12.26.16

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Links 26/12/2016: Darktable 2.2.0, HandBrake 1.0.0, Linux 4.10 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 10:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • FreeDOS 1.2

    The official announcement is on our website at www.freedos.org—but since I announced the FreeDOS 1.2 RC1 and RC2 here, I figured I’d make a brief mention on this blog too.

    We’re very excited for the new FreeDOS 1.2 distribution! We’ve added lots of new features that you should find useful and interesting.

    Thanks to everyone in the FreeDOS Project for their work towards this new release! There are too many of you to recognize individually, but you have all helped enormously. Thank you!

  • FreeDOS 1.2 Released With New Installer & More Commands
  • Top 10 open source projects of 2016

    We continue to be impressed with the wonderful open source projects that emerge, grow, change, and evolve every year. Picking 10 to include in our annual list of top projects is no small feat, and certainly no list this short can include every deserving project.

    To choose our 10, we looked back at popular open source projects our writers covered in 2016, and collected suggestions from our Community Moderators. After a round of nominations and voting by our moderators, our editorial team narrowed down the final list.

  • Krampus adopts one free software tool for each month in 2017

    Curious how Krampus is doing this year? Well, as the recently hired manager of Krampus’s open source programs office, I’m excited to tell you that we have an ambitious plan to adopt one free software tool during each month of the coming year.

    Our story might be useful for other non-software-focused businesses (Krampus, Inc. doesn’t currently produce any software) who are also are curious about open source alternatives and want to follow a similar path. To get you in the spirit, I’ve included all the links that made us feel like 12 months of free and open source software adoption is possible.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Public Services/Government

    • Low Code, Not Open Source, is Key to Federal IT Agility [Ed: Anti-FOSS, using buzzwords]

      The federal government is striving to increase the agility of the IT systems that underpin mission-attainment and service-delivery. Taking a cue from the private sector, federal agencies are seeking faster time-to-delivery for new capabilities and a rapid response in the face of changing conditions. To that end, U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott recently announced a new government website, Code.gov, promoting a shared-services approach to open-source software under the new Federal Source Code Policy.

      Unfortunately for the feds, open source is not the answer to the agility challenge. The reason why is right there in the name of the site and the policy: code.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open-Source Parametric CAD in Your Browser

      If you’re looking for a parametric open-source CAD program that can run in your browser, this is it. It’s far enough along that you can use it for real-world (albeit simple) modeling. CAD does, however, still require a certain type of spatial thinking and reasoning. So, if you’re new to the 3D modeling world, it might be worth tinkering with a more learning-oriented tool like BlocksCAD.

    • How “open source” seed producers from the US to India are changing global food production

      Frank Morton has been breeding lettuce since the 1980s. His company offers 114 varieties, among them Outredgeous, which last year became the first plant that NASA astronauts grew and ate in space. For nearly 20 years, Morton’s work was limited only by his imagination and by how many different kinds of lettuce he could get his hands on. But in the early 2000s, he started noticing more and more lettuces were patented, meaning he would not be able to use them for breeding. The patents weren’t just for different types of lettuce, but specific traits such as resistance to a disease, a particular shade of red or green, or curliness of the leaf. Such patents have increased in the years since, and are encroaching on a growing range of crops, from corn to carrots — a trend that has plant breeders, environmentalists and food security experts concerned about the future of the food production.

  • Programming/Development

    • Ruby 2.4.0 Released

      We are pleased to announce the release of Ruby 2.4.0.

      Ruby 2.4.0 is the first stable release of the Ruby 2.4 series.

    • Ruby 2.4 Programming Language Has Performance Updates & More

      The Ruby project has continued in its annual tradition of releasing a new version of their programming language on Christmas, a tradition held up now for the past number of years.

    • DocKnot 1.01

      This is the second release of my new documentation generation system for my packages. It’s still probably not of much interest to anyone other than me, particularly since the metadata format is still rapidly evolving so I’ve not documented it yet. But the templates are getting fleshed out and it’s generating more and more of my package documentation, which will make releases much easier.

    • krb5-strength 3.1

      krb5-strength provides password strength checking plugins and programs for MIT Kerberos and Heimdal, and a password history implementation for Heimdal. This is the first new upstream release since I left Stanford, since I don’t personally use the package any more. But it’s easy enough to maintain, and it was overdue for merging some contributed patches.

    • rra-c-util 6.2

      This is my general collection of utility functions, standard tests, and portability code, mostly for C but also including a fair bit of Perl these days.

    • anytime 0.2.0: Feature, fixes and tests!
    • C TAP Harness 4.1

Leftovers

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Josh Earnest: Obama Hasn’t Gotten Enough Credit for Being ‘Most Transparent’ President

      Earnest said this is one of the biggest “beefs” he has with journalists, claiming that “President Obama has been the most transparent president in American history.” And he wishes Obama got more credit for it.

    • NYT’s James Risen: Obama WH Has Been ‘The Most Anti-Press Administration’ Since Nixon

      You may remember the years-long legal battle journalist James Risen underwent in which the government was pressuring him to identify his confidential sources in a leak case. The case was finally resolved two years ago, but Risen has been on record saying the Obama White House has been “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.”

      He told Stelter today that not only does he still believe that, but he believes this White House to be the most secretive and “the most anti-press administration since the Nixon administration.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Polar Bears’ Path to Decline Runs Through Alaskan Village

      Come fall, polar bears are everywhere around this Arctic village, dozing on sand spits, roughhousing in the shallows, padding down the beach with cubs in tow and attracting hundreds of tourists who travel long distances to see them.

      At night, the bears steal into town, making it dangerous to walk outside without a firearm or bear spray. They leave only reluctantly, chased off by the polar bear patrol with firecracker shells and spotlights.

      On the surface, these bears might not seem like members of a species facing possible extinction.

    • Major flooding in UK now likely every year, warns lead climate adviser

      Major flooding in the UK is now likely to happen every year but ministers still have no coherent long-term plan to deal with it, the government’s leading adviser on the impacts of climate change has warned.

      Boxing Day in 2015 saw severe floods sweep Lancashire and Yorkshire, just weeks after Storm Desmond swamped Cumbria and parts of Scotland and Wales. The flooding, which caused billions of pounds of damage, led to the government publishing a review in September which anticipates 20-30% more extreme rainfall than before.

      But Prof John Krebs, who leads the work on adapting to global warming for the government’s official advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), told the Guardian: “We are still a long way from where we need to be, in that there is still not a coherent long-term view.”

  • Finance

    • Election Losses Don’t Stop Corporate Efforts to Block Voter-Approved Minimum Wage Hikes

      Voters spoke very clearly on November 8 when they elected to raise the minimum wage in Arizona and Maine, along with Colorado and Washington State.

      But those wins, the democratic process, and the express will of the people are being defied and denied in Arizona and Maine, where corporate lobbyists and their legislative allies are working to block, delay, even rewrite the laws approved on Election Day.

      These efforts to flout voter-approved laws are part of ongoing conservative and corporate-backed strategies to keep wages low.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • ALEC’s Little Brother, ACCE, Has Big Plans for 2017

      I recently returned from the American Legislative Exchange Council’s 2016 States and Nation Policy Summit, in Washington, DC. As a Mayor, I was most interested in the corresponding meeting of the American City County Exchange (ACCE), an offshoot spawned by ALEC in 2014 to spread ALEC’s ideas about “limited government, free markets, and federalism” down to the most local levels of government.

      I had attended the 2014 ACCE conference and was eager to see how the group had evolved in its formative years. What plans were its leaders developing in response to the surprising ascension of Donald Trump to President-elect, and the consolidation of republican power in the Congress and in statehouses nationwide?

      The short story is the group is working hard to expand its membership and stable of corporate sponsors, but in the meantime a handful of people are cranking out cookie-cutter “model” ordinances with little informed discussion.

    • Trump Urged to Put Nation Before Family Profits

      With just four weeks left until inauguration, President Elect Donald Trump has yet to deliver on his promise to tell the American people how he is going to handle his corporate empire in order to avoid crippling conflicts of interest.

      With investments and developments in at least 20 countries around the globe, not to mention the United States and Washington, DC, Trump brings an unprecedented array of conflicts to the White House, along with an equally unprecedented risk of bribery, foreign influence, and corruption.

    • Happy Holidays from the Video Asshats at Your State Department

      So what better use of taxpayer money and time than for your State Department to make idiotic holiday videos?

      Acting like an asshat is something of a State tradition year-round, but these annual videos seek to memorialize it. The very broad theory is that these things “humanize” American foreign policy in a way drones do not, and because they get lots of “clicks,” prove those foreigners really do love us after all. Of course, lots of people slow down for gory car wrecks, too.

    • Is Donald Trump a traitor? His path to the White House suggests a pattern of profound disloyalty

      During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Donald Trump urged a foreign power, Russia, to interfere in the American election in order to undermine his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Russia complied. The American intelligence community, including the CIA and FBI, has reached a “strong consensus” that the Russians interfered with the presidential election in order to help Donald Trump win.

      It has also been reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally directed this espionage operation. So serious was Russian interference in the American presidential election that the Obama administration warned Putin that it was tantamount to “armed conflict.”

      Republican leaders in Congress were briefed on Russia’s interference in the presidential election and how it was targeted at elevating Trump and hurting Clinton. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans chose to block any public discussion of these findings. In what could be construed as a quid pro quo, McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, has been selected by President-elect Trump for a Cabinet position in his administration.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Congressional Committees Say Backdooring Encryption Is A Bad Idea

      Two bipartisan Congressional committees are the latest to express their opposition to government-mandated encryption backdoors. The House Judiciary Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee have arrived at the same conclusion as the experts FBI director James Comey insists on ignoring: encryption backdoors are a net loss for everyone, no matter what gains might be experienced by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

    • Revealed: British councils used Ripa to secretly spy on public

      Councils were given permission to carry out more than 55,000 days of covert surveillance over five years, including spying on people walking dogs, feeding pigeons and fly-tipping, the Guardian can reveal.

      A mass freedom of information request has found 186 local authorities – two-thirds of the 283 that responded – used the government’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to gather evidence via secret listening devices, cameras and private detectives.

      Among the detailed examples provided were Midlothian council using the powers to monitor dog barking and Allerdale borough council gathering evidence about who was guilty of feeding pigeons.

      Wolverhampton used covert surveillance to check on the sale of dangerous toys and car clocking; Slough to aid an investigation into an illegal puppy farm; and Westminster to crack down on the selling of fireworks to children.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • In Pictures: ‘Treated like animals’, Hong Kong’s ‘Snowden refugees’ dream of better life

      The story of how impoverished refugees helped Snowden evade authorities in 2013 only emerged in September, propelling them into the media spotlight.

      Former National Security Agency contractor Snowden hid out in Hong Kong where he initiated one of the largest data leaks in US history, fuelling a firestorm over mass surveillance.

      After leaving his initial hotel bolthole, he went underground, fed and looked after by some of the city’s 11,000 marginalised refugees.

      [...]

      She also says her case worker recommended she have an abortion when she was three months’ pregnant with Danath.

      ISSHK told AFP it “completely denies” that allegation, and has rejected assertions by the refugees and their lawyer Robert Tibbo that it has breached its obligation to provide them sufficient humanitarian assistance.

      But Supun feels refugees in Hong Kong are treated “like animals”.

    • Progressive causes see ‘unprecedented’ upswing in donations after US election

      One man wrote a check for $10,000 to an organization that helps women get elected to office, saying he was “embarrassed” that Donald Trump won the presidential election.

      Someone else walked into the office of an organization advocating for immigrant rights and handed over a bag of cash he had just collected from members of his local community civics group.

    • Tea-maker at Cumhuriyet daily headquarters jailed for ‘insulting’ Erdogan

      Şenol Buran, a tea-maker working at the Cumhuriyet daily’s İstanbul headquarters, has been arrested by a Turkish court for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

      According to the daily, Buran was late to work on Dec. 24 after authorities closed roads and stopped public transport to deny access to the Şişli district, where President Erdoğan was to attend a meeting.

      “When I finally arrived at the building [of Cumhuriyet], the security chief asked me why was late. I explained the situation and he told me that the police closed the roads because of the president. He also told me that I would serve him a glass of tea if he pays us a visit,” Buran said.

    • Does Whistleblowing Pay? New Study Says Yes!

      New research by Jaron H. Wilde, an assistant professor of accounting at the University of Iowa’s, Tippie College of Business, “demonstrates for the first time that financial shenanigans at companies decrease markedly in the years after truth tellers come forward with information about wrongdoing in their operations.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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