02.20.15

Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

Posted in News Roundup at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux-based desktops work despite Windows app prevalence

    With so many devices already based on Linux — Android devices and Chromebooks, to name a few — it makes sense for some companies to consider virtual and cloud-hosted Linux desktops. Windows applications are a hurdle, however.

  • Desktop

    • Desktop */Linux Trends In Canada

      Now that we’ve pretty well figured out that the huge “Unkown” thing in StatCounter‘s “desktop” OS category is closely related to Android/Linux, this graph makes sense. Some people in Canada are hooking up Android/Linux systems to big screens. GNU/Linux is growing pretty well, not explosively, but definitely breaking out of the ~1% doldrums. ChromeOS is on a plateau, probably because schools just buy once or twice per annum. It’s all good. The grand total? 2.6%. It’s not wonderful but a far sight better than a year ago and this time GNU/Linux seems to be going places steadily. We have product/salesmen/promoters doing the job, finally. The growth in share is small, but this is a measure of a considerable rate of change of shipments/units/migrations on top of a huge installed base of PCs.

    • Why you should consider cloud-hosted Linux desktops

      With all the licensing troubles that can come with hosting Windows desktops in the cloud, some companies — and vendors — are looking to Linux operating systems instead.

      VMware plans to offer a Horizon View client for Linux, and Horizon DaaS, formerly Desktone, has had a hosted Linux option for years. Citrix is planning a similar strategy for XenDesktop and XenApp with Linux Virtual Apps and Desktops. These two big-name virtualization vendors putting attention on Linux shines a spotlight on the OS.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Demand for Linux developers on the rise

      The demand for Linux developers has jumped seven percent in comparison to last year, a study has shown.

      The 2014 Linux Jobs Report shows that hiring managers at tech-powered companies are focusing more attention on Linux talent, and that’s reverberating in the market, with stronger than average salary increases to those working with the OS.

      Dice and The Linux Foundation surveyed both hiring managers and Linux talent to gain a 360-degree view of the thriving jobs landscape, and here’s what they found.

    • Intel Quark SoC x86 Platform Support For Linux 3.20/4.0?

      Ingo Molnar has asked Linus Torvalds to pull the x86 platform support for Intel Quark SoC systems for the Linux 3.20/4.0 kernel.

    • Code Merged This Week For Linux 3.20/4.0 Is Just As Exciting As Last Week

      Last weekend I covered the changes so far for the next kernel release, which will be called either Linux 3.20 or Linux 4.0 depending upon Linus Torvalds’ end decision. This week more exciting code has landed.

    • Why All Linux (Security) Bugs Aren’t Shallow

      Zemlin quoted the oft-repeated Linus’ law, which states that given enough eyes all bugs are shallow. That “law” essentially promises that many eyes provide a measure of quality and control and security to open source code. So if Linus’ law is true, Zemlin asked, why are damaging security issues being found now in open source code?

    • Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there’s no ‘serious plan’

      The year 2038 is still more than two decades away, but LWN.net editor and longtime Linux kernel chronicler Jon Corbet believes software developers should be thinking about that date now, particularly in the Linux world.

      Corbet raised the issue at his annual “Kernel Report” talk at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in Santa Rosa, California this week. “Time to start worrying,” he said.

      The issue is similar to the dreaded Y2K bug, in that a longstanding deficiency in the way some computers record time values is due to wreak havoc in all manner of software, this time in 2038.

    • Graphics Stack

      • It Could Be A While Before Seeing The Tamil GPU Driver Code

        While the Tamil driver is moving along for open-source ARM Mali T-Series graphics support, it could be a while before seeing the actual source code.

        Luc Verhaegen presented at FOSDEM a few weeks back about his work on Tamil, the Lima driver project’s work on supporting the newer ARM Mali T-Series GPUs found on various SoCs. While Luc showed off some demos and is working towards a Tamil Mesa driver, the code hasn’t yet been opened up.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce 4.12 Should Be Released in One Week, at the End of February

      After several emails between Xfce developers and numerous delays, it appears that the highly anticipated Xfce 4.12 desktop environment will finally be released at the end of February 2015, in the last weekend, most probably on March 1, if nothing goes wrong.

    • Xfce 4.12 Is Still Planned For Release In One Week

      Earlier this week we wrote about plans for Xfce 4.12 to finally be released and that it was being targeted for the end of February. Unlike failed Xfce 4.12 plans of the past few years, it looks like this release will actually pan out in one week’s time.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Using play/pause buttons in Chrome with GNOME 3

        I wrote a post last summer about preventing Chrome from stealing the media buttons (like play, pause, previous track and next track) from OS X. Now that I’m using Linux regularly and I fell in love with Google Play Music All Access, I found that GNOME was stealing the media keys from Chrome.

        The fix is quite simple. Press the SUPER key (Windows key or Mac Command key), type settings, and press enter. Click on Keyboard and then on the Shortcuts tab. You should now see something like this.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 Released – Detailed Review and Installation Instructions

        Bodhi GNU/Linux is a Ubuntu-based distribution designed especially for Desktop computing and is best known for its elegant and lightweight nature. The Distribution philosophy is to provide a minimal base system that can be populated with the applications as per user’s choice. The base System only include those applications which are essentially required viz., ‘Etecad‘ File Manager, ‘Midori‘ web browser, ‘Terminology‘ terminal emulator, ePhoto and ePad. Apt or AppCenter can be used to download and install lightweight applications in one go.

    • New Releases

      • LinHES 8.3 Finally Makes the Switch to Kodi, Includes MythTV 0.27.4

        Cecil Watson, the developer of the LinHES (formerly KnoppMyth) GNU/Linux Live operating system designed especially to be used as a home entertainment system, proudly announced the immediate availability for download of LinHES 8.3 (Lorne Malvo), a release that introduces a new Linux kernel, as well as updated Nvidia drivers and core components.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: Open Source ARM Platform Gets Closer to Prime Time

        Red Hat’s (RHT) investment in ARM hardware is heating up. This week, the company announced that more than 35 hardware and software companies have joined its ARM Partner Early Access Program, and that it expects its partners to begin delivering ARM software and drivers to the open source community starting now.

      • Fedora

        • New features in Fedora 22 Workstation.

          Matthias Clasen recently posted some updates on the Fedora development list about new features in Fedora 22 Workstation. As you may know, we’re getting ready to issue an Alpha, so it’s a great time to try out these changes.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Arrives with Linux Kernel 3.16

            Canonical announced that Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr), the second point release for the latest LTS branch, has been released and is now available for download.

          • Locally Integrated Menus (LIM) Set As Default In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

            After getting an option to always show the menus as well as global menu (Appmenu) support for Java Swing applications, yet another menu-related change has landed in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet: locally integrated menu (LIM) is now the default menu.

          • Wayland/Weston 1.7.0 Make It For Ubuntu 15.04

            While Canonical remains committed to Mir as the future display server technology for Ubuntu Linux both on the desktop and for mobile devices, the upcoming Ubuntu 15.04 release does have the latest Wayland/Weston 1.7 support too.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Update Out

              The second update to our LTS release 14.04 is out now. This contains all the bug fixes added to 14.04 since its first release in April. Users of 14.04 can run the normal update procedure to get these bug fixes.

            • Kubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Officially Released, Users Can No Longer Upgrade to Plasma 5

              Kubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr), a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that uses the KDE desktop environment, has been released and is now available for download.

            • Edubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Has Been Officially Released

              Along with the release of Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr) GNU/Linux computer operating system, as announced by Adam Conrad on behalf of Canonical, the Edubuntu team was also proud to announce earlier today, February 20, the immediate availability for download of Edubuntu 14.04.2 LTS, a release that includes new kernel and graphics stacks.

            • Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Beta 2 : Video Overview and Screenshot Tours

              Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Beta 2 has been released by Elementary OS Team, based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and featuring with pantheon desktop environment, it comes with various User Interface improvements, UEFI/SecureBoot support, better and more discoverable multitasking, updated 3rd party apps (including Geary, Simple Scan, Document Viewer & more), Updated development libraries (including Gtk 3.14), Security and Stability improvements, tons of stylesheet and icon changes and fixes along with other interesting changes as well as almost 600 bug fixes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi, oh my: From classrooms to the space station

      Well, this is starting to look sort of like “Jamie’s Mostly Raspberry Pi Stuff”, but that’s not intentional. There are just a lot of interesting things going on with the RPi at the moment, so that’s where I seem to be spending a lot of my time right now.

      The big news, of course, was the announcement and immediate availability of the Raspberry Pi 2 hardware two weeks ago. The new hardware needs updated software to really make the most of its capabilities, so there was also a new Raspbian and NOOBS release (1.3.12) made at the same time.

    • GDB 7.9 released

      Release 7.9 of GDB, the GNU Debugger, is now available via anonymous FTP. GDB is a source-level debugger for Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal and many other languages. GDB can target (i.e., debug programs running on) more than a dozen different processor architectures, and GDB itself can run on most popular GNU/Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows variants.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook benefits from formalising management of open source

    Facebook is now contributing more to external open source projects and keeping closer tabs on its own open source efforts

  • Facebook Picking Up the Pace on Its Open-Source Code Journey
  • Bind Exploit Closed in Ubuntu 14.10

    Canonical has announced that a Bind vulnerability has been found and fixed for Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

  • Pivotal pivots to open source and Hortonworks

    A few days ago Pivotal made three major announcements: the creation of a Big Data Product Suite, a partnership with Hortonworks and the launch of an ‘Open Data Platform’.

  • INTERVIEW: TIM O’REILLY

    There are many memorable quotes attributed to Tim O’Reilly. Which isn’t surprising. He’s been talking for decades about open data, the internet and the direction technology is taking us. Like Arthur C Clarke, much of what he’s predicted, talked about and written has proven incredibly judicious. He popularised the ideas behind ‘Web 2.0’, as well as the incoming wave and impact of social media. He believes in an open government and that the internet will become a global brain of networks and things.

  • Enterprise Software Giants Live In An Open Source World

    A decade ago now, I was recruited by ZDNet to launch a blog about open source software.

    At the time, the concept was controversial. Proprietary giants like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) argued that open source was insecure, that the business model would not work, that it would destroy the enterprise software space, that they couldn’t make money with it.

    One decade on and it’s clear what has happened. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android dominates the consumer space, and those who advocate proprietary models would claim it proves their point. Android OEMs don’t make money, while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), with its proprietary model, is making a fortune.

  • Pivotal Open Sources Their Big Data Suite
  • Untangling the intense politics behind Node.js

    The news that broke at the Node Summit last week — that Joyent and others are proposing to create a Node.js Foundation — came as no surprise to anyone who has been watching the controversy around everyone’s favorite server-side JavaScript platform. It’s been clear for a while that Node.js has outgrown its roots and become an important structural tool for the software industry.

    Node.js’s hosts at Joyent didn’t plan for this — the code had been an employee project rather than a strategic investment. While Node.js is an important part of Joyent’s operations, it’s not a key product for the company, which has certainly spent far more to host it than it has received in business value as a pioneer of container-based cloud deployment. Joyent deserves credit for acting responsibly and maintaining its commitment as steward, despite the intense interest — and fierce political intrigue — in which it found itself.

  • Node.js fork JXcore goes open source, aims for mobile developers

    With all the noise surrounding the Io.js variant of Node.js, it’s easy to forget about another Node fork that’s been quietly percolating: JXcore. Last year it added multithreading (sort of) and the ability to turn Node apps into stand-alone executables — but at the cost of JXcore being a closed source project.

  • ONF launches open source community to bolster SDN software development

    The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has announced the launch of an open source software community and code repository aimed at consolidating and accelerating development efforts around software and solutions that take advantage of software defined networking.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 36 Will Bring Support for HTTP/2

        This just got in: Mozilla Firefox 36.0 will bring support for the brand-new HTTP/2 protocol, according to the official release notes from the last Beta version of the web browser. HTTP/2 will enable a faster, more responsive, and more scalable Web.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • PLUMGrid Offers Virtual SDN Sandbox for Testing OpenStack Concepts

      There are lots of IT adminstrators out there wrestling with sticky issues as they pursue OpenStack deployments, and many of them say that they simply need to experiment with security and stabiity before rolling out mission-critical applications. Enterprises simply don’t want to trust a cloud platform and move apps and data to the cloud without having full platform confidence.

    • Q&A: MapR Technologies’ Tomer Shiran on Hadoop, Myriad, Apache Drill, and Data Analytics

      Recently, MapR Technologies, focused on Hadoop and Big Data analytics, has been out with some interesting announcements that we covered. We wrote about Myriad, an open source project focused on consolidating big data with other workloads in the datacenter, in this post. And we covered the latest release of the MapR Distribution including Hadoop in this post.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3.6 “Still” Is Out with 110 Fixes

      The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 4.3.6, which is a new maintenance version in this branch of the famous office suite.

    • Creating Forms for Easy LibreOffice Database Entry on Linux

      The LibreOffice suite of tools includes a very powerful database application ─ one that happens to be incredibly user-friendly. These databases can be managed/edited by any user and data can be entered by anyone using a LibreOffice-generated form. These forms are very simple to create and can be attached to existing databases or you can create both a database and a form in one fell swoop.

  • Business

    • Pentaho’s Open Source Background Keeps It Flexible in a Changing Marketplace

      Enabling customers to ride the waves of tech trends is a big part of Pentaho Corporation’s business approach, said the tech company’s Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing, Donna Prlich, during a live interview on theCUBE. With a new technology emerging every day, Prlich explained, it’s essential for customers to be flexible without sacrificing their ability to “get value from Big Data.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GDB 7.9 Brings Improvements To The Python Scripting API

      Today’s release of GDB 7.9 brings many improvements to the Python scripting API, compilation and injection of source code into the inferior with GCC 5.0+, resume improvements, hardware watchpoint support on GNU Hurd x86, MIPS SDE target, and a number of new commands.

    • Tell Lenovo: respect user freedom and prevent future Superfishes

      Security experts have discovered a highly threatening vulnerability in software preinstalled on some Windows computers manufactured by Lenovo through January 2015. Extreme negligence on the part of Lenovo and unscrupulous programming by its adware partner Superfish seem to have caused the vulnerability.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Visegrad countries and Bulgaria compare eGovernment practices

      Best practices in the implementation of eGovernment services by public administrations in Bulgaria will be compared with those in the Visegrad countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, at a workshop in Sofia on 26 February. According to a press announcement, Bulgaria’s coalition government is making the modernisation and increase of eGovernment services one of its priorities.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • This electrical engineer built an open-source headlamp for doctors in developing countries

      That’s what Amanda DelCore learned through the work of Dr. Laura Stachel, who designed a portable light kit when she saw that doctors and nurses in developing countries had to postpone treatment when their lights would go out. The doctors and nurses were especially excited about the headlamps included in Stachel’s kit because they were hands-free.

    • What do off-patent GM soybeans say about possibilities of open source biotech?

      March of 2015 marks the beginning of a new era in genetically modified foods. It’s the first year farmers can plant a generic version of glyphosate-resistant soybeans—the first GMO to be patented by Monsanto in 1996. There are some caveats to this, but it’s also a case that no longer fits the anti-GMO meme denouncing large agribusiness for holding intellectual property rights over seeds.

    • Open Data

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Sources: Marissa Mayer is firing people at Yahoo (YHOO)
  • Adobe Photoshop: changing your perception of reality for 25 years

    On the 25th anniversary of the launch of Adobe Photoshop, Sophie Curtis examines why the software program has become a cultural phenomenon

  • Metrolink delays after ANOTHER driver ends up on tram tracks on new Manchester Aiport line

    Since November 25, at least 12 drivers have ended up on the tram tracks – half of those on the new Manchester Airport line.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Top 10 Bogus ISIS Stories

      ISIS’s violent bona fides are not in doubt to anyone paying attention. They’ve targeted religious minorities, beheaded aid workers, sold women into sex slavery and have been all-around devastating for those under their rule. But as America debates the possibility of a full-scale ground invasion of ISIS-controlled territory, it’s important to note that much of the ISIS threat — namely that which targets the West — has been habitually overstated by an uncritical media.

    • Veteran War Reporters: O’Reilly’s Falklands Fibs Violate “Journalism 101″

      Revelations that Bill O’Reilly may have misled viewers about his reporting from the Falklands War back in 1982 are drawing fire from veteran war correspondents who contend apparent embellishments like O’Reilly’s hurt the credibility of all combat journalists.

    • How Fox News Responded To Bill O’Reilly’s Falklands Fibs

      Fox News has gone to war with Mother Jones after the liberal magazine published a story raising questions about the credibility of host Bill O’Reilly’s past statements about his experience as a war correspondent.

    • Who Killed the Argentine Prosecutor? More Than 400,000 March for Justice in Buenos Aires as Controversy Grows

      As many as 400,000 people marched through the pouring rain in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on Wednesday demanding an independent judiciary. The march came one month after the mysterious death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who had accused Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of helping to cover up Iran’s role in the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people and injured hundreds in Buenos Aires. On January 18, Nisman was found dead in his apartment of a gunshot wound to the head. His body was discovered just a day before he was due to testify before lawmakers on his findings on the 1994 attack. Just four days before his death, Nisman appeared on television and outlined his allegations against the president and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman. Investigators initially said Nisman’s death appeared to be a suicide, but no gunpowder residue was found on his hands. If it was not a suicide, who killed him? That question has gripped Argentina for the past month. We make sense of this unfolding story with Sebastian Rotella, senior reporter for the investigative news website ProPublica. He first covered the investigation into the 1994 bombing as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times based in Buenos Aires.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • CNRL’s Steve Laut Says Oilsands Face ‘Death Spiral’ If They Don’t Cut Costs

      As the world’s oil glut continues to build, wiping out hopes of a price recovery, the head of one of Canada’s largest oilsands operators is warning the industry faces a “death spiral” if it doesn’t figure out how to cut costs.

      Speaking before the Chamber of Commerce in Fort McMurray, Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL), said oilsands companies can still return to health, but only if they aggressively begin to cut costs.

      Costs have risen so far, so fast that oil producers were making three times as much profit in 2004, when oil was at $40 a barrel, than they were a few years ago when oil was at $100 a barrel, Laut said, as quoted at the Globe and Mail.

  • Privacy

    • UK Surveillance: The Fightback Begins – Please Join

      It’s one of the longest, most-detailed stories that The Intercept has published so far, and is well-worth reading in its entirety. What it shows is that GCHQ and the NSA really do want access to everything, and that they are prepared to do more or less anything to get that. Put together with all the other Snowden revelations, plus the news from earlier this week about infected hard drive firmware – almost certainly another NSA project – and things might seem utterly desperate.

      And yet there are some glimmers of hope. A couple of weeks ago, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which reviews complaints about surveillance in the UK, decided that British intelligence services acted unlawfully in accessing millions of people’s personal communications collected by the NSA – the first time it has ever ruled against the intelligence and security services in its 15-year history. It’s true that the ruling was unsatisfactory in many ways, but it still sets an important precedent. And then just this week, the UK government was forced to make a humiliating admission that it was unlawful for intelligence agencies to have monitored privileged conversations between lawyers and their clients for the past five years.

    • NSA’s Stealing Keys To Mobile Phone Encryption Shows Why Mandatory Backdoors To Encryption Is A Horrible Idea

      Over the last few months, ever since both Apple and Google announced plans to encrypt data on iOS and Android devices by default, there’s been a ridiculous amount of hand-wringing from the law enforcement community about requiring backdoors, golden keys and magic fairy dust that will allow law enforcement to decrypt the information on your phone… or children will die, even though they actually won’t.

      [...]

      It would be nice to see that the revelation of the NSA undermining one use of encryption led people to realize the stupidity of undermining other forms of encryption, but somehow, it seems likely that our law enforcement community won’t quite comprehend that message.

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