Wow, it sure was a busy Thursday in the news feeds today. Windows 10 is getting a lot of headlines, some right in Open Source World. The Free Software Foundation issued a public statement urging folks to reject Windows 10 and LinuxBSDos.com advised dual-boot upgraders. The CEO of Mozilla even posted an open letter to Microsoft CEO concerning Windows 10. Elsewhere, Christine Hall blogged about the advancement of artificial intelligence, a LibreOffice update was announced, and Swapnil Bhartiya shared his pick of top five heros of Linux.
Today in Linux news, Linus Torvalds posted pictures of him actually flying in real world fighter jets and expressed frustration at new Gmail spam filtering. Caolán McNamara posted a screenshot of LibreOffice running on Wayland and The Document Foundation announced the publication of ODF 1.2 as ISO 26300. Attila Orosz reviewed Antergos and Dedoimedo put SteamOS 2.0 Beta through some tests.
In the continuing saga of Canonical versus contributors' rights, a clarification was issued today. Most consensus is that Canonical's "trump clause" fixes the largest part of the intellectual property dispute, but still leaves issues unresolved. The Free Software Foundation and the Software Freedom Conservancy played key roles and have issued their own statements. Bradley M. Kuhn, Matthew Garrett, and Jonathan Riddell weigh in as well.
Container technology has lead to several other areas of development and one of them being an atomic operating system that sandboxes applications and delivers updates in a single image. Red Hat started their Project Atomic to provide applications in a containerized format and produced Atomic Host as the tiny OS on which they'd run. It didn't take long before planners began speaking of doing similar for Fedora and now developers are in the early planning stages of bringing this idea to fruition.
In Linuxville today Eric Griffith demonstrated why GNOME is better than KDE and Attila Orosz explained what you need to know about systemd. Reviews of Semplice 7, Mint 17.2, and Mangaka caught my eye and Matt Hartley compared Linux to OS X saying, "I believe Linux is a more practical solution than OS X."
More GNOME: GNOME Foundation AGM 2015
Security and privacy seemed to be my theme this week and tonight's news brings more. Richard Stallman, "software freedom fighter," told Swapnil Bhartiya, "A program must not restrict what jobs its users do with it." In related news, the same RMS was included in the Business Insider "12 most influential programmers working today" list. Back to the NSA, Michael Larabel said you should be wearing tin foil hats if you're worried about them working on KDBUS. The NSA also uploaded code to Github for sysadmins to "lock down" their Linux machines.
When the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. released the Accumulo project into open source territory in 2008, there were not a lot of details about the size and capability of the hardware it was running, although it is safe to say that the NSA found ways to make it scale across some of their larger machines. However, as one might imagine, scale alone did not define a successful NSA database system—the security also had to be robust and guaranteed.
The NSA has released a network security tool that it claims is designed to help organizations "fortify their networks against cyber attacks". But, after being revealed to be spying on just about anyone it wants to, from US citizens to leaders of allied governments, while undermining major tech firms in the process, IT administrators will likely be very skeptical of adopting it.
The NSA today revealed it has uploaded source code to GitHub to help IT admins lock down their networks of Linux machines.
The open-source software is called the System Integrity Management Platform (SIMP). It is designed to make sure networks comply with US Department of Defense security standards, but the spy agency says it can be adapted by admins to meet individual security needs as well.
Linus Torvalds was interviewed by Slashdot last week and his comments on artificial intelligence has been making the rounds since. He basically said AI would not lead to human-like robots because the neural network would remain limited. Despite that, Google has "applied for at least six patents on fundamental neural network and AI." In other news, Kali Linux 2.0 is expected at DEFCON 23 and the Free Software Foundation has approved another Linux OS for its "fully free" list. Docker 'Tinkerer Extraordinaire' said Open Source is hostile to women and Megatotoro posted Pisi Linux is still alive and kicking.
SELinux is a product of the NSA and some worried when it was added to Red Hat, Fedora, and later many other distributions. Even before Snowden revealed the massive government spying, having the NSA anywhere near Linux activated certain Spidey-senses. Now we learn that SELinux may have had an exploit for bypassing the security enforcements. Italian software company Hacking Team, who admits to providing "technology to the worldwide law enforcement and intelligence communities," has been selling technology to governments (most with bad human rights records) to assist in gathering surveillance data on citizens, groups, journalists, and other governments. Recently Hacking Team was hacked and their information has been leaked onto the Internet. Besides the SELinux exploit, it's been reported that the FBI, U.S. Army, and the Drug Enforcement Agency are or were customers of Hacking Team's services.
There were quite a few interesting headlines in the reader tonight. First up, Linux Mint 17.2 was released and openSUSE Tumbleweed is back on a roll. Christian Schaller recently said that Fedora is planning to do for video what PulseAudio did for audio. Several reviews warrant a mention and RedMonk published their bi-annual programming language rankings report. Sourceforge is forming a community panel and Linus Torvalds was interviewed over at Slashdot.
Today in Linux news Kate Lebedeff announced the release of OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2, a major update to 2014.1 released September 2014 and the first to support UEFI. In other news, Douglas DeMaio announced openSUSE 42, the next release of the gecko emblazoned Linux due in November. Elsewhere, Jack Germain reviewed Makulu 9 Aero and Alap Naik Desai reported Friday Microsoft hinted at a Linux OS at Microsoft Ignite in Chicago last month.