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Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD





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Contents





GNU/Linux



Free Software/Open Source



  • Eating our own dog food in open source
    There are no guaranteed solutions, of course, but there are smart things we can do. One of the biggest is "eating our own dog food." If you're putting on an open source conference, there's no reason you can't use open source software to create the flyers, video promos, banners, T-shirt graphics, and the myriad of other pieces of content to run and promote the show. If you're working for a company that ostensibly has a commitment to open source, ask if your marketing material is being produced with open source software. If it isn't, then ask why not. And if you happen to be a creative at one of these companies, why aren't you?


  • Open Source rising as Cloud Computing, Analytics take off – Study
    Open source software has become a critical driver for innovation at leading companies and public-sector organizations around the world, according to a new research report produced by Oxford Economics in partnership with Wipro Limited.

    The report, The Open Source Era, also shows that open source software is essential to the use of other cutting-edge technologies and that open source methodologies have spread far beyond software development.


  • Check out this open source programming typeface entirely generated by code
    Typefaces designed for programmers aren’t a new idea, but I’m particularly taken with Iosevka, a monospace coding typeface that’s completely generated using Node.js.

    The project – which is inspired by existing coding typefaces Pragmata Pro, M+ and PF DIN Mono – aims to produce characters that “have a narrow shape to be space efficient and compatible to Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters.”


  • Capital One Launches Hygieia Open-Source DevOps Dashboard
    The bank launched its Hygieia DevOps dashboard at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) last week in Portland, Ore. The Capital One Agile development teams all use the technology.


  • New Portal For IBM Open Source Projects
    IBM has just launched developerWorksOpen to enable developers to collaborate using its open sourced technologies. It is poised to provide new tools, in particular with regards to mobile.


  • Open Source IFTTT Collection Introduced
    IFTTT (If This Then That) has this month introduced a new collection of new open source projects as well as updating existing ones.


  • Roadies vs. rock stars: The art of open leadership
    Allen Gunn is a facilitator, open source technologist and Executive Director of Aspiration, where he helps NGOs, activists, and software developers make smarter use of tech for social change. Later this month, Aspiration is partnering with Greenpeace's Mobilisation Lab to host the first-ever Open Campaigns Camp in Berlin. We recently got together to chat about working open and the leadership required to make it work.


  • How to get designers involved in your software project
    Kravets showed us a report she found. It reviewed 23,493 GitHub projects and found that 75.3% had no gender diversity at all. This brought Kravets to the following quote from Malcolm Gladwell: "The world that we could have is much richer than the world we've settled for."


  • The right way to fail
    In the open source industry, we often hear that we should fail quickly and often, but that doesn't make failure any less scary. Failure seems like a personal problem, but it's really a corporate problem. We use the phrase "failure is not an option," and people are so proud to live by it. The fact of the matter, said Scavarda and Hawthorn, is that this statement should say "failure is not an option; it is a requirement." The truth is that it's not a matter of whether we will fail, but when we will fail and what will be our timeline for our recovery.


  • The Dronecode Foundation aims to keep UAVs open
    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles' (UAV) applications and capabilities are advancing at a phenomenal rate, and the cost of these systems is decreasing at an equally impressive rate largely because of the open source. In many cases, open source projects are outpacing the development of their equivalent closed source systems.


  • phpMyAdmin Bids SourceForge Farewell
    phpMyAdmin, the popular free and open source web based tool for administering MySQL databases, has left the SourceForge building.

    In a blog post on Saturday, the project’s infrastructure coordinator, Michal ÄŒihaÅ™, announced that a migration from Sourceforge is all but complete. The few remaining items left on the SourceForge server will be “hopefully handled in upcoming days as well.”


  • Boundless: Commercial open source geospatial software
    Boundless’ global customer base uses the OpenGeo Suite, a complete open source geospatial web services stack, to deploy solutions for web mapping, transportation, telecommunications, open government, and a diverse range of other solutions. The OpenGeo Suite provides a continually updated geo web services platform along with maintenance agreements that include support and training to support the growing functionality of continually enhanced open source geospatial software.


  • Web Browsers



    • Mozilla



      • Firefox 42 Nightly Is Now Built In GTK+3
        Firefox Nightly for Linux has been compiled with GTK+3 and the stable version of Firefox 42 may be the first one to be released with GTK+3.


      • Mozilla Toys with Crowdsourcing Ideas for its Browser and Tools
        Can your ideas make one of the most popular Internet browsers better? Mozilla is considering the possibility. The company is launching a testing initiative next month that will let Firefox users try out possible changes to the browser. The project is called "Idea Town" and basically seeks to crowdsource ideas for browser- and web-centric new concepts.


      • How is Firefox OS Different from Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Ubuntu Touch
        firefox-os-phone-firefox-os-phone-While choosing a new mobile phone to buy, you must consider all different available options. Earlier I’ve written about the differences between Ubuntu Touch, Android OS, and Windows Phone. Today I’m going to add another contender in the list – the Firefox OS – and I’ll discuss how is Firefox OS different from others.






  • SaaS/Big Data



    • Seven Key Milestones in OpenStack's Five-Year History
      On July 19, 2010, Chris Kemp, at the time NASA's CTO for IT, went on stage at the OSCON open-source conference to announce OpenStack, a new open-source effort along with Rackspace. Five years later, OpenStack has emerged as one of the leading cloud platforms governments and big-name companies around the world use. Best Buy and Walmart are among the major retailers that use OpenStack while major carriers, such as Comcast and AT&T, are also users and contributors. One of the biggest drivers of OpenStack's growth in the last five years was the formation of the OpenStack Foundation, a vendor-neutral, multi-stakeholder effort to help build and promote the OpenStack platform. While OpenStack in 2010 was made up of two companies, the OpenStack Foundation in 2015 numbers well over 100 members. Another key driver of OpenStack's growth is continued technical innovation. In 2010, the OpenStack Platform started with just two projects: the Nova Compute Project and the Swift Storage Project. Over the years, multiple additional projects were added, including Glance image, Horizon dashboard, Neutron network and Keystone identity. Here's a look at key milestones in OpenStack's five-year history.


    • A new center for innovation, celebrating five years, and more OpenStack news


    • Q&A: Pepperdata's Chad Carson Discusses Getting Much More Out of Hadoop
      In the data analytics and Hadoop arena, the folks at Pepperdata have an interesting story to tell. Pepperdata's cofounders ran the web search engineering team at Yahoo during the development of the first production use of Hadoop and created Pepperdata with the mission of providing a simple way of prioritizing Hadoop jobs to give resources to the ones that need them most, while ensuring that a company adheres to its SLAs.




  • Databases



    • The Companies That Support Linux: MariaDB
      MariaDB Corporation is a provider of open source database solutions for SaaS, cloud and on-premise applications that require high availability, scalability, and performance. Built by the founder and core engineering team behind MySQL, MariaDB has more than 2 million users globally and over 500 customers in more than 45 countries -- most of whom are running Linux.




  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice



  • BSD



    • FreeBSD Making Progress With Their Linux Binary Emulation & More


    • Not Learning Unix is a Mistake
      It has occurred to me that not learning Unix is a grave mistake. My relatively early exposure to Unix was important. I may not have appreciated Linux as much or even at all if I hadn't had that ability to experiment at home with Xenix. Learning about Unix develops new mental muscles like playing a musical instrument or learning a new language. But learning these new processes becomes more difficult with age. To me the exact technical details are less important. It does not really matter if you are a Linux user or if you use one of the BSDs or even something more exotic like Plan 9. The important thing is you can learn new concepts from what I will broadly refer to as the Unix/Internet Community.




  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC



    • cps soup
      In the olden days, Guile had no compiler, just an interpreter written in C. Around 8 years ago now, we ported Guile to compile to bytecode. That bytecode is what is currently deployed as Guile 2.0. For many reasons we wanted to upgrade our compiler and virtual machine for Guile 2.2, and the result of that was a new continuation-passing-style compiler for Guile. Check that link for all the backstory.




  • Project Releases



  • Public Services/Government



    • UK health service nurtures open source communities
      The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is nurturing a growing number of communities of software developers working on open source solutions. NHS’ Code4Health team is now supporting 17 communities that bring together health care providers, developers and supporters.




  • Programming



    • Mmm, what's that smell, Google+? Yes it's death: Google unhooks 'social network' from YouTube
      Google is no longer forcing Google+ on the world: people will be able to log into YouTube, and other Googley services, without having to create mandatory Google+ profiles.

      From now on, only those who deliberately sign up for Google+ will create profiles on the ghost town of a social network. Previously, Google harassed users of YouTube, Gmail and so on, to convert their accounts into Google+ accounts, a move obviously designed to boost G+'s sad numbers. It didn't go down very well at all – a lot of folks hated it.


    • Google to block access to unofficial autocomplete API
      Google has decided the autocomplete API it informally offers will no longer be available for “unauthorised” users as of August 10th.






Leftovers



  • 'Sepp Blatter deserves a Nobel Prize for Fifa leadership,' says Vladimir Putin


    Sepp Blatter deserves a Nobel Prize for his leadership of Fifa, according to Vladimir Putin.


  • Security



    • Unhinged Linux backdoor still poses a nuisance, if not a threat
      If successfully planted, the malware tries to register itself in the system as a daemon (system service). Thereafter it uses LZO compression and the Blowfish encryption algorithm to chat to command and control servers. Every packet contains a checksum, so that the recipient could verify data integrity.


    • Researchers analyze faulty new Linux backdoor


    • Seven things security experts do to keep safe online
      Cybersecurity experts aren’t like you or I, and now we have the evidence to prove it. Researchers at Google interviewed more than 200 experts to find out what security practices they actually carry out online, and then spoke to almost 300 non-experts to find out how they differ.


    • Why Chrysler's car hack 'fix' is staggeringly stupid
      More than a million Chrysler vehicles, including Jeeps, Ram pickups, and Dodge vehicles, are vulnerable to a major vulnerability that could drive them -- literally -- off the road.

      Last week, the company recalled 1.4 million vehicles at risk of a remote hijack vulnerability, which, as detailed by Wired, can result in a hacker remotely operating the brakes, interfering with the driver's visibility by switching on the windshield wipers, and even shutting off the engine.


    • The Elderly & the Scam Masters
      Jane answered the phone and a pleasant young man identified himself as an internet technician with Microsoft. He told her they’d received a report that something was extremely wrong with their computers and he was calling to help.

      [...]

      From here it gets crazy. There was a $200 payment made to this “tech expert” and then he calls back and says that payment wasn’t necessary. In fact, an error was made and a draft of $2,000 had been made and not $200. He needed to take his $1,800 back. Of course, the “bank statement” Jane looked at did indeed show $2,000 instead of $200, so Jane was being asked to refund the $1,800.


    • We Can Put An End To Identity Theft


    • Darkode Hacking Forum Taken Down by FBI and Europol
      In a joint operation that included law enforcement agencies from 20 countries, the infamous Darkode hacking forum has been taken down.




  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression



    • The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
      At last sensible Labour politicians are injecting some maturity into the leadership debate. To start with, Tony Blair’s aide John McTernan called anyone who nominated Jeremy Corbyn a “moron”, which is such a refreshing change from the divisive and childish approach of the Left.


    • A Terrorism Case in Britain Ends in Acquittal, but No One Can Say Why
      Ian Cobain, a reporter with The Guardian, is one of very few people who know why a student arrested by armed British police officers in 2013 was finally acquitted this year of terrorism charges.

      Problem is, he cannot report what he knows. He was allowed to observe much of the trial, but only under strict conditions intended to keep classified material secret. His notebooks are being held by Britain’s domestic intelligence agency. And if he writes — or even talks — about the reason that the student, Erol Incedal, 27, was acquitted, Mr. Cobain faces prosecution and possibly jail.


    • WikiLeaks: Saudi Arabia eyes Arabian Sea port
      According to a document recently published on WikiLeaks, authorities in Saudi Arabia are looking for a new access point on the Arabian Sea. This implies either a port in the Sultanate of Oman or in Yemen.


    • Daesh, The Revolutionary Neoliberal Party and the British Falsehood Corporation
      Lord Hall, the director general of the BBC, is to be questioned by MPs over his refusal to refer to Islamic State using the term 'Daesh' (an Arabic abbreviation that means 'one who crushes something underfoot' and 'one who sows discord') because it is pejorative and therefore biased. Controversial British prime minister David Cameron had sent a request to the BBC supported in a letter signed by 120 MPs from across the spectrum – Labour, Tory and SNP.


    • ‘Swiftboating’ J Street to Smear Iran Deal as ‘Anti-Israel’
      No explanation was given of what these goals are, nor was any evidence given that “barely any Israeli” agrees with these goals.

      While New York Times editors didn’t make Shmuel Rosner specify what the alleged goals of the avowedly pro-Israel peace group J Street are that “barely any Israeli” agrees with, context suggests the most obvious explanation: J Street has backed the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran and is backing the Iran nuclear deal, and that’s why opponents of the Iran nuclear deal are attacking J Street and saying that J Street’s claim to be “pro-Israel” is dubious.




  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife





  • Finance



    • Global Derivatives: $1.5 Quadrillion Time Bomb
      Along with credit default swaps and other exotic instruments, the total notional derivatives value is about $1.5 quadrillion – about 20% more than in 2008, beyond what anyone can conceive, let alone control if unexpected turmoil strikes.

      The late Bob Chapman predicted it. So does Paul Craig Roberts. It could “destroy Western civilization,” he believes. Financial deregulation turned Wall Street into a casino with no rules except unrestrained making money. Catastrophic failure awaits. It’s just a matter of time.

      Ellen Brown calls the “derivatives casino…a last-ditch attempt to prop up a private pyramid scheme” – slowly crumbling under its own weight.

      For years, Warren Buffett called derivatives “financial time bombs” – for economies and ordinary people.


    • Going Mainstream
      I pointed out that Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance in the TV leadership debates was the first major airing of an anti-Trident argument on broadcast media in England for a decade. Actually hearing anti-austerity arguments led to a huge surge in support for the SNP in England as well as Scotland.


    • UK economy accelerates with growth of 0.7%


    • Prostitution and drug dealing add €£10billion to the economy under bizarre rules which mean crime boom is good news for Osborne
      Prostitution and drug dealing provide a €£10billion boost to the economy, new research revealed today.

      Bizarre new European rules mean that for the first time illegal activities must be included in the official estimates of the size of the economy.

      It means a booming sex trade or an expansion in cannabis factories will provide a boost to George Osborne’s economic outlook.




  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying



    • A Crucial Realization About Journalism is Learned by Being its Subject
      Journalistic objectivity is a sham, a horribly misleading and self-flattering conceit.


    • Aaronovitch Blusters to a Well of Silence


      But something else struck me about the twitter record. Aaronovitch’ twitter account claims to have 78,000 followers. Yet of the 78,000 people who allegedly received his tweet about my insanity, only 1 retweeted and 2 favourited. That is an astonishingly low proportion – 1 in 26,000 reacted. To give context, Mark Doran has only 582 followers and yet had more retweets and favourites for his riposte. 1 in 146 to be precise, a 200 times greater response rate.

      Please keep reading, I promise you this gets a great deal less boring.

      Eighteen months ago I wrote an article about Aaronovitch’s confession that he solicits fake reviews of his books to boost their score on Amazon. In response a reader emailed me with an analysis of Aaronovitch’s twitter followers. He argued with the aid of graphs that the way they accrued indicated that they were not arising naturally, but being purchased in blocks. He claimed this was common practice in the Murdoch organisation to promote their hacks through false apparent popularity.


    • ‘There Is Effectively No Limit on Money in Politics’ - CounterSpin interview with Brendan Fischer on Wisconsin campaign corruption
      Walker was accused of coordinating with outside groups, namely Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. And these are groups that, after the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, can accept unlimited secret donations, and Walker’s campaign is still bound by campaign finance limits that the US Supreme Court has consistently upheld.




  • Privacy



    • NSA has paid Utah $1 million to police entrance on Redwood Road
      From the start of 2014 through March of this year, the NSA has paid the state $1,033,850 to patrol the perimeter of the data center, according to records provided by UHP.


    • Judges slam UK's FBI over farcical Wire-style mission: National Crime Agency comes under fire for bugging plot 'failures'
      Britain's equivalent of the FBI has been condemned by judges after a sophisticated bugging operation against alleged money-launderers descended into farce and a series of ‘grave failures’.

      The National Crime Agency deployed 100 officers in 30 cars to seize the bosses of a company in West London under investigation.

      While the suspects were being interviewed at a police station, NCA chiefs hid listening devices in their offices.


    • Exclusive: Feds Regularly Monitored Black Lives Matter Since Ferguson
      The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request.


    • Researchers claim they’ve developed a better, faster Tor
      Tor, the world's largest and most well-known "onion router" network, offers a degree of anonymity that has made it a popular tool of journalists, dissidents, and everyday Internet users who are trying to avoid government or corporate censorship (as well as Internet drug lords and child pornographers). But one thing that it doesn't offer is speed—its complex encrypted "circuits" bring Web browsing and other tasks to a crawl. That means that users seeking to move larger amounts of data have had to rely on virtual private networks—which while they are anonymous, are much less protected than Tor (since VPN providers—and anyone who has access to their logs—can see who users are).




  • Civil Rights



    • ISIS Sting...or FBI Catfishing?
      Alex Ciccolo was arrested after weeks of talking to an FBI agent he thought would sell him weapons for a terror attack—and who likely knew he was mentally ill.


    • FBI Overreach? Alexander Ciccolo And The Line Between Imagined And Actual Threat
      The ever-vigilant Federal Bureau of Investigation has once again reminded us of the constant threat of domestic terrorism plots — by inventing one. But the most recent story has a more tragic twist than many other FBI “national security” capers, since it involves as well a betrayal of family values.


    • Podcast: Recent FBI Sting, White Terrorism Threat, Transgender Activist Interrupts Obama & Marriage Equality
      ...the threat of white terrorism, which the US government largely ignores; a recent elaborate FBI sting against a poor black felon that shows where the agency is putting its resources; and how the FBI monitored live streams of Ferguson protests.


    • Wesley Clark Calls for Internment Camps for "Radicalized" Americans
      Retired general and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark on Friday called for World War II-style internment camps to be revived for “disloyal Americans.” In an interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts in the wake of the mass shooting in Chatanooga, Tennessee, Clark said that during World War II, “if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war.”


    • Pat Buchanan Brings His Xenophobia To Meet The Press
      Former MSNBC employee Pat Buchanan used an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press to frame immigration as a "massive invasion" and "conquest of the West" by "third-world ... border jumpers." During the appearance, host Chuck Todd did not mention Buchanan's past history of racist comments, or that NBC's cable channel MSNBC parted ways with Buchanan in 2012.


    • The CIA Paid This Contractor $40 Million to Review Torture Documents
      But VICE News has exclusively obtained more than 100 pages of contracting documents [pdf below] that show it was CIA officials who insisted on outsourcing work related to the Senate's review — and that it was the CIA that paid more than $40 million to one of its longtime contractors for administrative support and other tasks related to the report. Those tasks included compiling, reviewing, redacting, and posting to a server the more than 6 million pages of highly classified CIA cables and other documents Senate Intelligence Committee staffers pored through during the course of their probe.


    • Torture Is Bad. So Psychologists Helped the US Redefine It
      The Hoffman report (so named because the principal investigator is a lawyer named David Hoffman) was commissioned by the American Psychological Association to examine a 2005 APA publication called the Psychology Ethics in National Security document (PENS). This document, voted into policy by APA leadership at the time, outlined the conditions in which a psychologist could ethically work alongside military and intelligence interrogators. Critics from within and without the APA had—since the document’s inception—suspected foul play. The Hoffman report lays those accusations bare, by showing that the APA’s head of ethics had been directly working with the military to create a back-scratching policy.




  • Intellectual Monopolies





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