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Links 19/4/2013: Enterprises Shift to GNU/Linux Servers, Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” Imminent

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  • Desktop

    • Microsoft ending support for Windows XP
      Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) advises XP users to update to a newer version of Windows or an alternative like Linux by that date at the latest.

  • Server

    • When a Shell Isn't Enough

    • IBM Pushes New SystemZ Back-End For LLVM
      IBM is becoming increasingly interested in SystemZ for a variety of purposes, including the use of the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver. As a result, IBM developers have created a new LLVM back-end for their mainframe computers.

      Ulrich Weigand of IBM announced the new SystemZ back-end on Sunday with this mailing list message. He wrote, "We're interested in this for the same reason we've been interested in the PowerPC back-end recently: to enable packages in upcoming enterprise Linux distributions that need LLVM support (e.g. 3D desktop support via llvmpipe)."

    • Intel targets software defined networks with Linux-based switch reference designs
      Intel is aiming at datacentres with new software-defined networking (SDN) products comprising reference designs based on x86 hardware for physical and virtual switch appliances, plus an optimised version of the Open vSwitch virtual switch software.

    • Linux: Enterprises Shift Servers from UNIX and Windows
      Over the next five years the shift towards Linux seems to be particularly clear, with 80 percent of large IT organizations planning to increase their purchases of Linux servers and only 20 percent planning to make additional Windows-server purchases.

    • With Roadrunner's Retirement, Petascale Enters Middle Age
      Maybe I'm getting old, but the petascale era of supercomputing still feels new to me. On the other hand, the recent decommissioning of IBM's Roadrunner, the world's first petaflopper, suggests otherwise. Roadrunner booted up at the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory five years ago in 2008. Its retirement last week marks the approximate mid-point between the first petaflop system and the first exaflop one -- assuming, of course, you're an exascale optimist.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.9 (Part 3)
      Linux 3.9 includes drivers for new AMD graphics chips and for Intel Wi-Fi chips that are expected to become available this summer. Changes to the network subsystem will enable the kernel to be more efficient when distributing network traffic across multiple processor cores.

    • The Kernel Column – 3.9 draws near

    • Freedreno Driver Begins Work On Adreno A320
      The open-source Freedreno driver that seeks to provide a fully open-source Qualcomm Adreno graphics driver for Linux with OpenGL ES acceleration by a Gallium3D driver, is beginning to support the Qualcomm GPU found within the Google Nexus 4.

    • IU saves nearly $20 million with open source financial system

    • Intel Does Fast Math With MKL On Linux
      Intel's Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP) and their Math Kernel Library (MKL) provide for very fast math operations with modern processors.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Servers Updated To Fix Security Flaw
        Peter Hutterer has issued unscheduled updates to the X.Org Server 1.13 and 1.14 release series to address a new input security vulnerability on Linux.

        Coming about last week was CVE-2013-1940. Red Hat employees discovered, "An information disclosure flaw was found in the way X11 server...used to register new hot-plug devices, when X11 server was instructed (for that particular moment) not to receive input devices events. Formerly when registering new input device, X11 server simultaneously enabled retrieval of input from the particular device (regardless of the setting). A local unsuspecting user, relying on the X11 server disable input feature it to properly prohibit acquiring of events from this newly added hot-plug device, could supply a sensitive information that, due the above bug, would become available to the physically proximate attackers."

      • Radeon HDMI Linux Audio Might Be Restored Soon
        Support for HDMI audio output with the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver might finally be in a state where it could be re-enabled by default.

        While HDMI audio is important to many users, especially when it comes to HTPCs, the support within the open-source Radeon DRM driver has had the feature disabled by default. It's been disabled by default for a long time now since for some Linux users having the support enabled has led to screen issues.

      • Wayland Bindings Come To JavaScript (Node.js)
        JavaScript bindings for the Wayland client have come in the form of a Node.js implementation.

      • Linux Gets IDed For Intel's "Harris Beach" Ultrabook
        Harris Beach is Intel's compelling Software Development Platform/Vehicle for Haswell in the form of an ultra-thin ultrabook.

        Harris Beach has been talked about in the public months back as an Intel reference ultrabook built around their forthcoming Haswell processors. Harris Beach is said to be a 17mm thick ultrabook and that the CPU found within this mobile device will have either a 10 or 15 Watt TDP, complete with high-end graphics capabilities.

      • Wayland 1.1 Officially Released With Weston 1.1
        The first post-1.0 release of the Wayland Display Server protocol and the Weston reference compositor implementation has been released.

        Kristian Høgsberg released Wayland/Weston 1.1 on Monday evening after last week laying out the 1.1 release plans.

      • Wayland 1.1 Officially Released With Weston 1.1
        The first post-1.0 release of the Wayland Display Server protocol and the Weston reference compositor implementation has been released.

        Kristian Høgsberg released Wayland/Weston 1.1 on Monday evening after last week laying out the 1.1 release plans.

      • Modern Intel Gallium3D Driver Proposed For Mainline
        Early this morning I delivered benchmarks of the new Intel Gallium3D driver developed by a LunarG employee. Coincidentally, hours later, the developer has proposed merging this Gallium3D graphics driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge hardware into mainline Mesa.

        The "i965g-next" driver was started late last year and continues to be frequently worked on by Chia-I Wu. Checking in on it recently, there still was fresh Git activity, I decided to run some benchmarks comparing it to Intel's official Mesa "classic" DRI driver. The DRI driver is still a ways faster than this experimental driver.

      • More Criticism Comes Towards Intel's Beignet OpenCL
        Yesterday was marked by the first release of Beignet, an open-source Linux OpenCL solution for Intel Ivy Bridge hardware, however it has drawn criticism by open-source developers.

      • The First Radeon DRM Pull For Linux 3.10
        AMD's Alex Deucher has sent in the first Radeon DRM driver pull request for early Linux 3.10 kernel changes to be merged into the drm-next repository.

      • Intel Enables Mesa Support For Bay Trail / Valley View
        Intel has now officially enabled support for their next-generation Bay Trail (a.k.a. Valley View) platform within their open-source i965 Mesa graphics driver.

      • R600g Tests Show Little Change On Mesa 9.2-devel
        Now having shown that Intel Ivy Bridge graphics are faster with the latest Mesa 9.2-devel Git code and also that the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver is significantly faster, here's a new round of AMD Radeon "R600g" Gallium3D performance benchmarks.

        The OpenGL benchmarks in this article are being done from an MSI WindBox system, which has been dusted off after not being tested in a while, and sports AMD Radeon HD 4330 graphics for the Intel Atom 330 "nettop" device.

      • Intel Releases NumaTOP 1.0 Tool
        Per its project page, "NumaTOP is an observation tool for runtime memory locality characterization and analysis of processes and threads running on a NUMA system. It helps the user characterize the NUMA behavior of processes and threads and identify where the NUMA-related performance bottlenecks reside."

      • Mir Display Server Now Uses XKB Common
        XKB Common is a library for handling keyboard mapping and descriptions along with related tasks like parsing the descriptions, etc. The xkbcommon library is used by Wayland for handling keyboard mapping and is also used by KMSCON, GTK+, Qt, Clutter, and other open-source projects. More xkbcommon details for those interested can be found in its GitHub repository. This keyboard-related library is largely developed by well known X.Org developer Daniel Stone.
      • Intel i915 Gallium3D Driver Might Become The Default
        In the discussion about mainlining the new Intel Gallium3D driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, the long-standing i915 Gallium3D driver for older Intel hardware was brought out. It turns out that this driver might replace the classic i915 Intel driver as the new default.

      • Geometry Shaders Come To NV50 Gallium3D
        Initial patches are ready to provide support for OpenGL geometry shaders within the Nouveau NV50 Gallium3D driver.

      • NVIDIA Tegra DRM Prepares For Linux 3.10 Kernel
        The first NVIDIA Tegra DRM driver changes for the Linux 3.10 kernel are now known.

        Thierry Reding of Avionic Design submitted his first pull request for drm-next to merge his Tegra DRM kernel driver changes. The most notable change with the 3.10 kernel will be introducing host1x support, which is needed for introducing 2D and 3D acceleration to this open-source graphics driver used by NVIDIA ARM SoCs.

      • How-To Use Open-Source Radeon UVD On Ubuntu

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon Gallium3D More Competitive With Catalyst On Linux
        With the ever-changing state of Linux graphics drivers -- both for the open and closed-source drivers -- new tests have been conducted to compare the OpenGL graphics performance on Linux with AMD Radeon graphics. In this article are benchmarks of nine different Radeon HD graphics cards when being tested on the very latest AMD Catalyst (13.3 Beta 3) graphics driver as well as the open-source AMD Radeon driver consisting of Mesa 9.2-devel and the yet-to-be-released Linux 3.9 kernel.

      • Benchmarks Of The New ZFS On Linux: EXT4 Wins
        At the end of March was a new release of ZFS On Linux, a kernel module implementation of the ZFS file-system for Linux, and it was declared ZFS On Linux is now ready for wide-scale deployments. With this release (ZOL/SPL v0.6.1), new benchmarks are being done to compare ZFS to popular Linux file-systems. In this article is a brief preview against EXT4.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • KDE, GNOME, Unity, Razor-Qt Developers Met Up
      Last week at the SUSE offices in Nürnberg there was a meeting between developers of the KDE, GNOME, Unity, and Razor-qt desktop environments.

      The focus of this recent open-source cross-desktop meeting was to collaborate around specifications that are inoperable between the Linux desktop environments.

    • Open source desktop developers meet at freedesktop Summit
      KDE developer David Faure has written a report on the first freedesktop Summit, which took place from 11 to 16 April at the SUSE offices in Nuremberg, Germany. At the summit, developers from GNOME, KDE, Unity and Razor-qt discussed how to improve collaboration between their respective projects by creating new, and refining existing, cross-desktop specifications. The developers reached an agreement on how D-Bus will be implemented by applications across different desktops, talked about modifications to the trash specification and defined a new file format to cache and index .desktop files. The future of the accountsservice D-Bus interface was also discussed.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Ubuntu Gnome Obtains Official Status Recongnition
        Ubuntu users that prefer the Gnome Shell are in for a treat. Ubuntu Gnome has joined the ranks as an official Ubuntu edition. The first official Ubuntu Gnome release will be coming along with the eagerly awaited Ubuntu 13.04 which will continue to use the Unity desktop as before.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

      • Linux Potpourri: Slack Current, KDELyteDEsktop, and Sabayon systemd
        Volkerding says it's been fun living on the bleeding edge, but he was actually thinking the next release should be a stable 14.1. "I'd rather be targeting the next release as 14.1 and a stable, evolutionary update to 14.0 rather than a 15.0 that's churned out before the components have really have a chance to mature upstream. There's enough of that happening elsewhere, and in my humble opinion it doesn't need to happen here."

      • Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed
        Code-sharing website GitHub has grown so popular that it and open source are practically synonymous for many developers. But new research shows that most of the projects now on GitHub are released under license terms that are unclear, inconsistent, or nonexistent, leaving their legal status as open source software uncertain.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Closing In On The Last Few Bugs In Debian Wheezy
        There are about 10 bugs left to solve before releasing Wheezy, Debian’s next release. Most of those bugs have a solution found and it’s just a matter of having the changes percolate through the system. A few will develop pragmatic fixes. It could happen this weekend…

      • Debian 7 "Wheezy" to be yours on 4th/5th May Anurag Bhandari's picture
        Debian, the world's largest Linux distribution (in terms of repository-size) and the mother of Ubuntu, is set to release its awaited next stable version on the weekend of 4th/5th May this year. Codenamed "Wheezy", Debian 7.0 will bring a huge amount of changes to the table. Debian is known to make its stable releases under codenames based on characters of the popular animated trilogy Toy Story. It's interesting to note that Wheezy was a stuffed toy penguin in Toy Story 2 that resembled the familiar Linux mascot Tux.

      • Debian 7.0 "Wheezy" release planned for May 5

      • Debian 7.0 "Wheezy" To Release In Early May

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.37 development released
          We appreciate your feedbacks about the overall speed/lightness of the system compared to last stable version of Elive. You can say something in our chat channel directly from the running system. If you detect any lagging in the system please consider different setups like disabling composite (which you can select on the startup of the graphical system) in order to report improvements. We would also appreciate feedbacks about composite enabled or disabled in old computers, suggestions for better performances, and memory usage compared to Topaz.

        • Debian base for first Pardus Community Edition
          The developers of the Pardus Linux distribution have announced the first release of their new Pardus Community Edition. According to the announcement blog post, Pardus Community Edition is a "stable and useful" distribution based on Debian Wheezy. Pardus Community Edition 1.0 complements Pardus 2013 Corporate, which was released at the end of March.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • OpenStack Summit: HP, Canonical Ubuntu Flex Cloud Muscle

            Hewlett-Packard's public and private cloud strategy leans heavily on OpenStack, the open source cloud platform. The same is true for Canonical's Ubuntu Linux. Here's an HP and Ubuntu update from OpenStack Summit 2013.

          • Ubuntu 13.04: GNOME vs Unity User Interface Update
            Ubuntu 13.04, which debuts next week, will have an official GNOME version. That news slipped under the radar for most folks, but it should please some Linux desktop users who don't like Canonical's Unity interface. And it could also impact Canonical's big aspirations of "Ubuntu convergence" across all devices offered by channel partners.

          • Rhythmbox Says Goodbye to the Ubuntu One Music Store
            Canonical has announced that the Ubuntu One Music Store has been removed from Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.10.

            This news is not actually a surprise. It's unclear how many customers are using the Music Store, but it seems that Canonical's decision to remove the store from Rhythmbox has to do with the traffic generated by the web store counterpart.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Fuduntu’s development to end

            • Fuduntu Linux to shut down, new distro to follow

              Network World - The team in charge of maintaining and developing Fuduntu, a Linux-based operating system designed as a hybrid of Fedora and Ubuntu, voted Sunday to close down the project.

            • Kubuntu gets better artwork for 13.04
              Kubuntu, the KDE flavour of Ubuntu, is getting ready for the 13.04 release. Not only is it getting latest and greatest from the KDE stable, including 4.10.2, it's also polishing the UI a bit.

            • The Future of Fuduntu
              I was pretty sad when I heard Fuduntu was going end-of-life. It seemed like a very promising distro was being mothballed just as it seemed to be gaining attention within the Linux community. I reached out to Lee Ward, who handles communication for Fuduntu, about the future of the distro, and he had some interesting details to reveal, including the idea that the future distro could be a rolling, curated version of OpenSUSE. It’ll be interesting to see what the new distro shapes up to be.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • HP: You Get From the Open Source Community What You Put In
    HP Cloud Services Vice President and General Manager Roger Levy stopped by #theCUBE at the #OpenStack Summit 2013 yesterday, to talk with co-hosts John Furrier and David Floyer about everything HP is doing in the cloud. HP sees winning DevOps as bringing automation into the private and public clouds and providing DevOps tools.

  • How to Bring More Women to Free and Open Source Software
    As an undergraduate engineering student Karen Sandler was used to being the only woman in a class. At the time she didn't want to talk about why there weren't more women in technology, though, believing the attention would only make things worse. That attitude has changed over time, however, as she experienced sexism more directly. At tech conferences, for example, her male colleagues would sometimes ask her whose spouse she was, not knowing that she was actually a speaker at the event.

  • French start-up Gaia Transparence ships open source position management tool
    Gaia Transparence announces the creation of the first open source software platform for financial trade and position management.

  • Is an Open-Source Social Music Player You Can Host Yourself

  • Facebook throws down efficiency gauntlet with real-time data and open-source dashboards

  • Open source monitoring software ready for final release
    Open source monitoring software should get a boost with the expected final release of the Assimilation Monitoring Project in late April.

    Originally, the Assimilation Monitoring Project (AMP) was started to fix the configuration woes and workload issues present in traditional monitoring software, but has evolved to include automation and a unique brand of scalability. AMP founder and project leader Alan Robertson expands on the details of its final release in this Q&A.

  • Improve Your Open Source Project Adoption by Catering to Integrators
    In the software ecology, a special type of evangelist works with organizations that are open to incorporating open source into their technology infrastructure. These “integrators” (sometimes called value-added resellers or just computer consultants) can encourage a business to adopt software because the integrator is a trusted outside party without a sales agenda. If you capture the integrators and keep them interested and dedicated, the growth of your project is guaranteed.

  • Events

    • 5 Favorite Sessions from Collaboration Summit Attendees
      Now more than halfway through the Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, attendees have started to weigh in on the best sessions and experiences so far. Some cited Monday's keynote presentations from heavy hitters such as Samsung and Jaguar Land Rover. Others focused on the technical discussions in Tuesday's sessions, which covered a range of topics from Automotive Grade Linux to kernel scheduler load balancing. And for some, simply meeting the developers on the other side of an email list provided the best experience at the conference. Here, five Linux community members tell us their conference highlights so far. (See their abbreviated answers in video on Tout.)

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Intel CIO Kim Stevenson on big data, OpenStack, women in IT
      Intel CIO Kim Stevenson, who has been at the helm for a little more than a year, said OpenStack is the most useful cloud architecture for avoiding lock-in, outlined how the chip giant is using big data techniques, and talked capacity planning for her company.

    • Who is Using OpenStack?
      OpenStack is being deployed and used by organizations that many Americans know as household brand names. That's the message coming from the OpenStack Summit where a conga line of big end users explained to capacity crowds why they chose OpenStack and how it is being used.

      In a live demo on the keynote stage, Mark Muehl, senior VP of product engineering at Comcast, showed how his firm is using OpenStack. Muehl brought out a TV set-top box and showed Comcast's new X1, TV viewing guide system. That system is all powered at the back-end by an OpenStack cloud.

    • Why enterprises should get involved in the open cloud now
      While startups, developers, and small businesses flock to behemoth public clouds like Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine that give them a profoundly efficient bang for their buck, bigger enterprises largely stick to paying the high cost for private clouds. They are wary of potential availability and security issues that, rightfully, could hamper (or cripple) their business. The perceived risk-reward of saving money by turning IT operations over to a public cloud hasn't yet permeated through to big businesses.

    • Flash is Just as Transformative as Open-Source Big Data, says IBM’s Steve Mills
      Steve Mills, the SVP and group executive of software and systems for IBM, discussed his company’s plan to invest$1 billion in flash storage with Wikibon’s Dave Vellante at a media event held this week in New York.

      Vellante starts the interview by pointing out that this is not the first time Big Blue decided to throw a billion at a major trend. A decade ago the company pumped $1 billion into Linux, and a few years after that it pledged to invest the same amount in analytics.

    • OpenNode - A Standards Based Cloud Platform
      Since we have been looking at FreeBSD, OpenVZ, and ProxMox, it seems only right to mention the other open source player in this market: OpenNode. OpenNode, like ProxMox, is a management layer built on top of OpenVZ containers and KVM virtual machines. Unlike ProxMox, which is built on Debian, OpenNode is similar to CentOS and Scientific Linux in that it is built off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. A good fit, since the stable OpenVZ kernel is also released for RHEL.

    • NSA Building a Secure Version of OpenStack
      The NSA (America's super secret intelligence agency) is no stranger to open source software and apparently they aren't strangers to OpenStack either.

      NSA developer Nathaniel Burton was speaking at the OpenStack summit today, though he joked that he couldn't reveal how many servers they had running OpenStack or what they are running on those OpenStack servers.

    • At NSA, The Cloud Is About Big Data And Moving Beyond IT
      NSA’s goal is to unify data and use it to do analysis, said Nathanael Burton, a computer scientist with the security agency in a keynote address today at the OpenStack Summit in Portland. But with its old infrastructure, the data was spread across different systems that did not work together.

    • U.S. intelligence agencies embrace OpenStack

    • OpenStack Is Taking Important Steps Forward
      This week, the OpenStack Summit is going on, and in conjunction with the conference there are lots of signs that the open source cloud computing platform is going to start heading into high gear for the remainder of 2013. Red Hat advanced its enterprise Red Hat OpenStack offering into an Early Adopter Program and announced the availability of RDO, a community-supported distribution of OpenStack that runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and their derivatives. Meanwhile, there are reports that some enterprises are ditching Amazon Web Services (AWS) for OpenStack, in a push to gain more control over their cloud-based futures.

  • Databases

    • Taking MariaDB Foundation Forward
      I’m pleased to tell you that I have a new role that I’ve already started within the scope of Meshed Insights. It’s a new and exciting departure for me.

      I’ve remained in touch with Monty Widenius ever since we were both at Sun together. At the start of the year, he asked if I would consider helping him move the MariaDB Foundation forward as an independent steward of the MariaDB database project. I agreed, and recently accepted his request to join the board of directors for the new Foundation, along with several others. To allow Monty to focus on the technical aspects of MariaDB, I also agreed to the new Board’s request to take on a part-time role as the interim chief executive of the Foundation, at least until a member-elected Board is seated.

    • MySQL competitor MariaDB gets decorated board
      The MariaDB foundation has announced the appointment of a new Board of Directors and a new interim chief executive. The board members include Rasmus Johansson, Andrew Katz, Simon Phipps, Michael “Monty” Widenius, and Jeremy Zawodny. The interim board has appointed Johansson as Chair and Phipps as Secretary and Chief Executive Officer.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Google and the FreeBSD Foundation fund Capsicum development
      The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that it and the Google Open Source Programs Office are jointly funding developer Pawel Jakub Dawidek to improve the Capsicum framework. Capsicum was originally developed by Robert Watson of the University of Cambridge and Ben Laurie from Google Research to extend the POSIX API and provide object-capability security to Unix-like operating systems. The goal of the framework is to give thin-client operating systems like Google's Chrome OS a robust security model that is relatively lightweight. Capsicum has been available in FreeBSD since version 9.0 and Google is working on a Linux version.


    • Google reinstates federated instant messaging
      We want to commend Google for doing the right thing.

    • The State & Future Of The GNU C Library (GLIBC)
      Red Hat's Carlos O'Donell provided an update this week on the GNU C Library along with some recent and upcoming features for glibc.

      The GNU C Library (glibc) faces increasing competition from other C library implementations like Google Android's Bionic, uClibc on embedded systems, EGLIBC, and dietlibc, among others. With glibc losing some of its appeal even on modern Linux desktop distributions, Carlos O'Donell spoke this week at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit about the state of this GNU project along with a look ahead at the glibc 2.18 release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • What’s holding back Open Source innovation in government?
      Much has been written about the use of Open Source in government over the last few years. Yet, despite a strong directive from Francis Maude, and the Cabinet Office, many central government workers in IT decision making positions still appear to be hesitant about implementing alternative software solutions into their existing technology stack. So, just what is holding back Open Source innovation in government?

  • Programming

    • Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed
      That's according to Aaron Williamson, senior staff counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center, who presented some of his findings on the matter at the Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday.

    • Making A Code Compiler Energy-Aware
      There's a discussion on the LLVM development mailing list about making the compiler become energy-aware to provide an optimization level that would provide the most power-efficient binaries. However, it isn't clear whether this would make sense over simply trying to assemble the fastest binary.

    • LLVM/Clang 3.3 Should Be Close To Building Linux Kernel
      Developing are reaching a point where the mainline LLVM/Clang compiler in an "out of the box" configuration can compile the mainline Linux kernel with only a few patches against the kernel's source tree. This summer's release of LLVM/Clang 3.3 should be a big milestone.

      Aside from Intel MKL and the state of glibc, another interesting topic at this week's Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit was in regards to LLVM/Clang for building the Linux kernel rather than GCC. Building the Linux kernel with LLVM/Clang has long been pursued by developers and something we have been talking about on Phoronix quite a bit in the past two years or so.


  • Thatcher Lifted Millions–Says Who?
    This is notable for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that that John Burns gets to write news articles for the New York Times assessing the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. He's made up his mind, obviously, and he tries to work that into his reporting for the paper.

  • Government's Opinion Of You, In Thirteen Words
    Rarely has a legislator expressed what he thinks of the public with such eloquence and and brevity as Republican Tommy Tucker, Chairman of the North Carolina Senate's State and Local Government Committee.

  • Science

    • Fish’s DNA May Explain How Fins Turned to Feet
      Often called a living fossil, the coelacanth (pronounced SEE-luh-canth) was long believed to have fallen extinct 70 million years ago, until a specimen was recognized in a fish market in South Africa in 1938. The coelacanth has fleshy, lobed fins that look somewhat like limbs, as does the lungfish, an air-breathing freshwater fish. The coelacanth and the lungfish have long been battling for the honor of which is closer to the ancestral fish that first used fins to walk on land and give rise to the tetrapods, meaning all the original vertebrates and their descendants, from reptiles and birds to mammals.

  • Hardware

    • Intel acquires Mashery API manager
      Intel has acquired Mashery, a company that develops management tools for web and on-premise APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The tools are offered as a cloud service as well as locally ("Mashery Local"), and third parties can use them to access their own APIs. Components include caching features, security tools, dashboards, and options for generating API usage reports.

  • Poison/Gas/Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Al-Qaeda Pressure Cookers?
      The news that the Boston Marathon bombs used conventional pressure cookers led to a flurry of coverage suggesting that this was perhaps a link to Al-Qaeda inspired jihadists.

    • Altered States
      Nigeria shows much greater wisdom than the standard Western government line that the state can do no wrong and that all terrorist movements must be crushed by military force – something that often leads into an unending revenge cycle. Insurgency movements are indeed always caused – no matter how psychotic or vicious individual terrorists may be and no matter how evil some of their acts. For any terrorist or insurgency activity to have sufficient support in a host population to have a resilient existence, that population must believe itself to have a legitimate grievance. Ultimately the only way to overcome terrorism is to talk to the terrorists. Which is not to say I think this initiative will succeed; but it is certainly the right thing to try.

    • In Virginia's Fairfax County, Robbing Banks for the CIA
      Theo started calling Washington-area lawyers asking them to defend Torres. He told criminal defense attorneys David Dischley and Michael Robinson that he worked for the CIA’s national resources division, which recruits citizens and foreigners to assist the U.S. abroad. He explained that Torres had been arrested during a government training operation gone bad. Torres, he said, was being tested for an eventual mission in El Salvador to infiltrate the criminal gang MS-13. Theo offered Dischley and Robinson $45,000 in cash to take the case.

    • Bay Of Pigs 52nd Anniversary Remembers Disastrous CIA Backed Invasion Of Cuba (PICTURES)
      In 1961 Cuba was ruled by a leftist administration dominated by Prime Minister Fidel Castro.

      With the Cold War in full swing the United States didn't take kindly to the idea of a communist satellite state just 90 miles away from the Florida Keys.

    • The Bay of Pigs and Its Consequences

    • The Bay of Pigs—An Anniversary of Heroism and Shame
      "Wimps,” sneers Michael Moore in his book Downsize This, referring to men (and boys, some as young as 16) who 52 years ago this week hit a Cuban beach now known as the Bay of Pigs. “Really just a bunch of wimps. That's right, wimps-- and crybabies too,” sneers Moore. “Ex-Cubans with a yellow stripe down their backs."

    • CIA Demolish Cloud Security Concerns: All Systems Go

    • Issa Tells CIA: Plan for Massive Benghazi Probe
      Escalating his investigation of the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last year, Rep. Darrell Issa warned CIA and other government officials Wednesday to lawyer-up in preparation for a massive probe.

    • Lawyer up, Issa warns CIA staff
      House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is pushing ahead with his investigation of last year’s fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by preparing federal agencies to allow employees to lawyer up.

      Stone, who actually dabbled in horror early in his career via films like The Hand and Seizure, told a panel of filmmakers April 17 that he won't be revisiting the genre.

    • Obama in Thrall to CIA Killing Machine
      ONE balmy evening, Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was relaxing with his family on his father-in-law’s rooftop in the village of Zanghara, south Waziristan.

      Two miles above, a Predator drone trained an infrared camera on him as he lay on his back and was joined by his wife and uncle. The images were so clear that it could be seen that the ailing Mehsud was receiving an intravenous drip.

    • Nicaragua needs to navigate winds of change in Venezuela

    • Venezuela's Maduro accuses US Embassy of supporting violent protests
      Venezuela's post-election crisis is growing deeper, with at least seven people killed during clashes between the opposition and police. President-elect Nicolas Maduro says he has proof that the US embassy is financing the ongoing protests.


    • US drone attacks kill 5 in Pakistan and 5 in Yemen

    • Yemen Drone Strike: 4 Suspected Al Qaeda Members Killed By U.S. [Ed: only suspected]

    • Drones and Death Lists: The New Face of Warfare
      Watching Senator John McCain foam at the mouth with his calls for war against Syria reminds one that President Barack Obama has done well to resist strident demands from congress and the media to use the U.S. armed forces in a direct role to remove President Bashar al-Assad. Which is not intended to suggest that nothing is going on. Washington has long been fighting a secret war seeking to bring about regime change in Syria in the mistaken belief that the fall of Damascus will inevitably produce a similar result in Iran. The White House humanitarian interventionists and friends of Israel have only been stalled in their effort to bring down al-Assad by stealth due to legitimate and belated concerns that empowering the rebels might produce far worse results than a continuation of Baathist rule. One would have thought that a lesson had been learned from the disastrous intervention in Libya, but apparently Washington operates on a principle of never looking back. That coupled with an attention span that appears to encompass something like 48 hours means that the White House will be continuously refighting the last war with predictable results.

    • Maduro Blasts Kerry for Rejecting Venezuelan Election Win

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • California Ag-Gag Bill Exempts Factory Farms That Accidentally Record Their Own Abuses
      California lawmakers are considering an “ag-gag” bill today that not only criminalizes undercover investigators and whistleblowers, but carves out special exemptions if the industry accidentally documents its own abuses.

      As background: Ag-gag bills are facing massive public opposition across the country, and the industry is shifting how it talks about these bills. Factory farmers are moving away from attempts to outright criminalize anyone who photographs animal cruelty; instead, they’re introducing “mandatory reporting” requirements. Take California, for example. AB 343 says anyone who documents animal cruelty at farms and slaughterhouses has to notify the police. That sounds pretty reasonable, right?

  • Finance

    • It's Time To Bury Not Just Thatcher – But Thatcherism
      She didn't save Britain or turn the economy round.

    • Goldman Sachs Can't Shake Fraud Lawsuit
      Goldman Sachs cannot dismiss Prudential's claims that it falsely represented more than $375 million in residential mortgage-backed securities in its offering materials, a federal judge ruled in New Jersey.

      In September 2007, New Jersey-based Prudential Insurance and five investment subsidiaries held about $13.5 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and $241.1 billion in total investments.

    • MacIver Institute Ideologues Manage to Turn Lemonade Into Lemons
      In 2010, Governor Scott Walker ran for office on a simple message, that he would turn Wisconsin's economy around and create 250,000 jobs. There was good news for Walker in the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs numbers released April 2013. Although Wisconsin still ranked 44th in the country in terms of job creation, the staggering economy had created 64,500 more jobs since Walker took office than previously known. There was a large upward correction in the BLS jobs data stretching back more than a year that not only impacted Wisconsin, but many states.

    • Pete Peterson Linked Economists Caught in Austerity Error
      A team of economists at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at UMass Amherst broke a huge story this week that was promptly picked up by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and newspapers around the globe. The economists proved that the essential underpinning "of the intellectual edifice of austerity economics," as Paul Krugman put it, is based on sloppy methodology and spreadsheet coding errors.

    • Lithuania And Estonia Use Google Maps Street View To Catch Tax Cheats
      Ars Technica points out that Estonia is doing the same. This might lead to demands for houses to be blurred, as can be requested in Germany. But the Boston Globe article notes that it's not just Street View that tax authorities are mining for clues about people not paying all their taxes:
      In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has said it would be cross-referencing information from taxpayers' Facebook and Twitter accounts if their returns threw up any red flags.

      In Britain, tax officials have revealed they are using Web crawling software to trawl auction websites for undeclared sales.

      Authorities in Greece have been using satellite imagery to locate undeclared swimming pools in wealthy neighborhoods.
      The ability to draw on the massive stores of data that are now publicly available means that even seemingly trivial information, when cross-referenced with more of the same, can allow governments and others to create surprisingly detailed profiles of people that may have far from trivial consequences.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Oh Look, Rep. Mike Rogers Wife Stands To Benefit Greatly From CISPA Passing...
      It would appear that Rep. Mike Rogers, the main person in Congress pushing for CISPA, has kept rather quiet about a very direct conflict of interest that calls into serious question the entire bill. It would appear that Rogers' wife stands to benefit quite a lot from the passage of CISPA, and has helped in the push to get the bill passed. It's somewhat amazing that no one has really covered this part of the story, but it highlights, yet again, the kind of activities by folks in Congress that make the public trust Congress less and less.

    • US House of Representatives passes CISPA cybersecurity bill
      The US House of Representatives has passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA).

      Lawmakers in the House voted 288-to-127 Thursday afternoon to accept the bill. Next it will move to the Senate and could then end up on the desk of US President Barack Obama for him to potentially sign the bill into law. Earlier this week, though, senior White House advisers said they would recommend the president veto the bill.

    • CISPA Passes The House, As 288 Representatives Don't Want To Protect Your Privacy
      This is not wholly surprising, but after some debate and some half-hearted attempts at pretending they care about the public's privacy rights, the House has passed CISPA, 288 votes against 127.

    • CISPA Passes House, Obama Veto Threat Likely Untrue Making Senate Key Battleground
      After facing defeat with Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) – thanks in part to the late Aaron Swartz – the State and Big Business have regrouped and re-branded their bill Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Relying on a lazy press to leave out the details and hoping that a dimwitted public will cower in the face of “cyberterrorism” threats. Somehow cyberterrorism translates into shutting down the internet for Hollywood. They don’t really have an explanation either.

    • CISPA Moving Through House

    • CIA and Google sponsor prophets
      Who would not want to see the future? Millions of people around the world spend a great deal of money paying for services of prophets and magicians. Whether the predictions come true is another matter, but there is certainly a steady demand. The official science is also not standing still and is trying all sorts of ways to look into events that await us in the years to come. Will the humanity learn to predict the future?

    • Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

    • Reddit Cofounder Calls on Google's Larry Page to Oppose CISPA

    • Shame: U.S. House of Representatives passes CISPA
      The US House of Representatives have passed the dangerous Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA) just few hours ago. The bill won by 288-to-127, and will now move to Democrate-controlled Senate which is not as desperate to pass this draconian bill as was the House.

      The House passed the bill ignoring the veto threat from the While House. The House also ignored the 'mandate' given by the people as over 1.5 million people signed petitions against it.

    • Police In Japan Are Asking ISPs To Start Blocking Tor

  • Civil Rights

    • Why We Need the New Yorker to Correct Its Error on Venezuelan Inequality
      My hat is off to Keane Bhatt, NACLA blogger and occasional Extra! contributor, for his tireless efforts to prod one of the United States' most prestigious media outlets to live up to their professed standards of accuracy. The outlet is the New Yorker, a magazine whose name is practically synonymous with factchecking. It's a tradition there; they brag about how seriously they take checking the facts.

      Which makes you wonder how Keane was able to find the glaring, major errors in the New Yorker's recent coverage of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, all perpetrated by longtime contributor Jon Lee Anderson.

    • Brazil’s groundbreaking Internet Civil Rights Bill needs support!
      Here at Mozilla, we believe the Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible. We believe in the importance of balancing the commercial goals of the Internet against those for the public benefit. Brazil’s Internet Bill of Rights, the Marco Civil da Internet, seeks to maintain this balance by guaranteeing basic rights for Internet users. We support this kind of effort to create a comprehensive, pro-Internet policy framework. If adopted, it could well serve as a reference model for future legislation.

      The legislation is groundbreaking in its intent. It secures important rights to Internet users through a civil framework rather than a criminal code. These rights include the right to privacy, freedom of speech, and access to information. It defends communications over the Internet, protects the sanctity of the Internet connection itself, requires comprehensive information in service contracts (particularly with respect to the protection of personal data), and limits third party access to connection logs and Internet applications.

    • Now is the time to talk about liberty
      ...executive branch to detain US citizens indefintely and without due process.

    • Hagel, Syria and side-stepping the law
      ...haven’t done anything to prepare the United States to cut off its ties.

    • President Obama must act to close Guantánamo
      The process of dying is never easy or painless. Death by starvation is particularly grueling: the body cannibalizes fat and tissue, wasting to skin and bones, leading to dehydration, incoherence and, ultimately, heart failure. It is a slow and agonizing ordeal, even for the most committed hunger striker. It took IRA member and British MP Bobby Sands more than two months to die in Maze prison when he starved himself to death in 1981. And for those who are force-fed, the process is even more excruciating; they may endure as food is pumped up their noses and into their stomachs like a veal calf, but eventually they will die as well. [...] prison has already claimed the lives of nine men [...]

    • Marathon Bombs Must Not Be a Justification For Trampling On the Constitution
      In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Boston that claimed three lives and wounded more than 170 others, the calls for a response will be loud — and inevitable. Yet, we still don't know who the responsible parties are — and the trail has sadly gone cold. While it's time to put politics aside, support for tougher pieces of legislation to combat terrorism will probably arise in the near future. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which gives the federal government vast new powers, has come under scrutiny from civil liberties groups, and rightfully so. It gives government the extraordinary power of detaining U.S. citizens indefinitely. After Monday's events, I'll guess that most Americans would support such a measure, but it's times like these that we must not endorse actions that shred the Constitution.

    • San Diego Cop Thinks You Might Have Turned Your Cell Phone Into A Gun And That 'Officer Safety' Trumps Constitutional Rights
      We've seen several times before the reticence (a fancy $20 word for "antipathy") many law enforcement officers have towards being recorded while on the job. They don't seem to mind cameras they control (even though those too have proven problematic -- but fixable), but if the average citizen starts "taping" an encounter, much ado is made about the impropriety (or illegal-ness) of the citizen's actions.

      We've seen all of this before. But this one tops those stories. This is one of those has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed events. Fortunately, it involves a functioning camera installed in a surprisingly dangerous cell phone.

      San Diegan Adam Pringle was minding his own business illegally smoking a cigarette in a public area (I know -- this falls under the "California Is Ridiculous" heading) when he was approached by Officer Reinhold, who then proceeded to cite him for outdoor smoking.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Recent Techrights' Posts

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Newer is not always better
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dogs have desks
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Tux Machines Parties Going Well Do Far
Cross-posted from Tux Machines
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One need not even consider large nations in isolation
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Dave Wreski Also Plays the Bot Game (Chatbot) at LinuxSecurity to Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
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[Meme] Indisputable Success
Links 12/06/2024: 'Hey Hi' (AI) Bubble Imploding Already, Danish Media Threatens to Sue OpenAI
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Links 11/06/2024: Floods in Germany and Brazil, Political Violence
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In Bahrain, Historically Low on GNU/Linux Adoption, Things Change for the Better
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From the media yesterday...
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Never again?
[Meme] Women in Computer Science
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A just society holds people accountable rather than covers up such blunders
Improving the Image of Women in Free Software by Hiring and Promoting the Proficient Ones
Million's shaman background isn't the problem, or even the superstitious ghost-chasing. The problem is that she has absolutely no background in Free software.
They Say Cash is King
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The answer to censorship attempts is more speech, not less speech
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The illusion of remaining "choice" on the Web
No, the World Wide Web Isn't Open (and Hasn't Been for Years)
It's proprietary all the way now
The War on Free Software Reporters - Part VII - Groupthink, Censorship Demands, and Ultimatums
There's a lot of groupthink in the Free software community
Microsoft Told Us That LLMs Were a Boon for Azure and 'Clown Computing', But the Thousands of Layoffs This Month Prove That It Was a Lie All Along
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Why We Post Statistics About the Usage of Operating Systems Worldwide
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Winning Defamation Cases is Incredibly Difficult (for Plaintiffs), Even in the United States and the United Kingdom
SLAPP should always backfire
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According to statCounter
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This is an all-time high
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[Meme] Quantity Says Nothing About Worth, Value, or Quality
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Meanwhile at
Canonical knows exactly what Ubuntu users want
[Meme] Microsoft (and the NSA) Will Never Forget
The user trying to permanently disable 'recall'
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Over at Tux Machines...
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[Meme] Clown Computing is Better For...
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Daniel Pocock on Good Performance in His EU Election Campaign: Thanking the voters of Midlands-North-West, Ireland
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
The 'IT Industry' is Already in Ruins
The "powers that be" do not want the "hoi polloi" to possess skills and systems
Microsoft's Windows is Sliding Away Into Minority Platform Territories, Even in Rich Countries With Affluent Computer Users
We seem to be striking a nerve at Microsoft every time we say this
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One can control one's destiny...