06.10.17

Links 10/6/2017: New Wine Release, Qt 5.9 Packages in KDE Neon

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Global Witness open-sources Longform digital storytelling tool

    Global Witness, an NGO focusing on the politics and human consequences of environmental problems and natural resources, has made its digital storytelling tool Longform available as open source software. Longform was specifically developed with the organisation’s audience and objectives in mind: it works seamlessly on mobile devices, and supports a text-only modus for people in low-bandwidth regions.

  • How open source is advancing the Semantic Web

    The Semantic Web, a term coined by World Wide Web (WWW) inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, refers to the concept that all the information in all the websites on the internet should be able to interoperate and communicate. That vision, of a web of knowledge that supplies information to anyone who wants it, is continuing to emerge and grow.

    In the first generation of the WWW, Web 1.0, most people were consumers of content, and if you had a web presence it was comprised of a series of static pages conveyed in HTML. Websites had guest books and HTML forms, powered by Perl and other server-side scripting languages, that people could fill out. While HTML provides structure and syntax to the web, it doesn’t provide meaning; therefore Web 1.0 couldn’t inject meaning into the vast resources of the WWW.

  • Open source documentation is bad, but proprietary software is worse

    That shiny new developer job is going to involve a lot of rusty old codeOpen source keeps growing from strength to strength despite the vast majority of developers not bothering to document how any of it works. That’s one big conclusion from GitHub’s 2017 survey, in which 93% of respondents gnashed their teeth over shoddy documentation but also admitted to doing virtually nothing to improve the situation. Indeed, while many may nod their heads when Apache Storm founder Nathan Marz intoned that “Documentation is essential” to a successful open source project, few bother to pitch in.

    And yet…open source marches on, with no signs of slowing anytime soon. If documentation matters so much, why hasn’t open source adoption been impeded by its alleged crappiness?

  • Windstream, Accenture, Juniper, Red Hat among ONAP’s new members

    Several more prominent members of the communications industry have joined the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project, which is leading a swelling parade toward a harmonized approach to software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV).

  • Berkeley Lab’s Open-Source Spinoff Serves Science

    Scientists used to come to Gregory Kurtzer of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab’s) IT department a lot, asking for a better way to use software containers in a high-performance computing (HPC) environment. After a while he got tired of saying, “Sorry, not possible.” So he invented a solution and named it Singularity.

    Within a few months of its release last year, Singularity took off. Computing-heavy scientific institutions worldwide—from Stanford University to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to various sites on the European Grid e-Infrastructure—flocked to the software. Singularity was also recently recognized by HPCwire editors as one of five new technologies to watch.

  • Analysts predict a hardware renaissance in open source

    These are gloomy days for hardware legacy companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., which saw vanishing sales last quarter. But is there a happier, if untold, story unfolding in open-source compute projects?

  • Why is openness so difficult?

    Most leaders in large organizations are more than capable of running successful open systems—so why aren’t they doing it?

  • Open Source and the Artificial Intelligence Frontier

    The open source arena continues to rapidly converge with the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Not only are technology industry titans contributing meaningful tools to the community, but international players and billionaires are making contributions. Meanwhile, some of our smartest people are also laser-focused on keeping AI development open and safe.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Increasing Momentum Around Tech Policy

        Strong government policies and leadership are key to making the Internet a global public resource that is open and accessible to all.

        To advance this work from the front lines, some of the world’s experts on these issues joined government service. These dedicated public servants have made major progress in recent years on issues like net neutrality, open data and the digital economy.

        But as governments transition and government leaders move on, we risk losing momentum or even backsliding on progress made. To sustain that momentum and invest in those leaders, today the Mozilla Foundation officially launches a new Tech Policy Fellowship. The program is designed to give individuals with deep expertise in government and Internet policy the support and structure they need to continue their Internet health work.

        The fellows, who hail from around the globe, will spend the next year working independently on a range of tech policy issues. They will collaborate closely with Mozilla’s policy and advocacy teams, as well as the broader Mozilla network and other key organizations in tech policy. Each fellow will bring their expertise to important topics currently at issue in the United States and around the world.

      • Announcing Rust 1.18

        The Rust team is happy to announce the latest version of Rust, 1.18.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

      • Rust 1.18 Released

        Version 1.18 of the Rust programming language implementation is now available.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Public sector benefits from LibreOffice bug hunting

      The software development community working on LibreOffice have greatly scaled up their bug-hunting efforts, using automated software test tools made available by Google. Beneficiaries include the many European public administrations that use up-to-date versions of this suite of office productivity tools.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.8 “Evans”

      Version 4.8 of WordPress, named “Evans” in honor of jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.8 add more ways for you to express yourself and represent your brand.

  • BSD

  • Programming/Development

    • PHP version 7.0.20 and 7.1.6
    • Open Source Survey Exposes Community Troubles

      GitHub this week released the results of its survey on open source software development, practices and worldwide communities. GitHub partnered with researchers from academic institutions, industry organizations and the open source community to collect responses from more than 6,000 participants.

      The results show the importance of open source documentation and reveal some of the problems missing or poorly done documentation can have on users and project adoption.

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: June 2017

      Besides the above plot, which can be difficult to parse even at full size, we offer the following numerical rankings. As will be observed, this run produced several ties which are reflected below (they are listed out here alphabetically rather than consolidated as ties because the latter approach led to misunderstandings). Note that this is actually a list of the Top 21 languages, not Top 20, because of said ties.

      1 JavaScript
      2 Java
      3 Python
      4 PHP
      5 C#
      6 C++
      7 CSS
      8 Ruby
      9 C
      10 Objective-C
      11 Swift
      12 Shell
      12 Scala
      14 R
      15 Go
      15 Perl
      17 TypeScript
      18 PowerShell
      19 Haskell
      20 CoffeeScript
      20 Lua
      20 Matlab

Leftovers

  • Microsoft to shut down its Docs.com file-sharing site December 15

    Officials posted a notice of the planned end of service on June 9 on its Docs.com site. In that note, Microsoft attributed overlap between SlideShare, which is part of LinkedIn, and OneDrive with Docs.com as the reasons for the December 2017 closing. Microsoft bought LinkedIn last year.

    Microsoft is advising users to migrate and/or delete content they shared on Docs.com as soon as possible.

    In 2015, Microsoft revamped its Docs.com site to become a new “Internet destination” where users could publish for public consumption their Office documents, including Sways. Along with Sways, users can post Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Office Mix documents and/or collections that will be discoverable by search engines to the Docs.com site. Microsoft originally introduced Docs.com as part of a collaboration with Facebook in 2010. Microsoft Docs was a project to try to get Facebook users to use Microsoft’s Office Web Apps.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Is media responsible for protecting identity of whistleblowers?

      This week, the U.S. Justice Department charged a young woman named Reality Leigh Winner for allegedly removing classified material and mailing it to The Intercept, the news outlet that published leaked documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2014.

      The 25-year-old was a contractor working for a company contracted to the NSA. She is accused of printing out classified documents linking the GRU — the Russian military intelligence unit — to cyber attacks on U.S. voting software.

    • What Reality Winner Did Was Heroic

      he arrest this week of NSA contractor Reality Winner on Espionage Act charges of providing national defense information to The Intercept is the clearest evidence to date that President Donald Trump intends to continue former president Barack Obama’s war on whistleblowers and transparency. It also calls into question the professionalism of The Intercept’s journalists, as well as the professional integrity of reporters Richard Esposito and Matthew Cole.

    • Did Comey Violate Laws In Leaking The Trump Memo?

      The problem is that Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memoranda to file suggests that these are arguably government documents. Comey admitted that he thought he raised the issue with his staff and recognized that they might be needed by the Department or Congress. They read like a type of field 302 form, which are core investigatory documents.

      The admission of leaking the memos is problematic given the overall controversy involving leakers undermining the Administration. Indeed, it creates a curious scene of a former director leaking material against the President after the President repeatedly asked him to crack down on leakers.

    • NADRA responds to wikileaks cable stolen data episode

      In response to the media reports, attributed to a WikiLeaks cable dating back to 2011, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) vehemently denies that its database has ever been shared with any country or entity.

      In a statement, a spokesman of NADRA said NADRA has very strong internal security control mechanisms that prevent any individual from
      permitting to or causing to share the database.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Macron’s invitation for US climate scientists to move to France has been officially launched

      First it was a strong handshake. Now it is a policy rebuke. France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, is relentless in his efforts to one-up his US counterpart, Donald Trump.

      Last week, Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate agreement. Today, France’s president announced that he will push the country to go beyond its commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions under the agreement, which was signed in 2015.

      “There is momentum and France wants to seize it. President Trump’s decision gives us the opportunity to accelerate these decisions and policies,” a source in Macron’s office told Reuters.

  • Finance

    • Election results could mean that Brexit is over, says Ukip’s Paul Nuttall

      Brexit might now not happen, Ukip has said.

      Paul Nuttall, the party’s leader, says that the exit poll has put Britain’s exit from the European Union in “jeopardy”.

      His party is projected to win no seats at all in the election.

      “If the exit poll is true then Theresa May has put Brexit in jeopardy,” he wrote on Twitter. “I said at the start this election was wrong. Hubris.”

      The prospect of a hung Parliament would throw serious doubt over Brexit negotiations, due to begin in earnest in just 10 days.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Comey on Trump: Liar, Liar, Liar, Liar, Liar

      It should also be noted that, according to Comey, never once in their nine conversations did Trump express concern or curiosity about the scope or nature of Russia’s involvement in hacking {sic} Democratic organizations during the 2016 elections.

    • Donald Trump is destroying America’s standing in the world — and may end up destroying the world

      As America’s standing in the world crumbles, many people will no doubt recall how Republican politicians regularly claimed during the previous administration that the country was no longer respected under the leadership of President Barack Obama. As with most Republican positions, this was flat-out delusional, and polling revealed that the country’s global image steadily improved under Obama after having fallen to historic lows during George W. Bush’s presidency.

    • Plymouth blames loss of 1,500 postal voting packs on computer problem
    • However true the exit poll, this is already Jeremy Corbyn’s night

      And just like that, the world turned upside down.

      Just a few short weeks ago Theresa May set out to grind her divided opposition into dust with a snap election whose express purpose was to deliver a crushing majority. Few would have bet against her doing so. Even three weeks ago, when her 20-point lead started to narrow, she still gave every impression of cruising towards a comfortable victory. Hours before the exit poll, gloomy Labour MPs were still predicting a bloodbath. Gossip about putative leadership candidates’ campaigns was starting to spread. Resignations were expected.

      Well, forget all that. If tonight’s exit poll forecasting no overall Conservative majority is right – and the crucial cautionary note is that in 2015 its predecessor did underestimate the scale of David Cameron’s victory – then tonight is Jeremy Corbyn’s night, and May could yet become the shortest-lived British prime minister in half a century.

      At best she can expect to be returned as prime minister on a slender majority, facing the full wrath of a party that was confidently expecting nothing less than a demolition of Corbyn, and a free pass to do as it liked. At worst, she will have thrown away her predecessor’s hard-won majority for nothing – one imagines crockery is currently being thrown with some violence chez Cameron – and won’t even have the lifeline of a coalition with the Liberal Democrats to fall back on, since Tim Farron has made clear he isn’t going down that road again.

    • May’s future in question as swing to Labour grows
    • Corbyn calls on May to resign as British election results show losses for Conservatives

      British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to call an early election in a bid to strengthen her grip on power appeared early Friday to have spectacularly backfired, with her Conservative Party at risk of losing its parliamentary majority, according to exit poll and partial official results.

    • Comey admits leaking

      Former FBI Director James Comey testified that he asked a friend, a law professor at Columbia University, to leak details of his dinner with the President to The New York Times, including the claim that the President asked Comey to drop the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials.

      Comey kept meticulous memos of all of his interactions with Trump, and he gave that memo to a friend to pass it along to the Times in order to spark a special investigation.

    • When the Saudis DID observe a minute’s silence: Photos reveal players marked the deaths of Brazilian stars in a plane crash – before soccer team snubbed London’s terror victims for ‘cultural reasons’

      Pictures from as early as December last year show a Saudi Arabian football team observing a minute’s silence ahead of a game – so why couldn’t they show the same respect on Thursday night?

      Saudi Arabia’s national team have come under fire for refusing to take part in a minute’s silence for victims of Saturday night’s terrorist attack on London Bridge, ahead of kick-off against Australia in a World Cup qualifier.

    • Corbyn: UK election results proof May should resign

      Labor Party candidate Jeremy Corbyn said Thursday that results from the United Kingdom’s election are evidence British Prime Minister Theresa May should step down.

      “The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate,” he said, according to The Guardian.

      “Well the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative [Party] seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that is enough for her to go actually.”

    • Jeremy Corbyn is now odds-on favourite to become next prime minister

      Jeremy Corbyn is now favourite to become the next prime minister.

      The Labour leader is now more likely to lead the country than Theresa May, according to Betfair Exchange.

      People backing Mr Corbyn for leader will win £2.48 for every pound they put on. Those backing Ms May will win £2.58 – suggesting that it is slightly less unlikely.

    • Jeremy Corbyn defies doubters as Labour on course to gain seats

      Jeremy Corbyn has once again defied the expectations of opponents and pollsters with a Labour result that may not necessarily put him in Downing Street, but could deliver a hung parliament rather than the anticipated cull of his MPs.

      The man who began his campaign to be Labour leader as a 100-1 outsider, and was routinely derided as unelectable, was on the verge of increasing the number of Labour seats, a prospect seen by many as unthinkable when the election was called on 18 April.

      As a series of Conservative target seats stayed resolutely in Labour hands, followed by a string of gains for his party, pre-election speculation about what scale of losses would necessitate a Corbyn exit was replaced by exultant talk of a new style of politics.

    • Jeremy Corbyn: The anti-establishment underdog who has shaken British politics

      If, as the exit poll predicts, the UK election denies Theresa May her majority it is an extraordinary victory for her opponent Jeremy Corbyn.

      The Labour leader started this campaign with a deficit in the polls of around 20 points, and his chances written off by most experts, political commentators and the press. Even many of his own MPs — some of whom tried to unseat him last summer — didn’t think he had it in him to be Prime Minister.

      The result is not yet final and it still looks like May’s Conservatives will still have the most seats, meaning they will be able to start talks to form a coalition. But the fact that Corbyn is expected to have robbed May of her overall majority is a significant endorsement from voters for his brand of left-wing, populist politics. The fact that he has defied all expectations and caused a major electoral shock will draw comparisons with Donald Trump’s surprise victory.

    • Rattled Theresa May addresses staff at party HQ after disastrous election night

      Bruised Theresa May has thanked Conservative party staff for their hard work at party HQ, after a disastrous election result left her short of a majority in the House of Commons.

      It came as the PM faced calls for her resignation from her own MPs, with former minister Anna Soubry describing her campaign as “disastrous” and “appalling”.

      But Tory sources suggest Mrs May did not address resignation in her speech to party staff, instead concentrating on “getting on with the job.”

    • Theresa May under fire as hung parliament confirmed

      Rumours have been swirling overnight that Theresa May’s campaign in marginal seats could have backfired and that the Conservatives may have lost in many of the constituencies she visited. Now that results in 95% of the seats have been reported, the picture is becoming clearer.

      The Guardian’s analysis of the election campaign trail shows Theresa May made 70 stops throughout the UK and spent more than half her time in Labour constituencies. May’s campaign visited 47 marginal seats, where the majority was less than 15% in the 2015 election.

      The results have been called for 43 of the constituencies May visited and of those only 16 were won by the Conservatives.

      Of those seats nine were retained by the Conservatives and five were lost by Labour to the Conservatives. Labour and Labour Co-operative has retained 20 of the marginal seats where May campaigned, taken two from the Conservatives and one seat from the SNP.

    • Huge Gains for Left-Wing Corbyn, Major Setbacks for British PM

      The snap election has resulted in a hung parliament, leaving Theresa May’s future uncertain, and the social policies of Jeremy Corbyn validated.

      British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party limped forward to a victory, maintaining their status as the largest party, but failing to secure the absolute majority that many expected May to have in the bag. A hung parliament is looking likely, meaning the the future of the government still hangs in the balance, complicating Conservative plans for Brexit.

    • Melania Trump to Move to the White House Next Week

      Melania Trump and her son Barron are officially moving to the White House next week. According to Politico, the First Lady will arrive in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, June 14, and Barron will start school at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, later this fall.

    • The Maybot is trapped in the first phase of election grief – denial
    • French intelligence exonerates Russia of election hacking
    • The British Election That Somehow Made Brexit Even Harder
    • How May’s Sure Thing Became a Political Disaster for the Ages
    • Voters saw through the ‘lies of the Rupert Murdoch machine’, Tom Watson says

      The British public “saw through the lies of the Murdoch machine” that tried to “frighten” people into voting for the Tories, Labour’s deputy leader has said.

      Addressing his constituents at the count for his West Bromwich East seat, Mr Watson tore into Theresa May, branding her campaign one of the most “negative, defensive, and pessimistic” in British history.

      He was speaking after the election’s exit poll showed the Tories losing their majority, in a shock result.

    • After Election Setback, Theresa May Clings to Power in U.K. Thanks to Ulster Extremists
    • The Guardian never gets a political result right. On Corbyn they got it really wrong

      My former colleagues on The Guardian hold an enviable record in the annals of political journalism. They have succeeded in getting the result of every major political event in the country wrong.

      Even if you tried consistently to be wrong, fate would decree that occasionally you would get one result right. Their consistency in getting things so wrong, for so long, challenges the theory of random number generation. The infinite monkey theorem holds that a monkey hitting keys of keyboards at random ad infinitum would eventually type the works of Shakespeare. This is not true. The Guardian never gets a political result right.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T uses forced arbitration to overcharge customers, senators say

      The senators pointed to a CBS News investigation that described “more than 4,000 complaints against AT&T and [subsidiary] DirecTV related to deals, promotions and overcharging in the past two years.” But customers have little recourse because they are forced to settle disputes with AT&T in arbitration, according to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Edward Markey (D-Mass.).

    • AT&T and DirecTV face thousands of complaints linked to overcharging, promotions

      But our investigation uncovered more than 4,000 complaints against AT&T and DirecTV related to deals, promotions and overcharging in the past two years.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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