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Software

Blender is Free Software

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Software
OSS

Blender is Free Software. It is free to use for everyone. Free to use for any purpose, also commercially. Blender is free to share with others, it is free to study Blender’s sources and free to make new versions.

Blender is free, forever.
This freedom is what makes the GNU GPL license so powerful and it is why it’s much more than “open source”. The license simply prevents anyone to put restrictions on Blender. That protects users as well as everyone who contribute to Blender.

If you decide to contribute to Blender, whether as Python script or as C++ code, you are required to agree on this freedom. You can keep all rights of your own work, but if you publish or sell or share Blender code, you do it under the same conditions, just as Free as Blender is.

The GPL has often be called infectious. I think that’s a negative and misleading frame. Proprietary code is infectious in ways too (try to use proprietary code in your work and face the consequences). Best is to keep the public and open domain entirely separated from your private proprietary domain. And really, both domains can live well together.

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Also: Useful Android Apps To Remote Control Your Linux

Wine 4.10

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Software
  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 4.10 is now available.

  • Stop and smell the Rosé, Wine 4.10 is out

    Ah yes, one of my favourite days of the week! The day I get to do a stupid pun and you all whine at me. Alexandre the Grape (someone stop me) has announced the release of Wine 4.10.

  • Wine 4.10 Now Better Supports Installing Plug & Play Drivers

    Wine 4.10 is out today rather than last Friday due to Wine founder Alexandre Julliard being on holiday, but that bi-weekly development release is out today.

    The Wine 4.10 release now has many DLLs being built as PE files by default, there is more support for installing Plug and Play drivers, clock synchronization in Media Foundation APIs, volume adjustment support in audio drivers, and different bug fixes.

Excellent Utilities: mdless – formatted and highlighted view of Markdown files

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Development
Software

This is a new series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We’ll be covering a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.

I recently spotlighted Abricotine, an open source, cross-platform Markdown editor built for the desktop with inline preview functionality. Continuing the Markdown theme, this article focuses on mdless, a CLI that provides a formatted and highlighted view of Markdown files in a terminal.

If you want to view Markdown files quickly and without cruft, mdless is designed with you in mind.

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Graviton: A Minimalist Open Source Code Editor

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Software

Graviton is a free & open source, cross-platform code editor in development. Check out the features of this promising application.
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From student message board to open-source CMS: a Q&A with the creator of Drupal

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Software
Interviews
Drupal
Web

Drupal has completely changed the way large organisations think about and build their digital estate.

The open source content management system (CMS), which was founded in the year 2000, is now used by some of the world’s biggest brands like Warner Music, Virgin Sport, Princess Cruises and Wilson because of its ability to handle huge spikes of web traffic and because of how it enables marketers to manage their brand digitally on a global level.

TechRadar Pro recently had the opportunity to interview the creator of Drupal, Dries Buytaert who told us how he came to create the CMS and gave us insight into what's in store for future versions...

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Also: Acquia Lightning Revamped, Enonic 7.0 Released, More Open Source News [Ed: Drupal founder now selling better performance]

Best Linux remote desktop clients

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Software

SSH has been the staple remote access tool for system administrators from day one. Admins use SSH to mount remote directories, backup remote servers, spring-clean remote databases, and even forward X11 connections. The popularity of single-board computers, such as the Raspberry Pi, has introduced SSH into the parlance of everyday desktop users as well.

While SSH is useful for securely accessing one-off applications, it’s usually overkill, especially if you aren’t concerned about the network’s security. There are times when you need to remotely access the complete desktop session rather than just a single application. You may want to guide the person on the other end through installing software or want to tweak settings on a Windows machine from the comfort of your Linux desktop yourself.

These are the best Linux training providers and online courses
This is where remote desktop software comes in handy. Using these nifty little applications you can remotely access and operate a computer over the network from all sorts of devices. There are various protocols and while the clients we’ll cover in this article support multiple ones, we’ll focus on Virtual Network Computing (VNC) which is amongst the most popular.

Specifically, we’re going to evaluate and compare five clients: RealVNC, Remmina, TigerVNC, TightVNC and Vinagre.

How we tested:

A remote desktop sharing session involves a server and a client. The server component is installed on the remote machine that you want to access and the client is installed on the local machine or even on a mobile device such as a tablet. For this feature, we’ll use three servers – the RealVNC server built into a Raspberry Pi, the default Vino server in Ubuntu and TigerVNC server for accessing Windows PCs.

A good remote desktop client should be responsive, and as such we've rated responsive clients higher than those which do a wonderful job of replicating the remote desktop in true colour but take ages to register clicks and key presses. We’ll also keep an eye out for any related features that are included, such as the ability to encrypt connections. The clients and servers are also all running inside our network connected via Wi-Fi.

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Software: Snaptastic, stress-ng and VLC

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Software
  • Easily Install Snap Apps on elementary OS with ‘Snaptastic’

    Snaps are a ‘must try’ thing in Linuxland, and because they work across multiple Linux distributions, from Arch to Fedora, it’s dead simple to sample ’em!

    But what about on elementary OS?

    In this article we show how to install snap apps on elementary OS in a user-friendly manner (snapd has a robust CLI).

    See, although elementary OS is based on Ubuntu and ships with the Ubuntu repos enabled it does not include Snap app support out of the box.

  • Working towards stress-ng 0.10.00

    Over the past 9+ months I've been cleaning up stress-ng in preparation for a V0.10.00 release. Stress-ng is a portable Linux/UNIX Swiss army knife of micro-benchmarking kernel stress tests.

  • VLC 3.0.7 Released! Improved Blu-ray, MP4 Support (How to Install)

    VLC media player 3.0.7 was released a day ago. The new release features numerous security fixes and many improvements.

Free and Open Source Trello Alternative OpenProject 9 Released

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Software
OSS

OpenProject is a collaborative open source project management software. It’s an alternative to proprietary solutions like Trello and Jira.

You can use it for free if it’s for personal use and you set it up (and host it) on your own server. This way, you control your data.

Of course, you get access to premium features and priority help if you are a Cloud or Enterprise edition user.

The OpenProject 9 release emphasizes on new board views, package list view, and work templates.

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StreamTuner2 – internet radio station and video browser

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Software
Reviews

I’ve put a few internet radio station players through their paces in recent weeks.

I was fairly positive about odio, even though it’s not released under an open source license and consumes massive globs of memory. But the developer is beavering away on a new release and intends to open source the code. I’ll definitely write an updated review when/if that happens. I’ve also covered Shortwave, a GTK3 based radio player written in Rust. My favorites to date are Radiotray-NG and PyRadio.

This time, I’m putting StreamTuner2 under the microscope. StreamTuner2 is a GUI for browsing internet radio directories, music collections, and video services – grouped by genres or categories. It runs your preferred audio player or streamripper for recording.

StreamTuner2 is an independent rewrite of StreamTuner1. Whereas the original was developed in C, the rewrite is coded in Python. If you ever used the original StreamTuner 0.99 software, you’ll be familiar with StreamTuner2’s interface, as both share many similarities. The software is released into the public domain, so you can do anything you like with the source code.

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Software: Best Database Management Systems and Firefox's Privacy Pivot

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Software
  • Quick List Of Best Database Management Systems For Linux

    Let’s dig into the list of some of the top and the best database management systems for Linux based operating system.

  • As Google Ponders Making Ad Blockers Less Useful, Mozilla Ramps Up Tracker Blocking

    Google found itself under fire last week after critics said the company was considering weakening ad blockers on the company's Chrome browser. The changes were part of the company's broader Manifest V3 roadmap for the browser, which Google claims is being considered to improve browser performance and extension security. But consumer groups and adblock extension developers weren't buying Google's claims, and say that the changes will make adblockers less effective by prohibiting them from pre-blocking ads, instead shifting blocking determination to Chrome itself.

    As it currently stands, many Chrome adblock extensions use Chrome's webRequest API, letting users block ads before they even reach the browser. But Google’s proposal would require extensions use the declarativeNetRequest API, which leaves it to the browser to decide what gets blocked based on a list of up to 30,000 rules. While extensions like AdBlock already use the latter, developers say the overall result will be tools that simply aren't quite as effective, and would erode consumer power to determine for him- or herself how stringent blocking actually is.

  • Firefox blocks third-party web trackers by default

    Sure, privacy has become a popular buzzword. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, for example, opened Build 2019 by saying, "Privacy is a human right." And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said, "The future is private."

    But Mozilla is doing something about it. Whether or not you believe it, privacy is getting more lip service these days. Mozilla wants to do more than say the right thing. It wants to do the right thing. Instead of making online privacy an option, Mozilla is making it the default.

    As Peter Dolanjski, product Llad for Firefox, explained, as of "today, for new users who download and install Firefox for the first time, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be set on by default, protecting our users from the pervasive tracking and collection of personal data by ad networks and tech companies."

    Mozilla isn't the first to make this move. Apple's Safari web browser has blocked third-party cookies since 2014. But Safari is only available on iOS and macOS these days. The most popular web browser, Google's Chrome, has started to limit cookies. But since Google's business depends on web advertising, its plans for cookies aren't as radical for Apple and Mozilla's.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Hardware Review - The ZaReason Virtus 9200 Desktop
  • Chrome OS 76 will disable Crostini Linux backups by default
    Essentially, this is still a work in progress feature. And I shouldn’t be terribly surprised by that, even though in my experience, the functionality hasn’t failed me yet. That’s because we know that the Chromium team is considering on a way to backup and restore Linux containers directly from the Files app on a Chromebook. That proposal is targeted for Chrome OS 78, so this gives the team more time to work that out, as well as any other nits that might not be quite right with the current implementation.
  • Andrei Lisita: Something to show for
    Unfortunately along with the progress that was made we also encountered a bug with the NintendoDS core that causes Games to crash if we attempt to load a savestate. We are not yet 100% sure if the bug is caused by my changes or by the NintendoDS core itself. I hope we are able to fix it by the end of the summer although I am not even sure where to start since savestates are working perfectly fine with other cores. Another confusing matter about this is that the Restart/Resume Dialog works fine with the NintendoDS core and it also uses savestates. This led me to believe that perhaps cores can be used to load savestates only once, but this can’t be the problem since we re-instantiate the core every time we load a savestate. In the worst case we might just have to make a special case for the NintendoDS core and not use savestates with it, except for the Resume/Restart dialog. This would sadden me deeply since there are plenty of NintendoDS games which could benefit from this feature.
  • OSMC's June update is here with Kodi v18.3
    Team Kodi recently announced the 18.3 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes. Here's what's new:

OSS Leftovers

  • A comparison of open source, real-time data streaming platforms
    A variety of open source, real-time data streaming platforms are available today for enterprises looking to drive business insights from data as quickly as possible. The options include Spark Streaming, Kafka Streams, Flink, Hazelcast Jet, Streamlio, Storm, Samza and Flume -- some of which can be used in tandem with each other. Enterprises are adopting these real-time data streaming platforms for tasks such as making sense of a business marketing campaign, improving financial trading or recommending marketing messages to consumers at critical junctures in the customer journey. These are all time-critical areas that can be used for improving business decisions or baked into applications driven by data from a variety of sources.
  • Amphenol’s Jason Ellison on Signal Integrity Careers and His Free, Open Source PCB Design Software
    Ellison, Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC, gives his insight on the importance of networking, giving to the EE community, and his open-source signal integrity project. How does signal integrity engineering compare to other EE fields? What are open-source resources worth these days? What makes for a good work life for an engineer? Learn this and more in this Engineer Spotlight! Jason Ellison started down the path to becoming an electrical engineer because someone told him it was "fun and easy if you're good at math." In this interview with AAC's Mark Hughes, Ellison—a Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC—describes how his career has grown from these beginnings into the rewarding and diverse work of signal integrity engineering.
  • Cruise open-sources Webviz, a tool for robotics data analysis [Ed: Releasing a little tool that's part of proprietary software so that it 'feels' more "open"]
    Cruise, the self-driving startup that General Motors acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2016, generates an enormous amount of data by any measure. It orchestrates 200,000 hours of driving simulation jobs daily in Google Cloud Platform, spread across 30,000 virtual cars in an environment running on 300,000 processor cores and 5,000 graphics cards. Both those cars and Cruise’s fleet of over 180 real-world autonomous Chevrolet Bolts make thousands of decisions every second, and they base these decisions on observations captured in binary format from cameras, microphones, radar sensors, and lidar sensors.
  • EWF launches world’s first open source blockchain for the energy industry
    The Energy Web Foundation this week announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than ten Energy Web Foundation (EWF) Affiliates — including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers — are hosting validator nodes for the live network, according to the company.
  • Pimcore Releases Pimcore 6.0, Amplifying User-Friendly Digital Experiences Through Open Source
    Pimcore, the leading open-source platform for data and customer experience management, has released the most powerful version of the Pimcore platform, Pimcore 6.0. The updated platform includes a new user interface that seamlessly connects MDM/PIM, DAM, WCM, and digital commerce capabilities to create more advanced and user-friendly experiences quickly and efficiently.
  • VCV Rack reaches version 1.0.0: free and open-source modular synth gets a full release
    VCV Rack is a free, open-source modular software synth that’s been gaining ground for a couple of years, but only now has it reached the significant milestone of version 1.0. Designed to replicate the feeling of having a hardware modular synth on your desktop, VCV Rack enables you to add both free and paid-for modules, and now supports polyphony of up to 16 voices. There’s MIDI Output, too with CV-Gate, CV-MIDI and CV-CC modules enabling you to interface with drum machines, desktop synths and Eurorack gear.
  • Flying Above the Shoulders of Giants
    Thanks to open-source platforms, developers can stand on the shoulders of software giants to build bigger and better things. Linux is probably the biggest...
  • MIT Researchers Open-Source AutoML Visualization Tool ATMSeer
    A research team from MIT, Hong Kong University, and Zhejiang University has open-sourced ATMSeer, a tool for visualizing and controlling automated machine-learning processes. Solving a problem with machine learning (ML) requires more than just a dataset and training. For any given ML tasks, there are a variety of algorithms that could be used, and for each algorithm there can be many hyperparameters that can be tweaked. Because different values of hyperparameters will produce models with different accuracies, ML practitioners usually try out several sets of hyperparameter values on a given dataset to try to find hyperparameters that produce the best model. This can be time-consuming, as a separate training job and model evaluation process must be conducted for each set. Of course, they can be run in parallel, but the jobs must be setup and triggered, and the results recorded. Furthermore, choosing the particular values for hyperparameters can involve a bit of guesswork, especially for ones that can take on any numeric value: if 2.5 and 2.6 produce good results, maybe 2.55 would be even better? What about 2.56 or 2.54?
  • Open-Source Cybersecurity Tool to Enhance Grid Protection
    A revolutionary new cybersecurity tool that can help protect the electric power grid has been released to the public on the code-hosting website GitHub.
  • Quick notes for Mozilla Whistler All Hands 2019
  • Deeper into the data fabric with MongoDB
    However, to gain access to rich search functionality, many organisations pair their database with a search engine such as Elasticsearch or Solr, which MongoDB claims can complicate development and operations — because we end up with two entirely separate systems to learn, maintain and scale.

Raspberry Pi 4 is here!

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi—Raspberry Pi 4—was released today, earlier than anticipated, featuring a new 1.5GHz Arm chip and VideoCore GPU with some brand new additions: dual-HDMI 4K display output; USB3 ports; Gigabit Ethernet; and multiple RAM options up to 4GB. The Raspberry Pi 4 is a very powerful single-board computer and starts at the usual price of $35. That gets you the standard 1GB RAM, or you can pay $45 for the 2GB model or $55 for the 4GB model—premium-priced models are a first for Raspberry Pi. Read more

Open Data, Open Access and Open Hardware

  • DoD’s Joint AI Center to open-source natural disaster satellite imagery data set
    As climate change escalates, the impact of natural disasters is likely to become less predictable. To encourage the use of machine learning for building damage assessment this week, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute and CrowdAI — the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint AI Center (JAIC) and Defense Innovation Unit — open-sourced a labeled data set of some of the largest natural disasters in the past decade. Called xBD, it covers the impact of disasters around the globe, like the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti. “Although large-scale disasters bring catastrophic damage, they are relatively infrequent, so the availability of relevant satellite imagery is low. Furthermore, building design differs depending on where a structure is located in the world. As a result, damage of the same severity can look different from place to place, and data must exist to reflect this phenomenon,” reads a research paper detailing the creation of xBD. [...]

    xBD includes approximately 700,000 satellite images of buildings before and after eight different kinds of natural disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Covering about 5,000 square kilometers, it contains images of floods in India and Africa, dam collapses in Laos and Brazil, and historic deadly fires in California and Greece.

    The data set will be made available in the coming weeks alongside the xView 2.0 Challenge to unearth additional insights from xBD, coauthor and CrowdAI machine learning lead Jigar Doshi told VentureBeat. The data set collection effort was informed by the California Air National Guard’s approach to damage assessment from wildfires.

  • Open-source textbooks offer free alternative for UC Clermont students
    Some UC Clermont College students are avoiding paying hundreds of dollars for textbooks — and getting the content for free — thanks to online open-source textbooks, a growing trend among faculty at the college and throughout higher education. UC Clermont Dean Jeff Bauer, who is also a professor of business, said the benefits of open textbooks are many. “All students have the book on the first day of class, it saves them a lot of money, and the information can be accessed anywhere, anytime, without carrying around a heavy textbook,” Bauer said. “They don’t need to visit the bookstore before or after each semester to buy or sell back books, either.”
  • Open Source Computer Controlled Loom Knits Pikachu For You
    The origin story of software takes us back past punch card computers and Babbage's Difference Engine to a French weaver called Joseph Marie Jacquard.
  • Successful open-source RISC-V microcontroller launched through crowdfunding
    X-FAB Silicon Foundries, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, launched the first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V SoC reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from start of design to tape-out in less than three months employing the Efabless design flow produced on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations, the solution should operate at up to 150MHz.
  • Open Hardware: Open-Source MRI Scanners Could Bring Enormous Cost Savings
    Wulfsberg explore the possibilities of open source MRI scanning. As open-source technology takes its place around the world—everywhere from makerspaces to FabLabs, users on every level have access to design and innovation. In allowing such access to MRI scanning, the researchers realize the potential for ‘technological literacy’ globally—and with MRIs specifically, astronomical sums could be saved in healthcare costs. The authors point out that medical technology is vital to the population of the world for treating not only conditions and illnesses, but also disabilities. As so many others deeply involved in the world of technology and 3D printing realize, with greater availability, accessibility, and affordability, huge strides can be made to improve and save lives. Today, with so many MRI patents expiring, the technology is open for commercialization.