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Proprietary Software: LibraryThing and Microsoft Traps

  • LibraryThing Is Now Free to All

    Our plan was to go free when we rolled out “LT2,” our upcoming redesign. But the coronavirus has changed our plans, along with everyone else’s. A lot of people are now stranded at home, with nothing to do but read and catalog their books, movies, and music. A lot of kids are at home too—free cataloging help. And with the economy in freefall, many are worried about money. We want everyone to be able to use LibraryThing. This is the right time to go free.

    So, starting today, LibraryThing.com, both on the web and using our cataloging app, are free to all, to add as many books as you want. And, no, we’re not going to add ads. (We will keep showing a few Google ads to visitors, but they vanish as soon as you become a member.)

  • Microsoft mirrors Google move, shelves Edge upgrades

    It wasn't a surprise that Microsoft followed Google in halting browser upgrades. Both Chrome and Edge, after all, rely on the Google-led open-source Chromium project for their core technologies. "We are making this change to be consistent with the Chromium project, which recently announced a similar pause due to adjusted schedules," wrote Kyle Pflug, principal program management lead, in the Friday post.

    Like Google, Microsoft told users that it will continue to service version 80 of its browser with security updates. The Redmond, Wash. company did just that Thursday, when it refreshed Edge to build 80.0.3987.149; that build included fixes for the same vulnerabilities cited by Google when it patched Chrome 80 the day before.

  • Surge in home working highlights Microsoft licensing issue: If you are not on subscription, working remotely is a premium feature

    Working from home and want to access your PC at work? The best solution may cost thousands in additional Microsoft licensing costs.

    In the scramble to migrate employees to home working, there are issues for businesses who normally have staff in an office working on desktop PCs, or accessing network file shares and intranet applications, or running applications that connect to an on-premises database.

    This poses some difficult and potentially risky and expensive questions for organisations that are not already set up to have all or most of their staff working remotely. Business continuity is top of mind, but as security expert Bruce Schneier has observed: "Worrying about network security seems almost quaint in the face of the massive health risks from COVID-19, but attacks on infrastructure can have effects far greater than the infrastructure itself."

More in Tux Machines

Linux Mint 4 "Debian Edition"

Linux Mint is a popular desktop distribution which features two main branches. The first branch is based on Ubuntu long-term support (LTS) releases and is available in three editions: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. The second branch uses Debian Stable releases as its foundation and is available in one edition: Cinnamon. The project's latest release is Linux Mint 4 "Debian Edition", also sometimes written LMDE 4. Much of the work which has gone into LMDE 4 focuses on bringing the Debian branch of Linux Mint up to date with the Ubuntu branch, which seems to get the bulk of the developers' focus. The latest improvements include better VirtualBox support, access to the System Reports tool, and APT's recommended packages being enabled by default... Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • How open source ad blockers could save you 2 hours a week

    More importantly, the results show how you can get that time back. The study estimates that the average Internet user would save over 100 hours a year by using uBlock Origin, a free and open source ad blocker. “uBlock Origin was the most effective ad blocker tested, but all ad blockers save time, energy and money”, explained Joshua Pearce, a Professor of Engineering at Michigan Technological University.

  • Open Source Software to realize Conversational AI – COTOBA Agent OSS

    Tokyo based Conversational AI Product Startup, releases their core technologies as Open Source Software (OSS), entitled “COTOBA Agent OSS.” This allows you to: (a) Embrace industrial conversational AI as a white box: It can utilize sensor information from IoT with external APIs; (b) Utilize its secured and scaling-out capabilities: More than 5,000 tests are conducted for large-scale commercial use; (c) Commercialize the OSS with MIT license: There is no limitation to copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute and sublicense.

  • Magnolia 6.2 Released, Two TYPO3 Releases Available, and More Open Source News

    Magnolia 6.2 — a long-term service release — is has become available. This version includes a number of exciting new features that include the following.

  • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR21 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 21 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Since the beta looks like it's working well, this release simply completes the upgrade with updates to the ATSUI font blacklist and all outstanding security patches, including backported fixes from the recent Mozilla security chemspill for CVE-2020-6819 and CVE-2020-6820. Note that while we are indeed vulnerable to those security issues and they are fixed in FPR21, they would require a PowerPC-specific attack to be successful. Assuming no issues, this will go live Monday evening Pacific time as usual.

The Academy Software Foundation and the Advantages of Open Source Software

The initial investigation included an industry-wide survey, a series of one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, and three Academy Open Source Summits held at the Academy headquarters, according to Andy Maltz, Managing Director, Science and Technology Council, AMPAS, and ASWF Board Member. Comments Bredow, “They identified the key common challenges they were seeing with open source software. The first was making it easier for engineers to contribute to OSS with a modern software build environment hosted for free in the cloud. The second was supporting users of open source software by helping to reduce the existing version conflicts between various open source software packages. And the third was providing a common legal framework to support open source software. “The mission of the Academy Software Foundation,” Bredow elaborates, “is to increase the quality and quantity of contributions to the content creation industry’s open source software base; to provide a neutral forum to coordinate cross-project efforts; to provide a common build and test infrastructure; and to provide individuals and organizations a clear path to participation in advancing our open source ecosystem.” Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News, Open Source Security Podcast, GNU World Order and Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo

  • Linux Action News 152

    WireGuard officially lands in Linux. We cover a bunch of new features in Linux 5.6 and discuss the recent challenges facing LineageOS. Plus the PinePhone UBports edition goes up for pre-order, and our reaction to Huawei joining the Open Invention Network.

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 190 - Building a talent "ecosystem"

    Josh and Kurt talk about building a talent ecosystem. What starts out as an attempt by Kurt to talk about Canada evolves into a discussion about how talent can evolve, or be purposely grown. Canada's entertainment industry and Unit 8200 are good examples of this.

  • gnuWorldOrder_348

    Musing about the **Common Unix Printing System (CUPS)**. Next episode will be about the **CUPS** and **lpr** command set.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E02 – Walking under ladders

    This week we’ve been live streaming Ubuntu development and replacing VirtualBox with Bash. We discuss Mark’s new Linux Steam PC set-up, bring you some musical command-line love and go over all your feedback! It’s Season 13 Episode 02 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.