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Microsoft

Openwashing and Microsoft Attacks on FOSS

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Microsoft
OSS

The Proprietary Software Lobby Against FOSS/Copyleft

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Microsoft
OSS
  • 5 factors for using open source code in proprietary software [Ed: As usual, treating copyleft as a nuisnace rather than a moral feature]

    Developers can easily obtain, modify and integrate countless open source code packages into diverse software projects. Using open source code to enable basic features and processes in a proprietary software project can shave time off of development cycles and free code creators to focus on core and business-enabling functionality.

    While open source elements confer tangible benefits for software development projects, they can impose challenges and limitations on a proprietary application, especially if the project is intended for commercial use. Organizations should evaluate the management and integration of software components from other creators, their project priorities, liabilities, licensing and security before selecting open source code for a project.

    [...]

    While open source software is free to obtain, change and otherwise work with, it is not in the public domain. Open source software is released under a license, such as Apache License 2.0; BSD license; GNU General Public License (GPL), GNU Library, or Lesser GPL; MIT License; or Mozilla Public License 2.0. Each license outlines the terms of use and distribution.

    Generally, open source software licenses do not significantly restrict a business's ability to acquire and use them. So, a proprietary and commercial software product can rely on open source components.

    However, businesses must know if and how a license can cause problems. The GNU GPL requires users to release any derivative works under the same GNU GPL license. If a business obtains and modifies open source code under GNU GPL, it must copyleft the modified code -- meaning release it to open source, as well.

  • Open source security: The risk issue is unpatched software, not open source use [Ed: Microsoft 'proxy' Black Duck still dodges an honest discussion about back doors that cannot be patched because they are there by design in proprietary software (like everything from Microsoft)

Security: New Microsoft-Connected FOSS FUD and Proprietary Software Catastrophes

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Microsoft
Security

Blender Developers Find Old Linux Drivers Are Better Maintained Than Windows

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Microsoft

To not a lot of surprise compared to the world of proprietary graphics drivers on Windows where once the support is retired the driver releases stop, old open-source Linux OpenGL drivers are found to be better maintained.

Blender developers working on shipping Blender 2.80 this July as the big update to this open-source 3D modeling software today rolled out the Linux GPU requirements for this next release.

Read more

Also: The Kernel Issue

Microsoft Entryism (Black Duck, Apache and Linux Foundation)

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Microsoft

Microsoft Uses GitHub to Take Even Greater Control Over the Apache Software Foundation

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Microsoft

10 Reasons To Change Windows For Linux In 2019

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Probably many have already heard about the growing opposition of these two operating systems. The most popular Windows is gradually losing ground in the face of free software — GNU / Linux. Is this justified? Of course, I am not talking about the redistribution of the OS market, but the percentage of Linux users is growing steadily, which is only worth thousands of distributions that have appeared over these three decades. In general, today I decided to look at the situation from a certain angle, and present you ten reasons to change Windows to Linux in 2019.

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Qt 6 Might Drop Their Short-Lived Universal Windows Platform Support

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Development
Microsoft

While the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is needed for targeting the Xbox One, Microsoft HoloLens, and IoT, The Qt Company is thinking about gutting out their UWP support in the big Qt 6 tool-kit update.

The Qt Company is busy brainstorming changes for Qt 6, which is expected to see its maiden release in late 2020 barring any delays. One of those fundamental changes being tossed around is eliminating the Universal Windows Platform coverage with Qt 6.0.

Read more

Direct: Qt 6 Planning: Consideration of dropping support for UWP applications

OSS Openwashing and Licensing

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • OSI updates licence categories

    The European Union Public Licence (EUPL) is now listed among “International licenses”, with CeCILL (a licence created in France by the three main public IT research organisations, INRIA, CEA and CNRS) and LiLiQ (a licence created by the State of Quebec – Canada)

  • Open Source vs. Open Core: What's the Difference? [iophk: "Microsoft contaminating and disrupting whole projects"]

    "Open source is everywhere," said Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research. A quick look at the proprietary software vendors of yesteryear drives his point home. Open Source code is not only leveraged by most of them, but they are also large contributors to open source projects. Consider that Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Pivotal, SAP, SUSE and many others back the Cloud Foundry Foundation. And even though Red Hat is the company everyone points to when they think open source, Microsoft has twice as many employees — 4,550 — who contribute code to open source projects. Amazon, IBM and SAP also land in the top 10.

  • Pengwin: A Linux specifically for Windows Subsystem for Linux [Ed: This isn't "Linux", that's just Windows and Microsoft is hijacking the brand.]

The 'New' Microsoft and Right to Repair Bills

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Microsoft
  • Not just Apple: Microsoft has been quietly lobbying to kill Right to Repair bills

    Rep. Jeff Morris told iFixit Repair Radio that national Right to Repair legislation was killed by Microsoft, in a piece of horse trading that saw Microsoft backing funding for STEM education in exchange for Right to Repair (and unrelated privacy rules) dying.

  • [Repeated] Microsoft played key role in stopping “Right to Repair” in Washington

    He shed some light on the kinds of things Microsoft lobbyists were doing, saying that last year, “Microsoft was going around telling our members that they wouldn’t sell Surface Tablets in Washington any longer if we passed the bill.”

    In our own conversations about the opposition to Right to Repair in Olympia, Microsoft’s full-throated opposition was often brought up by legislators, and it was to clear to us that the company was lobbying extensively against the bill, and was the most high-profile opponent.

  • Microsoft is reportedly blocking the 'Right To Repair' bill through lobbying

    According to MSPowerUser, Jeff Morris, a Democrat member of the House of Representatives, has been using its influence to block a bill which, on the face of it, has support across the house and a whopping 87 per cent support amongst US citizens.

    He claims that, according to his sources, Microsoft had offered to support a tax which would be used to fund STEM education, but only if the Right To Repair bill was quietly dropped. A second stipulation surrounding privacy policies was also on the table.

  • Microsoft has been quietly lobbying against Right to Repair legislation

    As a device OEM Microsoft has an interest in preventing customers from repairing their own devices, complicating their support and potentially reducing the need to buy a new device.

    87% of consumers however support Right to Repair and flexing their muscle in such an anti-consumer manner is extremely anti-democratic, especially when Microsoft paints themselves as socially responsible.

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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.