Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 3/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC3, OpenStack Event

GNOME bluefish



  • Video: Ken Starks & Ruth Suehle’s Keynotes at OLF
    Here at FOSS Force we’re proud to be associated with Ken Starks. We’re proud because of the great articles he writes advocating Linux. We’re also extremely proud that he was chosen to be a keynote speaker at this year’s Ohio LinuxFest. But most of all, we’re proud because of his big heart, which he expresses through his work through Reglue, the nonprofit he founded in 2005 to give Linux computers, and training on how to use them, to financially disadvantaged school children in and around the Austin, Texas area where he lives.

  • Desktop

    • Homegrown developers look to unseat Microsoft’s dominant OS
      After tinkering with the term "de-Microsofting," Ni Guangnan decided instead to go with "de-Windowsify." "We call this a de-Windowsifying movement," he said.

      Speaking last Saturday at a temporary office in a residential neighborhood in Zhongguancun, Beijing's answer to Silicon Valley, the 75-year-old computer science professor and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering talked about his ambitious project to bring together all of China's homegrown operating system (OS) developers in an alliance to replace Microsoft Windows in one to two years.

    • Attacking Lock-in In China

    • The Linux desktop-a-week review: ChromeOS
      This is not a review of ChromeOS. Nor is it a discussion of the viability of using a Chromebook as your primary computer.

      No, sir. We’re simply going to be looking at ChromeOS as a Desktop Environment from a usability perspective, and how it compares to the other Linux Desktop Environments I have reviewed in my “Desktop-a-week” series thus far.

  • Server

    • POWER ON!
      I’m really excited to have joined the OpenPOWER Foundation as an individual member (The first Ubuntu member even) just yesterday. I have already started contributing to projects and joined a workgroup of the foundation where I hope to offer my experience around software and hardware.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Habemus Maintainer!
        14 years ago, I started creating an image viewer. Back then it felt like a good project to get started with graphical application development for my newly installed Linux system. Little did I know... In 14 years Gwenview went through one toolkit change (GTK+1.2 to Qt2/KDE2), got ported to Qt3/KDE3, moved from SourceForge CVS to KDE Extragear, got ported to Qt4/KDE4, became the default image viewer of KDE4 and finally got ported to Qt5/KF5.


        You may be aware I spend most of my free time these days on some other project. I am not completely out of Qt and KDE development however: I have a number of small side projects, many of them Qt-based, to which I want to give a bit more visibility. Stay tuned for more announcements.

      • DWD – an FAQ for questions around the Web
        DWDs are not CSDs, and all theming and drawing is handled by the window manager and decoration. In addition, applications only export the structure of their widgets, they do not pre-draw or draw the widgets themselves. Applications would have little or no say in how their decorations look, just like traditional SSDs.

      • More Information On The KDE Dynamic Window Decoration Plans
        Published last month were the plans by KDE developers to create Dynamic Window Decorations (DWD) as a hybrid between client-side and server-side decorations. Here's more information on this concept for improving window decorations.

      • Display Managers In Plasma 5
        The last blog posts about KDM/LightDM/SDDM/WhateverDM left things a bit on an exciting cliffhanger so I've been asked a few times what the current state is.

        The short summary is we recommend SDDM as the display manager for Plasma 5.

      • SDDM Is The Recommended Display Manager Of KDE Plasma 5
        SDDM has a relatively short history but is a lightweight, QML-based display manager. The first SDDM release was just in March of 2013. Besides interest from KDE developers, SDDM is also supported by the Hawaii/Maui desktop project.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Cinnamon 2.4 Released In Beta Form
        The Cinnamon 2.4 Desktop Environment is now out ahead of its official debut with Linux Mint 17.1 later this month.

      • Cinnamon 2.4
        On behalf of the team and all the developers who contributed to this build, I am proud to announce the release of Cinnamon 2.4!

        This new version will be featured in Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” planned for the end of November and in LMDE 2 “Betsy” planned for Spring 2015.

        Here’s a quick overview of some of the new things in Cinnamon 2.4.

      • Preview of Cinnamon 2.4. Features desktop slideshow
        A preview release of what will become Cinnamon 2.4 is now available for testing. The stable version will ship with Linux Mint 17.1, which will be released at the end of the month, but if you’re willing to take it for a spin and report any bugs you find, you can upgrade to it now.

      • Cinnamon 2.4 Brings A Smoother Experience, Improved Settings
        Cinnamon 2.4 was released recently and it comes with improved settings, a redesigned toolbar for Nemo along with various other changes which bring a smoother overall experience.

  • Distributions

    • How to Find the Best Linux Distribution for a Specific Task
      If you’re looking for a Linux distribution to handle a specific (even niche) task, there most certainly is a distribution ready to serve. From routers to desktops, from servers to multi-media...there’s a Linux for everything.

    • New Releases

      • Neptune 4.2 Release
        We are proud to announce the release of Neptune 4.2. This service release comes with a brand new kernel 3.16.3 (+bfq I/O Scheduler) which includes many driver updates and improvements in power saving functions. Our improved installer now offers you to install on uefi capable PCs and brings in a new option which allows you to disable sudo for your user during installation.

      • XBoard/Winboard 4.8.0 released
        XBoard is a graphical user interface for chess in all its major forms, including international chess, xiangqi (Chinese chess), shogi Japanese chess) and Makruk. Many variations of chess are also supported.

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • Orchestrating Docker Containers on openSUSE
        A couple of weeks ago the 11th edition of SUSE’s hackweek took place. This year I decided to spend this time to look into the different orchestration and service discovery tools build around Docker.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Version 5 Adds Advanced Systems Management for OpenStack Private Clouds
        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Version 5, featuring the powerful systems management capabilities of Red Hat Satellite. Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure is a comprehensive solution that supports organizations on their journey from traditional datacenter virtualization to OpenStack-powered clouds. With Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Version 5, users can now manage their virtualization and OpenStack environments simultaneously, via a single platform.

      • Duke, Red Hat top donors to Economic Development Partnership of NC
        Five companies contributed a combined $440,000 to help get the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina off the ground.

      • Red Hat releases Cloud Infrastructure version 5, expands Wipro partnership
        Red Hat has launched version 5 of its Cloud Infrastructure package, which is intended for organizations that want to dabble in both OpenStack and traditional data center virtualization simultaneously.

        Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (RHCI) version 5 debuted on Monday at the OpenStack Summit in Paris. As before, it bundles the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service platform with the company’s virtualization platform and CloudForms, its tool for managing hybrid cloud setups.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Elive 2.4.0 Beta Is a Combination of Debian and Enlightenment
        The developers have been hopping from one Beta version to another and it seems that it might take them forever to get to the final version, but they want to make sure that everything will work as it should for the users that will eventually try it.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is an Intel Tablet with Ubuntu Linux OS in the Works?
            Lately, almost all of the headlines about Ubuntu Linux and Canonical have involved the cloud. But open source fans dreaming of an Ubuntu-powered Intel (INTC) x86 tablet may reason for excitement, if reports are accurate that the UT One Linux tablet will ship by this December.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn review: deceptively simple
            For an operating system named after a magical creature, the release might strike some of you as somewhat overwhelmingly similar to the previous release, Trusty.

            It’s the same creepy default wallpaper (if there is a difference I failed to notice it), the Amazon icon remains firmly conspicuous in the launcher despite protests and there is the same old universal purple shade.

          • Certified Ubuntu images coming to Google Cloud Platform
            Mobile advertising and social data tied up like ribbons to holiday tech story packages are starting to fall like autumn leaves, but the cloud will partially hover over the spotlight for the first half of the month.

          • Ubuntu Community Will Resist the Switch to Unity 8
            Ubuntu developers are working to bring the new Unity 8 to the desktop flavor of the distribution and it will take a while, but users are not really mentally prepared for the change. It will be different from Unity 7, which is the version currently in use, and not many people will be happy.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open Source Remote Control lets you pilot just about any drone
      Drones and other remotely piloted vehicles are inherently limited by their controls; you frequently have to switch controllers when you switch vehicles, and you can usually forget about customization. You might not have to worry if the Open Source Remote Control (OSRC) project gets off the ground, however. The long-in-development peripheral uses a mix of modular hardware and Linux-based software that lets you steer just about any unmanned machine. On top of a programmable interface, you can swap in new wireless modules and shoulder switches to either accommodate new drones or improve existing controls. You can also attach a 4.8-inch touchscreen module (typically for a first-person view), use cellular networks or even share one vehicle between multiple operators -- handy if you're at a flying club or shooting a movie.

    • Free courseware posted for Yocto on BeagleBone
      Free Electrons has posted free training materials on building an embedded Linux project using Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded on a BeagleBone Black.

      The Linux Foundation’s Yocto Project has been largely supported and influenced by Intel, but it has long since evolved into a phenomenon of its own that is as at home on ARM, PowerPC, and MIPS targets as it is on x86. In fact, for its latest training course on Yocto Project and the associated OpenEmbedded build environment, Free Electrons turned to the ARM-based BeagleBone Black single board computer as the target device. The course shows how to boot root filesystems built with the Yocto Project, as well as run and debug the custom applications compiled with it.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop may make bloatware a thing of the past
          Buying a phone from service providers is one of the things we dread the most. If you want a good deal on a new Android phone, you usually have to sign a two-year contract. But the issues don’t stop there; carrier-branded phones never get software updates as fast as unlocked phones do, and they are always weighed down with additional software that no one really cares about. We wouldn’t complain much about bloatware if service providers only included the apps you need to manage your account or check your visual voicemail, but most phones have anywhere from 5 to 20 additional apps (most of which are available through Google Play) pre-installed into the system partition, making it impossible to uninstall them.

        • How Will Google Respond as Android's Market Share Peaks?
          For the quarter that ended in September, Apple held 12 percent market share, while Windows Phone and BlackBerry commanded 3 percent and 1 percent.

        • Google’s Android Begins to Top Out
          Android ran 84% of smartphones shipped globally in the third quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, down slightly from 85% in the second quarter.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Hardware

    • Intel paying up after allegedly 'manipulating' benchmarks 15 years ago
      Once upon a time, Intel's processors didn't dominate AMD. In fact, AMD's Athlon processors were mighty competitive, enough so that Intel allegedly "manipulated" its Pentium 4 benchmark scores in the early 2000s to mask the performance gap. Intel denies those claims, but nevertheless, you're probably feeling pretty taken advantage of right now.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Syrian rebels armed and trained by US surrender to al-Qaeda
      Two of the main rebel groups receiving weapons from the United States to fight both the regime and jihadist groups in Syria have surrendered to al-Qaeda.

      The US and its allies were relying on Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front to become part of a ground force that would attack the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

      For the last six months the Hazm movement, and the SRF through them, had been receiving heavy weapons from the US-led coalition, including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles.

    • Addicted to Intervention
      American consciousness by capturing the Iraqi cities of Tikrit and Mosul in June, many US elites blamed a lack of US intervention. The US should have kept troops in Iraq, they said, and intervened in Syria’s civil war. This analysis, coming from both conservatives and liberals, went virtually unchallenged by journalists whose response to the latest US wars has been a depressing replay of the coverage of more than a decade ago. Few lessons seem to have been learned.

    • Drone-Strike Feminism
      Using the oppression of women to sell another Iraq War

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Climate-Change Solution No One Will Talk About
      The equation seems fairly simple: The more the world's population rises, the greater the strain on dwindling resources and the greater the impact on the environment.

      The solution? Well, that's a little trickier to talk about.

      Public-health discussions will regularly include mentions of voluntary family planning as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancies and births. But, said Jason Bremner of the Population Reference Bureau, those policies can also pay dividends for the environment.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Megadonations Follow Randa Ruling in Wisconsin
      A hole in Wisconsin's campaign finance laws opened by federal judge Rudolph Randa in September is being exploited by out-of-state billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, blowing open the floodgates to huge checks for the state's gubernatorial candidates in the final weeks and days of this hotly-contested race.

    • Koch-Tied Group Urges Stoners Not to Vote for Mary Burke
      The Koch-backed American Future Fund is running a series of web-only ads urging Wisconsin stoners not to vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, but instead to support the Libertarian Party candidate, Robert Burke.

    • Direct Democracy Tackles Fracking, GMOs, Pesticides on Election Day
      These ballot measures reflect "model" legislation pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as the Center for Media and Democracy, which publishes PRWatch, has reported.

    • Stonewalled: Sharyl Attkisson's Failed Attempt To Rehabilitate Her Bogus Reporting
      Attkisson resigned this year after two decades at CBS and promptly launched a media tour attacking her former employer for supposedly protecting the Obama administration from her reporting. Her new book has been published and promoted by conservative interests, who clearly see this narrative as a confirmation of their worldview that the "liberal" media is biased against them.

    • The ALEC Problem Is Even Worse Than John Oliver Thinks
      HBO's John Oliver did what many others in the media have not by shining a spotlight on the shadowy influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). But ALEC's latest initiative, which has its sights set on molding county and municipal governments, has deeper aspirations than even Oliver's show explored -- and has been almost entirely ignored by the media.

  • Censorship

    • Moscow’s fringe ‘Doc’ theatre faces ‘censorship’ with eviction
      Russia has been discouraging public celebrations of Halloween as part of a campaign against western influence.

      But that did not stop Teatr.Doc from staging a bitingly satirical “Night of the Living Dead” on Friday night in what may be one of the last ever productions at the tiny basement theatre in central Moscow famous for innovative and uncompromising work.

      In a move that has shaken the international theatrical community, the Moscow authorities have ordered Teatr.Doc to vacate the basement on grounds that it had violated property regulations.

    • Catherine Rampell: Theater censorship is alive and well
      The community leaders of Maiden, it turns out — to one vignette in particular. Remember that scene with the falling-down gag? There’s no sex, or kissing, or even allusions to lust. But the gravity-prone characters are both men, which was incendiary enough to lead the principal to cancel the production, citing “sexually explicit overtones and multiple sexual innuendoes.”

    • Anti-Censorship Play Receives Surprise Approval From Lebanon's Censors
      A play that examines Lebanon’s censorship system has been approved by the country’s office in charge of artistic permits, a decision that could point towards a more open future for the country’s writers and performers.

    • Jerry Springer creator Richard Thomas hits out at censorship in the arts
      Jerry Springer the Opera creator Richard Thomas has become the latest industry figure to speak out about the importance of freedom of speech within the arts, claiming organisations funded by the taxpayer have a particular responsibility to take risks.

    • 'Anarcho-Capitalist' Stefan Molyneux Sued For Abusing The DMCA
      A few months ago, we wrote about the strange saga of self-described "anarcho-capitalist" Stefan Molyneux more or less admitting that he and a colleague named Michael DeMarco had filed questionable DMCA notices in response to some critical YouTube videos. DeMarco and Molyneux defended the use of the DMCA by arguing that the videos involved doxxing some Molyneux supporters.

    • Cleveland Plain Dealer Owner Demands Takedown Of Unflattering Video Featuring Candidate It Endorsed In Governor's Race

    • Northeast Ohio Media Group threatens website for posting editorial board video clip
      The Northeast Ohio Media Group last week posted a video of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and challenger Ed FitzGerald meeting with the editorial board, then took it down without explanation and replaced it with an audio recording.

    • Chelsea Handler Slams Instagram for Removing Her Topless Photo
      Instagram did take the photo down, as per their guidelines, prompting this response from Handler: "If a man posts a photo of his nipples, it's ok, but not a woman? Are we in 1825?"

      After her first photo was removed, Handler reposted the pic again only for Instagram to remove it again.

    • As Facebook reinstates banned breastfeeding photograph, FEMAIL asks: Is there one rule for celebrity mothers and another for normal women?
      Earlier this week, actress Alyssa Milano posted a tender snap on her Instagram page of herself breastfeeding her one-month-old baby girl Elizabella.

      The 41-year-old was the picture of maternal bliss in the black and white snap, joining the many other proud celebrity mothers who have chosen to share the intimate moment with friends and fans through social media.

      The responses to this, like most A-list breastfeeding photographs, has been overwhelming positive. One follower wrote: 'Such a beautiful photo! Thank you for sharing this sweet moment with us, and thank you for helping to normalize breastfeeding!'

    • Instagram feed to feature 15 second video-ads
      Instagram a popular social networking service that allows users to share photos and videos will now support video advertisements also. The company has reportedly allowed a few advertisers including Disney, Banana Republic, Lancome, Activision and CW to run a 15 second ad video.

    • Senator Wyden Attacks CIA Redaction Demands As 'Unprecedented'
      It's well known that CIA's been stalling over the release of the officially declassified 480 page "executive summary" of the 6,300 page CIA torture report, put together by staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee over many years at a cost of $40 million. It's known that the report is somewhat devastating to the CIA and the CIA isn't happy about it (at all). Originally, the CIA suggested redactions that made the report incomprehensible, even as James Clapper said it was "just 15%" that was redacted.

    • If GOP Takes Senate Next Week, Expect The CIA Torture Report To Disappear
      We've heard some mumbling about one of the main reasons that the CIA has been dragging its feet on declassifying the executive summary of the CIA torture report that the Senate Intelligence Committee put together: it knows there's a decent chance that the Republicans will win the Senate next week, and suddenly the report may disappear from view. As you may recall, the Intelligence Committee (with support from GOP Senators) voted to declassify the 480 page executive summary of the 6,300 page report (which the Senate spent $40 million putting together). Multiple leaks concerning the report have suggested that it's devastating and details how terrible the CIA's torture program was, how it was completely ineffective and how the CIA lied about it all.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Hungary internet tax cancelled after mass protests
      Hungary has decided to shelve a proposed tax on internet data traffic after mass protests against the plan.

      "This tax in its current form cannot be introduced," Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

    • After Protests Continue, Hungary Dumps Stupid Internet Tax Idea
      Earlier this week, we wrote about widespread demonstrations against a monumentally stupid plan by the Hungarian government to tax internet usage on a per-gigabyte-downloaded plan. The protests caused the government to "modify" the plan and put a cap on how much tax would be charged, but that seemed to do little to stop the complaints -- and thus, the government is shelving the plan entirely, with Prime Minister Viktor Orban announcing that the "tax in its current form cannot be introduced." Of course, that leaves open the possibility of it coming back in "another" form. But perhaps Orban is learning not to take on the internet.

    • FCC Tests The Waters On A 'Hybrid' Net Neutrality Solution That Almost Everyone Hates
      Gautham Nagesh at the Wall Street Journal (who was also the first to reveal many of the details of Tom Wheeler's original net neutrality proposal) had a story last night confirming the buzz over the last few weeks that Wheeler is now exploring a new set of "hybrid" net neutrality rules that appear, on their face, to take parts of the plans that consumer groups want and parts of what the broadband players want... and comes out, in the end, with a plan that almost no one wants. There is something to the old saying that a good compromise leaves everyone a little unhappy, but it appears that the rules being contemplated right now might leave nearly everyone really unhappy. It's not clear that's a good result.

    • MPAA Lobbies Lawmakers on Internet Tax and Net Neutrality
      Every year the MPAA spends millions of dollars in Washington to guarantee their anti-piracy interests are secured. In the most recent quarter the Hollywood group added several of its topics to the agenda of U.S. lawmakers, including Internet tax and net neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Monopoly Enforcement Gets To Trump Human Rights, Yet Again

        Australia's administration has introduced a Data Retention bill, learning nothing from the court rulings that declare the practice to be in violation of fundamental rights. They plan to log everybody's correspondence and movements - with the idea of using that data to enforce the copyright monopoly.

      • Embedding Is Not Copyright Infringement, EU Court Rules

      • Europe's New Digital Commissioner Explores Imposing An EU-Wide 'Google Tax'
        When Google is taking intellectual works from within the EU and using them, then the EU has to protect those works and demand a tax from Google.

        Coming from the person who is charged with reforming European copyright, this does not augur well. If Oettinger really thinks that such a tax is the way forward for copyright in the digital age, he is evidently as clueless about the Internet as everyone feared he was, after telling the European Parliament that celebrities storing nude pictures online are stupid.

      • Spain Passes Much-Debated Intellectual Property Law
        After more than a year in the works, Spain passed on Thursday its Intellectual Property Law, with its hotly debated, so-called Google tax that allows for fines on aggregators that show snippets of content without paying for it.

      • Spain Passes Copyright Law; Demands Payment For Snippets And Linking To Infringing Content
        Apparently ignoring just how badly this worked out for publishers in Germany, the Spanish Parliament has passed a law to fine aggregators and search engines for using snippets or linking to infringing content. As plenty of folks have described, the bill is clearly just a Google tax. As we had discussed, the proposed bill would be a disaster for digital commons/open access projects. There had been some thought that the proposed bill might be delayed because of a referral to the EU Court of Justice on a related issue, but apparently that didn't happen. Either way, it looks like the bill kept the ridiculous "inalienable right" to being paid for snippets -- meaning that Creative Commons-type licenses may not even be allowed, and people won't even be allowed to offer up their content for free. That's ridiculous.

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