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LibreOffice 5.4 Open-Source Office Suite Enhances User Experience

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LibreOffice in its latest version, 5.4, has added incremental improvements to make its integrated applications easier to use.

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OSS: DebConf17, GUADEC Manchester, Hortonworks, OpenStack, CMake on FreeBSD, Grsecurity and More

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  • DebConf17 starts today in Montreal

    DebConf17, the 18th annual Debian Conference, is taking place in Montreal, Canada from August 6 to August 12, 2017.

    Debian contributors from all over the world have come together at Collège Maisonneuve during the preceding week for DebCamp (focused on individual work and team sprints for in-person collaboration developing Debian), and the Open Day on August 5th (with presentations and workshops of interest to a wide audience).

  • Post-GUADEC Write-Up

    Besides getting to hear about great new ideas and developments, getting to see and meet (and play Monopoly with) the people who make up GNOME was really exciting and I finally feel like I’m a part of this great community.

  • Hortonworks hails open source's growing relevance to enterprises

    Hortonworks has praised the open source community for helping it achieve such positive revenue figures, with its work on the Hadoop distribution helping more vendors introduce an open source ecosystem to customers.

    Thanks to growing interest among enterprise customers, the company signed ten deals worth over $1 million during the second quarter of 2017, compared to six similar deals during Q2 2016.

  • New report highlights OpenStack's gender diversity and retention

    Communities are strengthened through environments that encourage open dialogue and invite a diversity of ideas, experiences, and talent. Knowing this, technology companies have strived to increase diversity within their ranks; however, the numbers remain troublesome, and this disparity becomes even more pronounced within the open source world.

    An Intel-sponsored report from Bitergia published last month examines gender diversity and retention within the OpenStack community, studying female contributions in both leadership and governance as well as technical projects. Promisingly, the number of women in OpenStack leadership and governance well exceeds that of women in the broader technology industry. Not surprisingly, the report highlights that women often contribute more heavily in non-technical areas. What's great to see within the report is recognition of the importance of all contributions—both technical and non-technical.

  • CMake 3.9 on FreeBSD

    The KDE-FreeBSD team also maintains the CMake packages on FreeBSD — mostly because KDE was the first big consumer of CMake. The meta-buildsystem is now used by hundreds of packages on FreeBSD. We recently switched the backend — the build system that is generated by CMake — from make to ninja, which gives us small-but-measurable build-time improvements.

  • Grsecurity don't seem to have a clue about Open Source

    First, Bruce Perens is someone I happen to know, and deeply respect. He has been a pillarof the Open Source and Linux Community for decades. He's one of those people who helped build it. I first met him about 20 years ago, and from personal direct expereience can tell you that Bruce is a careful, considered and intelligent person. Also if there is one thing he REALLY knows, it's about Open source. Licenses and Community. Bruce is the kind of guy that God himself turns to when looking for advice about Open Source license issues.

  • OU to begin using Open Textbook Network, a free textbook resource

    Textbook prices can drastically affect a student’s bank account, but faculty members at Ohio University Libraries are looking to reduce those costs.

    Open Textbook Network, or OTN, a resource for peer-reviewed academic textbooks, will start being used on campus come fall semester.

    Kelly Broughton, the assistant dean for research & education services at OU, said, as a member of OTN, OU Libraries now has access to a suite of materials to adapt to the faculty at OU in support of efforts to reduce the costs of course materials to students.

    “These materials include information and guides on adopting, modifying and authoring open textbooks, data collection tools and instructional support,” Broughton said in an email.

  • Why you should always do documentation before development

    Programmers and project managers sometimes think the phrase "doc-driven development" means putting a lot of comments in code or working closely with doc writers as development happens. That's because it's hard to imagine how development can possibly happen after documentation, because surely documentation can't happen until there's something to actually document.

    Documentation traditionally is seen as a sort of journalistic endeavor. Doc writers are given some software, and they take it into the lab and poke it and prod it until they've figured it all out, then they write it down for everyone else to never read.

Browsers: Chrome/Chromium and Mozilla's Firefox, Send

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  • Chrome/Chromium Turns On Support For OpenType Variable Fonts

    Google's Chrome/Chromium web-browser has now enabled support by default for OpenType Variable Fonts.

  • The latest challenge to Google's AI dominance comes from an unlikely place -- Firefox

    Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox internet browser, has begun testing a feature that lets you enter a search query using your voice instead of typing it in. The move could help Mozilla's efforts to make Firefox more competitive with Google Chrome.

    If you're using Firefox in English on Mac, Windows or Linux, you can turn on the experimental "Voice Fill" feature and then use it on Google, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. Support for other websites will come later.

    Alphabet's Google offers speech recognition on its search engine when accessed through Chrome on desktop -- it became available in 2013 -- and Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing and Google all let you run search queries with your voice on mobile devices. But searching with your voice on Google while using Firefox on the desktop, for example, has historically been impossible. Now Mozilla wants to make its desktop browser more competitive.

  • Fedora 26 - Firefox Test Pilot send large files.

    This tool from Firefox team let you to send you upload and encrypt large files (up to 1GB) to share online.

OSS Leftovers

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  • Toast Wallet is a Free and Open Source Wallet Solution for XRP Users

    Ripple users have been looking for some alternative XRP wallet solutions. It is somewhat strange to learn so few options are available at this point in time. Toast Wallet is a new open source XRP wallet for multiple platforms and operating systems.So far, it seems to be well-received but always do your own research when dealing with third party software solutions. Alternatives are always in high demand, though.

  • Heptio Launches Open Source Projects to Foster Use of Kubernetes

    Heptio launched a pair of open source projects designed to assist the deployment and management of Kubernetes container orchestration.

    The company’s Ark project is set as a utility for managing disaster recovery. Heptio said the focus was on Kubernetes cluster resources and persistent volumes, with a configurable way to backup and restore from a series of checkpoints.

  • Why to support community driven FOSS events

    FLOSS event offerings have exploded in the last few years. You can find everything from very elite, invitation-only pricey events to small, local meetings that are open to everybody. Almost every company that migrates from being an Open Source consumer to a contributor becomes a conference sponsor, which is positive.

  • [Old] Be Your Own VPN Provider with OpenBSD (v2)


    The main need remains the same however: if you neither trust your ISP nor a dedicated VPN provider (log or security wise), your best option is to be your own VPN provider.  

  • Open sourcing Flash, new GitHub features, 3D printed microscopes, and more news
  • Big Data Product Watch 8/4/17: Open Source Visualization, Cloud Reference Architecture, More
  • Animal Logic Open Sources USDMaya Plugin

    Animal Logic has announced the open source release of its USDMaya plugin AL_USDMaya. The plugin enables powerful and efficient authoring and editing of 3D graphics data using Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD) in Autodesk’s Maya.

    AL_USDMaya builds upon Pixar’s USD technology, which was released as open source in 2016 (see for more details). USD supports the interchange of 3D graphics data through various digital content creation (DCC) tools, providing an effective and scalable solution for the complex workflows of CG film and game industry studios.

  • Bulgaria to add 149 data sets to open data portal

    Over the next five months, the government of Bulgaria will add 149 data sets to the country’s open data portal, the country’s state eGovernment agency SEGA announced. New data sets include automatically recorded traffic data, municipal finances, and municipal data sets on education, ecology and transport.

  • 'No deal' between Germany and Elsevier: what would it mean?

    Forget Brexit – there's another European negotiation taking place that should be of great interest to academics.

    It's now been more than eight months since the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier and German research institutions should have reached a deal to renegotiate their subscription licenses. But here we are, in August, and there is still no hint of an agreement. If anything, the rhetoric on both sides seems even more ill-tempered that between Brussels and London.

  • A 3D printed $40 open-source microscopeGlobal Challenges Research Fund
  • Onus on State to undertake developmental work


    Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) for all the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will be declared by October, 2017 and accordingly Action Plan has been prepared.

  • EMVCo Sets Up New Mobile Payment QR Code Standard

    We know that quick response (QR) codes have been a fairly large part of the mobile payments concept for some time now, particularly in developing nations where the infrastructure isn’t quite up to the smartphone-based version. That notion took  a great leap forward as EMVCo released new documents detailing a standardization protocol for QR-based mobile payment systems.

OSS: Heptio, BitTorrent, LibreOffice and Oracle Layoffs

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  • Heptio releases two open source projects for Kubernetes operations

    Heptio announced two new open source projects designed to improve Kubernetes operations, regardless of where a developer runs a cluster.

    The first project is Heptio Ark, a utility for managing disaster recovery, specifically for Kubernetes cluster resources and persistent volumes, writes Craig McLuckie, founder and CEO of Heptio. It gives users a way to backup and restore applications and Pos from a series of checkpoints.

    “Not only does this tool make it easy to create backups of all cluster objects (pods, services, replica sets, etc.), but it also coordinates volume snapshotting in a way that maintains pod associations,” writes McLuckie. “You can then use a single command to quickly restore the entire cluster, or just a subset of it.”

  • Heptio Releases Two New Tools to Make Kubernetes Easier to Manage

    Kubernetes, the open-source system for automating the deployment and scaling of containerized applications, does its job really well. It groups an application’s containers into logical units for easy management and discovery, scales all the way from local testing to truly global production, and runs pretty much anywhere.

    At the same time, the platform can be intimidating to implement — particularly for new users configuring their first-ever system running on Kubernetes.  Kubernetes is quickly becoming the de facto standard for software container orchestration, but accessing it remains a challenge for anyone who is not a hardcore systems engineer.

    Heptio, founded by Kubernetes co-creators Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie, is a company that aims to make the platform more accessible. “Our mission is to make Kubernetes more naturally accessible to developers who aren’t necessarily deep back end engineers, and help it become more integrated into the fabric of enterprise IT,” said Heptio CEO McLuckie in an interview.

  • Former Vuze developers launch new open-source torrent client without any ads or bloat

    Vuze, a once very popular BitTorrent client previously known as Azureus, was created by a group of developers back in 2003 when the BitTorrent protocol was still a relatively new technology. Written in Java and available on Windows, Linux, OSX, and Android, Vuze had always received mixed reception, as some praised its countless features, while others saw the client as bloated, a view that some people have also formed about uTorrent lately, when compared to other, more streamlined clients. Lately, development of the client has stalled completely, which is the result of two of the project’s core developers leaving the company and starting a new open source torrent client.

  • LibreOffice 5.3.5 Office Suite Released with Over 120 Bug Fixes, Update Now

    The Document Foundation announced the general availability for download of the fifth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.3 office suite series for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.

    Even if LibreOffice 5.4 was launched as the latest and most advanced, as well as the last point release of the LibreOffice 5 office suite series, The Document Foundation still updates the LibreOffice 5.3 branch with bug fixes, and it now released LibreOffice 5.3.5.

  • LibreOffice 5.3.5 available for download

    The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.3.5, the fifth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.3 family, targeted at enterprises and individual users in production environments.

  • Oracle Reportedly Laying Off More Solaris & ZFS Staff

    The mystery around the future of Solaris, ZFS, and SPARC continues with Oracle reportedly letting go of more developers and other staff members.

    Months ago they already canned Solaris 12 amid other questions about Solaris' future as well as that of their flagship ZFS file-system. Their SPARC CPU efforts have also been unclear.

  • GitHub developer starts petition to open source Adobe Flash

Understanding Docker Adoption Patterns

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Ilan Rabinovitch, Director of Technical Community at Datadog, will be giving a talk at Open Source Summit NA titled “Docker Adoption Patterns” based on information gathered through Datadog’s research.

Rabinovitch has years of experience leading infrastructure and reliability engineering teams at companies such as Ooyala and and is also a co-founder of open source community events such as SCALE, Texas Linux Fest, and DevOpsDay LA. Here, Rabinovitch shares all the reasons why you need to attend his talk.

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Events: APIStrat, Nextcloud Conference and More

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OSS, Openwashing and FUD

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  • Former Vuze Developers Launch BiglyBT, a ‘New’ Open Source Torrent Client

    Two long-time developers of the Vuze BitTorrent client, formerly known as Azureus, have launched a new client. BiglyBT emerges at a time when Vuze development has stalled. The developers promise to take the project forward while removing all advertising and other annoyances.

  • How The Token Model Is Changing Coding For The Better

    The open source model allows these companies to learn from each other, benefit from one another’s success and further drive innovation. Aragon, for example is built on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning that what is good for Ethereum is good for us and vice versa.

  • Heptio launches two new open source projects that make using Kubernetes easier

    Heptio, the Seattle-based company recently launched by Kubernetes co-founders Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda, wants to make it easier for businesses to use Kubernetes in production. Since its launch in late 2016, the well-funded company has remained pretty quiet about its products, but today, the team released two open source projects into the wild: Ark and Sonobuoy.

  • BNO Technology Solutions Starts the LiberateOS Open Source Project [Ed: Turning Android into a Microsoft platform will not "Liberate" it at all!]

    BNO Technology Solutions has created the LiberateOS project. The project aim is to create a fork of the Android open source mobile operating system that no longer relies on the programming language Java. The technology shall be replaced with C# and the Mono framework.

    In order to achieve this the project uses another research project executed by the company Xamarin in 2011/2012. That former project was called XobotOS which in May of 2012 has been released as open source on GitHub.

  • Mozilla’s New File Sharing Feature is Fast & Secure

    Do you want to send files quickly and securely using your browser? If so, Firefox Send lets you do precisely that.

    ‘Firefox Send’ is an experimental new feature launched by Mozilla this week. It lets you safely send file(s) (up to 1GB) to someone else without the effort of using email, setting up a sync service like Dropbox, or using a CLI tool like Wormhole.

  • Black Duck reports record revenues and revenue growth as well as significant increase in new customers for first half of 2017 [Ed: there is money in being Microsoft's protégé and attacking FOSS in public]
  • Sparking change with less pain: An open approach

    Throughout the last decade, we've been undergoing rapid change in the way we deliver services, conduct our business, share our lives on social media, and use digital technology to engage with one another globally. Let's talk about a short list that is now our norm: digital media consumption, on-demand entertainment, self-driving cars, augmented reality, credit card chips, smart phones, smart wearables, and even drone delivery for your "I can't wait" items. We can even create organs on a 3D printer—total sci-fi stuff for anyone born before 1983. These incredible advances came from new ways of thinking, from pioneering an idea to see "what if."

Open Source 3-D Printing and Arduino

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  • UK research team 3D prints open source microscope prototype for only £30

    Just days ago we wrote about an open source 3D printed microscope that could be made for as little as €100 ($118). Now, another project, undertaken by researchers from the University of Bath in the UK, has even higher aspirations than that as it has made a prototype of a 3D printed microscope for only £30 ($40).

  • 3D Robotics open-sources its Solo drone control software
  • Introducing OpenSolo: 3DR Open-Sources Solo Drone Code
  • OpenSolo Initiative – by the ArduPilot Team

    The benefits to existing Solo users are many; the community is now free to maintain and improve upon an established codebase containing many innovative technologies, and developers will be able to “hack” or improve nearly every part of their Solo from now on, including the Controller! The Open Source community in general will also benefit from more generally applicable technologies such as SmartShots and the Artoo controller.

  • Arduino announces developer workshop following Musto ouster

    Arduino opened registration for an Arduino Core Developers Workshop following a shakeup in which controversial CEO Federico Musto left the company.

    Arduino developers who are wondering what the new Arduino will look like after last week’s shakeup can now sign up for an Arduino Core Developers Workshop to be held in Turin, Italy, from Sep. 29 through Oct. 1 (see farther below). Will the company shift entirely to RISC-V? Will Linux remain part off Arduino’s future? And can it compete both with Espressif’s ESP32 and the Raspberry Pi? Hardware aside, what happened to that open source Arduino Foundation? Maybe we’ll even solve the latest Shroud of Turin mystery.

  • Gumstix offers customizable suite of LoRa modules and boards

    Gumstix has added LoRa add-ons to its Geppetto board design service that work with a RisingRF LoRa module, and launched Overo, Pi, and Arduino LoRa boards.


Upcoming FOSS Events

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More in Tux Machines

OpenSUSE fonts – The sleeping beauty guide

Pandora’s box of fonts is one of the many ailments of the distro world. As long as we do not have standards, and some rather strict ones at that, we will continue to suffer from bad fonts, bad contrast, bad ergonomics, and in general, settings that are not designed for sustained, prolonged use. It’s a shame, because humans actually use computers to interface with information, to READ text and interpret knowledge using the power of language. It’s the most critical element of the whole thing. OpenSUSE under-delivers on two fonts – anti-aliasing and hinting options that are less than ideal, and then it lacks the necessary font libraries to make a relevant, modern and pleasing desktop for general use. All of this can be easily solved if there’s more attention, love and passion for the end product. After all, don’t you want people to be spending a lot of time interacting, using and enjoying the distro? Hopefully, one day, all this will be ancient history. We will be able to choose any which system and never worry or wonder how our experience is going to be impacted by the choice of drivers, monitors, software frameworks, or even where we live. For the time being, if you intend on using openSUSE, this little guide should help you achieve a better, smoother, higher-quality rendering of fonts on the screen, allowing you to enjoy the truly neat Plasma desktop to the fullest. Oh, in the openSUSE review, I promised we would handle this, and handle it we did! Take care. Read more

Today in Techrights

Direct Rendering Manager and VR HMDs Under Linux

  • Intel Prepping Support For Huge GTT Pages
    Intel OTC developers are working on support for huge GTT pages for their Direct Rendering Manager driver.
  • Keith Packard's Work On Better Supporting VR HMDs Under Linux With X.Org/DRM
    Earlier this year Keith Packard started a contract gig for Valve working to improve Linux's support for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs). In particular, working on Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) and X.Org changes needed so VR HMDs will work well under Linux with the non-NVIDIA drivers. A big part of this work is the concept of DRM leases, a new Vulkan extension, and other changes to the stack.

Software: Security Tools, cmus, Atom-IDE, Skimmer Scanner

  • Security Tools to Check for Viruses and Malware on Linux
    First and foremost, no operating system is 100 percent immune to attack. Whether a machine is online or offline, it can fall victim to malicious code. Although Linux is less prone to such attacks than, say, Windows, there is no absolute when it comes to security. I have witnessed, first hand, Linux servers hit by rootkits that were so nasty, the only solution was to reinstall and hope the data backup was current. I’ve been a victim of a (very brief) hacker getting onto my desktop, because I accidentally left desktop sharing running (that was certainly an eye opener). The lesson? Even Linux can be vulnerable. So why does Linux need tools to prevent viruses, malware, and rootkits? It should be obvious why every server needs protection from rootkits — because once you are hit with a rootkit, all bets are off as to whether you can recover without reinstalling the platform. It’s antivirus and anti-malware where admins start getting a bit confused. Let me put it simply — if your server (or desktop for that matter) makes use of Samba or sshfs (or any other sharing means), those files will be opened by users running operating systems that are vulnerable. Do you really want to take the chance that your Samba share directory could be dishing out files that contain malicious code? If that should happen, your job becomes exponentially more difficult. Similarly, if that Linux machine performs as a mail server, you would be remiss to not include AV scanning (lest your users be forwarding malicious mail).
  • cmus – A Small, Fast And Powerful Console Music Player For Linux
    You may ask a question yourself when you see this article. Is it possible to listen music in Linux terminal? Yes because nothing is impossible in Linux. We have covered many popular GUI-based media players in our previous articles but we didn’t cover any CLI based media players as of now, so today we are going to cover about cmus, is one of the famous console-based media players among others (For CLI, very few applications is available in Linux).
  • You Can Now Transform the Atom Hackable Text Editor into an IDE with Atom-IDE
    GitHub and Facebook recently launched a set of tools that promise to allow you to transform your Atom hackable text editor into a veritable IDE (Integrated Development Environment). They call the project Atom-IDE. With the release of Atom 1.21 Beta last week, GitHub introduced Language Server Protocol support to integrate its brand-new Atom-IDE project, which comes with built-in support for five popular language servers, including JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, Java, C#, and Flow. But many others will come with future Atom updates.
  • This open-source Android app is designed to detect nearby credit card skimmers
    Protecting our data is a constant battle, especially as technology continues to advance. A recent trend that has popped up is the installation of credit card skimmers, especially at locations such as gas pumps. With a simple piece of hardware and 30 seconds to install it, a hacker can easily steal credit card numbers from a gas pump without anyone knowing. Now, an open-source app for Android is attempting to help users avoid these skimmers.