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Audio/Video: Open Source Security Podcast, Linux Action News, GNU World Order, Going Linux on Kubuntu (and KDE Project Latte Dock Has Release)

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More in Tux Machines

FOSS in Education and Sharing

  • The Untapped Potential of Making and Makerspaces
    Makerspaces are physical locations with equipment that students can use to undertake do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. Arguably, they have been around for decades; we just haven’t used the name makerspace. At my institution, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, we’ve had a student-run DIY craft shop on our campus for more than 20 years. The difference between older forms of makerspaces like that craft shop and emerging ones is that the latter focus more heavily on digital making, such as 3-D design and printing, digital fabrication (sometimes called “FabLabs”), or the programming of open-source electronic hardware like the Arduino microcontroller. What is also new are the maker practices or principles of: 1) licensing digital designs and how-to instructions under a Creative Commons or similar copyright license and 2) openly sharing those designs through internet-enabled, cloud-based maker websites. Licenses chosen usually permit the sharing of the work with author attribution and, in some cases, permit new users to adapt and remix the work for other purposes. For example, at Thingiverse.com, 3-D modelers openly share their digital designs in this manner.
  • Global Learning Xprize splits $10M purse for best teaching app for disadvantaged kids
    These finalists were then subjected to field testing in Tanzania, where 8,000 Pixel C tablets generously donated by Google for the purpose were distributed to communities where teaching was hardest to come by and literacy rates lowest.
  • Tech That Makes Us Better Humans: JavaScript, Shudder, Chat Apps, Concordia, Signia
    Technology is a medium; sometimes it’s a humanizing, enchanting one. “Something about the interior life of a computer remains infinitely interesting to me; it’s not romantic, but it is a romance,” writes Paul Ford in his WIRED essay “Why I (Still) Love Tech.” “You flip a bunch of microscopic switches really fast and culture pours out.” To accompany Ford’s essay, we reached out to a bunch of people to ask them about the technology they love—the tools that make them better at being human. Here’s what we heard back.
  • Open-source RNA Analysis Tool Takes Root in Plant Biology
    An open-source RNA analysis platform has been successfully used on plant cells for the first time - a breakthrough that could herald a new era of fundamental research and bolster efforts to engineer more efficient food and biofuel crop plants. The technology, called Drop-seq, is a method for measuring the RNA present in individual cells, allowing scientists to see what genes are being expressed and how this relates to the specific functions of different cell types. Developed at Harvard Medical School in 2015, the freely shared protocol had previously only been used in animal cells. "This is really important in understanding plant biology," said lead researcher Diane Dickel, a scientist at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). "Like humans and mice, plants have multiple cell and tissue types within them. But learning about plants on a cellular level is a little bit harder because, unlike animals, plants have cell walls, which make it hard to open the cells up for genetic study." For many of the genes in plants, we have little to no understanding of what they actually do, Dickel explained. "But by knowing exactly what cell type or developmental stage a specific gene is expressed in, we can start getting a toehold into its function. In our study, we showed that Drop-seq can help us do this."

Events: OpenStack, Open Source Day (OSD), and Intel

  • OpenStack Keeps One Eye on the Prize, One Over Its Shoulder
    The OpenStack Foundation (OSF) used its recent Open Infrastructure Show (OIS) to remind the open source community of its importance, maturity, and flexibility. But the event also showed that the group understands that the virtualized infrastructure environment is evolving rapidly. I must admit that heading into the OIS event I was not expecting much. Conversations I have had over the past year continued to show a strong core of OpenStack supporters, but it seemed that the platform’s innovative spirit was diminishing. And in such a rapidly evolving technology segment, any sort of diminishing momentum is the equivalent of going backwards.
  • Open Source Day 2019 focuses on the cloud, security and development
    The 12th edition of Open Source Day (OSD) will take place today at the Legia Warsaw Stadium in Poland’s capital city. The event will include presentations, forums and nine technical sessions spanning automation, containerization, cloud computing, virtualization, security, monitoring, CI/CD, software and app development and databases.
  • Inspur and Intel share Rocky testing data at premiere of OpenInfra Summit
  • Intel hosts Open Source Technology Summit - OSTS 19 - Software - News
  • Intel Pushes Open Source Hypervisor With Cloud Giants
    Intel, along with cloud giants Amazon and Google, is working on an open source hypervisor based on the rust-vmm project. The chipmaker discussed this and several other open source efforts at its Open Source Technology Summit, which kicked off yesterday. The company “is and has been one of the largest contributors to open source,” said Imad Sousou, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of system software products. “Intel is the No. 1 contributor to the Linux kernel. We write 10% to 12% of the Linux kernel code.” For the record: Red Hat is No. 2, and it contributes about 6%, according to Sousou.
  • Open Source to trickle into AI and Cloud
    Intel’s Clear Linux* Distribution is adding Clear Linux Developer Edition, which includes a new installer and store, bringing together toolkits to give developers an operating system with all Intel hardware features already enabled. Additionally, Clear Linux usages are

Latest Openwashing

Google: TensorFlow, Open Hardware and More on Collaboration

  • Beginner's guide for TensorFlow: The basics of Google's machine-learning library
    It is an open-source, accelerated-math library designed to help developers build and train machine-learning models using a wide range of hardware — CPUs, GPUs, and even specialized chips such as TPUs (Tensor Processing Units). While TensorFlow was originally designed for use with more powerful machines, it has evolved to be able to create models to run in all sorts of unlikely places, from browsers to low-power IoT devices. Today, TensorFlow can be used with a wide range of programming languages, including Python, Go, C++, Java, Swift, R, Julia, C#, Haskell, Rust, and JavaScript.
  • Google extends lowRISC FOSSi partnership
    Unlike proprietary processors, the design and instruction set architecture (ISA) for which are kept behind a typically expensive licence wall, free and open source silicon (FOSSi) does what it says on the tin: Projects like RISC-V provide both the ISA and key implementations under permissive licences, allowing anyone to use, modify, distribute, and commercialise the technology without a single license or royalty payment - including, in many cases, the ability to create a proprietary implementation, should they so choose. Following on from the news that it was a founding member of the Linux Foundation's CHIPS Alliance, an industry group set up to 'host and curate high-quality open source code relevant to the design of silicon devices', Google has now announced that it is extending its existing partnership with the lowRISC project to include additional funding, support, and the appointment of two Google staffers as board members on the project.
  • Google wants an open source silicon community for chip design
    As evidenced by Android and Chromium, Google has long been committed to open source software. The company now wants to foster a similar community for hardware and chip design, particularly open source silicon.
  • To Create Prosperity, Free Market Competition Isn’t Enough—You Need Collaboration Too
    What’s ironic is that all of this communal activity isn’t driven by beret-wearing revolutionaries plotting in coffee houses, but by many of today’s most powerful and profit-driven corporations, who act not out of altruism, but self-interest. The fact is that technology firms today who do not actively participate in open source communities are at a significant competitive disadvantage. For example, Chris DiBona, Director of Open Source at Google, once told me, “We released Android as an open source product because we knew that was the fastest way to grow adoption, which enabled us to preserve the relationships with customers for businesses like search, maps and Gmail.” That is the reality of today’s marketplace. You collaborate in order to compete effectively. Businesses that don’t accept that simple fact will find it difficult to survive. Science’s commitment to communal effort is not at all new, but is a thread running deep in America’s long history of technological dominance. And it’s not all about private companies competing with each other, either: it’s about how the market can benefit from public investment. When Vannevar Bush submitted his famous report, “Science, The Endless Frontier,” to President Truman at the end of World War II, he argued that scientific discovery should be considered a public good crucial to the competitiveness of the nation. The crux of his argument is that such efforts build capacity through creating what he called “scientific capital” and pointed out that “New products and new processes do not appear full-grown. They are founded on new principles and new conceptions, which in turn are painstakingly developed by research in the purest realms of science.”