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OSS

RISC-V on the Verge of Broad Adoption

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

There are major hurdles to overcome when bringing a new processor architecture to market. Today’s fast-paced development practices demand that processor offerings be stable with the promise of a long market lifetime. Further, they must come to market with substantial support in the form of development tools, software libraries, operating systems, emulators, debuggers, and more. The emerging RISC-V instruction set architecture has faced and is overcoming those hurdles and is poised to rapidly gain broad acceptance across the design industry.

There are several reasons the RISC-V ISA has been garnering a lot of interest. For one, the ISA is open source, meaning that anyone can design a processor to implement the ISA without paying a licensing fee. This opens the ISA to a huge, worldwide design community that can review, correct, and enhance the architecture over time. Yet because only the ISA is open source, developers are free to safeguard their hardware design’s intellectual property and keep it proprietary for commercialization.

Read more

Also: Data Conspiracy RISC | User Error 59

Events: SFK, OSCAL and FOSDEM

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OSS
  • SFK, OSCAL and Toastmasters expanding into Kosovo

    Back in August 2017, I had the privilege of being invited to support the hackathon for women in Prizren, Kosovo. One of the things that caught my attention at this event was the enthusiasm with which people from each team demonstrated their projects in five minute presentations at the end of the event.

    This encouraged me to think about further steps to support them. One idea that came to mind was introducing them to the Toastmasters organization. Toastmasters is not simply about speaking, it is about developing leadership skills that can be useful for anything from promoting free software to building successful organizations.

  • Julian Sparber: An other year, an other FOSDEM

    I have come a long way since my first time at FOSDEM a couple of years ago. The first time it was all new and unknown. I tried to attend as many talks as possible, but could only see half of the talks i wanted to go (amazing how many people there are at FOSDEM). Every year I listened to fewer and fewer talks, because conversations I had outside of talks are so much more fun and appealing. I think the biggest thing which changed is that I’m no longer just a user of free software, but an active contributor.

    This year, I spent a lot of the time at the GNOME booth, which is always fun. The GNOME beers event is also awesome, though it was really crowded this year (let’s hope we get a bigger space next year). On Friday we also had a great lunch at a Libanese restaurant. Thanks to Adrien for organizing, and thanks to Purism for offering lunch.

  • FOSDEM 2019 - Recorded presentations (videos)

    If you weren't able to attend FOSDEM earlier this month, you're in luck as all presentations were recorded! From the latest on Open Source projects Zink (OpenGL on Vulkan) and VirGL (virtual 3D GPU for QEMU), to a state of the union on GStreamer embedded, and a look at how the KernelCI project is getting a second breath, Collaborans presented in five devrooms at FOSDEM 2019. Below is the full list of talks given at Collaborans during the two-day conference in Brussels, with direct links to each recording.

Governments Are Spending Billions on Software They Can Get with Freedom

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OSS

In the proprietary software world, when software is released, and when users buy that software, they don’t usually buy the entire software, but instead, they buy what’s known as an end-user license agreement (EULA). This EULA gives them the right to do only some specific things with that software. Usually, users are not allowed to copy, redistribute, share or modify the software, which is the main difference between proprietary software and free software (as in freedom).

It’s extremely annoying and sad that in the 21st century, governments all around the world are still paying millions of dollars for software each year; It’s more sad, because they are not paying for software, they are paying for a license to use a software in a specific way on yearly basis. Now say you were a country with millions of machines, can you just imagine the amounts of money that we are spending worldwide just to get those computers working?

More importantly, you don’t get the software. You just get a usage license that you must renew after a year. While free software gives you the 4 basic freedoms: The ability to read, modify, redistribute and use the software in any way you want.

Choosing to run a proprietary software over free software-where alternatives do exist-is an extremely wrong decision that governments are doing worldwide. And by choosing proprietary software over free software, we are losing huge amounts of money that instead could’ve been spent on health, education, public infrastructure or anything else in the country.

More importantly, the money that’s going to to pay for this software and its support could’ve been invested in developing alternative free solutions their selves; How about instead of spending $50M per year on the EULAs of Microsoft Office because “LibreOffice is not good”, that you just try to invest $25M in LibreOffice itself for one time only and see what happens? As a country, your technical infrastructure will develop if you turn it not just to a user of free software, but a producer as well. And only free software would allow you to do that.

During the period of our investigation, we checked the financial reports of many governments worldwide and their spending on IT. The amounts of money that governments are paying per year for proprietary software is very huge. And most of it isn’t actually for the licenses of using that software, but for the support.

It’s an issue, because it’s not going to end. Governments are claiming problems and issues in transferring to free software, and in doing that, they keep paying millions and millions of dollars each year, and continue to do so indefinitely; They have no plans to switch to free (as in freedom) locally-developed alternatives.

Let’s see some examples of how governments worldwide are spending their money on software.

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Events: LCA Talks and GNOME Workshop in Faridabad

Filed under
OSS
GNOME
  • Saving birds with technology

    Two members of the Cacophony Project came to linux.conf.au 2019 to give an overview of what the project is doing to increase the amount of bird life in New Zealand. The idea is to use computer vision and machine learning to identify and eventually eliminate predators in order to help bird populations; one measure of success will be the volume and variety of bird song throughout the islands. The endemic avian species in New Zealand evolved without the presence of predatory mammals, so many of them have been decimated by the predation of birds and their eggs. The Cacophony Project is looking at ways to reverse that.

  • Mozilla's initiatives for non-creepy deep learning

    Jack Moffitt started off his 2019 linux.conf.au talk by calling attention to Facebook's "Portal" device. It is, he said, a cool product, but raises an important question: why would anybody in their right mind put a surveillance device made by Facebook in their kitchen? There are a lot of devices out there — including the Portal — using deep-learning techniques; they offer useful functionality, but also bring a lot of problems. We as a community need to figure out a way to solve those problems; he was there to highlight a set of Mozilla projects working toward that goal.
    He defined machine learning as the process of making decisions and/or predictions by modeling from input data. Systems using these techniques can perform all kinds of tasks, including language detection and (bad) poetry generation. The classic machine-learning task is spam filtering, based on the idea that certain words tend to appear more often in spam and can be used to detect unwanted email. With more modern neural networks, though, there is no need to do that sort of feature engineering; the net itself can figure out what the interesting features are. It is, he said, "pretty magical".

  • Lisp and the foundations of computing

    At the start of his linux.conf.au 2019 talk, Kristoffer Grönlund said that he would be taking attendees back 60 years or more. That is not quite to the dawn of computing history, but it is close—farther back than most of us were alive to remember. He encountered John McCarthy's famous Lisp paper [PDF] via Papers We Love and it led him to dig deeply into the Lisp world; he brought back a report for the LCA crowd.

    Grönlund noted that this was his third LCA visit over the years. He was pleased that his 2017 LCA talk "Package managers all the way down" was written up in LWN. He also gave his "Everyone gets a pony!" talk at LCA 2018. He works for SUSE, which he thanked for sending him to the conference, but the company is not responsible for anything in the talk, he said with a grin.

  • Shobha Tyagi: Workshop on Road to Become a GNOME/Open Source Contributor

    On Friday 18, January 2019, We organised the workshop on Road to Become a GNOME/ Open Source Contributor at Department of Computer Science and Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Manav Rachna International Institute of Research & Studies, Faridabad.

Why I love free software

Filed under
OSS

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a charity that supports and promote the use of free software. Their latest income and expense report for 2017, shows that much of their efforts focus on, beyond basic infrastructure costs, public awareness, legal work, and policy work.

Every year, they celebrate free software on February 14 around the world online and offline.

Read more

Linux Foundation: Xen Summit, OSLS, CNCF Report

Filed under
Linux
OSS
  • Xen Summit

    The ​Xen Project ​Developer ​and ​Design ​Summit ​brings ​together ​the ​Xen ​Project’s ​community ​of ​developers ​and ​power ​users ​for ​their ​annual ​conference. ​The ​conference ​is ​about ​sharing ​ideas ​and ​the ​latest ​developments, ​sharing ​experience, ​planning, ​collaboration ​and ​above ​all ​to ​have ​fun ​and ​to ​meet ​the ​community ​that ​defines ​the ​Xen ​Project.

  • Linux Foundation Unveils Impressive Speaker Lineup for Open Source Leadership Summit 2019

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the speakers and schedule for Open Source Leadership Summit (OSLS), taking place March 12-14 at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

    The full lineup of sessions can be viewed here, and features speakers from Adobe, Comcast, Fidelity Investments, GitLab, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Nokia, Red Hat, Uber, Walmart, Wipro, and others.

    An intimate, invitation-only event for Linux Foundation and LF Project members, OSLS gathers technical and business leaders transforming technology across a multitude of industry verticals – financial services, healthcare, software, transportation, telecom and energy to name a few, to share best practices and accelerate open source development and cross-industry collaboration.

  • 6 Key Metrics Driving Growth at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

    There are a lot of different open-source organizations out there, but none had a bigger year in 2018 than the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and 2019 looks to be no different.

    The CNCF published its 2018 annual report on Feb. 8 providing an overview of the organization's activities and growth over the past year. The CNCF itself is part of the Linux Foundation and got its start with a single project in July 2015. That single project the Kubernetes container orchestrations system, is now just one of 31 open-source cloud projects hosted at the CNCF.

    The 31-page CNCF annual report provides all kinds of insight into the operations of the cloud organization, as well reviewing key metrics that define its current and likely future success. In this eWEEK Data Points article, we look at the reasons why the CNCF is growing and how the cloud native movement is poised for success in 2019 and beyond.

Stallman's New Talk About "Free Software and Your Freedom"; GNU Health and Red Hat Dump MongoDB Over Relicensing

Filed under
GNU
Red Hat
OSS

Events: FOSDEM, Red Hat at MWC19 Barcelona 2019, openSUSE Conference 2019 (oSC19)

Filed under
OSS
  • Jonathan Dowland: My first FOSDEM

    FOSDEM 2019 was my first FOSDEM. My work reason to attend was to meet many of my new team-mates from the Red Hat OpenJDK team, as well as people from the wider OpenJDK community, and learn a bit about what people are up to. I spent most of the first day entirely in the Free Java room, which was consistently over-full. On Monday I attended an OpenJDK Committer's meeting hosted by Oracle (despite not — yet — being an OpenJDK source contributor… soon!)

    A sides from work and Java, I thought this would be a great opportunity to catch up with various friends from the Debian community. I didn't do quite as well as I hoped! By coincidence, I sat on a train next to Ben Hutchings On Friday, I tried to meet up with Steve McIntyre and others (I spotted at least Neil Williams and half a dozen others) for dinner, but alas the restaurant had (literally) nothing on the menu for vegetarians, so I waved and said hello for a mere 5 minutes before moving on.

  • At MWC19 Barcelona 2019, the future is open!

    From open platforms, to open collaboration, to open innovation, more telecommunications service providers (SPs) are looking to open to deliver more services faster, to meet customer expectations, beat out competitors, and excel in the digital era. In a few short days, MWC Barcelona will be underway in Barcelona, giving the industry an opportunity to coalesce and take on new challenges together.

  • First Phase for openSUSE Conference Talks Begins

    openSUSE is pleased to announce the first phase for accepting talks for the openSUSE Conference 2019 (oSC19) has begun.

    A total of 80 talks were submitted during the call for papers, which began in late fall and ended Feb. 4. In total, there were 42 normal talks, two long workshops, four short workshops, 19 short talks and seven lighting talks submitted.

    The review team rated all the submitted abstracts and selected 22 normal talks, two long workshops, four short workshops, 13 short talks and five lighting talks.

OSS and Sharing Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • What Return of the Jedi taught me about open leadership

    No matter where you are in an organization, you can benefit from observing others and learning from them. We can all learn lessons from someone else.

    I like to look for leadership lessons wherever I go. Sometimes I learn a few tips on public speaking by watching a skilled presenter. Or I'll learn how to improve my meeting management style by reflecting on meetings that go well.

  • Is your enterprise’s open source strategy risky?

    Accurately evaluating this risk means developing a thorough understanding of an open source solution’s licensing terms, the health of its ecosystem, and the business models of the commercial organisations attached to the solution.

  • Best web browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera go head-to-head

    Let’s take a look at the four major browsers (including Edge) to see how they stack up in early 2019. You might be surprised to find that our favorite overall this year is Opera. Read on to find out why.

  • Tabbed Toolbar waste vertical space

    With default settings the standard toolbar need 110 px vertical space (menubar + 2 toolbar height), tabbed toolbar need 100 px and Groupedbar compact 72 px. So the default toolbare need most vertical space.

  • “FreeBSD Mastery: Jails” first draft complete
  • openrsync imported into the tree

    openrsync, a clean-room implementation of rsync, is being developed by Kristaps Dzonsons as part of the rpki-client(1) project [featured in an earlier article]. openrsync(1) has been imported into the tree (as "rsync") by Sebastian Benoit (benno@):

  • FSFE Newsletter - February 2019

    This month's Newsletter is introducing our new expert policy brochure "Public Money? Public Code" and reflecting the importance of source code availability for trust and securitys...

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • Drupal 6 - Security Support Continued

    Believe it or not, I just upgraded my old Drupal 6 instances serving e.g. my blog [1] to Drupal 6 LTS v6.49.

    Thanks a lot to Elliot Christenson for continuing Drupal 6 security support.

  • EU's New 'Open By Default' Rules For Data Generated By Public Funding Subverted At The Last Minute

    In December last year, the European Parliament proposed a version of the text that would require researchers in receipt of public funding to publish their data for anyone to re-use. However, some companies and academics were unhappy with this "open by default" approach. They issued a statement calling for research data to be "as open as possible, as closed as necessary", which would include some carve-outs.

    According to Science|Business, that view has prevailed in the final text, which is not yet publicly available. It is now apparently permissible for companies and academics to invoke "confidentiality" and "legitimate commercial interests" as reasons for not releasing publicly-funded data. Clearly, that's a huge loophole that could easily be abused by organizations to hoard results. If companies and academic institutions aren't willing to share the fruits of their research as open data, there's a very simple solution: don't take public money. Sadly, that fair and simple approach seems not to be a part of the otherwise welcome revised PSI Directive.

Events: FOSDEM, LF Events and Upcoming Red Hat Summit Keynotes

Filed under
OSS
  • CIB visiting FOSDEM 2019

    A new edition of FOSDEM (Free and Open source Software Developers‘ European Meeting) just ended. Our CIB LibreOffice team this year was represented by Thorsten Behrens, Michael Stahl and Marina Latini.

    The event is held annually during the first weekend of February, at the „Université Libre de Bruxelles„. For our team, attending FOSDEM means to be involved in a full week of meetings and collateral events related to LibreOffice and other open source communities.

  • Cloud Foundry Building the Future

    Whether you’re a contributor or committer building the platform, or you’re using the platform to attain your business goals, Cloud Foundry North America Summit is where developers, operators, CIOs and other IT professionals go to share best practices and innovate together.

  • Linux Kernel Maintainer Summit

    The Linux Kernel Maintainer Summit brings together the world’s leading core kernel developers to discuss the state of the existing kernel and plan the next development cycle. This is an invite-only event.

    Linux Kernel Summit technical tracks are offered at Linux Plumbers Conference 2019 and are open to all LPC attendees. More information, including how to register, will be available in the coming months.

  • Announcing the first round of Red Hat Summit keynotes

    For the past 14 years, Red Hat Summit has delivered inspirational, educational and actionable content, industry-shaping news, and innovative practices from customers and partners from around the world and across industries. As we prepare for Red Hat Summit 2019, we wanted to share some of the exciting keynotes you can expect from our main stage.

    Attendees will hear keynotes on the future of enterprise technology from several Red Hat leaders including: Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO; Paul Cormier, president of Products and Technologies; DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer; Chris Wright, vice president and chief technology officer; and Stefanie Chiras, vice president and general manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

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KDE is adding Matrix to its instant messaging infrastructure

KDE has been looking for a better way of chatting and live-sharing information for several years now. IRC has been a good solution for a long time, but it has centralized servers KDE cannot control. It is also insecure and lacks features users have come to expect from more modern IM services. Other alternatives, such as Telegram, Slack and Discord, although feature-rich, are centralized and built around closed-source technologies and offer even less control than IRC. This flies in the face of KDE's principles that require we use and support technologies based on Free software. However, our search for a better solution has finally come to an end: as of today we are officially using Matrix for collaboration within KDE! Matrix is an open protocol and network for decentralised communication, backed by an open standard and open source reference implementations for servers, clients, client SDKs, bridges, bots and more. It provides all the features you’d expect from a modern chat system: infinite scrollback, file transfer, typing notifications, read receipts, presence, search, push notifications, stickers, VoIP calling and conferencing, etc. It even provides end-to-end encryption (based on Signal’s double ratchet algorithm) for when you want some privacy. Read more Also: KDE To Support Matrix Decentralized Instant Messaging

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Canonical Is Planning Some Awesome New Content For The Snap Store

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Extensive Benchmarks Looking At AMD Znver1 GCC 9 Performance, EPYC Compiler Tuning

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