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OSS Leftovers

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  • Open source connecting people and technology

    Candice Herotodou, formerly Mesk, will speak about agile. A collaborator by nature and involved in all things agile and DevOps, Herotodou will relay the story of her journey in a presentation titled DevOps Culture: Are you ready?

  • Fractal Hackfest 2018

    The last couple of days I was in Strasbourg for the Fractal Hackfest. We made some fundamental decisions for the future of Fractal, our Matrix client.  We also decided on some basic architectural changes we want to make.

    You probably already read about the split of Fractal into two separate apps, to cover two different use cases: Barbecue and Banquet. Barbecue will mostly cover “one to one” chats and Banquet high-traffic group chats and IRC-like rooms. We are certain that the split is the right direction for Fractal, but we didn’t define the exact split between the apps.

  • Fracturing Fractal  Fracturing Fractal

    Last week my employer Purism allowed me to attend the Fractal hackfest in Strasbourg. There we chatted about the future of Fractal and of the messaging applications Purism needs for the Librem 5.

  • The Ultimate Postgres vs MySQL Blog Post

    I should probably say up front that I love working with Postgres and could die happy without ever seeing a mysql> prompt again. This is not an unbiased comparison -- but those are no fun anyway.

  • Prisma raises $4.5M seed round led by Kleiner Perkins

    Silicon Valley’s Kleiner Perkins led the round, with participation from a number of angel investors, many of whom have deep roots in the developer and/or open source space, including Nick Schrock, one of the creators of GraphQL itself.

  • The fatal flaw of libertarianism, exemplified by BSD vs GPL

    I'll get right to the point: libertarianism's fatal flaw is that it commits a fallacy, the name of which I do not know, in assuming that the fewest up-front restrictions on personal freedoms necessarily and inevitably translates into the most freedom for the most people into the indefinite future.

    The BSD vs GPL licensing example is perhaps the single best illustration of this I've seen in the tech world to date. Debate, and I use the term charitably, rages on still about the merits of each license, with the BSD partisans making almost verbatim the exact same argument just laid out above: that the BSD license is morally, ethically, and pragmatically superior because it places fewer restrictions on who may do what with the code.

    By contrast, they say, the GPL is infectious, inserting itself like a retrovirus into the replication machinery of any code licensed with it and forcing certain behaviors (redistribution of source) the BSD types disagree with. As I understand it, the reason they give explicitly for disliking this is that it means fewer people will use the GPL compared to the BSD license, which theoretically therefore translates into BSD-licensed code both proliferating and persisting more than its GPL'd siblings.

    What this *actually* means, on the psychological and perhaps subconscious level, is "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me." Sorry guys, but it's the truth: dress it up however you like, but the underlying principle here is "I don't wanna share."

    It also betrays an almost stunning naivete about human nature, the very same one that small-L-libertarianism itself seems predicated on. There is a sort of ceteris paribus assumption at work here, one which assumes that the wide world of coding is meritocratic (it is not), equal-access (it is not), and measures worth solely on quality, correctness, usefulness, etc., of code (it does not). It is the Just World Fallacy writ small and in C, you might say.

    It *completely* fails to take into account human nature, and such wholly non-technical yet pervasive and powerful human engines of corruption as the corporation. Witness Theo de Raadt's anger, entirely justified morally but also entirely his own fault, over the lack of gratitude from corporations who took OpenSSH and OpenBSD itself for their own use and contributed back, perhaps, a single laptop, which took over a year to arrive.

    From the outside, this makes perfect sense. I mean, if you leave a plate of cookies out with a sign that says "free cookies," you don't have a right to complain when someone comes by and takes the entire plate for him/herself. But somehow this simple and obvious line of thought seems to elude the BSD-license partisans, or maybe they quash it for ideological reasons, such as faith (and it *is* a faith position...) in the idea that their code will conquer by virtue of spreading far and wide and continuing to evolve.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: May 18th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
  • Generating Third-Party Attribution Documents

    In this post, I’ll show you how to use the qtattributionsscanner tool and Python to generate an attribution document for third-party code in Qt.

  • Edge computing and the importance of open infrastructure

    Open infrastructure is not as much about packaging and deployment as it is about creating a consistent paradigm and environment for running workloads in the form best used to address those applications. Many edge workloads today run on Linux or in VM's, they may evolve for simplified lifecycle management, or they may be superseded by a next generation of applications.

  • Metsä Wood Launches a Groundbreaking Platform for Open Source Wood
  • How citizen science and open-source tech can create change

    As a teenager, Jason Gomez never was the biggest fan of science, and among his peers, environmental work brought to mind planting trees. But he lived in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where asthma and heart disease affected the lives and health of many residents. Uprose, a local environmental justice organization, recruits youth volunteers like Gomez to understand that these are not side effects of living in a working-class neighborhood that one should just accept–they are the result of planning and design decisions that de-prioritize the health and well-being of the residents of those neighborhoods. Specifically, in Sunset Park, they are the result of the Gowanus Expressway, a large elevated highway that runs directly through the neighborhood.

    [...]

    And with open-source software, their findings are becoming easier to verify and share. Red Hat, a leading open-source tech company, created a documentary called The Science of Collective Discovery featuring citizen scientists like Cooper and the Uprose team to highlight the practice for its annual Summit in San Francisco this week.

More in Tux Machines

FOSS in Digital Currencies

  • Braiins OS: An Open Source Alternative to Bitcoin Mining Firmware
    The company behind Slush Pool recently rolled out the initial release of its ASIC miner firmware: Braiins OS. The operating system is advertised as “the very first fully open-source, Linux-based system for cryptocurrency embedded devices,” an alternative to the factory-default firmware that comes with most popular mining hardware. Upon visiting the project’s website, visitors are greeted with a clear message, a mantra that resonates with its related industry’s ethos: “Take back control.”
  • Cryptoexchange Coinbase open sources its security scanner tool Salus
    The renowned United States-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase always focuses on the security of its platform. Moreover, it has developed novel solutions to implementing security protocols to further strengthen their security. Furthermore, just recently, they announced that they are listing their security scanner execution tool, Salus as open source.
  • Crypto Exchange Coinbase Open-Sources Its Security Scaling Tool
    U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is making a recently developed automated security scaling tool available to the public. Called Salus, after the Roman the goddess of safety and well-being, the program can automatically choose to run and configure different security scanners and issue a report on the results, according to a Thursday blog post from Coinbase developer Julian Borrey. Available as an open-source tool on GitHub from today, Salus is said to offer the advantage of being able to centrally coordinate security scans across a large number of software storage repositories, avoiding having to configure a scanner for each different project.

Suddenly Linux runs in Android

Yes, Android is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel. But once you’ve got Android running, you can utilize this app to get Linux running inside Android. But why, you might be asking – why would you want to do that? If you have to ask, you might just want to turn back now. With this app, users are able to run Debian or Ubuntu, games like Adventure or Zork, and Math systems like Gnuplot, Octave, and R. UserLand allows one Session at a time and can also monitor filesystems. If you’re looking for a graphical interface, and not just a command line system, you might want to take a peek at the operating system Android. In other words: This is mostly just for fun, and a sort of proof of concept – but it has so much potential! Read more

Linux Devices: ARM/Linux in Servers and Embedded, Chromecast

Love Microsoft Teams? Love Linux? Then you won't love this

Microsoft loves Linux. Unless you are a Linux user who happens to want to use Teams. In that case, you probably aren’t feeling the love quite so much. Read more