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09 Nov 18:11

32 European ministers call for more Free Software in governmental infrastructure

32 European ministers call for more Free Software in governmental infrastructure

On 6 October, 32 European Ministers in charge of eGovernment policy signed the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment that calls for more collaboration, interoperable solutions, and sharing of good practices throughout public administrations and across borders. Amongst other things, the EU ministers recognised the need to make more use of Free Software solutions and Open Standards when (re)building governmental digital systems with EU funds.

The Tallinn Declaration, lead by the Estonian EU presidency, has been adopted on 6 October 2017. It is a ministerial declaration that marks a new political commitment at European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) level on priorities to ensure user-centric digital public services for both citizens and businesses cross-border. While having no legislative power, the ministerial declaration marks a political commitment to ensure the digital transformation of public administrations through a set of commonly agreed principles and actions.

The FSFE has previously submitted its input for the aforementioned declaration during the public consultation round, asking for greater inclusion of Free Software in delivering truly inclusive, trustworthy and interoperable digital services to all citizens and businesses across the EU.

The adopted Tallinn Declaration proves to be a forward-looking document that acknowledges the importance of Free Software in order to ensure the principle of 'interoperability by default', and expresses the will of all signed EU countries to:

"make more use of open source solutions and/or open standards when (re)building ICT systems and solutions (among else, to avoid vendor lock-ins)[...]"

Additionally, the signatories call upon the European Commission to:

"consider strengthening the requirements for use of open source solutions and standards when (re)building of ICT systems and solutions takes place with EU funding, including by an appropriate open licence policy – by 2020."

The last point is especially noteworthy, as it explicitly calls for the European Commission to make use of Free Software and Open Standards in building their ICT infrastructure with EU funds, which is in line with our "Public Money, Public Code" campaign that is targeted at the demand for all publicly financed software developed for the public sector to be publicly made available under Free Software licences.

What's next?

The Tallinn Declaration sets several deadlines for its implementation in the next few years: with the annual presentation on the progress of implementation of the declaration in the respective countries across the EU and EFTA through the eGovernment Action Plan Steering Board. The signatories also called upon the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU to evaluate the implementation of the Tallinn Declaration in autumn 2018.

"The Declaration expresses the political will of the EU and EFTA countries to digitise their governments in the most user-friendly and efficient way. The fact that it explicitly recognises the role of Free Software and Open Standards for a trustworthy, transparent and open eGovernment on a high level, along with a demand for strengthened reuse of ICT solutions based on Free Software in the EU public sector, is a valuable step forward to establishing a "Public Money, Public Code" reality across Europe", says Polina Malaja, the FSFE's policy analyst.

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07 Nov 12:43

Netanyahu’s master class on British TV

by Melanie

Whatever you think about Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu, this is a master class in how to present the case, not just for Israel but for rational western policy on the manifold and gathering threats to the world within the Middle East – of which the overwhelming threat by far is posed by Iran. Watch how he calmly copes with the usual boiler-plate prejudices about the Palestinians and then makes the points that so badly need to be made to a British audience – such as pointing out that Israel has helped save many British lives. Not a fact that the British often hear.

The post Netanyahu’s master class on British TV appeared first on MelaniePhillips.com.

04 Nov 15:01

Bruce Momjian: Why Attend Conferences?

I have attended 323 Postgres events in my career. While I have enjoyed almost all of them, many had different focuses, so I thought I would share my experiences. First, there are a variety of conference types:

  1. Vendor conferences: often in big cities, which focus on company-produced products
  2. Business conferences: also often in big cities, which focus on business challenges and discussions, often with high attendance prices
  3. Community conferences: led by people who care about open-source software and focus on software knowledge transfer
  4. Hobbyist conferences: often in smaller cities, which focus on interpersonal relationship building with technology as a catalyst, often free

It would be nice if I could say which conference types are good or bad, but that isn't possible. Each conference targets an audience whose needs it seeks to fulfill. Let's look at the needs that each fulfills:

  1. Vendor conferences: If you are new to a technology and need people to help you navigate purchase options, these conferences are for you.
  2. Business conferences: If you are frequently challenged to make business decisions, but feel you have no one to share options with or brainstorm, this type of conference can give you a framework to help you make your next complex business decision.
  3. Community conferences: If you spend significant time solving technological problems, you can gain great insight and new approaches by attending this type of conference.
  4. Hobbyist conferences: If you are looking for emotional connections to people who share similar interests, this type of conference can be personally rewarding.

Ideally everyone would go to conferences which match their interests, but what happens when they don't match? Here are some examples:

  1. Vendor conferences: "Wow, this is boring. The booth staff don't even know about the technology they are selling. When will this be over?"
  2. Business conferences: "People are very passionate about the problems they are trying to solve. I am glad I don't have these problems — they seem unsolvable."
  3. Community conferences: "These people really care about the minutia of the software. When are they going to get a life?"
  4. Hobbyist conferences: "Does this end with everyone sitting in a circle and roasting marshmallows over a CPU fan?"

Continue Reading »

03 Nov 16:33

Defensive Profile

NO DRAMA ZONE -> If I've made you sad, you'd better not tell me, because I am TERRIFIED of that situation and have NO IDEA how to handle it.
02 Nov 01:45

Alex Korban: The case against ORMs

I still see many developers singing praises to ORMs, but I have stopped using ORMs several years ago. I have accumulated enough experience on both sides now, so I'd like to lay out my case against using ORMs. I'd like to start with a couple of quotes: > I'm the original author of Sequel 1], an ORM for Ruby. Lately I've been finding that ORM's actually get in the way of accomplishing stuff. I think there's a case to be made for less abstraction in programming in general, and access to data sto...
31 Oct 23:06

Alex Korban: The case against ORMs

I still see a lot of support for ORMs, so I'd like to lay out my case against using them. I'd like to start with a couple of quotes: > I'm the original author of Sequel 1], an ORM for Ruby. Lately I've been finding that ORM's actually get in the way of accomplishing stuff. I think there's a case to be made for less abstraction in programming in general, and access to data stores is a major part of that. For an in-production system I've been maintaining for the last 10 years, I've recently rip...
30 Oct 18:03

Digital Resource Lifespan

I spent a long time thinking about how to design a system for long-term organization and storage of subject-specific informational resources without needing ongoing work from the experts who created them, only to realized I'd just reinvented libraries.
27 Oct 12:40

Announcing General Availability of Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL Compatibility

Amazon Aurora is a fully managed relational database that combines the performance and availability of commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. In April 2017, we announced an open preview of the PostgreSQL-compatible edition of Amazon Aurora. The service is now generally available to all customers.

Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility provides up to three times better performance than the typical PostgreSQL database, together with scalability, durability and security. It also provides a high degree of compatibility with commercial databases, making it a compelling target for database migrations.

The service also includes Performance Insights, an easy-to-use database monitoring tool that helps you quickly detect performance problems and take corrective action. Performance Insights is available for preview at no additional cost and can be enabled with one click in the Amazon RDS Console.

The PostgreSQL-compatible edition of Amazon Aurora is available on r4.large – r4.16xlarge DB Instance Classes in the US-EAST-1 (N. Virginia), US-EAST-2 (Ohio), US-WEST-2 (Oregon) and EU-WEST-1 (Ireland) Regions. Please see the documentation for more information.

Please see Jeff Barr’s recent blog post for more information.

19 Oct 14:54

Samsung to support Linux distributions on Galaxy handsets

by corbet
Here's a Samsung press release describing the company's move into the "run Linux on your phone" space. "Installed as an app, Linux on Galaxy gives smartphones the capability to run multiple operating systems, enabling developers to work with their preferred Linux-based distributions on their mobile devices. Whenever they need to use a function that is not available on the smartphone OS, users can simply switch to the app and run any program they need to in a Linux OS environment."
18 Oct 16:41

Research Risks

The 1919 Great Boston Molasses Flood remained the deadliest confectionery containment accident until the Canadian Space Agency's 2031 orbital maple syrup delivery disaster.
11 Oct 18:55

Logical

It's like I've always said--people just need more common sense. But not the kind of common sense that lets them figure out that they're being condescended to by someone who thinks they're stupid, because then I'll be in trouble.
09 Oct 16:27

Jet Lag

I had some important research to do on proposed interstellar space missions, basketball statistics, canceled skyscrapers, and every article linked from "Women in warfare and the military in the 19th century."
05 Oct 14:09

PostgreSQL 10 Released

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group today announced the release of PostgreSQL 10, the latest version of the world's most advanced open source database.

A critical feature of modern workloads is the ability to distribute data across many nodes for faster access, management, and analysis, which is also known as a "divide and conquer" strategy. The PostgreSQL 10 release includes significant enhancements to effectively implement the divide and conquer strategy, including native logical replication, declarative table partitioning, and improved query parallelism.

"Our developer community focused on building features that would take advantage of modern infrastructure setups for distributing workloads," said Magnus Hagander, a core team member of the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. "Features such as logical replication and improved query parallelism represent years of work and demonstrate the continued dedication of the community to ensuring Postgres leadership as technology demands evolve."

This release also marks the change of the versioning scheme for PostgreSQL to a "x.y" format. This means the next minor release of PostgreSQL will be 10.1 and the next major release will be 11.

Logical Replication - A publish/subscribe framework for distributing data

Logical replication extends the current replication features of PostgreSQL with the ability to send modifications on a per-database and per-table level to different PostgreSQL databases. Users can now fine-tune the data replicated to various database clusters and will have the ability to perform zero-downtime upgrades to future major PostgreSQL versions.

"We have been heavily using PostgreSQL since 9.3 and are very excited about version 10 since it brings basis for long-awaited partitioning and built-in logical replication. It will allow us to use PostgreSQL in even more services," said Vladimir Borodin, DBA Team Lead at Yandex.

Declarative Table Partitioning - Convenience in dividing your data

Table partitioning has existed for years in PostgreSQL but required a user to maintain a nontrivial set of rules and triggers for the partitioning to work. PostgreSQL 10 introduces a table partitioning syntax that lets users easily create and maintain range and list partitioned tables. The addition of the partitioning syntax is the first step in a series of planned features to provide a robust partitioning framework within PostgreSQL.

Improved Query Parallelism - Quickly conquer your analysis

PostgreSQL 10 provides better support for parallelized queries by allowing more parts of the query execution process to be parallelized. Improvements include additional types of data scans that are parallelized as well as optimizations when the data is recombined, such as pre-sorting. These enhancements allow results to be returned more quickly.

Quorum Commit for Synchronous Replication - Distribute data with confidence

PostgreSQL 10 introduces quorum commit for synchronous replication, which allows for flexibility in how a primary database receives acknowledgement that changes were successfully written to remote replicas. An administrator can now specify that if any number of replicas has acknowledged that a change to the database has been made, then the data can be considered safely written.

"Quorum commit for synchronous replication in PostgreSQL 10 gives more options to extend our ability to promote database infrastructure with nearly zero downtime from the application perspective. This allows us to continuously deploy and update our database infrastructure without incurring long maintenance windows," said Curt Micol, Staff Infrastructure Engineer at Simple Finance.

SCRAM-SHA-256 authentication - Secure your data access

The Salted Challenge Response Authentication Mechanism (SCRAM) defined in RFC5802 defines a protocol to improve upon the secure storage and transmission of passwords by providing a framework for strong password negotiation. PostgreSQL 10 introduces the SCRAM-SHA-256 authentication method, defined in RFC7677, to provide better security than the existing MD5-based password authentication method.

Links

About PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is the world's most advanced open source database, with a global community of thousands of users, contributors, companies and organizations. The PostgreSQL Project builds on over 30 years of engineering, starting at the University of California, Berkeley, and has continued with an unmatched pace of development. PostgreSQL's mature feature set not only matches top proprietary database systems, but exceeds them in advanced database features, extensibility, security and stability. Learn more about PostgreSQL and participate in our community at PostgreSQL.org.

05 Oct 14:05

PostgreSQL 10 released

by corbet
Version 10 of the PostgreSQL database management system has been released. "A critical feature of modern workloads is the ability to distribute data across many nodes for faster access, management, and analysis, which is also known as a 'divide and conquer' strategy. The PostgreSQL 10 release includes significant enhancements to effectively implement the divide and conquer strategy, including native logical replication, declarative table partitioning, and improved query parallelism." See the release notes and this LWN article from June for details.
03 Oct 18:29

Olympus MDN tribute post

by Andreapazzo

– The official Olympus OMD group posted this tribute post for the Olympus MDN: How many of you have heard of the MDN? The MDN was the centerpiece of a prototype modular 35-mm camera system called the M-System developed by…


The post Olympus MDN tribute post appeared first on 43 Rumors.

02 Oct 19:21

Robert Treat: Return Of Pagila

In early September, I gave a live demo of Postgres 10 replication at the Postgres Open conference in California. As part of the prep work, I dusted off one of my old projects... "Pagila". For those unfamiliar, Pagila was a port of the Sakila sample database, created by Mike Hillyer for MySQL. The goal of the project was to provide a simple schema with similarities to other systems showcasing different Postgres features. Originally I hosted it on PgFoundry back in the day and for the most part it has lived there quietly, until now.

One of the reasons Postgres 10 is significant for Pagila is that Pagila contains an example partitioned table, and as many have heard, Postgres 10 contains an initial release of simplified partitioning capabilities. While not particularly useful (yet) compared to the current partitioning capabilities, for the purposes of showing off examples, it was time to update the Pagila schema to show off this new feature. And given I had to do that work, I thought maybe it was time to make a new "official" release.

So, I've now created a new Pagila project page on Github. Unfortunately I was unable to get a full copy of the pervious versions from PgFoundry to do a full import, but I did have some copies of older releases lying around, so I used those to recreate the history in git for past branches. This means if you need a version of the schema that works on postgres 9.x, you can checkout one of the older branches. Once Postgres 10 is finally released, I'll go ahead an tag/branch a version 10 release to complement it. In the mean time, please feel free to play with this, and if you'd like to contribute, you can find me on the Postgres Slack Team or submit a pull request through Github.

02 Oct 19:17

The faces said it all

by Melanie

Musab Hassan Yousef is the so-called “Green Prince”. The son of one of the founders of the Hamas, Yousef turned against that terrorist organisation and became such a supporter of Israel that this Ramallah-born Arab served for some years as an informant for the Israeli Shin Bet security service.

Thus much is well known: there is a book and even a movie about this man. Nevertheless, when the campaigning group UN Watch brought him to speak to the UN no-one seems to have expected what was coming.

The reaction was as comical as the underlying situation is unforgiveable. The UN, the crucible of defamatory lies and libels against Israel because of the dominance there of the Arab block and its global allies, rarely hears the brutal truth about the Palestinian leadership – and certainly not by someone with Yousef’s pedigree. Watch this video of what Yousef said – and watch the faces around him as he said it.

Priceless.

The post The faces said it all appeared first on MelaniePhillips.com.

02 Oct 19:15

Guardian Angel in America

by Melanie

I am delighted to tell you that an updated version of my personal and political memoir, Guardian Angel, is to be published in America at the end of January. Through the prism of my own often painful journey, I chart the devastating changes that have engulfed the west over the past several decades.

I will be in the US in the last two weeks of February to promote the book. If you would like me to talk about my memoir (and other stuff too) to your organisation during that time, please get in touch with me at this email address: joshuamelanie@gmail.com.

guardian-angel-cover

The post Guardian Angel in America appeared first on MelaniePhillips.com.

02 Oct 19:12

Self Driving

"Crowdsourced steering" doesn't sound quite as appealing as "self driving."
28 Sep 12:22

Argent public ? Code public ! 31 organisations demandent l’amélioration des procédures de marchés publics pour les logiciels.

Argent public ? Code public ! 31 organisations demandent l’amélioration des procédures de marchés publics pour les logiciels.

Les services numériques offerts et utilisés par nos administrations publiques sont les infrastructures critiques du 21e siècle des nations démocratiques. Afin d’établir des systèmes fiables, les institutions publiques doivent faire en sorte d’avoir le contrôle entier du logiciel et des systèmes informatiques au cœur de notre infrastructure numérique étatique. Ce n’est pourtant pas le cas actuellement pour des raisons de licences logicielles restrictives.

Aujourd'hui, 31 organisations publient une lettre ouverte dans laquelle elles appellent le législateur à mettre en œuvre une législation qui requiert que le logiciel financé par le contribuable pour le secteur public soit disponible publiquement sous une licence de Logiciel Libre et Open Source. Les premiers signataires incluent CCC, EDRi, Free Software Foundation Europe, KDE, Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, Open Source Business Alliance, Open Source Initiative, The Document Foundation, Wikimedia Deutschland, ainsi que plusieurs autres organisations; elles invitent les individus à signer la lettre ouverte. La lettre ouverte sera envoyée aux candidats pour les élections législatives en Allemagne et, pendant les prochains mois, jusqu'aux élections européennes en 2019, aux autres responsables politiques de l'UE et des États membres.

“Parce que le code source des logiciels propriétaires est souvent un secret d’affaires, la difficulté de trouver des failles de sécurité accidentelles ou volontaires dans des logiciels critiques augmente radicalement. La rétro-ingénierie de logiciels propriétaires dans le but de les améliorer ou les renforcer est une nécessité absolue dans l’environnement d’aujourd’hui, mais cette condition technique élémentaire est illégale dans de nombreuses circonstances et juridictions. Après que des infrastructures stratégiques telles que des hôpitaux, des usines automobiles et des cargos de fret aient toutes été déconnectées cette année à cause de failles dissimulées dans du logiciel propriétaire, un Code non vérifiable est un luxe que les États ne peuvent plus compenser avec des privilèges juridiques spéciaux sans le payer en vies humaines.

En ce moment-même, la majorité des plans de notre infrastructure la plus critique n’est tout simplement pas disponible au public. En alignant le financement public avec une obligation de Logiciel Libre (NdT Free software en anglais) – “Free” dans le sens de la disponibilité publique du code et non pas du coût – nous pouvons trouver et réparer les failles avant qu’elles ne soient utilisées pour éteindre la lumière dans l’hôpital d'à côté.”

Edward Snowden, Président de la Freedom of the Press Foundation à propos du lancement de la campagne “Public Money Public Code”.

Les institutions publiques dépensent chaque année des millions d'euros dans le développement de nouveaux logiciels sur mesure pour leurs besoins. La procédure d'appel d'offre joue un rôle fondamental sur quelles entreprises sont autorisées à entrer en compétition et quels logiciels sont payés avec l'argent du contribuable. Les administrations publiques à différents niveaux rencontrent souvent des problèmes pour partager le code source du logiciel entre elles, même si elles ont entièrement financé son développement. De plus, sans la possibilité pour des tiers indépendants d'effectuer des audits ou d'autres contrôles de sécurité sur le code, les données sensibles des citoyens sont en danger.

"Nous avons besoin de logiciels qui favorisent l’échange de bonnes pratiques et solutions. C’est seulement ainsi que nous pourrons améliorer les services informatiques aux personnes dans toute l'Europe. Nous avons besoin de logiciels qui aident les administrations publiques à reprendre le plein contrôle de leur infrastructure numérique et stratégique, leur permettant de devenir et rester indépendantes d’une poignée d’entreprises."

Matthias Kirschner, Président de la Free Software Foundation Europe.

C'est pourquoi les signataires appellent les représentants dans toute l'Europe à moderniser l'infrastructure publique pour permettre aux autres administrations, entreprises, ou individus de pouvoir librement utiliser, comprendre, modifier et partager les logiciels. Ces droits permettent de soutenir d'autres droits fondamentaux tels que la liberté d'expression, la liberté de la presse et la vie privée. Ceci garantit que les administrations publiques ne subissent le cloisonnement captif d'entreprises spécifiques qui utilisent des licences restrictives pour entraver la concurrence, ainsi que de veiller à ce que le code source soit accessible afin de pouvoir sceller les portes dérobées et réparer les failles de sécurité sans dépendre d’un unique prestataire de services.

"Les institutions publiques sont financées par l’impôt. Elles devraient utiliser les finances publiques d'une manière responsable et le plus efficacement possible dans l’intérêt général. S’il s’agit d’argent public, le code devrait être également public !" dit Kirschner.

Argent Public ? Code Public ! = Public Money? Public Code!

En savoir plus Lettre ouverte Signer la lettre ouverte ! Vidéo (3:47) sous formats(publiée sous licence CC-By 4.0 ), ou aussi pour l’intégration sur Vimeo et Youtube Les premiers signataires April Associação Ensino Livre Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (ANSOL) Chaos Computer Club (CCC) Courage Foundation D3-Defesa dos Direitos Digitais Digitalcourage Digitale Gesellschaft Dyne.org Foundation ePaństwo Foundation European Digital Rights (EDRi) Expose Facts Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) GFOSS HackYourPhD KDE Linux User Group Of Slovenia (LUGOS) Linuxwochen Modern Poland Foundation quintessenz Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland Open Labs Open Rights Group Open Source Business Alliance Open Source Initiative (OSI) openSUSE Public Software CIC Software Liberty Association Taiwan The Document Foundation Wikimedia Deutschland Xnet

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28 Sep 12:21

European Copyright reform hampers Free Software development

European Copyright reform hampers Free Software development

The FSFE and Open Forum Europe teamed up for an initiative to show the implications of the proposed EU copyright reform for the Free Software development ecosystem: Save Code Share. As part of this initiative, today we release our White Paper which highlights the ways in which the proposed Article 13 could unintentionally harm the communities and the businesses built around Free Software.

Free Software is often built by collaborative networks of programmers that rely on code hosting services. Free Software allows and encourages modifications and improvements made by everyone. For that, the software is shared with everybody under terms that allow using it, studying its source code, sharing it along, and customising it according to one's needs. This is often done on code sharing platforms.

With its copyright proposal, the EU has decided to update the rules applicable for online service providers, mainly targeting content sharing platforms. The new rules proposed by the EU will create legal uncertainty for developers using online tools when contributing to the Free Software projects through online code sharing platforms. Those proposed obligations on code sharing platforms will threaten their existence, and effective online co-development by:

Imposing on code sharing platforms the use of costly filtering technologies to prevent any possible copyright infringement Imposing an illegal monitoring obligation to track their every user "As a result, every user, of a code sharing platform: an individual, company, or a public body is treated as a potential copyright infringer whose content, including the whole code repositories, can be taken down and disabled at any time." says Polina Malaja, Policy Analyst and Legal Coordinator at the FSFE.

After explaining how Free Software platforms work in practice, the White Paper shows how Article 13 restricts important fundamental rights of developers and internet users such as the right to privacy, freedom of expression, and the freedom to conduct a business. Article 13, as currently proposed, would shift the responsibility for protecting allegedly infringed rights from rightholders to the platforms, in a way that would harm fundamental rights and negatively impact collaborative software development, and especially Free Software.

If Article 13 has completely missed this impact in the software sharing environment, it is likely that there are other unforeseen impacts that the proposed Copyright Directive can have. The legislators need to make sure they understand where and how innovation takes place nowadays, to fully grasp the consequences and implications that the proposed Article 13 can create for our economy and our society.

Read our White Paper in full here.

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28 Sep 12:21

Public Money? Public Code! 31 organisations ask to improve public procurement of software

Public Money? Public Code! 31 organisations ask to improve public procurement of software

Digital services offered and used by public administrations are the critical infrastructure of 21st-century democratic nations. To establish trustworthy systems, government agencies must ensure they have full control over systems at the core of our digital infrastructure. This is rarely the case today due to restrictive software licences.

Today, 31 organisations are publishing an open letter in which they call for lawmakers to advance legislation requiring publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made available under a Free and Open Source Software licence. The initial signatories include CCC, EDRi, Free Software Foundation Europe, KDE, Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, openSUSE, Open Source Business Alliance, Open Source Initiative, The Document Foundation, Wikimedia Deutschland, as well as several others; they ask individuals and other organisation to sign the open letter. The open letter will be sent to candidates for the German Parliament election and, during the coming months, until the 2019 EU parliament elections, to other representatives of the EU and EU member states.

"Because the source code of proprietary software is often a business secret, it radically increases the difficulty of discovering both accidental and intentional security flaws in critical software. Reverse engineering proprietary software to improve or strengthen it is an absolute necessity in today's environment, but this basic technical requirement is unlawful in many circumstances and jurisdictions. With critical infrastructure such as hospitals, automobile factories, and freight shippers having all been brought offline this year due to flaws concealed within proprietary software, unauditable code is a liability that states can no longer subsidize with special legal privileges without incurring a cost denominated in lives.

Right now, the blueprints for much of our most critical public infrastructure are simply unavailable to the public. By aligning public funding with a Free Software requirement -- "Free" referring to public code availability, not cost -- we can find and fix flaws before they are used to turn the lights out in the next hospital."

Edward Snowden, President of the Freedom of the Press Foundation about the "Public Money Public Code" campaign launch.

Public institutions spend millions of euros each year on the development of new software tailored to their needs. The procurement choices of the public sector play a significant role in determining which companies are allowed to compete and what software is supported with tax payers' money. Public administrations on all levels frequently have problems sharing code with each other, even if they funded its complete development. Furthermore, without the option for independent third parties to run audits or other security checks on the code, sensible citizen data is at risk.

"We need software that fosters the sharing of good ideas and solutions. Only like this will we be able to improve digital services for people all over Europe. We need software that guarantees freedom of choice, access, and competition. We need software that helps public administrations regain full control of their critical digital infrastructure, allowing them to become and remain independent from a handful of companies."

Matthias Kirschner, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe.

That is why the signatories call on representatives all around Europe to modernise their digital infrastructure to allow other public administrations, companies, or individuals to freely use, study, share and improve applications developed with public money. Thereby providing safeguards for the public administration against being locked in to services from specific companies that use restrictive licences to hinder competition, and ensuring that the source code is accessible so that back doors and security holes can be fixed without depending on only one service provider.

"Public bodies are financed through taxes. They should spend funds responsibly and in the most efficient way possible. If it is public money, it should be public code as well!" says Kirschner.

Further information Open Letter Sign the Open Letter! Video (3:47) in different formats (licensed under CC-By 4.0 ), or also for embedding on Vimeo and Youtube The initial signatories April Associação Ensino Livre Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (ANSOL) Chaos Computer Club (CCC) Courage Foundation D3-Defesa dos Direitos Digitais Digitalcourage Digitale Gesellschaft Dyne.org Foundation ePaństwo Foundation European Digital Rights (EDRi) Expose Facts Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) GFOSS HackYourPhD KDE Linux User Group Of Slovenia (LUGOS) Linuxwochen Modern Poland Foundation quintessenz Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland Open Labs Open Rights Group Open Source Business Alliance Open Source Initiative (OSI) openSUSE Public Software CIC Software Liberty Association Taiwan The Document Foundation Wikimedia Deutschland Xnet

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27 Sep 20:08

Worrying Scientist Interviews

They always try to explain that they're called 'solar physicists', but the reporters interrupt with "NEVER MIND THAT, TELL US WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE SUN!"
20 Sep 19:23

USB Cables

Tag yourself, I'm "frayed."
18 Sep 21:15

Bruce Momjian: Vectorize Surprise

The Postgres hackers list is a steady-stream of great ideas and discussion, but occasionally something comes along that really makes you sit back and think, "Wow, where did that come from?" Such was a February 2017 email from Konstantin Knizhnik presenting a proof-of-concept vectorization optimization for the executor.

In May Andres Freund presented a plan for speeding up the executor using Just In Time Compilation (JIT) and LLVM. This work is pending for Postgres 11. (In fact, it was almost committed to Postgres 10 on April Fool's Day.)

Konstantin's work adds vectorization to the executor, which can be revolutionary. Once Andres's work is in, we can research how to make the executor even faster using vectorization. This would open up Postgres to an entirely new class of big-data applications.

13 Sep 16:00

xkcd Phone 6

We understand your privacy concerns; be assured that our phones will never store or transmit images of your face.
12 Sep 16:25

PostgreSQL Automatic Failover (PAF) v2.2.0 released

PostgreSQL Automatic Failover (PAF) v2.2.0 has been released on September 12th 2017 under the PostgreSQL licence.

See: https://github.com/dalibo/PAF/releases/tag/v2.2.0

PAF is a PostgreSQL resource agent for Pacemaker. Its original aim is to keep it clear between the Pacemaker administration and the PostgreSQL one, to keep things simple, documented and yet powerful.

This release features:

  • the support of PostgreSQL 10
  • a new "maxlag" parameter to exclude lagging slaves from promotion
  • ability to deal with multiple PostgreSQL instances in the same cluster
  • comprehensive error messages directly in crm_mon!

Source code and releases are available on github:

Documentation, procedures, community support as well:

Please, use the pgsql-general@postgresql.org or users@clusterlabs.org mailing lists if you have questions.

Any feedback is welcomed.

12 Sep 16:20

Why Entitlements Keep Growing, and Growing, and ...

This article, originally from the Wall Street Journal, explains how government entitlements grow larger over time, and only drastic action allows them to be trimmed. This article gives personal experience by a labeled "hater". If they keep this up, "hate" will no longer be considered a bad word.

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12 Sep 16:20

Southern Poverty Law Center Gets Creative to Label 'Hate Groups'

Here is a great article about a non-profit that labels other non-profits with which it disagrees as hate groups. Maybe someone needs to label them as a hate group, or maybe we can all agree that labeling people and groups is counterproductive, and in some ways hateful itself.

Don't get me started on the condescending "The Hate Has No Home Here" lawn signs. Suffice it to say that if their goal is to alienate people, they are effective.

Update: Another article about the problems with mislabeling things we don't like.

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30 Aug 21:24

Supervillain Plan

Someday, some big historical event will happen during the DST changeover, and all the tick-tock articles chronicling how it unfolded will have to include a really annoying explanation next to their timelines.