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Links 8/4/2015: SalentOS 14.04.2, XFS in Fedora Server 22





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



  • The Linux Setup - Carla Schroder, OwnCloud/Writer
    I adore Linux because I can do what I want on it. My first PC way back in 1994ish was an Apple something. It was fun, and then I got an IBM PC running Windows 3,1 and DOS 5. Windows was useless, so I spent a lot of time in DOS. Then I learned about Linux and never looked back. And Windows is still useless, and Apple is too confining. They both have their little walled gardens, and their primary purpose is lock-in and to keep selling you junk whether you want it or not, and whether or not it’s any good. They think they retain ownership of your stuff that you have purchased, which is a concept that needs to die.


  • Desktop



  • Server



    • A conversation with Gene Kim on DevOps, waterfall development, and containers
      Gene Kim: It's called "The DevOps Cookbook," and it was actually supposed to come out before "The Phoenix Project." The goal of the book is to put into context the cultural norms, principles, and observed patterns in high-performing organizations that enable fast flow of features from dev to ops while preserving world-class reliability and stability. For me, I think the big surprise three years into this project is that it’s as much about organizational learning as it is about key performance measures.


    • CoreOS moves tectonic plates, Docker may feel earthquakes
      Cloud is the next big front for some serious tech warfare and CoreOS just got the much needed ammunition.

      First things first. CoreOS is a company that offers a solution with the same name. And this solution is an extremely light and minimalistic operating system based on Google’s Chrome OS (or you can also call it a fork).






  • Kernel Space



    • Linus Tovalds Talks About Git and Why the Linux Kernel Needed It
      Linus Torvalds is mostly known for developing the Linux kernel, but he's also the one who made Git, the distributed revision control system that's used today for numerous projects, including the kernel. The project just turned ten years old, and Linus made some comments about this fact.


    • Git Success Stories and Tips from Qt Maintainer Thiago Macieira
      Git has come a long way in the 10 years since Linux creator Linus Torvalds released the first version of the now-popular distributed revision control system. For example, the addition of pull requests came three years after the original release, according to Atlassian. And over time it has added more collaboration tools, code review tools, integration to continuous integration systems, and more, recalls Qt Project core maintainer and software architect at Intel, Thiago Macieira.


    • OpenDaylight Developer Spotlight: Radhika Hirannaiah
      Radhika Hirannaiah, is currently working as an intern at OpenDaylight. She received a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Wichita State University in 2014. Her interests include Software Defined Networking (OpenFlow, OpenDaylight etc), Voice over IP, wireless and working on open source software projects.


    • Systemd Adds Reboot To EFI Firmware Option
      Systemd's logind and systemctl components have added support for rebooting to the EFI firmware setup. Running systemctl --firmware-setup (or accessing via systemd's logind interfaces) will cause the system's firmware UEFI setup utility to show at next boot as another alternative to just hitting DEL/F2 at boot time or newer distributions that add a boot menu entry to GRUB2 for EFI firmware configuration. Of course, this will only work for newer systems that were originally booted in the EFI mode.


    • Graphics Stack



    • Benchmarks



      • Linux 4.0 Hard Drive Comparison With EXT4 / Btrfs / XFS / NTFS / NILFS2 / ReiserFS
        It's been a while since last running any Linux file-system tests on a hard drive considering all of the test systems around here are using solid-state storage and only a few systems commissioned in the Linux benchmarking test farm are using hard drives, but with Linux 4.0 around the corner, here's a six-way file-system comparison on Linux 4.0 with a HDD using EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and even NTFS, NILFS2, and ReiserFS.






  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments/WMs



    • Enlightenment EFL 1.14.0 Alpha 1
      The Enlightenment crew at Samsung have released their first alpha version of the upcoming EFL 1.14.0 library set.


    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt



      • NetworkManagerQt 0.9.8.4 is out
        NetworkManagerQt is officially a Frameworks now. As a consequence the repository has been renamed from libnm-qt to networkmanager-qt and NMQt version number now follows Frameworks version number (currently 5.8.0).


      • Plasma Sprint 2015
        In February 2015 the Plasma developers met in the Blue Systems office in Barcelona to discuss and plan out where we would take Plasma over the duration of the next year. The sprint consisted of active Plasma developers and visual designers from around the world, from Canada to India.


      • digiKam 5.0 Is Being Ported to KDE Frameworks 5, to Be Released in July 2015
        The digiKam development team has announced a few hours ago, on April 7, the immediate availability for download of the digiKam Software Collection 4.9.0 image viewer and organizer application for the KDE desktop environment.


      • digiKam 4.9.0 Released


      • Plasma Theme Explorer


      • Plasma-nm 0.9.3.6 release
        We have released another plasma-nm version for KDE 4. It’s possible that this release will be the last one, because every distribution is now switching to Plasma 5 and given our irregular releases it’s possible that current distributions wouldn’t pickup the updated version anyway. I’ll keep backporting fixes from Plasma 5 to our KDE 4 branch if possible, so if you want to keep running on KDE 4 from some reason, you will still have a way how to get at least some fixes. There is also a new release of networkmanager-qt for KDE 4, which is required for below mentioned OpenConnect fixes.


      • Looking At Building The Linux Kernel With -O3 Optimizations
        A Linux user has started an LKML discussion over compiling the kernel with -O3 for driving performance improvements out of a more-optimized kernel binary.




    • GNOME Desktop/GTK



      • GTK+ 3.16.1 Improves Client-Side Decorations Without a Compositor, Fixes Over 25 Bugs
        The GTK+ development team has announced the immediate availability for download of the first maintenance release of the GTK+ 3.16 GUI toolkit used in the GNOME 3.16 desktop environment.


      • GNOME 3.16
        GNOME 3.16 was released last week and is the result of more than 30000 commits by over 1000 persons, I am always impressed by those numbers, thank you all!


      • GNOME's GTK+ Finally Getting Close To Dropping Windows XP Support
        GNOME/GTK+ developers are finally preparing themselves to drop support for Microsoft Windows XP.

        While Microsoft no longer offers public support for Windows XP and most modern software has done away with XP support, GNOME's tool-kit continues to support Windows going back to XP. It's been discussed before about dropping XP and this discussion has resurrected once again.






  • Distributions



    • Material Design Inspired Papyros Still Alive, Looks Gorgeous
      Papyros is a new Linux distribution designed around a Material Design framework, and it promises to be one of the most interesting releases in the Linux ecosystem. After a month that brought no news about its progress, the devs explained that the project is not dead, but alive and kicking.


    • Update, OS to Soon Switch to Ubuntu 15.04 Base
      Ubuntu developers are preparing to launch the last OTA update for the current branch of Ubuntu Touch RTM, and they are also working to change the base of the system to 15.04 (Vivid Vervet).


    • Reviews



      • An Everyday Linux Review Of openSUSE 13.2
        There are people out there that will want all of the verbose options, giving access to every available installation option but maybe there could be a general installer and a custom installer to make it easier for the masses.


      • Looking into the Void distribution
        Void is an independent distribution and offers a rolling release approach to package management. There are many Void editions we can download. There are Void images for the BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi computers along with builds for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 machines. In addition, there are spins of Void for specific desktop environments and we can download images for Cinnamon, Enlightenment, MATE and Xfce flavours. I decided to begin my trial with the 64-bit Cinnamon build of Void. The download for the Cinnamon image is 454MB in size.




    • New Releases



    • Screenshots



    • Slackware Family



      • KDE 4.14.3 now also for Slackware 14.1
        The set has been spiced up with the latest Long Term Support (LTS) sources that I took from KDE Applications 14.12.3, specifically the newest versions of kde-workspace, kdelibs and kdepim. Essentially, I have used the exact same sources from which I built my KDE 4.14.3 packages for Slackware-current before.




    • Red Hat Family



      • Scientific Linux 7.1 to Be Unveiled on April 13, Release Candidate 2 Out Now
        Pat Riehecky from the Scientific Linux development team has announced today, April 7, the immediate availability for download and testing of the second and last Release Candidate (RC) version of the forthcoming Scientific Linux 7.1 operating system.


      • 2015 Red Hat Summit Announced
        Besides the speeches, 170 1-hour breakout sessions are planned. Breakout sessions are presentations by industry experts on topical issues. Some speakers include Thomas Cameron, John Shakshober, and Matt Hicks. A Partner Pavillion will be open showcasing many of Red Hat's partners and their wares. Labs will let attendees test out Red Hat's latest tech. For those wanting still more add-ons include in-depth training courses with expert instructors and certification exams in Red Hat OpenStack. Developers can attend DevNation for "a week of keynotes, technical sessions, BoFs, evening programming events, and more" with folks from some of the top tech companies around.


      • Red Hat channel chief: Time to build an open source practice
        Speaking to ChannelBuzz.ca ahead of the company’s North American Partner Conference here, Mark Enzweiler, senior vice president of global channel sales and alliances at Red Hat, described a shift in the conversation his company and its partners are having with their customers. Gone are the days of convincing customers that open source is “for real” in the enterprise. Now everybody’s got an opinion on open source – not just Linux, but other major projects as well, most notably OpenStack. Now, they want to know more, and that means partners have to know more.


      • Fedora



        • Details Of DNF Succeeding Yum In Fedora 22 Still Being Discussed
          DNF is the next-generation Yum and after being available for the past few Fedora releases, with Fedora 22 it's ready for prime-time. Kevin Fenzi last week started a mailing list thread about dnf replacing yum and dnf-yum. DNF is installed by default as part of the "core" group, DNF-Yum is also installed by default, Yum is still installed so if something still depends directly on it or a user manually wants it, and the Yum RPM package now requires dnf-yum.


        • Fedora Server 22 Is Using The XFS File-System By Default
          Using the XFS file-system as the default within an LVM has been part of the Fedora Server technical spec while with Fedora 22 it's finally happened. The default layout for Fedora Server 22 installations is using XFS atop LVM while /boot is outside the LVM setup.






    • Debian Family



      • More arm64 hardware for Debian - Applied Micro X-Gene
        As a follow-up to my post about bootstrapping arm64 in Debian, we've had more hardware given to Debian for us to use in porting and building packages for arm64. Applied Micro sent me an X-Gene development machine to set up and use. Unfortunately, the timing was unlucky and the machine sat on my desk unopened for a few weeks while I was on long holiday in Australia. Once I was back, I connected it up and got it working. Out of the box, a standard Jessie arm64 installation worked using network boot (dhcp and tftp). I ran through d-i as normal and installed a working system, then handed it over to the DSA and buildd folks to get the machine integrated into our systems. Easy! The machine is now up and running as arm-arm-03.debian.org and has been building packages for a few weeks now. You can see the stats here on the buildd.debian.org site.


      • Derivatives



        • Canonical/Ubuntu



          • Oxide Vulnerabilities Closed in Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
            Canonical revealed details about Oxide vulnerabilities that have been found and fixed in Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. This update brings a few fixes, but it's nothing all that important.


          • Ubuntu 15.04 Launches in Two Weeks, Will Be Based on Linux Kernel 3.19.3 After All
            Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) is about to be released in a little over two weeks, and the developers have announced that they settled on Linux kernel 3.19.3, a couple of days before the kernel freeze.


          • Unity 7 Improvements Backported from Ubuntu 15.04 to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
            Every once in a while Ubuntu developers made improvements to the Unity desktop environment, but that usually happens for new Ubuntu releases, like 15.04 for example. That doesn't stop them from porting those improvements to older releases, such as Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.


          • Firefox 37.0.1 Has Been Added To The Default Repositories Of All The Supported Ubuntu Systems
            Hello Linux Geeksters. As you may know, Firefox 37.0.1 has been recently released, coming with important bug-fixes. Not long after that, Canonical has patched it and added it to the default repositories of all the supported Ubuntu systems.


          • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Gets `Always Show Menus` Unity Feature (Proposed Repository)
            The much requested Unity feature to always show the menus, which is already available in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet for almost three months, has been backported to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.


          • There's Yet Another Awkward Ubuntu Linux Tablet Announced
            In recent months we've covered an Ubuntu tablet with a 1TB hard drive, another sketchy Ubuntu tablet, and other awkward devices looking to ship Ubuntu in tablet/mobile form without any support from Canonical. There's yet another tablet to talk about today.


          • Mailman Exploit Closed in Ubuntu 14.10
            Details about a Mailman vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS that has been found and fixed were published in a security notice by Canonical.


          • Flavours and Variants



            • Ubuntu-Based Nitrux OS Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 3.19
              Uri Herrera from Nitrux S.A. recently announced the immediate availability of Nitrux OS 4.15 Linux operating system that is currently used in their NXQ mini PC unveiled a couple of months ago.


            • MintBox Mini News
              CompuLab is working hard on the MintBox Mini. SMT (Supervised Manufacturer’s Testing) was done, and they’re now soldering, testing, starting mechanical assembly and packing of the units.


            • Linux Mint 17.2 to Be Named "Rafaela"
              The name of the next Linux Mint 17.2 release has been chosen and it's going to be "Rafaela." The project continues with the feminine names, so the new code name should be no surprise.


            • Edubuntu - the Free and Open Source Software Liberian Educators and Policy Makers Should Consider for Liberian Schools
              Ostensibly, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have significantly permeated our society, yet their integration in our educational system has not been achieved. The glaring disparity among students who are ICT literate and those who are not, is evidence of this. Understandably though, there are several priorities and challenges that may be responsible for the slow progress in this area. Fortunately for us, we have a few Liberians in our educational system who possess the dynamism needed to bring significant changes. However, these changes must parallel those of the global community's. In doing so, we will effectively be eliminating one of the barriers that young Liberians graduating from high school face when they submit applications for employment; the ubiquitous, "must be computer literate" listed as a job requirement. In today's article, I will discuss how EDUBUNTU, a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), can help us integrate ICTs in schools to achieve some level of equilibrium with regard to basic ICT literacy among Liberian students.












  • Devices/Embedded



    • SMARC module runs Linux on i.MX6, runs hot and cold
      Embedian has launched a SMARC COM that runs Linux on a Freescale i.MX6, and offers up to 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, -40 to 85€°C operation, and a Mini-ITX baseboard.


    • Phones



      • Jolla Communicator for Ubuntu Helps Users Control Their Jolla Smartphones
        The Jolla community has put together an application called Jolla Communicator that allows users to send and receive messages on Ubuntu, which connected to a Sailfish OS-powered smartphone.


      • Android



        • HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Continues
          Back in January HTC announced they’d miss the deadline they set themselves for the HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop update, but since then we’ve received plenty of good news as it’s rolling out to multiple carriers in the United States. It first kicked off for owners back in January, and over the past few weeks has continued to arrive for more and more proud owners.


        • One Android fan’s righteous rant: He owns 6 Android devices and none of them have Lollipop yet
          We all know there are good reasons why Android will never be rolled out as efficiently as the way Apple rolls out new versions of iOS. That said, surely the process can be better than it is right now… can’t it?


        • Moto G Android 5.1 Lollipop Update Is Out And What To Expect For 2013 Moto X, Moto E And Moto G LTE
          Motorola has begun rolling out the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the Moto G Google Play Edition (GPE), and it is possible that other versions of the phone could receive the update anytime soon.


        • Amazon Prime Instant Video comes to Android tablets with a catch
          Check the Amazon Instant Video splash page and you'll see the news: You can officially stream videos from Amazon to your Google Android tablet. I say "officially" because tech savvy folks may have already sideloaded, or manually installed, the phone version some time ago. But for the mainstream masses who typically get their apps from the Google Play Store -- a smart move for security reasons -- this is new.


        • ‘Mortal Kombat X’ Available On iOS And Android, Launch Trailer Contains System Of A Down — Plus Full Roster Revealed
          The mobile companion game for Mortal Kombat X is available for download on both iOS and Android. Mortal Kombat X Mobile can be downloaded for free (with in-app purchases) on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, according to Hardcore Gamer. The Mortal Kombat X Mobile is the full Mortal Kombat X experience built for mobile devices.


        • Mortal Kombat X Mobile Android Release Date: iOS Version Is Live But When Will Fighting Game Appear In Google Play Store? [VIDEO]


        • A case to keep Android and Chrome OS separate
          There are many Android fans who aren't enamored with Chrome OS. They cite lack of apps for the latter, and the wealth of features that make up the great utility of the former. There has long been speculation that Google will eventually merge the two platforms into one OS. I hope that never happens.


        • Apple Watch vs. Android Wear, Pebble and Samsung Gear
          What is a smartwatch, and what can it do? The Apple Watch arrives in a landscape filled with things for your wrist. How does it stack up? Great in some ways, and not so wonderfully in others. Let's look at the closest competition and see.


        • Android 5.1 to hit Google Play Edition of HTC One M7 and M8
          Owners of the Google Play Edition of the HTC One M7 and M8 should stay tuned for Android 5.1.

          In a tweet late Tuesday, HTC vice president of product management Mo Versi said that "approval for both M8 & M7 GPE versions have been granted by Google for 5.1 OS. OTA out shortly!" That means an over-the-air update should reach both models soon if it hasn't already. The Google Play Editions of such phones come with pure Android, which excludes any customizations typically made by the manufacturers.


        • Google highlights even more Android Wear watch faces, straps
          Itching to make your shiny new Android Wear watch really yours? You're in luck -- Google's curating not only the best watchfaces to throw on your teensy wrist-display, but some of the handsome watchbands you should lash onto it too. Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang pointed out new (and mostly leather, sadly) straps available from E3 Supply Co., Worn & Wound and Clockwork Synergy in a post on the Official Android Blog earlier today. Thing is, you can't actually buy these accessories straight from the Play Store proper -- you'll still have to mosey on over to each retailer's site to lay claim to your next bit of wrist candy so the approach isn't exactly as seamless as we would've hoped.










Free Software/Open Source



  • Animals Set FOSS Apart
    We’re going to take the scenic route in getting to the point today. If you don’t want to wait, you can go down to the bottom where it says, “The moral of the story…” But the point of today’s exercise is that we in the decentralized FOSS realm are a creative bunch, and in that creativity is our strength.


  • Etsy Owes Data Center Efficiency to Facebook’s Open Source VM
    Etsy attributes recent accomplishments in data center efficiency in large part to using the Facebook-developed, open source HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM), according to software engineer Dan Miller on Etsy’s blog. Etsy is an extremely popular marketplace for handmade, vintage and unique items. The company is expected to IPO soon.


  • Open source risks being devoured by the very cloud to which it gave birth
    Open source, popular as it has been, has hardly killed off proprietary software. While margins and new license revenues have suffered across the enterprise software spectrum, it is the cloud, more than open-source software, that is to blame (or thank, depending on whose stock you own). Yes, open source built the cloud, but it is the cloud that gets all the credit (and cash).


  • Events



    • Empower developers with a mix of community, communication, and custom tools
      Open source developers can create an immense amount of value for any company that relies on open source software by giving it the ability to direct and influence aspects of the open source community. This allows the company to shape the tools they rely on and make them better fit company needs, a phenomenon otherwise known as "scratching their own itch."

      Although an open source developer’s primary skill is writing good code, their value extends far beyond technical skills. Adopting open source practices requires participation in diverse communities that have a number of stakeholders who each have their own itches to scratch. Open source developers find themselves in a complex position that requires them to be experts not only in their technical field, but also in communication and collaboration.


    • DFN Workshop 2015
      To defend against targeted attacks based on spoofed emails he proposed to detect whether the writing style of an email corresponds to that of previously seen emails of the presumed contact. In fact, their research shows that they are able to tell whether the writing style matches that of previous emails with very high probability.




  • Web Browsers



    • Chrome



    • Mozilla



      • Mozilla Dials Back on Firefox Opportunistic Encryption


        Mozilla issued the Firefox 37.0.1 update, which disables the opportunistic encryption feature that was just introduced in Firefox 37. Mozilla has had a change of heart regarding opportunistic encryption—for now. The company rolled out its open-source Firefox 37 Web browser on March 31, with one of the key new features being a capability known as opportunistic encryption. However, due to a security issue related to opportunistic encryption, Mozilla disabled the feature in the Firefox 37.0.1 update released April 3.






  • SaaS/Big Data



    • NASA's Chris Mattmann on Apache technology
      I’ve been involved in the ASF since 2005 when I got involved in the Apache Nutch project. I was a PhD student at USC taking Search Engines class and also working at NASA JPL. My final project in the class was an RSS parsing plugin (NUTCH-30) that got integrated. It was a budding, awesome community, and I got more and more excited after my patch and started helping out on the lists. I also saw a big use for Nutch and what eventually became Hadoop at NASA.


    • NASA, IBM Ask the World to Hack Space
      This weekend, NASA is hooking up with IBM's BlueMix cloud platform in an unprecedented development effort. More than 10,000 developers, scientists, entrepreneurs and students in 62 countries will work in tandem on a code-a-thon aimed at building technology for space exploration. Here are more details.


    • PLUMgrid Delivers ONS 3.0 Suite for Driving OpenStack Clouds
      PLUMgrid, which focuses on virtual network infrastructure for OpenStack cloud deployments, has announced the latest SDN software PLUMgrid Open Networking Suite 3.0 for OpenStack with new operational tools, features for dynamic routing, and expanded service insertion for third party virtual, physical and container based appliances. Based on OpenStack Juno, PLUMgrid ONS 3.0 is Red Hat certified with RHEL OSP 6.


    • A case for predictable databases
      Barzan Mozafari, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), will be giving a talk on the predictability of performance in database systems at the OpenStack Live conference in Santa Clara, California on Tuesday, April 14.




  • Education



    • Open Source Picks Up the Pace
      This February, EBSCO Information Services announced plans to provide funding and technical assistance for contributors to the Koha open source ILS platform. Led by the Koha Gruppo Italiano (KGI)—founded by the American Academy in Rome, American University of Rome, and the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce—with development support from ByWater Solutions, Catalyst IT, and Cineca, the partnership will enable an upgrade of Koha’s core search engine to Elasticsearch, the popular open source, multitenant-capable full-text search engine.




  • Funding



    • Mourning Chris Yeoh
      It is my sad duty to inform the community that Chris Yeoh passed away this morning. Chris leaves behind a daughter Alyssa, aged 6, who I hope will remember Chris as the clever and caring person that I will remember him as. I haven’t had a chance to confirm with the family if they want flowers or a donation to a charity. As soon as I know those details I will reply to this email.




  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC



    • GNU Cauldron 2015
      This year the GNU Cauldron Conference is going to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, from August 7 to 9, 2015.

      The GNU Cauldron Conference is a gathering of users and hackers of the GNU toolchain ecosystem.

      Meaning that if you are interested in projects remotely related to the GNU C library, GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger or any toolchain runtime related project that has ties with the GNU system you are welcome!




  • Openness/Sharing



    • Open Access/Content



      • Open access: a national licence is not the answer
        “Open Access: Is a national licence the answer?” is a proposal by David Price and Sarah Chaytor of University College London for a mechanism to provide full access to everyone within the UK to all published research. It was published on 31 March 2015 by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) whose director, Nick Hillman, wrote the foreword.






  • Programming



    • Google makes Santa Tracker open source on GitHub -- will you fork Santa Claus?
      April Fool's Day is well behind us, so all the pranks should be over, right? I ask because today, Google announces that it is making its Santa Tracker project open source on GitHub. The fact that it is open source is great, but the timing is odd. The last thing I expected to read about in April is friggin' Santa Claus, but here we are.


    • Google Opens Santa Tracker For Developers By Making It Open Source
      Christmas may be a distant memory by now and the thought of Christmas 2015 might seem just as distant, as April has only just begun. However, it seems Christmas is not too far away from Google’s mind today, as the Search giant have just opened sourced their popular Santa Tracker software. If you are unfamiliar with Santa Tracker, then it is rather self-explanatory. Each year, around about Christmas time, Google releases its Santa Tracker offering the ability to track Santa while he is out and about and delivering his presents to all the boys and girls. That said, the tracker software is not just for tracking Santa and this is why last year Google released the Tracker as early as December 1st.






Leftovers



  • Here’s Google’s Secret to Hiring the Best People
    Performance on these kinds of questions is at best a discrete skill that can be improved through practice, eliminating their utility for assessing candidates. At worst, they rely on some trivial bit of information or insight that is withheld from the candidate, and serve primarily to make the interviewer feel clever and self-satisfied. They have little if any ability to predict how candidates will perform in a job.


  • Labour Appeals to Tories
    The Guardian has published an open appeal to Tory and Lib Dem voters to vote Labour in Dundee West. I think that tells you all you need to know about the Red Tories and their priorities. It is also a new low in journalism even for the fanatic and increasingly desperate Severin Carrell, who is a total disgrace to his profession. The costs of publishing the Guardian ought to be counted against Marra’s election expenses: this is not journalism in any sense, merely a puff piece for a candidate.


  • Security



  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression



    • Six Things You Didn’t Know the U.S. and Its Allies Did to Iran
      Nasir al-Din Shah, Shah of Iran from 1848-1896, sold Baron Julius de Reuter the right to operate all of Iran’s railroads and canals, most of the mines, all of the government’s forests, and all future industries. The famous British statesman Lord Curzon called it “the most complete and extraordinary surrender of the entire industrial resources of a kingdom into foreign hands that has probably ever been dreamed of.” Iranians were so infuriated that the Shah had to rescind the sale the next year.

      [...]

      Our rhetoric on Iran seems nonsensical: Do U.S. leaders actually believe Iran would engage in a first nuclear strike on Israel or the U.S., given that would lead to a quick and devastating retaliation from those well-armed nuclear powers?

      Even conservative U.S. foreign policy experts know that’s incredibly unlikely. They’re not worried that we can’t deter a nuclear-armed Iran — they’re worried that a nuclear-armed Iran could deter us. As Thomas Donnelly, a top Iran analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, put it in 2004, “the prospect of a nuclear Iran is a nightmare … because of the constraining effect it threatens to impose upon U.S. strategy for the greater Middle East. … The surest deterrent to American action is a functioning nuclear arsenal.”






  • Finance



    • Fox News' Smear Campaign Against The Poor Is Reflected In The GOP's Latest Food Stamp Bills
      Fox News' campaign of misinformation surrounding food assistance programs may be continuing to influence GOP legislation, as lawmakers in both Missouri and Kansas consider measures addressing "fake problems" within their state's benefit programs.

      Republican lawmakers in Kansas recently introduced legislation restricting where recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, formerly known as "welfare") can spend their money and what they can buy. The bill would limit the daily spending allowance to $25 and ban recipients from using benefits at psychics and tattoo parlors. Another measure, introduced by the House GOP in Missouri, will similarly limit how recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly knowns as "food stamps") can use their benefits, prohibiting them from buying "steak, seafood, soda, cookies, chip[s], and energy drinks."




  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying



    • Rolling Stone and the Media’s Glass House
      There is nothing like a journalistic plane crash to inspire newsroom loudmouths to jump on their desks and lecture colleagues about the collapse of standards and crow that they’re such exemplars of the craft that never in a trillion years could they or their publication be snookered by a fabulist, a hoaxer, a dissembler or a liar.



    • U.S. Propaganda 101: Illegally Invade Countries, Fund the Media, Call it “Independent”
      The author accuses news outlets of doing exactly what he himself and the U.S. mainstream media in general does when reporting about foreign policy issues such as Ukraine: they “systematically [regurgitate U.S. propaganda, spread] lies, half-truths, and conspiracy theories.” The advantage they have is that they don’t need to translate anything. Apparently for Rohac an article written in Russian has to be Russian propaganda. It’s that simple: Russians are just not producing any honest journalistic content. This argument about texts being “directly translated from Russian sources” is not only weak, it is xenophobic.




  • Censorship



    • YouTuber Angry Joe Swears Off Nintendo Videos After The Company Claimed His Mario Party 10 Take
      Nintendo's never-ending desire to control how YouTubers review its games or do "let's plays" has been laughable from the start. From the trust-destroying agreement YouTubers had to enter into in order to get access to visual content to the beauracratic nightmare individuals had to wade through just to get a video approved for monetization, the whole thing started off on messy footing. And the biggest issue in all of this: Nintendo still can't seem to grasp that these YouTubers are giving the company free advertising. Gamers love the kinds of videos these YouTubers produce. They use them to make purchasing decisions, to become interested in new games, and to fuel word-of-mouth advertising that no trumped up ad campaign could ever possibly hope to achieve. Why make any of that more complicated by creating an approval system for the videos? And, more importantly, why take away the incentive for fans to promote your games by demanding a share of their YouTube revenue?


    • Once Again, Political Speech Is Silenced By Copyright/ContentID
      This seems to happen every political season. When he was a Presidential candidate, John McCain got annoyed at YouTube taking down political videos based on copyright claims. During the last Presidential election, a Mitt Romney TV ad featuring President Obama singing an Al Green song was taken down via a copyright claim. And now, 2016 Presidential candidate Rand Paul has discovered that his announcement speech from Tuesday morning has been taken down.




  • Privacy



    • U.S. secretly tracked billions of calls for decades
      The U.S. government started keeping secret records of Americans' international telephone calls nearly a decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, harvesting billions of calls in a program that provided a blueprint for the far broader National Security Agency surveillance that followed.

      For more than two decades, the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed logs of virtually all telephone calls from the USA to as many as 116 countries linked to drug trafficking, current and former officials involved with the operation said. The targeted countries changed over time but included Canada, Mexico and most of Central and South America.


    • Rand Paul Vows to Stop NSA Spying 'on Day 1' of Presidency
      Rand Paul's campaign kickoff just concluded with a rousing speech by the libertarian-leaning U.S. senator from Kentucky in which he promised that his first act as president would be to stop the NSA's illegal spying on American citizens. He vowed to win the White House while clutching the Bill of Rights in one hand and the Constitution in the other.


    • NSA whistleblower: We’ve been lied to


      Bill Binney, a former U.S. National Security Agency employee turned whistleblower, is on a mission to expose the agency’s domestic spying programs and violations of constitutional rights.

      In an interview with AJ+’s Dena Takruri, Binney discusses why he thinks President Barack Obama is “violating the public trust” and what Americans can do to protect themselves from unwarranted surveillance.


    • U.S. secretly tracked billions of calls for decades
      The U.S. government started keeping secret records of Americans' international telephone calls nearly a decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, harvesting billions of calls in a program that provided a blueprint for the far broader National Security Agency surveillance that followed.


    • If you called anyone overseas from 1992-2013, the DEA probably knew about it
      The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), under approval from the top echelons of the Department of Justice, ran a secret, extensive phone metadata bulk collection program for over two decades, amassing billions of records, according to a new report published Tuesday in USA Today.

      This database had previously been revealed to a lesser extent earlier this year, but neither its operational details nor its scope had been revealed until now.
    • Cell Phone Opsec
      Note that it actually makes sense to use a one-time pad in this instance. The message is a ten-digit number, and a one-time pad is easier, faster, and cleaner than using any computer encryption program.


    • Could your online porn habits be publicly released?
      Data brokers, which track browsing habits to sell to third parties, are not governed by any laws stating what can and can’t be done with the data. But they are not the same as hackers, who could theoretically access information about membership to porn sites. Vice said hackers would be more likely to sell the credit card information than release it online for no gain.

      Neither brokers nor hackers have a vested interest in creating Thomas's nightmare vision of a searchable porn-user database. But that doesn't mean the data isn't out there. Even a browser in incognito mode will send tracking information to data brokers that according to one privacy researcher is “all sitting in a database somewhere”.

      Vice said that shouldn’t surprise internet users: “It’s a truth about the modern internet that just about anywhere you go, you’re being tracked.”
    • Post-Cryptanalysis, TrueCrypt Alternatives Step Forward
      TrueCrypt’s relative clean bill of health last week has now spawned a new focus on existing alternatives to the open source encryption software, namely VeraCrypt and CipherShed.


    • General Election Training: How can you campaign against mass surveillance?
      ORG supporters are invited to our General Election Training run by ORG staff on how we can make an impact this election! We'll give you all the knowledge you need to be confident and effective digital rights activist this election.


    • Illegal downloading: Australia internet firms must supply data
      An Australian court has ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to hand over details of customers accused of illegally downloading a US movie.




  • Civil Rights



    • Hologram replaces Edward Snowden statue in Brooklyn park
      Hours after police removed an illicit bust of Edward Snowden from its perch in a Brooklyn park on Monday, artists replaced it with a hologram.


    • Political Smears in U.S. Never Change: the NYT’s 1967 Attack on MLK’s Anti-War Speech
      John Oliver’s Monday night interview of Edward Snowden — which in 24 hours has been viewed by 3 million people on YouTube alone — renewed all the standard attacks in Democratic circles accusing Snowden of being a traitor in cahoots with the Kremlin. What’s most striking about this — aside from the utter lack of evidence for any of it — is how identical it is to what Nixon officials said to smear the last generation’s greatest whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg (who is widely regarded by Democrats as a hero because his leak occurred with a Republican in the White House).


    • TSA’s Airport "Behavior Detection Program" Found to Target Undocumented Immigrants, Not Terrorists
      The Intercept revealed last month that it is quite easy to be deemed a "suspected terrorist" at airports in the United States. A leaked checklist used by the Transportation Security Administration shows an expansive list of "suspicious signs" for screening passengers, including yawning, fidgeting, whistling, throat clearing and staring at one’s feet. All of these, according to the TSA, are considered behaviors that indicate stress or deception. Well now The Intercept has revealed who the program actually targets: not terrorists, but undocumented immigrants. Taking a five-week period at a major U.S. airport, The Intercept found that 90 percent of all those arrested were detained for being in the country illegally. Not a single passenger was arrested or suspected for ties to terrorism. The overwhelming detention of undocumented immigrants bolsters criticism that government screening programs have targeted passengers with racial profiling. We speak to the reporter who broke this story, Jana Winter.


    • Strikes Grow in China as Grassroots Labor Movement Takes Shape
      As the economic landscape in China continues to shift, an awakening working class is demanding fair treatment and higher wages—and the movement is picking up steam.

      The Associated Press on Monday highlighted the emerging resistance to workplace exploitation and authoritarian government policies that has steadily grown over the past four years, with numbers of strikers doubling annually since 2011 until they reached more than 1,300 last year.


    • NY Cops Used ‘Stingray’ Spy Tool 46 Times Without Warrant
      The police department in Erie County, New York fought hard to prevent the New York Civil Liberties Union from obtaining records about its use of a controversial surveillance tool known as a stingray.




  • Internet/Net Neutrality



    • ISP Pulls VPN Service After Geo-Unblocking Legal Threats
      Following copyright threats from large media companies a Kiwi ISP has taken down its VPN service. Lightbox, MediaWorks, SKY, and TVNZ had threatened legal action against services that bypass geo-restrictions on sites such as Netflix and Hulu. Other ISPs offering similar products are currently standing firm.




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Australian public health advocates seek access to regional trade pact negotiations
      The peak lobby group for American pharmaceutical manufacturers has been given privileged access to negotiations for a major regional trade pact that could see the cost of medicines skyrocket in Australia.

      Public health advocates and business groups are concerned that pharmaceutical giants will be able to advance their commercial interests in the once-in-a-lifetime pact through their seat at the negotiating table, while the details are kept secret from the Australian public.


    • Health experts worried as Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations conclude
      The draft of the investment chapter published by Wikileaks last week outlines the controversial investor–state dispute settlement mechanism which would allow foreign corporations to sue governments in offshore tribunals.






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