In wake of Anonabox, more crowdsourced Tor router projects make their pitch
Last week, Ars reported on the story of Anonabox, an effort by a California developer to create an affordable privacy-protecting device based on the open source OpenWRT wireless router software and the Tor Project’s eponymous Internet traffic encryption and anonymization software. Anonabox was pulled from Kickstarter after accusations that the project misrepresented its product and failed to meet some basic security concerns—though its developers still plan to release their project for sale through their own website.
But Anonabox’s brief campaign on Kickstarter has demonstrated demand for a simple, inexpensive way to hide Internet traffic from prying eyes. And there are a number of other projects attempting to do what Anonabox promised. On Kickstarter competitor Indiegogo there’s a project called Invizbox that looks almost identical to Anonabox—except for the approach its team is taking to building and marketing the device.
Debian Now Defaults To Xfce On Non-x86 Desktops
Back in September Debian switched back to the GNOME desktop by default in place of Xfce for the upcoming Debian 8.0 "Jessie" release. However, as of today, the non-x86 versions of Debian have flip-flopped once again back to Xfce.
Debian switched back to GNOME in September over reasons dealing with accessibility, systemd integration, and other factors when seeing what was the best fit to be the default for Debian 8 Jessie. However, now for platforms aside from x86 and x86_64, Xfce has returned to the default over poor experiences in using the GNOME Shell.
Phoenix Is Trying To Be An Open Version Of Apple's Swift
Apple unveiled the Swift programming language at this year's WWDC event but sadly it's still not clear whether Apple will "open up" the language to let it appear on non-Apple platforms. Swift is built atop LLVM and designed to be Apple's successor to Objective-C in many regards while suppoorting C/Obj-C/Obj-C++ all within a single program. With non-Apple folks being interested in the language, it didn't take long before an open-source project started up around it.
Ind.ie has today announced their Phoenix project that aims to be a free and open version of Apple's Swift programming language. The work is being led by Greg Casamento who is also the leader of GNUStep, the common open-source implementation of Apple's Cocoa frameworks.
Google Chromebook quietly takes aim at the enterprise
Google's Chromebook is a cheap alternative to a more expensive Windows or Mac PC or laptop, but up until recently it lacked any specific administrative oversight tools for enterprise IT. While IT might have liked the price tag, they may have worried about the lack of an integrated tool suite for managing a fleet of Chromebooks. That's changed with release of Chromebook for Work, a new program designed to give IT that control they crave for Chromebooks.
Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer Merged Into GCC
The latest merged feature for next year's GCC 5 compiler release is AutoFDO support!
AutoFDO is the Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer. AutoFDO relies on the Linux kernel's perf framework for profiling with performance counters. AutoFDO interprets the perf output and attempts to use the FDO infrastructure to produce better optimized code generation. AutoFDO according to its Google engineers is said to be noticeably faster than traditional FDO for GCC.
Ubuntu at Suzuka, Game-Changing Frictional Games, and Linux for Privacy
Today in Linux news, Softpedia.com brings us another Ubuntu spotted-in-the-wild sighting. Hamish Wilson looks at Frictional Games' body of work and how it changed computer gaming. My Linux Rig talks to Charles Profitt about his Ubuntu setup and The New American says use Linux if you're "sick of surveillance."
5 open access journals for open source enthusiasts
The ever rising cost of academic journals is a major burden for researchers. Academic libraries cannot always keep up with increases in subscription fees causing libraries to drop journals from their collection. This makes it harder for students and professors to quickly and easily access the information they need. Inter-library loan requests are an option but they do take time. Even if it only takes a few days to fill an inter-library loan request, that is still time wasted for a researcher that has a deadline. While there is no single, quick fix to the problem with the academic journal prices, there is a movement applying the open source way to academic research in an attempt to solve the problem—the open access movement.