07.25.15

Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

Posted in News Roundup at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source, adaptable infrastructure key to Etsy platform business model

    For an emerging platform business model, information technology may not top the owner’s agenda. Building a community and setting the ground rules for participation and conflict resolution are often the first priority. IT, however, tends to become a higher priority as a platform scales and matures. That’s been the case for Etsy, which was founded in 2005. Today, Etsy’s technology infrastructure plays a critical role in the current stage of the platform’s evolution.

    [...]

    Etsy is largely built on open source technology, according to Allspaw. At its core, the company’s platform stack includes PHP and MySQL, Hadoop and Scalding, and Solr/Lucerne/ElasticSearch, he explained.

  • It’s Been A Great Month So Far For Open-Source/Linux Users

    Besides the open-source Mesa finally hitting OpenGL 4.0+, Vulkan being right on the horizon, there being Skylake just around the corner, AMD R9 Fury Linux benchmarks coming next week, and Intel Skylake being days away, there’s been many other exciting announcements so far this month and milestones for free software.

  • IFTTT joins the open source community

    Harnessing the power of apps, devices, and the cloud, IFTTT has just unveiled five open source projects. Now available on GitHub, the projects can be used by anyone to integrate IFTTT automation in their apps and services.

  • Tech Giants Boost Open Source Container Collaboration

    CNCF’s role is to foster developer and operator collaboration on common technologies for deploying cloud native applications and services, said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation — that is, applications or services that are container-packaged, dynamically scheduled and micro services-oriented. To ease the process, CNCF aims to drive alignment among technologies and platforms.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Nightlies Are Now Built with GTK+3, Coming For Firefox 42

        As of this commit yesterday, by Mike Hommey, Firefox nightly builds are now being built with PLATFORM_DEFAULT_TOOLKIT set to cairo-gtk3! It would appear, according to the commit tag, that mainline Firefox will be built with GTK+3 for Firefox 42. Firefox 42 is expected to be released this November.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Hadoop Summit

    • Getting friendly with open source: Big Data firm liberates proprietary chokeholds

      Enterprise customers could consider open source as the solution to their problems. According to Anand Venugopal, Impetus’ head of real-time stream analytics platform StreamAnalytix, “People have become so friendly to open source, and they have been waiting to be liberated from the hold of proprietary vendors that they are positively biased toward open source-oriented technology.”

      Discussing a recent use-case scenario, Kankariya said, “The guy was looking for his problem to be solved; he doesn’t care if it’s Hadoop or NoSQL or whatever.” This openness has allowed Impetus to become a trusted partner and advisor for customers that want to “cross-learn from across the ecosystem.”

    • Squeezing more value out of data

      Cloudera, Inc.’s Todd Laurence, director, global partner sales, and Michael Crutcher, director of product management, joined theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s Media team, at Hadoop Summit 2015 to discuss how Cloudera’s close relationship with EMC is benefiting its Isilon scale-out NAS storage customers and “bringing analytics to data where it lives today in EMC Isilon.”

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.2 Gets Ready for Production Use, Release Candidate 1 Out for Testing

      The FreeBSD Project announced a few minutes ago that the first Release Candidate (RC) version of the upcoming FreeBSD 10.2 operating system is now available for download and testing through the usual channels.

    • FreeBSD 10.2-RC1 Released

      This latest development milestone for FreeBSD 10.2 has fixes for ZFS, Xen, SSH, pkg, and many other key components. Besides being offered for i386, amd64, PowerPC, PowerPC64, and SPARC64, there are also ARM spins for popular development boards from the RaspberryPi B to BeagleBone and PandaBoard.

    • LLVM 3.7 RC1 Ready For Testing By Developers

      One week after tagging LLVM 3.7-RC1, Hans Wennborg of Google announced its formal release on Thursday.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • ODI announces winners Open Data Awards 2015

        Earlier this month, the Open Data Institute held its Open Data Awards ceremony at Bloomberg’s London office, where ODI founders Sirs Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt presented this year’s winners.

    • Open Hardware

      • SketchUp’s Open-Source 3D-Printable WikiHouse Snaps Together Like Lego Bricks

        What if you could assemble your house like Legos using free modeling software and a 3D printer? That’s the idea behind Eric Schimelpfening‘s WikiHouse – a home designed entirely in SketchUp that can be downloaded by anyone, customized to fit the user’s needs and sent to the 3D printer. The components are then snapped together using less than 100 screws to make rooms that can be rearranged as easily as you would rearrange furniture.

  • Programming

    • PHP 7.0 Beta 2 Released

      Just two weeks after PHP 7 decided to go into beta, the second beta release is now available for testing.

      If you’ve been living under a rock, PHP 7.0 is slated to deliver much greater performance over PHP 5.6 (as much as 2x or more), consistent 64-bit support, various new language features, better handling of fatal errors, and other changes.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ISO updates ODF document standard

      The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has updated the ODF open document format standard for office application. ODF version 1.2 was published on 17 June.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • Researchers Enlist Machine Learning In Malware Detection

      In 100 milliseconds or less, researchers are now able to determine whether a piece of code is malware or not — and without the need to isolate it in a sandbox for analysis.

    • The OpenSSH Bug That Wasn’t

      Get your facts straight before reporting, is the main takeaway from Peter Hansteen’s latest piece, The OpenSSH Bug That Wasn’t. OpenSSH servers that are set up to use PAM for authentication and with a very specific (non-default on OpenBSD and most other places) setup are in fact vulnerable, and fixing the configuration is trivial.

    • VUPEN Founder Launches New Zero-Day Acquisition Firm Zerodium

      In the weeks since the Hacking Team breach, the spotlight has shone squarely on the small and often shadowy companies that are in the business of buying and selling exploits and vulnerabilities. One such company, Netragard, this week decided to get out of that business after its dealings with Hacking Team were exposed. But now there’s a new entrant in the field, Zerodium, and there are some familiar names behind it.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Hundreds of never-before-seen photos of Bush and Cheney on 9/11 released by National Archives

      The National Archives on Friday released more than 350 never-before seen photos of former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, along with top members of the Bush administration, on Sept. 11, 2001, as they reacted to the most deadly attack in terrorism in American history.

    • Ex US Intelligence Want the Truth from White House who Shot Down MH17

      On Tuesday, the Ukrainian government refused to release an international report on the disaster, intensifying widespread concerns that it pointed to Ukrainian rather than Russian or rebel culpability in the crash.

    • Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kill more than 120 in Yemen

      Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed more than 120 civilians and wounded more than 150 after shelling a residential area in the Yemeni province of Taiz on Friday evening, security officials, medical officials and witnesses said.

      The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters, said that most of the houses in the area were leveled and a fire broke out in the port city of Mokha. Most of the corpses, including children, women and elderly people, were charred by the flames, they said.

    • John Carlin Complains that ISIL Is Targeting Same Youth FBI Is

      I’m reviewing some of the videos from the Aspen Security Forum. This one features DOJ Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin and CIA General Counsel Caroline Krass.

      I’m including it here so you can review Carlin’s complaints in the first part of the video. He explains to Ken Dilanian that ISIL’s recruiting strategy is different from Al Qaeda’s in that they recruit the young and mentally ill. He calls them children, repeatedly, but points to just one that involved a minor. 80% are 40 and under, 40% are 21 and under. In other words, he’s mostly complaining that ISIL is targeting young men who are in their early 20s. He even uses the stereotype of a guy in his parents’ basement, interacting on social media without them knowing.

      Carlin, of course, has just described FBI’s targeting strategy for terrorist stings, where they reach out to young men — many with mental disabilities — over social media, only then to throw an informant or undercover officer at the target, to convince him to press the button that (the target believes) will detonate a bomb — though of course the bomb is an FBI-supplied inert bomb.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Why Hong Kong is the only Asian hub for global media

      Hong Kong is definitely the Asian hub of the global news industry.

    • Assange says WikiLeaks is “drowning in material now”
    • Julian Assange on WikiLeaks’ Comeback: ‘We Are Drowning in Material’
    • SPIEGEL Interview with Julian Assange: ‘We Are Drowning in Material’

      In an interview, Julian Assange, 44, talks about the comeback of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing platform and his desire to provide assistance to a German parliamentary committee that is investigating mass NSA spying.

    • Hillary Clinton likely ‘mishandled’ secrets because too much is classified

      The minute that private email server Hillary Clinton used for work emails as Secretary of State became a controversy, it was clear that evidence would surface showing that classified information passed through that address – despite her repeated denials.

      Of course there was “secret” information in her emails – but not because she had attempted to cover up smoking gun Benghazi emails like conspiracy-addled Republicans hoped. It’s because the US classification system is so insanely bloated and out of control that virtually everything related to foreign policy and national security is, in some way or another, classified.

      And now it’s finally happened: the New York Times reported late Thursday that two internal government watchdogs have recommended that the Justice Department open a criminal investigation into Clinton’s private email account, because the cache of 55,000 emails from her now-deleted server reportedly include “hundreds of potentially classified emails”.

    • The Declining Half-Life of Secrets

      The nature of secrets is changing. The “half-life of secrets” is declining sharply for many intelligence activities as secrets that in the past may have been kept successfully for 25 years or more, are now exposed well before.

      For evidence, one need look no further than the 2015 breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), of personnel records for 22 million U.S. government employees and family members. OPM is just one instance in a long string of high-profile breaches, where hackers have gained access to personal information, trade secrets, or classified government material. The focus of the discussion needs to be on complementary trends in information technology, including the continuing effects of Moore’s Law, the sociology of the information technology community, and changed sources and methods for signals intelligence, all of which increase the likelihood that government secrets will not remain secret for long.

      An age where secrets become known sooner, means that “the front-page” test will become far more important to decision-makers. Even if a secret operation is initially successful, the expected costs of disclosure become higher as the average time to disclosure decreases.

  • Finance

    • Elizabeth Warren 1, Wall Street Clown 0

      On this week’s podcast, we look back on Elizabeth Warren ripping apart a rip-off artist from Primerica, break down the latest effort to pass a highway funding bill, and explain why a former NSA chief is talking to a bunch of fruit growers.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Side-By-Side Coverage of Cuba and Iran Highlights Shift in US Media Villain-Making

      US relations with Cuba have had a significant time to relax, and clearly there is a still a long way to go with Iran, which George W. Bush famously included as a member of the “axis of evil” in his 2002 State of the Union address (White House Archives, 1/29/02). One might wonder, however, were the US media to grant the same kind of legitimacy to Iranian perspectives as it now does to Cuba’s, whether that latter number might tick up.

    • Megyn Kelly’s Response To The Louisiana Theater Shooting Was To Speculate About An ISIS Connection

      Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly responded to breaking news of a deadly shooting at a Louisiana movie theater by baselessly asking about possible connections to ISIS or radical Islam.

    • Politico Finds ‘Capital of American Jihad’–Based on 2 Cases, 6 Years and 268 Miles Apart

      In his piece “Tennessee Is the Capital of American Jihad,” author and “War on Terror” think-tanker James Kitfield sets out to draw a connection between the the recent Chattanooga shooter Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez and the case of Carlos Bledsoe, who shot up a recruiting station in Arkansas in 2009. The fact that both attacked recruiting stations, both lived in Tennessee and both were Muslim is apparently enough to make Tennessee the “Capital of American Jihad.”

    • Who Is Frank Luntz, The Guy Trying To Quietly Change Your Mind About Republicans?

      On Saturday, at the 2015 Family Leadership Summit, an event which showcases Republican candidates, Donald Trump gave a notorious interview in which he discussed John McCain’s military record. Trump said, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” His interviewer cut him off twice and and asked what he thought again. Suddenly, Trump said McCain was a war hero multiple times, creating a debate about whether Trump meant that McCain is a war hero because being captured is heroic or that McCain only got hero status because he was captured, not because he was doing anything special. Amazingly, Trump got a standing ovation — and his interviewer, Frank Luntz, knew exactly what he was doing.

      Luntz is not a journalist. He is not a fellow politician or a Republican Party executive. He is a pollster who specializes in language, and though you might not have heard of him, the Republican candidates certainly have. He knows what words to use to make you like them more.

  • Censorship

    • Sri Lanka: Colombo Telegraph facing censorship despite presidential promise

      The Colombo Telegraph, Sri Lanka’s most iconoclastic investigative news website, is gearing up for this year’s second national election. And once again they face the threat of censorship — despite a presidential promise to bring it to an end.

      January’s polls saw the website blocked to domestic voters by order of authoritarian incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Unseated by shock winner Maithripala Sirisena, one of the victor’s first acts after the vote was to lift the official banning order.

    • Universal’s agents send Google a censorship demand for “127.0.0.1″

      127.0.0.1 is the “loopback” address for your Internet stack, the address you tell your computer to visit when you want it to talk to itself.

      Links to 127.0.0.1 just go to your own computer — it’s like asking your computer to knock on its own door. Not understanding this is directly analogous to not being able to find your own ass with both hands.

    • Michigan Needs a New Voice: Challenging Censorship in the Wolverine State

      Earlier this year, the faculty advisor to Northern Michigan University’s college newspaper was outed for encouraging her students to file public records requests and draw attention to acts of secrecy performed by university administration. Noting that public records requests are legal and even encouraged as per Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act, it is unnerving to know that the accomplishments and reputations of our nation’s finest journalism educators can be undermined in the name of image control. But the Marquette-based college is not alone; the Rochester Talon, the nationally recognized and award-winning student newspaper of Rochester High School in Oakland County, has been subjected to prior review by school administration since January, when–in an attempt to raise awareness about changing smoking trends among students of legal smoking age–it ran a photo (shown below) of a teenager (lawfully, and in an off-campus location) smoking a hookah pen. The school administration’s swift retaliation made certain that no journalist would again dare attempt to inform the school community about an issue of social concern.

    • Turkey’s press council says censorship still in place

      Turkey’s Press Council has said censorship is still in place in Turkey, adding the country ranked 149th among 199 countries in press freedom reports, with 21 journalists in jail and a large number of ongoing cases filed against journalists, in a written statement issued to mark the 107th anniversary of Journalists Day.

    • Israeli artists sound alarm over growing censorship

      According to local filmmakers, the recent suppression of documentary Beyond The Fear is just one episode in a quickening erosion of artistic freedom in Israel.

      As Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre began to roll on the opening night of the Jerusalem Film Festival in the picturesque Sultan’s Pool amphitheatre in early July, another screening was kicking off just metres above the spectators’ heads.

    • The Edge suspension triggers fears of media clampdown

      Putrajaya’s three-month ban on two local publications reveals a growing clampdown on press freedom in Malaysia and a bid to encourage self-censorship, human rights groups said today.

    • 14,000 sign petition against FPB online regulations

      “If the Film and Publication Board’s new internet regulations are implemented, they’d have the right to review and classify almost every blog, video, and personal website – even Avaaz campaigns like this one. Think apartheid-era censorship, reloaded and super-charged for an all-out assault on our digital freedoms.”

    • WeChat censorship report: 1.5% of posts get censored

      WeChat is China’s hottest social media app. But like internet services in China, discussion on WeChat isn’t entirely free – it is censored by Tencent in accordance with Chinese law. Just how censored is WeChat, and what exactly is being hidden from view? Those questions are the subject of an exhaustive new report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab on WeChat censorship.

    • How Tight Is Internet Censorship In China? It Censors WeChat Even For Harmless Rumors

      The Citizen Lab report, published on Monday July 20, conducted an analysis over several thousand posts that were posted publically on the social messaging app WeChat’s public blog. WeChat is owned by Tencent.

    • Dear Instagram, I love you but you’re bringing me down
    • Robyn Lawley exposes Instagram’s censorship policy in a weekend Twitter rant
    • Bill raises online censorship fears

      Legislation that is being promoted as a way to update the country’s anti-discrimination rules has sparked controversy in the Lower House and society at large amid concerns that it could lead to censorship, particularly in online forums.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Are Arabs white?

      In the US, race has always mattered. Whiteness in particular has mattered most, standing as the seal of civilisation and the gateway towards citizenship.

      Since 1944, Arabs have been deemed white by law. Many Arabs still embrace and defend that status today.

    • Palace fury over Hitler salute images is guff

      “England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity”. Anyone who heard that in childhood as a wise saying, not to be questioned, was being told their elders believed the Nazis were not all bad.

    • British archives hiding royal family’s links to anti-Semitism in 1930s, says historian

      While research hitherto has focused on the support German aristocrats secretly provided Hitler within Germany, Urbach’s book discusses an additional, international dimension to this secret diplomatic back channel, most notably from members of the British royal family.

    • The Queen’s Nazi salute: Historical revisionism in the service of state censorship

      Writing in the Telegraph, Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson thundered that it “makes my blood boil to think that anyone should use this image in any way to impugn the extraordinary record of service of Her Majesty to this country.”

      She was “a tiny child, and she is making that parodic salute long before her family could possibly have grasped what Hitler and Hitlerism was really all about.”

      In the Guardian, columnist Michael White wrote that the “Queen’s Nazi salute [was] a sign of ignorance shared by many in scary times.” The royal family’s “wobbly views” were, he claimed, shared by the “great British public.”

      Elsewhere, military historian James Holland opined, “I don’t think there was a child in Britain in the 1930s or 40s who has not performed a mock Nazi salute as a bit of a lark. It just shows the Royal Family are as human as the next man.”

    • It’s true, teens can’t be punished like adults

      In the past decade, advances in neuroscience have given new insights into old problems, ranging from drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder to adolescent shenanigans.

      For example, if the new neuroscience shows that a drug addict’s brain is physically dissimilar to a non-addict’s brain in ways that make the former more prone to addiction, then we must ask if his infractions of the law ought to be treated less punitively.

    • Race should not be unthinkingly trotted out to gag free speech
    • Traumatized Amos Yee is open for Donation

      16-year-old traumatized, Amos Yee is open for cash donation, who had already served four weeks in jail.

    • We welcome criticism within constraints, says Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong

      Mr Lee was asked about the cases of Amos Yee and Roy Ngerng – the former found guilty of insulting a religion, the latter of defaming the Prime Minister – in an interview with Time.

    • AWARE statement on the prosecution of Amos Yee

      AWARE has grave concerns about the negative implications of the recent prosecution of Amos Yee. This statement focuses on harassment and hate speech as these areas are closest to our work, although we also share concerns that others have raised about the importance of upholding freedom of expression, children’s rights, and the integrity of people with autism and mental health issues.

    • Teen blogger Amos Yee files appeal
    • Amos Yee files appeal against conviction and sentence
    • Singaporean blogger Amos Yee appeals against conviction, sentence

      Teenage blogger Amos Yee, who received a four-week jail sentence for posting an obscene image online and posting content intended to hurt the religious feelings of Christians, is appealing against both his conviction and the sentence.

    • Lawyers want judge who’s not Christian for Amos Yee appeal

      The lawyers for teenage blogger Amos Yee want his appeal to be heard by a non-Christian judge when it goes before the High Court.

      The 16-year-old will be appealing against both his conviction and sentence. His lawyer Alfred Dodwell filed the notice of appeal on July 9, three days after Yee was released from remand.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Corporate lobbying expense jumps as U.S. trade debate rages

      Washington lobbying by companies and groups involved in global trade boomed in the past nine months, records show, as Congress debated a landmark trade pact proposed by President Barack Obama, the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

      Lobbying expenditures by members of a pro-TPP coalition increased to $135 million in the second quarter of 2015, up from $126 million in the first quarter and $118 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to Senate Office of Public Records reports reviewed by Reuters.

    • Trademarks

      • JDate Is Suing JSwipe Over The Letter ‘J’, Here’s What My Bubbie Would Have Said

        Today, Forbes unearthed a lawsuit from late last year that Jewish dating site JDate’s parent company filed against an app called JSwipe (also aimed at Jewish folk). It’s over the use of the letter J. The case is set to pick up again next month.

      • Jdate Sues Competitor Jewish Dating App For Using The Letter “J”

        Jdate, the popular dating service responsible for more Jewish hookups than a bottle of Manischewitz, is playing hardball in the dog-eat-dog world of nice Jewish match-making.

        Jdate’s parent company, Spark Networks, discreetly filed a lawsuit late last year against Jswipe, the ‘Tinder for Jews’ dating app, claiming intellectual property over the letter “J” within the Jewish dating scene (the company refers to the branding as the “J-family”).

      • Members Of The ‘Tribe’ Swipe For A Shidduch

        Over the sounds of the packed crowd at the lower level of Noho hotspot “Acme,” on Tuesday evening, one phrase could consistently be heard: “I work in real estate.”

      • Jdate Sues Competitor Jewish Dating App For Using The Letter “J”

        Additionally, Jdate claims it owns the patent on software that “confidentially determines matches and notifies users of mutual matches in feelings and interests.” Jswipe, like Tinder, notifies users when their romantic interest ‘swipes right’ on their picture, violating Jdate’s patent.

    • Copyrights

      • A 1990s anti-piracy law is why you haven’t seen the hacked list of Ashley Madison customers

        “Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), our team has now successfully removed all posts related to this incident as well as all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about our users published online,” said Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media in a statement. “We have always had the confidentiality of our customers’ information foremost in our minds and are pleased that the provisions included in the DMCA have been effective in addressing this matter.”

      • Response to IPO consultation on raising jail sentences for online infringement

        The Intellectual Property Office is consulting on proposals to increase prison penalties for criminal online copyright infringement to 10 years to bring them to the same levels as those for similar physical copyright infringement.

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