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Links 11/7/2017: Wayland Protocols 1.9 and Fedora 26 Released

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • How open source took over the world
    GOING WAY BACK, pretty much all software was effectively open source. That's because it was the preserve of a small number of scientists and engineers who shared and adapted each other's code (or punch cards) to suit their particular area of research. Later, when computing left the lab for the business, commercial powerhouses such as IBM, DEC and Hewlett-Packard sought to lock in their IP by making software proprietary and charging a hefty license fee for its use.

  • Survey: Open Source Is Growing, But the Community Is Troubled [Ed: Borrowing very old report to accentuate negatives and make FOSS look "troubled"]

  • Can 5G embrace open source?
    Phil Robb, Vice President of Operations for Networking & Orchestration, Linux Foundation

    With the standardisation of 5G underway, the open source community is being increasingly pulled into the fray as key enablers of 5G will inevitably rely on their solutions. So far, there is collaboration between standardisation bodies like the 3GPP and the open source community, with closer collaboration on defining requirements and features.

    Phil Robb outlines the growing efforts being made between standards development and the dynamic open source methodology of collaboration, as well as the innate challenges of merging the two worlds.

  • Open Source Is The New Normal In Data and Analytics

  • SPI 2016 Annual Report Released, Details Various OSS Project Financials
    SPI, Software in the Public Interest, has released their annual report covering 2016. SPI, for the uninitiated, serves as the steward to many open-source projects from Arch Linux to the X.Org Foundation to OpenMPI and LibreOffice.

  • Brevent is an Open Source Alternative to Greenify, Works Without Root
    Android gives 3rd-party application developers a lot of freedom when it comes to what they can do on the platform. Google is aware that this might not be the best idea when it comes to battery life and they hope to fix some of the worst offenders in the upcoming Android O update. Until then, and for those who own devices that will not receive the update, we will have to look elsewhere for ways to keep applications from running rampant on our devices.

    For many, this has resulted in us using a popular application called Greenify. This works by letting the user “hibernate” an application when it’s not in use and it has been phenomenal for many of us within the community. If you haven’t had a good experience with Greenify in the past, or maybe you’re just looking for an alternative, I’d like to point you to an open source application called Brevent from XDA Senior Member liudongmiao.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD and the modern laptop

      One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that whenever I'm out and about with my primary laptop at conferences and elsewhere geeks gather, a significant subset of the people I meet have a hard time believing that my laptop runs OpenBSD, and that it's the only system installed.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Open Source Lawsuits Have Crossed The Watershed
      In addition to the monetary claim, CoKinetic requests that the global corporation be compelled to comply with the requirements of the GPL and reveal the source code for the software that serves as the basis for the IFE system.


      The court has already rejected Hancom's motion to dismiss the claim in limine (on the start), and in reference to Hancom's argument, the court asserted, inter alia, that an open source license is tantamount to a binding contract between the parties in all respects.

  • Programming/Development

    • Crossroad 0.7 released and future…
      Last month, I released Crossroad 0.7. Do you remember Crossroad? My tool to cross-compile for Windows from a Linux platform, which I told about a year ago. Well there is not much to say: small release with bug fixes, minor improvements, update of the third-party pre-built Windows package repository (thanks OpenSUSE!), and so on.

      Also there used to be a bug in pip, so any crossroad installed through pip was broken (I had a quick look at the time, and I think it was because it would break the install prefix).


  • Spotify denies filling popular playlists with 'fake artists'

    The allegation, first made by industry website Music Business Worldwide and brought to wider attention by culture publication Vulture, is that some playlists on Spotify are full of bands with no public profile, few songs, but millions of song plays – all as a result of their position on the service.

  • Science

    • Google wants to make sure AI advances don’t leave anyone behind
      For every exciting opportunity promised by artificial intelligence, there’s a potential downside that is its bleak mirror image. We hope that AI will allow us to make smarter decisions, but what if it ends up reinforcing the prejudices of society? We dream that technology might free us from work, but what if only the rich benefit, while the poor are dispossessed?

    • The strange and righteous history of the equals sign
      Robert Recorde was one of those people so extraordinarily ahead of his time that he seemed destined to come to a tragic end. In the 16th century, he made advances in economics, medicine, theology, and poetry. But his greatest contribution is taught to every elementary school child, and it arguably laid the groundwork for modern computer science. He invented the equals sign.

  • Hardware

    • So you say you'd like a keyboard that will last more than 6 months?
      All keyboards work by the same basic principle. When you press a key, you engage a mechanism that completes a circuit, telling the computer to put a character on the screen. Most modern day keyboards, like those you find on a laptop, are "membrane" keyboards. These keys are thin plastic slabs suspended over rubbery domes that squish when you depress them, completing the circuit. They can be made well, but have very short throw (the distance the keys travel down before they bottom out) and virtually no click. You'll be hard-pressed to find any keyboard nerd that's particularly fond of them.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Nokia 'regrets' Withings health app backlash

      "The first release of the app was so full of bugs it was incredible. Their new app is appalling and everyone wants the old one back, which we loved.

      JUST AS THE HOUSE Republican bill to slash much of the Affordable Care Act moved forward, Rep. Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican and member of Speaker Paul Ryan’s leadership team, added a health insurance company to his portfolio.

      An account owned by Conaway’s wife made two purchases of UnitedHealth stock, worth as much as $30,000, on March 24th, the day the legislation advanced in the House Rules Committee, according to disclosures. The exact value of Conaway’s investment isn’t clear, given that congressional ethics forms only show a range of amounts, and Conaway’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

      It was a savvy move. Health industry stocks, including insurance giants like UnitedHealth, have surged as Republicans move forward with their repeal effort, which rolls back broad taxes on health care firms while loosening consumer regulations which prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for medical treatment. UnitedHealth has gained nearly 7 percent in value since March 24.

    • Law banning filming Utah slaughterhouses ruled unconstitutional
      A federal judge on Friday overturned Utah's so-called "ag-gag" ban on filming private agribusiness and slaughterhouse operations without permission. US District Judge Robert Shelby said the measure, enacted in 2012, violated the First Amendment.

      The named plaintiff, Amy Meyer, in 2013 faced up to six months in prison for filming—from the side of a public road—a sick cow being moved in a tractor at a slaughterhouse.

    • Incurable gonorrhea is lurking—and we may not see it coming, WHO warns
      At least three people in three different countries have turned up with cases of completely incurable gonorrhea—and it’s unclear what happened to all of them and if they’re spreading the infection to others, officials at the World Health Organization report.

      These cases highlight two big concerns about gonorrhea: one is that resistance to last-line drugs is alarmingly popping up around the world and appears to be increasing; and the second is that we have lousy surveillance and data on this.

      In two reports in PLOS Medicine, the WHO warned of the dangers of drug-resistant gonorrhea infections, which can cause infertility and increase the risk of contracting other infections in those left untreated. Summarizing the latest surveillance data, WHO researchers found worldwide incidence of drug-resistant infections and announced that these are on the rise. However, while the data is worrying, it doesn’t actually demonstrate international increases—because there just isn’t enough data to do so.

    • Nation "Too Broke" for Universal Healthcare to Spend $406 Billion More on F-35
      Though the estimated future cost of the program had previously hovered at a mind-boggling $379 billion, an updated draft that could be submitted to Congress as early as today will reportedly exceed $406 billion—a nearly 7 percent increase.

  • Security

    • The .io Error – Taking Control of All .io Domains With a Targeted Registration

      Given the fact that we were able to take over four of the seven authoritative nameservers for the .io TLD we would be able to poison/redirect the DNS for all .io domain names registered. Not only that, but since we have control over a majority of the nameservers it’s actually more likely that clients will randomly select our hijacked nameservers over any of the legitimate nameservers even before employing tricks like long TTL responses, etc to further tilt the odds in our favor. Even assuming an immediate response to a large scale redirection of all .io domain names it would be some time before the cached records would fall out of the world’s DNS resolvers.

    • security things in Linux v4.12

    • Self-Service Food Kiosk Vendor Avanti Hacked {sic}

      The breach may have jeopardized customer credit card accounts as well as biometric data, Avanti warned.

    • Reliance Jio data breached: Why it matters, what it means for you, and everything to know

    • Technical glitch hits NSE, F&O trading stopped

    • NSE hit by technical glitch, trade halted

    • Inquiry set up after Medicare card details leak

      The Australian Government has set up a review to look into the accessibility of Medicare card numbers by health providers, with former public servant Professor Peter Shergold as its head.

    • Two-factor authentication is a mess

    • Desperately Seeking Security: 6 Skills Most In Demand
      The last several years have seen a slew of reports coming out lamenting the typical enterprise's ability to recruit and retain quality cybersecurity talent.

      Earlier this year, ISACA's Cybersecurity Nexus survey found that more than one in four organizations take six months or longer to fill priority cybersecurity positions. Respondents to the survey said that 40% of organizations report receiving fewer than five applications for cybersecurity positions. And if things keep going the way they're already headed, the problem is only going to get worse. According to the 2017 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study conducted by Frost & Sullivan, by 2022 there will be a global shortfall of cybersecurity workers of 1.8 million people.

    • ‘Cybersecuring’ the Internet of Things
      I recently had the chance to talk with the legendary Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the internet. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the past, present and future of the internet, network security and what it would take to successfully, safely and reliably merge the digital and physical worlds, a concept known as the “Internet of Things,” or IoT.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says

      Traditionally, large scale greenhouse gas emissions data is collected at a national level but this report focuses on fossil fuel producers. Compiled from a database of publicly available emissions figures, it is intended as the first in a series of publications to highlight the role companies and their investors could play in tackling climate change.

    • Norway-EU row over crabs could fuel oil tensions in remote Arctic

      What is really at stake is oil, some experts claim, and a coming race for the commodity of which there is a lot in the polar region.

    • Audi manager charged in diesel scandal
      The US Justice Department announced criminal charges against former Audi manager Giovanni Pamio late last week. The 60-year-old manager was on a team concerned with thermodynamics in Audi’s diesel engine department between 2006 and 2015—the years when Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche were producing diesel vehicles that included "defeat device" software. The illegal software killed the cars' emissions control system when the cars sensed that they were being driven in real-world conditions and not in a lab where emissions were to be detected and reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    • 220 Cities Losing All Passenger Train Service per Trump Elimination of all Federal Funding for Amtrak’s National Network Trains

      The proposal cuts $2.4 billion from transportation, a 13 percent reduction of last year’s funding, and includes:

      Elimination of all federal funding for Amtrak’s national network trains, which provides the only national network service to 23 states, and the only nearby Amtrak service for 144.6 million Americans;

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Wait, what? Trump proposed a joint “cyber security unit” with Russia

      President Donald Trump proposed creating a so-called "cyber security unit" with Russia, then he decided against it after the idea was shot down by pretty much anybody who got word of it, including congressional members of his own GOP party. Trump, after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, said Sunday that they discussed building "an impenetrable Cyber Security unit" to address issues such as election meddling.

    • Donald Trump’s Proposal to Partner With Putin on Cybersecurity Is a Joke

    • Sharp Partisan Divisions in Views of National Institutions

      Republicans increasingly say colleges have negative impact on U.S.

    • Majority of Republicans Say Colleges are Bad for America (Yes, Really)

      A Pew Research Center survey published Monday revealed voters have grown apart in their support of secondary education since the 2016 presidential election season, when a majority of Democratic and Republican Americans agreed the nation’s universities serve as a benefit for the U.S. Whereas 54 percent of Republicans said "colleges and universities had a positive impact on the way things were going in the country" in 2015, the majority now believe the opposite, with 58 percent saying such institutions negatively impact the state of the union.

    • The G20 proves it. Because of Donald Trump, the world no longer looks to America for leadership
      Donald Trump paused briefly as he and the First Lady reached the top of the steps of Air Force One, gave a quick wave, and was on his way. At 6.05pm, he was heading back to the US, leaving the other members of the G20 disgruntled and defiant, but almost certainly glad he was out of there.

      Until recently, the world looked to the US for leadership at such international forums. But in the six months since Trump entered the White House, that has all changed.

      Now, on issues ranging from trade to climate change, on how to deal with problems such as Ukraine, the US has turned its back on the considered consensus. Even on subjects such as Article Five of Nato’s charter - the part that relates to mutual defence - Trump looks nothing less than wobbly.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • China Tells Carriers to Block Access to Personal VPNs by February

      Beijing has ordered state-run telecommunications firms, which include China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to bar people from using VPNs, services that skirt censorship restrictions by routing web traffic abroad, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about private government directives.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Former Head Of GCHQ Says Don't Backdoor End-To-End Encryption, Attack The End Points
      When he was head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan said some pretty clueless things about the Internet and encryption. For example, in 2014, he accused tech companies of 'facilitating murder', and joined in the general demonization of strong crypto. Last year, he called for technical experts to work more closely with governments to come up with some unspecified way around encryption.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Are our beliefs so fragile that we would kill over Facebook posts?

    • What ails the Valley? The fight is four pronged

      The fight is not just two pronged. There are multiple problems as well. They include the sermons in Mosques, the spread of propaganda through mobile phones, ideology being spread by journalists, writers and others.

    • Iranian women spark debate by defying hijab rule in cars
      A growing number of women in Iran are refusing to wear a hijab while driving, sparking a nationwide debate about whether a car is a private space where they can dress more freely.

      Obligatory wearing of the hijab has been an integral policy of the Islamic republic since the 1979 revolution but it is one the establishment has had a great deal of difficulty enforcing. Many Iranian women are already pushing the boundaries, and observers in Tehran say women who drive with their headscarves resting on their shoulders are becoming a familiar sight.

    • Bahraini rights activist Nabeel Rajab sentenced to two years in jail
      A Bahrain court sentenced rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab to two years in jail on Monday, supporters said, for allegedly making “false or malicious” statements about Bahraini authorities.

      Authorities at Bahrain's information affairs office could not immediately be reached for comment. Bahrain has repeatedly denied systematic rights abuses.

    • Oakland Police Chief Doubles-Down on Promoting the Cops Who Covered-Up the Celeste Guap Case
      Inside a federal courtroom this afternoon, the City of Oakland’s mayor and police chief reaffirmed their commitment to establishing a culture of accountability within the city’s troubled department. But after the hearing, Chief Anne Kirkpatrick told reporters that the commanders who mishandled last year’s internal sex-crimes investigation would still be receiving promotions.

      In fact, when asked directly by the Express whether John Lois and Roland Holmgren would still be promoted, Kirkpatrick justified the move, saying that federal-court monitor Robert Warshaw himself signed off on the decision.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • 50 Million US Homes Can't Get 25 Mbps From More Than One ISP
      We've talked for a while how while there has been a lot of hype placed upon the nation's scattered but modest deployment of gigabit networks, broadband in countless parts of the country is actually getting significantly-less competitive. That's thanks in large part to the nation's phone companies, which have increasingly refused to pony up the necessary costs to upgrade their aging DSL networks at any scale. Instead, many have shifted their focus either to enterprise services, or as in the case of Verizon, into trying to peddle ads to Millennials after gobbling up AOL and Yahoo.

      As a result, cable has established a growing monopoly over broadband across massive swaths of the country. This reduced competition has resulted in rampant price hikes (usually in the form of hidden surcharges or arbitrary and unnecessary usage caps and overage fees). But it also has eliminated any real incentive to keep rates low or repair what's statistically some of the worst customer service in any industry in America.

    • Watching Sites Disappear
      At this point there seem to be some systems problems arising on the web. I have had more than minor difficulty attempting to access as well as Identica has frequently been down as of late. As to it seems that there is a site in the so-called fediverse that is providing a proof-of-concept bit of destruction to the federation between social sites. At the last bit I could see, there was discussion of implementing a routing "blackhole" against the miscreant to keep the rest of the federation operating.1

      Between this and other matters, I do have pause to wonder as of late.2 How does our connected world survive? Frankly, I do not know the answer.

      I have noticed lately that the amount of physical media that I own has increased. If there is a DVD version of a movie that I want to watch again, I may in fact own it. I have a decent catalog of books that I own. That you can search that library catalog at is something left unfinished.3 Unlike Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory, I do not have things barcoded and I do not have the circulation module fired up. It is more an attempt to just track what I own.4

  • DRM

    • "W3C Embraces DRM - Declares War on Humanity" - Lunduke Hour
      The W3C has voted to standardize DRM for all of the Web -- in direct opposition to their own Mission Statement. What they are doing could have dire consequences for the entire Web. I yell about that for an hour. Because I'm mad.

    • DRM free Smart TV

      Libreboot is a free BIOS replacement which removes the Intel Management Engine. The Intel Management Engine is proprietary malware which includes a back door and some DRM functions. Netflix uses this hardware DRM called the Protected Audio/Video Path on Windows 10 when watching 4K videos. The Thinkpad T400 does not even have an HDMI port, which is known to be encumbered by HDCP, an ineffective DRM that has been cracked.

      Instead of using DRM encumbered streaming services such as Netflix, Entertain or Vodafone TV, I still buy DVDs and pay them anonymously with cash. In my home there is a DVB-C connector, which I have connected to a FRITZ!WLAN Repeater DVB-C which streams the TV signal to the ThinkPad. The TV set is switched on and off using a FRITZ!DECT 200 which I control using a python script running on the ThinkPad. I also reuse an old IR remote and an IRDuino to control the ThinkPad.

    • Over many objections, W3C approves DRM for HTML5
      A narrower covenant not to sue was proposed, but even this much narrower covenant was rejected. The various members of W3C appeared unlikely agree to any particular set of terms, and ultimately were never polled to see if consensus could be reached. Since the original EME proposal didn't include such a covenant, Berners-Lee decreed that failure to form one should not be allowed to block publication as an official W3C Recommendation.

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