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FOSS Events: LCA and systemd.conf

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Linux
OSS
  • 5 great linux.conf.au talks (that aren't about Linux)

    linux.conf.au, otherwise known as LCA, is one of the world's longest-running open source events. LCA has been held in a different city around Australia and New Zealand almost every year since 1999. Despite the name, linux.conf.au is a generalist open source conference. LCA hasn't been just about Linux for a long time. Rather, the conference focuses on everything to do with open source: the software, hardware, and network protocols that underly it. LCA also has a strong track on free and open culture, exploring how open source interacts with science, government, and the law.

  • FINAL REMINDER! systemd.conf 2016 CfP Ends on Monday!

    Please note that the systemd.conf 2016 Call for Participation ends on Monday, on Aug. 1st! Please send in your talk proposal by then! We’ve already got a good number of excellent submissions, but we are very interested in yours, too!

OSS Leftovers

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OSS

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Apache Graduates Another Big Data Project to Top Level

    For the past year, we've taken note of the many projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support.

    Only days ago, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. And now, Apache Twill has graduated as well. Twill is an abstraction over Apache Hadoop YARN that reduces the complexity of developing distributed Hadoop applications, allowing developers to focus more on their application logic.

  • Spark 2.0 takes an all-in-one approach to big data

    Apache Spark, the in-memory processing system that's fast become a centerpiece of modern big data frameworks, has officially released its long-awaited version 2.0.

    Aside from some major usability and performance improvements, Spark 2.0's mission is to become a total solution for streaming and real-time data. This comes as a number of other projects -- including others from the Apache Foundation -- provide their own ways to boost real-time and in-memory processing.

  • Why Uber Engineering Switched from Postgres to MySQL

    The early architecture of Uber consisted of a monolithic backend application written in Python that used Postgres for data persistence. Since that time, the architecture of Uber has changed significantly, to a model of microservices and new data platforms. Specifically, in many of the cases where we previously used Postgres, we now use Schemaless, a novel database sharding layer built on top of MySQL. In this article, we’ll explore some of the drawbacks we found with Postgres and explain the decision to build Schemaless and other backend services on top of MySQL.

  • GNU Hyperbole 6.0.1 for Emacs 24.4 to 25 is released

    GNU Hyperbole (pronounced Ga-new Hi-per-bo-lee), or just Hyperbole, is an amazing programmable hypertextual information management system implemented as a GNU Emacs package. This is the first public release in 2016. Hyperbole has been greatly expanded and modernized for use with the latest Emacs 25 releases; it supports GNU Emacs 24.4 or above. It contains an extensive set of improvements that can greatly boost your day-to-day productivity with Emacs and your ability to manage information stored across many different machines on the internet. People who get used to Hyperbole find it helps them so much that they prefer never to use Emacs without it.

  • Belgium mulls reuse of banking mobile eID app

    The Belgium government wants to reuse ‘Belgian Mobile ID’ a smartphone app for electronic identification, developed by banks and telecom providers in the country. The eID app could be used for eGovernment services, and the federal IT service agency, Fedict, is working on the app’s integration.

  • Water resilience that flows: Open source technologies keep an eye on the water flow

    Communities around the world are familiar with the devastation brought on by floods and droughts. Scientists are concerned that, in light of global climate change, these events will only become more frequent and intense. Water variability, at its worst, can threaten the lives and well-beings of countless people. Sadly, humans cannot control the weather to protect themselves. But according to Silja Hund, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, communities can build resilience to water resource stress.

    Hund studies the occurrence and behavior of water. In particular, she studies rivers and streams. These have features (like water volume) that can change quickly. According to Hund, it is essential for communities to understand local water systems. Knowledge of water resources is helpful in developing effective water strategies. And one of the best ways to understand dynamic water bodies like rivers is to collect lots of data.

Why open source programming languages are crushing proprietary peers

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OSS

It's no secret that open source now dominates big data infrastructure. From Kubernetes to Hadoop to MongoDB, "No dominant platform-level software infrastructure has emerged in the last ten years in closed-source, proprietary form," as Cloudera chief strategy officer Mike Olson reminded us.

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Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

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OSS

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal.

Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it!

Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it.

One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk.

This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing.

Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time.

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LaunchKit Now FOSS

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Android
Google
OSS
  • Google acquires LaunchKit to make life easier for Android developers
  • LaunchKit team heads to Google and open-sources its tools for helping devs launch their apps

    The team behind LaunchKit, a set of tools that helps developers launch their apps, is heading to Google and joining the Developer Product Group.

    It doesn’t look like LaunchKit’s products are moving over to Google, so the team decided to open-source its products and make them available on GitHub. LaunchKit’s hosted services will be available for the next 12 months. After that, they will be discontinued.

    LaunchKit currently offers four tools and developers will now be able to take them and run them themselves: Screenshot Builder for easily creating annotated screenshots for Apple’s and Google’s store, App Website Builder for creating responsive landing pages for new apps, Review Monitor for — well… — tracking reviews in Apple’s App Store, and Sales Reporter for keeping track of sales. The team has also written a couple of how-to guides for developers, too.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Google's Open Source Spatial Audio Tool Joins its Virtual Reality Offering

    The digital photography and digital audio arenas have been going through a renaissance for some time now, with 360-degree photo tools arriving that provide panoramic and immersive views of locations and SurroundSound-like audio experiences. On the photography and virtual reality front, Google recently announced that it open sourced VR View, a tool that lets developers tembed 360-degree photo and video content into sites and native apps. The images can be viewed on Cardboard viewers or through a single-lens viewer.

    Now, Google has announced that it has open sourced Omnitone, a software tlibrary hat developers can use to integrate spatial audio with websites. The software is available now on GitHub under an Apache license.

    Google has posted two videos featuring the spatial audio dynamics that you can achieve with Omnitone. The videos depict musicians that you can listen in on from various spatial angles.

  • Apache Software Foundation Serves Up Mesos Version 1.0

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), which incubates more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, has announced the availability of Apache Mesos v1.0. In case you missed it, Mesos and related efforts from companies such as Mesosphere have already made a mighty impact on clustering, data center resource management and emerging data center operating systems.

  • Why you should avoid vanity metrics and measure what matters

    In February 2011 we were "dinged" for what was clearly a slowdown in registrations. Something was very wrong, they said. The ship was clearly on fire, they said, and the community manager was at the helm. Not surprisingly, my LinkedIn activity picked up quite a bit that month. So what happened? Funny story—it turns out, in February we enabled a CAPTCHA on our registration form and started blocking spammers rather effectively, drastically depressing the new registration count. A few months later, after the analyst report, spammers figured out a way to get around the CAPTCHA, and things returned to "normal".

  • Koding open-sources its cloud IDE, integrates it into GitLab

    Koding, a startup with technology for operating a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE) for collaborative programming across devices, is announcing today that it’s open-sourcing its core technology and making it a part of GitLab, the open-source source-code repository service.

    With the push of a green button on GitLab repository pages, developers will be able to run any software on GitLab, with all the necessary dependencies already in place. “It almost feels like a part of GitLab,” Koding cofounder and CEO Devrim Yasar told VentureBeat in an interview.

  • Astronaut Achieves 14 Consecutive Months of VistA Features and Fixes

    One of the most prolific VistA developers on Earth Astronaut, LLC has just completed its 14th consecutive month of releasing new VistA features that are clinically tested and in production.

  • OpenBSD 6.0 pre-orders up

    In addition, one of the six release songs has been released early. There will be another compilation CD titled "The songs 5.2 - 6.0" alongside the release.

  • Photos: School-minded Faculty Brewing Co. will be Vancouver's first open source brewery

    "We want people to criticize and comment on them," Lozano explained. "People will be able to submit recipes that we can later brew and post online too, and then we can create open source recipes."

  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 6
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 7
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 8
  • Which Programming Language Is Most Important To You In 2016?

Linux and FOSS Events

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Linux
OSS

Openwashing

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OSS

32-bit Arduino Leonardo clone maker offers “ChipKIT Lenny” preview

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Linux
OSS

“chipKIT Lenny” is a PIC32-based Arduino Leonardo clone with more RAM and flash, and a multifunction microUSB port. Sneak preview boards are now available.

Majenko Technologies has built an Arduino Leonardo compatible board supported by the open source chipKIT project, which like all chipKIT boards features a MIPS-based Microchip PIC32 microcontroller unit instead of an ATmega32u4. (See farther below for more on chipKIT.) The chipKIT Lenny was teased by the chipKIT project in late June, and is now being released by Majenko in a preview version priced at 19 UK Pounds (currently about $25).

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Avidemux 2.6.13 Open-Source Video Editor Gets AAC/ADTS Import and Export

The developers of the Avidemux open-source and cross-platform video editor software have announced a new maintenance update in the 2.6 series, bringing multiple improvements, bug fixes, and a handful of new features. Read more

5 Best Linux Distros for Security

Security is nothing new to Linux distributions. Linux distros have always emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. So it is hardly surprising that security conscious distributions are common place. For instance, Distrowatch lists sixteen distros that specialize in firewalls, and four for privacy. Most of these specialty security distributions, however, share the same drawback: they are tools for experts, not average users. Only recently have security distributions tried to make security features generally accessible for desktop users. Read more

Linux Foundation and Linux

  • How IoTivity and AllJoyn Could Combine
    At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmond concluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework and the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn spec by inviting to the stage Greg Burns, the chief architect of AllJoyn. Burns briefly shared his opinion that not only was there no major technical obstacle to combining these two major open source IoT specs, but that by taking the best of both standards, a hybrid could emerge that improves upon both. Later in the day, Burns gave a technical overview of how such a hybrid could be crafted in “Evolving a Best-of-Breed IoT Framework.” (See video below.) Burns stated in both talks that his opinions in no way reflect the official position of OCF or the AllSeen Alliance. At the time of the ELC talk in April, Burns had recently left his job as VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee at the AllSeen Alliance to take on the position of Chief IoT Software Technologist in the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corp.
  • ​Linus Torvalds' love-hate relationship with the GPL
    Linux's founder appreciates what the GNU General Public License has given Linux, but he doesn't appreciate how some open-source lawyers are trying to enforce it in court.
  • Linus Torvalds reflects on 25 years of Linux
    LinuxCon North America concluded in Toronto, Canada on August 25th, the day Linux was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief of open source at VMware, sat down for a conversation at the event and reflected upon the past 25 years. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.
  • 6 things you should know from Linux's first 25 years
    Red Hat was founded in 1993, two years after Linux was announced and the company has been one of the top contributors to Linux. There is a symbiotic relationship between the company and the project. Whitehurst pointed out that it’s hard to talk about the history of Red Hat without talking about Linux and vice versa.
  • There Is Talk Of Resuming OpenChrome VIA KMS/DRM Driver Development
    Two or so years back or so it was looking hopeful that the mainline Linux kernel would finally have a proper VIA DRM/KMS driver for the unfortunate ones still have VIA x86 hardware and using the integrated graphics. However, that work was ultimately abandoned but there is talk of it being restored.

Security News

  • New FairWare Ransomware targeting Linux Computers [Ed: probably just a side effect of keeping servers unpatched]
    A new attack called FaireWare Ransomware is targeting Linux users where the attackers hack a Linux server, delete the web folder, and then demand a ransom payment of two bitcoins to get their files back. In this attack, the attackers most likely do not encrypt the files, and if they do retain the files, probably just upload it to a server under their control.
  • How do we explain email to an "expert"?
    This has been a pretty wild week, more wild than usual I think we can all agree. The topic I found the most interesting wasn't about one of the countless 0day flaws, it was a story from Slate titled: In Praise of the Private Email Server The TL;DR says running your own email server is a great idea. Almost everyone came out proclaiming it a terrible idea. I agree it's a terrible idea, but this also got me thinking. How do you explain this to someone who doesn't really understand what's going on? There are three primary groups of people. 1) People who know they know nothing 2) People who think they're experts 3) People who are actually experts
  • Why the term “zero day” needs to be in your brand’s cybersecurity vocabulary
    Linux is “open source” which means anyone can look at the code and point out flaws. In that sense, I’d say Linus Torvalds doesn’t have to be as omniscient as Tim Cook. Linux source code isn’t hidden behind closed doors. My understanding is, all the Linux code is out there for anyone to see, naked for anyone to scrutinize, which is why certain countries feel safer using it–there’s no hidden agenda or secret “back door” lurking in the shadows. Does that mean Android phones are safer? That’s up for debate.