08.15.14

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Calling All Teachers! Google Classroom Arrives as a Preview

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

  • ClusterHQ floats Flocker open source container data manager for Docker

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

  • ClusterHQ Brings Docker Virtualization to Data Storage

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

  • Building trust and security through open source governance

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

  • WhoaVerse for social communities, built on open source

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

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

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

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

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Leaflet provides open source map solution

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

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Standards/Consortia

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

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

Leftovers

  • Security

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

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

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

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

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

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former DARPA Chief Broke Ethics Rules, Watchdog Finds

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

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

    • Killing Programs Record Index Will Come to Light

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

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

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

    • Australia: Anti-war activists raid Israeli drone factory

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

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

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

    • Israel Braces for War Crimes Inquiries on Gaza

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

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Finance

    • Culture as a cause of poverty has been wilfully misinterpreted

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

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

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

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

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

  • Privacy

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

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

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

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

    • Judge Blesses Justice Department Email Searches

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

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

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

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

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

    • Where you’re most likely to be wiretapped

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

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

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

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

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

    • Spy agency computer taps face oversight deficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Proposed surveillance reforms are weaker than the ACLU suggests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • John Schindler Out At Naval War College After Sexting Scandal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • An unlimited appetite for data

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

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

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

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

    • Will Facebook, Google Delete My Personal Info?

      Deleting Facebook, Twitter accounts leaves old conversations in their place

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

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

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

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

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

    • VPNs Integral Part of the Net

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

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

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Sharks are biting Google’s expensive cables

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

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

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

  • DRM

    • Orwell chap snaps in Amazon paperback claptrap yap rap

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

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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