04.16.15

Links 16/4/2015: Opera for 32-bit GNU/Linux, New Chromebook Site

Posted in News Roundup at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • C/C++ dependency manager biicode becomes open-source project

    Biicode plans to progressively release every part of its codebase as part of a comprehensive open-source strategy.

  • Halogenics bets on Javascript, open source

    Melbourne-based software developer Halogenics is hoping within the next few months to have prototype versions of the next-generation of its Genotrack application.

    Genotrack, which helps biomedical research institutions manage animal tracking, breeding and reporting, is currently based on a classic client-server architecture.

    Genotrack 2 will be a Web application built with open source components including MongoDB for the database component and a Node.js-based application server with a Sencha Ext JS interface.

  • How to embrace the open source workforce

    Enterprises learned an important lesson on their way to embracing open source software: they could benefit from work that came from outside of their own rosters of employees. Now businesses are beginning to recognize that open source lessons apply beyond software development, and they are finding new ways to seek out talent beyond their walls.

  • 3 steps to writing an open source project case study

    Case studies about open source project participants and users are a great way to showcase your project and how it works in the real world.

    Such studies will highlight interesting features of your software, demonstrate different (and potentially unique) ways your project is in use, and foster positive communication among members of your community.

    Case studies are also about transparency: while talking to the end user of your software, you can also learn about things that are not necessarily running smoothly in your project. And although no one loves to hear about the things that are going wrong, such feedback can also be invaluable to you and your team.

  • 3 steps to writing an open source project case study

    Case studies about open source project participants and users are a great way to showcase your project and how it works in the real world.

    Such studies will highlight interesting features of your software, demonstrate different (and potentially unique) ways your project is in use, and foster positive communication among members of your community.

    Case studies are also about transparency: while talking to the end user of your software, you can also learn about things that are not necessarily running smoothly in your project. And although no one loves to hear about the things that are going wrong, such feedback can also be invaluable to you and your team.

  • Events

    • Flisol David, Chiriqui 2015

      Event started at 9 with a full house we started talks about free software, Fedora, Firefox OS, Mozilla, Docker and many other topics, we talk with students and teachers who were really into learning about Fedora and Free Software.

    • GNOME.asia 2015
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 42 Eschews Some Extensions…Java in the Crosshairs

        In 2013, Google decreed that the longstanding Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI), which extensions have worked with for many years, is the source of many of the problems. And, Google decreed that extensions in the Chrome Web Store would be phasing out NPAPI support. Now, the latest release of the Chrome web browser, version 42, will block Oracle’s Java plugin by default as well as other extensions that use NPAPI. Some analysts are even calling it an effor to “push Java off the web.”

      • Chrome 42 for Android arrives with push notifications and home screen banners

        Want to master the CMO role? Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we’ll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited and we’re limiting attendance to CMOs and top marketing execs. Request your personal invitation here!

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack: Can the open-source platform still win private cloud?

      “I think that doing open source work in a full committee style is often like pouring 1,000 engineers into a barrel and hoping they’ll produce the works of Shakespeare. The monkeys in the barrel just don’t manage to get it together, everybody wants to be the king and the directions and the priorities change.

      “It’s a very different situation to something like Linux, where you have a benevolent dictator Linus Torvalds controlling everything, or like Docker, where there is a corporate entity ultimately controlling the road map.”

    • Is Apache Spark Enterprise Ready?

      While Apache Spark could supplant Hadoop’s MapReduce engine, it is not yet enterprise ready, some experts say.

      Apache Spark is making headlines as potentially the next big thing in Big Data. Coverage has focused on Spark’s speed and its potential as a replacement for Hadoop’s famously difficult MapReduce engine.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Hungary universities move to EuroOffice and ODF

      The Eötvös University and Szeged University in Hungary are increasing their use of EuroOffice and the Open Document Format (ODF), reports MultiRáció, the Budapest-based ICT firm that develops EuroOffice. Together, the two universities have about 45,000 students. In February the company signed a licence and support contract for 34,000 copies of EuroOffice.

    • LibreOffice 4.3.7 RC1 Arrives with Lots of Fixes for Microsoft Office Formats

      The Document Foundation has just released the first Release Candidate for LibreOffice 4.3.7, which is a stable and established branch of the office suite.

  • CMS

    • Drupageddon: SQL Injection, Database Abstraction and Hundreds of Thousands of Web Sites

      On October 29, 2014, the Drupal Security Team released advisory identifier DRUPAL-PSA-2014-003. This advisory informed administrators of Drupal-based Web sites that all Drupal-based Web sites utilizing vulnerable versions of Drupal should be considered compromised if they were not patched/upgraded before 2300 UTC on October 15, 2014 (seven hours following the initial announcement of the vulnerability in SA-CORE-2014-005).

      In the case of the Drupageddon vulnerability, the database abstraction layer provided by Drupal included a function called expandArguments that was used in order to expand arrays that provide arguments to SQL queries utilized in supporting the Drupal installation. Due to the way this function was written, supplying an array with keys (rather than an array with no keys) as input to the function could be used in order to perform an SQL injection attack.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Hurd 0.6 released

      To compile the Hurd, you need a toolchain configured to target i?86-gnu; you cannot use a toolchain targeting GNU/Linux. Also note that you cannot run the Hurd “in isolation”: you’ll need to add further components such as the GNU Mach microkernel and the GNU C Library (glibc), to turn it into a runnable system.

      This new release bundles bug fixes and enhancements done since the last release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Slovakia includes Open Education and Open Justice in its 2nd Action Plan

      Slovakia joined the OGP project in 2011 and then published its first Action Plan for 2012-2013. Since then, the Slovakian government has implemented several measures to fight against corruption and promote transparency and eParticipation in political life: a national Open Data portal (data.gov.sk) and its “Guidelines for the involvement of the public in the creation of public policies” – to promote a participatory approach in ministries. A participatory budget has also been implemented in Bratislava, the Slovakian government said in a statement.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Radeon LLVM Code Generation Improvements Being Worked On

      It’s been a while since last having any major breakthroughs to talk about for the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver stack, but steady work continues. Some recent Mesa commits to Git highlight some code generation improvements.

Leftovers

  • Box adds depth through Verold 3D modelling acquisition

    The INQUIRER spoke recently to representatives from the NHS looking to standardise document format and compatibility across systems in the national infrastructure through Vendor Neutral Archiving, while Apple and IBM have also made significant announcements in the tech arena this week.

  • Culture/DRM

    • Music Services Overtake CDs for First Time

      Revenue from digital-music downloads and subscriptions edged out those from CDs for the first time in 2014, holding overall sales steady at about $15 billion globally, a trade group said.

      Sales of CDs and other physical formats declined 8%, to $6.82 billion, while digital revenue grew nearly 7%, to $6.85 billion, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said in a report on Tuesday. Each of those represented 46% of overall music revenue. The other 8% came from sources such as radio airplay and licensing songs for television shows and films.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Here’s the Real Problem With Almonds

      Almonds: crunchy, delicious, and…the center of a nefarious plot to suck California dry? They certainly have used up a lot of ink lately—partly inspired by our reporting over the past year. California’s drought-stricken Central Valley churns out 80 percent of the globe’s almonds, and since each nut takes a gallon of water to produce, they account for close to 10 percent of the state’s annual agricultural water use—or more than what the entire population of Los Angeles and San Francisco use in a year.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Microsoft Patch Tuesday: The patches just keep coming

      For Microsoft, the vulnerabilities just keep popping up, and appear to be surfacing more quickly than ever before.

      Like last month, Microsoft issued a fairly large number of security bulletins for April Patch Tuesday—11 bulletins addressing 26 vulnerabilities. Last month brought 14 bulletins from Microsoft, covering 43 vulnerabilities.

    • Labs: Securing Your Home Fences

      You don’t have to be an ICT security professional these days to know that your Internet access device at home has not the best security reputation.

    • Metal Detectors at Sports Stadiums

      As a security measure, the new devices are laughable. The ballpark metal detectors are much more lax than the ones at an airport checkpoint. They aren’t very sensitive — people with phones and keys in their pockets are sailing through — and there are no X-ray machines. Bags get the same cursory search they’ve gotten for years. And fans wanting to avoid the detectors can opt for a “light pat-down search” instead.

  • Finance

    • When work isn’t enough to keep you off welfare and food stamps

      We often make assumptions about people on public assistance, about the woman in the checkout line with an EBT card, or the family who lives in public housing. We make assumptions about how they spend their resources (irresponsibly?), how they came to rely on aid (lack of hard work?), how they view their own public dependence (as a free ride rather than a humbling one?).

      We assume, at our most skeptical, that poor people need help above all because they haven’t tried to help themselves — they haven’t bothered to find work.

    • 15 Companies That Paid Zero Income Tax Last Year (Despite $23 Billion In Profits).

      Due to completely messed up U.S. tax policies, some even got a rebate check. Only small businesses pay taxes. Big companies often pay nothing at all.

    • ALDI Is A Growing Menace To America’s Grocery Retailers

      ALDI is hard at work redefining the rules of shopper engagement and, in the process, eating away at the market share of many of America’s most venerable food retailers — and food manufacturers. Through a relentless pursuit of perfecting its own store brands portfolio and unique shopping experience, ALDI has become more than a nuisance — it is a major force that is on the verge of changing the grocery retailing landscape. One should not underestimate ALDI in the U.S. market.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Assange on Scotland

      Julian Assange has asserted that MI5 are active against Scottish nationalists, as the independence movement is seen as a threat to the UK. Happily, Julian being Julian there is now some traction for this in the corporate media. When I posted on it last week I received nothing from the corporate media except dismissal and abuse over twitter.

  • Privacy

    • Months After Appeals Argued, NSA Cases Twist in the Wind

      Three cases that likely lay the groundwork for a major privacy battle at the U.S. Supreme Court are pending before federal appeals courts, whose judges are taking their time announcing whether they believe the dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records is legal.

      It’s been more than five months since the American Civil Liberties Union argued against the National Security Agency program in New York, three months since legal activist Larry Klayman defended his thus far unprecedented preliminary injunction win in Washington, D.C., and two months since Idaho nurse Anna Smith’s case was heard by appeals judges in Seattle.

    • Intelligence Bill: Mass Opposition to Mass Surveillance!

      The Intelligence Billis currently being debated at a fast pace in the French National Assembly and the debates will continue until Thursday 16 April. However, both the French Government and rapporteur Urvoas refuse to hear the growing opposition pointing out the dangers of this unacceptable text. La Quadrature du Net calls on citizens to act and Members of Parliament to face their responsibilities by opposing this text altogether and mass surveillance in general.

    • No encryption? How very rude.

      It struck me today that when I email a new con­tact I now reflex­ively check to see if they are using PGP encryp­tion. A hap­pily sur­pris­ing num­ber are doing so these days, but most people would prob­ably con­sider my circle of friends and acquaint­ance to be eclectic at the very least, if not down­right eccent­ric, but then that’s prob­ably why I like them.

      There are still alarm­ing num­bers who are not using PGP though, par­tic­u­larly in journ­al­ist circles, and I have to admit that when this hap­pens I do feel a tad miffed, as if some basic mod­ern cour­tesy is being breached.

      It’s not that I even expect every­body to use encryp­tion — yet — it’s just that I prefer to have the option to use it and be able to have the pri­vacy of my own com­mu­nic­a­tions at least con­sidered. After all I am old enough to remem­ber the era of let­ter writ­ing, and I always favoured a sealed envel­ope to a postcard.

      And before you all leap on me with cries of “using only PGP is no guar­an­tee of secur­ity.…” I do know that you need a suite of tools to have a fight­ing chance of real pri­vacy in this NSA-saturated age: open source soft­ware, PGP, TOR, Tails, OTR, old hard­ware, you name it. But I do think the wide-spread adop­tion of PGP sets a good example and gets more people think­ing about these wider issues. Per­haps more of us should insist on it before com­mu­nic­at­ing further.

    • FAA investigating Florida mailman’s landing of gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn

      Doug Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from Ruskin, told his friends he was going to do it. He was going to fly a gyrocopter through protected airspace and put it down on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, then try to deliver 535 letters of protest to 535 members of Congress.

      The stunt seemed so outlandish that not even his closest friend thought he would pull it off.

      “My biggest fear was he was going to get killed,” said Mike Shanahan, 65, of Apollo Beach, who works with Hughes for the Postal Service.

    • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg: I’m bringing free internet to Europe ['free' surveillance]

      Mark Zuckerberg has revealed he will bring Facebook’s free internet project to Europe, saying that the service will be made available to anyone “who needs to be connected” to the web.

    • What is Internet.org and will it really come to Europe?

      Facebook’s CEO suggested in a Q&A yesterday that the company’s Internet.org project could come to Europe, but it is unlikely to happen any time soon

  • Civil Rights

    • Nigel Farage believes in a Britain which doesn’t exist

      At best Ukip believes in a Britain which never really existed. A Britain of bland food and pale faces. A Britain where the roads are all empty, and the voices are all English.

    • Cop who shot fleeing suspect not eligible for lethal injection

      The North Charleston, South Carolina policeman who was filmed April 4 shooting a fleeing suspect in the back is not eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors say.

      Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said there are no so-called “aggravating circumstances” present for the authorities to even consider the ultimate punishment for a shooting death that was viewed millions of times on social media and broadcast and cable television.

    • Lawyer representing whistle blowers finds malware on drive supplied by cops

      An Arkansas lawyer representing current and former police officers in a contentious whistle-blower lawsuit is crying foul after finding three distinct pieces of malware on an external hard drive supplied by police department officials.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Attack on Net Neutrality Begins

      The United States Telecom Association has filed a lawsuit to overturn the net neutrality rules set by the Federal Communications Commission this past February. In its Monday morning Press Release USTelecom, who represents Verizon and AT&T among others, said it filed a lawsuit in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia joining a similar law suit filed by Alamo Broadband Inc.

    • Why Not? AT&T Adds Its Name To The Pile Of Lawsuits Against The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

      On Monday, the FCC’s net neutrality rules officially went into the Federal Register, which was also known as the starters’ gun for rushing to the courthouse to sue the FCC over those rules. Trade group USTelecom got there first with its filing, while a bunch of other trade groups, representing big cable companies (NCTAA), small cable companies (ACA) and big wireless companies (CTIA — ignoring the claims of its members Sprint and T-Mobile) were right behind them. Not to be left out, AT&T has also formally sued the FCC using the same basic complaint (“arbitrary and capricious, yo!”)

    • AT&T, but not Verizon and Comcast, sue FCC over net neutrality

      Out of the many lawsuits filed this week against the Federal Communications Commission, just one came from a major Internet service provider: AT&T.

      AT&T made no secret of its opposition to the FCC’s net neutrality order, but it was reported last month that trade groups rather than individual ISPs would lead the legal fight against the FCC. That has mostly been the case so far, with AT&T but not other big ISPs like Comcast or Verizon filing suit. Lawsuits have been filed by four consortiums representing cable, wireless, and telecommunications companies. One small provider in Texas called Alamo Broadband sued the FCC as well.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • California Bill Would Require Libraries Post Scary Warning Signs Not To Do Infringy Stuff With 3D Printers

        For a few years now, folks like Michael Weinberg have been pretty vocal about warning the world not to screw up 3D printing by falling for the same copyright/patenting mistakes that are now holding back other creative industries. Trying to lock up good ideas is not a good idea. Just recently we noted how 3D printing was challenging some long held beliefs about copyright, and we shouldn’t simply fall into the old ways of doing things. At our inaugural Copia Institute summit, we had a really fascinating discussion about not letting intellectual property freakouts destroy the potential of 3D printing.

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