Links 15/5/2015: GNOME 3.16.2, GNU Guix 0.8.2

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Top tips for finding free software

    Instead of MS Office, try LibreOffice, which contains a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software and much more. It borrows its design heavily from older versions of Office so it should be familiar. Even better, it can open and save Microsoft Office documents, and with each release it gets faster and more Office compatible.

  • Open-source and EMC (code)

    EMC’s commitment to open-source is changing the way the company does business — but it can be hard for such a large, established company to become accepted in that space. Brian Gracely, senior director of EMC {code}, is helping the company make that transition. While talking with theCUBE during EMC World 2015, Gracely laid out an overview of his work.

  • Handing On The Baton

    As a result, the Board unanimously elected Allison Randal as its new President yesterday. She is a fantastic choice, with long experience at the heart of the free and open source movement as well as in the business use of open source at all scales. She’s been chairing the ongoing in-person Board meeting and continuing the move towards an OSI that enables people to make things better in open source as well as stewarding licenses.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • DefCore, project management, and the future of OpenStack

      Rob Hirschfeld has been involved with OpenStack since before the project was even officially formed, and so he brings a rich perspective as to the project’s history, its organization, and where it may be headed next. Recently, he has focused primarily on the physical infrastructure automation space, working with an an enterprise version of OpenCrowbar, an “API-driven metal” project which started as an OpenStack installer and moved to a generic workload underlay.

    • Oracle Refines Big Data Focus with New Hadoop Analytics Tools

      This week researchers at Gartner threw cold water on the notion that everyone everywhere is adopting Hadoop, the open source framework for culling fresh insights from large data stores. Their latest study showed that Hadoop is presenting difficulties for some enterprise users, and found that there are not enough trained Hadoop experts.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • How to put the R programming language to work

      We tend to think of programming languages as general purpose, able to deliver any kind of application given enough time and enough code. But sometimes you want a language focused on solving one class of problem as efficiently as possible — think SQL for database programming.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Auto industry first to get wireless charging open standard

      One of the most eagerly anticipated mobile device innovations is widespread application of wire-free inductive charging. Nobody will miss lugging power bricks around, looking for outlets to plug them in, and fumbling with cable connectors with attendant potential for port damage through extended or rough use. Along with the obvious convenience and non-mechanical connectivity’s durability are the minimal likelihood of corrosion with all electronics enclosed and protected from water or oxygen in the atmosphere, enhanced safety for medical implants enabling recharging/powering through the skin rather than penetrating wires creating opportunity for infection, and non radiative energy transfer.


  • The Circus of UKIP – on a TV near you!

    The Circus of UKIP has parked up in town and election or not its show rumbles on.

  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ‘Wrong as Often as Right’ Is Good Enough When Reporting on an Official Enemy

      So the sensational stuff in the article is what local South Korean journalists said they were told by South Korean intelligence about that country’s bitter rivals. But South Korean intelligence is a reliable source, right?

      Well, no—not according to the Post. In the article’s eighth paragraph, the reporters note: “The NIS report could not be independently verified. NIS’s claims turn out to be wrong as often as they are right.”

      Is it really the Washington Post‘s policy to base stories on claims that are “wrong as often as they are right”?

    • Migrant crisis: EU plan to strike Libya networks could include ground forces

      European plans for a military campaign to smash the migrant smuggling networks operating out of Libya include options for ground forces on Libyan territory.

      The 19-page strategy paper for the mission, obtained by the Guardian, focuses on an air and naval campaign in the Mediterranean and in Libyan territorial waters, subject to United Nations blessing. But it adds that ground operations in Libya may also be needed to destroy the smugglers’ vessels and assets, such as fuel dumps.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Bee Survey: Lower Winter Losses, Higher Summer Losses, Increased Total Annual Losses

      Losses of managed honey bee colonies were 23.1 percent for the 2014-2015 winter but summer losses exceeded winter numbers for the first time, making annual losses for the year 42.1 percent, according to preliminary results of the annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership (http://beeinformed.org), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Apiary Inspectors of America.

    • AP, Review-Journal Miss Jeb Bush’s Yucca Mountain Flip-Flop

      Speaking in Nevada on May 13, Bush told a group of reporters that Yucca Mountain will not likely become the permanent storage location for the nation’s nuclear waste. The Associated Press story quoted Bush saying the project “stalled out” and reported that he “said the waste dump shouldn’t be ‘forced down the throat’ of anyone.” And according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bush also said “we need to move to a system where the communities and states want it.”

  • Finance

    • Some of David Brooks’ Best Friends Are Progressives–So Long as They Don’t Scare the Wealthy

      Clinton also strengthened and lengthened copyright and patent monopolies. These are forms of government intervention in the market that have the same effect on the price of drugs and other protected items as tariffs of several thousand percent. In the case of drugs, the costs are not only economic, but also felt in the form of bad health outcomes from mismarketed drugs by companies trying to maximize their patent rents.

      And the federal government directly intervenes to redistribute income upward when the Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates to slow job creation, keeping workers at the middle and bottom of the income distribution from getting enough bargaining power to raise their wages.

      In these areas and others, David Brooks’ center-right politicians, as well as “opportunity” progressives, are every bit as willing to use the government to intervene in the market as people like Warren and de Blasio. The difference is that the politicians Brooks admires want to use the government to redistribute income upward, while Warren and de Blasio want to ensure that people at the middle and bottom get their share of the gains from economic growth. (Their agenda is laid out in more detail in this report from the Roosevelt Institute.)

    • URGENT: Senate backtracks on TPP fasttrack — call Congress to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership

      Just days after the Senate rejected the Obama administration’s bid to fast-track the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, they’ve backtracked, and now they’re getting ready to rush fast-track through.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lack of Oversight of Charter Schools Designed as a Plus; $3.3+ Billion Spent (Part 2)

      “The waste of taxpayer money—none of us can feel good about,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services and Education just last month.

      Yet, he is calling for a 48% increase in the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) quarter-billion-dollar-a-year ($253.2 million) program designed to create, expand, and replicate charter schools—an initiative repeatedly criticized by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for suspected waste and inadequate financial controls.

  • Privacy

    • Internet.org Expands to Malawi Amidst India Backlash

      Facebook’s Internet.org project this week expanded into Malawi, bringing free Web services to subscribers of Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) and Airtel Malwai.

    • Privacy groups baulk at US government’s ‘fake’ surveillance reform

      US RIGHTS AND PRIVACY GROUPS have reacted quickly to oppose the recently passed US Freedom Act, and asked Congress to reconsider and ensure that bulk data collection is prevented and that personal privacy is preserved.

    • Facebook’s Quest To Absorb The Internet

      Facebook never wants you to leave, so it’s swallowing up where you might try to go. A few years back, its News Feed brimmed with links to content hosted elsewhere. News articles, YouTube clips, business websites, ads for ecommerce stores.

    • Federal Appeals Court Rules NSA Spying Illegal

      A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of billions of U.S. phone records is illegal, dealing a startling blow to the program just as Congress is weighing reforms to the government’s expansive surveillance authorities.

    • France passes new surveillance law in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack

      The French parliament has overwhelmingly approved sweeping new surveillance powers in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris in January that killed 17 people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery in Paris.

    • USA Freedom Act Passes House, Codifying Bulk Collection For First Time, Critics Say

      After only one hour of floor debate, and no allowed amendments, the House of Representatives today passed legislation that seeks to address the NSA’s controversial surveillance of American communications. However, opponents believe it may give brand new authorization to the U.S. government to conduct domestic dragnets.

    • Tor Cloud Shut Down Amid Lack of Support

      The Tor Project has shuttered its cloud proxy service citing security vulnerabilities, usability bugs and a lack of resources.

      Tor offers its users the capacity to surf the Web anonymously, bouncing traffic through a series of relay servers so that no observer at any point can tell where that user’s traffic is traveling to or coming from. The Tor Cloud Project essentially offered a platform for creating network bridges within Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Compute in order for users to evade censorship.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why net neutrality rules have angered some small Internet providers

      Giant Internet service providers are roaring mad about new net neutrality rules and the reclassification of broadband as a common carrier service. Reaction among small ISPs is more diverse, but some of them say they will be saddled with legal costs so high that it will prevent them from upgrading equipment that provides Internet service to small towns and rural areas.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why streaming services will not end piracy

        With the arrival of Netflix in Australia, there have been suggestions that people no longer have a valid reason to indulge in unauthorised downloading of movies. Such reasoning is short on logic.

      • Mega Rolls Out Legal Heavyweights to Refute Piracy Claims

        Mega.co.nz has today published an independent report which refutes claims that the site is a piracy haven. The analysis, carried out by Olswang, an international law firm that previously worked with the UK government on copyright issues, concludes that claims in a 2014 NetNames report have “no factual basis whatsoever.”

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