11.04.15

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Links 4/11/2015: Linux-Based Parcel Delivery, OpenSUSE Leap 42.1

Posted in News Roundup at 2:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Durham-based development firm Caktus Group open sources voter registration software

    “With the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC) and consultative support from the United Nations Support Mission to Libya, we have open sourced their elections management platform today under a permissive Apache 2.0 license,” read a blog post published by Caktus Group. “Open sourcing means other governments and organizations can freely adopt and adapt the elections tools which cover nine functional areas. The tools range from SMS voter registration, the first of its kind, to bulk alerts to voters and call center support software,” read the statement.

  • US Consulting Firm Builds Open Source Mobile Voter Registration System For Libya

    A timetable for those negotiations has not been set. But election officials are starting to prepare. Libyans can now register to vote and receive election updates from their homes thanks to a new text messaging system created by a digital consultancy group in the United States. Smart Elect, designed by Caktus Group, a technology firm based in Durham, North Carolina, is a free open source platform that can be used by anyone to build an SMS [short message service] voter registration system as well as the tools needed before, during and after an election to support it.

  • Solving clients’ problems with open source technology

    Then, five years later, at 24, I founded TuxWeb with a mission to solve clients’ problems using open source technology. Creating a startup has been fun (even here in Italy where funding does not come so easily), and in 2011 I cofounded a second startup with Luca Garulli, the creator of OrientDB, called NuvolaBase.

  • Distributed Ledger Group Eyes Open Source

    Blockchain consortium The Distributed Ledger Group (DLG), which is managed by R3CEV expects to license its technology as open sourced by early next year, according to R3CEV officials.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Version 42.0

        Check out “What’s New” and “Known Issues” for this version of Firefox below. As always, you’re encouraged to tell us what you think, or file a bug in Bugzilla. If interested, please see the complete list of changes in this release.

        We’d also like to extend a special thank you to all of the new Mozillians who contributed to this release of Firefox!

      • A More Private Browsing Experience: Mozilla Ships Tracking Protection for Firefox

        As we wrote previously, we think it’s important for users to be able to protect themselves from non-consensual online tracking. That’s why we created Privacy Badger, which enforces Do Not Track around the Web. But it’s also important for browser vendors to join in the fight to protect user privacy. Mozilla has done just that with today’s announcement.

      • Firefox Now Offers a More Private Browsing Experience

        We’re releasing a powerful new feature in Firefox Private Browsing called Tracking Protection. We created this feature because we believe in giving you more choice and control over your Web experience. With the release of Tracking Protection in Firefox Private Browsing we are leading the industry by giving you control over the data that third parties receive from you online. No other browser’s Private Browsing mode protects you the way Firefox does—not Chrome, not Safari, not Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Gnocchi 1.3.0 release

      Finally, Gnocchi 1.3.0 is out. This is our final release, more or less matching the OpenStack 6 months schedule, that concludes the Liberty development cycle.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Fresh LibreOffice Updates, Fedora 23 Released

      The Document Foundation’s Italo Vignoli today announced two LibreOffice updates. These two minor number bug fix updates cover the Fresh and Still branches of LibreOffice and user are advised to upgrade. Fedora 23 was officially released to the general public today and folks have been talking about that. Phoronix reported today that Debian had moved to rootless X server instances and Mozilla announced a new privacy feature for Firefox.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD comes to 64-bit ARM

      Want to run something other than Linux on a ARM 64-bit server? Soon you can: a small software company has shown FreeBSD running on a 96-core server.

      Semihalf, which is based in Poland, demonstrated a beta version of FreeBSD running on a server board built with Cavium’s ThunderX processors. That’s the first hardware based on ARM’s 64-bit processors to run FreeBSD.

    • starting from scratch bugs

      Or everything I didn’t know about unix. The OpenBSD source tree has lots of example code for solving any number of problems, but I like to do things my own way. Occasionally this means something gets overlooked. A few examples. Previous thoughts on rewrites and reuse: out with the old, in with the less and hoarding and reuse.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • European rural schools rely on open source

      A group of 15 schools in rural areas in Denmark, Italy, Greece, Macedonia (FYROM), Spain, and the United Kingdom are using open source software solutions for learning, teaching and working together. An EU-funded consortium of research institutes and public administrations has developed and trialled software specifically for rural schools.

    • Andalucia’s IT management tool ‘ready for reuse’

      The management tools for Andalucia’s standard corporate desktop, GECOS – Guadalinex Escritorio COrporativo eStandar, is ready for reuse by others, companies and public administrations alike, says Juan Conde, head of the free software promotion project of the Andalusian Ministry of Finance and Public Administration. “The potential user base outside of the Junta de Andalucía is huge.”

      [...]

      The software was designed to run on the Debian and Ubuntu free software distribution, but can be adapted to other distro’s such as Redhat and CentOS with little effort, he says. At the moment, GECOS is of limited use for managing proprietary desktops, says Conde, “until someone adds the equivalent management policies.”

    • Collabora and Cabinet agree open source deal

      An agreement has been reached between the Cabinet Office and software firm Collabora Productivity, for the provision of a new range of open source applications for desktop, mobile and cloud.

Leftovers

  • DailyDirt: Dealing With Zero (Or Negative) Population Growth

    Pessimistic economists have predicted overpopulation problems based on exponential growth trends, but statistics point to lower birth rates as countries become more industrialized. So now, there’s a different kind of problem — aging populations and minimal population growth in certain countries. How will we deal with people living longer and having fewer and fewer kids?

  • Security

    • The sorry state of certificate revocation
    • FreeIPA PKI: current plans and a future vision

      FreeIPA’s X.509 PKI features (based on Dogtag Certificate System) continue to be an area of interest for users and customers. In this post I summarise recently-added PKI features in FreeIPA, work in progress, and what we plan to do in future releases. Then I will outline my personal vision for what the future of PKI in FreeIPA should look like, noting how it will address pain points and limitations of the existing architecture.

    • CVE-2015-5602 and SELinux?

      That is one of the most common questions that we get when a new CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) appears. We explain SELinux as a technology for process isolation to mitigate attacks via privilege escalation.

    • Risk report update: April to October 2015

      In April 2015 we took a look at a years worth of branded vulnerabilities, separating out those that mattered from those that didn’t. Six months have passed so let’s take this opportunity to update the report with the new vulnerabilities that mattered across all Red Hat products.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • As Indonesia’s Annual Fires Rage, Plenty Of Blame But No Responsibility

      The onset of the rainy season in Indonesia brings hope of extinguishing forest fires that have raged for weeks, spawning both an environmental and political crisis in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

    • Conservative Media Rally Around House Committee Chairman’s Baseless Attacks On NOAA

      Conservative media outlets are wrongly claiming that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is hiding data related to a recent study that challenged the so-called “pause” in global warming, and echoing Republican House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s baseless accusation that NOAA manipulated temperature records to show a warming trend. In reality, the NOAA study’s data is publicly available online, and NOAA routinely makes adjustments to historical temperature records that are peer-reviewed and necessary to account for changes to measuring instruments and other factors.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The New Yorker Doesn’t Factcheck What ‘Everyone Knows’ Is True

      Filkins apparently intended to write a journalistic portrait of Nisman and the disputed circumstances in which he died of a gunshot wound last January, rather than to explore the case itself. But in order to write such a portrait, Filkins had to deal with the evidence Nisman used in his AMIA indictment, and Filkins stumbled badly in writing about those issues.

      Filkins’ failure goes to the root of a systemic problem of news media coverage of Iran and many other issues. Certain narratives about episodes and issues in recent history have become so unanimously accepted among political and media elites as to be virtually unchallengeable in media reporting. Such narratives have been repeated in one form or another for so many years that reporters simply would not think to question them for a moment, much less actually investigate their truth.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • FBI Unveils Anti-Terrorist Edutainment Program For Schools

      The FBI wants to deputize the nation’s schools into its anti-terrorism posse. At this point, it’s unclear whether the program will escalate to the elaborate Rube Goldberg machinations the FBI currently employs to generate terrorism suspects (putting the “rube” back in “Rube Goldberg machinations”), but for now, it appears to be “edutainment” that applies a ridiculous metaphor with blunt force precision.

    • Consumer Review Freedom Act Would Protect Customers’ Right to Post Reviews

      Are there limits to what a company can put in a standard form contract, like a click-through agreement? Can a company take away its customers’ freedom of speech?

      The Consumer Review Freedom Act, now pending in Congress (S.2044, H.R.2110), would limit several ways that companies attempt to keep their customers from criticizing them on the Internet.

    • O’Reilly Suggests US Hang Drug Offenders
    • CIA: covert experiments

      In August 1951, inhabitants of the picturesque French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit were suddenly tormented by terrifying hallucinations. People imagined lions and tigers were coming to eat them. A man jumped out of a window, thinking he was a dragonfly. At least seven people died, dozens were taken to the local asylum in straitjackets and hundreds were affected.

    • IDF warns soldiers: Beware of CIA recruitment

      Channel 2 reported Sunday that the information security department, part of the IDF’s intelligence force, issued a call to its officers and soldiers to beware of recruitment attempts by the CIA.

    • CIA Recruiting Israeli Military? Israel Intelligence Officers Warned About Disclosing Classified Information

      The militarily intelligence services of Israel have reportedly warned members of the country’s defense forces about being recruited by CIA officials. Soldiers and officers of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) were warned last week not to divulge important security information about plans for possible military action in the Middle East region.

    • Spy watchdog looks at possible NZ-CIA link

      The details of the inquiry are outlined in the 2015 annual report of the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

      The United States Senate Committee Report documented instances of torture and inhumane treatment of detainees in the period between 2001 and 2009.

      In her annual report, Ms Gwyn said there were a number of other countries involved with the programme – but the names were redacted.

      “My decision… does not suggest or presuppose that New Zealand agencies or personnel were in any way connected with those activities.

    • Seattle Voters Approve First-in-the-Nation ‘Democracy Vouchers’

      Voters in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday approved a first-in-the-nation “democracy voucher” ballot initiative that could serve as a national model on campaign finance reform.

      Initiative 122 (I-122), which was endorsed by nearly every Seattle City Council candidate and enjoyed the support of dozens of local and national progressive groups, passed 60-40, according to the King County Elections Office.

      Supporters say the innovative public campaign financing program could give everyday voters more control over the city’s elections while limiting the power of corporate and special interests.

      The initiative states that for each city election cycle, or every two years, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) will mail four $25 vouchers to each voter. They can only be used in Seattle campaigns for mayor, city council and city attorney. The SEEC will release money to the candidates that agree to follow I-122′s rules, which include participating in three debates and accepting lower contribution and spending limits.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Kim Dotcom Is Building His Own Private Internet Called Meganet

      Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is building his own internet alternative called Meganet. With Meganet, he promises to offer you a way to communicate with the world without any fear of censorship and away from the continuous surveillance.

      Kim Dotcom aims to do this by making a P2P-based internet service that won’t need an IP address and all the communications will be encrypted. On Thursday, in New Zealand, the Hollywood foe Kim Dotcom revealed this vision of a more secure Meganet. It should be noted that Kim is wanted in the U.S. under criminal copyright violation charges.

    • Law Professor Pens Ridiculous, Nearly Fact-Free, Misleading Attack On The Most Important Law On The Internet

      For the last few years, we’ve noted a worrying trend of a few law professors, who have decided that the best way to make people nice on the internet is to do away with Section 230 of the CDA. As we’ve noted repeatedly, Section 230 of the CDA is without a doubt the most important law on the internet. The internet would be a massively different (and worse) place without it. Almost every site or service you use would be very different, and the internet would be a much more bland and sterile place. Section 230 is fairly simple. There are two key elements to it:

      People cannot blame service providers for content posted by users.

      Service providers who decide to moderate/delete content cannot be held liable for the content they choose not to moderate (or the content they choose to moderate).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why DMCA Rulemaking Is an Unsustainable Garbage Train

        Jay Radcliffe is a security researcher with diabetes. In 2011, he gave a talk at Black Hat, showing how his personal insulin pump could be hacked—with potentially deadly consequences.

        As a result of his 2011 presentation, he worked with the Department of Homeland Security and the Food and Drug Administration to address security vulnerabilities in insulin pumps.

        “The specific technical details of that research have never been published in order to protect patients using those devices,” he wrote in his testimony to the Librarian of Congress and the US Copyright Office.

      • MPAA: We Shut Down YTS/YIFY and Popcorn Time

        The major movie studios of the MPAA are behind the recent shutdown of the torrent site YTS, the associated release group YIFY, and the main Popcorn Time fork, PopcornTime.io. In an international effort spanning Canada and New Zealand, visits were carried out at the premises of at least two key suspects

      • Dotcom: Copyright Charges Not Enough For Extradition

        As Kim Dotcom’s extradition defense enters its second day, the court has heard that none of the 13 charges against the Megaupload founder are enough to extradite him to the United States. The U.S. is characterizing the alleged offenses as extraditable fraud but Dotcom’s team believes that copyright violations can not be prosecuted as such.

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