush up on open source software skills

    Umbrella Company Employees specialising in IT contracting would do well to acquire skills in open source technology, according to a poll of 300 IT professionals by CWJobs.co.uk.

    Nearly half (48%) of the respondents believe that more open source jobs and contracts are available today than a year ago, and 71% are confident that it will be widely required in the future. Currently, however, 62% of those surveyed believe that businesses are missing out on open source’s potential.

  • Going Open Source and How Simple Machine Hopes to Inspire Others

    At the time Kurt Bieg, CEO of Simple Machine, explained their reasoning in doing so: “we believe ownership is becoming obsolete, this is our way of inspiring young and old people to read, learn, and ultimately manipulate code that came from a studio known for taking chances and innovating puzzle games.”

  • Exploring open source and the cloud

    Collaboration is at the heart of the open source movement, and when the biggest names in the technology sphere join forces, massive steps forward can be made. The world certainly witnessed this in July this year, when Red Hat worked together with none other than Google on a high-profile project.

  • An open source approach to fraud prevention

    In the end, the move to an open source architecture makes iovation a more nimble, scalable, and better performing service provider. The upgrade is ultimately an investment in the company’s future and a commitment to providing world class services to customers.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Small banks turn to open source solutions to cut costs

      As of March, only a third of 1,589 urban co-operative banks that have been told by the central bank to migrate to a core banking system have done so. The rest of the market is up for grabs.

      “Open source-based products, which could bring down the total cost of ownership, have become a credible alternative for decision makers,” said Aniruddha Paul, CIO of ING Vysya.

      The bank which has over 500 branches in the country started upgrading its core banking platform last year and completed the project in February.

    • GlassCode first official partner of Openbravo open source ERP in SA
  • Project Releases

    • Anand Release Candidate

      Things have been rolling along here at the ManageIQ community, and we’re proud to announce that the first release candidate is now ready. The first release for ManageIQ is called “Anand”, named after world champion chess player Viswanathan Anand.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source in the NHS: With choice comes responsibility

      Just because a trust has taken an open source approach, it does not mean you have to take all that work, control, ownership immediately – you can take as much as time as you want to develop those abilities. Also, with a community interest company in place to support the management of the code, there will be a structure in place for clinicians to really have some input into the way the system is developed, whilst maintaining the integrity of the code for better patient experience and outcomes.

    • NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

      Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization’s applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

    • Why isn’t all government software open source?

      The federal government is the single largest purchaser of code in the world. So why is this code—taxpayer-funded and integral to the day-to-day working of our democracy—so often hidden from public view? There are two sides to answering that question: Why does the government so often build on closed platforms, and once built, why isn’t the code released to the public?

  • Licensing

    • Why Ximpleware may establish new rules in the open source world

      The case is complicated and likely will undergo much procedural maneuvering before the court will get to the substance of the case. However, a key question that the courts will likely look at is whether a violation of GPLv2 gives a plaintiff a right to a contractual remedy or a claim for copyright infringement.

    • The Gentle Art of Muddying the Licensing Waters

      I’ve been writing about free software for nearly 20 years, and about Microsoft for over 30 years. Observing the latter deal with the former has been fascinating. At first, the US software giant simply dismissed free software as unworthy even of its attention, but by the early years of this millennium, that was clearly no longer a viable position.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 4.5 Announced, Work Started On Next Generation OpenGL

      The Khronos Group who oversee OpenGL development have announced not only OpenGL 4.5, but they are also encouraging others to come forward to join them in building the next generation of OpenGL.

      It’s been a turbulent time for graphics API development with AMD announcing Mantle, and even Apple bringing their own API to the table called Metal. We have then had lots of back and forth between developers putting up blog posts discussing the good and bad for OpenGL itself. Now we are here for the future of OpenGL and it’s all good news.

    • OpenROAD: Showing Off All The Khronos APIs

      The Khronos Group released OpenROAD today at SIGGRAPH 2014 showing off all of their cross-platform, industry-standard APIs.

      OpenROAD is an animated video featuring all of the royalty-free APIs out of Khronos working together in an “open ecosystem”. There’s OpenCL, OpenCL, OpenSL ES, OpenMAX, OpenVX, WebGL, and WebCL.

Leftovers

08.13.14

Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

Posted in News Roundup at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 9 Signs You Should Use Linux on Your Computer

    One way or another you’re actually using Linux every day. Linux is the dominant platform on web servers, including the one you’re on right now, and it is also the core of the Android operating system that you’re tapping away at all the time if you own an Android smartphone or tablet. Besides that it’s also running everything from top supercomputers to small specialized devices, like that ADSL router you’re probably connected through to the internet.

  • Linux Format 188 – Speed up Linux
  • Are the Linux versus Windows flame wars finally coming to an end?

    Frankly, I’d be quite happy if there were no more Windows versus Linux flame wars online. But if they are tapering off then I don’t think it’s because Linux is winning and Windows is losing. I think it might be because many of the flame warriors have moved onto mobile and are deep into the Android versus iOS wars instead of Linux versus Windows.

  • Linux vs. Windows Internet Battle No Longer Exists Because Linux Is Winning

    Windows and Linux communities used to virtually battle each other regarding the superiority of one platform or the other, but that is no longer happening, at least not at the same scale. One of the reasons for that might be that Linux is actually gaining ground.

  • Desktop

    • Gartner Predicts 5.2 Million Chromebook Sales in 2014 | Maximum PC

      We’ve pointed out before how Chromebooks are some of the best selling laptops on Amazon, and though these cloud-based systems aren’t as capable as their Windows-based counterparts, they’ve having no trouble finding an audience, particularly in education circles. In fact, market research firm Gartner forecasts 5.2 million Chromebook sales by the end of the year, which would translate into a 79 percent jump compared to 2013.

  • Server

    • IBM’s Doug Balog: Infrastructure Matters More Than Ever

      IT infrastructure has long been an enterprise commodity – relatively cheap and abundant. But hardware is no less important in solving today’s IT challenges, from big data and the cloud, to mobile, social and security, says Doug Balog, the general manager for IBM Power Systems.

    • Comparing Virtual Machines and Linux Containers Performance

      IBM Research Division has published a paper comparing the performance of container and virtual machine environments, using Docker and KVM, highlighting the cost of using Docker with NAT or AUFS, and questioning the practice of running containers inside of virtual machines.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux APIC Code Prepares For A Major Overhaul

      The x86 APIC subsystem within the Linux kernel is beginning the process of a major overhaul with the Linux 3.17 kernel.

      The Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC) support is being overhauled to support physical IOAPIC hot-plugging. Within the Linux 3.17 kernel this feature isn’t present but the prepatory work is moving forward after a first attempt at the hot-plug support was rejected on technical grounds. In prepping for the APIC hot-plug support, obsolete driver abstractions were removed and other changes made for this merge window.

      Those concerned about the Linux APIC code can find out more about the forthcoming changes via this lengthy mailing list message.

    • Facebook Is Hiring A New Kernel Engineer To Make The Linux Kernel Exceed The FreeBSD One
    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Distros, Damned Lies, and Statistics

        There are lots of stories to report today starting with the top five lies Linux-haters tend to spread. Next up is Gary Newell with the top five easiest modern distributions to use. We’ve got five tips for Vim users and how to deal with missing ifconfig. Paul Adams’ been blogging the story of KDEPIM and Dead Island may be coming to Linux. OpenSource.com and Linux.com are all about education these days and Red Hat released a beta of upcoming RHEL 6.6.

      • The Book

        When inviting to the Randa 2014 meeting, Mario had the idea to write a book about KDE Frameworks. Valorie picked up this idea and kicked off a small team to tackle the task. So in the middle of August, Valorie, Rohan, Mirko and me gathered in a small room under the roof of the Randa house and started to ponder how to accomplish writing a book in the week of the meeting. Three days later and with the help of many others, Valorie showed around the first version of the book on her Kindle at breakfast. Mission accomplished.

      • KDE Frameworks Sprint – How to Release a Platform

        KDE Frameworks 5 is the result of two years of hard work porting, tidying, modularizing and refactoring KDELibs4 into a new addition to the Qt 5 platform. In January, Alex Fiestas announced The KDE Barcelona Hub—an office where anyone is welcome to come and work on KDE projects. It was just what the Frameworks team needed to finish off the code so it could be released to the world. Read on for some of what happened.

      • Upstream and Downstream: why packaging takes time

        Here in the KDE office in Barcelona some people spend their time on purely upstream KDE projects and some of us are primarily interested in making distros work which mean our users can get all the stuff we make. I’ve been asked why we don’t just automate the packaging and go and do more productive things. One view of making on a distro like Kubuntu is that its just a way to package up the hard work done by others to take all the credit. I don’t deny that, but there’s quite a lot to the packaging of all that hard work, for a start there’s a lot of it these days.

      • themukt.com Editor on Kubuntu ← Kubuntu Wire
      • Randa report: Artikulate KF5 port (almost) done

        It is the Randa-Sprint week again. If you never heard about this, then imagine a lot of KDE developers, meeting somewhere in the mid of the Swiss Alps, in a deep valley with a rather slow internet connection. These people are coming from all over the world and are here for exactly one week, to work, to discuss, and to create the future of KDE. To name only a few of the current meeting’s topics, there are people working on a KDE SDK, porting to KF5, writing the KF5 book (aka putting documentation to the KF5), reaching out for new platforms, and many more exciting things are happening here. If you want to know more about all the goods that the Randa meeting brings, you should probably have an eye on the planetkde.org posts for the next days.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Evolution 3.12.5 Arrives with Lots of Fixes

        Evolution 3.12.5, a complete solution that provides integrated mail, address book, and calendaring functionality to users of the GNOME desktop environment, is available for download.

      • GSOC REPORT #5

        As mentioned in the previous report GNOME Books Library exposes WebKit WebView and the functionality needed for the interaction with epub.js. There are some new features. The library implements navigation bar and page controlling (total number of pages, status of the current page) as well as table of contents (links to the book chapters).

  • Distributions

    • Zorin OS 9 Business Is a Good Replacement for Companies That Don’t Want to Pay for Window

      The final version of Zorin OS 9 Business, an Ubuntu-based operating system aimed at Windows users who are switching over to Linux, has been released and is available for purchase.

    • Black Lab Linux 6.0 Preview 2 Is Now Based on Xfce and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – Gallery

      Black Lab Linux 6.0 Preview 2, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, has been released and is now ready for testing.

    • Slackware Family

      • First preview for Slackware of Plasma 5

        Today is my son’s 16th birthday, and I do have a gift for all of you, not just for him. I present to you a first preview for Slackware, of the KDE Frameworks 5.1.0 libraries, combined with Plasma 5.0.1, the next-generation desktop workspace from KDE.

        I wrote about this in my previous post, but now you can experience it first-hand: Plasma 5.0 improves support for high-DPI displays and comes with a “converged shell”, i.e. one Plasma codebase for different target devices like desktop computers, laptops, tablet, phones etc. Plasma 5 uses a new fully hardware-accelerated OpenGL(ES) graphics stack. Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5.

        And with the Breeze themed artwork and its own Oxygen font, this desktop looks clean and modern.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta Features Improved System Performance
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta Brings New Features

        Although Red Hat already released RHEL 7, RHEL 6.x users can still benefit from new platform features.

        Red Hat came out today with a beta release of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 (RHEL 6.6) platform. The new beta follows Red Hat’s June release of RHEL 7 and inherits a few of its features.

      • Time to take profits in Red Hat
      • Red Hat spruces up 2011′s enterprise Linux with RHEL 6.6 Beta
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 and ARM device support

          As we slowly meander our way towards the pointy end of the Fedora 21 release, with Alpha speeding up in the rear view mirror, the Fedora ARM team are starting to discuss the best way to deal with the blossoming amount of ARMv7 devices that can and do run out of the box on Fedora.

          With our 3.16 kernel containing device tree blobs for 200+ devices, the Fedora 3.17 rawhide kernel already containing 230+, it’s truly impossible to actively test and support all of those devices. So much like previous releases we’ll be focusing on testing a group of “primary devices” with the remainder being considered as secondary. This doesn’t mean they won’t work, it just means they’re not necessarily a testing focus of the regular contributors or they might not be readily available to purchase.

        • Fedora:Alpha Change Deadline to slip one more week

          Alpha Change Deadline slips one more week due to requested glibc/GCC mass rebuild [1]. Alpha Change Deadline is now 2014-08-19.

        • Fedora Flock 2014

          Overall the Flock was awesome. The quality of all technical presentations/workshops was really high. It’s amazing how many things currently going on at the Fedora community, not just related to our Operation System (the distribution) but also innovative things that we develop or lead that in the long run benefit the whole Free Software community. As always I had the chance to meet, talk and collaborate in person with many Fedorians and that’s always motivating for my contribution to the project.

        • Fedora Security Team

          Vulnerabilities in software happen. When they get fixed it’s up to the packager to make those fixes available to the systems using the software. Duplicating much of the response efforts that Red Hat Product Security performs for Red Hat products, the Fedora Security Team (FST) has recently been created to assist packagers get vulnerability fixes downstream in a timely manner.

        • Fedora 21 Will Support A Lot Of ARM Hardware

          The Fedora ARM team has been doing a great job at testing and seeing a wide-range of ARM development boards and other consumer devices will work with the upcoming Fedora 21 release.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Closes a pyCADF Exploit in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            Canonical has published details in a security notice about a pyCADF vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) that has been identified and corrected.

          • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – Trusty Tahr

            We are pleased to announce that our build infrastructure has been upgraded to Ubuntu Trusty. This means that your builds will run in an updated and more stable environment. We worked hard during the past couple of months to make this upgrade as smooth as possible.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Connected Car, Part 2: Wired For Wireless – It’s All Business
    • Raspberry Pi-powered Bigtrak

      The Raspberry Pi is a small, low-cost computer designed to promote an interest in computing and programming – but it doesn’t have to be straight-laced computing. In fact, in this article we’ll be showing you how you can use it to turn a Bigtrak into a robot. That’s educational, right?

      The Bigtrak is a toy that takes in a list of straightforward commands (Go forwards, turn left, turn right) and then executes them. To make things more interesting we’re going to remove the existing circuitry and replace it with a Raspberry Pi, using a small motor driver to safely control the motors in the Bigtrak, which we’ll then set up to be controlled via a PlayStation 3 DualShock controller.

      Everything required on the software side comes pre- installed on the latest Raspbian OS images, so all we need to translate changes from the controller to the motors is a small Python script that uses the Pygame and RPI.GPIO modules.

    • Linux-based controller mixes Atom SoC with Kintex-7 FPGA

      NI’s new 4-slot CompactRIO control system combines a dual-core Atom E3825 with a Kintex-7 FPGA, and features industrial temperatures and NI Real-Time Linux.

    • Phones

      • sailing in search of fresh waters

        I’ve had a long, quiet time on this blog over the past few years while I’ve been frantically helping Jolla to launch their self-named product: the Jolla. I’ve enjoyed (almost) every day I’ve been there: they really are a great bunch of people and the work has been plentiful and challenging.

      • Android

        • In the Android Ecosystem, Fragmentation is Nothing New

          All the way back in 2011, before Android marched to the top of the mobile platform wars, developers were voicing concerns about the fragmentation of the platform. In a post back then, I noted this quote from a study that Appcelerator and IDC did: “The Appcelerator-IDC Q2 2011 Mobile Developer Survey Report, taken April 11-13, shows that interest in Android has recently plateaued as concerns around fragmentation and disappointing results from early tablet sales have caused developers to pull back from their previous steadily increasing enthusiasm for Google’s mobile operating system.”

        • 64-bit mobile processors for Android L is coming

          Back in 2011, Nvidia announced to the world that they had acquired a license for the latest ARM instruction set, the ARM v8. But the most exciting part of the deal was that the new ARM instruction set is 64-bit. After making 32-bit mobile CPUs, Nvidia was set to take their Tegra K1 platform to the next level with a 64-bit mobile CPU. At the Hot Chips conference this year, Nvidia revealed their little project that they have been quietly working in for all these year. The Tegra K1 ARM v8 64-bit chip from Nvidia is ready for a release later next year. The new chip is codenamed Project Denver.

        • Nvidia’s 64-bit Tegra K1 processor may take Android to new heights

Free Software/Open Source

  • Business essentials: the open source software movement

    Research carried out by CWJobs.co.uk found that 62 per cent of IT professionals think that businesses are already missing out on the opportunities that open source technology presents. This is laid bare further by the fact that of the 300 IT professionals surveyed, 48 per cent think that there are already more jobs in open source than a year ago.

  • Open Potential

    Research from CWJobs has found that almost half (48 per cent) of IT professionals believe there are more jobs in open source than there were a year ago. Moreover, the survey of over 300 IT professionals found 62 per cent of the opinion that businesses were missing out on the opportunities generated by open source. The survey also found 71 per cent of respondents believe open source will be required more widely in future, with the biggest growth expected to be in advertising and media, telecoms and financial services.

  • CenturyLink Panamax Eases Docker Management
  • Panamax Open Source Tool Simplifies Docker Management

    In a very short amount of time, Docker–an open source tool for managing applications in containers–has become all the rage, and now CenturyLink has announced that it is releasing its Docker management tool Panamax to the open source community. Panamax is targeted to give developers one management platform to create, share and deploy Docker-containerized applications.

  • ClusterHQ brings databases to Docker with Flocker

    While it’s clear that Docker and container-based architecture is rapidly becoming a popular development and deployment paradigm, there are still a number of areas where containers still struggle compared to traditional bare-metal or virtualized solutions.

    One of these areas is data-centric applications. While virtual machines have developed a number of tools for snapshotting, migrating, resizing, and other management tasks, the management side of Docker containers and their related volumes isn’t necessarily at the same level of maturity. Yet. There are still some unanswered questions about how best to build a containerized application capable of dealing with machine failure, scalability, and other issues without introducing unnecessary complexity. These challenges are particularly difficult when applied to databases associated with containers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 38 Dev Features Better Copy/Paste

        The Development branch of Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, is now at version 38.0.2121.3 and is available for all platforms.

      • Google+ Update brings support for Chromecast

        As a rule of thumb Google typically offer updates to its services and products on Wednesdays. However google+ was given a surprise update today with a neat albeit a debatable limited update.

  • Education

    • Professors embed students directly into open source communities

      Ellis, whose students have contributed to Caribou, an on-screen keyboard that’s part of the GNOME desktop, explained that seasoned students often prefer to submit patches to projects, while beginner-level students are more content to interview existing contributors, explore collaboration technologies like Git or IRC, and embark on what Ellis calls open source “field trips”—toe-dipping excursions into various communities…

    • Everyday I help libraries make the switch to open source

      My first serious introduction to open source software came with my first summer work-study job. I was working on my undergraduate degree in computer science, and applied to my local library to work in the children’s area. But the library’s network admin, Cindy Murdock, snapped me up as soon as she saw “shell scripting” on my resume. From there I began to learn about all the ways open source software can be used in libraries.

      My library began using it with BSD-based routers in our small, rural libraries. At the time, dial-up was the only option for Internet access there. By the time I arrived, the library was already using open source software for routers, web servers, and content filters. From there we began branching out into other software. We set up a digital repository using Greenstone, and we were looking for an open source intergrated library system (ILS). We streamlined our people-counting system with a setup including wireless sensors that report to a server. I was able to write a more advanced reporting system using its API, which I also released.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Lenovo X200 Now Works With Coreboot

      The X200 model supported in particular right now is the 7458CY9, which is an older X200 variant. This X200 model has a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 4GB of RAM and 160GB HDD. The X200S and X200T are also listed as being supported.

  • Programming

    • Why developers should not be testing

      When somebody asks about their missing pet feature in KDE or ownCloud software, I always trow in a request for help in the answer. Software development is hard work and these features don’t appear out of nowhere. There are only so many hours in a day to work on the a million things we all agree are important. There are many ways to help out and speed things up a little. In this blog I’d like to highlight testing because I see developers spend a lot of time testing their own software – and that is not as good as it sounds.

Leftovers

  • Twitter Refutes Report That 23 Million Active Users Are Bots

    Twitter is defending itself after reports this morning suggested that the company admitted up to 8.5%, or 23 million, of its active users are automated bots.

  • Eight Twitterbots worth following
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Libya unravels: The U.S. is not good at repairing broken countries

      Developments in Libya continue to underline sharply the foreign affairs catastrophe in which the United States under President Barack Obama participated, with the country’s former colonial masters France, Italy and the United Kingdom, in engineering regime change there in 2011.

    • Former NSA spook resigns from Naval War College in dick-pic scandal

      John Schindler was a prof at the College; he slammed Snowden as a traitor and compared Greenwald to Hitler, and was generally dismissive about concerns about network surveillance; he also sent pictures of his dick to a woman who wasn’t his wife. He also co-wrote the report that stated that Sadam Hussein had WMDs, and helped send America to war.

    • PROFFESOR AT NAVAL WAR COLLEGE RESIGNS AFTER PHOTOS OF HIS ALLEGED JOHNSON APPEAR ON LINE
    • Look at past airliner shootings so we can learn about government lies

      Airliners are occasionally shot down (collateral damage) by modern air defense systems. Like children run over cross the street, it’s an ugly fact of modern life. These extreme (but fortunately rare) events reveal much about the behavior of governments — and about us. Governments lie; they do so because we believe them (no matter how much we pretend no to).

    • 14 Pulitzer Prize Winners Ask Justice Department Not to Jail Reporter
    • When will Obama’s administration stop trying to send this man to jail for telling the truth about spies, nukes and Iran?

      James Risen is out of chances. It’s time for the government to stop harassing a journalist for doing his job

    • Pulitzer Prize winners demand DOJ stops threatening New York Times journalist with jail
    • Many Pulitzer Prize Winners Demand DOJ Stop Threatening Reporter James Risen With Jail If He Protects His Sources
    • Grandmother Sentenced to Prison for Protesting US Drone Base

      Judge David Gideon’s words refer not to the use of drones, but the activities of anti-drone activists. He has uttered this phrase from the bench repeatedly in recent months as activists have appeared before him, and the words must have been echoing through his mind as he sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores, a 58-year-old grandmother from Ithaca, New York, to one year in prison on July 10. Her crime? Participating in a nonviolent anti-drone protest at an upstate New York military base after being ordered by the local courts to stay away from the site. The base is used to train drone pilots and technicians, and to control drone surveillance and strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    • Judge Jails Anti-Drone Granny

      Judge David Gideon’s words refer not to the use of drones, but the activities of anti-drone activists. He has uttered this phrase from the bench repeatedly in recent months as activists have appeared before him, and the words must have been echoing through his mind as he sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores, a 58-year-old grandmother from Ithaca, New York, to one year in prison on July 10. Her crime? Participating in a nonviolent anti-drone protest at an upstate New York military base after being ordered by the local courts to stay away from the site. The base is used to train drone pilots and technicians, and to control drone surveillance and strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    • Wisdom in Obama’s ‘Don’t Do Stupid Stuff’

      The current clear preference of the American public to avoid new entangling military encounters naturally gives rise to the charge that President Barack Obama is merely bowing to that public opinion rather than exerting leadership.

    • The murky world of military aid

      “Normally speaking, the Defense Department deals with governments, and the CIA deals with non-state actors,” explains Stephen Biddle, a professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University.

      [...]

      “As far as we can tell, yes, the CIA is now committed to provide weapons and ammunition directly to the peshmerga,” Biddle says. That has been widely reported, but a CIA spokesman declined Marketplace’s request for comment.

    • Top 9 Reasons to Stop Bombing Iraq

      1. It’s not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of “advisors” (trained and armed to kill, and never instructed in how to give advice — Have you ever tried taking urgent advice from 430 people?). The boy who cried rescue mission should not be allowed to get away with it after the documented deception in Libya where a fictional threat to civilians was used to launch an all-out aggressive attack that has left that nation in ruins. Not to mention the false claims about Syrian chemical weapons and the false claim that missiles were the only option left for Syria — the latter claims being exposed when the former weren’t believed, the missiles didn’t launch, and less violent but perfectly obvious alternative courses of action were recognized. If the U.S. government were driven by a desire to rescue the innocent, why would it be arming Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain? The U.S. government destroyed the nation of Iraq between 2003 and 2011, with results including the near elimination of various minority groups. If preventing genocide were a dominant U.S. interest, it could have halted its participation in and aggravation of that war at any time, a war in which 97% of the dead were on one side, just as in Gaza this month — the distinction between war and genocide being one of perspective, not proportions. Or, of course, the U.S. could have left well alone. Ever since President Carter declared that the U.S. would kill for Iraqi oil, each of his successors has believed that course of action justified, and each has made matters significantly worse.

    • Iraqi Helicopter Crashes While Delivering Aid

      An Iraqi helicopter delivering aid to stranded Yazidis crashed Tuesday killing the pilot and injuring some of the passengers including a New York Times reporter. The Yazidis are a religious minority trapped by ISIS – the Islamic militants advancing through Northern Iraq.

    • ‘My wife thinks I will come home in a box’ – and three days later Gaza bomb disposal expert was dead

      Rahed Taysir al’Hom was buried in the sandy soil of the cemetery of Jabaliya, the rough Gaza neighbourhood where he had grown up, at 1pm on the third day of the ceasefire.

      His funeral was quick, attended by a hundred or so mourners, and accompanied by a quick sermon from a white-turbaned cleric, a sobbing father and some shots fired from a Kalashnikov by a skinny teenager.

    • We’re human fodder caught in the crossfire of armed groups and armed governments

      “Her father was killed in Helmand amidst fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan/U.S.-NATO forces,” said a relative about Gul Jumma, who looked down, shy and full of angst, sensing a future that’s not promising.

      Gul Jumma, together with the Afghan Peace Volunteers, expressed their opposition to wars in this video. Gul Jumma (in photo above, at right) holds up the sign for Ukraine, indicating “No to wars in Ukraine.” She understands what it is like to be caught in the crossfire, as happened to her father when he was killed in battle.

    • US airstrikes counterproductive in Yemen, Iraq

      The human rights groups in Yemen repeatedly accused the United States of breaking international law and perhaps committing war crimes by killing civilians in missile and drone strikes that were intended to hit militants.

    • Pine Gap communications facility’s operations ‘ethically unacceptable’, Professor Des Ball says

      A senior strategic analyst has called for the Federal Government to rethink the Pine Gap communications facility, saying some of its work now is “ethically unacceptable”.

    • Top intelligence analyst slams Pine Gap’s role in American drone strikes

      The joint US-Australian defence base at Pine Gap is accused of helping direct American drone strikes leading to Australia’s leading intelligence expert to call its work ‘ethically unacceptable’.

    • Video: Glenn Greenwald Criticizes NPR for Relying on CIA-Linked Firm in Report on Impact of Snowden Leaks
    • Glenn Greenwald Criticizes NPR for Relying on CIA-Linked Firm in Report on Impact of Snowden Leaks
    • Professor Boyle: Islamic State is US covert intelligence operation

      “All the implications so far in the public record are that ISIS [IS] is a covert US intelligence operation,” Boyle told RIA Novosti Tuesday. “Head of ISIS Abu Bakr Baghdadi spent five years in an American detention facility, and also three of the four military commanders were also in detention by the US forces. So, my guess is that ISIS is indeed a covert US military intervention to set precedent for US escalation in Iraq.”

    • Obama sends 130 armed military advisers to Iraq

      U.S. military forces continued to engage ISIL terrorists in Iraq today, successfully conducting an airstrike on an ISIL armed truck west of the village of Sinjar. NBC News has confirmed that at approximately 12:20 p.m. EST, the U.S. remotely piloted an aircraft that struck and destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle west of Sinjar. All aircraft exited the strike area safely.

    • Mass Murder as Political Marketing – The Phoenix Program and U.S. Foreign Policy

      The CIA’s infamous program to crush the resistance to U.S. occupation of South Vietnam is largely remembered as a gigantic campaign of assassination that claimed tens of thousands of lives. However, the Phoenix Program is best understood as an extension of U.S. propaganda.

    • Did Egypt alert Washington to impending 9/11 attacks? Former Intelligence chief slams El-Adly’s claims

      Mubarak’s interior minister claims he warned American intelligence twice about 9/11 attacks

    • Snowden Certain US Secret Services Spy on Him in Russia – Reports

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is certain that the United States’ secret services spy on him in Russia where his temporary asylum was extended for three years starting August 1, Snowden said in an interview with WIRED online magazine.

      “They’ve [NSA, CIA] got a team of guys whose job is just to hack me,” Snowden said. “I don’t think they’ve geolocated me, but they almost certainly monitor who I’m talking to online. Even if they don’t know what you’re saying, because it’s encrypted, they can still get a lot from who you’re talking to and when you’re talking to them.”

    • Snowden considered leaks earlier, held off for Obama election

      Edward Snowden has revealed this week that if it had not been for an impending election of Barack Obama in 2008 as President of the United States, he might have leaked NSA documents earlier. He speaks up this week on how he began to consider whistle-blowing in 2007, during “the Bush period, when the war on terror had gotten really dark.”

    • A Most Dire Question, How to Prevent the Real War to End All Wars? Part II

      The American people when polled recently overwhelmingly said they didn’t want any new war in Iraq.

      To that acknowledgement, “dear leader” Barack Obama authorized air strikes last Thursday in Iraq but endlessly repeated, “No ground forces will be sent”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • How the Commission ‘blocked’ key environmental plans

      Plans to crack down on endocrine disruptors and illegal timber being imported into the EU, were buried by the outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and his secretary-general Catherine Day, according to a senior EU source.

    • But does fossil fuel know it’s the problem?

      Why then are we unable to stop using fossil fuels? Our inability to deal with the problem of fuel invites a perverse question; does fossil fuel know that we don’t need it? This is a version of a joke told by Slavoj Zizek. Briefly, a man believes that he is a piece of grain who is under constant threat that he will be eaten by a chicken. He goes to a psychologist and he is cured of this delusion. Time passes, and one day he returns to the analyst and tells him, “There is a chicken outside of my house! I am afraid he will eat me!” The analyst says, “But you are cured of your delusion; you know that you are a man, not a piece of grain.” The man replies, “Yes, I know. But does the chicken know?”

    • ‘Big Oil’ is making too much noise

      The Supreme Court says money is speech. With the chance of losing the biggest tax break of the new century to Ballot Proposition 1, oil giants ConocoPhillips, BP, and ExxonMobil are making it seem more like money is screech.

      The Supreme Court also says corporations are “persons” so, under the First Amendment to the Constitution, oil money is “protected” speech.

    • The U.S. Is Bombing Iraq And Not Syria For Reasons That Look Really Familiar

      Erbil is also home to many major American oil wells.

  • Finance

    • John Oliver’s amazing takedown of payday lenders: ‘Even cluster@#$%s are bigger in Texas’

      John Oliver continues to do the work of real journalists, blowing the lid of the complicated and corrupt world of payday lenders in Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight.”

    • SEC Aggressively Investigates Media Leaks

      Since 2008, one particular federal government agency has aggressively investigated leaks to the media, examining some one million emails sent by nearly 300 members of its staff, interviewing some 100 of its own employees and trolling the phone records of scores more. It’s not the CIA, the Department of Justice or the National Security Agency.

    • Winter Is Coming: As the World Crumbles, We Must Re-Engage with Russia

      Like it or not, in such a setting we cannot afford to deepen our rift with Russia. Our airstrikes on Iraq, necessary as they are, have also furnished an ideal pretext for Russian President Vladimir Putin to initiate some type of militarized intervention in eastern Ukraine that he can argue falls under the banner of “peacekeeping” and “protection.” Case in point: Western politicians are openly wondering if the 260-truck convoy that set out from the Moscow region Tuesday is possibly carrying something other than what Russians profess is only “humanitarian aid” for the besieged city of Luhansk – and whether the trucks will actually stop, as claimed, at the Ukrainian border and hand control of the mission over to the International Red Cross.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Anti-Immigrant Fox Guest Stokes Fears Of ISIS Crossing Border: “I Would Guarantee You, They’re Already Here”
    • Decision Halting Walker Criminal Probe “Completely Unmoored”

      A slew of election law experts and Wisconsin’s elections board have filed briefs with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals sharply critiquing federal Judge Rudolph Randa’s decision halting Wisconsin’s criminal campaign finance probe, describing the ruling as “erroneous,” and as “completely unmoored” from U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

      On May 6, Judge Randa — a George Bush appointee who is on the board of advisors to the Milwaukee Federalist Society — halted the “John Doe” investigation into alleged illegal coordination between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and outside political groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) during the 2011-2012 recall elections. WiCFG spent $9.1 million during the recalls on electoral “issue ads” that stopped short of expressly telling viewers how to vote, and funneled millions more to other groups that also ran issue ads.

  • Censorship

    • UK Police Hijack Ads of 74 Pirate Websites, Refuse to Name Them

      New data obtained through a Freedom of Information request reveals that the UK’s ‘piracy police’ are hijacking the ads of 74 suspected pirate sites. The police are refusing to reveal the domain names as that would “raise the profile of these sites.” Fearing cyber-attacks, the names of participating advertising agencies are also being withheld.

    • Forcing Commenters to Use Real Names Won’t Root Out the Trolls

      They say never to read the comments. But I do. Every day. I read every comment—the good, the bad, the so ugly it needs to be deleted—because it’s my job. I’m a community management consultant. And, believe it or not, my favorite commenters are anonymous.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Fulsome prison blues

      Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the shooting in Ferguson (Mo.) “deserves fulsome review.”

      [...]I have advised readers in the past to take deep breaths about the skunking of words. “Enormity” now means hugeness. “Bemused” now means slightly amused. Get over it.

      So it is with this self-awareness that I stamp my feet about the creeping loss of fulsome. We simply don’t need a new $20 synonym for “full,” whereas a crisp two-syllable word meaning unpleasantly excessive, why that we do need.

    • Truths and Falsehoods About Ralph Nader’s New Book

      Have progressives made a mistake of lumping all conservatives together and fueling their political energies into hating them? Or are there what Ralph Nader calls “anti-corporatist conservatives,” who loathe undeclared, endless wars as much as progressives? And should progressives seek alliances with these anti-corporatist conservatives to oppose unnecessary wars, corporate welfare, NSA violations of our privacy, and many other issues where there is what Nader calls “convergence?”

    • Where in Constitution is CIA absolved of its myriad crimes?

      As I’ve often reported, the list of the agency’s wrongdoings is long, continuous and deeply documented in such books as “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner, and “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention And Extraordinary Rendition” by Amrit Singh and published by The Open Society Foundations.

    • The CIA Activities and the Huge U.S. Military Offensive in Africa

      The CIA’s activities in Africa go and in hand with the huge U.S. military offensive on the continent. The agency “has maintained a continuing presence on the African continent into the 21st Century, engaging in various nefarious activities, including supporting foes of the Gadhafi government in Libya.”

    • The Senate report on CIA might lead to reform, but don’t hold your breath
    • Lawless at the CIA

      CIA spying on the Senate is the constitutional equivalent of the Watergate break-in. In both cases, the executive branch attacked the very foundations of our system of checks and balances.

    • Why Does John Brennan Still Have a Job?
    • Public Interest Groups Call For Brennan’s Resignation
    • 20 watchdog groups call for Brennan’s resignation

      A coalition of 20 transparency and ethics watchdog groups are fed up with CIA Director John Brennan’s leadership and are calling on President Obama to ask him to step down.

      The group, which includes the Project on Government Oversight, the Sunlight Foundation and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, among many others, on Tuesday accused the CIA of abusing its power and obstructing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into agency’s use of torture in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.

    • ‘National security’ candidate: Former CIA officer runs for U.S. House seat in Texas

      He is a former clandestine officer who’s gone into Lone Star politics. That would be conservative Will Hurd, who has joined the list of “national security” candidates who’ve caught the notice of John Bolton. Indeed, Mr. Hurd is challenging Democrat Rep. Pete Gallego in the 23rd District of Texas, which includes much of the Mexican-American border, in a pivotal area where voter support is much coveted by the GOP.

    • Ben Carson’s pledge of allegiance
    • Data Protection Issues in TISA’s First Leak

      Last week I wrote about the baby steps that the European Commission is taking to bring more transparency to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) currently being negotiated. One of the things that the Commission is unlikely to publish – because the US won’t let it – is the negotiating text. Fortunately, we live in the age of whistleblowers and leakers, and one of them kindly supplied Wikileaks with a copy of the Financial Services Annex of TISA back in June…

    • US wanted Britain to build 2nd Guantanamo – report

      The prison, which could have been built in the British territory of Diego Garcia, would have hosted up to 500 detainees, and like the Cuban prison, would have been allowed to operate outside the normal parameters of international law.

    • Could the CIA have run a ‘black site’ detention centre on Diego Garcia?

      For years there have been rumours and reports of a CIA “black site” on Diego Garcia but two British officers who served on the island after the September 11 attacks have cast doubt on some of the more outlandish claims

    • Britain ‘discussed’ US request to build Guantanamo-style prison on Diego Garcia after September 11 attacks, officials say

      As Democrats fight for information about the CIA’s secret kidnap and torture programme to be published in a landmark report, The Telegraph has learnt details of America’s requests to use British territory of Diego Garcia in network of secret prison sites

    • Nice work: G4S wins $118 million Guantánamo contract

      G4S, the UK government outsourcer that supports Israeli security functions in the West Bank, will now supply ‘custodial services’ to Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, writes Clare Sambrook. Shocked? You shouldn’t be. G4S is impervious to public criticism and defies international law with impunity.

    • Doctor Complicity in Torture

      The Senate’s report on torture by the Central Intelligence Agency is expected to shed further light on the complicity of health professionals in the systematic torture and ill treatment of detainees. Much of this information is already public and documented in reports by Physicians for Human Rights and others.

    • Democrats battle with CIA conjures up old question: What constitutes torture?
    • Op-Ed: The CIA needs to win hearts and minds as well as gather intel
    • CIA no longer a state tax delinquent

      The state Treasury Department has released three tax liens posted against the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for failing to pay almost $21,000 in withholding tax for its Michigan employees.

      A Treasury spokesman said state law prohibits him from discussing details of the tax delinquency – or even confirming the CIA paid its debt.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Internet hiccups today? You’re not alone. Here’s why

      It’s not just you. Many Internet providers have been having trouble as they run into long expected (but not adequately prepared for) routing table problems.

    • Why I’m willing to pay an early termination fee to leave Verizon

      Verizon’s throttling. Usually companies deny it until they get caught, but Verizon has come right out and said it will throttle certain users. Oh sure, they said only unlimited bandwidth users only. They also cooperated with the NSA after umpteen promises of protection our privacy. Quite frankly, I don’t trust you.

    • Walmart to sell Facebook only phone

      Wal-Mart, the US company whose employees are so poor that they live off food stamps while the owners are among the richest in the country, is now offering a new phone plan for $12 that allows users to access only Facebook. They are being offered by Virgin and initially you’re offered 20 minutes and 20 texts, then for $5 each on top you can add Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

      This plan effectively takes away net neutrality for it’s users as they can only access white-listed services and if more carriers see this they may decide to implement something like this themselves.

  • DRM

    • California passes cellphone ‘kill switch’ bill

      California is one step away from requiring cellphones to come with “kill switches.”

      The state Senate voted 27-8 on Monday to pass the newest version of a bill requiring cellphones sold within the state to allow users to make their phones inoperable if stolen, according to a report from CNET.

Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

Posted in News Roundup at 1:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Want a fulfilling IT career? Learn Linux

    How can understanding Linux enhance a career? This question is interesting because there are two drastically different answers. The first is the obvious answer that you can find through websites and studies everywhere, but the second is a little more subtle. And a lot more awesome.

  • How learning Linux can help your IT career
  • Desktop

    • Low Cost Chromebooks Force Microsoft’s Hand in the Portables Market

      Chromebooks, low-cost portable computers that run Google’s Chrome operating system, are quickly becoming market movers as sales are poised to reach almost 15 million units in 2017. That’s the forecast from Gartner researchers, which also reproted that sales will hit 5.2 million units this year, up 70 percent from sales in 2013. Gartner has also reported that the U.S. education sector is playing a big part in this, noting that it accounted for 85 percent of Chromebook sales in 2013.

      There are strong signs that Microsoft is taking this trend seriously, and we may see unprecedented prices on new Windows portables designed to compete with Chromebooks.

    • Acer Chromebook 13 has NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor inside

      Chromebook 13 is the latest Chromebook from Acer. It is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor and is the first Tegra K1-powered Chromebook.

      The Tegra K1 is a mobile processor built atop NVIDIA’s Kepler™ architecture that features a 4-Plus-1™ quad-core ARM® Cortex™-A15 CPU. It is the same processor inside the NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

  • Server

    • Supercomputer speed

      It wasn’t always that way. Whizz back to 1998 when Linux was still clawing its way out of the primordial binary ooze and just a single supercomputer ran it. Jump forward six years and that figure had exploded to 291 of the top-500 supercomputers and Linux never looked back. Now, I’m no expert (we could probably stop the sentence there) in supercomputers, but the benefits of a GNU/Linux OS apply as much to your home user as they do to supercomputer manufacturers. There’s no per-core licence to worry about – which becomes a big worry if you have 3.1 million processors to power.

  • Kernel Space

    • Scholarships Help Increase Access to Linux Education

      What does a file system engineer living in Minnesota have in common with a woman from Uganda working on maintaining Linux systems and a research and computing scientist working at a medical university? They were among the five Linux Training Scholarship winners in 2013.

      Now in its fourth year, the Linux training scholarships from The Linux Foundation have become highly-sought honors by many of the most talented up-and-coming Linux pro’s in the world. With nearly 700 submissions received last year we’re very excited to review this year’s applicants in September (the submission deadline is Sept 2).

    • XFS Introduces A Sysfs Interface With Linux 3.17

      The latest noteworthy pull request worth covering for the Linux 3.17 kernel merge window is of the XFS file-system updates.

    • UEFI Forum Officially Announces ACPI 5.1

      While Linux kernel developers have already been working on ACPI 5.1 support since it brings ACPI on ARM, and there’s partial support in the Linux 3.17 kernel, the UEFI Forum today finally announced the official release of the ACPI 5.1 specification.

    • The Linux Plumbers Conference is almost full

      The 2014 Linux Plumbers Conference (October 15-17, Düsseldorf, Germany) has sent out an advisory that the registration limit is about to be reached. “We are very rapidly approaching our attendance limit, this year faster than in any past editions of the conference. We expect that the conference general registration will be sold out soon, possibly even within a few days. If you have a vested interest in participating in the discussions, please register now, to guarantee that you will obtain a ticket for the conference.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD’s Radeon DDX Enables Hawaii Acceleration By Default

        We’ve long been monitoring the AMD Hawaii Linux support situation. AMD did provide same-day Catalyst Linux support for the R9 290 but took a while to get cleaned up. However, on the open-source side, it wasn’t until recently that the R9 290 open-source support got into shape with working 2D/3D hardware acceleration.

      • BPTC Texture Compression Support Lands In Mesa

        Last month we reported on Intel working out patches for BPTC texture compression support with their open-source 3D driver and as of today that support has been mainlined to Mesa.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Phonon + GStreamer + VLC 4.8 Beta
      • KDE Applications and Development Platform 4.13.3

        Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.13.3 are available for Kubuntu 14.04LTS. You will recieve them from the regular update channel.

      • First Bugfix Update to Plasma 5

        KDE is now getting into the swing of releases numbered 5. Today we add Plasma 5′s first bugfix update. The release features KDE’s flagship desktop project as well as the base software needed to keep your computer running. Plasma will have feature releases every three months and bugfix releases in the months in between.

      • Kig on Frameworks!

        But the port to KDE Frameworks 5 is not the only exciting thing happening in Kig: the Google Summer of Code coding period is almost over and Aniket’s project about Geogebra support is in good shape, so you will soon see this integrated into the code; although we still need to decide about the right strategy to make this available to our user base. Keep tuned for more Kig info!

      • Monday Report: Old Style In New Form

        The basis of this theme is the old oxygen style, so he was able to reuse most of the code. Below are some screenshots of his work (without the Breeze window decoration).

      • KDE Frameworks Book Sprint at the Randa Meeting 2014
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3.13.6 Updated To Work With Newer Wayland

        The GTK+ tool-kit is out with a new release this week that offers a lot of bug fixes but also several new improvements.

        First up, the new GTK+ 3.13.6 release has been updated to support newer versions of the Wayland protocol. Beyond that as the only Wayland change for this GTK+ 3.14 development release, there’s Adwaita theme improvements, a faster blur implementation for shadows, and a variety of other GTK improvements. There’s a total of 37 known bug-fixes in the GTK+ 3.13.6 release.

      • GTK+ 3.13.6 Arrives with More Adwaita Improvements
      • Teachers explain why they’re ditching iPads for ‘much more useful’ Chromebooks

        As popular as the iPad has been for end consumers, schools have also been a major part of the tablet’s success. Ever since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, schools all over the country have experimented with placing them in classrooms or giving them to students to bring home with them. The Atlantic reports that although many institutions were initially satisfied with the results, many are now beginning to see the potential upshot of affordable laptops over expensive tablets.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • NI CompactRIO controller runs Linux RTOS on Intel Atom

      NI’s latest CompactRIO controller is supported by LabVIEW 2014 and NI Linux real-time for applications in harsh, industrial environments.

      This software-design controller provides data processing, custom timing and triggering, and data transfer from modular C Series I/O.

      The controller has an Intel Atom processor and a Kintex-7 FPGA for implementing complex filtering and control algorithms.

    • Media player dev kits run Ubuntu, Android on Cortex-A9

      Toshiba announced wireless-enabled development kits based on its dual-core Cortex-A9 “TZ5000 ApP Lite” SoC, supporting Ubuntu and Android 4.4, respectively.

    • Raspberry Pi based media player offers 1TB hard drive

      FiveNinjas has launched a “Slice” media player on Kickstarter based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, with a 1TB HDD and a customized version of XBMC.

      UK-based startup FiveNinjas developed the Slice because the developers found it annoying when their media players became useless when carried beyond an Internet connection. Unlike most media players, the Slice ships with a 1TB hard disk drive for storing plenty of video for offine playback.

    • 12 Linux-Based Home Automation Systems for Under $300

      Home automation hubs have emerged as the tech startup product of choice in 2014, and most run on embedded Linux. The category has been re-energized with the dropping costs of wireless radios and embedded processors, as well as the ubiquity of readymade touchscreen interfaces in the form of Android and iOS devices. This slide show presentation covers 10 Linux-based and two Android-based home automation systems starting at under $300.

      Home automation systems have been around for more than a decade, but were usually affordable only to a few. Early Linux-based products include the circa-2002 CorAccess Companion, as well as later tuxified products from Control4, such as the Control4 Home Controller HC-500. While the HC-500′s $1,500 was a price breakthrough back in 2008, Control4′s entry level system is now an HC-250 model selling for under $500 plus licensing. You’ll find most of the systems listed here starting at under $200, with some hubs selling for as little as $49. Of course, you’ll likely spend much more than that on compatible smart devices, and equipping a large home could easily push you over the $1,000 mark.

    • Top 12 Linux-Based Home Automation Systems
    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Navigate using your Tizen Samsung Gear 2 / Neo with DMA Navi Watch

          DMA Navi Watch uses Google Navigation notifications from your device and displays them to your wrist. To setup the app you need to enable the notification listener on your Android Smartphone and your good to go, video instructions on how to do this are below. When your not navigating anywhere, the clock face works like a standard Gear 2 clock face. The App is available now to download from Samsung Galaxy Apps (depending on country and network availability).

      • Android

        • Android motorcycle helmet/HUD gains funding

          Skully has achieved Indiegogo funding for an Android 4.4 based motorcycle helmet with a head-up display, GPS navigation, and a 180-degree rearview camera.

        • Project Denver SoC will be the first 64-bit ARM processor for Android

          NVIDIA has revealed architectural details of the 64-bit version of the Tegra K1 System-on-Chip (SoC). Being developed under the Project Denver code name, it will be the first 64-bit ARM SoC for Android.

          The 32-bit version of Tegra K1 already powers several notable mobile devices, including the NVIDIA Shield tablet and the just announced Acer Chromebook 13.

        • Hurry! Aug 17th next closing date for Project Ara development boards

          Yesterday we reported on the upcoming and possible game-changing Project Ara. If you missed the post then follow the link to read our report in full.

          To quickly recap Google’s Project Ara is a completely new take on what a smartphone is. Google next year will launch a Modular phone which consists of small interchangeable modules (MOD’s). Each MOD will have a different purpose i.e. camera, identity, speakers and users will simply be able to change the modules at will and upgrade only the parts they want to upgrade.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to Overcome Hidden Barriers to Open Source Adoption

    Even when procurement policies don’t rule out open source solutions explicitly in this way, they often still have an unintentional bias towards proprietary software, according to Mark Johnson, development manager at OSS Watch, a body that provides advice on open source software.

    “It may be that the way solutions are investigated by organizations actually favors companies that get license fees and are therefore able to offer presales support. Because the business models work differently, you may have to pay a company to come in and do a demonstration of an open source solution,” Johnson says.

    “What that means is that companies may need to be aware that they have to be more hands on (with open source software),” he adds. “They can’t just expect to sit down and watch a PowerPoint presentation.”

  • CenturyLink releases Panamax open-source Docker management platform

    CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) today announced the contribution of Panamax, a Docker management platform, to the open-source community. Ideal for even the most complex Docker architectures, Panamax gives developers a single management platform to easily create, share and deploy any Docker-containerized application.

  • OSI and Conservancy Announce US Tax Exemption Working Group

    Software Freedom Conservancy and the Open Source Initiative are pleased to announce that they are the founding members of a working group focused on tax exemption issues for organizations in the United States.

    Recent activity by the Internal Revenue Service in response to applications for tax exempt status have sparked a lot of interest and discussion amongst free and open source software communities.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • UbuConLA: Firefox OS on show in Cartagena

        If you are attending UbuConLA I would strongly encourage you to check out the talks on Firefox OS and Webmaker. In addition to the talks, there will also be a Firefox OS workshop where attendees can go more hands on.

        When the organizers of UbuConLA reached out to me several months ago, I knew we really had to have a Mozilla presence at this event so that Ubuntu Users who are already using Firefox as their browser of choice could learn about other initiatives like Firefox OS and Webmaker.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos Cozies Up to OpenStack

      All the way back in 2008, before it was a commercial product, OStatic broke the news about an open source project at U.C. Santa Barbara called Eucalyptus, which we described as “for implementing ‘cloud computing’ on clusters.” Of course, fast-forward to today, and Eucalyptus Systems is one of the most discussed companies on the cloud computing scene.

    • New Open-Source Tool Makes it Easy to Tap Into Docker, the Cloud’s Next Big Thing

      Your new app is brilliant; the code you’ve spent six months writing is beautiful. But when you upload it from your laptop to the web server, it just doesn’t work. You know why: your laptop’s is configured slightly differently than the server, and now you’re now going to have to spend hours — maybe days — figuring out what you need to change to make it run properly.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How the Open Source Election Technology Foundation is Remaking the Voter Experience

      “The commissioners and others don’t want the recommendations to just sit on the shelf but to get these recommendations into the states to move them along, ” John Fortier, director of the Democracy Project, said in an interview with techPresident last week.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Spain’s Ill-Conceived ‘Google Tax’ Law Likely To Cause Immense Damage To Digital Commons And Open Access

        Techdirt recently wrote about Spain’s imminent and almost unbelievably foolish new copyright law designed to prop up old and failing business models in the publishing sector. Mike mentioned that it was potentially disastrous for things like fair use, Creative Commons and public domain material — so broad is the reach of this new law’s “inalienable right” for publishers to be paid when snippets of works appear elsewhere.

      • Did Spain just declare war on the commons?

        Two weeks ago the lower chamber of the Spanish parliament approved a number of changes to Spain’s Intellectual Property Law that directly threaten the ability of Spanish internet users to contribute to the commons. The law introduces a number of modifications to copyright law that expand the scope of exclusive rights over areas that were previously outside of the exclusive rights of copyright holders at the expense of users rights and the public domain.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 4.5 update brings desktop like graphics on Mobile

      Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques or SIGGRAPH is the annual event where graphics industry professional comes together to unveil their tricks that they have been working on for the year. This year at SIGGRAPH 2014, as is customary for them, Khronos Group took the stage to reveal their latest version of OpenGL, OpenGL 4.5. The announcement also included updates on their OpenGL ES as well as WebGL, all offshoots and parts of the OpenGL standard.

    • After OpenGL 4.5, The Mesa OpenGL 4 Support Matrix

      Now that OpenGL 4.5 was released yesterday by the Khronos Group, while NVIDIA already has an OpenGL 4.5 driver, it will be a longtime before the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers are able to claim OpenGL 4.5 compliance.

Leftovers

  • JFK’s Popularity Endures: John F. Kennedy Remains High in Presidential Polls, Surveys

    Todd J. Gillman of The Dallas Morning News observed that “historians rate Kennedy as a middling president. The public puts him on a pedestal with Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. His loving image has survived tawdry revelations and bookshelves of critical reassessments.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Dear Mr Cameron: US and EU politicians had been drumming up the conflict in Ukraine

      The British Prime Minister shows a staggering arrogance and frightening lack of historical perspective in supporting the neo-Nazi regime of the Ukrainian government, and luring the Russian Federation into a conflict with the European Union and the West by blaming it for condoning the shooting down of Flight MH17 on 1 August over the disputed territory of eastern Ukraine.

      Last month, David Cameron published an article in The Sunday Times that, in a series of sweeping accusations, marked a high point in interventions by the West which fuel conflict in Ukraine and, eventually, could drag Russia into a war with the European Union.

      Even before this intervention, US and EU politicians had been drumming up the conflict, first by helping neo-fascists in Ukraine into power, who then committed atrocities against the people of eastern Ukraine.

    • CIA Intervention In Ukraine Has Been Taking Place For Decades

      Of all the aspects of the current crisis over the NATO/Russia standoff in Ukraine, the determined intervention into Ukrainian political affairs by the United States has been the least reported, at least until recently. While new reports have appeared concerning CIA Director John Brennan’s mid-April trip to Kiev, and CIA/FBI sending “dozens” of advisers to the Ukrainian security services, very few reports mention that U.S. intervention in Ukraine affairs goes back to the end of World War II. It has hardly let up since then.

    • Sen. Nelson headed to Ukraine; says U.S. should arm Kiev government

      Sen. Bill Nelson, gearing up for a trip this week that will take him to Ukraine, the Baltic states and Turkey, departed from the Obama administration’s more measured approach and called for providing lethal arms to Ukraine’s military, which is battling Russian-backed rebels and facing down 20,000 Russian troops amassed along the border.

    • How, and maybe why, US contributes to Saudi police state

      On July 6, human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair was sentenced to 15 years in prison in the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court. Al-Khair was convicted of making statements to the news media and issuing tweets criticizing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. In addition, al-Khair is subject to a 15-year travel ban after his sentence is completed and a fine of 200,000 riyals ($53,327.65 USD).

      The state’s case against al-Khair centered around al-Khair’s establishment of and participation in the “Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia” — a civil rights advocacy group in Saudi Arabia. Al-Khair spoke out internationally against Saudi Arabia’s history of human rights violations and participated in several human rights defense cases — including the case of Samar Badawi, who was accused of disobeying the Saudi male guardianship system.

    • #IfTheyGunnedMeDown protests portrayal of black youth after Michael Brown’s death

      Many Twitter users posted pictures of themselves with #IfTheyGunnedMeDown to challenge the way the media portrays African-Americans. The hashtag was a response to coverage of Michael Brown’s death in suburban St. Louis over the weekend.

    • Droning On

      A botched drone mission in Afghanistan kills 13 civilians, mostly women and children. Pilot Darwin Cole, controlling the unmanned aircraft from a bunker in Nevada, watches in horror as his anti-terrorist strike becomes a massacre.

      One year later, Cole is a drunken recluse, ejected from the military with a dishonorable discharge, living in a trailer with “broken windows, [and] bottles in the yard.” He has lost his nerve, his wings, his career, and his wife and kids. He has been unmanned.

    • The Fallacious Human Shield and Collateral Damage Arguments

      If we apply our ethics, as Justitia, we would protect our civilians, children, and infirm, in Phoenix, Arizona, just as we should do everything we can to protect the civilians in rural Afghanistan, Iraq, or in Gaza or Israel. At the very least, we should contribute nothing to hurting those children. All civilians deserve the freedom from being treated like expendables by any military anywhere. Anything short of respecting that freedom makes us all terrorists.

    • Death in Gaza: Some Counts More Controversial than Others

      Determining whether deaths are civilian or military is the heart of the matter. “No other number is as contentious as the ratio of civilians to combatants killed,” Rudoren explains. So what is the truth, then?

    • Journalists are complicit in Gaza’s suffering by ignoring context

      Reporters seize upon the list of Gaza’s most recent victims, only to parse their death certificates for proof that they, too, did not deserve to die.

      “Journalism,” wrote the Swedish war correspondent Stig Dagerman, “is the art of coming too late as early as possible.” The dictum resounds in Gaza, where an eight-year Israeli siege – which has left this land all but unlivable – went woefully underreported well before Gaza was is in the throes of war. As Palestinian families again count their dead, that journalistic negligence, say human rights workers, leaves much of the reporting here dangerously devoid of context.

    • War Is Our Most Urgent Problem. Let’s Solve It

      Is there a more urgent problem in the world today than war? And when I say “war” in this post, I mean also militarism, the culture of war, the armies, arms, industries, policies, plans, propaganda, prejudices, rationalizations that make lethal group conflict not only possible but also likely.

    • Report: Obama told lawmakers that Syria criticism was ‘horse ****’

      President Obama recently told lawmakers that their criticism of his policy in Syria is “horse ****,” according to a report published late Monday.

      A member of Congress told The Daily Beast Obama used the expletive during a July 31 meeting at the White House just before the August recess.

    • Report: Obama Uses Expletive to Lash Mideast Policy Critics

      President Barack Obama did not take kindly to lawmakers from both parties saying the United States might not be facing the problems it is with ISIS had he armed the Syrian rebels years ago, calling the suggestion “horses–t,” reports The Daily Beast.

    • McCain Syndrome

      Senator McCain, are you openly advocating the dangerous weapon proliferation to your former deadly enemy?

    • Former CIA Officer: US Should Give Heavy Weapons to Kurds

      Retired United States Air Force intelligence officer and Middle East specialist, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona has told BasNews that the US government should send heavy weapons to Iraqi Kurds to fight IS Militants.

    • New PM Candidate for Iraq; 247 Killed in Battles, Airstrikes
    • US sends arms to Iraq – to solve problems Washington helped create

      The US is conducting air strikes and supplies weapons to help outgunned Iraqi Kurds fight off the offensive of Islamist militants. The Kurds are battling against extremists armed with American arms and nurtured thanks to America’s policies.

      The airstrikes aimed at positions of the militants from the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, in northern Iraq are not expected to seriously undermine their strength, US generals say.

    • History Repeating Itself? U.S. Bombing Iraq While Jockeying to Oust Leader It Once Favored

      As a U.S. bombing campaign in northern Iraq enters its fifth day, Baghdad is in a state of political crisis. Eight years ago, Nouri al-Maliki rose to prime minister with the help of the United States. Now the United States has helped pick his replacement. But al-Maliki is refusing to go — deploying his forces around Baghdad and accusing critics of staging a coup. The political crisis is worsening as U.S. airstrikes continue on Islamic State militants in the north. President Obama authorized the strikes last week in what he called an effort to halt the militants’ advance on Erbil, where the U.S. has a consulate and military personnel, as well as to prevent a massacre of the Yazidi minority. U.S. officials have confirmed the CIA is also secretly sending arms and ammunition directly to Kurdish forces known as the Peshmerga. We are joined by Spencer Ackerman, national security editor at The Guardian.

    • Bush didn’t know anything about Maliki, but put him in charge of Iraq anyway
    • Barack Obama And George Bush: Flashback On Iraq

      “MISSION (NOT) ACCOMPLISHED …”

    • America’s past foreign policy blunders still haunt us: Letter

      It’s sad to report that “American exceptionalism” is a myth. The CIA sponsored a 1953 coup in Iran against a democratically elected prime minister that led to the Shah of Iran and finally to today’s Islamic government.

      How well did that work out for us?

      The George W. Bush war in Iraq against a secular strongman for the oil companies, Saddam Hussein, which led to a Shia-majority “democracy” there aligned with Iran now has tea-party types quaking in their boots over a possible Iraqi “caliphate” led by a radical Islamic group known as ISIS.

      How well has this “democracy at the point of a gun” worked out for us?

    • Former Chief historian of the CIA explains why he nixed a secret history of the Bay of Pigs

      In late 1984, not long before he retired from the CIA, Jack Pfeiffer filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the CIA to release the classified five-volume draft history of the 1961 Bay of Pigs operation that he had begun as a CIA History Staff monograph in 1973. In late 1987 and early 1988, after Pfeiffer had appealed the CIA’s denial of this request, the CIA’s Office of General Counsel asked me, as chief historian, to prepare a declaration and later a supplement concerning Pfeiffer’s appeal for declassification and release of this top secret draft history. A few years later, I recall hearing that the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had rejected Pfeiffer’s FOIA appeal and his entire five-volume draft history remained classified.

      I heard nothing more about the fate of Pfeiffer’s draft history until May of this year, when I read a copy of the recent US Court of Appeals denial of the National Security Archive’s FOIA appeal for the declassification and release of Volume V of this Bay of Pigs draft history. Although Judge Rogers’s dissenting opinion in this case quotes excerpts from my 1980s declarations, I have nothing useful to say now about the continued denial of Volume V. I can, however, provide some explanation for how it was that Jack Pfeiffer produced this massive draft history in the years 1973-1981 and how I came to review that draft in December 1981. I must rely on memory for this account of matters that took place in the 1970s and 1980s, since I am now retired and no longer have access to CIA records concerning Jack Pfeiffer, his history, or my work at the CIA.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Media Ignore Reports Debunking The Keystone XL Talking Point They Trumpeted

      President Obama has stated that he would not approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar sands crude from Canada through the United States, if it “significantly exacerbate[s] the problem of carbon pollution.” So when the U.S. State Department released its environmental impact statement concluding that the Keystone XL would not have a significant impact on climate change, the media touted State’s findings as justification for the contentious pipeline’s approval.

  • Finance

    • The Changing Map of Latin America

      Latin America is currently experiencing a brand of neocolonialism based on opening new possibilities for extraction. “Capital needs a reordering of territory – considering this as a type of historical-social construction – in order to continue reproducing itself, as much in terms of materials as in power relations, of accumulation of capital and profits. The ordering enables access on a large scale to certain types of material from the earth,” added Ceceña.

    • Is It A Shakedown When The Gov’t Does It? SEC Much Less Likely To Prosecute You If You’re A Big Campaign Funder

      In the past, we’ve highlighted some questionable activities by the SEC, which is supposed to be stopping financial fraud, but often seems to be both arbitrary and capricious in its activities. However, reporter David Sirota is highlighting how the SEC is much less likely to prosecute a company if that company happens to be a big political contributor, because, well, duh. This is based on some recent research by Maria Correira at the London Business School on Political Connections and SEC Enforcement, which found that there’s a pretty clear correlation.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • U.S. Government Tried to Alter Transcript in NSA Surveillance Case

      The federal government in June asked to secretly remove information from a high-profile NSA spying case, prompting outrage from privacy experts and attorneys, according to unsealed court documents.

      The documents recently released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation detail a government request to remove information from the transcript of a June 6 hearing in Jewel v. NSA, a case fighting the NSA’s surveillance of U.S. Internet and phone records.

    • What are the odds for Europe-v-Facebook’s latest challenge over personal data?

      The Austria-based Europe-v-Facebook has begun a class action suit seeking damages from Facebook’s European operation. It alleges multiple breaches of European privacy and data protection laws.

    • EU Lawyers Confirm ‘General And Blanket Data Retention Is No Longer Possible’ In European Union

      As we commented back in June, one of the key questions posed by the important ruling of Europe’s highest court that the EU’s current data retention requirements were “invalid” is: so what will the EU’s Member States do now? Will they simply repeal their national legislation that was passed to implement the EU Directive, or will they claim that broad-based data retention is nonetheless still possible, as the UK has done?

    • Cell Phones Need A Warrant, But Cell Site Location Info Doesn’t? Appellants Challenge Government’s Assertions

      The Supreme Court’s recent finding that warrantless cell phone searches are unconstitutional is already generating some pretty interesting arguments in ongoing cases. The government obviously wishes to mitigate the “damage” done by this decision by still doggedly pursuing data through warrantless methods.

    • Judge Gives DOJ Until The End Of The Month To Submit Declassified Opinion Containing FISA Court’s Justifications For The Section 215 Program
    • Did UK Gov’t Already Effectively Outlaw Anonymity Online With Its New Defamation Law?

      We just recently wrote about a report by the UK House of Lords that recommends ending anonymity online by requiring that any web services collect real names and information at signup, while then allowing users to use a pseudonym. The thinking, then, is that if there is a criminal act or other violation of the law, it’s easier to track down who’s responsible. As we noted, there are all sorts of problems with this kind of logic, including both massive chilling effects against free speech, and the simple fact that it’s not nearly as hard as some technologically clueless people believe to track down online users, even if they’re “anonymous.” Either way, this proposal is a big problem, and EFF spoke out against the plan.

    • DEA Paid Amtrak Secretary $850,000 To Hand Over Confidential Passenger Lists For No Reason

      We’ve already written about the DEA’s deep involvement with the intelligence community, including them being trained to lie about getting info from the intelligence community when it uses it to bust drug dealers — a system known as parallel construction, which is encouraged throughout the agency. We also know that AT&T (and possibly others) have employees embedded at the DEA to provide it with even faster access to any information that the DEA wants. We’ve also covered how the DEA often gets unchecked access to private information and has been caught circumventing laws to get medical records without a warrant. The DEA is also the force behind the NSA’s recording of every phone call in the Bahamas.

    • Hacker finds suspicious programs in Apple’s iOS

      Essentially, Zdziarski is accusing Apple of intentionally adding some services to the iOS firmware that bypass backup encryption and copy personal data that should not come off users’ phones. The hacker stated that to the company’s credit, Apple has made the iPhone 5 and iOS 7 more secure against everyone — except the government and Apple itself.

    • Hackers learn some new tricks at Def Con on avoiding surveillance

      Are you being spied on? That worry is a top focus of discussion at the Def Con 22 hackers conference. High-tech surveillance is a top interest for hackers given the past 18 months of news regarding illegal national surveillance reports tied to the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program.

    • VIDEO: Surveillance impact ‘severe’: Jillian York

      Crikey politics editor Bernard Keane and Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression at Electronic Freedom Foundation, discuss data retention and privacy.

    • Federal judge rules that U.S. can keep surveillance court orders secret
    • U.S. Can Keep Secret Phone Companies Helping NSA Spying
    • Judge won’t force U.S. to release spying program documents

      Despite public revelations about surveillance of U.S. citizens, a federal judge in Oakland said Monday that she will not force the government to release more documents about its spying program, including court rulings and the names of cooperating telecommunications companies.

    • Snowden critic resigns Naval War College after online penis photo flap

      John Schindler, the former National Security Agency analyst and an outspoken critic of Edward Snowden, resigned Monday from his position as a professor at the US Naval War College months after a picture of his alleged penis surfaced online. The professor of national security affairs announced via Twitter his resignation from the Rhode Island institution, effective August 29.

    • Are Google and Facebook Doing the NSA’s Dirty Work?

      Your Consent to Corporate Spying May Be All the Loophole the State Needs

    • Facebook Messenger App Creates Massive Controversy

      The new Facebook messenger app is creating massive controversy among Facebook users, with people practically coming to virtual blows over the new requirement. The main fight is between people who feel that the new app is a huge privacy violation and those who say the app is no different from those that most people already have loaded onto their phones. Facebook is demanding that users download the new app if they want to be able to read and respond to messages sent through Facebook on mobile devices such as smart phones. Facebook users are still able to get their messages the “old fashioned” way directly through Facebook on a computer.

    • Facebook is Facing Class Action Suit by Max Schrems

      Schrems will claim damage of around $670 per user who files for his support. It may affect 1.1 billion active Facebook users which is more than 84 per cent of its entire users base. So far, 5686 people are verified to join the campaign.

    • NSA Partners With Universities, ‘Model’ Legislation To Block Cooperation Fails

      The National Security Agency, now defined largely by Edward Snowden’s revelations about its pervasive reach into every sphere of digital life, is aiming to put a positive light on its work by growing its educational presence in universities nationwide.

      Five new universities were added to the NSA’s National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Program. New York University, Towson University, West Point, University of Cincinnati and University of New Orleans qualified to receive the designation for the 2014-2019 academic years, the NSA said last month.

    • US can keep court orders, phone cos secret in NSA spy case

      The US government need not turn over a secret surveillance court’s orders or the names of phone companies helping it collect call records, because it might reveal methods needed to protect national security, a federal judge decided on Monday.

      US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, rejected the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s argument that the US Department of Justice should turn over the materials, in the wake of unauthorised disclosures last year by a former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden.

    • Did the NSA ‘create’ Satoshi Nakamoto?

      But do the CIA Project’s claims have any merit?

      As it stands, their argument is not very compelling. The meaning of Satoshi Nakamoto can be loosely interpreted as something that pertains to a highly organized and intelligent agency, but the name could also have chosen simply because it has a nice ring to it. And would the NSA really have given the creator of its ‘secret project’ such an obvious name? If the NSA really is behind Bitcoin, naming it “Central Intelligence” would not be a very intelligent move.

      Claims that the NSA created Bitcoin have actually been flung around for years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users.

    • Op-Ed: No, Bitcoin Was Not Created By The CIA
    • Partial hack of Blackphone unveiled at Def Con

      The privacy-focussed Blackphone has been cracked by a security researcher at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, though the exploits require physical access.

      The privacy-focussed Blackphone has been cracked by a security researcher at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, though the exploits require physical access.

    • Backbytes: Unhackable Blackphone, err, hacked
    • Blackphone rooted in just five minutes at DEF CON. NSA-proof? Forget it.
  • Civil Rights

    • An Even Worse Constitutional Scandal Than Iran-Contra and Watergate

      The latest break in actually may be more serious if the Obama White House didn’t know about it, which is probably the likely scenario. Although Obama declined to investigate the CIA and hold it responsible for its illegal rendition, detention, and torture program during the Bush administration, the Senate Committee report – which has concluded that the CIA’s harsh detention and interrogation techniques yielded little information that couldn’t have been gained by means of legal interrogation methods and that the CIA consistently misled the White House and Congress about the effectiveness of those methods – is more damning to the Bush administration than itself. The Obama administration would probably have little incentive to authorize obstruction and a risky break in of a committee controlled by Democrats to protect material that would mainly be embarrassing to a former Republican administration. In contrast, the CIA would have an institutional incentive to protect the secret history of its illegal and unconstitutional actions. Unlike the CIA’s harsh rendition, detention, and torture programs and the NSA’s phone monitoring program, which had authorization by the White House and/or Congress, an unauthorized CIA break in may mean the CIA is bold enough to go rogue in order to protect itself.

    • World class liars

      The Director of America’s Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, is a liar. He was recently found out in a mega-lie in denying the CIA’s illegal actions in “improperly penetrating a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme,” which he had rebutted with his hand lying on the area of his chest that would in most people indicate a heart beneath. But he has no heart beneath his lying hand. And no conscience, either. Which is why he was chosen to head the CIA.

    • The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture

      John Rizzo, the CIA’s former Acting Counsel General, is feeling the heat for his role in blessing what President Barack Obama has now admitted was “torture” during the Bush/Cheney administration. Rizzo went on friendly Fox News to charge that the (still withheld) Senate Intelligence Committee investigation report on torture reflects a “Star Chamber proceeding” and accused some lawmakers of “craven backtracking,” claiming that they had been briefed on the interrogation program years ago.

    • The United States and Torture

      Two of the things that governments tend to cover-up or lie about the most are assassinations and torture, both of which are widely looked upon as exceedingly immoral and unlawful, even uncivilized. Since the end of the Second World War the United States has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and has led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance and encouragement by American instructors, particularly in Latin America.

    • Guantánamo prisoner to publish ‘harrowing’ memoirs

      Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian who has been detained in Guantánamo since 2002 despite never having been charged with a crime by the US, is to publish an account of his experiences next year, detailing the multiple forms of torture to which he has been subjected and “shatter[ing]” the secrecy that surrounds the Cuban prison.

    • Mikulski Statement on Delaying the Release of Senate Intelligence Committee Study on CIA Interrogati

      “I strongly support delaying the release of the executive summary of the committee’s study examining the CIA’s detention and interrogation program until issues over CIA redactions can be properly resolved. The redaction process can be done in a way to protect national security without hiding the fundamental findings and conclusions of the report. To do otherwise is unacceptable. Given that this is such an historic report and oversight effort, I urge the White House to act swiftly to resolve these issues so we can finally share the report with the American people.”

    • Liz Cheney’s defense of dad is getting weaker
    • CIA shouldn’t get away with redacting torture report
    • Editorial: The full truth must come out on torture

      President Barack Obama has promised that a long-awaited report on torture during the war on terror will be made public. He has yet to keep that pledge, and the latest signs are discouraging.

    • CIA attempts to censor report into its use, abuse of torture

      The whole Intelligence Committee investigation would never have happened if it was not for the destruction of key evidence. In one key incident that has been revealed, a CIA official destroyed more than 100 video recordings of the interrogations at the centre of the controversy. That agent, Jose Rodriguez, was but one of several to openly defy investigations. The agency’s reluctance to hand over evidence to investigators has been the subject of some controversy. The report may detail exactly how recalcitrant the secretive organisation has been towards its own oversight committee.

    • Editorial: CIA spying on Senate crossed line

      The upcoming release of a Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques in the wake 9/11 will not settle the debate over the agency’s techniques. Some will say that agency’s interrogation techniques, which have been called torturous, saved lives. Others will say the treatment of prisoners gained the United States nothing.

    • Obama Wants to Put Torture Behind Us, But It Still Haunts Guantanamo Every Single Day

      It’s taken over a decade, but the U.S. government is starting to acknowledge the moral and strategic failure of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. In a press conference earlier this month, President Barack Obama conceded that “we tortured some folks”—a deliberate departure from the government’s well-worn euphemism, “enhanced interrogation.” “We crossed a line,” he said. “And we have to, as a country, take responsibility for that.”

    • NYPD Officer Chokes Man To Death; Cops Blame Cellphone Recordings And People ‘Feeling They Have More Rights’

      In the wake of Eric Garner’s death via cop chokehold, the NYPD is coming under all sorts of additional scrutiny. This is in addition to the appointed oversight ordered by Judge Scheindlin after finding that elements of its infamous stop-and-frisk program were unconstitutional. Scott Greenfield has a very stark recounting of the incident, as well as a recording of Eric Garner’s last moments. (Here’s additional footage, which includes the officer who applied the lethal chokehold waving at the camera, as well as several officers gamely pretending Garner is simply passed out.)

    • NYPD Denies Request For Open-Source Counterterrorism Reports

      Chalk another one up for secrecy at the New York City Police Department. The NYPD has rejected a HuffPost request to give the public a look at open-source counterterrorism reports the department regularly shares with thousands of private security honchos.

      The department denied HuffPost’s public records request for open-source assessments produced by the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau’s Terrorism Threat Analysis Group on the grounds that they could “reveal non-routine techniques and procedures.”

    • Outflanking The Murder of Eric Garner

      Those who are inclined to believe police will embrace the narrative that Orta had a gun and, inexplicably, decided to put it into the waistband of a 17-year-old female teenager while the cops were watching. Those who are not so inclined will see this as a set up, payback to Orta, and refuse to credit anything about this bust. In the absence of information, both views are speculative at this point, and reflect only the bias of their holders rather than the facts of what happened.

      But when time comes to introduce the videotape of Eric Garner in court, and Ramsey Orta is called as a witness, you can bet there will be questions aplenty about his being a criminal bent on demonizing the police, as if anything Orta could have done shooting the video had anything whatsoever to do with Pantaleo’s chokehold or Garner’s death.

    • DOJ Report Details The Massive Amount Of Violence Committed By Rikers Island Staff Against Adolescent Inmates

      Late in 2012, two mentally-ill minors were taken from their cells at Rikers and beaten by a shift captain and multiple guards, who took turns punching the two inmates while they were restrained. A jail clinician reported seeing one of them being punched in the head while handcuffed to a gurney. Another clinician said she saw staff striking the other while he screamed for them to stop hurting him. One of the two told consultants he was still spitting up blood “more than a month after the incident.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • A magic place of literary memory

      When tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web in 1999, his proposal – presented the year before – was that “a global hypertext space be created in which any network-accessible information could be referred to by a single ‘universal Document Identifier’”.

      The idea was beautifully simple. On the server side, there were webpages written in a hypertext markup language (HTML) that followed simple conventions and rules. On the client side, there was a browser that was able to translate the HTML code into a readable format. The web of browsable pages was knitted together by hypertext links, which became known as URLs.

      Berners-Lee had an unfashionable vision of “the Web’s potential to foster a global village, not its potential to earn him a villa and a fleet of cars”, but he was not the first to have that vision. He credits his inspiration for the Web to Professor Ted Nelson, the man who coined the term ‘hyperlink’ back in the Sixties and described the whole messy concept in Dream Machines, published in 1974.

    • Andrew Cuomo Trying To Bankrupt Upstart Campaign Against Him From Zephyr Teachout And Tim Wu

      There’s been some attention (especially in tech circles) to the upstart primary challenge in NY against Governor Andrew Cuomo (and his preferred Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul), coming from law professors Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu. Both Teachout and Wu have been in and around a variety of tech and internet issues for years, and are pretty well-known in the community.

    • Behind The Veil Part 3: Comcast Rep Confirms That You Should Always Record Customer Service Calls

      As you probably know by now, Comcast has been in the news quite a bit lately for all the wrong reasons. It started with a recorded call of one Comcast customer attempting to cancel his service before being passed over to a “customer retention” representative who had watched entirely too much Boiler Room. Comcast made a great deal of noise about how this wasn’t how they told their reps to conduct their business, which, thanks to the Verge’s call for input from past and current Comcast employees, was shown pretty conclusively to a complete lie.

    • Comcast, Time Warner Cable Spend Big To ‘Honor’ FCC Commissioner Overseeing Their Merger Review

      We’ve written in the past about the idea of “soft corruption,” in which the direct exchange of money isn’t necessarily obvious, but the very clear appearance of conflicts of interest certainly erode the trust of the public in the policy makers. Even when everything is technically above-board, these actions attack the credibility of the policy process. Witness the latest example. Comcast and Time Warner Cable are each shelling out significant cash to “sponsor” an event which is honoring FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn who, of course, is in the midst of a review over the merger proposal between the two companies. As Politico reports:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Copyright Folly: Making A Living As A Creator Has Always Been Difficult, Stronger Copyright Doesn’t Fix It

        Dan Hunter and Nicolas Suzor (two Australian academics) have a great article for The Conversation, which officially is looking at the latest copyright reform proposals in Australia, but makes a much bigger point: Making a living as a content creator has always been massively difficult, and it’s foolish to think that stronger copyright will change that. Unfortunately, in a campaign driven by the legacy gatekeepers (who often do benefit from stronger copyrights), many artists (especially independent ones) have been misled into thinking that the internet is the problem and stronger copyright laws will fix things. What’s left out is that it’s always been difficult, and the internet has actually made it easier to build a successful independent career. That doesn’t mean it’s easy and many will still fail, but it’s not the problem of the internet and copyright laws being too weak.

      • Performance Rights Organizations Again ‘Protecting’ Artists By Killing Off Revenue Streams

        While attempting to do nothing more “infringing” than listen to (fully licensed) music, I ran into the sort of bizarre, pointless restrictions I thought only German citizens had to deal with.

08.12.14

Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 8:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Hidden Linux Benefits, Clear Linux Challenges

    I have tried and enjoyed a number of great Linux distributions over the years. Some were more popular than others. But the one thing they all have in common is each provides the end user with hidden benefits and unexpected disadvantages over proprietary desktop operating systems.

    In this article, I’ll explore what make the Linux desktop a superb fit for some users while providing thoughts on overcoming the challenges had by others.

  • Is Linux More Secure than Windows?

    When it comes to control systems, a common question has long been: Is Linux inherently more secure than Windows? Being a fan of Linux/Unix systems, I desperately want to answer “yes” to this question. During the 1980s and 1990s, so much of the work I was involved in ran under Unix. These days I run Linux on my home computer, and once a year I boot up a Windows XP virtual machine running under Virtual Box, to run my tax software. In the office, I rant about the lousy Windows operating system (OS) and ask why the world doesn’t switch to Linux. And as much as I hate to admit it, as a system integrator I am mostly locked into dealing with Microsoft’s flavor of the month operating system because of customer standards and the tools available.

    From the appearance of “Brain,” which is recognized as the first computer virus, in 1986, to Stuxnet to the Zotob worm (the virus that knocked 13 of DaimlerChrysler’s U.S. automobile manufacturing plants offline), one thing all these viruses have in common is that they were directed at Microsoft’s operating systems. However, according to Zone-H (an archive of defaced websites), in a statistics report for the period 2005-2007: “In the past the most attacked operating system was Windows, but many servers were migrated from Windows to Linux… Therefore the attacks migrated as well, as Linux is now the most attacked operating system with 1, 485,280 defacements against 815,119 in Windows systems (numbers calculated since 2000).”

  • TrackingPoint offers amazing AR15 rifles powered by Linux
  • The Linux Rifle, Benefits, and Netflix

    Our top story tonight on this Monday August 11, 2014 is Arstechnica.com’s hands-on review of a Linux-powered AR-15. Elsewhere, Matt Hartley discusses the pros and cons of running Linux; David Anderson attempts to answer the is Linux more secure than Windows question; and Bryan Lunduke posts his opinion of KDE Plasma. And that’s not all.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebook sales to nearly triple by 2017

      Google’s Chromebook might not be setting the consumer world on fire yet but its stocks are set to rise, with new research predicting sales of Chromebooks will reach 5.2 million units in 2014, a 79% increase from 2013,

      By 2017, sales of Chromebooks are set to nearly triple to reach 14.4 million units, with the main driver being the US education market, which currently accounts for nearly 85% of all sales.

    • Google Chromebooks eating into US education market, says Gartner
    • Acer’s New Chromebook Goes Where Windows PCs Won’t
    • School system CIOs are sold on Chromebooks

      David Andrade, the CIO of Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, has deployed 11,000 Chromebooks over the past year and plans to add another 5,000 in the next 12 months. It’s a major deployment, but not unusual.

    • Acer’s Latest Chromebook Should Be Quite Powerful & Attractive

      The Chromebook 13 is Acer’s newest venture with Google for a Chrome OS laptop. Making this Chromebook attractive to us is its NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC, which features four 2.1GHz processing cores plus its fifth companion core. I’ve been using the Tegra K1 extensively with the Jetson TK1 ARM development board and the performance is terrific out of the quad-core Cortex-A15 chip with Kepler-grade graphics.

    • Acer’s new Chromebook 13 offers a high-resolution screen and all-day battery life

      Nvidia is touting the graphical performance of its K1 processor, which outperforms the Intel and Samsung-equipped Chromebooks in Nvidia’s multitasking and benchmark tests. The company points to the quad-core processor design (most Chromebooks have only dual-core processors) and more powerful graphics processing unit as differentiators in the Chromebook world. Demos of the 3D rendering capabilities were impressive in person, and Nvidia’s multitasking demo (which comprised of four open windows, streaming music, and running a script in a Google Sheet) did show the Chromebook 13 to be faster than an Intel-equipped model. Despite these impressive performance feats, Nvidia is confident that the Chromebook 13 will last longer away from a wall outlet than any other Chromebook on the market. It is also Google Hangouts Optimized, which allows for high definition Hangouts and multitasking at the same time.

    • New Acer Chromebook 13 looks to be the best yet

      Acer officially pulled the wraps off their latest Chromebook, which features none other than a Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, and boasts a battery life that blows away any other model on the current line-up of Chromebooks. There are three model options for the new Acer Chromebook 13, starting with the $279 model which has a 13.3 inch 1366 x 768 display.

    • The 5 easiest to use modern Linux distributions

      These are the 5 Linux distributions that I would recommend to new Linux users and to people who just want to use their computer as a computer and who aren’t that interested in getting too deep and dirty with their operating system.

      This list could easily have been the 10 easiest to use Linux distributions but 5 is a good number because it shows new users just where to begin yet still provides a limited amount of choice.

  • Server

    • Linux mainframe faces off against the server farm

      Should you deploy Linux on the mainframe?

      There are plenty of positives and negatives that make it clear that a Linux mainframe isn’t right for all IT shops. Two experts go head to head on how to decide what’s right for your data center: Linux workloads on a mainframe or running them in a distributed server environment.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Already Publishes An OpenGL 4.5 Linux Driver

        While the OpenGL 4.5 specification is fresh off the press and we haven’t even seen the Khronos SIGGRAPH announcement yet, NVIDIA has already made public their OpenGL 4.5 beta drivers for Linux and Windows.

      • NVIDIA Performance Counters In Nouveau Hoped For With Linux 3.19

        Samuel Pitoiset continues making steady, great progress on his Google Summer of Code project as a student developer reverse-engineering and implementing NVIDIA hardware performance counters within the open-source Nouveau driver.

        For months now he’s had a solid understanding of how NVIDIA’s performance counters operate and has been working towards exposing them in a NVPerfKit-like open-source manner and exposing them to OpenGL developers. Samuel’s latest update revealed his MP counter work was up to a prototype stage while today he has a new blog post concerning the approaches to exposing the performance counters in Nouveau.

      • AMD Kaveri: Catalyst vs. RadeonSI Gallium3D On Linux

        With the recently released AMD A10-7800 Kaveri APU I carried out some new benchmarks comparing the open and closed-source Linux GPU driver performance for AMD with their Catalyst and RadeonSI Gallium3D solutions. When running the open-source Ubuntu driver tests, multiple versions of Mesa and the Linux kernel were used.

      • Intel Adds Support For ARB_copy_image

        While OpenGL 4.5 was announced today, Mesa developers are still battling for OpenGL 4.0 compliance but at least they are now able to scratch off another GL4 feature.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE(PIM) Ain’t Dead.

        Certainly not for any sensible definition of a project “dying” that I can think of. Now when we go back and look at my previous posts on this subject it is all too easy to think “something is wrong with the way we are now”.

      • KDE Sprint 2014

        Currently a KDE Sprint is taking place – which means 43 people meet in Randa (Switzerland) and dedicate 7 days in a row solely to KDE. Some topics are KDE Frameworks 5, gluon and many multimedia related topics like Amarok, kdenlive and KMix. I am attending to work on three main matters.

      • Volume

        Volume controls. Based on PulseAudio. For Plasma 5.

      • Randa Meetings sprint: KDE Frameworks Cookbook progress

        I’m so happy with what we have so far! The texts are just great, and the code examples will be updated as they are updated in their repositories. So if people planning a booth at a Qt Contributor Conference, for instance, wanted to print up some copies of the book, it will be completely up-to-date. Our goal is committing every part of the book so that it can be auto-fetched for reading as an epub, pdf, text file or printed as a book.

      • The Linux Desktop-a-week Review: KDE Plasma

        Some of it was… bigger things, such as the toolbars in KDE’s office suite, Calligra. Specifically, Calligra Words. The toolbars, by default, are on the right hand side. No biggy, they’re movable (and collapsible) after all. But they’re also really…wide, with lots of empty space.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Mobile chips face lockdown to prevent hacks

      Chip makers are adding more security layers to protect mobile device users from malicious attacks and code injection

    • How to Hack Nearly Any Wireless Device

      Nearly a century ago, the advent of commercial radio broadcasts gave birth to the first generation of hackers.

      [...]

      Silvio Cesare, whose day job is at information-security firm Qualys, showed that anyone with a laptop, a device such as a USB TV tuner and software such as GNU Radio can “capture” transmissions between a wireless key fob that disables a home alarm system as the homeowner arrives.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Iraq and the War Cabal in Washington

      With a series of air strikes beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend, the United States has gone to war again in Iraq. This new imperialist military adventure has been launched in defiance of overwhelming popular opposition and without a shred of legal or constitutional authority.

      The decision to launch a new war was made by a handful of strategists of US imperialist policy within the military/intelligence apparatus, in league with the corporate and financial elite. It was made behind the backs of the American people, who have absolutely no say in the policies, including going to war, that impact their lives.

    • Oil and Erbil
    • Yemen wedding party goof up: US had nothing much to lose; just $80,000 and a few rifles

      Yemen, Aug 11: The wedding party goof up by USA drones in Yemen last year continues to chart the top headlines of news channels even now, especially when the secrets of the airstrike are out. It was a goof-up for sure and that was re-instated when the US government did not retract on its statement that they hit the right convoy and killed the right person, including a terrorist Shawqi al-Badani. If the wedding attire of the members of the ill-fated convoy is not wnough, US top officials should have seen the Yemeni tribes (to which the dead belonged to) ravage the local municipalty office.

    • Back in Iraq, Jack!

      President Obama may want us to sympathize with patriotic torturers, he may turn on whistleblowers like a flesh-eating zombie, he may have lost all ability to think an authentic thought, but I will say this for him: He knows how to mark the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin fraud like a champion.

      It’s back in Iraq, Jack! Yackety yack! Obama says the United States has fired missiles and dropped food in Iraq — enough food to feed 8,000, enough missiles to kill an unknown number (presumably 7,500 or fewer keeps this a “humanitarian” effort). The White House told reporters on a phone call following the President’s Thursday night speech that it is expediting weapons to Iraq, producing Hellfire missiles and ammunition around the clock, and shipping those off to a nation where Obama swears there is no military solution and only reconciliation can help. Hellfire missiles are famous for helping people reconcile.

    • Boys to men– ‘New York Times’ tally of Gaza dead says 15- to 17-year-old’s aren’t children

      On August 5, The New York Times published a highly problematic article “Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead from Gaza Conflict”, that presented information supporting dubious Israeli government claims that 900 Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza, or around half of all Palestinian killed in Gaza in Israel’s current offensive, were “terrorists.” This assertion flies in the face of consensus reporting over the last month indicating much higher Palestinian civilian casualty figures.

    • Obama’s Pentagon Covered Up War Crimes in Afghanistan, Says Amnesty International

      The human-rights group reports the U.S. military systematically ignored evidence of torture and unlawful killings in Afghanistan as recently as last year.

    • AI: US military ignored evidence of war crimes in Afghanistan

      [JURIST] The US military systematically covered up or disregarded “abundant and compelling evidence” of war crimes in Afghanistan, Amnesty International (AI) [advocay website] reported [PDF] Monday. The report, entitled “Afghanistan: Left in the dark: Failures of accountability for civilian casualties caused by international military operations in Afghanistan,” examines the record of accountability for civilian deaths caused by international military operations in the five-year period from 2009 to 2013. The report focuses, in particular, on the poor performance of the US government in investigating possible war crimes and in prosecuting those suspected of criminal responsibility for such crimes.

    • Amnesty International Report Details Crimes by US/NATO Forces in Afghanistan

      Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed by United States and NATO military forces since 2001, but, according to Amnesty International, there have been only six cases in which the US military has “criminally prosecuted” officers for “unlawfully killing civilians.”

    • Amnesty slams US’ ‘poor record’ of probing civilian killings in Afghanistan

      Amnesty International has accused the US military of a lack of accountability for Afghan civilian deaths. A newly released report finds that thousands of civilians have been left without justice. DW examines the issue.

    • AI: US military justice system in ‘urgent need of reform’

      The US military fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses in Afghanistan, an Amnesty International report finds. The rights group’s Horia Mosadiq discusses the issue with DW.

      [...]

      In a DW interview, Horia Mosadiq, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Researcher, explains why she believes the US military justice system – which mainly relies on soldiers or commanders to report possible human rights violations – is flawed.

    • US sending arms to Kurds in Iraq

      The Obama administration has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, senior U.S. officials said Monday, but the aid has so far been limited to automatic rifles and ammunition.

      Previously, the U.S. sold arms in Iraq only to the government in Baghdad, some of which would be transferred to the Kurdish forces in the north. The Kurdish peshmerga fighters had been losing ground to Islamic State militants in recent weeks, however.

    • Swedish dad takes gamer kids to warzone

      “We were sitting at the dinner table last autumn, and my kids started telling me about this game they wanted to play, the latest Call of Duty game, and told me about the guns and missions,” Helgegren told The Local on Friday.

    • First Take: When foreign friends become foes

      The U.S. government lends its support and trust to the political leader of a strategic ally only to see that friend turn foe.

    • US directly arming Kurds

      The U.S. government began directly arming Kurdish forces in Iraq who are battling the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), sometimes called ISIL, according to The Associated Press.

    • Beware the World’s Leading War-Monger and Terrorist Organization

      The countries of Europe that are still part of the anachronistic, Cold War-era North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should listen to the growing voices of anger and alarm among their citizens who recognize that the United States, far from providing them with security, is stirring up conflict all around the globe (not to mention spying on, and probably extorting, their compromised leaders). Particularly in Ukraine, along Russia’s southern border, and in Palestine, these actions pose threats that could ultimately drag Europe into violent conflagrations that have not been seen since the end of World War II, nearly 70 years ago.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • NCAA Found To Violate Antitrust Laws In Preventing Schools From Sharing Licensing Revenue With Student Athletes

      It’s long been recognized that the NCAA sports setup is a bit of a scam, in which “student” athletes make various colleges a ridiculous amount of money — none of which actually makes it to the athletes themselves. In many cases, these are barely actually “students” at all. And while some of the athletes may later cash in by going pro, many do not. A few years ago, we wrote about a class action lawsuit brought by basketball player Ed O’Bannon over the fact that his likeness was appearing in an EA video game, and that the NCAA had basically violated antitrust laws in effectively forcing him (and all NCAA athletes) to sign away all such rights for no compensation. The case has gone back and forth over the years, but on Friday Judge Claudia Wilken sided strongly with the players, finding the NCAA had clearly violated antitrust laws.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • European Court Finds CIA Interrogation Techniques “Amounted to Torture”

      While in Poland, the ECHR concludes, the CIA’s treatment of Zubayah “amounted to torture.” In other words, the precise techniques analyzed and approved by John Yoo and Jay Bybee and used by the CIA in Poland on Zubaydah, amounted to torture.

    • Torture report still incomplete

      California’s U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is right to pressure the Obama administration over its heavy-handed redactions of a report examining “enhanced interrogation” techniques used by the CIA after 9/11.

    • The C.I.A. and Torture

      Worse, the C.I.A. has delayed release of the report with unreasonable redactions of important and relevant parts that could provide critical details on illegal torture techniques and agency mismanagement of an ill-conceived interrogation program.

    • How we lost our way
    • Holiday From Hell? Atlantic City Vacationers Describe Being Roughed Up by Harrah’s Security

      They are calling it the vacation from hell — a trip to Atlantic City that was supposed to include pool-side fun, boardwalk entertainment, and maybe some poker winnings, instead the Binns family from Florida said they were left battered and bruised at the hands of Harrah’s Resort hotel security officers.

    • Los Angeles woman punched by CHP officer speaks (w/video)

      The woman whose videotaped beating by a California Highway Patrol officer sparked outrage says she believes the officer was trying to kill her.

    • How a Squad of Ex-Cops Fights Police Abuses

      Allen E. Smith and I are sitting in his black Chevy Avalanche with tinted windows, staring out at a small deli in northwest Fort Lauderdale. It was 1976, Smith tells me. He was 28, an officer in the Fort Lauderdale Police Department working a detail that involved watching certain vulnerable stores for robberies. Sure enough, one night while he was crouching under a tree across the way, a robber overpowered the elderly clerk. Smith caught him coming out the door. The guy had a gun in his waistband. Smith had a shotgun. He pumped it and said, “Freeze!” The guy made like he was reaching for his gun. “So I shot him.”

    • Missouri crowd after shooting: ‘Kill the police’

      The fatal shooting of a black teenager by police sent hundreds of angry residents out of their apartments Saturday in a St. Louis suburb, igniting shouts of “kill the police” during a confrontation that lasted several hours.

      A St. Louis County chapter of the NAACP called for the FBI to look into the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb a few miles north of downtown St. Louis.

    • Multiple investigations underway in Ferguson shooting

      Tensions are high in Ferguson, Missouri and a large police presence is on hand after a teenager was shot to death by a police officer.

    • NYPD Puts Terrorism On The Run By Ordering Twitter To Turn Over Parody Account User Data ‘Linked’ To Brooklyn Bridge Flag-Switching

      Apparently, the NYPD can’t take a joke.

    • DOJ: Due to 9/11 Moms and Kids are National Security Threat

      Migrant mothers and their young children detained at the border are being denied an opportunity to be released on bond, because of 9/11.

      Department of Justice prosectors are citing a 2003 ruling from former Attorney General John Ashcroft to deny bond to undocumented immigrant mothers and children — many of whom have valid asylum claims — held at a remote detention facility in Artesia, New Mexico that advocates say is ill-equipped to care for children.

    • Thousands of US Citizens Demand Dismissal of CIA Chief Brennan

      More than 42,000 people signed a petition of the progressive group CREDO addressed to President Barack Obama, asking the Department of Justice to press charges against people involved in spying on Congress.

      The CIA’s admission that a bunch of officials spied on Senate staffers is a prove that the White House has lost control over intelligence agencies, said the critics as quoted by The Hill on-line newspaper.

    • “We Tortured Some Folks”

      President can’t use the lame excuse that fear drove some people to violate the law and torture “folks.” The Geneva Convention Against Torture, to which the Untied States is a signatory, is absolutely clear on this matter. Article Two, Section One reads: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability of any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture.” It seems crystal clear, and one might think a Harvard Law School graduate would get that right. Those who accept the President’s argument that fear made people torture others, should then be expected to understand the fear that drove North Vietnamese to torture American pilots – including Senator John McCain – as a result of years of trauma from relentless and criminal U.S. bombing over years that killed hundreds of thousands of people, and left millions refugees.

    • Could the ‘Torture Report’ help spare the Guantanamo defendants?
    • Impending ‘torture’ report fires up Obama, McCain, Feinstein and other politicos: Spy Games Update
    • Will We Ever Know the Truth About Torture?
    • Intelligence Community Warns That Releasing CIA Torture Report Details Might ‘Inflame Anti-US Passions’ In Middle East

      Of course, the response to McLaughlin ought to be “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you release a report like this, it might embarrass folks like John McLaughlin for his role in the torture program. It’s blindingly obvious.” And, really, if McLaughlin is so concerned about how folks might react to this program, perhaps he should have, you know, stopped it.

    • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalists Show Solidarity with James Risen in Fight Against Justice Department
    • Pulitzer Winners Call for End of DOJ Pursuit of Journalist’s Testimony, Not That the Feds Will Care

      Given the way the Obama administration has treated journalists, they might be better off getting celebrities to speak out. Nevertheless, the Freedom of the Press Foundation has gotten 14 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to speak out against the administration’s terrible treatment of New York Times reporter and author James Risen. The Department of Justice has been trying to force Risen to give the name of a leaker who provided information to him that detailed the government’s effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program for a book. The government believes the source to be Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA official, and he’s one of the guys the administration has targeted under the Espionage Act.

    • Pulitzer Prize Winners Ask Obama Administration Not to Jail Reporter
    • Pulitzer Prize winners back James Risen

      Fourteen Pulitzer Prize winners released statements on Monday in support of New York Times reporter James Risen, who is refusing to testify in the prosecution of a CIA officer accused of leaking classified information about U.S. efforts to undermine Iran’s nuclear program.

    • More Than a Dozen Pulitzer Winners Call on the Justice Dept to End its Pursuit of James Risen

      Today, fourteen Pulitzer Prize winners have issued statements in support of journalist James Risen and in protest of the Justice Department’s attempt to force Risen to testify against his sources. Risen has vowed to go to jail rather than give up his source, but the Justice Department has steadfastly refused to drop its pursuit. On Thursday, many of the major US press freedom organizations will hold a press conference in Washington DC and deliver a petition with over 100,000 signatures to the Justice Department, calling on them to do the same.

    • Maine’s Colby College to honor James Risen

      A New York Times reporter who could go to jail for not revealing the source of classified information is being honored by a Maine college for courageous journalism.

    • U.S. government adding biometric files to terrorism database

      The U.S. government, with help from the CIA, is currently looking to obtain biometric data of some 1.1 million known or suspected terrorists, according to secret U.S. government documents obtained by online magazine The Intercept.

    • Awkward: This Democratic Judicial Candidate’s Husband Is a White Supremacist

      On his blog, he writes how he wants to establish whites-only towns, employing individuals from other cultures and races as spies in an agenda to shape America in his image.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why Is The FCC Only Holding Net Neutrality Meetings In DC?

      On Friday, the FCC announced plans to host a bunch of “open internet roundtable discussions” as it continues to explore the rules that it will put in place. That’s a good idea… until you realize that all of the meetings will be held in Washington DC. And, of course, by doing that, it more or less guarantees that the space will be filled by lobbyists and friends, rather than the actual public. EFF is asking the FCC to get out of Washington DC and to talk to real people, rather than just telco insiders — pointing out that it’s done so before and can easily do so again.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Understanding copyright and its use today

        The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is regularly used to remove copyright infringing content from the Internet. In some cases the take-down is legitimate, but in other cases the DMCA is misused and things that are legitimately protected by “fair use” are taken down. Content creators can fight a take down, but doing so is usually a laborious process. Conversely, some content creators and consumers attempt to redefine or expand “fair use” to include any use they wish so they can use source materials without getting permission or complying with the law. But were things always the way they are now?

08.11.14

Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Still Does Not Run Properly Under Weston, Wayland’s Reference Compositor

        For now, the Gecko layout engine which is Firefox based on, has been made to work with Weston, the Wayland official reference compositor, but the keyboard input has been broken and the decorations are not displayed well, but the process is in its early stages.

      • Dogfooding: Flame on Nightly

        Just about two weeks ago, I got a Flame and have decided to use it as my primary phone and put away my Nexus 5. I’m running Firefox OS Nightly on it and so far have not run into any bugs so critical that I have needed to go back to Android.

        I have however found some bugs and have some thoughts on things that need improvement to make the Firefox OS experience even better.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice moves up to 4.3 – today, you can’t own a better Office Suite

      Two versions of LibreOffice were released in quick succession. You’ll find the latest iteration of the successful 4.2 series announced here, but slightly ahead of that 4.2.6 release, there was also the bump to a new development cycle. I was on a field trip to the US at the time of the 4.3.0 release announcement and was unable to devote time to updating the SlackBuild script and provide packages earlier than today.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • For The Love Of Open Mapping Data

        It’s been exactly ten years since the launch of OpenStreetMap, the largest crowd-sourced mapping project on the Internet. The project was founded by Steve Coast when he was still a student.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Open Source Farming: A Renaissance Man Tackles the Food Crisis

      Given Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) and our dwindling capacities for producing enough healthy food, a cutting-edge farming technique of a design engineer in Port Townsend, Washington, dramatically increasing produce yield, may well already be filling a critical void.

      [...]

      The corporate answer to the food crisis has been to introduce genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to expand crop sizes and yields. The outcomes and implications of this, however, continue to prove detrimental to both the environment and human health.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former US Intelligence Officers rubbish current ‘intelligence’ regime [reposted as new]

      Several former US intelligence officers with a cumulative total of 260 years in various parts of US Intelligence recently wrote to President Barack Obama, expressing concern over ‘evidence adduced so far to blame Russia for the July 17 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17’.

    • Obama: U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq a ‘long-term project’

      The United States expanded its Iraq air campaign over the weekend to beat back Islamist militants determined to kill members of a religious minority.

      Fighter jets and drones struck ISIS fighters firing on ethnic Yazidis near the northern town of Sinjar, where extremists had driven tens of thousands fleeing into nearby mountains.

    • US pounds IS targets in Iraq with drones and jets

      US forces launched a second wave of air strikes against Islamic extremists near Arbil in northern Iraq on Friday, destroying a militant convoy and killing a mortar team, the Pentagon said.

    • Obama’s Irrelevant Air Strikes
    • Obama: Return to Iraq ‘a long-term project’
    • Obama says Iraq is going to be a ‘long-term project’
    • Commentary: Seek potential for peace

      And since when has the U.S. advocated weapons non-proliferation? As the world’s No. 1 weapons salesman, with one-third of its foreign aid budget often military aid, the U.S. has equipped dictators with weapons to slaughter thousands. If supplying weapons is evil, shouldn’t it be consistently condemned? Consider school shootings. Does Obama blame the nation that supplied the guns?

    • Deadly Clashes With Police Erupt at Pakistan Protests

      The clashes deepened the sense of crisis surrounding Mr. Sharif’s government, whose power has already been undermined by a troubled relationship with the country’s military leadership. The prime minister now faces the prospect of a series of major streets protests led by Mr. Qadri and, more substantively, his rival in the opposition, Imran Khan.

    • The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam

      The greatest mystery—or better said, mystification—to be overcome is the apparent contradiction between America’s proclaimed principles and the intensity of its covert operations practices. Philip Agee once called the CIA, “capitalism’s invisible army”. He recalled that one of his first tasks as a junior CIA officer had been to conduct background checks on Venezuelan applicants for jobs at the local subsidiary of a major US oil company.9 In fact, his conclusion after quitting the “Company” was that capitalism could never be maintained without an extensive military and secret police force to suppress opposition to it.

    • Kenya: What African Leaders Could Learn From America

      Indeed, numerous studies and books have shown that the American government, or CIA to be precise, has been behind some of the major coups in Africa as in the rest of the developing world. The CIA for example, is believed to be behind the overthrow of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah as well as the assassination of DR Congo’s Patrice Lumumba.

    • Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah ‘worse than Hiroshima’

      Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

  • Finance

    • David Miliband: ‘I want Ed to succeed. I’m sure he feels the same about me’

      He looks exactly the same. Navy blue suit, crisp white shirt and reddish tie. Lego-like cropped black hair, with a dash of white at the fringe. But these days, 3,000 miles away from the grand corridors of Whitehall through which he once strode, David Miliband navigates the cramped 12th floor of an office tower in midtown Manhattan.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • How Ted Nugent Repaid The Newspaper That Hosted His Concert

      After the Toledo Blade received months of criticism for reluctantly hosting National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent at their food and music festival, the conservative commentator repaid the Ohio paper by declaring that “So as long as you know the Toledo Blade hates you, you’re a good American.”

      Nugent has been a source of virulently racist, sexist, and homophobic commentary for years, but his January declaration that President Obama is a “subhuman mongrel” has triggered a wave of cancellations and protests of his concerts.

  • Censorship

    • Porn Stars Want to Know: Why Did Facebook Delete Me?

      The social network isn’t impressed. Maybe it’s the shock of seeing your bubble butt popping out of skimpy bikini. Or maybe it’s just because you’re a porn star.

    • icanhazip.com blocked by Websense

      Here’s what I know:

      The application that serves up the icanhazip services is not compromised
      The virtual machine on which the application resides is not compromised
      The application is returning valid data with no evidence of serving malware

    • City Of London Police Arrest Creator Of Anti-Censorship Proxy Service Based On Hollywood’s Say So

      We’ve been covering the extreme and misinformed attempts by the City of London Police to become Hollywood’s personal police force online (despite only having jurisdiction for the one square mile known as the City of London). As we’ve noted, the City of London Police don’t seem to understand internet technology at all, nor do they have any jurisdiction to pull down websites. Yet, despite the total lack of a court order, many clueless registrars see letterhead from a police department and assume everything must be legit, even though this completely violates ICANN policy for domain registrars. Much of this is done in “partnership” with legacy players from the industry, who the police seem to listen to without any skepticism at all. It would be like the NYPD giving control of banking fraud investigations to Goldman Sachs.

  • Privacy

    • Father of PGP encryption: Telcos need to get out of bed with governments

      Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy public-key encryption, has some experience when it comes to the politics of crypto. During the “crypto wars” of the 1990s, Zimmermann fought to convince the US government to stop classifying PGP as a “munition” and shut down the Clipper Chip program—an effort to create a government-mandated encryption processor that would have given the NSA a back door into all encrypted electronic communication. Now Zimmermann and the company he co-founded are working to convince telecommunications companies—mostly overseas—that it’s time to end their nearly century-long cozy relationship with governments.

    • U.S. intel officials see no proof — yet — that Snowden leaks are behind Chinese & Russian crackdowns

      American intelligence officials lack evidence that leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden are behind the Russian and Chinese governments’ heavy crackdowns on U.S. tech giants.

      A former high-ranking American intelligence official told VentureBeat late Thursday that U.S. intelligence believes the Snowden leaks — regarding the infiltration of Microsoft, Yahoo, and others by the NSA — are behind the Russian and Chinese backlash. But, the source said, plenty of questions remained unanswered — and so far there’s no proof of a connection.

    • Are Bitcoin And BitTorrent Good For Society?
    • Visit the Wrong Website, and the FBI Could End Up in Your Computer

      Security experts call it a “drive-by download”: a hacker infiltrates a high-traffic website and then subverts it to deliver malware to every single visitor. It’s one of the most powerful tools in the black hat arsenal, capable of delivering thousands of fresh victims into a hackers’ clutches within minutes.

      Now the technique is being adopted by a different kind of a hacker—the kind with a badge. For the last two years, the FBI has been quietly experimenting with drive-by hacks as a solution to one of law enforcement’s knottiest Internet problems: how to identify and prosecute users of criminal websites hiding behind the powerful Tor anonymity system.

    • Leaked docs show spyware used to snoop on US computers

      The leaked files contain more than 40 gigabytes of confidential technical material, including software code, internal memos, strategy reports, and user guides on how to use Gamma Group software suite called FinFisher. FinFisher enables customers to monitor secure Web traffic, Skype calls, webcams, and personal files. It is installed as malware on targets’ computers and cell phones.

    • Phone number now must for new email ids: Gmail, Yahoo

      Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), on the other hand, believe the move could conflict with privacy of an individual. Also, there is no regulatory requirement for making phone number must for having an email address.

    • Australia’s Attorney General Says Metadata Collection Won’t Track Your Web Surfing, Just The Web Addresses You Visit (Huh?)

      Australian Attorney General George Brandis seems to be working extra hard to demonstrate just how completely clueless he really is. On both copyright and surveillance, it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t even remotely understand the details, but is willing to go all in to support some misleading claims that someone told him. On the surveillance front, he recently claimed (incorrectly) that data retention rules are a must (and that whistleblowers should be thrown in prison).

    • Former Top FISA Judge Insists USA Freedom Act Is Dangerous Because It Might Mean FISA Court Can’t Rubberstamp So Fast
    • Mark Dubois: Paying Lip Service To Confidentiality And Privilege

      I was thinking of this cavalier attitude towards the issues of confidentiality and privilege when I read that the National Security Agency or one of its cooperating partners had listened in on private attorney-client communications between a law firm and a foreign client.

    • Changing the conversation about Privacy, Surveillance, and Pushing SSL

      Yesterday at DEF CON we had the chance to listen to Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist, American Civil Liberties Union talk about the state of the surveillance state and how we can help fight against it. Of course you might think that his talk would be about the use of spy proof technologies, but oddly enough very little of that was talked about except to make it clear that talk of spy-proof technology makes people in Washington nervous.

    • DEF CON attendees get tips on how to detect, escape surveillance

      Since Edward Snowden helped reveal wide-scale government snooping programs, the conspiracy-oriented elements of the cyber-security community have become a little more emboldened.

    • The NSA Secretly Tried To Delete Part Of A Courtroom Transcript It Deemed Classified
    • Op-Ed: Using Facebook ‘Likes’ to predict personality can be dangerous

      Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act, so said George Orwell, author of “1984.”

  • Civil Rights

    • The CIA says it spied on Congress, so shouldn’t that be a big deal?
    • Worse than Watergate?

      In a world where political hyperbole has become so prevalent that it has for the most part lost the ability to impact an audience, it’s easy to routinely dismiss things like the commonly tossed-around Watergate comparisons that abound in political media. Indeed, it’s practically newsroom SOP to affix a gate suffix to any scandal big enough to make the evening broadcast – Lewinsky-gate, Benghazi-Gate, Bridge-gate, etc.

    • Why did Obama stand behind CIA chief?
    • The untransparent CIA
    • Editorial: CIA running amok

      Since 2008 the Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating the interrogation procedures the CIA used on terrorist suspects. It produced a 6,000-page report plus a 700-page summary. In discussing the summary, Obama said, “We tortured some folks,” using a word — “torture” — the CIA abhors.

      [...]

      That’s ridiculous. People may argue over what’s torture and what’s not, but keeping facts secret to cover your backside — which is what’s going on here — is unacceptable.

    • Feinstein winning fight with CIA, Obama over torture report

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator and a longtime hawk on national defense, is leading an epic constitutional struggle against unlikely foes: the CIA and fellow Democrat President Obama. So far, she’s winning.

    • Russia: Independent Journalist Found Dead

      Police should carry out a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation into the death of an independent journalist in Russia’s North Caucasus, Human Rights Watch said today. Timur Kuashev, a freelance journalist and rights activist, was found dead in the outskirts of Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, on August 1, 2014. His friends and colleagues told Human Rights Watch they strongly believe Kuashev’s death was a murder in retaliation for his activism.

    • Angry Lawyer Sues WordPress Because Someone Set Up A Website Mocking Him

      What’s that saying about a lawyer who represents himself? Yes, well, consider the case of lawyer Jeffrey Wilens, representing himself pro se, in a “trademark” lawsuit filed against Automattic, the company better known for WordPress, the content management system/hosting service that a large percentage of the internet now uses. Wilens appears to have someone who doesn’t like him very much, who set up a bunch of websites using Wilens’ name and the name of his legal practice, Lakeshore Law Center. Wilens is claiming that this is trademark infringement, based on a trademark on his name and the name of his law practice. Even if he were just going after whoever made the page, this would be a massive long shot. As we’ve covered for years, so-called “gripe sites” are not considered trademark infringement. There’s no likelihood of confusion, they’re almost never commercials, and shutting them down would often violate the First Amendment. But Wilens is pointing his legal guns not just at whoever made the site, but also at Automattic for allowing the site to be created and hosting it (he also sued Google, but recently dismissed the company from the case).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

08.09.14

Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • SDN blogs: Ansible for server automation; open source tools on the rise

    Ansible for server automation, open source tools and the different types of network automation were top-of-mind for this week’s SDN bloggers.

  • Machine Learning Goes Open Source
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 37 Beta Fixes the Tab Layout Option

        The Beta branch of Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, is now at version 37.0.2062.68.

        The Google Chrome developers have been working around the Beta branch, but now a new release has been made and it packs a few changes and improvements.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox On Wayland Is Progressing

        Collabora remains interested in seeing Mozilla’s Firefox web-browser with Gecko layout engine on Wayland.

        As reported on Phoronix a few times, the GTK3 port of Firefox is still being worked on along with the Wayland port. The GTK3 version of Firefox hasn’t yet hit the mainline code-base, but progress is being made and for allowing Firefox/Gecko to avoid its hard dependencies on X11 interfaces.

        While there’s still some work to go, Frederic Plourde of Collabora has reminded us it’s still being worked on and their experimental code continues to allow Firefox to run natively on Wayland’s Weston compositor.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How to Roll Your Own Cloud

      As I noted in this post, last week marked the release of ownCloud 7 Community Edition, the new version of the ever popular open source file-sharing and storage platform for building private clouds. Among the benefits you can get from running ownCloud is a unique server-to-server sharing feature, which lets you share files with other users on separate instances, without having to use file sharing links. For many people, ownCloud has become an essential open platform.

    • ownCloud numbers

      We have good reasons to keep an eye on that. Open Source projects typically have a huge turnover (60%/year is normal), requiring us to keep attracting new contributors. Not only that, ownCloud Inc. has hired many community members and, through its marketing and sales machine, is increasing the number of ownCloud users enormously. We do numbers on our user base internally, and the number we make public (about 1.7 million at the moment) is a rather conservative estimate. And growing quickly: Germany’s upcoming largest-ever cloud deployment will bring ownCloud to half a million users!

  • CMS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • On Navigating Laws and Licenses with Open Source Projects

      A few years ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst made the prediction that open source software would soon become nearly pervasive in organizations of all sizes. That has essentially become true, and many businesses now use open source components without even knowing that they are doing so.

    • Oracle Embargoes FLOSS (Java)…

      So, Oracle is pushing the limits but apparently is legally doing so. Whether FLOSS can legally be embargoed by government is beyond me. After all, the source is out there and can’t be put back in the bottle. Further, if every country in the world had a random set of embargoes against every other country in he world, FLOSS could not be international at all. That would be a crime against humanity. If Java, why not Linux, itself? If such embargoes apply, Russia, Iran, Cuba etc. could just fork everything and go it alone. They certainly have the population to support a thriving FLOSS community behind their own walls.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Kurdish pleas for weapons may finally be heard

      That raises the question of whether the CIA has begun providing weapons in secret to the Kurds, something U.S. officials will not confirm nor deny. The CIA declined to comment on whether it was sending arms.

    • US drone kills 3 suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen

      The U.S. drone strike killed three suspected al-Qaida men in Yemen’s central province of Marib on Saturday, Yemeni security officials said.

      The strike targeted a house in Wadi Abida area in Marib province, killing three men and injuring two women, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

    • Six months later, no one knows exactly who died in an American drone strike in Yemen

      December 12, 2013, began on a happy note for members of two Yemeni tribes as they celebrated the union of a young couple. After the wedding, a convoy of men took off to escort the bride to her new home. Twelve of them never made it.

    • US plan in jeopardy

      The bombing of wedding parties revealed much about the directionless and aimless war in Afghanistan.

    • Do Palestinians Living in Israel Count?

      This is important because the exclusion of Palestinians from public opinion polling in Israel is actually quite common–though it’s not always reported clearly. A recent Washington Post article (7/29/14) ran with a headline proclaiming, “Israelis Support Netanyahu and Gaza War, Despite Rising Deaths on Both Sides.” The Post cited various polls demonstrating support for the Israeli government’s current campaign in Gaza:

    • Here’s what I learned about reducing civilian deaths as an Israeli major

      The brutal Hannibal procedure seems to me to break all rules of war. It should be thrown out of the window and never used again in Gaza.

    • Cairo negotiators plead for return to ceasefire as Gaza hostilities resume
    • Israeli Shells Pound Gaza As Fighting Resumes

      Israel says Hamas has fired six rockets across the border since the 72-hour ceasefire ended on Friday morning.

    • Obama-Putin Relations

      Prior to Russian President Vladimir Putin and China blocking Obama’s wish to send NATO planes into the Syria conflict, relations between Obama and Putin were pretty good.

    • US strikes targets in Iraq with drones and jets

      U.S. forces launched a second wave of air strikes against Islamic extremists near Arbil in northern Iraq on Friday, destroying a militant convoy and killing a mortar team, the Pentagon said.

    • Obama moves US move deeper into Iraqi morass by authorising targeted airstrikes against Islamic State

      Obama has authorized targeted air strikes on Islamic State to protect US personnel. He also authorized air drops of humanitarian aid to members of the Yazidi minority who fled to the mountains and Christians as well.

    • Let us jointly develop arms: PM Narendra Modi to US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told visiting US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel that India would like to work with US defence majors on a joint development and co-production model as part of Delhi’s efforts to achieve self-reliance and reduce arms import.

    • Fifty years since the Gulf of Tonkin incident which triggered the Vietnam war

      Most historians and military experts have since concluded that the second attack on American warships did not occur, many blaming misread sonar pings. “Review of action makes many recorded contacts and torpedoes appear doubtful,” the Maddox commanding officer reportedly communicated after evading the alleged torpedo attacks. “Freak weather effects and overeager sonar men many have accounted for many reports.”

    • America’s Recruitment of Nazis–Then and Now

      I assume, in jest, that at least a tiny part of the media blackout over the “anti-terrorist” wonton brutalities against civilians in southeastern Ukraine (Novorossya) may be the result of the decidedly unsexy quality of the fascist cohort participating in the Kiev junta’s campaign there. Foot soldiers of Svoboda and Right Sector paramilitary army (the Kiev junta’s so-called National Guard, formed as a volunteer army after the coup) look comically lumpen. Moreover, they feel like a postmodern pastiche of the original Nazis—and so does their cult, a virtual fan club, of Stepan Bandera, the Galician butcher who notoriously collaborated with the Axis forces in the extermination of Jews, Ukrainians, Poles, and other undesirables in the East. Ideologically, they seem unreal, as though they had just crawled out of a deep bomb hole in history, which had not been quite repaired in the post war, absurdly calling out for “Glory to Ukraine.” A glimpse at fascist-parade photographs and videos of their subterranean, wormy faces set in the bully’s obstinate scowl, their heads shaven kapo style, hobnail-booted and pudgily stuffed in fascist-regulation black, makes one think of hastily rounded up layabouts as extras for an implausible B-movie about an improbable skin-head warfare in a high school anywhere in the USA. Despite their obvious fantasies, Aryan warriors headed for Valhalla they are not. So, if they can’t be advertised as shining knights in America’s democracy armor or as specimen of a superior brand of military men, why were these retrogrades recruited to lead the Western-backed “pro-democracy” crusade in the Kiev Maidan and its aftermath?

    • Kiir, Machar must reach peace deal

      Western influence on conflict resolution processes in Africa and other parts of the world is usually associated with anarchy and regime change. According to the grapevine, US foreign relations agenda is driven by the CIA whose main aim is to puppetise political leaders in the world to embrace and advance American interests. Where such efforts are rejected, the US cunningly orchestrates regime change to either cause total chaos in a country or ensure a leader of their choice gets to the helm of political power. The modus operandi involves luring targets with cash handouts and/or pledges of donor funding.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Annual Conference: New Bills, New Spin-Offs, Same Corporate Backers

      The American Legislative Exchange Council, or “ALEC,” met in Dallas on July 30 for its annual meeting. ALEC brings together state legislators and corporate lobbyists to vote on “model” legislation behind closed doors, before those bills are introduced in state houses across the country, stripped of their ALEC origins. As the Kansas City Star has noted, what happens at ALEC meetings “provides a preview for the next state sessions” in legislatures around the country.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • NSA struggles to find employees after spying scandal

      The US National Security Agency is struggling to attract top technology workers after revelations of widespread eavesdropping practices damaged its reputation.

    • Google Will Rank Encrypted Sites Higher

      In the cyber age, no website is completely secure and our data is open for everyone to pry upon. Whether it’s a hacking incident or the case of the NSA snooping on our mails – nothing is confidential. In such an era, it just makes sense to build a more secure Web.

    • Hacking Airliners, Ships, and More Through Satellite Communications
    • Nissan investigates claims its Infiniti car is ‘most hackable’
    • Hackers Can Easily Disrupt Aircraft Satellite Links

      How hard is it to hack into satellite communications? Not that hard, according to researcher Ruben Santamarta of Seattle-based security company IOActive. He’s found a number of flaws in several widely-used satellite communication (SATCOM) terminals, the ground-based devices that communicate with orbiting satellites.

      Speaking at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas yesterday (August 7), Santamarta showed how SATCOM devices work and what kinds of flaws, including hard-coded credentials, backdoors and insecure and undocumented protocols, are present in them.

    • NSA Uses Private Sector Data Collection for Public Sector Purposes: Impacts on Big Data and Commerce

      The National Security Agency (NSA) now has access to virtually all online and mobile communications, as well as most credit card transactions, conducted in or through the U.S. The NSA is also tapping into the most popular smartphone applications, including Angry Birds, Google Maps, and Twitter. However, the NSA is far from the only entity treading on personal privacy to achieve its objectives; the private sector is teeming with examples of companies obtaining personal user data through questionable means and deploying it in even more questionable ways.

    • Crypto Daddy Phil Zimmerman says surveillance society is DOOMED

      A killer combination of rapidly advancing technology and a desire for greater privacy among the public should condemn current surveillance state to an historical anachronism, according to PGP creator Phil Zimmermann.

      In an extended talk at Defcon 22 in Las Vegas, Zimmermann said it might seem as though the intelligence agencies have the whip hand at the moment but mankind had faced this situation before. He also said the abolition of slavery and absolute monarchy, and the achievement for civil rights, also once looked unlikely but were achieved.

    • Berlin seeks names of secret service agents

      Berlin has asked all foreign diplomatic missions to provide names of secret service agents working in Germany, news weekly Der Spiegel reported on Friday, amid a rift with Washington over allegations of US spying.

    • Berlin asks embassies to name secret service agents in Germany: report
    • Spiegel: Germany asks other countries to name their spies
    • Snowden copycat a mole for U.S. public

      Whistle-blowers come in packs, so it’s a wonder no one followed the example of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for so long. Now, there seems to be a second leaker, and he or she is, like Snowden, feeding information to the press rather than peddling it to foreign intelligence services. It’s a sign that there’s a flaw in the U.S. approach to national security.

      After WikiLeaks published its trove of U.S. military and diplomatic documents in 2010, copycat sites sprang up throughout the world. Even established media outlets set up their own. The information released on these Web pages was not always sent in by whistle-blowers. I was present at the birth of YanukovychLeaks, the Ukrainian site where documentation plundered from former president Viktor Yanukovych’s abandoned residence was published. The “leaks” component in the names, however, pointed to the original project spearheaded by Julian Assange.

    • FinFisher in Middle East Media Spying Scandal

      Earlier this week on the social news and media aggregation website Reddit, the user “PhineasFisher” revealed that he had hacked into the central servers of the spying software company FinFisher, and discovered they had been assisting oppressive Middle Eastern regimes in Egypt and Bahrain to spy on journalists and activists since the first Arab Spring.

      Phineas released his 40GB cache of plundered files to the open Internet, which revealed that the company had installed their spyware on close to 80 machines within both countries, including those belonging to several prominent human rights lawyers, as well as leaders of the opposition forces who have been jailed since 2010.

    • Defcon and feds in a ‘cooling off’ period

      Last year’s Defcon event saw blatant anger directed at the feds after Edward Snowden’s revelatory leaks about the National Security Agency’s metadata collection efforts ignited a global firestorm. But this year is different. The relationship between Defcon organizers and the feds has entered a cooling off period.


    • Australian Proposal Would Require Suspicionless Domestic Spying by ISPs

      The Australian government announced new anti-terrorism measures this week, in response to the alleged involvement of Australian citizens with extremist groups in countries including Syria and Iraq. Quietly omitted from the briefing at which those changes were announced, but separately leaked to the press this week, were the government’s plans to introduce mandatory data retention requirements for Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

    • Encryption Keeps Your Data Safe…Or Does It?

      In the post-Snowden era, many people have come to believe that the only way to maintain privacy is through encrypting everything. (Well, as long as your encryption doesn’t use the flawed RSA algorithm that gave the NSA a backdoor.) A fast-moving session at the Black Hat 2014 conference challenged the assumption that encryption equals safety. Thomas Ptacek, co-founder of Matasano Security, noted that “nobody who implements cryptography gets it completely right,” and went on to demonstrate that fact in detail.

    • American privacy values vs. European perceptions

      And in the United Kingdom, wiretaps are approved by the Home Secretary — an executive official. It would be as if our own attorney general could approve the FBI’s wiretap requests. Perhaps even more notably, the Netherlands has the highest rate of wiretapping of any European country — Dutch police can tap any phone they like, so long as the crime under investigation carries at least a three-year jail term.

    • Study: NSA monitors virtually all communications in U.S.

      Perhaps a whispered conversation between two people might still be private in the U.S., but little else – not even kids playing “Angry Birds” — escapes the monitors at the National Security Agency, according to both a new report from a private data firm and a prominent U.S. Senator.

    • No More Anonymous Logins On Russia’s Public Wi-Fi; Government Demands Identity

      Russia is changing the way people use internet in the country. In a recent round of preventive measures taken by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a new law requires Russians to identify themselves before logging on to public Wi-Fi hotspots. The decree was signed by Medvedev on July 31 but was publicly announced Friday, according to Reuters.

    • Russia demands internet users show ID to access public Wi-Fi

      Russia further tightened its control of the internet, requiring people using public Wi-Fi hotspots provide identification, a policy that prompted anger from bloggers and confusion among telecom operators on how it would work.

    • Facebook Messenger Privacy Problem

      Most terrorists and spy agencies are aware not to use cell or Internet communication for their devious plots. They know cell phones can be turned on remotely.

    • NSA Tried To Delete Court Transcript In Lawsuit Over Deleting Evidence

      The National Security Agency secretly tried to delete part of a public court transcript after believing one of its lawyers may have accidentally revealed classified information in a court case over alleged illegal surveillance.

      Following a recent hearing in the ongoing Jewel v. NSA case, in which the Electronic Frontier Foundation is challenging NSA’s ability to surveil foreign citizen’s U.S.-based email and social media accounts, the government informed U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White it believed one of its attorneys mistakenly revealed classified information.

    • Privacy Files: On The Eastern Front

      Maybe Keith “Haystack” Alexander, who sold this country the pipe dream of mass surveillance and is now raking in the profits of fear and incompetence in the private sector. A modest man, he refuses to confirm his World Record Revolving Door fees of a million a month. “That number was inflated from the beginning,” he said.

      Of course, why would any self-respecting Russian hacker want to work for Haystack? Especially after Alexander’s old gang at the NSA got wiped out by a team of American techies in a friendly game of cyberwar.

      For those who tend to worry about the fate of their identities in small town Russia, the Times has some tips on re-thinking your password(s).

    • Banks’ new encrypted chat service could infuriate SEC

      The chat and instant-messaging service Goldman Sachs and five other banks are close to adopting has CIA-like encryption powers that could make life difficult for regulators, The Post has learned.

    • Spy court orders release of phone surveillance opinion
    • FISA Court Orders Government To Release Opinion Justifying Bulk Phone Data Collection

      The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court on Friday ordered the release of a partially declassified court opinion, which explains the government’s justification for the collection and surveillance of bulk telephone records by the National Security Agency.

    • Data protectionism, the real fallout from the NSA scandal; new contributor will make you care about global privacy issues

      Brazil is considering a law that would force U.S. companies like Google to store and keep data on its citizens only within Brazil’s borders – not at Google’s U.S. servers. Let’s call that data protectionism. Pandora, meet the NSA. This isn’t a story about Brazil. It’s a story about the future of technology, and about a lot of money.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Big four carriers accused of violating the only remaining net neutrality rule

      Only one portion of the FCC’s network neutrality rules survived a federal appeals court decision in January, and all four major US carriers have just been accused of violating it.

    • Obama Speaks Out As FCC Releases Net Neutrality Comments

      Just as the FCC released more than 1.4GB worth of net neutrality comments, President Barack Obama clarified his own thoughts on the proposed rules.

      During Tuesday’s U.S.-Africa business forum, the president took a strong stance against net neutrality.

    • Dear FCC: Get Out of D.C. and Talk to the Over 1 Million Americans Who Support Real Net Neutrality

      The FCC is slated to close the written comment window for the net neutrality proceeding on September 10th, but that doesn’t mean that the FCC is going to make up its mind anytime soon. In fact, it doesn’t even mean that the FCC will be done hearing from the public. Technically, the public can continue to comment, and the FCC, if it decides to do so, can continue to listen to Americans who speak out against proposed rules that would allow Internet providers to discriminate against how we access parts of the Net.

  • DRM

    • Netflix surpasses HBO in subscriber revenue

      Netflix has surpassed HBO in subscriber revenue, according to a status update from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on Wednesday. The company is now pulling in $1.146 billion compared to HBO’s $1.141 billion, and it boasts 50.05 million subscribers, according to its second-quarter earnings reported in July.

    • It’s Now Possible To Play Netflix Natively On Linux Without Wine Plug-Ins
    • Bestselling authors take out full-page New York Times ad against Amazon

      Readers of the New York Times will have to steel themselves this weekend, as the unseemly brawl between Hachette and Amazon erupts on to the tranquil pages of the Grey Lady. Perhaps the most incendiary item in Sunday’s edition is due to be a full-page ad paid for by a group of bestselling authors – and backed by over 900 other writers – calling on Amazon “in the strongest possible terms to stop harming the livelihood of the authors on whom it has built its business”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Tektronix Uses DMCA Notice To Try To Stop Oscilloscope Hacking

        Another day, another abuse of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions to stop things that have nothing whatsoever to do with copyright. As pointed out by Slashdot, the Hackaday site recently had a post about how to clone some Tektronix application modules for its MSO2000 line of oscilloscopes. The post explained a simple hack to enable the application module to do a lot more.

      • Plagiarism ends Walsh’s Senatorial race, propels Biden to VP

        Senator Joe Biden plagiarized a campaign speech and became Vice President of the United States. Senator John Walsh, D-Mont., plagiarized a final paper and may have ended his political career. What’s the difference?

        On Thursday, Walsh dropped his bid to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Montana. He has served in the Senate since February, when he was appointed to replace Max Baucus, who was named ambassador to China. His campaign was already doing badly against that of his Republican challenger, Representative Steve Daines, when two weeks ago the New York Times reported that he plagiarized much of the final paper for his master’s degree at the U.S. Army War College.

      • Who Really Owns a Monkey’s Selfie?

        Old wounds were reopened this week when Wikipedia released its first-ever transparency report, which cited a monkey selfie among its recent takedown requests.

      • Wikimedia votes to decide who owns monkey selfie

        Community’s decision on whether to keep or remove the photo could have ramifications as to who holds copyright to pictures posted online

08.08.14

Links 8/8/2014: Qt a Separate Company Again, KDE Frameworks 5.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Computer Dating, Linux Style

    Look…let’s face this together. Dating can suck.

    When you’re young, it’s an adventure. One has relatively little baggage, the emotional scars are few and you haven’t even begun to think about dating’s therapeutic value yet. In other words, the dating world is your oyster.

    Then you find yourself at midlife, when you’ve accumulated a large pool of of crises. You know, stuff like that divorce or two under your belt, some strong political or religious beliefs that are deeply ingrained and…oh yeah…that messy conviction for hacking that’s still on your record. These are things that tend to narrow down the potential list of candidates for life-long bliss.

  • Desktop

    • HP Slatebook price higher than expected

      Most price speculation put the device at around $399, and considered the device expensive. Now that the official price is known, the unique device seems even less appealing than before. With HP’s Chromebooks ranging from $279 to $349, and LTE models available, the Slatebook looks woefully overpriced.

    • Ubuntu Used on the International Space Station to Control Rover Back on Earth

      Ubuntu has been spotted aboard the International Space Station and it seems that it was used to control a rover back on Earth.

      Astronaut Alexander Gerst has published a photo that he took on board the ISS (International Space Station), bragging with the fact that he controlled a rover back on Earth and with his brand new “Rover driving licence.”

      Alexander Gerst is an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and he is currently onboard the ISS. He’s also a geophysicist and volcanologist, and now he seems to be a certified Rover driver. The image that he published on Twitter and Google+ got a lot of people interested, including Linux users…

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.16 Release: ARMed and Ready
    • ACPI 5.1, ACPI On ARM Are Among The Power Management Updates For Linux 3.17

      The generally interesting ACPI and power management pull request was sent in for the Linux 3.17 merge window.

      The changes corralled by Intel’s Rafael Wysocki for the ACPI+PM area of Linux 3.17 include an ACPICA update to bring ACPI 5.1 support, potentially faster hibernation, and basic work towards ACPI on ARM support. The faster hibernation is via using radix trees for storing memory bitmaps.

    • Many Intel DRM Changes Abound For Linux 3.17

      The Intel DRM graphics driver will feature its usual large amount of changes with the in-development Linux 3.17 kernel.

    • Linux Foundation Opens 2014 Scholarship Program for Open Source Training

      The Linux Foundation is once again this year sponsoring scholarships for students and young professionals interested in open source software development through the Linux Training Scholarship Program, which is now accepting applications.

    • Linux 3.16 Debuts Improving Samsung ARM Support

      As always there is no shortage of driver related updates in the new kernel and there are also a few interesting features too. Perhaps the most interesting is the unified control group hierarchy which is a feature that Jon Corbert of LWN has done a masterful job of explaining what it does. With Linux 3.16 and beyond there is even more fine grain feature for control and the how users are grouped for that control.

    • Linux 3.17 To Drop Old POWER Processor Support

      The PowerPC pull request for the Linux 3.17 merge window reveals that support for pre-POWER4 hardware is being eliminated. Among the affected hardware is POWER3 and IBM RS64 processors, which are from the late 90′s. POWER3 was used in IBM RS/6000 servers at the time and clocked at only a few hundred megahertz. Support for the old POWER hardware is being dropped since its Linux usage is minimal these days and the support was already regressed for some kernel releases.

    • Facebook Is Hiring To Make Linux Networking Better Than FreeBSD

      Facebook is hiring another Linux kernel engineer to join its growing kernel team. The goal for the new employee will be to make “the Linux kernel network stack to rival or exceed that of FreeBSD” and carry out other improvements to the Linux network stack.

    • Facebook wants Linux networking as good as FreeBSD

      Facebook wants better comms performance from the Linux kernel, and is recruiting developers to get it.

      Its job ad, here, says the House of Zuck wants a Linux kernel software engineer who will focus on the networking subsystem.

    • Facebook wants Linux network stack to ‘rival or exceed’ FreeBSD

      FACEBOOT IS LOOKING to hire a high-level Linux kernel developer, as it seeks to upgrade the Linux network stack to rival FreeBSD.

    • Out-Of-Tree “BLD” Kernel Scheduler Updated
    • BLD-3.16 release

      It’s been quite a long time since the announcement of the Barbershop Load
      Distribution (BLD) Algorithm. Quite a few changes have been made, since then.
      Now it more reflects what it really should be Wink. It’s a simplistic approach
      towards load balancing, typical x86 SMP boxes should run okay (tested personally)
      , but, yes it can break your boxes too. I’m looking forward to get some feedback,
      to keep further development up and going.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Linux 3.17 DRM Pull Brings New Graphics Driver

        The new DRM/KMS driver for the Linux 3.17 release is the STI KMS driver for STMicroelectronics with their STIH416 and STIH407 chipsets. Nouveau is missing out on changes for this pull request due to Ben Skeggs still tracking down a longstanding Nouveau issue but he’s expected to send in a separate Nouveau pull request in the days ahead that will have the new improvements for the open-source NVIDIA driver.

      • NVIDIA 343 Linux Driver Improves EGL Support, Fixes Many Bugs

        NVIDIA today has announced their first beta Linux/Solaris/FreeBSD driver release in the 343.xx driver series. As expected, this release drops pre-Fermi hardware support from the Linux mainline driver code-base.

        As we have known for months, those with GPUs older than the GeForce 400 “Fermi” series, you’ll need to use NVIDIA’s 340.xx legacy driver from here on out until you’re able to switch over to the open-source Nouveau driver. The NVIDIA 340 legacy driver will still maintain support for newer Linux kernel and X.Org Server releases along with prominent bug-fixes, but won’t otherwise receive new driver features, etc. NVIDIA’s now maintaining multiple legacy drivers and they’ve been doing a good job at still supporting these drivers for vintage hardware for several extra years.

      • NVIDIA 343.13 Beta Driver for Linux Has Bug Fixes and It Can Uninstall Older Versions

        NVIDIA has just announced that a new version of its Beta driver for the Linux platform, 343.13, has been released and is ready for download and testing.

        The new driver from NVIDIA doesn’t feature anything out of the ordinary, but the developers have made a series of changes and improvements, which should translate in better support and performance.

      • Broadcom VC4 Gallium3D Driver Soon To Merge Into Mesa

        The Broadcom VC4 Gallium3D driver, which provides the open-source user-space component to an OpenGL driver for the Raspberry Pi, will soon likely be added to mainline Mesa.

    • Benchmarks

      • Perf-Per-Watt: Catalyst vs. Radeon Gallium3D

        In continuing of yesterday’s tests of comparing the OpenGL performance of the latest Radeon Gallium3D and Catalyst drivers with an array of AMD Radeon HD/Rx graphics cards, here’s some complementary data including the performance-per-Watt and overall system power consumption for a few of the different AMD GPUs of recent generations.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Digia To Spin Off Qt Business Into Its Own Company

        Digia has officially announced today they will be spinning off their Qt division into its own company (still wholly-owned by Digia) that will focus exclusively upon Qt development.

      • Defragmenting Qt and Uniting Our Ecosystem

        Over the last years, many changes have been happening in the Qt ecosystem. One of the biggest was the creation of Qt Project where Qt is now being developed as an open source project. The Qt Project was created to provide a space open for all to further develop and foster innovation for the Qt technology.

      • Digia spins Qt unit as a separate company

        As the adoption of Qt is increasing in commercial as well as Open Source projects the company behind the project, Digia, has decided to spin Qt unit as a new company.

        Digia has been facing a resource challenge with Qt as 75% of the contribution comes from Digia employees. Qt has dual presence one at qt.digia.com and one at qt.project.com and these two sites or two entities have drifted apart instead of coming closer. Now what is the difference between the two? Same as with any open source project and commercial product. qt.digia.com is all about commercial offering whereas qr-project is all about the community.

      • Plasma-nm 0.9.3.4 is out!

        After 5 months we are releasing a new version of plasma-nm for KDE 4.x containing a lot of bugfixes, minor design improvements and internal changes (see my previous blog post). This is probably last major release since we are now focused to KF5/Plasma 5 version, but we will be still backporting all fixes and you can expect at least one more bugfix release in future.

      • First Update to KDE Frameworks 5

        KDE has today made the first update to KDE Frameworks 5. Frameworks are our addon libraries for Qt applications which provide numberous useful features using peer reviewed APIs and regular monthly updates. This release has 60 different frameworks adding features from Zip file support to Audio file previews, for a full list see KDE’s Qt library archive website Inqlude. In this release KAuth gets a backend so you can again add features which require root access, KWallet gets a migration system from its KDELibs 4 version and support has been added for AppStream files.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.1 Officially Released, Plasma Desktop Now Uses OpenGL
      • KDE Ships First Update To Frameworks 5
      • Plasma Addons – Where we are in Plasma5

        When we were building towards 5.0, we made the choice to focus all the effort on the core, and not release plasma-addons. It would have been simply too much work and quality of the core would have suffered.

        The intention was to start bringing them back from 5.1, which will be in approximately 2 months from now.

        The amount of stuff in plasma addons is huge.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.1 released

        The KDE Community has released Frameworks 5.1. KDE Frameworks is the evolution of KDE Libraries which is now extremely modular and optimized for Qt applications. This modular nature of KDE Frameworks makes is easy to use for Qt developer as now they can choose only those libraries that they need instead of having to install the entire set which would as one may say ‘bloat’ the system.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3 Plugins in WebKitGTK+ and Evince Browser Plugin

        The WebKit2 GTK+ API has always been GTK+ 3 only, but WebKitGTK+ still had a hard dependency on GTK+ 2 because of the plugin process. Some popular browser plugins like flash or Java use GTK+ 2 unconditionally (and it seems they are not going to be ported to GTK+ 3, at least not in the short term). These plugins stopped working in Epiphany when it switched to GTK+ 3 and started to work again when Epiphany moved to WebKit2.

      • GUADEC 2014

        This year’s GUADEC was in Strasbourg, a very beautiful city with its old streets and architecture.

      • Post-GUADEC
      • GUADEC 2014: the aftermath
      • GTK Text Editor CherryTree 0.34.3 Gets New Keyboard Shortcuts

        CherryTree 0.34.3, a hierarchical note-taking application that features rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single XML or SQLite file, has been released and is now available for download.

      • A pile of reasons why GNOME should be Debian jessie’s default desktop environment

        GNOME has, for some reason or another, always been the default desktop environment in Debian since the installer is able to install a full desktop environment by default. Release after release, Debian has been shipping different versions of GNOME, first based on the venerable 1.2/1.4 series, then moving to the time-based GNOME 2.x series, and finally to the newly designed 3.4 series for the last stable release, Debian 7 ‘wheezy’

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Gesture-controlled home automation hub runs Linux

      Sydney, Australia-based Ninja Blocks was one of the earlier entries in the Linux home automation game. The startup’s open source Ninja Block hub launched on Kickstarter in 2012, and began shipping in a more advanced version last October. The $199 Ninja Block Kit integrated a BeagleBone Black SBC and an Arduino-compatible microcontroller, and offered remote access via smartphone apps and a cloud service. Using a 433MHz RF radio, it controlled vendor-supplied sensor inputs including motion detectors, contact closures, temperature and humidity sensors, and pushbuttons.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Captures 85 Percent of Smartphone Market Worldwide
        • Google adds a callback button to Android Device Manager

          Stolen or lost phones have been a big headache for some Android users. There’s almost nothing worse for some folks than realizing that their phone is no longer in their possession and that they have no idea where it went. Now Google has released an update to its Android Device Manager that may help recover lost or stolen Android phones.

        • CyanogenMod improves their information portal with the ‘Device Status Roster’

          CyanogenMod have today launched a central device information point on the CM website. The ‘Device Status Roster’ is an extremely easy to navigate point of reference for anyone looking to install CM or find the latest download available.

        • Sony gives up on PlayStation Mobile for Android

          Sony has announced that it will no longer support the Android side of PlayStation Mobile, its initiative to support cross-platform indie game publishing for the PS Vita and Google’s OS. The service will continue to operate on PlayStation Certified devices running Android 4.4.2 and below, but from Android 4.4.3 and up, Sony can’t guarantee that games will play correctly or that users will be able to access the store. Phones and tablets on Android L, the upcoming major refresh, won’t have store access at all, and Sony says it has no plans to give any more devices PlayStation Certified status.

        • Forked Android devices might be a threat to Google’s control
        • Google under threat as forked Android devices rise to 20% of smartphone shipments

          Android dominates the world’s smartphone market. A new report from analyst firm Strategy Analytics pegs the Google-owned operating system’s global market share at 85 percent. That means that nearly nine in ten phones shipped are built on Android.

        • Android head-up display responds to voice and gestures

          Navdy’s Android 4.4 based automotive head-up display (HUD) combines a projected display with voice and gesture controls to interact with smartphone apps.

          Transparent head-up displays (HUDs) are becoming increasingly available as pricey options for luxury cars, promising to improve driver safety by keeping eyes on the road. Now, San Francisco-based startup Navdy is introducing a one-size-fits-all aftermarket solution for the 99 percent. The Navdy HUD is available at a steep discount of $299 throughout August before moving to $499, and will ship in early 2015.

        • This month’s best Android tablets

          There are a lot of different Android tablets, but sometimes it can be a time-consuming headache to find the best ones. ZDNet has a helpful roundup of the best Android tablets for this month, and there’s even one from Nvidia that will appeal to Android gamers.

        • Best Android tablets (August 2014 edition)

          Given the broad choice, and combine that with rock-bottom prices, there’s never been a better time to pick up a new Android tablet.

        • How Google Benefits From The Increased Market Share Of The Android Open Source Project

          Recent numbers from ABI Research on the market share of mobile smartphone platforms splits out the two major variants of Android. Both Google’s flavor of Android (namely the Android variant used by members of the Open Handset Alliance, with the Google Play support and services), and the Android Open Source Project, which is free for any manufacturer to base their handset on, are listed.

        • For Google, the Open and Less Open Channels for Android are All Good

          Android’s march to the top of the smartphone field has been nothing short of meteoric. Back in 2008, there were still questions about the viability of the platform. But in July, Strategy Analytics researchers delivered their latest smartphone market share numbers, which showed Android reaching new highs at a record 84.6 percent share of global smartphone shipments. That is commanding share.

          Some people forget, though, that Google steers a preferred version of Android (the version used by members of the Open Handset Alliance, with Google Play support and services), while the Android Open Source Project walks its own path. The fact is, though, both channels benefit Google in big ways.

        • Android/Linux Smartphone Results
        • Android Device Manager Updated To v1.3.8, Adds Convenient Callback Button To Remotely Locked Phones

          One last app came rolling in at the tail end of update Wednesday. This time, we’ve got a relatively small update to Android Device Manager, Google’s answer for lost or stolen phones. The changelog hasn’t been posted on the Play Store, but a quick teardown told us everything we needed to know. There’s a new callback feature that makes contacting the owner a one-touch operation.

        • OnePlus One is capable of 60 hours continous music playback claims Qualcomm

          Qualcomm were quick to add that the success of such power capacity during playback was largely due to their Snapdragon processor. The Qualcomm 801 processor contains a ‘Qualcomm Hexagon DSP’ “a technology block found inside certain Snapdragon processors” which works harmoniously with the One’s 3100mAH battery. Qualcomm suggest while other processors rely on CPU to playback media the Snapdragon is able to “funnel” the media through the DSP thus limiting battery consumption.

        • Google update Android L developer preview for Nexus 5 and 7

          Shortly after Google’s I/O event we announced the release of a developer preview of the upcoming and hotly anticipated L preview. This was specifically for Nexus 5 and 7 devices and allowed users to get a taste of what L might eventually look like when it is released in the fall.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Optimizing the front door (your website) for your open source project

    An open source project’s website is the main gateway for potential users and contributors to learn about your project, and it assists existing community members to contribute to the project. But it has to do it right. Does your website clearly present your project, its goals and status, and assist your community members to efficiently communicate with each other? Is it attracting new contributors?

  • 4 lessons from the trenches of community management

    Since the very beginning, I knew that we wanted to build a community around the philosophy of the open source way at Opensource.com. That would be easy because once people understood the benefits of open source, they’d be onboard, right? But, what would be the best way to reach new people? Who would participate? How and why would they want to? All of these questions were swimming around in my head. When I set out to find the answers, I could tell it wouldn’t be easy. Understanding group dynamics is a complex beast, but one that comes with satisfying rewards.

  • Open Prosthetics Founder: Challenges Ahead for Open Source Medical Devices

    Before he lost his arm serving as a Marine in Iraq in 2005, Jonathan Kuniholm was pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering. Now as a founder and president of the Open Prosthetics Project Kuniholm is working to make advanced, inexpensive prosthetics available to amputees around the globe through the creation and sharing of open source hardware designs.

  • Basho Adds Scalability, S3 API Compatibility to Riak NoSQL Storage

    Riak CS 1.5, the latest release of the open source distributed NoSQL database for cloud storage from Basho, is out this week, with new features aimed at enhancing performance, scalability, Amazon S3 compatibility and more.

  • Even Cities Are Jumping on the Open Source Bandwagon

    When most people think “open source” they think of software Github projects and hackers determined to code for the Greater Good. But it’s also a wholesale philosophy that can be applied to many aspects of society—like running a city.

  • Scale like Twitter with Apache Mesos

    Twitter has shifted its way of thinking about how to launch a new service thanks to the Apache Mesos project, an open source technology that brings together multiple servers into a shared pool of resources. It’s an operating system for the data center.

  • Open vs Proprietary? A question of practical philosophy

    Within our industry, there is a growing divide between two schools of thought; between those companies that believe that the future of the network lies in openness, and those that think a proprietary approach is the compelling way to go.

  • Salil Deshpande: Software Engineer. Venture Capitalist. Open Source Investor.

    Midas List VC Salil Deshpande talked to TechRepublic about why he’s betting on open source software and what he thinks about the future of IT.

  • New Zenoss Open Source Project Powered by Docker

    Zenoss Inc., the leading provider of unified monitoring and analytics solutions for physical, virtual, and cloud-based IT, today announced Zenoss Control Center, an open source project.

  • How an open source software pioneer made his millions: Best of the Web
  • Open Source Partnership Between 2600hz and Range Networks Give Mobile Carriers a New Option

    Move to commodity hardware: All elements of the system run on low-cost standard Linux servers, signifying a transition away from traditionally proprietary, closed hardware systems to a software-based, IP network future.

  • Build an Open Source Community Platform With New York Times, Washington Post and Mozilla
  • Top 10 Best Open Source Softwares that Rocks World Wide Web

    Open-source software is also called as OSS, which is a computer software program designed and deployed with its source code made available and licensed with a free license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to an anonymous entity for any purpose. People using OSS can distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose because Open-source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-content movements.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Best Chrome Apps and Extensions for Foodies

        Chrome is not just a browser. It has managed to reinvent itself by first turning into a full-fledged operating system, and then an ecosystem. Thanks to the relative openness of the platform and the plethora of efforts developers have put in, extensions and apps on Chrome offer pretty much the same functionality as a big ol’ desktop.

      • Google Chrome 38 Dev Lands with Improvements for X11

        The Development branch of Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, has advanced to version 38.0.2114.2 for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • NoSQL startup MongoDB names BladeLogic founder as new CEO

      MongoDB has appointed venture capitalist and former entrepreneur Dev Ittycheria as its new chief executive, adding fuel to speculation that the NoSQL database firm may be planning to go public soon.

    • The Story Behind Acquisition of ‘MySQL’ by Sun Microsystem and the Rise of ‘MariaDB’

      A database is an information organized in such a fashion that a computer program can access the stored data or a part of it. This electronic file system is stored, updated, selected and deleted using a special program called Database Management System (DBMS). There is a huge list of DBMS, a few of which makes to the list here are – MySQL, MariaDB, SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, LibreOffice Base, Microsoft Access, etc.

    • Out in the Open: The Abandoned Facebook Tech That Now Helps Power Apple

      Facebook engineers Avinash Lakshman and Prashant Malik originally built Cassandra to power the engine that let you search your inbox on the social network. Like other so-called “NoSQL” databases, it did away with the traditional relational model—where data is organized in neat rows and columns on a single machine—in order to more easily scale across thousands of machines. That’s vitally important for a growing web service the size of Facebook. Lakshman had worked on Amazon’s distributed data storage system called Dynamo, but the two also drew inspiration from a paper Google published in 2006 describing its internal database BigTable.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Meet Solaris 11.2, where SDN means ‘Software-Defined Net profit’

      Larry Ellison’s Oracle bowled out Solaris 11.2 last week – and what does this Unix-like give us? Cloud computing, yes, but also a stab at a datacenter-in-a-(large)-box.

    • Oracle Solaris 11.2 Officially Released

      Oracle Solaris, one of the most widely deployed UNIX operating systems, which delivers critical cloud infrastructure with built-in virtualization, simplified software lifecycle management, cloud scale data management, and advanced protection for public, private, and hybrid cloud environments, has finally reached version 11.2.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Does having open source experience on your resume really matter?

      “Code is the next resume.” These words by Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation tell profoundly about how our technology industry, and the many businesses that depend on it, are transforming. The unprecedented success of open source development methodology in the recent past raises some fundamental questions about the way the businesses are designed, the structure of the teams, and the nature of work in itself.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU ease.js v0.2.4 release
    • GNU Health patchset 2.6.2 released
    • GNU APL 1.4.released
    • More Details On GCC & LLVM Collaboration

      Last month in Cambridge was the 2014 GNU Tools Cauldron where GCC as a JIT compiler and other interesting topics were discussed by developers. One of the topics discussed was surrounding better collaboration between GCC and LLVM developers.

    • Roll Your Own YouTube/Flickr with MediaGoblin

      Everyone has wasted an afternoon on YouTube clicking through videos of talking cats, screaming goats and bad-lip-reading renditions of popular movies. Heck, there are plenty of YouTube videos of me doing odd and silly things as well. (Does anyone remember ‘Buntu Family Theater?) For important family videos, however, I much prefer to control my own data. I’ve tried over the years to keep an archive of home movies and such in a folder on a server somewhere, but they never get seen because getting to them in inconvenient. That’s where MediaGoblin comes in.

    • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 8
    • FSF Talks Up Libreboot As New Coreboot Downstream

      The laptop that the Free Software Foundation awarded last year as the first laptop they endorsed that “respected your freedom” was the Gluglug X60, old refurbished models of the IBM ThinkPad X60. These old laptops that were recommended by the FSF came loaded with Core Duo/Solo processors and GMA950 graphics along with other outdated specs, but were free of needing any firmware blobs or binary drivers. The Gluglug X60 ships with Coreboot as its boot-loader and since the initial announcement the Gluglug company has evolved into offering a “Libreboot” project.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • What Immigration did with just $1m and open source software

      The Department of Immigration has showed what a cash-strapped government agency can do with just $1 million, some open source software, and a bit of free thinking.

      Speaking at the Technology in Government forum in Canberra yesterday, the Department’s chief risk officer Gavin McCairns explained how his team rolled an application based on the ‘R’ language into production to filter through millions of incoming visitors to Australia every year.

    • GSA’s open source first approach gives more software options, better savings

      The General Services Administration last week announced a new policy requiring open source software be given priority consideration for all new IT projects developed by the agency. And while some may question whether open source software will be as effective as its conventional, proprietary counterpart, Sonny Hashmi, GSA’s chief information officer, is confident this new IT model will put the agency in the best position to procure and develop software in the most cost-effective manner.

    • GSA pushes open source, cloud for all new IT projects

      The General Services Administration will require all new IT projects be open source, according to a policy announced by the agency Aug. 1.

    • Russian Ministry of Health to Replace Microsoft and Oracle Products with Linux and PostgreSQL

      The Russian government is considering the replacement of Microsoft and Oracle products with Linux and open source counterparts, at least for the Ministry of Health.

  • Licensing

    • Contract corner: open sourcery

      Back in the good ol’ days, a customer could reasonably add a representation to a software or development agreement that promised “no open-source materials will be provided in the work product/software.” Those days are long gone because nearly every product incorporates open source. It seems that every vendor has a list of open-source software that is incorporated into its products and is more than eager to share the list with customers.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • From bench scientist to open science software developer

      When I was at school, computers were only really just beginning to show their promise and few people had Internet access. I remember begging my Mum for a ZX Spectrum and using it to write basic code to draw things on the screen. From then on I was hooked, but didn’t really know if there were careers programming computers, and it wasn’t at all clear whether this was of any use if I wanted to do scientific research. As I moved to a much faster Amiga 500 Plus, I continued to enjoy programming as a hobby and loved writing simulations to understand mathematics and physical phenomena.

    • Real debate between citizens and officials with DemocracyOS

      Mancini and her colleagues at Democracia en Red, though, might just have the answer to that. It’s called DemocracyOS, and it’s an open source platform that enables citizens to debate proposals that their representatives are voting on. It’s also a place for voters to present projects and ideas to their representatives for debate.

    • Open Hardware

      • LowRISC: Trying To Bring Fully Open Hardware In A High Risk World

        LowRISC is a new venture that’s “open to the core” with a goal of producing fully open hardware systems.

        A Phoronix reader wrote in this week to share lowRISC, a hardware platform aiming to be open-source from its System-on-a-Chip (SoC) to the development boards. As implied by the name, lowRISC is based upon the 64-bit RISC-V instruction set.

  • Programming

    • Parse Releases Official Open-source PHP SDK

      Parse released the Parse PHP SDK, aimed at enabling Parse integration “for a new class of apps and different use cases.” The company also said that this is its “first SDK for a server-side language, and the first to be truly open-source.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Beyond Open Standards and Open Access

      A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the huge win for open standards – and thus, by implication open source – in the realm of document formats in the UK. There’s an interesting Cabinet Office document from 25 March that is the record of the meeting where the final decision to go with PDF, HTML5 and ODF was taken.

      [...]

      The issue of patents rather hinges on the new Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court, both of which I expect to be bad news for free software. There’s not much we can do about it until we know exactly what the problems are, and even then it’s not clear how much we can change things.

      The point about fonts is a good one, and something that several people have mentioned to me after I published my article on the ODF decision. The issue is that it is all very well setting ODF as the standard for exchanging documents, but if everyone is using different sets of fonts, there could be interoperability problems. So we need to draw up some basic list of such fonts, and make them part of the new government standard.

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