After making key discoveries about the details of HACIENDA, Julian Kirsch, Dr. Christian Grothoff, Jacob Appelbaum, and Dr. Holger Kenn designed the TCP Stealth system to protect unadvertised servers from port scanning.
According to Heise Online, the intelligence agencies of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are involved in HACIENDA. The agencies share the data they collect. The HACIENDA system also hijacks civilian computers, allowing it to leach computing resources and cover its tracks.
Some of the creators of TCP Stealth are also prominent contributors to the GNU Project, a major facet of the free software community and a hub for political and technological action against bulk surveillance. Free software is safer because it is very hard to hide malicious code in a program anyone can read. In proprietary software, there is no way to guarantee that programs don't hide backdoors and other vulnerabilities. The team revealed their work on August 15, 2014 at the annual GNU Hackers' Meeting in Germany, and Julian Kirsch published about it in his master's degree thesis.
Maintainers of Parabola, an FSF-endorsed GNU/Linux distribution, have already implemented TCP Stealth, making Parabola users safer from surveillance. The FSF encourages other operating systems to follow Parabola's lead.
The Free Software Foundation supports and sponsors the GNU Project. FSF campaigns manager Zak Rogoff said, "Every time you use a free software program, you benefit from the work of free software developers inspired by the values of transparency and bottom-up collaboration. But on occassions like these, when our civil liberties are threatened with technological tools, the deep importance of these values becomes obvious. The FSF is proud to support the free software community in its contributions to the resistance against bulk surveillance."
The Free Software Foundation works politically for an end to mass surveillance. Simultaneously, the Foundation advocates for individuals of all technical skill levels to take a variety of actions against bulk surveillance.About Julian Kirsch, Christian Grothoff, Jacob Appelbaum, and Holger Kenn
Julian Kirsch is the author of "Improved Kernel-Based Port-Knocking in Linux", his Master's Thesis in Informatics at Technische Universitat Munchen.
Dr. Christian Grothoff is the Emmy-Noether research group leader in Computer Science at Technische Universitat Munchen.
Jacob Appelbaum is an American independent computer security researcher and hacker. He was employed by the University of Washington, and is a core member of the Tor project, a free software network designed to provide online anonymity.
Dr. Holger Kenn is a computer scientist specializing in wearable computing, especially software architectures, context sensor systems, human machine interfaces, and wearable-mediated human robot cooperation.About the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.About the GNU Operating System and Linux
Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See https://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.
In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.Media Contacts
Free Software Foundation
"Knocking down the HACIENDA" by Julian Kirsch, produced by GNU, the GNUnet team, and edited on short notice by Carlo von Lynx from #youbroketheinternet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.
Cycles allows for photo-realistic rendering. Part of the realism comes from the simulation of photography parameters, such as lens, aperture size, and depth of field. When simulating anamorphic lens, there is something Cycles still miss which is anamorphic bokeh.
Generally speaking “bokeh” is the shape we see from far away blurred light sources. It’s more evident in night shots. When working with anamorphic lens (or when simulating them in Cycles) it’s important to stretch the bokeh according to the simulated lens.
In a normal close up scene the effect is subtle but gives an extra cinematographic effect. Compare this test-render from the Gooseberry Open Movie. From top to bottom we have a fisheye render, a fisheye render with anamorphic bokeh of 2.0, and fisheye render with anamorphic bokeh of 3.0:
Too subtle? Click on the images for a zoom-up version or look closely at the animated comparison:
Another shot, now with 1.0 (normal bokeh), 2.0, 3.0 and 10.0.
In cinema we often see works done with bokeh 1.33, 1.5 or for old movies 2.0. Nothing stops us from simulating other values as we demonstrated here.
This feature is aimed at Blender 2.72, so stay tuned and prepare your night shots. A special thank you for Aldo Zang for the help with the math part of the patch. Test scenes and feature request by Mathieu Auvrey.
One of the common complaints with the Blender Game Engine is with publishing games. While there are many issues related to publishing with the BGE, one issue is the lack of a simple, user-friendly way to publish to multiple platforms. Steps are being taken to resolve this with a new Game Engine Publishing addon that has been recently committed to master (should be available in buildbot builds by now). This addon is intended to replace the old Save As Runtime addon, and currently provides the following improvements:
This addon is still a work in progress, but users are encouraged to start playing with the addon and providing feedback. Some current goals for the addon include:
More information about the addon as well as some documentation can be found on the addon’s wiki page.
The FSF, Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), and Open Source Initiative (OSI) had co-filed an amicus curiae brief in the case, stating their position that software on general-purpose computers is not patentable.
"Today's ruling is an important and meaningful step in the right direction, but the Court and Congress must go further," said Zak Rogoff, a campaigns manager at the FSF.
Software patents force software developers, especially those who write free software, to navigate a minefield of spurious legal claims. The number of software patents has ballooned as software companies have scrambled to amass arsenals of patents to threaten each other, as in the recently exposed aggression by Microsoft against Google over smartphone patents.
In the case ruled on today, Alice Corp. had claimed a patent for an unoriginal idea, simply because it was implemented in software to run on a computer.
FSF executive director John Sullivan lauded the Supreme Court for recognizing this: "For years, lawyers have been adding 'on a computer' to the end of abstract idea descriptions to try and turn them into patents, much like kids have been adding 'in bed' to the end of their fortune cookies to try and make new jokes. We're pleased to see the Court reject this attempt and send a signal to others."
For decades, the FSF has argued that it is impossible to solve the problem of software patents by getting individual software patents struck down. The FSF will continue to work for their complete abolition, and participate actively in future legal decisions. Those wishing to become involved in the grassroots movement against software patents can get started with the FSF-hosted End Software Patents project and its prominent wiki. An analysis of the Supreme Court's ruling is currently underway on the wiki and open for public participation.
Sullivan added, "Software patents are a noxious weed that needs to be ripped out by the roots. Too many organizations are clamoring for 'reform,' thinking they can trim the weed into a Bonsai. The FSF is one of the few organizations working for the only real solution. Software on general-purpose computers is not patentable, period."About the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.Media Contacts
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
For the 2.71 release, we’ve been working on improving support for game developers using Blender with external engines. To this end, Bastien Montagne has been working on a new FBX exporter, and I have been evaluating workflows to various external engines. Dalai Felinto has also been hard at work with Cycles baking. Below you’ll find some information on the new goodies you can expect in 2.71 for game developers.New Binary FBX Exporter
Blender can now export binary FBX files (version 7.4). Some benefits of this new exporter includes:
In order to stress-test the new exporter, I got together some assets to create a simple level and a couple of characters. I then tried exporting to Unity, Unreal Development Kit (UDK), and Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). The results are summarized below, for the full notes please check out http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/User:Moguri/ExportDocs.Unity
What doesn’t work:
What doesn’t work:
What doesn’t work:
One currently known limitation (compared to the ASCII version) is that the binary exporter does not export shape keys, which can be imported into Unity as BlendShapes.Cycles Baking
2.71 will also include Cycles baking. There was already a full blog post on Cycles baking, which you can find here.How You Can Help
Just a quick update on what’s happening in the opensubdiv-modifier branch in the Blender Git repository. This is an initial integration of GPU tessellation in Blender, it’s totally not final and still loads of work to be done to make this project master-ready. But there are some really cool results. Nothing to be mentioned in plain text, so roll the tape!
P.S. Without all that extra CPU overhead which currently happens the dragon fly cycle runs at more than 60fps!
P.P.S. Here’s the .blend file.
The program is already running for a while and all the students met with everyone and got familiar to our projects. Official code work started today already.
Everyone’s invited to feedback and monitor student’s progress on the SoC list: http://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/soc-2014-dev
We will take special attention to coupling students with the stakeholder users!
Below are the summaries of the projects:
Alexander Pinzon – Interactive Quadrilateral Remeshing
Mentor: Howard Trickey
Paper used: S. Dong, S. Kircher, and M. Garland. 2005. Harmonic functions for quadrilateral remeshing of arbitrary manifolds.
Roman Pogribnyl – Fluid simulation MantaFlow integration
Mentor: Nils Thuerey
Blender will have a better fluid and smoke simulation solver base. Turbulence simulations will be much improved by vortex handling and wavelet turbulence support. Users will have a better control over the fluid and smoke simulation. Current Blender version allow for only one fluid domain to be present in one scene. Though it may provide control over computation resources by moving/resizing the domain, it is not always convenient. Having MantaFlow as framework allows for multiple domains. Also, problems with zero gravity in current Blender versions are solved in MantaFLow.Thomas Dinges – Cycles Optimizations Mentor: Sergey Sharybin
I plan to improve the Cycles renderer, by improving its performance and memory usage. The items are from the official Optimization Ideas list, written by Brecht here.
Jason Wikins – Viewport FX III
Mentor: Antony Riakiotakis
This is a proposal to complete previous work on updating Blender’s viewport drawing code. Due to previous work, the Viewport FX branch of Blender no longer depends on legacy versions of OpenGL, additionally it can run on mobile systems using OpenGL ES. A large part of what remains to be done are optimization and testing. Optimization will involve finding the worst bottlenecks that diminish drawing performance and mitigating them. Since almost all drawing code in Blender has been modified by previous work, there is a potential for new visual errors to appear from previously working code, so testing has to be done. Both optimization and testing would be enhanced by involving the Blender community. Additionally, a replacement for the deprecated OpenGL selection mode needs to be implemented to accelerate picking objects in the viewport.
Inez Almeida – BGE – Cleanup & Support
Mentor: Daniel Stokes
This proposal targets some of the currently identified problems with Blender’s Game Engine. These issues include a high number of unsolved bugs, bad consistency of the user and python interface, lack of support and maintenance and poor performance for now-a-days standards. All these were acknowledged in Blender’s 2.7/2.8 roadmap, along with plans for better integration of the GE as an interactive mode.
Jonathan deWerd – NURBS Modernization
Mentor: Sergey Sharybin
I propose to revive a longstanding effort to improve NURBS support in blender with two broad goals: one, attaining import/export compatibility for common NURBS-based CAD and modeling formats, and two, adding industry- standard NURBS manipulation tools so that blender can actively participate in workflows containing NURBS primitives.
Grigory Revzin – Relative shape keys workflow enhancements
Mentor: Bastien Montagne
An update for the Shape Keys panel GUI for more productive and powerful relative shape key editing workflow to facilitate shape key-based facial rigging & under-the-hood changes to support the new GUI.
All the projects are listed here.
Good luck all the students!