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Links 7/4/2015: Dell XPS 13 With Ubuntu, digiKam Software Collection 4.9.0

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Calling all Kiwi developers: Ready to push the limits of Open Source?
    “To have GitHub cohost their first conference outside of the US in Wellington is a strong endorsement of our tech capability."

  • Open for Thinking, Participation & Collaboration: Peter Kerr
    As a digital immigrant who has, without sometimes knowing why, gone down he android path for my devices, I’m inherently drawn to the open source philosophy.

    In a sense, at a time when public participation in democracy is lessening, it is events such as this that continue to hold the flame for non-secrecy and more sharing in society.

  • A better Internet of Things through open source culture
    Open source's influence extends far beyond sharing code, but this aspect sometimes goes unappreciated. For example, I previously wrote about how the special way of developing and collaborating associated with open source has come to also reflect many DevOps best practices, from transparency to iterative fast releases. I’d argue that it is many of these same default behaviors that are helping to make the Internet of Things a hot topic today.

  • Events

    • North West Linux Fest
      Fedora Jam is coming to Linux Fest North West in Bellingham, Washington, April 24th to 26th. If you are a friend of Fedora, sign up on the wiki and participate in our booth. Or if you are a musician, come by to try out Fedora Jam, we will have a guitar, keyboard and other instruments to try out. We will have Fedora shirts at the Friday game night, show your Fedora pride during the fest.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Networking in the cloud is changing
      As part of the OpenStack Live conference next week in Santa Clara, California, she'll be delivering a three hour tutorial on OpenStack networking architecture and concepts, along with her colleague Faan DeSwardt.

    • AtScale Launches, Bridging Hadoop and Popular Analytics Tools
      At one point, the Big Data trend--sorting and sifting large data sets with new tools in pursuit of surfacing meaningful angles on stored information--remained an enterprise-only story, but now businesses of all sizes are evaluating tools that can help them glean meaningful insights from the data they store. As we've noted, the open source Hadoop project has been one of the big drivers of this trend, and has given rise to commercial companies that offer custom Hadoop distributions, support, training and more. Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR are leading the pack among these Hadoop-focused companies.

  • Funding

    • The Open Source Funding Conundrum
      Every time I hear of another great open source project shutting its doors, I hold my breath in hopes it will be forked. Sadly though, this isn't a great plan for all projects. Sometimes these projects are rich in users but poor in developers. In this article, I'll explore this issue and what can be done to keep open source projects funded.

    • CoreOS Team Gets $12 Million to Offer DIY Google-style Infrastructure with Tectonic
      Google has a vested interest in CoreOS bringing Kubernetes to the enterprise, with Google Ventures investing $12 million in Tectonic.


  • Public Services/Government

    • Basque parliament adapts workflow to eID tool
      The Basque Parliament is planning to overhaul its workflow, wishing to increase its use of digital identity and electronic signature solutions. The Basque Parliament is using Sinadura, an open source eID tool developed by Zylk, a Bilbao-based open source IT service provider. The parliament now wants to combine this with more applications, the company says.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • All You Need to Know
    I see that in “journalists” questioning Blair, nobody asked the obvious question, which is who was paying for this particular speech.

  • STV Debate Unionist Fit-Up
    I wondered how on earth they got an audience so completely unrepresentative of Scottish opinion, and the answer was not hard to find. The audience has been selected “based both on current opinion polls and the last general election result.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • ​Monsanto lobbyist claims 'safe to drink a quart of pesticide' – but bolts when offered a glass (VIDEO)
      A lobbyist for Monsanto claimed that it was safe to drink “a quart” of the company’s Roundup pesticide, but pointedly refused to try even a sip when offered a glass during an interview with French TV before storming off the set.

      Patrick Moore told a Canal+ journalist that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world’s most widely used weed killer, was not responsible for an increase in cancer rates in Argentina.

      “You can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you,” he insisted.

      When the journalist informed him that a cup of the herbicide was prepared for him, Moore bristled, saying: “I’m not stupid.”

      But when pressed by the interviewer if the substance was dangerous, Moore replied: “It’s not dangerous to humans.” He added that many try to commit suicide by drinking Roundup, but “fail regularly.”

    • Paul blazes new path on pot
      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is poised to become the first top-tier presidential candidate from either party to make marijuana reform a major campaign issue.

      Paul, who will announce his White House bid on Tuesday, has argued forcefully that states should be allowed to adopt their own policies on the use of medical marijuana without fear of federal interference.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Factual Errors in John Bolton’s “Bomb Iran!” Op-Ed in the New York Times – and Why You Should Care
      Last week, at a crucial moment in nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and Iran, the New York Times published an op-ed by former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton titled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” As I pointed out at the time, the Times accidentally undermined him by linking one of his key claims to an explanation of why that claim was wrong. After I asked about it, the Times changed the link.

      Bolton’s many other factual mistakes, detailed below, have also not been corrected — on top of which, Bolton failed to make a relevant disclosure about his paid work for a group that advocates the overthrow of the Iranian regime. It’s worth dwelling on these problems a bit given that Bolton’s perspective has a significant constituency in Congress — which could still derail the accord the White House is closing in on with the Iranians.

    • The Obama Arms Bazaar: Record Sales, Troubling Results
      With the end of the Obama presidency just around the corner, discussions of his administration’s foreign policy legacy are already well under way. But one central element of that policy has received little attention: the Obama administration’s dramatic acceleration of U.S. weapons exports.

      The numbers are astonishing. In President Obama’s first five years in office, new agreements under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program—the largest channel for U.S. arms exports—totaled over $169 billion. After adjusting for inflation, the volume of major deals concluded by the Obama administration in its first five years exceeds the amount approved by the Bush administration in its full eight years in office by nearly $30 billion. That also means that the Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Wikileaks
      I had not realised that Julian had so much Scottish ancestry or quite so recently. After independence, he will definitely be entitled to a Scottish passport!

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Conservative Media Blame Environmentalists, Not Climate, For California's "Man-Made Drought"
      The Wall Street Journal editorial board recently recycled many of the same claims it made in a 2009 editorial titled, "California's Man-Made Drought." Right-wing website Hot Air dubbed the drought "California's 'man-made' environmental disaster." And when potential 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina described the drought as "a man-made disaster" during an appearance on Glenn Beck's radio show, Beck demanded to know why "we don't hear that story on the news at all," while Rush Limbaugh declared that "there is a man-made lack of water in California," and "[Fiorina is] right."

      No, these media figures haven't suddenly seen the light on climate change. Instead, they're using the historic drought as an opportunity to baselessly attack environmental policies.

    • Nuclear submarine on fire at Russian shipyard
      A fire has broken out at a Russian nuclear submarine during repair work at a shipyard in Severodvinsk. The cause of the fire is believed to be related to welding work on the sub.

      The United Shipbuilding Company confirmed the incident, adding that nobody was hurt in it. According to the the shipyard's spokesperson, the submarine’s nuclear reactor was shut down and its weapons unloaded before the repair started.

    • Russian nuclear submarine catches fire at shipyard
      A Moscow radio station published a picture showing smoke billowing from the submarine.

    • Russian Nuclear Sub 'On Fire In Dry Dock'
      A Russian nuclear submarine has caught fire in a shipyard, according to news agency RIA Novosti.

      The 500m-long (1,640ft6) 949 Antei was being repaired on in Zvyozdochka shipyard in Russia's northern province of Arkhangelsk, according to Russian news agency reports.

    • Russian nuclear submarine catches fire in shipyard
      Russian news agency Interfax cited a separate source as saying there were no weapons on board the submarine and other news agencies said the fire had started during welding, causing insulation materials to catch fire.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Military Suicide Experts: Ted Nugent Veteran Claims Are "Distorted" And "Ridiculous"
      Experts in military and veteran suicide issues are criticizing National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent for claiming that veterans are committing suicide because they believe President Obama "is the enemy."

    • Baseball Park Metal Detectors Fail to Set Off Journalists’ BS Detectors
      The reaction from fans — and readers — might have been different if any of the reporters had asked actual security experts about the efficacy of metal detectors at preventing terrorism. Because as I found in researching the topic for Vice Sports (9/23/14) last fall, there’s no evidence that walkthrough metal detectors at airports or ballgames make anybody safer — and reason to believe they may even make us less safe.

  • Censorship

    • Fighting Toddler 'Porn Addiction,' UK Lawmakers Demand Porn Sites Include Age Checks Or Face Closure
      The UK's attempts to filter the Internet of all of its naughty bits are nothing if not amusing, whether it's the nation's porn filter architect getting arrested for child porn, or the complete and total obliviousness when it comes to the slippery slope of expanding those filters to include a growing roster of ambiguously objectionable material. The idea of forcing some kind of overarching structure upon porn consumption in the UK is another idea that never seems to go away, whether it's requiring a "porn license" (requiring users to clearly opt in if they want to view porn) or the latest push -- mandatory age checks.

  • Privacy

    • Microsoft drops Do Not Track default from Internet Explorer
      Microsoft has reversed its position on the contentious Do Not Track (DNT) browser feature, saying Internet Explorer will no longer send DNT signals to websites by default.

      "Put simply, we are updating our approach to DNT to eliminate any misunderstanding about whether our chosen implementation will comply with the W3C standard," Microsoft chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch said in a Friday blog post.

    • Security Audit Of TrueCrypt Doesn't Find Any Backdoors -- But What Will Happen To TrueCrypt?
      Over the past few years we've followed the saga of TrueCrypt. The popular and widely used full disk encryption system got some attention soon after the initial Snowden leaks when people started realizing that no one really knew who was behind TrueCrypt, and that the software had not been fully audited. Cryptographer Matthew Green decided to lead an effort to audit TrueCrypt. A year ago, the team released the first phase, finding a few small vulnerabilities, but no backdoors and nothing too serious. This week the full audit was completed and again finds no evidence of any backdoors planted in the code.

    • Meet the privacy activists who spy on the surveillance industry
      On the second floor of a narrow brick building in the London Borough of Islington, Edin Omanovic is busy creating a fake company. He is playing with the invented company’s business cards in a graphic design program, darkening the reds, bolding the blacks, and testing fonts to strike the right tone: informational, ambiguous, no bells and whistles. In a separate window, a barren website is starting to take shape. Omanovic, a tall, slender Bosnian-born, Scottish-raised Londonite gives the company a fake address that forwards to his real office, and plops in a red and black company logo he just created. The privacy activist doesn’t plan to scam anyone out of money, though he does want to learn their secrets. Ultimately, he hopes that the business cards combined with a suit and a close-cropped haircut will grant him access to a surveillance industry trade show, a privilege usually restricted to government officials and law enforcement agencies.

    • DHS Seeks Increase in Domestic HUMINT Collection
      The Department of Homeland Security aims to increase its domestic human intelligence collection activity this year, the Department recently told Congress.

      In a question for the record from a September 2014 congressional hearing, Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-GA) asked: “Do we currently have enough human intelligence capacity–both here in the homeland and overseas–to counter the threats posed by state and non-state actors alike?”

    • Stop Taking Dick Pics, But Not Because of the NSA. (SFW)
      Let me make something clear: I am pro dick pic. I mean, who doesn’t love the occasional consensual staring contest with a one eyed bandit? When Edward Snowden told everyone to keep taking dick pictures on Last Week Tonight, he was making an important point. Governments are meant to be accountable to people and controlled by them in democracies. Leaving aside any specific analysis of how much or whether America is really a democracy, Snowden’s message is profound and valid. We should have that freedom, and we have it by practicing that freedom at our governments. But we should be on a dick pic strike nevertheless.

  • Civil Rights

    • Czech president says his ‘doors are closed’ to US envoy over Moscow WWII visit comments
      Previously, Zeman said that his visit to Russia would be a “sign of gratitude for not having to speak German in this country.” He also intended to pay tribute to the memory of 150,000 Soviet soldiers who died liberating Czechoslovakia.

    • Barrett Brown suddenly stripped of prison e-mail after talking to press
      Barrett Brown, the brash journalist and former member of Anonymous who was sentenced in January 2015 to over five years in federal prison, had his e-mail privileges suddenly revoked, seemingly for corresponding with journalists.

      On Sunday, Brown’s supporters published his account of the punishment, describing how he suddenly lost access to his prison-supplied e-mail account on March 31. In the ensuing days, Brown attempted to contact various prison officials to get further information, including someone named “Trust Fund Manager Coleman.”

    • Malaysia passes controversial anti-terror bill
      Malaysia has passed a controversial anti-terrorism bill, which the government says is needed to tackle the threat from Islamic extremists.

      The bill reintroduces indefinite detention without trial - something the prime minister had repealed in 2012.

    • Chelsea Manning and the Call of America’s Conscience
      April 5th marked the five year anniversary of WikiLeaks publication of the Collateral Murder Video. The footage of a secret US military video depicted an Apache helicopter killing Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists. It provided an uncensored view of modern war for the world to see. The light that shone in the darkness was the conscience of a young woman. Chelsea Manning (formally Bradley Manning) is now serving 35 years behind bars for her great public service.

    • Assange, Manning Still Only Ones Imprisoned for Collateral Murder
      April 5 marked the five-year anniversary of the release of the Collateral Murder video by WikiLeaks. The shocking footage showed the entire world the 2007 US Apache attack helicopter airstrike on Baghdad that killed 12 people - including two Reuters staff members - and injured two small children.

    • Obama Executive Order prompts surge in bitcoin donations to the Snowden defence fund
      On 1 April 2015, Barack Obama signed into law an Executive Order “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities”

      Media reports speculated that the new powers granted by this Executive Order would enable executive authorities to confiscate cryptocurrency holdings and even prohibit donations to Edward Snowden’s defence fund.

      Since news of the Executive Order came to light, the bitcoin account for Edward Snowden’s official defence fund experienced a significant surge in donations , due at least in part to this post on reddit. We have received over 200 separate donations this month, including a single donation of 8.49 bitcoin, or over 2000 US dollars.

    • Obama reportedly criminalises “support” for “cyber-enabled activities”
      US President Barack Obama has issued an executive order authorising the Treasury Secretary to enact sanctions against those whom it deems to have “have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for” cyber-related crimes.

      Reuters reports that even US lawmakers consider the order “surprisingly broad”, and investigative journalists are concerned about its wide-ranging scope.
    • Historic child sex abuse: Young boys trafficked from Belfast to London, victim claims
      Vulnerable young boys were taken from a children’s care home in Belfast in the 1970s, trafficked to London and abused by powerful figures who were part of a Westminster pedophile ring, a victim has claimed.

      Richard Kerr, a victim of child sex abuse at the Kincora care home for boys, told Channel 4 News he also suffered abuse at London’s Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square.

    • Second Yemen war critic is arrested
      ANOTHER official at the National Democratic Assembly (Al Wahdawi) has been arrested for allegedly criticising military action in Yemen.

      Deputy secretary general Mohammed Al Motawa was yesterday accused of spreading false and malicious information about Operation Decisive Storm, led by Saudi Arabia and nine allied countries, including Bahrain.

      The coalition countries launched air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen on Thursday after Shi'ite militias sought to topple the Yemeni government led by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

    • Pakistan Judge: Charge CIA Lawyer, Officer for Drone Strike
      A Pakistani judge on Tuesday ordered that criminal charges be filed against a former CIA lawyer who oversaw its drone program and the one-time chief agency operative in Islamabad over a 2009 strike that killed two people.

      Former acting general counsel John A. Rizzo and ex-station chief Jonathan Bank must face charges including murder, conspiracy, terrorism and waging war against Pakistan, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court ruled. A court clerk and a lawyer involved the case, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, confirmed details of the judge's ruling.
    • Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans

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