Summary: Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for — let alone deploy — proprietary software with back doors
A FEW days ago we spoke about those who choose PRISM at taxpayers' expense, essentially choosing spyware at the expense of taxpayers who will suffer from it. Glyn Moody has published a good article about how it’s done to the British public , where the government pays Microsoft a lot of money because Microsoft’s own software is very insecure. This is a problem not just here in the UK.
Mr. Pogson links to IDG reports that say US “Tax collector has 58,000 PCs still running the aged XP; will spend $30M to upgrade to Windows 7″ (not even immediately). There is more about this in the British press  and it turns out not to be the exception.
To quote: “When you buy a computer, a telephone, a tablet-pc, etc., you make your choice first, and then you pay. But meanwhile, quite often you first pay the licence of an operating system (Microsoft Windows, MacOS, etc) which you then choose to use or to replace with another one. As a result, the vast majority of us all use the operating system that mainly beneficiates from this forced sale. Our addiction is so high that even those actors that should be neutral in principle help this situation continue: state, administration, school, city administration, etc. We are thus technologically very dependent, hence vulnerable. Thanks to Edward Snowden, it is now established that intelligence agencies modify hardware (computers, routers, firewalls, etc) and software (Microsoft Windows, probably all Apple operating systems, probably one GNU-Linux distribution, etc) to massively listen to communications and illegally penetrate into computers.”
It is time to publicly chastise government institutions — more so than private businesses which are only accountable to themselves and the law — over use of spyware such as Microsoft Windows. █
This is little more than polite blackmail: if you don’t upgrade, your systems will become infected, you will lose data, and your reputation may well be ruined as a result. The stakes are incredibly high: the Microsoft-sponsored study I wrote about last week puts the global cost of flaws in Microsoft’s software at around $500 billion for 2014 alone.
And yet despite the astonishing magnitude of the threat, laid out by Microsoft itself again and again, in various ways, people still stick with Windows XP. Really, there is no greater condemnation of Windows XP’s successors than the fact that huge swathes of Microsoft’s user base simply don’t want to upgrade.
Shockingly, that applies to the UK government, too. Of course, they at least realise that they can’t simply carry on using Windows XP without at least nominal protection, but the price they pay for their stubborn refusal to move off XP is high…
The April 15 deadline for Americans to pay their federal income taxes is fast approaching, but the US Internal Revenue Service has already missed an important deadline of its own – namely, Microsoft’s end-of-support date for Windows XP.
Few people know just how pervasive Linux has become, and that is causing a big problem for companies that increasingly rely on it. “There is a shortage of software developers in the U.S. The employment rate for these jobs is down to 2.3 percent in the last quarter. The opportunity for jobs is now there for people who come in to get this training,” said Dice President Shravan Goli.
A new book on open source education teaches school leaders and parents why kids need to see coding as more than cool. Energizing Education through Open Source: Using Open Source Software to Enhance Learning by Christopher Whittum makes a strong case for deploying the Linux OS and its academic software in schools.
For business, the same kind of trouble started when Linux and the Internet showed up in the mid-1990s. No matter how useful Linux and the Internet prove to be, business still has trouble getting its head around a virtual world composed of end points that are all autonomous, self-empowered and at zero functional distance from each other. The best geometric figure for that world is a giant hollow sphere composed of boundless smarts on its outside—the nodes of its network—and no controlling entity in the middle.
Linux has become the dominant operating system for internet sites, powering Google, Facebook, YouTube and many others. It is also the dominant operating system powering Android phones and tablets, televisions, home routers and many other devices.
Running various Linux distributions on my own computers has been a mixed blessing over the years. While I’ve experienced many successes, something I don’t talk about as often are the areas that frustrate me. In this article, I’ll highlight my top list of Linux frustrations that bug me to this very day.
Ubuntu and the suite of GNU tools in any robust Unix system. A good text editor (currently Gedit)—I keep all of my working files at .txts. A robust, highly configurable browser (Firefox/Firefox for Android). A fast RSS reader (presently Google Reader, likely to be Newsblur next). A tetherable mobile connection—I use EasyTether for Android to circumvent tether-blocking as deployed by some of the carriers I use around the world, especially Rogers in Canada. AirDroid for moving files on/off Android devices in my life.
Summary: The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft’s console competitor
EARLIER this month we learned about Xamarin signing deals with Microsoft after receiving funds from the firm of ‘former’ Microsoft executives. Those two entities not only collaborate on code inside Mono but they also collaborate on many other things, including, based on Phoronix, infecting the PlayStation 4 like they tried to infect Android for years. “For those wanting to work on console games in C#, Mono’s PlayStation 4 support work appears to be progressing well,” Phoronix explains, citing Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza, who has more to say.
We have gathered some articles that help explain how the ousting was done , essentially trying to work around laws  by inducing resignation. Friends of mine have explained where bigotry really was  and it is clear that by stepping down Eich only let the bigots win , leaving the role to Chris Beard for now  (he might as well stay in this position because he is also good). Boycott are still being used , showing that this whole episode  is achieving nothing good (if lessons are to be learned ). Those from within Mozilla who started it all have essentially done huge damage to Mozilla, which is trying to move on [8,9] or have people speak about something technical and newsworthy.
As a vocal person (my Diaspora feed is a lot more vocal than Techrights), I was deeply disgusted to see how a personal opinion got used, opportunistically perhaps, to harm Eich’s career. I may not agree with his position, but I would go very far to defend the right to free speech. People inside Mozilla have just done a lot to harm free speech by promoting self-censorship. That’s basically making Mozilla look less like a freedom proponent. Perhaps those who are jealous of Chris Beard (inside Mozilla) can start going through the past decade’s activities and try hard to find something in his personal life with which to blackmail the organisation until he resigns. One reputable source said that opposition to Eich’s appointment was more to do with the company not hiring from the outside for CEO. Well, Beard — like Eich — is coming from inside Mozilla. █
Two of the communities that lay claim to being among the most tolerant and inclusive have shown intolerance of a very high order, acting like a lynch mob to ensure that a top technologist was forced to leave his job as chief executive of a well-known software group.
What these commentators seem to have overlooked, however, is that the California Labor Code has already resolved this debate. Under California law it is blatantly illegal to fire an employee because he has donated money to a political campaign.
By now you may be wondering where I’m going with this. The point I feel very few people made in the controversy surrouding Brendan Eich is that Free Software does not care who you are voting for as an individual or even as an organization. What matters is respecting the license the software you are studying, using, modifyng and distributing is complied with, and to a broader extent, that the development community you are contributing to -if that is the case- is not deprived from its freedom. Now let’s take a few real, yet general cases of Free Software usage around the globe.
Regardless of how you feel about Eich’s departure and the reasons thereof, there is also a battle going on against unwanted online government, corporate, and other surveillance activities (much of which Edward Snowden brought to light). Mozilla is helping in this fight. Note that some calling for a Mozilla boycott are also the same ones who view Snowden as a traitor.
This weekend, North America Mozilla Reps gathered in the not-so-sunny Portland, Oregon. We worked from the Portland Office during the weekend, where we collaborated on plans for North America for the next six month period. We also tackled a number of topics from websites and refined our priority cities which will help us be more successful in moving forward in our mission to grow contributors in North America.
What is Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) in education and how can we get more students involved? HFOSS is open source software that has a humanitarian purpose such as disaster management, health care, economic development, social services, and more. Experience with undergraduate participation in HFOSS shows it can both motivate students and provide excellent learning opportunities. There is also an indication that it can help attract and retain female students.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the second largest agency of the US federal government. It employs more than 280,000 people, and with an annual budget close to $150 billion it provides health care services to close to 8.7 million patients, and benefits to close to 23 million veterans.
Where is the federal government on open source adoption and where is it going?
In six weeks, a team of three college students with no industry experience and only academic software-specific knowledge, developed and designed a health care provider search system using only open source software. To tell you how they got there, let’s start with a little history of open source software in the US federal government workspace.
With the official retirement of Windows XP, the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and surprisingly healthy software and gaming ecosystems (yay, Steam!), there has never been a better time to switch to Linux. Linux will also run very well on any old, Windows XP-era hardware that you might still be using, too — and if you’re anxious that you’ll be filled with switchers remorse after nuking your Windows installation, don’t worry: dual-booting is a cinch as well, extremetech reported.
A wealth of other programs, many free, is available to augment the Ubuntu experience. If a user would like to edit some of the photos organized within Shotwell, for example, Krita and GIMP are two free image-manipulation programs that rival the functionality of Adobe Photoshop. In fact, Ubuntu presents users with a one-click option to download Krita when opening a Photoshop file for the first time.
Last year I wrote an article called “Linux Podcasts and Magazines” which listed some of the best magazines and podcasts about Linux. Having looked back at that article I am aware that it could have gone a lot further as there are loads of podcasts that could have been named.
A few hours ago I wrote about the most interesting features for the Linux 3.15 kernel from my perspective as it didn’t look like anything else interesting would be introduced this late in the merge window before the imminent 3.15-rc1. However, this time I’ve been happily proven wrong with Clang patches being added to the Linux 3.15 kernel.
Early on in the Linux 3.15 merge window there were improvements to significantly speed-up suspend and resume for systems, but now there’s another late merge of a patch that has the capability of speeding up the resume time from suspend by 7~12x for at least some laptop/desktop systems.
For any early GTX 750 owners, before getting too excited, the support is very preliminary. For the GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti graphics cards I tested them today on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x86_64 doing a clean install and then using the latest daily Linux 3.15 kernel package from the Ubuntu mainline kernel archive. With both graphics cards, the system booted up fine on Linux 3.15 with the Nouveau DRM driver taking care of the kernel mode-setting for this hardware. In fact, it mode-set correctly for dual-link DVI on a 30-inch Samsung 2560 x 1600 display for these two mid-range graphics cards.
A few days ago when word got out that Civilization: Beyond Earth is coming out for Linux, many speculated and wondered whether this game would be the launch title for AMD’s Mantle graphics API to be introduced on Linux. It’s already been confirmed that Beyond Earth will feature a Mantle renderer to complement OpenGL, but will AMD’s Catalyst Linux driver bring support for Mantle?
Our latest benchmarks of AMD’s AM1 Platform this weekend is looking at the performance impact of the DDR3 memory frequency on the overall system performance while running Ubuntu Linux. The AMD Athlon 5350 APU was tested with DDR3 at 800MHz, 1066MHz, 1333MHz, and 1600MHz (the maximum for these current socketed Kabini APUs).
YaRock lets you browse your local music collection based on cover art but obviously, it also lets you easily search and filter your music collection, providing various views such as artists, albums, tracks, genre, years, etc. and it includes features such as: music collection database (SQLite 3), playlists support, can play radio streams, Mp3Gain tag support for volume normalization, Last.fm scrobbler, command line and Mpris interfaces, smart playlists, favourites support, automatically downloads cover art and more.
The concept of app stores, though popularized by Apple, followed by Android, has been around for a long time. In fact, Linuxians know that it was in the penguinian world of software that the concept of app store basically originated. A software housing a collection of apps stored in a convenient location was something Linux users have loved and still love.
Panda Security, a cloud security solutions provider, unveiled new features for its Panda Cloud Systems Management (PCSM) remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution. The latest version of PCSM allows administrators to manage Linux, Mac and Windows devices, along with smartphones and tablets.
PaintSupreme is a powerful image manipulation tool available for Linux, with support for various painting tools, layers and effects, and written using Qt3. The paid version costs $5.99, however a trial version is available for those interested in a commercially supported alternative to Photoshop on Linux.
Have you heard of speed reading? Me neither. At least not before a startup called Spritz raised 3.5 Millions in seed money to develop an API that supposedly allows a user to read 1,000 words per minute.
On the eve of Independence Day, folks who believe in the right to control their own software and computers will be celebrating a different kind of independance; the release of the latest LTS offering from Ubuntu. On Thursday this week Canonical (the guys behind Ubuntu) will be releasing the latest version of their version of the operating system-version 14.04- code named Trusty Tahr. This is a Long Term Support release that will receive support and updates for the coming five years which would be ideal for business and all late adopters. Late adopters are all those people that still have a Windows XP machine humming somewhere in their house.
There’s no perfect amount of time to spend in a world that’s almost destroyed itself, but Wasteland 2 wants to give you at least a couple of days to savour the terrifying sights. Developer inXile Entertainment thinks an “average new player” should take about 50 hours to complete the upcoming RPG, according to a new update detailing the game’s march toward release.
Sid Meier’s next major game release in the Civilization franchise will see a native Linux game port.
Many Phoronix readers have been writing in this weekend about news out of PAX East 2014 of not only Civilization: Beyond Earth coming out later this year but that it will see a native Linux port. Beyond Earth is a new science-fiction-themed game within the Civilization series.
A spiritual successor to Sid Meier’s intergalactic classic Alpha Centauri has been officially announced, and it brings the promise of treats for PC gamers including support for AMD’s low-level Mantle application programming interface (API) and cross-platform gaming on Windows, OS X and Linux – the latter to include Valve’s SteamOS.
CD Project, the developer of the Witcher franchise has announced a while ago that they plan to extend into the Linux territory and it’s very likely that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition will be ported to the open source platform. Now it’s your chance to buy the game at a ridiculous price.
I took a look at the issue of gender in open source a while back in an article on ITworld. I noted in that article that I had worked for and with many different women over the last twenty years in my technology career. The women I worked with served in many different roles: IT managers, vice presidents, art directors, web producers, editors, editors-in-chief, marketing managers and plenty of other roles.
In short, the women I’ve worked with over the course of my career have been at pretty much every level in technology publishing. But, as I noted in the ITworld article, they all had one thing in common: THEY. JUST. DID. IT. They didn’t get into technology because of an outreach program, they got into it because it was the career that they desired based on their own individual personalities.
The 2014 “Journées du Logiciel Libre” took place in Lyon like (almost) every year this past week-end. It’s a francophone free software event over 2 days with talks, and plenty of exhibitors from local Free Software organisations. I made the 600 metres trip to the venue, and helped man the GNOME booth with Frédéric Peters and Alexandre Franke’s moustache.
You might feel that the names of Nitrux and Numix sound a little familiar. The developers involved with these are responsible for numerous icon packs and themes for the Linux systems, and Nitrux also has its own Linux distribution called Nitrux OS.
The collaboration between two teams has been going for quite a while, and the upcoming operating system that has been promised by Nitrux and Numix finally got a face. Until now there were only glimpses and teases, but the Linux community can now get a good look at Ozon OS.
Red Hat enables its customers to migrate Linux subscriptions to Google Compute Engine, Citrix integrates NetScaler as a remote services blade for Cisco Nexus 7000 switches and Verizon launches a Secure Cloud Interconnect service to enable enterprises to connect more than one cloud seamlessly and securely.
Following a recent FutureGov “Ask the experts” article, Red Hat’s Harrish Pillay, the Global Head for Community Architecture and Leadership, responds to another query from a FutureGov reader on when open source is free and when it’s not.
It’s certainly looking like Fedora 21 will premiere with a massive amount of features, perhaps the most ever. Fedora 21 already has a ton of features but another large batch of proposals have been submitted for this next major Linux distribution release due out at the end of 2014.
Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box. You install it on a DVD or USB drive, boot up the computer from the drive and, voila, you’re pretty close to anonymous on the internet. At its heart, Tails is a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity. It comes with several privacy and encryption tools, most notably Tor, an application that anonymizes a user’s internet traffic by routing it through a network of computers run by volunteers around the world.
MakuluLinux Mate Imperium Edition has been released a few hours ago, and being based on Debian Testing, I took it for a test drive. This is a good opportunity to have a look at the latest MATE 1.8, since Ubuntu Trusty only includes the 1.6 version in the repositories, and for the Mint release we’ll probably have to wait for about another month.
But except for MATE, some very interesting choices make MakuluLinux Imperium Edition stand out: it comes by default with applications like Steam, Wine, PlayOnLinux and even the Kingsoft Office suite instead of LibreOffice. Upon installing MakuluLinux, you have the possibility to choose which components will be installed and which not.
The MATE Live desktop is shown below, it is exactly what I expect from Makulu — beautiful wallpaper, bright colourful icons, and lots of interesting-looking additions scattered around the screen. The Installer icon and an Installation Guide are on the upper left corner of the screen.
“It’s been ages since I haven’t been able to say it, but… we have a new promoted image (#294)! This image is now the best ubuntu Touch image we never had. It’s been a tedious path to get there, so we hope you will enjoy it! People on the devel channel will be able to get the new scope design experience as per numerous other features and bug fixes since latest promoted image (#250). This, week-end, multiple images have been spinned. Some blocker fixes, some regressions went in and are now fixed,” said Canonical’s Didier Roche.
The Meizu MX3 was announced on an official basis last year, but it seems as though this particular smartphone is going to roll out over in the U.S. some time in the third quarter of this year, which is still a fair number of months away. Well, the Meizu MX3 holds the distinction of being one of the first smartphones that will ship with Ubuntu Linux, although one can always make do with an Android-powered version of this smartphone. The Ubuntu version of the Meizu MX3 was shown off at Mobile World Congress in February.
The developers have made a lot of improvements in their latest Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) and the Linux community is waiting for the release with great interest. One of the main reasons for this anticipation is the fact that Canonical made some important changes to the operating system and now it’s somewhat different from Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander), which is the current version.
The Ubuntu developers have changed their policy regarding the support period of non-LTS versions of Ubuntu, starting with the 13.04 version. This created a strange situation where Ubuntu 13.04, which had nine months of support, reached end of life before Ubuntu 12.10, which was the last with 18 months of support.
Windows XP has officially died today as Microsoft pulls the plugs that leaves millions of users as juicy targets for crackers and cyber criminals and there will be massive attacks on these systems so it’s extremely important for Windows XP users to move away from this dead OS. There are two options for such users – either they upgrade to heavily criticized Windows 8 (which may not even work on their current hardware) or they simply move to Linux.
VirtualBox, like any hypervisor, likes all the system resources it can get. Therefore, if you want to migrate your old XP box to Linux Mint and you have an older PC, you may not be able to use VirtualBox to run XP. In my experience, you could squeeze XP on top of Linux Mint and VirtualBox on a system with 1GB of RAM, but it’s going to be ugly. You want at least 2GBs of RAM and a 1GHz AMD or Intel processor.
Samsung has always come across as a bit of a sleazy company to me. Something about the company has always just rubbed me the wrong way. Whenever I see a Samsung ad or read a story about them I feel like I’ve been slimed. It’s a feeling akin to dealing with a used car salesman or an insurance salesman, you just know that they are full of crap and you feel dirty after dealing with them.
Lockheimer, who joined Google in 2006, was called by Samsung’s lawyers as a witness to demonstrate how the popular Android operating system was well into development before the first generation iPhone was introduced in 2007.
Apple shipped less than half as many tablets as Android in Q2, representing 28.3% of the market compared with Android’s 67%. One year ago, during the second quarter of 2012, the two operating systems shipped almost equally.
Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) was released some four months ago on the Nexus 4, 7, 10 and Google Play Edition phones that existed at the time. If you’re an avid follower of all things Android, then you may have figured that it’s just about time for Google to release another incremental upgrade to their dominant OS. A recent report from Android Police points to the rumoured ‘dogfooding’ (slow and controlled roll out of software for testing etc) of 4.4.3 to members of Google outside of the Android team. A move like this can only mean one thing. The Android team is confident and are ready to test it on a wider scale, before making it available to everyone.
For about a year now, Google has been working on an Android version of its Chrome Remote Desktop app and new reports from Engadget, PCMag and other outlets claim that it is imminent. The origins of the project go all the way back to a short post from The Chromium Team, and many people have been waiting for the ability to access a remote computer or device from Android.
Moto G is the device that is turning things around for Motorola. The company has already accepted that the device is their most successful smartphone ever. According to latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Motorola is currently owing 6% share in the British smartphone market.
The Taiwanese smartphone maker has plans to ship the HTC One M8 Google Play Edition in the next two-three weeks, but you will be glad to know that the kernel source is just a click away. The company has published the open source files for this device on its developer site, HTCdev.
Kunkel says, “think of the open source foundation like Android.” The world’s most used mobile operating system can support free, paid, proprietary, or open source apps. There are great, decent, and downright terrible apps, but they’re all supported on nearly any Android device, from the soon-to-be-coveted Samsung Galaxy S5 to the budget-friendly burner.
While the subject of open source used to be confined much more to software than to electronics and hardware, several changes over the past years have made it more universal. The advent of the 3D printer and other open source hardware projects along with Kickstarter as a vehicle for funding have made it much easier to bring a project to the open market than ever before.
Linksys has started shipping a new router, and it’s touting its latest offering as the first consumer-grade Wi-Fi router to provide thorough wireless coverage throughout the home through its four external antennas.
The Open Source Initiative has announced the results of a ballot by its members to select new directors for its board. The outcome sees more diversity and strong community skills introduced, signalling new horizons for the 15 year old organisation.
In the Iron Man movies, Tony Stark uses a voice-controlled computer assistant called J.A.R.V.I.S. It manages the lights and security system in his home, helps him pilot his Iron Man suits, and even assists with his research. Some of this is still very much in the realm of science fiction, but not all of it. Inspired by the Iron Man movies, two Princeton students have built a J.A.R.V.I.S. for the real world.
Box is getting into the mix, unveiling its own open source repository showcasing at least 20 projects to-date.
Amid content and metadata SDKs for Android, iOS, Windows, and Java, more distinctive projects include the Box Anemometer (a MySQL slow query monitor) and the curiously-named Stalker, a jQuery plugin allowing elements to follow a user as he or she scrolls through a page.
Lauren Egts is a student who loves technology. She teaches children and adults alike about computer programming, presenting about Raspberry Pi and Scratch at local area Mini Maker Faires and at the Akron Linux User Group. She’s enrolled in the Hathaway Brown School’s Science, Research, and Engineering program, and is a member of her school’s robotics team, The Fighting Unicorns. She also won a 2014 Ohio Affiliate Award for Aspirations in Computing from the National Center for Women in Technology.
CloudStack became an Apache Top-level Project (TLP) back in March 2013, and is the open source muscle behind many cloud deployments. Originally donated to Apache by Citrix, CloudStack depends on community contributions to keep its feature set growing and its security hardened. This week, CloudOps, which provides private, public and hybrid cloud solutions for enterprises, announced security enhancements that the company has contributed to Apache CloudStack and the availability of their implementation and managed services for Apache CloudStack 4.3.
Joomla, one of the world’s most popular open source content management systems (CMS) used for everything from websites to blogs to custom apps to Intranets, today announced the election of Sarah Watz as the President of Open Source Matters (OSM). The non-profit provides organization, legal and financial support to the Joomla project. Watz is the first-ever internationally based president of OSM.
Stanly Community College is using Student Success Plan (SSP), open source case management software from Unicon, to better engage at-risk students and promote student success. The Albemarle, NC, institution serves 10,000 curriculum, continuing education and basic skills students.
The Association for Computing Machinery’s annual meeting of their Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education is one of the largest academic computing meetings there is. This year’s event featured a full-day workshop on teaching open source practices, tools, and techniques by engaging students as contributors to humanitarian projects such as Ushahidi, OpenMRS, Gnome Accessibility, and others. TitanPad was used for collaborative notetaking during the event, and this article is a result. You could call it a crowd-sourced article.
Free and open source solutions are a common component in the ICT infrastructure of Heanet, Ireland’s National Education and Research Network, serving about one million students and staff in the country’s research and education institutes. Such tools are chosen over proprietary alternatives whenever possible, says Glenn Warren, one of Heanet’s IT security specialists.
I first read about Chris Whittum in an article on Fosters.com. Once I read that he was interested in using open source software in education, I knew I had to learn more about him. After working in education, Chris decided to share his knowledge in an eBook called: Energize Education Through Open Source: Using Open Source Software to Enhance Learning. This resource focuses on how schools can use open source to continue to offer great lessons to students without the high price tag of similar proprietary products.
Open source is no stranger to the enterprise, but most businesses compartmentalize — open source for this, proprietary software for that. Is some of each the best of both worlds, or could businesses benefit by taking the 100 percent open source plunge? IDC’s Michael Fauscette and Red Hat’s Tim Yeaton kick around some of the issues surrounding full open source adoption in the enterprise.
In a little over a month, I’ll be heading out to Ottawa to attend BSDCan 2014. I’ve been a regular at BSDCan since 2006, attending every year since except 2008 — I wanted to go that year too, but other business (actually the business of getting out of a company I’d helped build) kept blocking my preparations even though I had a fresh book out with the first edition of The Book of PF published late 2007.
Pre-orders tend to arrive early (before official release date), grab the chance to have early access! You won’t be the winner if you just learned about it now, since at least one guy on misc@ has already beaten you to it
These are direct-conversion transceivers which can be configured for experiments and evaluation of signals in FM and TV broadcast reception, prototyping a GSM base station with OpenBTS, developing with GNU Radio GPS, Wi-Fi and ISM.
Using the AMD Athlon 5350 AM1 APU with its four “Jaguar” cores operating at 2.05GHz, I ran some benchmarks from Ubuntu 14.04 Linux comparing the performance of binaries compiled under GCC 4.8.2 and this week’s GCC 4.9.0 RC1. Is GCC 4.9 better able to exploit the potential out of AMD’s Jaguar microarchitecture? Let’s see.
The GCC 4.9 compiler that’s about to be released has many improvements, including in the area of LTO (Link-Time Optimizations), but you must still have a fair amount of patience to compile with LTO support.
For those curious about the impact of modern compiler tuning CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS when using the GCC 4.9 compiler with an Intel Core i7 “Haswell” processor, here are many benchmarks of many C/C++ code-bases when testing a variety of compiler optimization levels and other flags.
Whew! We’re in the midst of the last week of the MediaGoblin campaign! As you may already know, we already beat our first milestone. This means we’ve unlocked the most core and exciting things: federation and 1.0 support.
Many of our readers will already know that as Android is built using the Linux Kernel as its foundation, companies that manufacture smartphones, and mobile processors that run Android must provide source code. This is because the Linux Kernel (and many other libraries that Android depends upon) is licensed using the GPL (the GNU General Public License) which, in a nutshell, requires those that use GPL code or software to redistribute their changes and such in the same manner. This sort of practice is what allowed Open Source Software to take off in the first place, and keeps free software getting better and better and of course keeps things free for users like us.
There was a time when working in the library I found it very frustrating (as many librarians do) that there were so few options for software that actually did what I needed. In libraries we’re so used to there being this vendor=software model. Where one vendor controls a product and while there might be other similar products, they too are controlled by a vendor.
This is why libraries need to take a closer look at open source software. By removing the “owner” (aka the vendor) from the equation we get a lot more freedom to make software that does what we want, how we want, when we want. One of the hardest thing to teach libraries who are switching to an open source solution is that the power is now in their hands to direct the software!
Right now Fracture supports decompiling ARM binaries but x86 is actively being worked on and there’s also plans for supporting PowerPC and MIPS. While progress is being made, there’s many features that still need to be handled like conditionals, complex language structs, high-level type recovery, and other features.
The Life Sciences Consortium of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer today announced the launch of the Project Data Sphere initiative, a platform designed to facilitate the sharing, integration and analysis of data from phase 3, comparator arm cancer trials.
Back in December, last year, we told you that a universal laptop charger standard was in the cards for this year and now we’re hearing reports that the European Union wants to cut down electronic clutter by obliging OEMs to adopt an universal charger for mobile phones and tablets, as well. This way, you won’t have to ditch your previous charger whenever you buy a new one. And, to be frank, not all of us are that conscious and decide to recycle, so it all turns out to be electronic waste which puts in big danger our environment.
The quality of support from a software community is key to the lifecycle of a technical standard, says Chris Ulliott, Technical Director at the UK’s Technical Authority for information assurance, CESG. “We love open standards, they make life easier.”
This study also examines social media behaviors quite broadly; there are probably specific industries or jobs where social media use would be beneficial or even within job requirements. Future research should investigate such positions in particular.
Children growing up in severely disadvantaged circumstances can experience drastic chromosome ageing. By the time they are 9 years old their telomeres – the caps on the ends of chromosomes that shrink each time cells divide – can be as short as those of someone decades older. And a particular combination of genes seems to make children flourish in nurturing environments but suffer in harsh environments.
Concerned Oklahomas gather to protest the airing of Cosmos, citing the show’s agenda is ‘clearly anti-Christian and biased against creationist values.’ Citizens have threatened to vote to ‘secdee’ [sic] from the United States during the 2014 gubernatorial and ballot issue election if Cosmos is not formally removed from all Oklahoma based television networks.
If you want to know embargo’d Intel Xeon news, don’t wait or sign away your life, just look out for Samsung press releases. Yeah we know this particular bit of news will shock absolutely no one, but Samsung did blatantly break an NDA and directly name the Intel product involved so it became news.
Food regulation in Australia can be baffling sometimes. It’s so easy to walk into a supermarket and fill your trolley with foods that can potentially undermine your health like litres of soft drink and cheap doughnuts. Yet if you want to buy hemp seed, a source of vitamins and minerals and a rich source of protein and healthy omega-3 fat, it’s still officially banned for use as a food.
A whitehat hacker from the Baltimore suburbs went too far in his effort to drive home a point about a security vulnerability he reported to a client. Now he’s unemployed and telling all on reddit.
David Helkowski was working for Canton Group, a Baltimore-based software consulting firm on a project for the University of Maryland (UMD), when he claims he found malware on the university’s servers that could be used to gain access to personal data of students and faculty. But he says his employer and the university failed to take action on the report, and the vulnerability remained in place even after a data breach exposed more than 300,000 students’ and former students’ Social Security numbers.
Most enterprise security organizations are unlikely to have a spamming refrigerator on top of their list of things to worry about. But news earlier this year that an Internet-connected fridge was co-opted into a botnet that sent spam to tens of thousands of Internet users is sure to have piqued the interest of at least a few.
Google recently held a security competition in Vancouver. One of the biggest highlights of the competition is that well-known hacker, George Hotz, who goes by his online name of Geohot has bagged a $150,000 prize from Google. This was reported by the International Business Times.
Let me explain why writing the introduction to today’s post by TomDispatch Managing Editor Nick Turse is such a problem. In these intros, I tend to riff off the ripples of news that regularly surround whatever subject an author might be focusing on. So when it comes to the U.S. military, if you happen to be writing about the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia,” really, no problem. Background pieces on that pile up daily. How could you resist, for instance, saying something about the U.S. refusal to send an aircraft carrier to China for a parade of Pacific fleets (after the Chinese refused to allow Japanese ships to participate)? It’s mean girls of the Pacific, no? Have an interest in the Ukrainian crisis? Piece of cake, top of the news any time — like those curious pro-Russian protestors in eastern Ukraine who tried to liberate an opera house in the city of Kharkiv, mistaking it for city hall, or the hints that U.S. troops might soon be stationed in former Soviet satellite states. Or, say, you’re writing about threats in cyberspace — couldn’t be simpler! Not when you have Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel offering an amusing assurance that the country that launched the first cyberwar and is ramping up its new cybercommand at warp speed “does not seek to militarize cyberspace.” And, of course, any day of the week U.S.-Iranian relations are a walk in the park (in the dark). At the moment, for instance, the Iranian nominee for U.N. ambassador — previously that country’s ambassador to Belgium, Italy, Australia, and the European Union, but once a translator for the group that took U.S. embassy hostages in Tehran in 1979 — has been declared “not viable” by the Obama administration. In a remarkable act of congressional heroism, the U.S. Senate, led by that odd couple Ted Cruz and Chuck Schumer, has definitively banned him from setting foot in the country. Mean girls of Washington? Who could resist such material?
She alleged the archipelago is “among the most militarised areas in the world”, saying some 1500 soldiers and 2000 civilian military personnel are stationed there amid a population of just 1000.
Ms Kirchner, who has a track record of controversial statements about the islands, said the British military manages its entire South Atlantic deployment and its electronic intelligence systems from there.
Britain called the claims “wholly false” and said UK forces numbers have declined to the “minimum necessary to defend the Islands”.
As if we needed any more evidence that the Obama administration-backed “rebels” in Syria are fighting alongside our avowed enemy, al-Qaeda, a story published days ago in Britain’s The Independent puts another brick in that wall.
The unabashed collusion of two torturing security states in concealing the truth of their despicable acts – including complicity in the torture of women and minors – and blocking criminal prosecution of the guilty is a sign of how low public ethics have sunk. Fortunately there are still a few people in the British Foreign Office disgusted enough to leak it.
WikiLeaks unveiled a draft of “The Future of Internet Governance,” the guidelines for a meeting between representatives from 12 countries, including France, Germany, and the United States, and hosted by Brazil.
While both Snowden and Assange have been hailed as heroes by those who favor more transparency and more accountability, both have demonstrated different attitudes about the possible impact their leaked information could have. Snowden has said he is working with journalists who are using their discretion in deciding what parts of the leaked information should be published.
Army Private Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence for leaking reams of classified information is out of proportion with the offences for which she was convicted, the lawyer who will represent her in court-martial appeals said Tuesday.
The column by Breakthrough’s Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus is a good example of what’s known on the Internet as “concern trolling”–shedding crocodile tears over the prospect that climate advocates they have done their level best to undermine might not be getting their message out effectively. And what’s the problem with their messaging?
As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his community in central Thailand from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff — until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots into him.
When organized interest groups or economic elites want a particular policy passed, there’s a strongly likelihood their wishes will come true. But when average citizens support something, they have next to no influence.
There is hysterical emphasis today on preventing the abuse of the system by a tiny proportion of fraudsters (known as scroungers). But the abuse lies elsewhere; in the Department of Social Security. They do not aid their staff or their clients’ health, and they undermine everyone’s security.
On Friday, the Minnesota House approved raising the state minimum wage to $9.50 per hour. According to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), it’s the fifth state to hike the minimum wage this year, following Delaware, West Virginia, Connecticut and Maryland, which just approved its hike earlier this week.
Dropbox CEO Drew Houston sought to quell the uproar over the appointment of former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the company’s board of directors, saying in a blog post Friday that Rice’s appointment won’t change its stance on privacy.
The guerrilla graffiti artist Banksy is believed to be behind an artwork which has appeared on the side of a house in Cheltenham. The Gloucestershire Echo reported that the owner of the house, Karren Smith, 48, said she saw men packing a white tarpaulin into a van at about 7.30am on Sunday. She said: ‘They were taking it down and putting it into the back of the van. I thought it might be something to do with the police, like when a crime happens. I saw these people looking and then saw the graffiti. It’s pretty good. It livens up the street.’ The work, on the corner of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road, surrounds a BT telephone box and is already drawing fans. The new artwork comes in the wake of the storm over surveillance by GCHQ and the NSA revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden
EFF received these records in response to our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for information on Next Generation Identification (NGI)—the FBI’s massive biometric database that may hold records on as much as one third of the U.S. population. The facial recognition component of this database poses real threats to privacy for all Americans.
The US government’s troubled military trials of terrorism suspects were dealt another blow on Monday when proceedings were halted after an allegation surfaced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned a member of a 9/11 defendant’s defense team into a secret informant.
Judge James Pohl, the army colonel overseeing the controversial military commission at Guantánamo, gaveled a hearing out of session after barely 30 minutes on Monday morning, following the revelation of a motion filed by the defense stipulating that the FBI approached an unidentified member of the team during the course of an investigation into how a manifesto by accused 9/11 architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed found its way to the media.
There’s no word on the price Google paid, but Facebook had been in talks to acquire the company earlier this year for a reported $60 million. Presumably, Google paid more than that to keep it away from Facebook.
Days ago, the Obama administration demonstrated its dedication to the indefinite detention of Americans, as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by submitting a brief asking a federal judge to throw out a case challenging the constitutionality of that provision.
Comcast and proposed merger partner Time Warner Cable claim they don’t compete because their service areas don’t overlap, and that a combined company would happily divest itself of a few million customers to keeps its pay-TV market share below 30%, allowing other companies that don’t currently compete with Comcast to keep not competing with Comcast. This narrow, shortsighted view fails to take into account the full breadth of what’s involved in this merger — broadcast TV, cable TV, network technology, in-home technology, access to the Internet, and much more. In addition to asking whether or not regulators should permit Comcast to add 10-12 million customers, there is a more important question at the core of this deal: Should Comcast be allowed to control both what content you consume and how you get to consume it?
Robert Steele, one of the bosses at anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp, has expressed outrage with BitTorrent Inc. In an often incomprehensible rant he accuses the company and its founder of profiting from piracy. To become a good citizen, BitTorrent should add a blacklist of pirate torrent hashes to their leading file-sharing client uTorrent, he suggests.
Most people affected by piracy are very happy to point the finger at sites like The Pirate Bay, but what if people were too scared to talk about the sites where their content is being made available illegally? What if, in some strange world, the sites hosting the pirated videos were the ones paying for the content in the first place?
City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Unit has been making waves recently against so-called ‘pirate’ websites but its current funding is only a temporary arrangement. In an effort to remove uncertainty, the Prime Minister’s Intellectual Property Advisor is calling on his boss to commit to the permanent funding of the unit to extend its existence beyond 2015.
For years, we followed the important iiNet case in Australia. Hollywood studios, which ran a group called AFACT in Australia, wanted to “set an example” of why ISPs should be liable for copyright infringement done on their networks, and deliberately chose iiNet to sue, believing the ISP was too small to mount a serious challenge. Instead, iiNet fought back strongly, making really strong points about how ridiculous it was to pin the blame on an ISP. The result was a complete victory for iiNet. It won at the district court, at the appeals court and finally at Australia’s high court.
KVM (Kernel based Virtual Machine) is a leading open source virtualization technology and an important tool in any Linux administrator’s handbook, especially with the increased adoption of cloud technologies such as OpenStack and the need for hypervisors to better manage compute, network and storage resources. The “potential” of KVM for enterprises is incredibly valuable far beyond its origins – just like Linux. After a year of contributing patches to the KVM community, IBM is announcing today that a Power Systems version of KVM, PowerKVM, will be available on IBM’s next generation Power Systems servers tuned for Linux before the end of the quarter.
Cloud-hosting firm ElasticHosts has launched Elastic Containers, an Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering that claims to save companies money by charging them only for consumption rather than capacity.
Since Facebook’s Carlos Bueno wrote the canonical article about the full stack, there has been no shortage of posts trying to define it. For a time, Facebook allegedly only hired “full-stack developers.” That probably wasn’t quite true, even if they thought it was. And some posts really push “full-stack” developer into Unicorn territory: Laurence Gellert writes that it “goes beyond being a senior engineer,” and details everything he thinks a full-stack developer should be familiar with, most of which doesn’t involve coding.
Intel, Broadcom, Mellanox, and Cumulus Networks jumped on board last November, contributing specifications and software that will bring the project closer to a finished design. They weren’t alone, though: Software-defined networking vendor Big Switch Networks in January donated what it calls Open Network Linux (ONL) to the project.