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Software

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Photos

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Software

In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

Apple Photos is a photo management and editing application. It lets you organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums.

What are the best free and open source alternatives?

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Top 15 Window Managers for Linux

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Software

A window manager is a software responsible for the placement and appearance of windows of various applications. It allows you to use any number of displays and utilize the screen to its full potential. The advantage is that it increases your productivity and improves your multitasking experience. But what exactly can one do with a window manager?

The article describes some of the best floating and tiling window managers available for Linux.

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5 Best Free and Open Source Linux MAC/RBAC Tools

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Software
OSS

One of the most difficult problems in managing a large network is the complexity of security administration. The deployment of individual security products such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, network traffic analysis, log file analysis, or antivirus software is never going to provide adequate protection for computers that are connected to the internet. For example, a good network intrusion prevention and detection system (such as Snort) does an exemplary job at detecting attacks within traffic. However, this type of detection does not offer any sort of damage containment. Equally, a firewall offers an outstanding method at defining what type of traffic is allowed in a network, but does not offer any deep protocol analysis.

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Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Corel Painter

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Software
OSS

Corel Corporation is a Canadian software company specializing in graphics processing. They are best known for developing CorelDRAW, a vector graphics editor. They are also notable for purchasing and developing AfterShot Pro, PaintShop Pro, Painter, Video Studio, MindManager, and WordPerfect.

Corel has dabbled with Linux over the years. For example they produced Corel Linux, a Debian-based distribution which bundled Corel WordPerfect Office for Linux. While Corel effectively abandoned its Linux business in 2001 they are not completely Linux-phobic. For example, AfterShot Pro has an up to date Linux version albeit its proprietary software.

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SQLite 3.37 Lightweight Database Comes Packed with New Features

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Software

SQLite 3.37 has just got better with added new features such as CLI enhancements and additional interfaces.

SQLite is is an open source self-contained, lightweight serverless relational database management system. The lite in SQLite means lightweight in terms of setup, database administration, and required resources.

Normally, an RDBMS such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc., requires a separate server process to operate, but SQLite does not work this way. It accesses its storage files directly.

SQLite stores its data in a single cross-platform file. As there’s no dedicated server or specialized filesystem, deploying SQLite is as simple as creating a new regular file.

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Proprietary Software Leftovers

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Software
  • AuriStor breathes life into Andrew File System – Blocks and Files [Ed: Financial ripoff; AuriStorFS is also limited to an operating system with NSA back doors so it's money down the sewer.]

    Andrew File System developer AuriStor updated attendees at an IT Press Tour briefing about its work on the file system with an HPC and large enterprise customer base dating back 16 or more years.

    AuriStorFS (a modern, licensed version of AFS) is a networked file system providing local access to files in a global namespace that has claimed higher performance, security and data integrity than public cloud-based file-sharing offerings such as Nasuni and Panzura.

    AuriStor is a small and distributed organisation dedicated to expanding the popularity and cross-platform use of AuriStorFS.

  • India says not to preorder Starlink until it obtains a license

    “Public is advised not to subscribe to Starlink services being advertised,” a tweet from India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) reads. The DoT also says it asked Starlink to refrain from “booking / rendering the satellite internet services in India.” In other words, Starlink will have to put preorders on hold until it can get approval from the Indian government.

  • India tells public to shun Musk-backed Starlink until it gets licence

    A government statement issued late on Friday said Starlink had been told to comply with regulations and refrain from "booking/rendering the satellite internet services in India with immediate effect".

  • GitHub is back online after a two-hour outage

    Microsoft-owned GitHub experienced a more than two-hour long outage today, affecting thousands or potentially millions of developers that rely on its many services. GitHub started experiencing issues at around 3:45PM ET, with Git operations, API requests, GitHub actions, packages, pages, and pull requests all affected.

  • Insurers run from ransomware cover as losses mount

    Faced with increased demand, major European and U.S. insurers and syndicates operating in the Lloyd's of London market have been able to charge higher premium rates to cover ransoms, the repair of hacked networks, business interruption losses and even PR fees to mend reputational damage.

    But the increase in ransomware attacks and the growing sophistication of attackers have made insurers wary. Insurers say some attackers may even check whether potential victims have policies that would make them more likely to pay out.

  • Apple Grants Repair Indulgence for iPhones

    Save your huzzahs and whatever you do, do not pop the champagne. Apple did not just ‘cave’ to the right to repair movement, and the fight for an actual, legal right to repair is more important now than ever.

    The occasion for this reminder is, of course, the little-‘m’ momentous announcement by Apple this morning that it would make “Apple parts, tools, and manuals” available to “individual consumers” for self repair — starting with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.”

  • Montana high school hit by ransomware

    From their listing, Avos Locker is clearly aware that this is a tiny school district with only a few hundred students and less than two dozen teachers. And yet they are trying to ransom them. Avos writes: “If they refuse to negotiate, we will leak all the data we’ve got.”

  • Apple alerts journalists, activists about state-sponsored [cracking] attempts after NSO Group suit

    On the same day Apple announced a lawsuit against Israeli spyware vendor NSO Group for developing [cracking] tools to help breach iOS technology, the company was notifying potential targets of those exploits.

    El Faro, a news organization in San Salvador, El Salvador, reported late Tuesday that 12 of its staff members received notices from the company, which warned that that “Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers who are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID.” The company also sent notices to four others in San Salvador who are “leaders of Civil Society organizations and opposition political parties,” the news organization reported.

  • Run a website off a Google Sheets Database, with Hugo

    Here’s how I built a website, Profilerpedia, using a Google Sheet as the backing database.

    Profilerpedia aims to map the profiling ecosystem and connect software with profilers and profilers with great analysis UIs, so we can make code faster and more efficient. More on Profilerpedia in the announcement post.

    It’s interesting to explain the architecture, because it challenges some engineering dogmas, like “a spreadsheet isn’t a good database”. I think running your site from a spreadsheet is a very reasonable pattern for many sites.

    The resulting architecture is my third or fourth attempt at this; I learned a lot along the way, I’m pretty happy with the result, and I want to share what I learned.

  • Boeing Missteps on 737 MAX Went Beyond Deadly Crashes That Killed 346, new Book Reveals

    When the first Boeing 737 MAX plane came off the production line in December 2015, it was the beginning of a highly anticipated new line of aircraft for the storied company. It incorporated the latest technology and was billed by Boeing as "deliver[ing] the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market." Tragically, that promise came to a glaring halt with two back-to-back disasters in which flight control software known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) incorrectly gauged the aircrafts' angles of ascent and prevented the pilots from manually overriding it. In total, 346 people on board Lion Air flight 610 on October 28, 2018 and Ethiopian Air flight 302 on March 10, 2019 were killed after only about 13 minutes and 6 minutes in the air, respectively.

12 Best Free and Open Source OCR Tools

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Software

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the conversion of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into searchable, editable documents. OCR software is able to recognise the difference between characters and images, and between characters themselves.

The use of paper has been displaced from some activities. For example, the vast majority of journeys on the London Underground are made using the Oyster card without a paper ticket being issued. We have witnessed talk of a paperless office for more than 40 years. However, the office environment has shown a resistance to remove the mountain of paper generated. Things have changed in the past few years, with a marked shift in the paperless office concept. Paper documents contain a wealth of important management data and information that would be better stored electronically. There is computer software that makes this conversion possible. The benefit of scanning documents is not purely for archival reasons. OCR technology is vital for gaining access to paper-based information, as well as integrating that information in digital workflows.

The selection of the right OCR tool is dependent on specific needs. For some, online OCR services may be useful, but there are privacy concerns and file size limitations. This article focuses on desktop, open source OCR software that offer good recognition accuracy and file formats. We cover OCR engines as well as front-end tools.

OCR software is not mainstream so open source alternatives to proprietary heavyweight software are fairly thin on the ground. Matters are also complicated by the fact that OCR computer software needs very sophisticated algorithms to translate the image of text into accurate actual text. The software also has to cope with images that contain a lot more than text, such as layouts, images, graphics, tables, in single or multi pages.

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Tux Paint 0.9.27 Open-Source Drawing App for Kids Adds New Ways to Draw, Other Updates

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Linux
News
Software

Tux Paint 0.9.27 is here almost four months after the previous release, Tux Paint 0.9.26, and introduces new ways to draw to the popular children’s drawing program. These include no less than six new Magic tools, such as Panels for shrinking and duplicating drawings into a 2-by-2 grid like those used for four-panel comics.

Other new Magic tools included in this release are Opposite for producing complementary colors, Lightning for interactiv drawing of a lightning bolt, Reflection for creating lake-like reflections on drawing, Stretch for stretching and squashing pictures, and Smooth Rainbow as a more gradual variation of the classic Rainbow tool.

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Software: Mozilla, BlueGriffon, LVFS, and WordPress

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Software
  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Mozilla reacts to new EU draft law on political advertising online

    The European Commission has just published its draft regulation on the transparency of political advertising online. The draft law is an important step towards increasing the resilience of European democracies for the digital age. Below we give our preliminary reaction to the new rules.

    We’ve long championed a healthier ecosystem for political advertising around the world, whether its by pushing for stronger commitments in the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation; uncovering the risks associated with undisclosed political influencer advertising on TikTok; supporting efforts to limit political microtargeting; or pushing platforms to effectively implement their Terms of Service during electoral periods. We’re glad to see that in its draft law the European Commission has taken on board many of our insights and recommendations, and those of our allies in the policy community.

  • BlueGriffon compiled but is broken

    Oh wow, finally got the WYSIWYG HTML editor BlueGriffon to compile, and run, here it is...

  • Richard Hughes: New LVFS redirect behavior

    tl;dr: if you’re using libfwupd to download firmware, nothing changes and everything continues as before. If you’re using something like wget that doesn’t follow redirects by default you might need to add a command line argument to download firmware from the LVFS.

    Just a quick note to explain something that some people might have noticed; if you’re using fwupd >= 1.6.1 or >= 1.5.10 when you connect to the LVFS to download a firmware file you actually get redirected to the same file on the CDN. e.g. downloading https://fwupd/download/foo.cab gets a redirect to https://cdn.fwupd/download/foo.cab which is then streamed to the user. Why this insanity?

  • CMSes & static site generators: why I (still) chose WordPress for my business websites – The Open Sourcerer

    Not everything is perfect of course. As of 2021, on the performance front, getting consistent and reliable caching working with SuperCache is a mindboggling experience, full of “mandelbugs” (like this one); in my case, each of my websites has at least some (or all) of the caching behavior not working (whether it is some pages never being able to generate cache files, or the cached files not being retained, no matter what you do and what combination of voodoo incantation and settings you use), but maybe someday someone will complete a heavy round of refactoring to improve the situation (maybe you can help there?) and things will Just Work™. But for now, I guess I’ll live with that.

    All in all, it is only from 2019 onwards, after much research (and much technological progress in general), that I found myself with enough tooling to make this work in a way that would meet my expectations of design & workflow flexibility, and therefore feel confident enough that this will be my long-term solution for a particular type/segment of my websites. My personal website (of which this blog is only a subset) still is hand-coded, however, because it “does the job.”

    Years ago, someone once told me that whenever someone in your team decides to write your company’s website from scratch (or using some templating system), they “inevitably end up reimplementing WordPress… poorly.”

    So yeah. We’re using WordPress.

This GTK App Checks Contrast Ratio Between 2 Colors in Ubuntu Linux

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Software
GNOME

Designers and website developers may sometimes need to check WCAG color contrast to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Without using an online website each time, Linux has a stylish GTK4 app “Contrast” which allows to check whether the contrast between two colors meet the WCAG requirements.

The app has a simple user interface that displays one color as background and another as font color of the text. By clicking on the double arrow icon between two color codes, it reverses background color as text font and font color as background.

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Android Leftovers

Bootlin contributions to Linux 5.14 and 5.15

It’s been a while we haven’t posted about Bootlin contributions to the Linux kernel, and in fact missed both the Linux 5.14 and Linux 5.15 releases, which we will cover in this blog post. Linux 5.14 was released on August 29, 2021. The usual KernelNewbies.org page and the LWN articles on the merge window (part 1 and part 2) provide the best summaries of the new features and hardware support offered by this release. Read more

CaribouLite RPi HAT open-source SDR Raspberry Pi HAT tunes up to 6 GHz (Crowdfunding)

CaribouLite RPi HAT is an open-source dual-channel software-defined radio (SDR) Raspberry Pi HAT – or rather uHAT – that works in the sub-GHz ISM range and optionally the 30 MHz – 6 GHz range for the full version. Developed by Israel-based CaribouLabs, the micro HAT is equipped with a Lattice Semi ICE40LP1K FPGA, a Microchip AT86RF215 RF transceiver, two SMA antenna connectors, a Pmod expansion connector, and designed for any Raspberry Pi board with a 40-pin GPIO header. Read more

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Photos

In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene. Apple Photos is a photo management and editing application. It lets you organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums. What are the best free and open source alternatives? Read more