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today's leftovers

  • OnMSFT.com – What we use [Ed: "On Microsoft" is actually... not on Microsoft. It's on GNU/Linux.]

    OnMSFT runs Ubuntu 18.04 and Nginx...

  • Linux 5.7 Staging Will Be ~28.7k Lines Of Code Lighter Thanks To Nuking WUSB + UWB

    With the Linux 5.7 kernel cycle in two months there is some "spring cleaning" within the staging area that is leading to almost twenty-nine thousand lines of code being removed thanks to removing a deprecated feature. Last year we reported on Linux deprecating Wireless USB and Ultra Wideband subsystems. That WUSB and UWB code was demoted after being orphaned without a code maintainer for years with Wireless USB really not being popular in an era of Bluetooth and WiFi advancements. With no one having expressed concern or stepping up to maintain the code since deprecating WUSB and UWB, the code is now set to be removed with Linux 5.7.

  • Everything you need to know about the ArcoLinux Tweak Tool

    Screenshot of the last version

  • Mozilla Reps in 2020 Berlin All Hands

    14 Reps were invited to participate in this year’s All Hands in Berlin. At the All-Hands Reps learned some easy German words (Innovationsprozess-swischenstands-schreihungsskizze), did some art (see here X artistic endeavor during a group activity), and learned about cultural differences in communication.

  • Waterfox: Firefox Fork With Legacy Add-ons Options

    In this week’s open source software highlight, we take a look at a Firefox-based browser that supports legacy extensions that Firefox no longer supports while potentially providing fast user experience. When it comes to web browsers, Google Chrome leads the market share. Mozilla Firefox is there still providing hopes for a mainstream web browser that respects your privacy. Firefox has improved a lot lately and one of the side-effects of the improvements is removal of add-ons. If your favorite add-on disappeared in last few months/years, you have a good new in the form of Witerfox.

  • Vulkan 1.2.133 Released With VK_KHR_shader_non_semantic_info

    It's been nearly one month since the release of Vulkan 1.2.132 and that came shortly after the big Vulkan 1.2 milestone, but out today is now Vulkan 1.2.133. Vulkan 1.2.133 has various clarifications to the documentation, adds a vendor ID for Codeplay, VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_vote / VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_ballot are deprecated, and other clarifications/corrections to the text.

  • Work on IoT Device Communication Standardization Begins

    Most people working with industrial automation equipment are familiar with OPC UA for machine and device communications. More recently, industry has been getting up to speed with MQTT and its complimentary role for industrial device communications. While OPC UA has long been an industry standard, work is now beginning on a broad standardization of MQTT communications via Sparkplug, the open source software specification that enables applications, sensors, devices or gateways to integrate data within an MQTT communications infrastructure. Sparkplug defines MQTT topics namespace, payload, and session state management. [...] This work will address the issue of MQTT ‘s undefined topics structure and data types—a key differentiator from OPC UA which “provides a framework for standard and custom datatypes, a defined (hierarchical) namespace and a definition for request/response style communication patterns,” as noted by Jen Reiman in ctron’s blog post about OPC UA implementation with the Eclipse Foundation’s Milo (an open source communication stack for developing OPC UA clients and servers). Founding members of the Sparkplug Working Group include Chevron, Canary Labs, Cirrus Link Solutions, HiveMQ, Inductive Automation, and ORing.

  • Google pulls 500 malicious Chrome extensions after researcher tip-off

    Google has abruptly pulled over 500 Chrome extensions from its Web Store that researchers discovered were stealing browsing data and executing click fraud and malvertising after installing themselves on the computers of millions of users. Depending on which way you look at it, that’s either a good result because they’re no longer free to infect users, or an example of how easy it is for malicious extensions to sneak on the Web Store and stay there for years without Google noticing.

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (evince, postgresql-9.4, and thunderbird), Fedora (ksh and libxml2), openSUSE (hostapd and nextcloud), Red Hat (chromium-browser, firefox, flash-plugin, and ksh), and SUSE (firefox and thunderbird). 

  • Microsoft's Edge roadmap reveals history sync coming this summer, Linux support coming

    Recently, Microsoft updated its public roadmap for its still-new Edge browser, which is based on Chromium. There's quite a bit on there, from minor fixes to major things like support for Linux. Two specific things are new. The ability to navigate a PDF via a table of contents is now under review, and the tab preview feature from Edge Legacy is now in discussion. As 'in review' and 'in discussion' suggest, neither is a commitment to actually building out the features.

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  • Nintendo Is Likely to Suffer Global Switch Shortages From Virus
                     
                       

    Limited component supply coming out of China is affecting output at a Nintendo assembly partner’s factory in Vietnam, which the gaming giant primarily uses to build consoles for the U.S., said the people, asking not to be named because the details are private. A shortage of components this month would affect Switch units scheduled for arrival in April, after existing inventory and current shipments of the console have sold through.

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  • Roboflow: Popular autonomous vehicle data set contains critical flaws

    A machine learning model’s performance is only as good as the quality of the data set on which it’s trained, and in the domain of self-driving vehicles, it’s critical this performance isn’t adversely impacted by errors. A troubling report from computer vision startup Roboflow alleges that exactly this scenario occurred — according to founder Brad Dwyer, crucial bits of data were omitted from a corpus used to train self-driving car models. Dwyer writes that Udacity Dataset 2, which contains 15,000 images captured while driving in Mountain View and neighboring cities during daylight, has omissions. Thousands of unlabeled vehicles, hundreds of unlabeled pedestrians, and dozens of unlabeled cyclists are present in roughly 5,000 of the samples, or 33% (217 lack any annotations at all but actually contain cars, trucks, street lights, or pedestrians). Worse are the instances of phantom annotations and duplicated bounding boxes (where “bounding box” refers to objects of interest), in addition to “drastically” oversized bounding boxes.

  • The Open Wearables Initiative expands founding team; begins soliciting algorithms and datasets for wearable and connected health technologies

    Shimmer Research, a global leader in wearable technology for research applications, today announced that the Open Wearables Initiative (OWEAR) is now actively soliciting open source software and datasets from wearable sensors and other connected health technologies at http://www.owear.org. OWEAR is a collaboration designed to promote the effective use of high-quality, sensor-generated measures of health in clinical research through the open sharing and benchmarking of algorithms and datasets. OWEAR has also expanded its Working Group to include executives from four major global pharmaceutical companies, a major clinical research organization (CRO), Sage Bionetworks and the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe).

Events: LibreOffice at FOSDEM, GTK Hackfest in Brussels and Kiwi TCMS in Sofia, Singapore, Kiev & Moscow

Debian and Ubuntu: SnowCamp 2020, Ben Armstrong 'Un-retires', Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter

  • SnowCamp 2020

    This is just a late reminder that there are still some seats available for SnowCamp, taking place at the end of this week and during the whole weekend somewhere in the Italian mountains. I believe it will be a really nice opportunity to hack on Debian things and thus I'd hope that there won't be empty seats, though atm this is the case.

  • Ben Armstrong: Introducing Dronefly, a Discord bot for naturalists

    In the past few years, since first leaving Debian as a free software developer in 2016, I’ve taken up some new hobbies, or more accurately, renewed my interest in some old ones. During that hiatus, I also quietly un-retired from Debian, anticipating there would be some way to contribute to the project in these new areas of interest. That’s still an idea looking for the right opportunity to present itself, not to mention the available time to get involved again. With age comes an increasing clamor of complaints from your body when you have a sedentary job in front of a screen, and hobbies that rarely take you away from it. You can’t just plunk down in front of a screen and do computer stuff non-stop & just bounce back again at the start of each new day. So in the past several years, getting outside more started to improve my well-being and address those complaints. That revived an old interest in me: nature photography. That, in turn, landed me at iNaturalist, re-ignited my childhood love of learning about the natural world, & hooked me on a regular habit of making observations & uploading them to iNat ever since. Second, back in the late nineties, I wrote a little library loans renewal reminder project in Python. Python was a pleasure to work with, but that project never took off and soon was forgotten. Now once again, decades later, Python is a delight to be writing in, with its focus on writing readable code & backed by a strong culture of education.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 618

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 618 for the week of February 9 – 15, 2020.

Fedora and Red Hat: Test Day This Thursday, Report on State of Enterprise Open Source 2020 and More

  • Fedora 32 Gnome 3.36 Test Day 2020-02-20

    Thursday, 2020-02-20 is the Fedora 32 Gnome Test Day! As part of changes Gnome 3.36 in Fedora 32, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

  • The State of Enterprise Open Source 2020: Enterprise open source use rises, proprietary software declines

    Last year we set out to determine how IT leaders think about open source, why they choose it and what they intend to do with it in the future. The result was The 2019 State of Enterprise Open Source: A Red Hat Report, and the findings were clear and confirmed what we see happening in the industry. Enterprise open source has become a default choice of IT departments around the world and organizations are using open source in categories that have historically been more associated with proprietary technology. Headed into the second year of the survey, we had a new directive in mind. We wanted to dive deeper into how IT leaders’ intentions and usage have changed. We surveyed 950 IT leaders in four regions. Respondents had to have some familiarity with enterprise open source and have at least 1% Linux installed at their organization. Respondents were not necessarily Red Hat customers and were unaware that Red Hat was the sponsor of this survey. This allowed us to get a more honest and broad view of the true state of enterprise open source.

  • Manage application programming interfaces to drive new revenue for service providers

    Telecommunications service providers have valuable assets that can be exposed, secured, and monetized via API-centric agile integration. They can derive additional value from new assets, developed internally or through partners and third parties and integrated in a similar way with OSS and BSS systems. Service providers can open new revenue paths if they enhance the value they deliver to customers and to their partner- and developer-ecosystems. APIs can help them accomplish this goal. Services that providers can potentially offer with APIs include direct carrier billing, mobile health services, augmented reality, geofencing, IoT applications, and more. Mobile connectivity, for example, is key to powering IoT applications and devices, giving service providers an inside track to provide APIs to access network information for IoT services. In mobile health, APIs can serve as the link between the customer and healthcare partners through the user’s smartphone. Embracing this API-centric approach, service providers can realize increased agility by treating OSS/BSS building blocks as components that can be reused again and again. They may also innovate faster by giving partners controlled access to data and services, expand their ecosystem by improving partner and third-party collaboration, and generate more revenue through new direct and indirect channels.