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Links 6/12/2015: New Linux Mint Releases, No Ads in Firefox





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



Free Software/Open Source



  • From Closed Source to Open Source: A Journey
    Since joining GigaSpaces a few months ago, I thought it would be interesting to write down some thoughts about my experience on the journey from the closed-source, enterprise world to the open source, startup mentality of getting work done, both internally at the office as well as from a client-facing perspective.


  • Intel Open Sources Snap Cloud Telemetry Tool to Promote Cloud for All
    Intel's latest move in its "Cloud for All" initiative -- which it says will accelerate enterprise adoption of public, private and hybrid clouds -- is an open source tool called snap, which helps organizations understand the telemetry of their clouds.


  • Web Browsers



    • Mozilla



      • Thunderbird 38.4.0 Brings A Bunch Of FIxes Only


      • Advancing Content
        One of the many benefits of the Web is the ability to create unique, personalized experiences for individual users. We believe that this personalization needs to be done with respect for the user – with transparency, choice and control. When the user is at the center of product experiences everyone benefits.






  • SaaS/Big Data



    • What's the Intersection of Docker and OpenStack? [VIDEO]
      OpenStack and Docker are both open source technologies with a lot of excitement and momentum behind them. But where is the intersection between Docker and OpenStack? And why isn't Docker Inc part of the OpenStack Foundation?

      In a video interview, Ben Golub, CEO of Docker Inc. the lead commercial sponsor behind the open source Docker engine, explains where it all fits together.

      At a high-level, OpenStack is a popular widely deployed Infrastructure-as-a-Service open source platform, while Docker provide an open-source container technology to build, deploy and manage containers. Golub noted that organizations are using Docker together with various flavors of OpenStack from different vendors including HP, Red Hat and Mirantis.




  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice



    • Introducing the LibreOffice Online App for ownCloud
      While digging through the Internet, we've discovered that there's now a LibreOffice application for the ownCloud open-source self-hosting cloud server, which lets users edit all sorts of LibreOffice documents online.




  • CMS





  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)



  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC



    • Reproducible builds and standalone GNU systems with Guix 0.9
      Version 0.9 of the Guix package-management system was released on November 5. Since the previous major release in 2014, the Guix project has evolved to include not only the package manager itself, but the Guix Software Distribution (GuixSD) as well. With the large set of packages it supports, Guix already provides, in essence, a full operating-system layer that can be deployed and maintained on top of a minimal core Linux distribution. GuixSD goes one step further, and provides a Linux kernel and core OS components as well. Regardless of whether one uses GuixSD or simply installs individual packages with the Guix tools, the new release adds quite a bit of interesting new functionality, including automatic container provisioning, new tools for graphing package dependencies, and a mechanism for users to verify reproducible software packages.


    • GIMP 2.9.2 Released
      We are excited to announce the first development release of GIMP in the 2.9.x series. It is another major milestone towards making GIMP a state-of-the art image editing application for graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, and scientists.


    • A CEO's Guide to Emacs
      Years—no, decades—ago, I lived in Emacs. I wrote code and documents, managed email and calendar, and shelled all in the editor/OS. I was quite happy. Years went by and I moved to newer, shinier things. As a result, I forgot how to do tasks as basic as efficiently navigating files without a mouse. About three months ago, noticing just how much of my time was spent switching between applications and computers, I decided to give Emacs another try. It was a good decision for several reasons that will be covered in this post. Covered too are .emacs and Dropbox tips so that you can set up a good, movable environment.


    • Gimp 2.9.2 Released


    • Got a light? Help the FSF's guiding light shine brighter
      For thirty years, the Free Software Foundation has been seen as a guiding light for the free software movement, fighting for computer user freedom worldwide -- but we can't continue this work without your support.


    • New GIMP, Ubuntu’s New Year’s Gift & More…




  • Openness/Sharing



    • Open Hardware



      • OpenHardware and code signing (update)
        I posted a few weeks ago about the difficulty of providing device-side verification of firmware updates, at the same time remaining OpenHardware and thus easily hackable. The general consensus was that allowing anyone to write any kind of firmware to the device without additional authentication was probably a bad idea, even for OpenHardware devices. I think I’ve come up with an acceptable compromise I can write up as a recommendation, as per usual using the ColorHug+ as an example. For some background, I’ve sold nearly 3,000 original ColorHug devices, and in the last 4 years just three people wanted help writing custom firmware, so I hope you can see the need to protect the majority is so much larger than making the power users happy.






  • Programming



    • How old were you when you started learning how to program?


    • So you think that you know what "hacker"means?
      Given the negative connotation of the term today, I recall my surprise when I first read (alas, the source has long been forgotten) that in the world of mainframe computer in the 1960's, where the principal revenue stream were licensing fees for the hardware, "hacker" referred to a person who was encouraged to tinker with the software to improve its performance. After all, there was no or little money to be made in the software per se, so that any improvements in performance would only serve to enhance the value of the mainframe itself. Hacking appeared to be a beneficial activity in support of the hardware.






Leftovers



  • Health/Nutrition



    • This Scientist Uncovered Problems With Pesticides. Then the Government Started to Make His Life Miserable.
      Until fairly recently, Jonathan Lundgren enjoyed a stellar career as a government scientist. An entomologist who studies how agrichemicals affect the ecology of farm fields, he has published nearly 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals since starting at the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service laboratory in Brookings, South Dakota, in 2005. By 2012, he had won the ARS's "Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist" award, and directorship of his own lab.




  • Security



  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression



    • A Missed Chance to Connect Paris Massacres, Past and Present
      It does no dishonor to those killed in Paris last month to acknowledge that at least 200 people were killed in that city on October 17, 1961. It was nearly seven years into the war for Algeria’s independence from French colonial rule, and some 30,000 Muslims demonstrated in central Paris against a curfew imposed solely on Muslims. They were met by a police force led by prefect Maurice Papon, who would later be charged with crimes against humanity for his collaborationist role in the World War II Vichy government.


    • Fox's Megyn Kelly Attacks Attorney General For Promising To Address Violent Anti-Muslim Rhetoric


    • Yemen: Nine Wounded in Saudi-Led Coalition Airstrike on MSF Clinic in Taiz
      Airstrikes carried out yesterday by the Saudi-led coalition hit a clinic in southern Yemen run by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and wounded nine people, including two MSF staff members.

      According to local sources, at 11:20 a.m. local time on December 2, three airstrikes targeted a park in Taiz city's Al Houban district, about two kilometers from MSF's tented clinic. The MSF team immediately evacuated the Al Houban clinic and informed the Saudi-led coalition that their jet planes were mounting an attack nearby. The clinic itself then came under attack.




  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife



    • Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial
      Future historians — if there are any future historians — will almost surely say that the most important thing happening in the world during December 2015 was the climate talks in Paris. True, nothing agreed to in Paris will be enough, by itself, to solve the problem of global warming. But the talks could mark a turning point, the beginning of the kind of international action needed to avert catastrophe.

      Then again, they might not; we may be doomed. And if we are, you know who will be responsible: the Republican Party.

      O.K., I know the reaction of many readers: How partisan! How over the top! But what I said is, in fact, the obvious truth. And the inability of our news media, our pundits and our political establishment in general to face up to that truth is an important contributing factor to the danger we face.


    • Is Indonesia underreporting its emissions at COP21?
      Official documentation submitted by Indonesia to the UN climate talks in Paris this week dramatically underestimates deforestation and emissions in the archipelago, according to an analysis by Greenpeace. However, not everyone agrees with Greenpeace’s assessment.

      The documentation’s omissions include 10 million hectares of deforestation, millions of hectares of peatland degradation and emissions from the annual farm and plantation fires, threatening to undermine Indonesia’s prospects for receiving international assistance for peatland protection and REDD+ schemes, according to the NGO.

      “The people of Indonesia deserve to know the truth about how much forest and peatland has been destroyed,” Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Annisa Rahmawati said. “Only from a truthful foundation can we build a solid climate plan for Indonesia.”


    • Climate deniers agree their key messages for journalists (with a journalist in the room)
      This afternoon, I went along to a fringe event in central Paris put on by the UK climate denier brigade. There were about 15 people – all older white men but for one woman, me, and Brendan Montague, editor of DesmogUK, with whom I'd arrived.

      Among the small number at PCC15, as they called their event, were a number of prominent figures from the movement against the scientific consensus on climate change. Patrick Moore, the controversial former director of Greenpeace who has questioned both whether global warming is man-made, and whether it is dangerous, was leaving as we arrived. UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew was there, as were Christopher Monckton, a prominent climate change denier, and Canadian Tom Harris, executive director of the “International Climate Science Coalition” – and former operations director of the “High Park Group”, a Canadian lobbying company. I was told we'd missed the journalist James Delingpole and Piers Corbyn (MD of WeatherAction and brother of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn)..




  • Censorship



    • Feds Drop Case Against Torrent Site, ‘Return’ Domain After 5 Years


      After more than five years the Department of Justice has released the Torrent-Finder.com domain, which is now back in the hands of the original owner. The authorities had a very weak case and decided to accept the torrent site's “offer in compromise."


    • Sharing of television news clips hangs in the fair-use balance
      All of this begs the question of what is fair use. It's complicated, and there is no bright-line rule. "In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and 'transformative' purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work, according to Stanford University. "Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an illegal infringement."




  • Privacy



    • My fridge is listening to me
      There is no presumption of privacy riding in a tour bus, so it probably isn’t illegal to listen-in. Bus security cameras and their footage have been around for years now and appear regularly on TV news after bus crimes. But there’s something about this idea of not only our actions being recorded but also our words that I find disturbing. It’s especially so when we consider the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT). What other devices will soon be snitching on us?


    • Responding to "Nothing to hide, Nothing to fear"
      Every time we talk about mass surveillance, privacy or the security services’ powers we and our supporters find ourselves at the other end of that familiar phrase, “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear”. It's time to challenge that.


    • German Parliament Spy Oversight Board Sues German Government Over Data Sharing With NSA
      After Edward Snowden's revelations about the extent of spying being carried out around the world by the NSA and its Five Eyes friends, there have been a number of attempts in other countries to find out what has been going on. One of the most thoroughgoing of these is in Germany, where there is a major parliamentary inquiry into NSA activities in that country. As Techdirt reported back in May, a surprising piece of information to emerge from this is that Germany's secret service has been carrying out spying on behalf of the NSA, which sent across various "selectors" -- search terms -- that it wanted investigated in the German spies' surveillance databases.


    • A Journey Into the Heart of Facebook
      We are running late to the Facebook Data Center. I keep checking my watch, as if the seconds might start moving backwards if I stare hard enough. This is not a particularly safe way to drive. I am, apparently, more concerned with being late than I am with possibly totaling a car. Being late is far more heinous act.


    • Former Bush Press Secretary Says The Answer To Mass Shootings Is... More Domestic Surveillance
      The tragic shootings in San Bernadino earlier this week have created a political field day for the usual idiotic partisan arguments -- which tend to have little to nothing to do with whatever actually happened. You have people on one side using it to call for gun control and folks on the other side using it to spark fears of "domestic terrorism." And, of course, it didn't take long for someone to pop up with using it as an excuse to call for greater surveillance. That was the argument that former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer took on MSNBC yesterday when asked what should be done in response. MSNBC Kate Snow asked if this could lead to bipartisan support for gun control (ha ha!) and Fleischer turned it around to say the answer is more surveillance.
    • NSA 'reform': Fewer phone records, but data flow continues
      No sooner had the NSA's bulk collection of phone records for millions of U.S. citizens come to an end, then members of Congress swung into action to dilute even that small step toward reform. Meanwhile, other programs that have much greater implications for privacy survive and thrive in the NSA's sprawling surveillance system.

      The USA Freedom Act passed overwhelmingly in June, but its reform banning the NSA from scooping up more phone data only went into effect last weekend. Metadata already collected can be kept by the NSA until Feb. 29, and your phone data will continue to be collected by telecom companies, but the NSA must now go to the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance) court for permission to gain access. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed it was the secret FISA court that gave the NSA permission to indiscriminately collect Americans' phone records in the first place.




  • Civil Rights



    • American Nightmare: the Depravity of Neoliberalism
      Deciphering the meaning of Neo-liberalism as a historical force and societal form requires the energies and know-how of a sagacious sleuth like Hercule Poirot. Wendy Brown, a philosophy professor at UCLA (Berkeley) and author of Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, has a Poirot intellectual sensibility and acuity that sees what most of us cannot.

      Those of us who have written on neo-conservative politics and neo-liberalism as an economic form have illuminated many dimensions of “something new” that has emerged out of the collapse of welfare state liberal democracy in the West over the last five decades.


    • The Completely Nonsensical Differences In Punishment For Revenge Porn Kings
      Earlier this week, Hunter Moore -- the guy who basically invented the concept of revenge porn with his "Is Anyone Up" site -- was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail along with a $2,000 fine... and he has to pay $145.70 in "restitution" to a single victim. Moore was arrested for violating the CFAA, and as we noted at the time, it may be one of the few legitimate uses of the CFAA. He didn't just run a revenge porn site, he hired a guy, Charlie Evens, who got a similar sentence a week ago, to hack into the computers of unsuspecting women, and swipe naked photos of them to put on his site. The sickening bit: that "$145.70" in "restitution"? That's how much Moore paid Evens (also, Evens is jointly liable for that money, meaning that Moore might not even pay it). It's difficult to understand why the $145.70 makes any sense at all as the "harm" caused to the anonymous woman "L.B." whose computer got hacked into.


    • Sharia courts in Britain lock women into 'marital captivity', study says
      Sharia courts in Britain are locking women into “marital captivity” and doing nothing to officially report domestic violence, according to an academic who gained unprecedented access to Islamic divorce hearings.


    • Court: Breaking Your Employer's Computer Policy Isn't a Crime
      The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion rejecting the government’s attempt to hold an employee criminally liable under the federal hacking statute—the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”)—for violating his employer-imposed computer use restrictions. The decision is important because it ensures that employers and website owners don’t have the power to criminalize a broad range of innocuous everyday behaviors, like checking personal email or the score of a baseball game, through simply adopting use restrictions in their corporate policies or terms of use.

      The court also ruled that the government cannot hold people criminally liable on the basis of purely fantastical statements they make online—i.e., thoughtcrime.


    • SJW attitude in science
      The arguments are quite easy to summarize: The meritocracy party proposes that “One’s contribution should only be evaluated based on the content and the quality”, while the SJW party asserts that in case the submitter as from a minority group, in particular everyone outside the white straight group, the contribution has to be accepted with higher probability (or without discussion) to ensure equality.




  • Internet/Net Neutrality



    • If the FCC Loses in Court Today, It Could Be the End of Net Neutrality
      The US government's landmark net neutrality policy faces a crucial test Friday when advocates and opponents of the new rules face off in federal court. The Federal Communications Commission, along with a coalition of public interest groups, is battling some of the biggest cable and telecom interests in the country over whether the agency has the authority to enforce a policy it says is necessary to protect internet openness.


    • Eight Questions About Friday’s Net Neutrality Hearing
      The Federal Communications Commission will head to court on Friday to defend its net neutrality rules against opponents who want to overturn the broadband regulations, a hearing that may help determine how consumers get access to content on the web.

      If this sounds familiar, it’s because the F.C.C. has twice appeared in front of the same federal court to argue over net neutrality policies, in particular a set of regulations aimed at preventing favoritism on the Internet. In both cases, the F.C.C. argued that it had the authority to regulate high-speed Internet providers, while opponents argued the agency was overstepping the mandates of Congress. Both times, the agency lost.

      Hoping that the third time will be the charm, the F.C.C.’s lawyers will tell a panel of judges at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that its most recent version of net neutrality rules is on firmer legal ground. With all the twists and turns of the F.C.C.’s yearslong net neutrality push, we offer this guide on the latest developments and what they may mean for you.


    • Appeals court weighs government's rules requiring equal access to Internet content
      In this March 17, 2015 file photo, Federal Communications Commisison (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on net neutrality, on Capitol Hill in Washington. A long-running legal battle over government rules that require Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally is back for another round before a federal appeals court. Cable and telecom industry groups will urge a three-judge panel on Dec. 4 to throw out regulations that forbid online content from being blocked or channeled into fast and slow lanes


    • Net neutrality supporters optimistic after court arguments
      Internet providers suing the Federal Communications Commission to overturn net neutrality rules got their day in court today as oral arguments were heard by a three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

      A decision might not come for months, but net neutrality supporters said the judges’ questions indicate that a ruling may defer to the FCC’s determination on the crucial question of whether Internet providers can be reclassified as common carriers. Opponents of the net neutrality rules believe the judges are skeptical about some of the FCC’s arguments, however.

      The FCC’s decision to impose common carriage restrictions on Internet providers hinges on whether they can be considered “telecommunications services,” as opposed to more lightly regulated “information services.” ISPs argue that Internet access is properly defined as an information service, but ultimately the FCC may have the discretion to make that decision.




  • DRM



  • Intellectual Monopolies





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