An anonymous reader writes "Linux kernel developer veteran Alan Cox has lashed out at Red Hat's recent release of Fedora 18. Cox posted comments to his Google+ page saying 'Fedora 18 seems to be the worst Red Hat distro I've ever seen.' He encountered numerous problems with Fedora 18 and then decided to switch to Ubuntu."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
Titus Andronicus writes "fuse-exfat, a GPLv3 implementation of the exFAT file system for Linux, FreeBSD, and OS X, has reached 1.0 status, according to an announcement from Andrew Nayenko, the primary developer. exFAT is a file system designed for sneaker-netting terabyte-scale files and groups of files on flash drives and memory cards between and among Windows, OS X, and consumer electronics devices. It was introduced by Microsoft in late 2006. Will fuse-exfat cut into Microsoft's juicy exFAT licensing revenue? Will Microsoft litigate fuse-exfat's developers and users into patent oblivion? Will there be a DKMS dynamic kernel module version of the software, similar to the ZFS on Linux project? All that remains to be seen. ReadWrite, The H, and Phoronix cover the story."
An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday in a post at the White House website, the U.S. government announced that June 1-2 would be the National Day of Civic Hacking. 'Civic Hacking Day is an opportunity for software developers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to unleash their can-do American spirit by collaboratively harnessing publicly-released data and code to create innovative solutions for problems that affect Americans.' It will be a joint project with Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America. Activities are being planned in many cities across the country, and you can also sign up to host your own event. It's nice to see the government use the word 'hacking' in a positive way, since most uses of the term these days involve malicious activity."
Mark.JUK writes "Several major Internet Service Providers in the United Kingdom, including BSkyB, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, AAISP and Fluidata, have warned that the adoption of Carrier Grade NAT (IPv4 address sharing) is likely to become increasingly common in the future. But the technology, which many view as a delaying tactic until IPv6 becomes more common place, is not without its problems and could cause a number of popular services to fail (e.g. XBox Live, PlayStation Network, FTP hosting etc.). The prospect of a new style of two tier internet could be just around the corner." A few of the ISPs gave the usual marketing department answers, but three of them noted that they've been offering IPv6 for ages and CGNAT is only inevitable for folks that didn't prepare for what they knew was coming. Which, unfortunately, appears to be most of the major UK ISPs.
jrepin wrote in with a link to an article about the steps being taken toward a Qt5 based KDE 5 and Plasma Workspaces 2. From the article: "KDE's Next Generation user interfaces will run on top of Qt5. On Linux, they will run atop Wayland or Xorg as display server. The user interfaces move away from widget-based X11 rendering to OpenGL. Monolithic libraries are being split up, inter-dependencies removed, and portability and dependencies cut by stronger modularization. For users, this means higher quality graphics, more organic user interfaces and availability of applications on a wider range of devices. Developers will find an extensive archive of high-quality, libraries and solutions on top of Qt."
An anonymous reader writes "The Arch Linux distribution has been modified to run off the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel as an alternative to using Linux. The developer of Arch BSD explained his reasoning as enjoying FreeBSD while also liking the Arch Linux philosophy of a 'fast, lightweight, optimized distro,' so he sought to combine the two operating systems to have FreeBSD at its core while being encircled by Arch. The Arch BSD initiative is similar to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD."
theodp writes "There's a funny thing about the estimated $1.7 trillion that American companies say they have indefinitely invested overseas,' reports the WSJ's Kate Linebaugh (reg. or the old Google trick). 'A lot of it is actually sitting right here at home.' And if tech companies like Google and Microsoft want to keep more than three-quarters of the cash owned by their foreign subsidiaries at U.S. banks, held in U.S. dollars or parked in U.S. government and corporate securities, Linebaugh explains, this money is still overseas in the eyes of the IRS and isn't taxed as long as it doesn't flow back to the U.S. parent company. Helping corporations avoid the need to tap their foreign-held cash are low interest rates at home, which have allowed U.S. companies to borrow cheaply. Oracle, for instance, raised $5 billion last year, paying an interest rate roughly two-thirds of a percentage point above the low post-crash Treasury yield, about 2.5% at the time (by contrast, grad students and parents pay 6.8%-7.9% for Federal student loans). Were the funds it manages to keep in the hands of its foreign subsidiaries brought home and subjected to U.S. income tax, Oracle estimated it could owe Uncle Sam about $6.3 billion."
TrueSatan writes "Andrew Auernheimer doesn't appear suicidal, no thanks to U.S. prosecutors, yet he has been under attack for his act of altering an API URL that revealed a set of user data and posting details of same. 'In June of 2010 there was an AT&T webserver on the open Internet. There was an API on this server, a URL with a number at the end. If you incremented this number, you saw the next iPad 3G user email address. I thought it was egregiously negligent for AT&T to be publishing a complete target list of iPad 3G owners, and I took a sample of the API output to a journalist at Gawker.' Auernheimer has been under investigation from that point onward, with restrictions on his freedom and ability to earn a living that are grossly disproportionate to any perceived crime. This is just as much a case of legislative overreach and the unfettered power of prosecutors as was Swartz's case."
hypnosec writes "The Linux Foundation has announced the release of Linux 3.4 under its Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI), which will be maintained for the next two years with back-ported features from newer Linux kernels. Based on Linux 3.4.25, the LTSI 3.4 is equipped with features such as Contiguous Memory Allocator – which is helpful for embedded devices with limited hardware resource availability; AF_BUS – a kernel-based implementation of the D-Bus protocol; and CoDel (controlled delay) – a transmission algorithm meant for optimization of TCP/IP network buffer control."
massivepanic writes "For the longest time Canonical has slapped an LTS ("long term support") moniker on some of their Ubuntu releases. Currently, a new major release of the operating system happens every six months, and is supported for 18 months after release. Whereas in the past when LTS versions received two years support or more, the current model — starting with 12.04 — supports new LTS releases for five years. However, a recent public Google Hangouts session revealed that Canonical has been thinking about switching from the venerable LTS model to a rolling release, starting with version 14.04."
Jeremiah Cornelius writes "Researchers with the European Food Safety Authority discovered variants of the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S in the most widely harvested varieties of genetically-modified crops, including Monsanto's RoundupReady Soy and Maze. According to the researchers, Podevin and du Jardin, the particular 'Gene VI' is responsible for a number of possible consequences that could affect human health, including inhibition of RNA silencing and production of proteins with known toxicity. The EFSA is endorsing 'retrospective risk assessment' of CaMV promoter and its Gene VI sequences — in an attempt to give it a clean bill of health. It is unknown if the presence of the hidden viral genes were the result of laboratory contamination or a possible recombinant product of the resultant organism. There are serious implications for the production of GMO for foodstuffs, given either possibility."
alexander_686 writes "We heard that Dell is in buyout talks with private equity firms. Now, the word is that Microsoft may invest one to three billion dollars in that buyout. For that amount of money, Microsoft isn't going for majority ownership, but it would be a significant stake. Dell is worth around $22-25 billion. Speculation is that investors would put up $5-7 billion in equity, borrowing the rest. As a point of reference, Michael Dell's stock is worth $3.6 billion."
An anonymous reader writes "There's a battle brewing amongst Obama's election team. The political folks want to keep the get out the vote code closed source so republicans never get access to it, but the programmers want it open sourced so it can be improved upon. 'In this sense, the decision to mothball the tech would be a violation of the developers’ ethical principles. But the argument is about more than whether putting the tech back in the hands of the public is the right thing to do. "The biggest issue we saw with all of the commercial election software we used was that it’s only updated every four years," says Ryan. It was these outdated options that convinced team Obama to build all the campaign tech in-house. If the code OFA built was put on ice at the DNC until 2016, it would become effectively worthless. "None of that will be useful in four years, technology moves too fast," said Ryan. "But if our work was open and people were forking it and improving it all the time, then it keeps up with changes as we go."'"
itwbennett writes "As previously reported on Slashdot, in November of last year, the city of Munich reported savings of over €10 million from its switch to Linux. Microsoft subsequently commissioned a study (conducted by HP) that found that, in fact, 'Munich would have saved €43.7 million if it had stuck with Microsoft.' Now, Microsoft has said it won't release the study, saying that '[it] was commissioned by Microsoft to HP Consulting for internal purposes only.'"
Nerval's Lobster writes "For quite some time Mozilla has been working on Firefox OS, a lightweight mobile OS built in HTML5. Now it's whipped the curtain back from the first developer preview phones. The developer preview phones are unlocked, requiring the user insert their own SIM card. If those specs seem a little underpowered compared to other smartphones on the market, it's because Firefox OS is intended for lower-end smartphones; target markets include developing countries such as Brazil and China. (The first developer preview phones will be available in February.) The Firefox OS (once known as 'Boot to Gecko') is based on a handful of open APIs. The actual interface is highly reminiscent of Google Android and Apple iOS, with grids of icons linked to applications." The specs really aren't that bad; reader sfcrazy points out that they include the usual features baked into medium- and high-end phones these days: Wifi N, light and proximity sensors, and an accelerometer (though no mention of NFC).