07.03.16

Links 3/7/2016: GNU/Linux Desktop Market Share Hype, Fedora 24 Release Party in Panama

Posted in News Roundup at 1:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Implementing NATO’s standards (STANAG)

    I recently joined Linnovate, and while working on one of the open source projects the company produces, we needed to process video content according to NATO’s standard agreement (STANAG) 4609: NATO Digital Motion Imagery Standard.

  • Cygwin library now available under GNU Lesser General Public License

    Today, we’re pleased to announce that the next release of the Cygwin library (version 2.5.2) will be available under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version 3. The Cygwin library is the core of the Cygwin project, which includes a distribution of the popular GNU tools and other open source tools designed to enable easier porting of Linux applications to Microsoft Windows. This change to the Cygwin library, previously available under the GNU General Public License, opens up a variety of commercial opportunities for companies to use the newest Cygwin versions in their products.

  • Universal rendering with SwiftShader, now open source
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • This Week In Servo 69

        In the last week, we landed 84PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

        One of our contributors, Florian Duraffourg, landed a patch recently that switched our public domain list matching source and algorithm, resulting in a huge speedup in page load times (~25%!). Shing Lyu tracked down and measured this unexpectedly-large gain through a new automated page load testing performance infrastructure that he has been testing. It compares Servo daily builds against Firefox for page load on a subset of the Alexa Top 1000 sites. Check it out!

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • 4 Reasons an Open Source CMS Should Be Appealing to IT

      With an open source CMS, there’s a massive development community, which alleviates the constraint of a limited pool of technical resources. That coupled with full access to the code allows organizations to drive their technical needs based on their business requirements — not the other way around. A site built for the business user reduces the need for technical support in the first place, further enabling non-technical users to take control of their online presence.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • What’s up with nano?

      As expected, the recent state of events where nano transitioned maintainership to Benno Schulenberg, and the project left GNU, has a lot of people speculating about what happened, and more disappointingly, making some pretty nasty assertions about motivations. I want to try and give a brief update on them to hopefully calm things down.

    • User freedom in the age of computer-generated software

      Many of us share a vision for the way software, free or otherwise, is developed: software is written by a programmer as “source code” and transformed through some mechanisms into “object code.” As free software activists, we are used to thinking about our legal, development, and community processes and tooling in terms of this workflow. But what happens when software which used to be written manually by humans is developed generatively through other software? How does this affect software and user freedom?

    • Unifont 9.0.01 Released

      This release includes all Basic Multilingual Plane and Supplemental Multilingual Plane scripts that are easily drawn in a 16-by-16 pixel grid up through all new Unicode 9.0 scripts. This release also incorporates changes to scripts that The Unicode Consortium altered. See the ChangeLog file for full details.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • The Macintosh is at a new crossroads

      Late last week, Apple announced it has discontinued its Thunderbolt Display, a once-groundbreaking 27-inch monitor that functioned not only as a monitor but as a hub for MacBooks and other Macs attached to it.

      The Thunderbolt Display, which hadn’t been updated since 2011, epitomized Apple’s Mac strategy at the time of providing high-capacity, high-speed peripheral connections to set Macs apart from the pokey peripheral buses then common on PCs. The Mac was for power users; the PC was not.

    • Inside Japan’s Future Exascale ARM Supercomputer

      The rumors that supercomputer maker Fujitsu would be dropping the Sparc architecture and moving to ARM cores for its next generation of supercomputers have been going around since last fall, and at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany this week, officials at the server maker and RIKEN, the research and development arm of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) that currently houses the mighty K supercomputer, confirmed that this is indeed true.

    • Fujitsu turns to ARM for Post-K supercomputer

      Alternative chip architectures are taking some thunder away from Intel’s x86 at this week’s International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt.

      China’s TaihuLight, which was ranked the world’s fastest supercomputer, has a homegrown chip. And the ARM architecture, which dominates mobile-device chips, will appear in Fujitsu’s next flagship supercomputer.

    • Intel: ARM Servers To Renew Their Attack

      Up until now, server chips based on ARM Holdings’ (NASDAQ:ARMH) architecture have had little impact on the data center market, and Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Data Center Group has continued to grow. ARM server vendors are preparing the next wave of server chips based on 14-16 nm FinFET technology. These will be much more competitive and energy efficient and could start to erode Intel’s share of the data center by 2017.

  • Security

    • Progress Towards 100% HTTPS, June 2016
    • Exploiting Recursion in the Linux Kernel
    • Home Computers Connected to the Internet Aren’t Private, Court Rules [iophk: "MS Windows == insecure, therefore all computer are game"]

      A judge in Virginia rules that people should have no expectation of privacy on their home PCs because no connected computer “is immune from invasion.”
      A federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled that the user of any computer that connects to the Internet should not have an expectation of privacy because computer security is ineffectual at stopping hackers.

      The June 23 ruling came in one of the many cases resulting from the FBI’s infiltration of PlayPen, a hidden service on the Tor network that acted as a hub for child exploitation, and the subsequent prosecution of hundreds of individuals. To identify suspects, the FBI took control of PlayPen for two weeks and used, what it calls, a “network investigative technique,” or NIT—a program that runs on a visitor’s computer and identifies their Internet address.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Hindu temple volunteer hacked to death in Bangladesh, say police

      A Hindu temple worker was hacked to death in western Bangladesh on Friday, police said, the latest in a series of attacks on religious minorities by suspected Islamists.

      Shyamananda Das, who helped to conduct prayers at the Radhamadan Gopal Bigraha Math in Jhenaidah district, was killed by three men on a motorcycle as he was walking on a highway adjacent to his temple early in the morning, police said.

    • Police blow up suspicious car near Stade de France

      French police used an explosive to blast entry to a car parked illegally near the Stade de France stadium in Paris where France and Iceland will play a Euro 2016 quarter-final match tonight.

      The blast by the stadium – which was targeted by terrorist attacks last November – caused jitters among fans arriving for the key game.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Palm oil companies ditch landmark Indonesian ‘zero deforestation’ pact

      Major palm oil companies that backed a landmark Indonesian “zero deforestation” pact on green practices have now ditched it in favour of less strict standards, triggering criticism the companies have caved into Indonesian government pressure.

      The companies signed the 2014 Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, or Ipop, in an agreement hailed as boosting efforts to fight rampant deforestation and annual forest fires and the haze. As part of the pledge, the firms, which include top palm oil producers and traders, pledged no development of peatlands of any depth. Peatland fires are a major source of the haze.

      But on Friday (July 1), the companies said Ipop had run its course and was no longer needed. They supported the Indonesian government’s efforts to “transform the palm oil sector” and to strengthen the country’s own certification standards called the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil, or Ispo.

  • Finance/Brexit

    • After Brexit, Germany Should Give Brits Citizenship: Minister

      Britain voted 52 to 48 percent on June 23 in favor of quitting the EU.

      Germany should offer citizenship to young Britons living in Germany given that it was largely older voters in England and Wales who voted for “Brexit” in last month’s referendum, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Saturday.

      Britain voted 52 to 48 percent on June 23 in favor of quitting the European Union, with the referendum splitting the country along several lines such as old versus young, England and Wales versus Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    • SPD urges Germany to offer citizenship to young British expats

      SPD member Sigmar Gabriel has said Britons living in Germany should get EU citizenship. His words come amid growing uncertainty in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

    • Germany should offer young Britons EU citizenship after Brexit, says German Vice-Chancellor

      Germany should offer citizenship to young Britons living in Germany, since it was largely older voters who voted to leave the European Union, the German Vice-Chancellor has said.

      Speaking at a meeting with the Social Democratic Party in Berlin on Saturday, Sigmar Gabriel, who is also the Economy Minister, said the UK’s referendum was a further reason to campaign to relax the rules on dual citizenship in Germany.

      “Let us offer it to young Britons who live in Germany, Italy or France, so they can remain European Union citizens in this country,” he said.

    • The rest of the world is laughing at the UK – but one country is explaining why they love us

      It’s been a difficult week for the UK. After voting to leave the European Union in a historic referendum, our country seems to have been split down the middle.

      Remain voters are blaming Leave voters for ‘ruining their futures’, Leave voters are telling Remain voters to stop complaining, politicians are tearing each other to shreds.

      The Prime Minister has resigned, the shadow cabinet is falling apart, we’re not sure what’s happening to our economy and there are worrying reports of increased xenophobia.

      It’s fair to say we don’t have much cause to love the UK at the moment.

      We’ve also been made the butt of the joke all over the world.

    • ‘Let EU migrants stay’ say the British public, plus voices from business and politics

      The Government and nominees to be the next Conservative Leader faced new pressure today to make a clear and unequivocal statement to reassure the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK that they would be able to stay after Brexit, and that a similar deal would be pursued to protect the status of the 1.2 million British citizens living in other EU countries.

      New research from ICM for British Future finds that 84% of the British public supports letting EU migrants stay – including three-quarters (77%) of Leave voters. Among Conservatives, support for protecting the status of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in Europe is even higher at 85%, with 78% of UKIP supporters in agreement.

      Just 16% of the public think that EU citizens should be required to leave the UK and that UK citizens in Europe should return home, with 23% of Leave voters and 15% of Conservatives agreeing.

    • The Tories played with fire and you can hear the flames crackling round you

      Writing of the British intellectuals who fell for Stalin, George Orwell came up with a sentence that applies as well to today’s conservatives as to the socialists of the 1930s. “So much of leftwing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.” I was repeating it almost hourly as I watched the frivolous, dishonest, over-privileged and over-grown adolescents who presumed to govern us skip away from the consequences of their folly.

      At a moment when Britain is more fragile and angry than I have seen it, when parliament has been silenced by the referendum, and the opposition has collapsed, they have manured the soil in which extremism flourishes.

      Before I go on, I accept that you cannot get a hearing on immigration, race and the backlashes they inspire until you acknowledge hard truths. It is not the case that everyone who voted to leave was racist, or even primarily concerned about immigration. It is arguable that the origins of our crisis lie in the last Labour government’s decision to open Britain up to hundreds of thousands it never expected to arrive.

    • British Conservatives in Chaos Over Brexit, but Labour Party’s in No Position to Pounce

      Until Thursday, the political wrangling in Britain over how, or whether, to withdraw from the European Union — a move supported by a narrow majority of the voters in last week’s referendum, but opposed by 75 percent of the members of Parliament elected just last year — seemed likely to trigger a new general election.

    • Poll reveals young remain voters reduced to tears by Brexit result

      Almost half of voters aged 18 to 24 cried or felt like crying when they heard that the UK had voted to leave the European Union, according to polls conducted for the London School of Economics.

      The findings were released last night after tens of thousands of people demonstrated in central London against the results of the referendum.

      The polling by Opinium, conducted as part of an LSE electoral psychology initiative called “Inside the mind of the voter”, found that the electorate’s verdict on EU membership prompted a far more emotional reaction than the results of most other elections or referendums.

      Overall, out of a sample of 2,113 British adults questioned between 24 and 30 June, 32% of respondents said they cried or felt like crying when they discovered the result.

    • Douglas Carswell challenged by Leave voter over broken NHS pledge

      Ukip MP claims Vote Leave only ever promised £100m a week – despite £350m a week being at the top of his Twitter profile

    • Thousands of patients could be denied life-extending drugs and treatment in wake of Brexit

      Thousands of patients could be denied life-extending drugs and treatment in the wake of Brexit , the Sunday People reports.

      NHS bosses have delayed funding for vital medicines and services because the fall in the value of the pound means they may no longer be able to afford them.

      And kidney patient Abi Longfellow, the teenager who won her battle for a wonder drug thanks to a Sunday People campaign, is one of those hit by the devastating blow.

      The cost of Abi’s drug went up by £16,000 overnight due to Brexit . When the NHS first agreed to buy the drug form the US it cost £136,000.

      But the price has now shot up to £152,000 because the pound has slumped against the dollar.

      The delays also hit cancer patients, children with gender issues, HIV patients and stroke victims.

    • EU tells Swiss no single market access if no free movement of citizens

      The European Union is to show its determination to make no concessions to the UK on Brexit terms by telling Switzerland it will lose access to the single market if it goes ahead with plans to impose controls on the free movement of EU citizens.

      The Swiss-EU talks, under way for two years but now needing a solution possibly within weeks, throws up the exact same issues that will be raised in the UK’s exit talks – the degree to which the UK must accept free movement of the EU’s citizens as a price for access to the single market.

      The Swiss are desperate to strike a deal in order to give its politicians time to pass the necessary laws to meet a February 2017 deadline imposed by a legally binding referendum in 2014.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jeremy Corbyn exclusively reveals why he’s offering Labour MPs a peace deal – in his own words

      Britain now faces an economic and political crisis.

      Since voters decided to leave the ­European Union, financial markets have been in a tailspin.

      Threats to living standards have grown. The Prime Minister has announced his resignation, the country is divided and the Government is in disarray.

      George Osborne has finally had to agree to ditch his job-destroying plan for a budget surplus, as Labour has been demanding.

      But Tory ministers have no EU exit plan. Instead, they are threatening to make working people pay for their ­failures, with more spending cuts
      and tax rises.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • MDA ticked off for irrational censorship by Festival Director and acclaimed photographer

      Newsha Tavakolian an acclaimed Iranian photojournalist and documentary photographer, and Singapore’s cultural medallion winner Ong Keng Sen have hot out at the Singapore authorities for the unnecessary censorship of works of artistic merits.

    • ICANN: We Won’t Pass Judgment on Pirate Sites

      Following more pressure from rightsholders, domain name oversight body ICANN has again made it clear that it will not act as judge and jury in copyright disputes. In a letter to the president of the Intellectual Property Constituency, ICANN chief Stephen Crocker says that ICANN is neither “required or qualified” to pass judgment in such cases.

    • Man arrested for posting picture insulting PM in WhatsApp group

      Police have arrested a man for sharing a crude photo insulting the Prime Minister in a WhatsApp group.

      Johor police chief Comm Datuk Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said that the man was arrested in Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya at around 12.15pm on Saturday.

      He said the suspect, who goes by the name Pa Ya, had uploaded the photo into a WhatsApp group called “Bicara Politik Melayu”.

      “The photo has insulted and hurt the feelings of Malaysians,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Landlords, ISPs team up to rip off tenants on broadband

      Who would have thought that handing out free coffee and donuts in an apartment house would lead to Comcast reprimanding the building owners? That’s exactly what happened in Norcross, Ga., when cruller-baring Google representatives recently tried to tell residents about the company’s new fiber, high-speed Internet service.

      The landlord in question was reminded that he, like apartment building owners in many states, has an exclusive deal that deems Comcast the only company that can provide broadband to the building. Such deals with Comcast and other major ISPs effectively rob residents of the right to choose broadband providers, and they bar competitors from even setting foot in certain buildings.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Comodo spat shows importance of effective PR around trademark strategies

        US-based Comodo Group is the world’s largest issuer of SSL digital certificates (which are small data files that allow secure website connections, usually with an annual cost). A new entrant to the market is non-profit Let’s Encrypt, which was founded in 2014 by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and offers similar digital certificates for free. The rivalry between the organisations turned bitter last week after ISRG executive director Josh Aas revealed that Comodo had filed three trademark applications for the term LET’S ENCRYPT.

    • Copyrights

      • BitTorrent Protocol Turns 15 Years Old Today

        Fifteen years ago a developer named Bram Cohen posted a short message online, announcing his new file-sharing tool BitTorrent. Three years later his protocol was responsible for a quarter of all Internet traffic, and now it helps people to share hundreds of petabytes of data per day.

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