Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 6/4/2015: Krita 3.0 Plans, Intel’s PC-on-a-stick With Linux

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Getting an inside track on open source
    Michael Bryzek saw open source playing a big role in his company's IT infrastructure, right from the start.

    The CTO and co-founder of online retailer Gilt Groupe, Bryzek built the eight-year-old members-only shopping site using the Web framework Ruby on Rails, the Linux operating system and the object-relational database system PostgreSQL -- all open-source tools.

    He says open source doesn't have the "friction" -- that is, sticking points like contractual limits -- that typically come with commercial products. He also says his engineers can be more creative and innovative with open source.

  • Jay: A Decentralized and Open-Source Web Wallet for NXT
    Jay, a javascript wallet framework developed for NXT, has just released their open-source, trustless web wallet, which may be the easiest way to make NXT transactions yet.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Piston Unveils Piston CloudOS 4.0, focused on "the Modern Data Center"
      Piston Cloud Computing, Inc. has announced the availability of Piston CloudOS 4.0, which is billed as "an operating system for the modern data center that transforms clusters of commodity servers into a single unified environment." The platform can purportedly deploy OpenStack in minutes, and CloudOS 4.0 also lets users deploy Hadoop and Spark on bare metal, with forthcoming support for container orchestration tools such as Kubernetes, Mesos and Docker Swarm.

    • Piston Cloud’s Smart Move to Build a Fungible Platform
      Piston Cloud Computing has announced a move beyond OpenStack for its Piston CloudOS 4.0, an operating system for the data center that transforms clusters of commodity servers into a single unified environment.

    • Nebula, OpenStack cloud vendor, just shut down with no notice
      The company was founded in 2011 by Chris Kemp, who had been chief technology officer for IT at NASA where he helped create OpenStack. Kemp left NASA to push OpenStack forward. As Kemp explained to Tech Republic in the fall of 2014, “I wanted the project to live on beyond the work we were doing … I knew that if we could open-source this work under a very flexible open-source framework, and really get a community gathered around contributing to it, the project could live on.”

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open Source Human Transformation: Hinduism’s gift to mankind
        At the outset, one needs to appreciate that the word “Religion” is related to the Abrahamic faiths more. Eastern spiritual traditions, which find their beginnings in Hinduism, are neither faiths nor religions. Hinduism is an amalgam of various spiritual traditions. The ways are different, the goals are different and the very way of looking at man, divine and life is different. Open Source, personal, subjective, experiential and not fixed in history via a person or event. Now, let us look at what is on offer from Hinduism. Something that is fundamental to human well being.

  • BSD


    • GNU remotecontrol
      Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

    • GCC 5 Is Coming This Month With OpenMP 4.0, Offloading, Cilk Plus & More
      GCC 5 is expected to be formally released later this month and it by far is looking to be the most exciting GNU Compiler Collection update yet! GCC 5 has amassed a ton of exciting open-source compiler features over the past year.

    • XKCD's Comic About OSes Is Hilarious, Predicts Launch Date of GNU Hurd 1.0
      The XKCD webcomics are funny because they are usually right on the money, with just a side dish of ridiculousness. The latest one is called Operating Systems and encompasses everything that is done wrong in this world, with just a single drawing and small, smart text about Richard Stallman.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Govt makes a pitch for open source software in IT tenders
      With an aim to reduce project costs, the government has decided to give preference to open source software (OSS) over proprietary in e-governance procurements.

    • India backs open source software for e-governance projects
      Federal and state agencies must make it mandatory for suppliers to give OSS a preference over proprietary or closed source software while responding to requests for proposals. "Suppliers shall provide justification for exclusion of OSS in their response," according to the policy statement posted to the website of the Ministry for Communication & Information Technology.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Students compete for a chance to have their Raspberry Pi code run in space
      As part of the mission's education outreach program, children in UK schools will get the chance to write code to run their own applications in space. The Pis will each have a specially made sensor board attached in order to access data on the space station's atmosphere. Schools will get the chance to run experiments in their own classroom and compare the results from space, or just make interesting applications to run on the space station. We're really excited to see what the young minds of Britain come up with, and what they can learn from turning their ideas to a reality by programming the boards.


  • On Armenia centennial, US rockers hope music raises pressure
    One hundred years after the mass killings of Armenians, US band System of a Down is taking the fight for remembrance beyond politicians to the world's music fans.

    The Los Angeles-area hard rockers, who have sold more than 40 million albums since the mid-1990s, are of Armenian descent and are preparing a European tour to culminate in a public concert on April 23 in Yerevan, the band's first performance in Armenia.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Pentagon’s $10-billion bet gone bad
      Leaders of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency were effusive about the new technology.

      It was the most powerful radar of its kind in the world, they told Congress. So powerful it could detect a baseball over San Francisco from the other side of the country.

      If North Korea launched a sneak attack, the Sea-Based X-Band Radar — SBX for short — would spot the incoming missiles, track them through space and guide U.S. rocket-interceptors to destroy them.

    • Apparent Saudi Strike Kills at Least Nine in Yemeni Family
      At least nine people from a single family were killed when what appeared to be an airstrike by the Saudi-led military coalition struck a home in a village outside Sana, Yemen’s capital, officials said Saturday.

      Village residents gave a higher toll, saying that as many as 11 members of the Okaish family, including five children, were killed in the bombing on Friday. The airstrike may have been intended for an air defense base about a mile and half away, a Yemen Interior Ministry official said.

      Bombings attributed to the coalition have killed dozens of civilians since the start of the Saudi-led air offensive intended to cripple the Houthis, a Yemeni militia that has gained control of Sana and other parts of Yemen in the past eight months.

    • Manufacturing a ‘Good Adversary’ in Tehran
      The real story behind America's 30-year Cold War with Iran


      The real reason the Bush White House had abandoned the opening to Iran was that the CIA and the Pentagon desperately needed to replace the Soviet threat as justification for continuing Cold War levels of appropriations.

      To head off deep cuts in the CIA budget, the agency’s new director, Robert M. Gates, had identified Iran and the proliferation of nuclear weapons as a new threat. Just two weeks after Gates became director in November 1991, a “senior administration official” was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying that relations with Iran would remain in the “deep freeze,” because of Iran’s “continued support for international terrorism” and its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

      That comment dovetailed with the argument Gates made in pubic testimony to fend off deep budget cuts. Testifying before the Defense Policy Panel in early December, just two days after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Gates said the “accelerating proliferation” of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems were “probably the gravest concern” among post-Cold War threats.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Judge Shoots Down 'FOIA Terrorist' Jason Leopold; Says 'Panetta Review' Documents Can Be Withheld In Full
      The CIA's internal document designations seem to bear some resemblance to the NYPD's use of its "SECRET" stamp -- which is deployed arbitrarily and without oversight to declare certain documents out of the reach of Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests. If the CIA feels exemption b(5) gives it the best chance to keep documents out of the hands of journalists like Jason Leopold. it can slap these designations on as many papers as possible and mention its predetermination in FOIA lawsuit declarations.

      Second, Boasberg's refusal to challenge even a single exemption assertion by the CIA isn't particularly good news, considering his recent appointment to the FISA court. While he has pushed back on government secrecy in the past, he's also been just as likely to grant its wishes. Considering he's replacing FISA Judge Reggie Walton -- one of the few FISA judges to openly question surveillance tactics and hold the NSA accountable for its abuses -- this latest decision seems to indicate his appointment is a downgrade in terms of government accountability.

  • Finance

    • George Will Revives Tired Canard That Reagan Created One Million Jobs In One Month
      But Will's claim about Reagan's job creation record is disingenuous. As Business Insider pointed out, Reagan's so-called million job month in September 1983 was simply an outlier inflated due to nearly 675,000 striking communication workers returning to work...

    • The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much
      ONCE upon a time in America, baby boomers paid for college with the money they made from their summer jobs. Then, over the course of the next few decades, public funding for higher education was slashed. These radical cuts forced universities to raise tuition year after year, which in turn forced the millennial generation to take on crushing educational debt loads, and everyone lived unhappily ever after.

  • Censorship

    • Turkey reportedly blocks Twitter and YouTube
      Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling for a ban on social media once again.

      A spokesperson for this office said on Monday that a prosecutor has ordered Internet providers to block sites that include YouTube and Twitter, which is extremely popular in the country.

      The request comes after photos spread online showing militants holding a prosecutor hostage at gunpoint last week during a takeover of this courthouse office. Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who investigated the death of a teenager who was hit by a police gas canister fired during nationwide anti-government protests in 2013, died last week in a shootout between police and the Marxist militants.

    • Turkish Censorship Order Targets Single Blog Post, Ends Up Blocking Access To 60 Million Wordpress Sites
      A lawyer and Turkish Pirate Party member tracked down the root of the sudden ban on all of Wordpress: a court order seeking to block a single blog post written by a professor accusing another professor of plagiarism. This post apparently led to several defamation lawsuits and the lawsuits led to a court order basically saying that if blocking the single post proved too difficult, fuck it, block the entire domain.

    • Turkey Blocks Twitter, YouTube, Scores of Websites After Prosecutor’s Killing
      Twitter and YouTube are blocked once again in Turkey as of today, April 6, following the mass circulation of photos of a hostage crisis that ended with the death of a government prosecutor. According to Hurriyet Daily News, authorities have also blocked 166 websites that posted the photos.

      Although Facebook was initially blocked for the same reason, the block was lifted after the company complied with Turkish officials’ orders to remove the offending images.

  • Privacy

    • Blocking The Fields
      You now need an army of spies, analysts and police to watch the security cameras, check on the spies and watch for people jumping fences. This is not about the bad thing you first objected to any more. It’s now about jumping fences to get to places that have been made unreachable by them, checking on spies for telling lies, dealing with corruption among your informers, suppressing all the “SJW”s who whine about the loss of freedom and undermining your political opposition who are equally clueless about blocking fields but can see that what you are doing is hugely unpopular.

      Congratulations! Your attempt to stop something your supporters disapprove of by mandating the impossible has created a police state. It doesn’t matter how bad the thing you were trying to stop is; people probably agree that it’s a bad thing.

      By mandating the impossible, you caused collateral damage that outweighed any benefits, and by associating it with a thing no-one dares defend in public you were able to accidentally destroy society without opposition. And you didn’t notice because you never do for walks in the fields.

    • Why John Oliver Can’t Find Americans Who Know Edward Snowden’s Name (It’s Not About Snowden)
      On his HBO program last night, John Oliver devoted 30 minutes to a discussion of U.S. surveillance programs, advocating a much more substantive debate as the June 1 deadline for renewing the Patriot Act approaches (the full segment can be seen here). As part of that segment, Oliver broadcast an interview he conducted with Edward Snowden in Moscow, and to illustrate the point that an insufficient surveillance debate has been conducted, showed video of numerous people in Times Square saying they had no idea who Snowden is (or giving inaccurate answers about him). Oliver assured Snowden off-camera that they did not cherry-pick those “on the street” interviews but showed a representative sample.

    • Microsoft drops ‘do not track’ browser default to reflect ‘evolving industry standards’
      Microsoft has updated its ‘Do Not Track’ policy, which will no longer be a default setting in its browser, thus giving third parties like advertisers a free hand in deciding whether to track the user or not, unless the option has been turned on manually.

      The ‘Do Not Track’ (DNT) setting in browsers specifies whether the user wants his or her browsing information to be available to third parties such as content providers and advertisers, who gather it so they can learn about a person’s interests and habits.

    • Exclusive: TSA ‘Behavior Detection’ Program Targeting Undocumented Immigrants, Not Terrorists
      A controversial Transportation Security Administration program that uses “behavior indicators” to identify potential terrorists is instead primarily targeting undocumented immigrants, according to a document obtained by The Intercept and interviews with current and former government officials.

      The $900 million program, Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, employs behavior detection officers trained to identify passengers who exhibit behaviors that TSA believes could be linked to would-be terrorists. But in one five-week period at a major international airport in the United States in 2007, the year the program started, only about 4 percent of the passengers who were referred to secondary screening or law enforcement by behavior detection officers were arrested, and nearly 90 percent of those arrests were for being in the country illegally, according to a TSA document obtained by The Intercept.

    • Artists secretly install Edward Snowden statue in Brooklyn park
      Dressed in reflective yellow construction gear while working under the cover of darkness early Monday, a small group of artists installed a tribute to NSA-leaker Edward Snowden in a Brooklyn park.

      The Snowden bust stands atop a column at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, a site built to honor more than 11,000 American prisoners of war who died aboard British ships during the American Revolutionary War.
    • Artists secretly install Snowden monument
      A group of artists secretly installed a 100-pound sculpture of government leaker Edward Snowden in a New York City park early on Monday morning, though it was taken down by city officials later in the day.

      The handful of people wearing yellow reflector vests and hard hats snuck into the park and, in the predawn hours, attached the massive bust of a neatly coiffed Snowden wearing his trademark square-rimmed glassed onto the Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Brooklyn, which honors soldiers imprisoned in the Revolutionary War. In a statement provided to city blog Animal, which also produced a short video about the installation, the activists said that the effort was meant to reinvigorate the focus on the leaker and the massive government surveillance that he exposed.

      “We have updated this monument to highlight those who sacrifice their safety in the fight against modern-day tyrannies,” they told the website.

    • Edward Snowden statue appears in Brooklyn overnight
      A trio of anonymous artists and helpers installed a bust of Edward Snowden in Brooklyn Monday morning.

      The 100-pound statue was hauled into Fort Greene Park just before dawn, according to ANIMALNewYork, which originally reported the story.

      The idea for the statue came from two artists and was made by a West Coast sculptor. Snowden leaked classified information from the National Security Agency to mainstream media in June 2013. He was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property and currently lives in Russia.

    • New York City Takes Down Edward Snowden Statue Erected By Guerilla Artists
      NYPD says the art prank is under investigation

      New York City has removed a statue of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden erected by a group of artists in a Brooklyn park.

    • John Oliver Asks Edward Snowden If The American Government Is Spying On Your Naked Photos
      “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” viewers got a surprise during Sunday’s show when the British satirist interviewed a man he described as “the most famous hero and/or traitor in recent American history:” NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

  • Civil Rights

    • Eight San Francisco police officers expected to be fired over racist, homophobic texts
      Eight San Francisco police officers implicated in sending and receiving racist and homophobic text messages have been suspended and are expected to be fired, according to news reports.

    • Barrett Brown, John Kiriakou & the Bureau of Prisons’ Deep Contempt for First Amendment
      The Bureau of Prisons’ contempt for the First Amendment has been on full display this week.

      Journalist and activist Barrett Brown pled guilty to offenses stemming from YouTube videos he uploaded containing a threat directed at the FBI, emails from hackers he redacted and laptops found in a kitchen cabinet that he hid from authorities. He was sentenced to five years and three months in jail on January 22.

    • Barrett Brown’s account of the arbitrary suspension of his e-mail
      On Tuesday March 31, I used the inmate computer system to send an email to a journalist of my acquaintance in which I inquired about getting him in touch with another inmate who was interested in talking to the press about potentially illegal conduct by BOP officials. When I tried to log in to the system one hour afterwards, I received a message reading: “Denied: You do not have access to this service.” I asked our Counselor Towchik about this and he called another office, from which he apparently received a vague explanation to the effect that they were “working on it”, which we took to understand that this was a system maintenance issue; he told me to return to his office later that afternoon. I did so, and he told me that several people were having issues with the system and that he would make further inquiries, and that if necessary he would bring the technical staff over to our unit the next day to discuss it with us, assuming the problem had still not been fixed. The next morning I reached my mother by phone and learned that apparently everyone on my message contact list had received an automatic email to the effect that my messaging privileges had been temporarily suspended, but I reassured her that it was merely a mistake. When I met again with Towchik, however, he conceded that the problem didn’t seem to be technical after all and that I should ask Trust Fund Manager Coleman about it at lunch. Failing to find Mr. Coleman, I met that afternoon with Unit Manger Ivory, who checked my files but could find no reason why my access should have suddenly been suspended and also advised me to meet with Mr. Coleman. At some point that day, my attempts to log in started to prompt a different message stating: “This account is on suspension until 4/1/2016 11:59:59 pm (from portal 16)”. At the next lunch period on Thursday, April 2nd, I was unable to locate Mr. Coleman, but laid out my problem to the associate warden who told me to return in five minutes, when Mr. Coleman would be present.

    • The Persian Paradox: Iran Is Much More Modern Than You Think
      People in the West tend to have a monolithic view of Iran. But there's a lot more to the country than the mullah-led theocracy, and it often gets ignored. And national pride is alive and well.

    • Petition Against Obama Decree on Venezuela Tops 8m Signatures
      A petition launched in Venezuela opposing President Barack Obama’s latest sanctions and the labelling of Venezuela as a national security threat has topped 8 million signatures, it was announced Sunday.

      President Obama issued an executive order March 9 declaring a “national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.”

      Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro thanked the supporters who backed the call for Obama to "repeal the decree” through his Twitter account.

      The signatures will be handed in during the Summit of the Americas which starts later this week in Panama and will be attended by all the nations in the hemishphere.

    • Two Court Rulings Completely Disagree With Each Other Over Whether Websites Need To Comply With Americans With Disabilities Act
      On March 19th, there was a ruling [pdf] in a case in a federal district court in Vermont, brought by the National Federation for the Blind against Scribd, saying that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applied to the internet, and thus Scribd had to comply with the ADA. The specific concern is whether or not a website is a "place of public accommodation." Three years ago there was a similar ruling against Netflix (also brought by the National Federation for the Blind), which we noted had some troubling aspects to it. Since then, there have been a number of cases that have gone the other way. And, indeed, just this week the 9th Circuit appeals court upheld a lower court ruling [pdf] saying that Netflix does not need to comply with the ADA.

    • Willie McRae
      The Scotsman claims that the police had first removed the vehicle and then replaced it, and this explains the mystery of why the gun was so far from the car after McRae’s remarkable two shot “suicide”. For me, that adds just another level of improbability to so very many. How, inside a car, you shoot yourself in the head in such a way that the gun falls out of the window, seems problematic. The car was crashed over a burn; how you order that with the suicide is peculiar.
    • A Non-Conspiracy of Douthat’s
      The “difficult and personal” decision of whether folks like these can decide if you can shop at a store or not.

    • School Teachers With Valid Work Authorization Labeled As "Illegals" By Fox News
      Fox News misleadingly slurred immigrants with legal permission to work in the United States as "illegals" during a segment highlighting attempts by disadvantaged school districts around the country to boost bilingual education initiatives.

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