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Links 5/5/2013: New Debian

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Top 3: Xen Lives, Fuduntu Dies and KDE Slims

  • Linux Shorts: Mageia 3, Slackware, and Fedora 19
  • Linux Shorts: Sabayon 13.04, Korora 18, and SythOS

  • From GNOME Linux Desktop to OpenStack Cloud [VIDEO]

  • Kernel Space

    • Using FreeNAS' new full disk encryption for ZFS
      Last month's release of FreeNAS 8.3.1 adds new functionality that allows system administrators of the open source-based network attached storage solution to encrypt entire disks while using ZFS. ZFS has been the primary filesystem for FreeNAS since FreeNAS 8, and has supplanted FreeBSD's UFS as the project's focus. The new security functionality applies only to ZFS and is the first time that FreeNAS has supported encryption.

    • Linux 3.9 Clamps Down on Power, Speeds Up with SSDs
      Linus Torvalds is now releasing the second major new Linux kernel milestone of 2013. The Linux 3.9 kernel includes new features that will make the open source operating system faster and more efficient than ever before.

    • Linux User Experience Levels
      Sometimes I wonder about the experience level of all us Linux users. Are we mostly a collection of new users or are most Linux users hard core geeks? Well, much like the user-base of individual distros or even the ecosystem as a whole, pinning down the distribution of experience levels across Linux will never anything more than some kind of guess. Today, I'd like to venture another.

      I've mentioned before, but it bears repeating that my crystal ball of choice is a good poll. What better way to find out what folks' experience level is that to just ask. I simply named the poll I'ma Linux: and offered various levels for tickable answers.

    • It Pays To Advertise FLOSS
      I have been noticing some ads for the Linux Foundation appearing on the web...

      Such advertising is one of the things that is needed to generate demand for FLOSS everywhere. The Linux Foundation may get a deal from Google or they may be able to afford the price. We bloggers can help by providing links to various organizations and individuals producing FLOSS. Every bit helps.

    • The Kernel Column – 3.9 draws near
      Jon Masters summarises the latest news from the Linux kernel community as the final 3.8 kernel release approaches and preparation for 3.9 begins

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • SolydXK Added to Distrowatch Database
      Today's Distrowatch Weekly brought the news that a new distribution has been added to the official Linux database. You know what that means. It's time to boot 'er up.

      SolydXK is a Debian-based distribution aiming to easy to use, stable, and secure. Founders believe SolydXK would be suitable for home and small office settings. SolydXK comes in two flavors: SolydX featuring the Xfce desktop and SolydK featuring KDE. SolydXK began life as a variant of Linux Mint Debian with KDE, but later broke away and became its own distro. Its inaugural release came just two weeks ago and was promptly put right smack on this month's cover of Full Circle Magazine. SolydXK 201304 features Linux 3.2.39, Xorg 1.12.4, GCC 4.7.2, and Firefox 19.0.2.

    • Too Many Re-Spins, Who Lives Who Dies?
      Ah, yes, it's that old argument again. But this time there's a twist. Everyday Linux User is asking visitors to his site which distributions they might save. His list isn't exhaustive, but his early results are proving interesting.

      Gary Newell, proprietor of Everyday Linux User, says he continues to see that old complaint that there are just too many distributions that are merely re-spins. So Newell asks, "Imagine that tomorrow the world decided there can only be a limited number of distributions. Which distributions would you save?"

      I have a little trouble with his poll choices. His theory is about "re-spins" but yet he included some distros I consider grandfathers and some that were forked so long ago they are now their own full-fledged distributions. But as it is, it's still an intriguing question and his early results are proving interesting as well.

    • New Releases

      • What is ExTiX 13 64bit?
        Previous versions of ExTiX were based on KNOPPIX/Debian. Version 7.0 of ExTiX was based on the Swiss Linux System Paldo. Version 8 of ExTiX was based on Debian Sid. Version 11 of ExTiX was based on Ubuntu 12.10.

      • SprezzOS 1.1.1

      • Vyatta 6.6

      • Press Release: Sabayon 13.04
        Linux Kernel 3.8.8 (3.8.10 available through updates, 3.9 available in hours) with BFQ iosched and ZFS, GNOME 3.6.3, KDE 4.10.2, MATE 1.6 (thanks to infirit), Xfce 4.10, LibreOffice 4.0, production ready UEFI (and SecureBoot) support and experimental systemd support (including openrc boot speed improvements) are just some of the things you will find inside the box.

      • GParted Live 0.16.1-1 Stable Release
        The GParted team is proud to announce a well-tested, stable release of GParted Live.

        This release includes another critical bug fix for a potential crash that might cause loss of data while moving or copying a partition. We strongly recommend that all users of GParted Live 0.15.0-x and 0.16.0-x upgrade to GParted Live 0.16.1-1 to avoid data loss.

      • OpenELEC Stable - Xtreamer x86_64 Version:3.0.

      • Semplice 4

      • SystemRescueCd 3.5.1

      • Manjaro released
        We are happy to announce a maintenance release for Manjaro 0.8.5, released two weeks ago. With this update we adjusted or install medias to the new repository structure we have now. This will ease the installation of Manjaro Linux for new users a lot. This release features pacman 4.1 and includes all updates from the 25th April 2013. Also we fixed slight issues we found in our initial release of Manjaro 0.8.5.

      • Kajona V4.1 released
        Simplified page-management with Kajona 4.1 "simplicity"

        Five months after the initial release of Kajona 4, the first update v4.1 focuses on simplicity.

      • Descent|OS 4.0

        Good morning, everyone! It’s Day Two of Linux Fest NorthWest, so I’m going to be heading out shortly, but I’m going to elaborate a little bit about what made it into Descent|OS and what didn’t for this release.

      • OpenXange 2013.04

    • Screenshots

      • Release Notes: aptosid 2013-01
        aptosid is a full featured Debian sid based live CD with a special focus on hard disk installations, a clean upgrade path within sid and additional hardware and software support. The ISO is completely based on Debian sid/main, enriched and stabilised with aptosid's own packages and scripts and adheres to the Debian Social Contract (DFSG).

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Is there an easier transition to Linux from Windows than PCLinuxOS?
        In the past couple of weeks I have taken a look at two of the more popular Linux operating systems.

        Last week I tackled Debian and before that I tackled openSUSE.

      • Mandriva Business Server gets new apps and security fixes
        Paris the 15th of April 2013: Mandriva S.A. has released a host of security fixes as well as new addons for its server platform, Mandriva Business Server.

        Fully integrated with Mandriva Business Server, the Mandriva Proxy-Cache is based on the Squid proxy project and allows the filtering by white and black lists, as well as on an user basis. Specially packaged for the Mandriva Business Server, Mandriva Proxy can be purchased on Mandriva ServicePlace and will install on top of Mandriva Business Server in just a few clicks. Mandriva has also released a dedicated ssh management addon that lets administrators handle their users’ ssh keys in an elegant and straightforward way. It is available free of charge on the ServicePlace.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Sets JBoss Free with WildFly Application Server
        Red Hat is renaming and rebuilding its open source JBoss application server. The new name is WildFly and with it will come a faster and more transparent development process.

      • Smug Red Hat buoyed by UK gov's open-source three-line-whip
        The UK government's love affair with open-source technology has given software house Red Hat a shot in the arm, we're told.

        The company boasted that its government and system integrator business has grown in the "high double-digit rates" over the last three years. Red Hat, which offers various flavours of the open-source operating system Linux, said subscriptions for its software make up the majority of its revenue from Whitehall.

      • Fedora

        • Korora 18's "Flo" offers a friendlier Fedora 18
          The Korora Project is a Linux distribution which hails from Australia and has been offering a friendly Linux since 2005, when it was based on Gentoo. In 2010, it switched over to Fedora and became a remix – now the developers have released Korora 18, "Flo" based on Fedora 18. Actually, the developers just renamed the beta release as final as they found no major issues during the beta period. Korora 18 comes in two flavours with a GNOME and KDE desktop.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7.0 "Wheezy" released
        After many months of constant development, the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 7.0 (code name "Wheezy"). This new version of Debian includes various interesting features such as multiarch support, several specific tools to deploy private clouds, an improved installer, and a complete set of multimedia codecs and front-ends which remove the need for third-party repositories.

      • Debian 7 "Wheezy" released
        The release of Debian 7.0, also known as Wheezy, has taken place – the community-driven and built Linux distribution's most visible change is a new updated look with GNOME 3.4 and the GNOME shell as the default desktop. But there are important changes behind the scenes which will make Wheezy easier to work with and simpler to use to create private clouds. In all, the developers have worked for just over two years, since the release of Debian 6 "Squeeze", to produce the new stable version of the distribution.

      • Debian 7.0 Wheezy Will Be Officially Released on May 5

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Emerges to Less-Than-Stellar Reviews
            Raring Ringtail, the newest Ubuntu release, is landing with a thud, based on early reviews. It might have some appeal for businesses, though. "In essence, they're aiming for a more predictable experience, and I think that could make this a potentially interesting offer for businesses that want to get out from underneath the cost and upgrade cycle of Windows," said tech analyst Charles King.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 preps for mobile convergence
            Canonical released version 13.04 of its popular Ubuntu Linux distro, introducing a Developer Preview SDK for creating apps that run on the desktop as well as Ubuntu Touch-based smartphones and tablets. Ubuntu 13.04 (“Raring Ringtail”) offers a more lightweight memory footprint, faster boot, lower power consumption, faster graphics performance, and the debut of Canonical’s MIR display server.

          • The Connected Desktop – With Ubuntu Linux
            With the recent release of VMWare ESXi 5.1 and the associated fully featured web client management (which we may cover in a later article), Linux in general is getting closer and closer to the ‘do anything’ desktop operating system we have all wanted it to be for some time. Maturity breeds integration and although we have always had any number of tools to manage our command line servers, our Windows desktops and Mac OSX or other Linux graphical environments separately, we were lacking in a tool that put all the pieces together and managed our connections for us. There are several tools that are attempting to integrate system management, today we are going to talk about one, the “Remmina Remote Desktop Client”.

          • Mark Shuttleworth 'Chillin' on Ubuntu 13.04 [VIDEO]
            Mark Shuttleworth made the controversial decision to move Ubuntu Linux to the Unity interface back in 2010. It's a decision that provoked lots of argument, but with the Ubuntu 13.04 Linux release out this week, Shuttleworth remains confident he is moving in the right direction.

            In an exclusive video interview with Datamation, Shuttleworth reflected on the difficult decisions and transitions he has had to make with Ubuntu Linux. Overall Shuttleworth stressed that he deeply cares about the community and its opinions as Ubuntu Linux continues to evolve.

          • Ubuntu Server 13.04 Includes Updated OpenStack, MAAS and Juju
            Canonical has announced today, April 25, the immediate availability for download of Ubuntu Server 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) operating system, along with Ubuntu 13.04, and all the other flavors.

            Ubuntu Server 13.04 includes the Grizzly release of OpenStack software, which delivers a massively scalable cloud operating system.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Linux Server Debuts. Should You Upgrade?
            Every six months, Ubuntu Linux comes out with a new server release. It is however only once every two years that one of those releases is labeled as an Long Term Support (LTS) release.

          • Whether you love or loathe Ubuntu, 13.04 'Raring Ringtail' won't change your mind

          • Ubuntu 13.04 released: how to upgrade

          • Tracing Ubuntu's Branding Evolution Since 2004
            Ubuntu has changed a lot since its early days, as we noted earlier this week. So, too, has what we could call the Ubuntu brand, or the image of the operating system as Canonical presents it to the world. And with Ubuntu 13.04 about to debut, this seems like a particularly appropriate moment to consider how Ubuntu and Canonical as brands have evolved over time to become what they are today.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 review
            A modest update, bringing no major enhancements but adding polish to the Ubuntu desktop

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Arrives, and Mark Shuttleworth Responds to Critics
            Canonical is banging the drums for Raring Ringtail, or Ubuntu 13.04 -- the much awaited new version, which is available today following beta testing. As the Unity interface and other enhancements to Ubuntu have rolled along, many users have become used to more resource-intensive versions of Ubuntu, but version 13.04 actually offers reduced memory footprint, in addition to a number of other notable features.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Link-o-rama

          • Hadoop + Ubuntu: The Big Fat Wedding
            Now, here is a treat for all you Hadoop and Ubuntu lovers. Last month, Canonical, the organization behind the Ubuntu operating system, partnered with MapR, one of the Hadoop heavyweights, in an effort to make Hadoop available as an integrated part of Ubuntu through its repositories. The partnership announced that MapR's M3 Edition for Apache Hadoop will be packaged and made available for download as an integrated part of the Ubuntu operating system. Canonical and MapR are also working to develop a Juju Charm that can be used by OpenStack and other customers to easily deploy MapR into their environments.

          • Et tu, Ubuntu?
            Once a symbol of openness and freedom, Ubuntu partners with the Chinese regime

          • The Ubuntu Home Screen
            Reader Ollie Terrance wanted to get the look and feel of Ubuntu phone on his Android device. With a little help from Buzz Launcher and Widget Locker, that's exactly what he did.

          • Canonical begins developing Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

            The email mentions some of the changes we can expect in Saucy Salamander. The development version incorporates new versions of GCC and boost. GCC (short for GNU Compiler Collection) is a compiler system by the GNU Project supporting various programming languages. Saucy Salamander will use GCC 4.8 as the default compiler, which means it will have improved C++11 support, AddressSanitizer, and a fast memory error detector, among other things. The email also mentions that updates to Glibc and binutils will follow later during the development cycle.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Daily Builds Are Now Available for Download

          • The Ubuntu Android Home Screen

          • Ubuntu Touch OS (For Smartphones and Tablets) – Keeps Getting Better
            News about the Ubuntu Touch OS have been received like a breeze of fresh air, mostly by those who are already Ubuntu fans, or by those simply bored with the Android experience and who would like a change of scenery, without switching to a different ecosystem / operating system. Others have received the news concerning Ubuntu on smartphones / tablets with little interest, but that’s mainly because the OS’ wide release is set for late this year, or early 2014.

          • Canonical's Newest Ubuntu Faster, More Polished
            The Unity desktop has been seen as an attempt by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth to position Ubuntu as an OS not only for desktops, laptops or netbooks, but also tablets and smartphones, with the same interface across devices. Shuttleworth says that Unity has buy-in from users, developers and OEMs, such as Dell, Lenovo and Acer.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Release Schedule

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-programmable 4G LTE router tracks mobile assets
      CalAmp unveiled a 4G LTE cellular router and gateway for AT&T networks that runs embedded Linux on a 400MHz ARM9 processor. The LMU-5000LTE is equipped with LTE, HSPA, and EVDO routers, a 50-channel GPS, and multiple I/O, and features fleet tracking, as well as user-programmable PEG (Programmable Event Generator) monitoring software.

    • Tough Linux micro-box boasts isolated serial ports
      Artila Electronics has announced an ARM9 micro-box computer with eight isolated RS-485 serial ports and two versions of preinstalled embedded Linux, enabling boot-up from data flash in the event of NAND-boot failure. The Matrix-516 is equipped with a 400MHz Atmel AT91SAM9G20 SOC (system-on-chip), 64MB of RAM, dual Ethernet ports, and two USB 2.0 ports.

      The Matrix-516 appears to be a variation of the company’s Matrix-518, substituting eight 2.5KV-isolated RS-485 ports for the earlier model’s RS-232/422/485 ports. As far as we can see, this is the only difference, aside from the lack of the previous model’s audio out.

    • TheLittleBlackBox: An ARM-based, open source XBMC media center
      XBMC is a media center application that started its life as a project to turn the first-generation Xbox into an audio and video powerhouse. The project has since been ported to run on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and other platforms, and we’ve even seen it running on low-power devices with ARM processors such as the Pivos XIOS DS Media Play.

    • x86 SBC maker hops on ARM bandwagon
      WinSystems has introduced its first ARM-based single-board computer (SBC), based on Freescale’s 800MHz i.MX6 processors. The SBC35-C398 series SBCs are available in single-, dual-, and quad-core versions with varying display, expansion, and I/O capabilities, feature extended temperature operation, and are supported with embedded Linux and Android OS builds.

    • Why use commercial embedded Linux dev tools?
      When developing systems or devices based on embedded Linux or Android, does it make sense to use commercial development tools? In this guest column, Brad Dixon, Director of Open Source Solutions at Mentor Graphics, suggests several reasons why commercial development tools and support can potentially save time, resources, money, and opportunity costs.

    • Early emulation teams with GNU tools to speed-up embedded projects
      Mentor Graphics announced a version of its Sourcery Codebench GNU toolchain and IDE (integrated development environment) that incorporates electronic system-level (ESL) tools for emulating hardware environments, both pre- and post-silicon, on embedded Linux targets. “Mentor Embedded Sourcery Codebench Virtual Edition” integrates trace/debug, hardware analysis, and simulation tools and APIs.

      The new Virtual Edition product combines the company’s Sourcery CodeBench and Sourcery Analyzer tools along with its Vista Virtual Prototyping and Veloce2 Emulation Systems platforms.

    • Gumstix sweetens its tiny ARM Cortex-A8 and -A9 COMs
      Gumstix has upgraded its Linux-ready DuoVero and Overo computer-on-modules (COMs). The OMAP4430-based DuoVero Zephyr adds 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth to the DuoVero design, and the Overo TidalSTORM is based on a TI 1GHz OMAP3730 processor, and doubles the RAM to 1GB compared to the previous Overo Tide.

      Gumstix has been upgrading and revising its Overo line of tiny, Linux-focused COMs since the first ARM Cortex-A8-based Overo Earth arrived in 2008. It is now doing the same with its newer, Cortex-A9-based DuoVero modules, which similarly use Texas Instruments (TI) DaVinci OMAP system-on-chips (SOCs). As before, both new COMs measure 2.28 x 0.67 inches (58 x 17mm), feature dual 70-pin expansion connectors, and are supported with open-source Linux development kits, including Yocto Project build system support.

    • For your robot-building needs, $45 BeagleBone Linux PC goes on sale
      The market for cheap single-board computers is becoming one of the most surprisingly competitive spaces in the tech industry. On the heels of the million-selling Raspberry Pi, a variety of companies and small groups started creating their own tiny computers for programmers and hobbyists.

    • Why The Small Cheap Computers Are Changing Everything
      From the user’s point of view the small cheap computers have huge advantages like price, performance, portability, and running FLOSS operating systems. Underneath that, in the chip itself is a magical combination that used to fill an ATX box with components. For x86/amd64 all of those components were managed well except the graphics which were closely guarded secret places where FLOSS was often second best because the manufacturers did not produce FLOSS drivers and were often not cooperative.

    • Meld 1.7.2 Allows for Manual Synchronization of Split Points
      The Meld developers have announced the immediate availability for download of the 1.7.2 version of Meld, a visual merge and diff utility targeted at developers, featuring a handful of improvements, bug fixes and updated translations.

    • Qualcomm Quad-core Processors For ~$10
      It’s an obvious thing but in case you didn’t notice, the price of IT using multiple sources of software and hardware competitively priced is good for you and everyone else on Earth.

    • Phones

      • IT In Kenya Evolves Free From Wintel
        What a difference a decade makes! Ten years ago, Wintel would have been the only way to go for the IT ecosystem but it was too expensive. Now Kenyans have the choice of small cheap computers running */Linux and are loving it. Wintel need not apply.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Intel reportedly pushing Android convertibles
          Rumour loving Digitimes reports that several major vendors, including Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, Acer and Asus will launch Intel based convertibles sometime in the third quarter. Lenovo will lead the way and it will introduce its first Android based notebook a bit earlier, in May.

          Intel is rumoured to be targeting the sub-$500 market with Android based convertibles. Pricier designs, such as Haswell based Ultrabooks should cost at least a couple of hundred more and they will feature Windows 8 rather than Android. In terms of hardware, the convertibles will have to feature a completely detachable keyboard that will allow them to transform into a tablet. With a completely detachable keyboard, the whole concept sounds a lot like Asus’ Transformer series of Android devices.

        • Sony Launches An Android Open Source Project For The Xperia Z Smartphone
          Sony’s Xperia S AOSP experiment was well-received, though it was eventually moved away from the AOSP main branch to Sony’s own GitHub, owing to the limitations of what could be done with the hardware. Sony software engineers Johan Redestig and Björn Andersson want to help continue that work with Sony’s latest. The Xperia Z project will help developers and tinkerers interested in making contributions to Android, and to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro platform do so using essentially a vanilla Android OS installation on the device, albeit starting out on Sony’s own GitHub, and not as part of Google’s own main AOSP project.

        • Android Phones Pinpoint Snipers
          The military has high-tech equipment to track sniper fire, using microphones carried by soldiers or stationary mics mounted at strategic points. Now that technology is getting shrunk so it can be used in the hands of civilian bodyguards with Android phones.

        • 50 Free Awesome Android Apps
          A free Android app is a great thing – if that app is really worthwhile. And fortunately, the number of free apps for Android is always growing, fueled in part by developers offering freemiums designed to entice you to try the app and then opt for the paid version because, hey, you actually like it. Other developers are looking to cash in on the BYOD trend, so they are offering freebies to individual users in the hopes that you’ll push your boss to let you use it for work too (but your boss will have to pay for the enterprise version). Other apps are of the open source, free and wild ilk, and still others are apps by developers looking to do something good for others.

        • Google Glass kernel software goes public

        • Jelly Bean on DROID Bionic Root Method Released, Instructions For Those Running Ubuntu

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software Isn’t Just Code. It’s Your Résumé
    OpenStack isn’t just a way for tech giants like HP and IBM to mimic Amazon’s wildly successful cloud services. It’s also a teaching tool.

    Created little more than three years ago by NASA and cloud computing outfit Rackspace, OpenStack is an open source project in the truest sense of the term. Hundreds of developers are now contributing to the project, and these developers span myriad different companies, including not only HP and IBM, but the networking giant Cisco, virtualization kingpin VMware, and myriad startups. And then there’s Dinkar Sitaram, a professor at the PES Institute of Technology in Bangalore, India who’s using OpenStack to immerse his students in the ways of open source software.

  • OpenFlow Inventor Martin Casado on SDN, VMware, and Software Defined Networking Hype [VIDEO]

  • Spain's open source centre publishes model for desktop cost savings
    Cenatic, Spain's open source centre, has published a model to help calculate cost savings that are possible by switching to open source software on desktop PCs. The model evaluates costs by taking into account the size and complexity of the organisation, Cenatic says. "The methodology is based on our experience with migrations and open source methodologies."

  • Common Themes in Scaling
    Stick With Open Source - The software that powers many businesses, often also labeled “enterprise”, is equally as bad. Closed source, license restricted, and unbelievably expensive, enterprise software will cause more problems than it is worth at some point. Case in point, we once ran our entire stack on IBM’s WebSphere. The databases, the java application server, the web server, and the load balancer. The load balancer used a kernel loadable module that would break every time we patched the server, and we would have to go back to IBM to have a new binary built before we could patched in production. IBM’s turnaround time was normally around a week or so, but for a load balancer, it was completely unacceptable. Own your datacenter, own your software, don’t let a vendor tell you what you can and can not do, leave that up to your imagination.

  • FOSS: Breaking the Chains of Apple and Microsoft
    This local client had decided to abandon Microsoft and change out their office systems for new hardware with new operating systems. Thus already requiring retraining and all that comes with such a change. Of course, I made the pitch for Linux with all FOSS. In general, they only use their systems for e-mail and creating quote documents for clients. Under FOSS systems, the e-mail is covered with any number of FOSS e-mail applications, while the quote documents are covered with LibreOffice to create PDF files. One of the systems does run accounting software for billing and payments. But they do not do their own payroll, so LedgerSMB would work for their billing and payments accounting system.

  • Web Browsers

    • 18 Years Too Late, M$ Realizes IE Was A Huge Mistake

    • Chrome

      • Google's Bug Bounties Remain on the Rise
        Bug bounties--cash prizes offered by open source communities to anyone who finds key software bugs--have been steadily on the rise for several years now, ranging from FOSS Factory's bounty programs to the bounties that both Google (for the Chrome browser) and Mozilla offer. In fact, Google has been setting new records with the bounties it offers for meaningful bugs. And now, in a post on the Chrome blog, Google has confirmed that it has paid out more than $31,000 to a single security researcher who identified three Chrome bugs.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Releases Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 As Firefox Extension
        At the beginning of this year, the folks at Mozilla rolled out the 1.0 version of the Firefox OS Simulator, which provided folks--especially developers--an opportunity to try out the company's promising new mobile operating system. The simulator worked on computers rather than mobile devices, and many developers used to get a taste of the new platform.

      • A taste of Rust
        Rust, the new programming language being developed by the Mozilla project, has a number of interesting features. One that stands out is the focus on safety. There are clear attempts to increase the range of errors that the compiler can detect and prevent, and thereby reduce the number of errors that end up in production code.

      • Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 now available
        The Mozilla developers have now released the latest version of the Firefox OS simulator. Designed to allow developers to create and test applications for Firefox OS without having to try and get their hands on the limited supply of application-creator-oriented Geeksphone developer preview phones.

      • Could Firefox OS Phones Surprise Everyone?
        Earlier this week, I covered the imminent availability of the first phones for sale based on Mozilla's Firefox OS mobile platform. The company has already detailed the first five countries that will offically get Firefox OS phones, but the very first phones--aimed at developers--arrived for sale this week and sold out nearly instantly. Mozilla partnered with Spanish start-up Geeksphone to move the phones, and the speed with which they sold could be a very promising sign as Mozilla reorganizes its staff and strategy around mobile phones.

      • Mozilla to FinSpy: stop disguising your "lawful interception" spyware as Firefox

      • Mozilla Announces Heka For Performance Data Collection
        Mozilla is a perennial favorite of the open source world, a poster child for success. Today Mozilla introduced Heka, which they describe as “a tool for high performance data gathering, analysis, monitoring, and reporting”. Gathering performance statistics of web servers is part of the day to day work of a sysadmin, so an announcement from Mozilla in this space is sure to be interesting.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • SkySQL Merges With MariaDB Creator Monty Program To Solidify Its Open Source Database Position
      Some consolidation in the world of open source database startups: SkySQL, a provider of open source database solutions, is merging with Monty Program Ab, the creators of MariaDB, an open source database technology that is used by Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and other services. The merger is also a reunion of sorts: both companies employ key people from MySQL, the database company that was bought by Sun in 2008, and in turn became a part of Oracle. Monty Program was founded and led by Michael “Monty” Widenius, the founder of MySQL.

    • From MySQL to SkySQL to NewSQL
      SkySQL last week signed a merger agreement with Monty Program Ab forming one of the industry's newest and perhaps most logical business agreements.

      SkySQL is a provider of open source database solutions for MySQL and MariaDB users, while Monty Program is the creator or the MariaDB open source database itself.

      NOTE: MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system, which in itself is a open source Relational DataBase Management Systsem (RDBMS) formerly championed by Sun prior to Oracle days.

    • Wikimedia completes MySQL to MariaDB migration
      More bad new for Oracle owned MySQL, which is heading in the direction of OpenOffice. Wikimedia has completed the migration of the English and German Wikipedias, as well as Wikidata, to MariaDB 5.5.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Exploring SmartOS
      Continuing along in the vein of exploring all the options in datacenter virtualization, my journey has led me, unavoidably some might say, to Joyent’s SmartOS. SmartOS is a decedent of Solaris, one of the first Unix systems I learned on over a decade ago. Being based on Solaris, and on account of a number of other features, SmartOS is definitely a horse of a different color.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Fundraiser for free software NPO accounting software launched
      The Software Freedom Conservancy has started a fundraising campaign to create an open source, free software accounting system for non-profit organisations (NPO). Conservancy's goal is to raise $75,000 to fund a developer for one year to first evaluate existing technologies and then build a solution designed for non-profit accounting on the best available open source system.

    • Donay Launches A New Way For Businesses And Users To Incentivize And Reward Open Source Programmers At Disrupt NY
      Donay, a Dutch startup that’s officially launching at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 NY, wants to make it easier for companies and users to provide incentives to open source developers. Say your company is using a popular open-source application, but you find a bug or need a new feature. Currently, there is no easy way to pay open source developers for their work and, Donay argues, that makes it hard for companies that don’t have in-house development shops to get bugs fixed or new features added.

    • Bloomington Named To Google Code Initiative
      Google Summer of Code selected Bloomington as a participant for a second year.

      Bloomington will be participating as a mentoring organization to student programmers through the company's Summer of Code Initiative.

      Bloomington was the first city government establishment to participate in Google Summer of Code in 2012.

  • Project Releases

    • All Good Things Come in 3s, and Great Things are 3 Dot 3
      We are about to ship Eucalyptus version 3.3 – and there is no end to our pride and excitement!

    • Ack 2.0 enhances the "grep for source code"
      The developers of ack have released version 2.0 of their grep-like tool optimised for searching source code. Described as "designed for programmers", ack has been available since 2005 and is based on Perl's regular expressions engine. It minimises false positives by ignoring version control directories by default and has flexible highlighting for matches. The newly released ack 2.0 introduces a more flexible identification system, better support for ackrc configuration files and the ability to read the list of files to be searched from stdin.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source should be used to commoditise government IT, says Cabinet Office's Tariq Rashid
      Open source technology should be used to help commoditise government IT to move from cost-heavy bespoke systems to the more competitive end of the market, Tariq Rashid, IT Reform, Cabinet Office has said.

      He also warned that by using customised IT solutions, or trying to aggregate demand to drive discounts, government departments were losing their power as a customer and missing out on the fierce dynamics of the commodity market.

      Rashid made his comments while speaking at the Open Gov Summit 2013 in London today, where he also reiterated the Cabinet Office's current approach to IT - specifically, the drive towards user need, agile development and sustained value.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Modelling Chess Positions

    • Python4Kids New Tutorial: A Different View on Our Chess Model
      Cut to a polite, well dressed assistant at a counter with a big sign saying ‘End of Show Department’ behind him. Assistant Well it is one of our cheapest, sir. Chris What else have you got? Assistant Well, there’s the long slow pull-out, sir, you know, the camera tracks back and back and mixes… As he speaks we pull out and mix through to the exterior of the store. Mix through to even wider zoom ending up in aerial view of London. It stops abruptly and we cut back to Chris.

      In the last tutorial we saw how to model the position on a chess board. However, the interface was pretty basic. It looked like this:

    • Rails 4.0 goes to release candidate
      The developers of the Ruby on Rails web framework have announced that the first Rails 4.0 release candidate is now available "just in time for the opening of RailsConf". Rails 4.0 is the first Rails release to prefer Ruby 2.0 and has a minimum requirement of Ruby 1.9.3. The release candidate includes over 1300 commits made since February's release of the first beta of Rails 4, all landing on top of the numerous changes made since Rails 3.2. The Rails team hope that developers can "give this release candidate an honest try".


  • Yahoo chairman resigns after one year

  • Creatures of the Dark: Wisconsin GOP Caught Deleting Records, Again
    According to the April 18 court filings, a forensic analysis of computers used during redistricting indicates multiple files were deleted just after Republicans were instructed to turn them over to Democrats -- but before they had actually done so.

  • Did Backlash Against GOP Voter Suppression Increase Black Voter Turnout?
    Last September, the research group Project New America tested more than thirty messages on "sporadic, less likely voters who lean Democratic" to see what would motivate them to vote. "One of the most powerful messages across many different demographics was reminding people that their votes were important to counter the extremists who are kicking people off of voter rolls," the group wrote in a post-election memo.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Over a Million Comments Filed on GE Salmon as New Evidence Emerges of Deeply Flawed Review
      The extended comment period on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review and approval of AquAdvantage genetically engineered (GE) salmon ends April 26. As more comments flood in, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) reports that documents disclosed through a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) "raise serious questions about the adequacy of the FDA's review of the AquAdvantage Salmon application."

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • My Village Was Attacked By US Drones in Yemen

    • How Dare Hamid Karzai Take Our Money!
      So the fact that Karzai received money from the United States, presumably in order to do things the U.S. wants him to do...

    • Syria and the 'Red Line' Nonsense
      If you were watching the CBS Evening News on April 25, you heard anchor Scott Pelley say, "The Obama administration says nerve gas has been used, and that is something President Obama has called a red line that cannot be crossed." Moments later reporter Major Garrett weighed in to say, " The White House says it cannot definitively prove the Assad regime used chemical weapons."

    • Reporting 'Says' Rather Than 'Says It Believes' Could Make a War of Difference

    • They're taking our kids

    • Summary of events in West Papua for April –beginning of May 2013
      There was a crackdown by the security forces on peaceful rallies held by civil society organisations in West Papua to protest the handover of West Papua by UNTEA to Indonesian administration. Fifty years ago on the 1 May in 1963, the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) transferred administration of the Dutch colony of Netherlands New Guinea to Indonesia. From the moment Indonesia took over the administration from UNTEA, the oppression of the West Papuan people began and 50 years later the oppression continues and so does the struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination During the crackdown two people were killed and three seriously wounded in the town of Sorong. In Timika fifteen people were arrested for simply raising their national flag, The Morning Star and six were arrested in Biak.

    • Wrong Bush Arrested at Bush Library Opening in Dallas
      DALLAS - April 25 - During the opening dedication ceremony of the George W. Bush Library & Policy Center in Dallas, Texas, Dennis Trainor Jr. of Acronym TV and Gary Egelston of Iraq Veterans Against the War wearing Bush and Cheney papermache impressions, were brutally arrested for walking off the curb. The Bush and Cheney characters were in the custody of CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin, dressed as a pink police, who was forced back to the sidewalk while the Dallas police dragged Trainor and Egelston to the ground. "It was an appalling use of brutal force immediately. What happened to a warning or a request 'Sir, hands behind your back'?" said Medea Benjamin, who is still recovering from the whiplash of the event.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k per month if blockade not lifted'
      Iceland's Supreme Court has ruled that Valitor (formerly Visa Iceland) must pay WikiLeaks $204,900 per month or $2,494,604 per year in fines if it continues to blockade the whistle-blowing site.

      The court upheld the decision that Valitor had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks' donation processor, DataCell.

    • Anonymous UK leader Malcolm Blackman cleared of raping woman at Occupy London camp
      A leader of the notorious “hacktivist” group Anonymous UK was cleared at the Old Bailey today of twice raping a woman inside the Occupy London camp.

      Malcolm Blackman, 45, had been accused of attacking the woman after she passed out drunk in her tent on the steps of St Paul's.

      In another incident he was said to have tied her hands behind her back with cable ties before forcing himself on her.

      Blackman admitted keeping a “tally mark” of all the women he had slept with at the camp.

    • Political Rape
      Nigel Evans is fully entitled to the presumption of innocence; and the media seem more inclined to give it to him than they did to Malcolm Blackman, linked to Anonymous. In this particularly disgusting piece of journalism by Paul Cheston of the Evening Standard, the vicious liar who brought false accusations against Blackman is referred to as “the victim” – not even the alleged victim, but “the victim” – even after Blackman was found not guilty.


      It is particularly sickening that Blackman’s name and photograph has been published everywhere in relation to horrifying and untrue accusations of binding someone against their will with cable ties and raping them. This terrible publicity will follow him everywhere for the rest of his life. The deranged or malicious person who fabricated this story in court continues to have their identity protected.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Halliburton seeking settlement over Gulf oil spill
      BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 announced Monday that it is trying to negotiate a settlement over its role in the disaster, a focus of trial testimony that ended last week.

    • Keystone XL Pipeline ‘All Risk, No Reward’ State Dept. Told
      Opponents of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline packed a State Department public hearing on its latest environmental analysis of the pipeline to warn that it is all risk for the United States, with no reward.

    • Bayer and Syngenta Lobby Furiously Against EU Efforts to Limit Pesticides and Save Bees
      Bee populations have been declining rapidly worldwide in recent years -- in the U.S., they have declined by almost 50 percent just since October 2012, according to The Ecologist. The problem is complex, with possible culprits including certain parasites (like Varroa mites), viruses, pesticides, and industrial agriculture. But two studies published in early 2012 in the journal Science suggested a particularly strong connection between the use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids and the decline of both bumble bee and honeybee populations.

    • Big Defeat for ALEC's Effort to Repeal Renewable Energy Standards in North Carolina
      The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) suffered a big defeat in North Carolina today when a bipartisan group of legislators killed a bill to repeal the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require utilities provide a certain percentage of energy from renewable sources. ALEC typically operates in the dark but has expressed rare public support for the North Carolina effort.

    • Madison Joins "Fossil Free" Divestment Effort
      To date, 11 cities have announced their divestment, and student and community organizers are working on active divestment campaigns in cities and on University campuses around the country. Madison joins San Francisco, CA, Richmond, CA, Berkeley, CA, Bayfield, WI, Ithaca, NY, State College, PA, Eugene, OR, Santa Fe, NM, and Boulder, CO in committing to divesting, along with Seattle, WA, which committed to divestment last fall.

  • Finance

    • Jeffrey Sachs Calls Out Wall Street Criminality and Pathological Greed

    • Anti-Worker "Paycheck Protection" Bills Moving in Missouri

      Missouri is the latest front in the attack on organized labor with so-called "paycheck protection" bills moving through the legislature, with backing from the usual array of corporate interests. But according to the Washington D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, the bills primarily disadvantage workers while preserving privileges for corporations.

    • Art Pope Groups Push Extreme ALEC Tax Agenda in North Carolina
      An array of right-wing organizations in North Carolina are arguing loudly for Governor Pat McCrory to radically alter how corporations and people pay taxes in the state -- and the not-so-hidden hand behind the effort is North Carolina millionaire Art Pope, a close ally of the Koch brothers, who funds the groups and has been appointed as North Carolina's Budget Director.

    • End Too Big to Fail: New Bipartisan Bill Aims to Prevent Future Bailouts, Downsize Dangerous Banks
      Last week, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the first bipartisan legislation aimed directly at putting an end to "too big to fail" financial institutions and preventing future bailouts of America's behemoth banks.

    • Scott Walker Goes to Bat for "Legal Thievery" in Budget Bill
      Opponents of the budget provisions say rent-to-own companies prey on people already deeply in debt or those who have language barriers, while charging hefty interest at the rate akin to payday lenders. Bishop Listecki says it's a method to keep those already struggling month-to-month in economic servitude. "If someone wants to pay seven times the amount for an item, they are more than welcome to pay more than seven times for the amount for the item," he said. "The difficulty is when you are not told when you are paying seven times the amount."

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Police Flex Muscles Again, Arrest Admin of Sweden’s #2 BitTorrent Site
        After being targeted by a police raid on a web host previously owned by Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm, Sweden’s #2 torrent site took just three weeks to come back online. Taunting the authorities with their return, Tankafetast rented cinemas and launched a clothing range but for the police there was clearly unfinished business. An admin of the site has now been arrested and questioned. The site, however, remains fully operational.

      • Pirate Bay Finds Safe Haven in Iceland, Switches to .IS Domain
        After The Pirate Bay’s new Greenland-based domains were suspended earlier this month, the world’s largest file-sharing site has found a safe haven in Iceland. From now on TPB can be reached via without the imminent threat of another domain suspension. The Icelandic registry informs TorrentFreak that they will not take action against the domain unless a court order requires them to do so.

      • Rhapsody Wasn’t Happy, So Open Source Music Service Changes Its Name To

      • U.S. Government Fears End of Megaupload Case
        The U.S. Government has just submitted its objections to Megaupload’s motion to dismiss the case against the company. Megaupload’s lawyers have pointed out that the Department of Justice is trying to change the law to legitimize the destruction of Megaupload. However, the Government refutes this assertion and asks the court to deny Megaupload’s motion, fearing that otherwise the entire case may fall apart.

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