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today's leftovers

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  • The emergence of governance norms in volunteer-driven open source communities

    Free and open source software communities develop their governance norms and practises as they grow from small to medium to large sized social groups. Communities with a small number of participants typically organise informally. As the community grows, the need for coordination grows as well and at some point, a more structured organisation becomes necessary. The growth stages are defined by the coordination mechanisms applied – ad-hoc coordination for the initial small group, consensus focused auto-organisation for the medium sized group, and structured, more formalised coordination for the large sized group. The main interest of the communities is to attract and retain contributors and to facilitate contributions to their products. The communities studied in this qualitative embedded multiple-case study, exhibit governance related debates and conflicts, as they reached a large size, leading to difficulties in further growing the number of involved contributors and sustaining the community activities. The paper researches the emergence of governance norms in these communities and the role these norms, once established, play in the management of the communities in their then current stage. The study finds that the governance norms in communities are commonly developed by participants that do not think them necessary, for a community that does not want them at the time. The result is frequently implicit, under-documented norms that increase barriers to entry for newcomers and allow incumbent contributors the instruments to derail unwanted decisions. The paper focuses on the essential contradiction between the communities’ aim to maintain devolved authority at the contributor level and a requirement for effective decision making and policing mechanisms to implement and maintain that. It recommends that communities, instead of deferring or down-playing the need to set up explicit governance norms, purposefully develop norms that explicitly define structure and processes so that they support, enforce and protect the devolved authority their participants should have and encourages new participants.

  • FreeBSD Lands Important ZFS Performance Fix For Some Going From ~60MB/s To ~600MB/s

    Thanks to the BSD wizards at iXsystems, FreeBSD has received an important performance fix/optimization around their ZFS file-system code.

    In optimizing their ZFS zlib zalloc/zfree callbacks, for some scenarios the write speed to ZVOLs while using GZIP compression has gone from around 60MB/s to around 600MB/s.

  • Last call for Free Software Awards nominations: Submit by 11/6

    The nomination period for the Free Software Foundation (FSF)'s annual Free Software Awards is drawing to a close on November 6th. If you haven't done so already, now's your last chance to honor the outstanding individuals and projects that have either furthered or made significant use of free software in their work toward a free society. This year, we're also recognizing newcomers in a special award category called the Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor. We look forward to the award ceremony at this year's LibrePlanet in March in the Boston area.

    We value the community's input to identify the movement's most significant new contributors and projects. We rely on award nominations from free software users and activists around the world to help bring those deserving activists to the spotlight. It's been a joy for us to see the nominations that have already come in, and to learn about so many different people and projects in the free software movement. As with the movement itself, every voice matters, and our committee judges every submission we receive very carefully.

    [...]

    We hold the Free Software Awards as a way to invigorate all those in the free software movement. As free software users, developers, authors of documentation, and community organizers, we all depend on each other to achieve our vision of a world in which all computer users can do all of their work in complete freedom. Let's take a moment to show the people in our community who inspire us that we care, and nominate them today.

  • Thank you, Guido

    After six and a half years, Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, is leaving Dropbox and heading into retirement. From the beginning, we knew Guido would be a great addition to our company. In fact, his contributions to Dropbox date back to day one. Our CEO Drew Houston’s very first lines of code for Dropbox were written in Python.

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  • Apple vs. Disney vs. Netflix, and the rest: Dangling freebies to hook you. Will you bite?

                         

                           

    "Nobody knows how this will shake out," says Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. "But the idea of subscription fatigue is real. People will not pay for all of them."

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  • Phony HTTPS Everywhere Extension Used in Fake Tor Browser

           

             

    ESET researchers recently discovered a false “trojanized” version of Tor Browser that collectively stole $40,000 USD in Bitcoin.

             

    This does not mean that Tor or Tor Browser itself is compromised in any way. It only means that attackers found a new, insidious way to create and distribute a fake version of the Tor Browser. In this case, attackers also faked EFF’s own HTTPS Everywhere extension using a modified manifest.json file with a few settings changes. The attackers used a fake HTTPS Everywhere extension in their campaign because Tor does in fact package the HTTPS Everywhere and No Script extensions into its browser. Including details like normal extensions in the trojanized version of Tor could prevent eagle-eyed users from catching red flags that indicate they’re using a fake browser.

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  • U.S. Universities Get Failing Grades for DMARC Adoption

                         

                           

    According to an analysis from Red Sift shared with Threatpost, only 3 percent of the top 200 schools in the 2020 WSJ/THE College Rankings have the DMARC protocol configured at its fullest protection level.

                           

    DMARC (which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) is an industry standard that ensures emails are authenticated before they reach users’ mailboxes and confirms that they have been sent from legitimate sources. If configured correctly, potential phishing emails can be stopped at the gateway, or redirected to the junk folder.

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  • Retrospective: As Sony Clearly Wins This Generation's Console Wars, Let's Recall How It All Began

           

             

    In these modern times, it seems almost silly to say just how long ago 2013 feels. Six years is nearly an eternity in most respects these days, but when it comes to the video game industry, even an eternity feels like it falls short. I bring this up because 2013 is the year that both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One were released, kicking off the latest battle in a thirty year console war between Microsoft and Sony. Sony released a couple pieces of information over the past few weeks, both of which will be of interest to gamers. First, the Playstation 5 is on the way. Second, Sony released new lifetime shipping figures for the Playstation 4, noting that total shipments of the console are now over 102 million in total.

More in Tux Machines

Audiocasts/Shows: System76, Pinebook and "The Linux Defender"

3 emerging open source projects to keep an eye on

The exciting thing about open source is that nobody needs permission to try something new. That's a formula that allows new ideas to emerge all the time. Here are three open source projects that are still in their early stages but show real promise. This Linux is utterly unapologetic in catering to technology hobbyists, enthusiasts, and power users. It's for the amateurs, in that best and most original sense of the word—those who love what they do. Awesome. So isn't Endeavour the perfect name? If what you want is to roll your sleeves up and level up while still enjoying a gentle start and a friendly community, this could be a great way to go about it. Read more

Android Leftovers

Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Email – Week 5

This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of single-board computers. Last week’s blog looked at whether the RPI4 cuts the mustard as a desktop web browser. It does although with a few reservations. This week’s blog focuses on another absolutely essential desktop activity. Managing your email. My email requirements are very simple. I use Gmail for my personal email. It offers ample storage, threads, rich text features, useful keyboard shortcuts, and more. It gives me access to my email whatever device and platform I’m using. For the RPI4 to replace my desktop, I need quick and easy access to Gmail. Read more