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Friday, October 21 2016 @ 03:09 PM CDT
Friday, January 10 2014 @ 01:47 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Ask someone of a certain age today how politically engaged they think young adults are, and they’re likely to respond “not very.” And in fact, the current U.S. political system is dysfunctional enough that someone of any age could be forgiven for simply turning away in disgust. Of course, that does no one any good. Or, as we used to say back in the 1960’s, “If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.”
All of which makes me happy to bring your attention to a Web site called Ideas Today, Politics Tomorrow, for which my daughter Nora is a staff writer. She writes primarily about foreign affairs, and like everyone else at the site (including the founders), she’s unpaid.
Tuesday, November 02 2010 @ 12:01 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Better run for cover . . . it's Election Day in the USA
Heaven help us all (all us Americans, anyway) — it's election time again. That means we've once again descended into a morass of partisan invective, not to mention lies, damn lies, and (of course) statistics. Except that this election year it seems that everyone is behaving even worse than last time, when everyone acted even worse than the time before, when, well, do you sense a trend here?
One hallmark of this year's political "discourse" (to abuse a term) has been the number of astonishingly angry and ill-informed accusations made by some candidates against their opponents (and others). Nothing unusual about that, sad to say. But what is different is the degree of acceptance, and even approval, exhibited by many voters that in earlier years might have rejected these candidates as well as their statements.
Monday, September 27 2010 @ 12:03 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?
Page through a major newspaper (remember newspapers?) today like the New York Times, and you’re likely to run into two enormous ads, one by Google (almost two full pages) and one by AOL (a full two pages). Leaving aside the irony of Google advertising in a form of media that it has almost competed out of existence, there’s something potentially transformative going on here that’s worth exploring.
Thursday, May 21 2009 @ 05:52 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Saturday, July 26 2008 @ 05:14 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Ever since Steve Jobs addressed the adoring crowds at this year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the press, Apple fans - and most especially, Apple investors - have been concerned over the state of his health. The reasons are obvious: Five years ago, Jobs announced that he had been diagnosed, and cured, of a rare and happily less pernicious form of pancreatic cancer (the more common variety is almost never discovered before it has become incurable). And, when Jobs took the stage this June, he was far thinner and more haggard than he had ever looked before.
Since then, although rumors have swirled, Apple has refused to state whether or not Jobs has had a recurrence of his cancer - or disclose any meaningful details at all. Even on calls with securities analysts, Apple's response has only been that "Steve's health is a private matter."
Thus you might think that if you were a journalist, and you got a call from Steve Jobs yourself, giving you, and you only, the private scoop on the status of his health, you might feel like a pretty lucky guy, and take that news to the public within whatever constraints you had agreed to with the Apple CEO. Or would you write a different story entirely, and bury that news in the penultimate paragraph of a long story, and write at length instead about how stockholders were entitled to know the news that you had just buried?
With that lead in, you can guess which way New York Times business page columnist Joe Nocera called the coin toss. So here's the good news about Steve Jobs (up front), and the bad news about a Journalistic decision.
Quote of the Day
“[O]occasional lulls in momentum are not uncommon
-Marcus Lange, VP of Apache OpenOffice, on the occasion of the first AOO release in some time See all Quotes
Latest NewsStudy: ‘Open source coders more aware of security’Gijs HilleniusEU Joinup
October 19, 2016 - Developers of open source software are generally more aware of code security issues than developers working for the European institutions, according to a study conducted on behalf of the European Commission and European Parliament. Developers working for the European institutions have more tools available for management and testing of code security, but using them is not yet standard practice.
Open source developers should have more testing environments, and should perform more security testing, the study recommends....To compare code security methods used by open source communities and software development projects in the European institutions, the study looks at ten segments commonly found in software development, such as project management, release management, software testing, and incident management. For each segment, the report lists conclusions and recommendations. For example: project management is more efficient at the European institutions, and the study recommends that, if possible, free software groups improve in this area.
To shore up software security, the authors suggest that the European institutions and free software groups standardise their security definitions and that both use standard authentication mechanisms.... ...Full Story
ETSI releases first SDN software stack as open source
EU Joinup October 18, 2016 - [Last] week, standardisation organisation ETSI published OSM Release ONE, an open-source software stack to implement Software-Defined Networking (SDN). SDN, or network virtualisation, brings the management of computer networks to a higher level by abstracting the physical infrastructure. This allows network administrators to manage their networks in a more flexible, or even a fully automated, dynamic way.
The OSM software was developed by ETSI's Management and Orchestration (MANO) group in close alignment with the Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) Industry Specification Group, in which industry and ETSI collaborate on standards for SDN.
The OSM community aims to deliver a production-quality open-source MANO stack that meets the requirements of commercial NFV networks. According to ETSI, the platform has been tested and documented to allow rapid installation in operator labs. The OSM group is currently building a network of remote labs connected over a virtual network to test the compatibility and interoperability of multiple types of infrastructures. ...Full Story
France to develop a toolbox for Open Government
EU Joinup October 17, 2016 - Etalab, the French government agency in charge of Open Data and Open Government, and the French authorities are currently working, in collaboration with other OGP members, on an Open Government toolkit....Etalab said that the toolbox should include Open Data portals, forums, tools to assess the implementation of commitments drafted in the Action Plan and some civic tech. A free public consultation platform will also developed to be part of the toolbox,... ...Full Story
IBM, Microsoft, Oracle beware: Russia wants open source, sees you as security risk
ZDNet October 14, 2016 - Russia is drafting a new law requiring Russian government agencies to give preference to open source and to block US software from computer systems, citing security concerns.
Just weeks after Moscow committed to removing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange on 600,000 systems under orders from Russian president Vladimir Putin, the nation's lower house, the State Duma, is drafting a bill to make it harder for agencies even to buy Russian software products that are based on foreign-made proprietary middleware and programming frameworks.
The bill marks Russia's latest attempt at substituting imported software with local products, but casts a wider net than existing restrictions on IT procurement by agencies and state-run enterprises.
If passed, the law will require local agencies to give preference to open-source software and justify any purchases of proprietary software. As reported by Russian news site, Kommersant, the Duma views products based on closed-source software as costly and unsafe to public IT infrastructure.... ...Full Story
The Apache OpenOffice Project Announces Apache® OpenOffice™ v4.1.3
Apache Foundation October 13, 2016 - Apache OpenOffice,...announced today Apache® OpenOffice™ v4.1.3, now available in 41 languages on Windows and OS X...."As an Open Source project led by an all-volunteer community, occasional lulls in momentum are not uncommon," said Marcus Lange, Vice President of Apache OpenOffice. "Such was the case with OpenOffice until recently. We wanted to change this, starting with a new bugfix release."Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3 features include:
- Key security vulnerability fixes;
- Support for new language dictionaries;
- Numerous bug fixes, including installer and database support on Mac OS X; and
- Enhancements to the build tools (for developers)
"This release symbolizes a resurgence in the project," said Patricia Shanahan, Release Manager for Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3. "We are proud to continue development of one of the most visible and widely used Apache projects."... ...Full Story
NFC Forum Technical Specifications Improve RF Communication and NFC Tag Interoperability with NFC Devices
NFC Forum October 12, 2016 - The NFC Forum announced today the availability of one adopted and four candidate technical specifications, following approval by the Board of Directors. The specifications are available on the NFC Forum website. Formerly a candidate specification, the Analog 2.0 Technical Specification delivers new capabilities that support improved RF communication to ensure interoperability between Near Field Communication (NFC) devices and existing RF infrastructure and cards based on the ISO/IEC 14443 and ISO/IEC 18092 standards.
The NFC Forum Type 1-4 Tag Candidate Specifications, currently open for industry comment, allow for enhanced communications between an NFC-enabled device and different existing tag hardware.... ...Full Story
G7 sets common cyber-security guidelines for financial sector
Reuters October 11, 2016 - The Group of Seven industrial powers on Tuesday said they had agreed on guidelines for protecting the global financial sector from cyber attacks following a series of cross-border bank thefts by hackers.... ...Full Story
21 Open Source Projects for IoT
Linux.com September 30, 2016 - The Internet of Things market is fragmented, amorphous, and continually changing, and its very nature requires more than the usual attention to interoperability. It’s not surprising then, that open source has done quite well here -- customers are hesitant to bet their IoT future on a proprietary platform that may fade or become difficult to customize and interconnect.
In this second entry in a four-part series about open source IoT, I have compiled a guide to major open source software projects, focusing on open source tech for home and industrial automation. Next week, I’ll cover hardware projects -- from smart home hubs to IoT-focused hacker boards -- and in the final part of the series, I’ll look at distros and the future of IoT.
The list of 21 projects below includes two major Linux Foundation hosted projects -- AllSeen (AllJoyn) and the OCF (IoTivity) -- and many more end-to-end frameworks that link IoT sensor endpoints with gateways and cloud services. I have also included a smattering of smaller projects that address particular segments of the IoT ecosystem. We could list more, but it’s increasingly difficult to determine the difference between IoT software and just plain software. From the embedded world to the cloud, more and more projects have an IoT story to tell.... ...Full Story
Thou shalt not kill: Official guidelines to keep humans safe from robots are published by standards authority
DailyMail.com September 29, 2016 - The science fiction author Isaac Asimov first proposed the 'Three Laws of Robotics' in a short story published in 1942 as a way of ensuring the machines would not rise up to overthrow humanity.
But with robots now starting to appear in people's homes and artificial intelligence developing, a group of experts have drawn up a new list of rules to protect humanity from their creations.
The British Standards Institution, which develops technical and quality guidelines for goods sold in the UK and issues the famous Kitemark certificate, has drawn up a new standard for robots.... ...Full Story
New, stronger crypto standard lacks backward compatibility
FedScoop September 28, 2016 - The Internet Engineering Task Force is on the verge of approving a new standard for encrypted internet traffic that will make the web a safer place to shop, bank and browse — but it could also break a lot of stuff for people who don't update their browsers.
Transport Layer Security, or TLS, is an encryption protocol that works with web browsers. It's the math, and the shared standards, that underlie the green padlock users see — the symbol which gives users the confidence that they are connected to the right site and is private enough to share personal or financial data.
TLS supersedes SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer — a protocol dating back to 1995 that has proven to be thoroughly broken. But the latest TLS version was finalized in 2008 and in recent years has been the subject of many high profile attacks and newly discovered bugs...."There's no timeline" for the IETF working group to finish drafting the standard, task force spokesman Greg Wood told FedScoop. The 15th draft was published last month.....Crypto experts agree 1.3 will be faster and much more secure. Older versions of TLS typically require at least three exchanges between the server hosting web content and the browser viewing it before any actual traffic can move. This is known as 3-RTT, for Round Trip Time, and contributes to the latency that sometimes plague encrypted sites.
The lower the RTT, the faster the web connection. TLS 1.3 aims for a maximum of 1-RTT, according to engineers.However, one of the ways TLS 1.3 is being made more secure is to eliminate what engineers call backwards compatibility — the ability of websites using the new standard to be viewed with outdated browsers....
Backwards compatibility is at the root of many vulnerabilities in earlier versions of TLS — like the POODLE and FREAK attacks.... ...Full Story