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IPFire Open-Source Linux Firewall Now Patched Against Intel MDS Vulnerabilities

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IPFire 2.23 Core Update 132 is more like an emergency release that ships with an updated Linux kernel, version 4.14.120, which is patched against the recently disclosed Intel MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) security vulnerabilities known as RIDL, Fallout, and ZombieLoad, as well as an updated intel-microcode firmware, version 20190514.

"Additionally, to mitigate this bug which cannot be fixed at all, SMT is disabled by default on all affected processors which has significant performance impacts," said Michael Tremer in the release announcement. "Please note, that Intel unfortunately is not releasing microcode for all processors any more and so you might still be vulnerable. To apply the fixes, please reboot your system."

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Events: NIDevConf, Red Hat Day Ireland, Britain’s Open Source Awards, and ApacheCon

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  • NIDevConf 19 slides on Home Automation

    The 3rd Northern Ireland Developer Conference was held yesterday, once again in Riddel Hall at QUB. It’s a good venue for a great conference and as usual it was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with talks from the usual NI suspects as well as some people who were new to me. I finally submitted a talk this year, and ended up speaking about my home automation setup - basically stringing together a bunch of the information I’ve blogged about here over the past year or so. It seemed to go well other than having a bit too much content for the allocated time, but I got the main arc covered and mostly just had to skim through the additional information. I’ve had a similar talk accepted for DebConf19 this Summer, with a longer time slot that will allow me to go into a bit more detail about how Debian has enable each of the pieces.

  • Red Hat Day Ireland - The Power of Open Source: Connection, Aggregation & Collaboration

    Red Hat Day Ireland will bring the latest and greatest in open source cloud computing, platform, virtualization, middleware, storage, and systems management technologies.

    Attendees will be allowed to ask questions, learn from those leading digital transformation and discover industry trends.

  • Britain’s Open Source Awards: Meet the Shortlist

    A record 65 nominations were received for the UK’s open source awards, which take place next week in Edinburgh. Now winnowed down to a shortlist of 16, the awards –founded by open source customer relationship management (CRM) supplier SalesAgility – are in their tenth year. Here’s who’s in contention.

  • The Apache® Software Foundation Announces Program and Early Registration Incentives for ApacheCon™ North America

Where Open Hardware Is Today

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Open hardware could not exist without the prior success of FOSS. It has been twenty years since the era, when FOSS was an untried idea. Since then, other groups based on the ideals and practices of FOSS, have grown into successful semi-independent communities of their own, such as OpenAccess and OpenStack. FOSS ideals no longer have to be proved, so open hardware does not need to be defended, either.

If anything, open hardware has gone on to have its own successes. Like FOSS before it, open hardware has an affinity with academia, where the exchange of ideas is a norm analogous to copyleft licenses. When academics venture into manufacturing, they are likely to organize under the same principles.

FOSS-based ideals are especially common in non-profits. Probably one of the biggest successes for open hardware is in the field of aesthetics. A traditionally constructed artificial hand costs upwards of $30,000. That price is beyond the reach of many families in a developing nation like India, where the average family income is about $21,000. By contrast, a custom-made artificial hand is sold by an open-hardware company like Open Bionics for $400. Although the cost of an open hardware hand is still high by the standards of developing nations, it is at least within reach, especially with charity. It also means, of course, that seventy-five open hardware hands can be made for the price of one proprietary one. Building on FOSS, open hardware has gone on to prove its own practicality.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • Robust for your pleasure: Elastic acquires Endgame

    Elastic (the company known for the Elasticsearch open source text search and analytics engine and the Elastic Stack data analysis and visualition toolset) will now acquire Endgame.

    Endgame is a security company focused on endpoint prevention, detection and response.

    Elastic wants to add Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) to its stack, so Endgame is a logical enough purchase.

  • Instaclustr anomaly detection scaled to 19 billion

    The instant clustering aficionados at Instaclustr have created an anomaly detection application capable of processing and vetting real-time events at a uniquely massive scale – 19 billion events per day.

    They did it by using open source Apache Cassandra and Apache Kafka and Kubernetes container orchestration technologies.

  • Instaclustr Anomaly Detection Application Successfully Processes 19 Billion Real-Time Events Per Day Using Apache Cassandra and Apache Kafka
  • The benefits of open source and community - the view from the trenches

    Why would you build an open source community? David Sommerseth, Team Lead of Core Development at OpenVPN, has his own war stories about his experiences as an open source developer and the important role of open source communities.

    Sommerseth joined Red Hat in 2008, (“the definition of an open source company,” he said). He found it inspiring to work there. As part of his development efforts, he was working with OpenVPN. He needed some features it didn’t have, so he developed them. He sent the changes to OpenVPN and asked Red Hat if he could spend some of his time working on OpenVPN code. In 2016, Sommerseth joined OpenVPN as a developer.

    A key player in the OpenVPN community, Sommerseth is the “gatekeeper” of changes to the OpenVPN codebase. Sommerseth reviews all code changes and is responsible for putting them out to others. The community slowly grew from two to three active participants to ten to fifteen regular contributors and another 30-40 occasional contributors.

  • Utilities Collaborate on Open-Source Software [Ed: OpenDSP is merely an openwashing shim that will bridge proprietary software it seems]
  • 5 Open-Source Recommender Systems You Should Try For Your Next Project

    Today, the popularity of these systems has reached such a level that there are companies that are providing open-source software as service recommender systems. One of the major benefits of using an open-source SaaS Recommender system is that you can make any modification. Also, you don’t have to put it a lot of capital to build one in-house.

  • Samourai Wallet open sources back-end of privacy enhanced bitcoin walle [Ed: If only the back end is liberated, then is Samourai Wallet really FOSS?]

    Samourai Wallet, the privacy-enhanced bitcoin wallet app, today announced the release and open sourcing of Samourai Dojo, the back end software infrastructure that sits on top of and augments a Bitcoin Core full node to power the privacy-focused bitcoin wallet.

  • Samourai Wallet goes fully open source

    The privacy-enhanced cryptotech infrastructure maker ‘Samourai Wallet’, has just announced that it has made its back end infrastructure open source. Samourai Dojo is the new privacy focused wallet that usually runs a Bitcoin Core aimed at offering all the users some enhanced sovereignty while making the crypto transactions. Before this, the servers needed all users to entrust their cryptocurrency public keys. With the new changes, it means that you can actually run or host your own Dojo server completely without having to go through Samourai.

  • Bitcoin app Samourai Wallet secures $100K funding as it fully goes open source

    Bitcoin app Samourai Wallet has managed to raise $100,000 in its first round of venture funding.

    The privacy-focused crypto wallet, which puts emphasis on privacy and dealing with bitcoin surveillance, bagged the investment from Cypherpunk Holdings.

  • Open Source Blockchain B-Corp Fluree Flourishes With $4.7M Seed

    Decentralized database platform Fluree has raised a $4.7 million seed round led by 4490 Ventures, with additional participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. The round, the largest tech infrastructure seed funding ever in North Carolina, will be leveraged to accelerate enterprise client acquisition, enhance the core product, and hire.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Orbs

    Orbs is a hybrid blockchain stack designed to help businesses create apps on decentralized networks that run on their own virtual blockchain. According to the company, it allows developers to build solutions on a blockchain through the use of virtual chains, intelligent sharding and randomised proof of stake (RPoS) algorithm that enables the high performance and scalability.


  • TD Ameritrade Turns To Open Source Coding

    TD Ameritrade is making "a powerful and scalable Python library," called STUMPY, available to the greater programming community.


  • TD Ameritrade Takes First Steps into Open Source

    TD Ameritrade1 today announced its first creation of an open source project: STUMPY, a python library to identify patterns and anomalies in time series data. Having benefited from open source as a means to shorten development roadmaps since the early 2000’s, STUMPY represents a new opportunity for the company to give back to the developer community.

  • The Ultimate List of 21 Free and Open Source Data Visualization Tools

    Searching for data visualization software can be a painstaking (and even expensive) process, one that requires lots of research and in some cases, a lofty budget. Thankfully, there are a number of free and open source data visualization tools out there. While the most popular enterprise data visualization tools often provide more than what’s necessary for non-enterprise organizations, with advanced features relevant to only the most technically savvy users. While a number of these solutions are offered by providers hoping to eventually sell you on their commercial products, others are maintained and operated by a community of developers looking to democratize the process of insight generation.

  • The Top 17 Free and Open Source Backup Solutions

    Searching for backup software can be a daunting (and expensive) process, one that requires long hours of research and deep pockets. The most popular enterprise backup tools often provide more than what’s necessary for non-enterprise organizations, with advanced functionality relevant to only the most technically savvy users. Thankfully, there are a number of free and open source backup tools out there. Some of these solutions are offered by vendors looking to eventually sell you on their enterprise product, and others are maintained and operated by a community of developers looking to democratize backup.

    In this article we will examine free and open source backup software, first by providing a brief overview of what to expect and also with short blurbs about each of the currently available options in the space. This is the most complete and up-to-date directory on the web.

  • Neueda makes Front Office SDK open source and free to use
  • Neueda Open Sources Capital Markets Software

    Trading technology specialists Neueda have this week open sourced software designed to help investment institutions and trading firms connect to all of the European equity markets.

    Neueda, with its team of electronic trading specialists, helps trading firms and fintech vendors develop and maintain solutions for the global markets.

  • By calling Huawei Android fork a security risk, Google contradicts its own open source arguments

    Google is reportedly pushing for an exemption from the U.S. government’s Huawei trade ban, arguing that an Android-based operating system developed by the Chinese tech titan could pose a significant security threat. According to a report in the Financial Times, which cites “three people briefed” on the matter, Google is arguing that forcing it to stop working with Huawei “risks creating two kinds of Android operating system: the genuine version, and a hybrid one.”

    The claims state that the hybrid OS will likely have more bugs and could make Huawei phones more susceptible to being hacked. “Our focus is protecting the security of Google users on the millions of existing Huawei handsets in the U.S. and around the world,” the company told the Financial Times.

  • The Open Source Project That Keeps Google's Hands Off Your Android Data


    MicroG is one of several projects working to keep the promise of free and open source software alive on Android. Users can opt for F-Droid instead of the Google Play store, an open source implementation of Google’s app store that, you guessed it, only offers open source applications. For web browsing, Mozilla Firefox provides a robust alternative to Chrome; in lieu of Google Drive, there are programs like NextCloud. But as those who have embarked on the great open source-only Android experiment can tell you, open source applications leave much to be desired in form, functionality, and stability.  

  • Top 10 Open Source Big Data Tools for Data Scientists

    The amount of data in today’s digital world has exploded to unheard levels, with nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data churned daily. With advances in the Internet of Things and mobile technology, harnessing insights from data has become a gold mine for organisations. So how do organisations harness the big data that is coming from different sources, here is our pick for the Top 10 Open Source Big Data Tools for 2019.

  • MIT's New Open Source Tool Lets You See Behind The Scenes Of Black Box Modeling

    A machine learning model can have many dependencies and to store all the components to make sure all features available both offline and online for deployment, all the information is stored in a central repository.


    Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have developed an interactive tool that, for the first time, lets users see and control how increasingly popular automated machine-learning (AutoML) systems work.

  • How Kubernetes came to rule the world

    Open source has become the de facto standard for building the software that underpins the complex infrastructure that runs everything from your favorite mobile apps to your company’s barely usable expense tool. Over the course of the last few years, a lot of new software is being deployed on top of Kubernetes, the tool for managing large server clusters running containers that Google open-sourced five years ago.

    Today, Kubernetes is the fastest growing open-source project, and earlier this month, the bi-annual KubeCon+CloudNativeCon conference attracted almost 8,000 developers to sunny Barcelona, Spain, making the event the largest open-source conference in Europe yet.

Open Hardware/Modding: ERASynth, REFLO Air, RISC-V and AbilityLab

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  • ERASynth Micro affordable USB open source RF signal generator

    Access to an RF signal generator can sometimes be a little tricky for electronic enthusiasts and developers due to the cost implications. ERA Instruments is hoping to change this with the launch of their affordable open source RF signal generator in the form of the ERASynth Micro. RF signal generators are normally expensive pieces of test equipment mainly used by professional engineers. The ERASynth Micro has been specifically designed for makers to remove the cost implications and provide a quality RF signal synthesis accessible to everyone.

  • REFLO Air open source, smart PCB reflow machine

    Electronic enthusiasts searching for a new compact open source Smart PCB reflow machine may be interested in a new device created by the team at MagicBox, called the REFLO Air. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the heater system housed in a compact enclosure and now available to back via the Crowd Supply website with earlybird pledges available from $199 and worldwide shipping expected to take place towards the end of next month during July 2019.

  • Qualcomm backs open-source alternative to Arm, x86: Should Arm be worried?

    Consumer gadgets such as smart speakers, smartwatches, and smartphones generally use processors based on Intel’s x86 and Arm’s instruction sets. However, the open-source RISC-V instruction set is gaining prominence too, and industry bigwig Qualcomm has backed a company dealing with the technology.

    According to The Information (paywall), chip design company SiFive has raised $65.4 million as part of its latest funding round. This funding round includes an investment from Qualcomm, and sees the San Diego giant join the likes of Intel and Samsung as investors in the firm. So what makes SiFive and RISC-V so special?

  • Qualcomm backs Sifive, open source alternative to ARM

    ARM’s been in the news more and more lately. They are after all one of the leaders when it comes to processor instruction sets. Outside of Intel’s x86, we haven’t really seen any real competitor to ARM, at least until now. Sifive is a plucky startup that utilizes the open source RISC-V instruction set for their processors.

  • OpenHW Group Created and Announces CORE-V Family of Open-source Cores for Use in High Volume Production SoCs

    A new not-for-profit global organization aims to boost the adoption of open-source processors by providing a platform for collaboration, creating a focal point for ecosystem development, and offering open-source IP for processor cores.

  • Andes Technology Corp. Senior VP, Emerson Hsiao to Be Panelist for “Open Source ISAs – Will the IP Industry Find Commercial Success?” at DAC 2019 in Las Vegas

    Andes Technology Corporation, a founding member of the RISC-V Foundation and leading supplier of small, low-power, high performance 32/64-bit embedded CPU and next generation RISC-V cores, today announced that Senior VP, Andes Technology USA Corp., Emerson Hsiao will participate on the panel “Open Source ISAs – Will the IP Industry Find Commercial Success?” at DAC 2019 in Las Vegas.

  • Popcorn open source mini PC computers hit Kickstarter [Ed: What they mean by "open source" isn't quite that; more like modularity]

    Source Parts has taken to Kickstarter this week to launch two new open source mini PC computers in the form of the Original Popcorn and Super Popcorn. Super Popcorn and Super ‘8’ Popcorn share many of the same specifications. They only differ in the main processor.

  • An open-source AI bionic leg is the future of prosthetics

    Open-source projects to develop smart prosthetics for the upper body, such as hands, are well-established parts of the bionic landscape. Now, legs get to join the party, thanks to the efforts of scientists Levi Hargrove and Elliott Rouse at the University of Michigan and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

    An open-source, artificially intelligent prosthetic leg was unveiled at Amazon’s Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas this afternoon (June 5) ahead of its release to the wider scientific community. It’s hoped that researchers and patients will work collaboratively to improve the leg, via its free-to-copy design and programming. (The current price to build it as specified is $28,500, including the Raspberry Pi that powers its AI; patients are not advised to see it as a “build-at-home solution.”)

  • Open-source bionic leg: First-of-its-kind platform aims to rapidly advance prosthetics

    A new open-source, artificially intelligent prosthetic leg designed by researchers at the University of Michigan and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is now available to the scientific community.

    The leg’s free-to-copy design and programming are intended to improve the quality of life of patients and accelerate scientific advances by offering a unified platform to fragmented research efforts across the field of bionics.

    “Our Open-Source Bionic Leg will enable investigators to efficiently solve challenges associated with controlling bionic legs across a range of activities in the lab and out in the community,” said lead designer Elliott Rouse, core faculty at U-M’s Robotics Institute and assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “In addition, we hope our bionic leg will unite researchers with a common hardware platform and enable new investigators from related fields to develop innovative control strategies.”

Licensing Changes

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  • CockroachDB changes its open-source licensing model [Ed: Waffling tom avoid saying it became proprietary]

    Cockroach Labs has announced that it is switching CockroachDB away from the Apache License version 2 (APL).

    According to Cockroach Labs, its business model has long relied on the assumption that “companies could build a business around a strong open source core product without a much larger technology platform company coming along and offering the same product as a service.” But this is no longer the case, the company explained.

  • Another open-source database company will tighten its licensing strategy, wary of Amazon Web Services [Ed: Another reminder that all the cloudwashing by corporate media is an assault on FOSS because people are shamed into ceding control, giving all money and data to GAFAM]

    Cockroach Labs, the New York-based database company behind the open-source CockroachDB database, will change the terms of the license agreement in the next version of the open-source project to prohibit cloud providers like Amazon Web Services from offering a commercial version of that project as a service.

  • CockroachDB shelters from AWS extermination under Business Software License [Ed: Amazon's assault on FOSS using the AWS/cloudwashing craze yields results; FOSS becoming proprietary software and GAFAM couldn't care less.]

    Cockroach Labs has become the latest open source vendor to run for cover from AWS and other cloud vendors, by relicensing its CockroachDB under the Business Source License.

    In a post explaining the move, the companies’ founders wrote “We’re witnessing the rise of highly-integrated providers take advantage of their unique position to offer “as-a-service” versions of OSS products, and offer a superior user experience as a consequence of their integrations.” They cited AWS’ forked version of ElasticSearch.

  • Latest FSF Updates To Software Licenses

    If you've ever felt confused about open source licensing you are not alone. The good news is that the Free Software Foundation has a highly informative and well-maintained list of licenses, not only for software but also for documentation and for other works, drawing a distinction between free and non-free.

    The fact that that the Personal Public Licence Version 3a and the Anti-996 Licence have both been added to the non-free list isn't really the important bit of this news item. It is that the existence of the Various Licences and Comments about Them that deserves being better known.

Openwashing and FUD Roundup

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  • State, City Spearheading Open Source, Disaster Partnerships [Ed: Nowadays even transparency is spun as "Open Source", e.g. (in this case) "transparency, collaboration and inclusion [...] Teamwork and open-source policies"]

    Officials from the California Government Operations Agency and the city of San Rafael discussed how themes of transparency, collaboration and inclusion permeate tech-infused initiatives in open source and disaster response.

  • QuantumBlack open sources its data analytics framework [Ed: McKinsey gets to stay secretive, dodgy and proprietary while openwashing]

    A new open source framework that aims to make building machine learning pipelines easier for data scientists was released today by QuantumBlack, the data analytics outfit snapped up by McKinsey in 2015 and that has its roots in data work for Formula 1 racing teams.
    The firm hopes that the fully open source development workflow, called Kedro, will become an industry standard for production-ready code in machine learning and data science.

  • Meet Kedro, McKinsey’s first open source software tool [Ed: Amid scandals (in the news) McKinsey resorts to openwashing while keeping almost everything proprietary]

    “It represents a big step for the firm,” notes Jeremy Palmer, CEO of QuantumBlack, “as we continue to balance the value of proprietary assets with opportunities to engage as part of the developer community, and accelerate as well as share our learning.”

  • Google open-sources soccer reinforcement learning simulator [Ed: When will Google also 'open-source' its models for assassination (the CIA work is was doing)?]

    About a dozen members of the Google Brain team today open-sourced Google Research Football Environment, a 3D reinforcement learning simulator for training AI to master soccer. The environment can simulate soccer matches, including particular scenarios like corner and penalty kicks, goals, and offsides. The news comes today at the start of the Women’s World Cup starts in France and a day after Google introduced pricing and games for its Stadia cloud gaming service.

  • DeepMind & Google Brain Open Source HLE Framework for ‘Hanabi’ [Ed: Google openwashing of its surveillance frameworks]
  • New open-source portal puts e-waste on the map
  • Salesforce moves Lightning Web Components to open source [Ed: Salesforce is as proprietary as it gets, so this is a clear case of openwashing to confuse people. All companies now try to pretend they're "open". ]
  • What Does The Future Of Open Source Look Like? [Ed: Looks like lots and lots of openwashing with groups like OSI and LF controlled by proprietary software companies]
  • Wind River Joins O-RAN Alliance to Support Growth of Open Source Innovation for 5G Networks [Ed: More openwashing of 5G which is very much proprietary software in every aspect (and lots of patent thickets, too)]
  • IBM bets on open source in telecom, prepares for global 5G deployment [Ed: IBM also participates in the 5G hype and openwashing]
  • IBM aims to meld Db2 with machine learning, data science workflows [Ed: Even IBM is openwashing its proprietary software without releasing a single line of meaningful code ("drivers for multiple open source programming languages")]
  • Amazon Open Sources Python Library for AWS Glue [Ed: Amazon is openwashing what glues companies' data to heavy, military-grade surveillance at AWS. How self-serving and comical/cynical a misuse of "open source", the label.]
  • Open source licensing violations can spell trouble [Ed: Microsoft propagandist Black Duck is still around and still attacking FOSS routinely. This was all along an anti-GPL operation set up by a Microsoft person. In internal Microsoft documents Microsoft makes it very clear that it needs to attack FOSS as a concept and to always do so by proxy (e.g. Black Duck) so as to appear neutral or friendly towards FOSS.]
  • Growing reliance on open source libraries leaves many companies vulnerable [Ed: And proprietary software never has bugs. Never. It's just... perfect! With perfect back doors, too.]
  • As developer toolchains consolidate, Microsoft takes pole position [Ed: This is Mac Asay, who tried to work for Microsoft. Instead he ended up writing Microsoft puff pieces for CBS (and his employers pays for the publishers for his lies to be published). Mac Asay is promoting proprietary software with DRM and back doors of Apple (at Android's expense), but that's just so predictable. Would he be printed if his employer didn't sponsor it (money for publishers)? One day ago Mac Asay was once again (as usual) moaning about FOSS and encouraging closing it for the sake of money (as if it's all that matters). TechCentral has republished the Microsoft puff piece from Dina Bass (“Microsoft learnt to love open-source software”), who has long been to Microsoft what Microsoft Peter was. We know based on internal emails. Livemint has also just reprinted these lies from Microsoft (relayed through a copywriter, Bass), under the headline “Microsoft reboots the way it works with software developers"; Best lies money can buy? BusinessWorld Online published this stenography (lies) under this headline: “Microsoft, no longer open source ‘Great Satan,’ woos skeptics to push growth”; this was later reprinted by the Bill Gates-bribed Seattle Times (one of many 'news' papers he pays) and Chicago Daily Herald.]
  • Bill Gates and Travis Kalanick invest in A.I. chip start-up using light to move data [Ed: Bill Gates is investing in surveillance again (as he did in schools, spying bracelets for kids]
  • Microsoft Puts Emphasis on Open Source with Azure [Ed:  Channel Futures (PR firm pretending to be media) has this headline. Funny lie to tell as Azure is proprietary software and NSA is embedded in it. Next time tell some lies for oil companies. They too pay for lies. Trend to be aware of: Microsoft is openwashing a lot of surveillance ‘projects’ (products) to give an ‘ethical’ slant to them. And these are proprietary software anyway; just some component somewhere ‘opened’ with patent-friendly licence…]
  • Microsoft Takes Down Open Source Face Database [Ed: Alternative headline would be,  Microsoft grossly violated privacy while working on malicious tech that helps market itself for more crimes against humanity (ICE)]
  • Stack (by Appodeal) Makes Its Ad Exchange, BidMachine, Available as Open-Source

    Stack, a global SaaS ad tech company by the team behind Appodeal, is making its programmatic ad exchange, BidMachine, available as open-source. Powered by in-app header bidding, BidMachine now enables mobile app publishers to connect directly with ad demand sources with unprecedented access, efficiency and transparency.

  • Appodeal’s Stack open-sources its BidMachine ad exchange for mobile app publishers [Ed: The openwashing of mass surveillance by very malicious corporations that spy and sell your secrets]

    Appodeal‘s Stack is making its programmatic ad exchange, BidMachine, available as an open source resource for mobile app publishers.

    Powered by in-app header bidding, BidMachine now enables mobile app publishers to connect directly with ad demand sources with access, efficiency, and transparency.

    San Francisco-based Stack is a software-as-a-service ad tech company created by Appodeal, an ad mediation company.

  • Stack Makes Its Ad Exchange, BidMachine, Available as Open-Source; Firefox Makes Enhanced Tracking Protection Available By Default

    In this weekly segment, ExchangeWire sums up key industry updates on ad tech from around the European region – in this edition: Stack makes its ad exchange, BidMachine, available as open-source; Firefox makes Enhanced Tracking Protection available by default; FreeWheel’s Blockgraph outlines new path for building the future of data-driven TV; Sublime announces acquisition of global measurement company Adledge; and IAS builds first-ever connected TV verification solution directly with leading video publishers including NBCUniversal and CBS Interactive.

OSS Leftovers

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  • Corporations and open source: why and how

    Here’s a really simplistic model: if you want someone to do something, you have to give them a compelling reason to do it, and you have to make it as easy as possible for them to do it. That is, you need to have good answers to Why? and How? (I don’t know much about marketing, but I think these are the value proposition and the call to action.)

    Let’s look at the Why and How model as it applies to corporations funding open source. They don’t do it because the answers to Why and How are really bad right now.

    Why should a corporation fund open source? As much as I wish it were different for all sorts of reasons, corporations act only in purely selfish ways. In order to spend money, they need to see some positive benefit to them that wouldn’t happen if they didn’t spend the money.

    This frustrates me because a corporation is a collection of people, none of whom would act this way. I could say much more about this, but we aren’t going to be able to change corporations.

    Companies only spend money if doing so will bring them a (perceived) benefit. Funding open source would make it stronger and better, but that is a very long effect, and not one that accrues directly to the funder. This is the famous Tragedy of the Commons. It’s a fair question for companies to ask: if they fund open source, what do they get for their money?

  • Dashing Diademata Delivers Second Generation ROS

    A simple robot that performs line-following or obstacle avoidance can fit all of its logic inside a single Arduino sketch. But as a robot’s autonomy increases, its corresponding software gets complicated very quickly. It won’t be long before diagnostic monitoring and logging comes in handy, or the desire to encapsulate feature areas and orchestrate how they work together. This is where tools like the Robot Operating System (ROS) come in, so we don’t have to keep reinventing these same wheels. And Open Robotics just released ROS 2 Dashing Diademata for all of us to use.

    ROS is an open source project that’s been underway since 2007 and updated regularly, each named after a turtle species. What makes this one worthy of extra attention? Dashing marks the first longer term support (LTS) release of ROS 2, a refreshed second generation of ROS. All high level concepts stayed the same, meaning almost everything in our ROS orientation guide is still applicable in ROS 2. But there were big changes under the hood reflecting technical advances over the past decade.

  • Here's how tech companies like Atlassian, Microsoft, and Red Hat are revamping their interview process for developers today

    Increasingly, companies are relying on open source software, or software that is free for anyone to use, download, and modify. Employers may seek developers who create or contribute to innovative open source projects — which can quickly pick up popularity online.

    And Adi Sakala, director of software engineering at Red Hat, even says that open source drives the process of evaluating candidates at his company.


    Sakala says he tries to do interviews in a "community fashion" and see if candidates can approach problems in an "open way." After all, Red Hat provides support and services for Linux and other open source projects, which run on participation and code contributions from the company.

    For example, the team may have the candidate pick an existing public issue in the open source project and break down the process on how to solve it. It's not just about the technicalities of solving the issue, but also looking to existing solutions in the open source community and collaborating with other teams.

    And since the job often requires working with open source collaborators, Sakala says looking for good communication skills and the ability to handle constructive criticism is especially important.

    "Most of our products function as communities," Sakala said. "Working in communities requires you to be more than a technically strong person. We have to be part of the community."


    "We don't ask for resumes," Taggar said. "When you start at Triplebyte, you go straight into doing the skills quiz. It's about your process, not your background or resume. That's how we're able to identify really great patterns that wouldn't make it through traditional hiring processes."

  • Digital Will, Part I: Requirements

    The technologies for this digital will should rely on free and open-source software (FOSS) not just because that matches my own ideals (and the ideals of Linux Journal), but also because a FOSS solution helps with the fault-tolerance requirement. FOSS software, even if it becomes unmaintained, still should be available for use in the future, whereas proprietary software or services may not.


  • SUMO Platform Roadmap

    Our support platform went through numerous changes and transitions during the last couple of years. With the SUMO team joining efforts with the Open Innovation group last year, we have started thinking about different approaches to our support platform strategy. Our support platform is complex and there are a lot of legacy items that need to be taken care of. Besides this we need to get ready for all the new things that are coming our way.

    We want to ensure we’re providing a stable platform that will support Mozilla in the years to come as well as manage all the new products and changes expected in the following years.

    During this first half of the year we have worked on setting up a roadmap that prioritizes the work and helps us be more intentional about the changes we want to make in order to provide the best support platform for our users. With this we have also worked on new processes that will hopefully simplify the way we work with the platform as well as the overall development process.

  • Mozilla VR Blog: Check out Hubs on Oculus Quest!

    We’re excited to share that Hubs is now available on Quest, the new standalone VR headset from Oculus. Because Hubs is web-based, there are no applications to install or limits on cross-platform compatibility. Simply invite people to join your rooms in VR, on a desktop, or with a phone at any time. Launch a browser on the Quest and go to to create a room, then invite people to join you by sending them the invite link or room code!

    Standalone headsets like the Oculus Quest represent exciting new advancements in the systems that we have available for consumer VR technology. Untethered devices with tracking capabilities built into the headset allow for more freedom of movement around a space and more natural interactions within an environment.

    At Mozilla, we're committed to supporting a rich, open ecosystem of online content that can be accessed by any device. This is one of the reasons that the immersive web is so powerful - like traditional websites, applications like Hubs can be accessed through browsers with a single URL on new devices without being limited to store requirements. By developing Hubs for the web, we’re able to iterate and deploy changes quickly, which allows us to get new features and bug fixes out quickly and often. It also means our users can be together in the same room on the Quest, PC, and smartphones as well.

  • PowerShell on Debian [Ed: Why would Planet Debian promote Microsoft entrapments this morning?]
  • Square updated its terms of services; community raise concerns about restriction to use the AGPL-licensed software in online stores

    Last month, Square a financial services and mobile payment company updated its terms of service effective from this year in July. Developers are raising concerns upon one of the terms of service which restricts the use of AGPL-licensed software in online stores.

    What is GNU AGPL Affero General Public License

    The GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) is a free and copyleft license for software and other kinds of works. AGPL guarantees the freedom for sharing and changing all versions of a program. It protects developers’ right by asserting copyright on the software, and by giving legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the software.

Free and Open Source Trello Alternative OpenProject 9 Released

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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.

Read more

OSS: Marketing to Open Source Communities, Mozilla News and DataStax

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  • Marketing to Open Source Communities


    Two factors define open source. The most obvious is that the source is available for anyone to see, compile and extend, instead of kept secret. Hence the name, “open source.” The second, but more influential, aspect of open source is that it is developed by communities. Communities are collections of developers, testers, technical writers and project leaders who build, test and release the software together. Members of the community may be paid by companies to do the work or might be contributing their time as individuals. In any case, open source decisions and work is not dominated by any one company. They operate as collectives, brought together by shared interest.

  • My thoughts on Firefox blocking tracking/ad cookies by default

    Firefox 67 was released earlier this week and it came with an invisible but significant change. Firefox user, or 10 % of the worldwide desktop web market share, just had their default browser settings changed to block cross-site tracking cookies by default.

    So what does this change really mean? This doesn’t mean that Firefox have started to outright block web advertising; Mozilla rejected that idea in 2018 after realizing small creators and websites were entirely dependent on ads for income.

  • CSS Grid Level 2 – subgrid is coming to Firefox

    The subgrid feature which is part of Level 2 of the CSS Grid Specification is not yet shipping in any browser, but is now available for testing in Firefox Nightly. This is a feature that, if you have used CSS Grid for a layout of any complexity, you are likely to be pretty excited about. In this article I’m going to introduce the feature and some of the use cases it solves.

    So what is subgrid exactly? In terms of syntax, it is a new keyword value for the grid-template-columns and grid-template-rows properties. These properties normally accept a track listing, a listing of sizes of the tracks you want in your grid. For example, the following CSS would create a three column track grid with a 200px column, a column sized as max-content, and a final 1fr column.

  • DataStax soft launches Constellation for managing cloud deployments

    Like two performers working in tandem, DataStax’s Vanguard Lead, Presales Architecture Chelsea Navo wowed the audience as she spun up three data centers across the world before deliberately knocking one offline live on stage during the opening keynote.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Low-Memory Killer--In or Out?

One of the jobs of the Linux kernel—and all operating system kernels—is to manage the resources available to the system. When those resources get used up, what should it do? If the resource is RAM, there's not much choice. It's not feasible to take over the behavior of any piece of user software, understand what that software does, and make it more memory-efficient. Instead, the kernel has very little choice but to try to identify the software that is most responsible for using up the system's RAM and kill that process. The official kernel does this with its OOM (out-of-memory) killer. But, Linux descendants like Android want a little more—they want to perform a similar form of garbage collection, but while the system is still fully responsive. They want a low-memory killer that doesn't wait until the last possible moment to terminate an app. The unspoken assumption is that phone apps are not so likely to run crucial systems like heart-lung machines or nuclear fusion reactors, so one running process (more or less) doesn't really matter on an Android machine. Read more

today's leftovers

Security Leftovers

  • Microsoft & Pentagon are quietly hijacking US elections (by Lee Camp)
    Good news, folks! We have found the answer to the American rigged and rotten election system. The most trustworthy of corporations recently announced it is going to selflessly and patriotically secure our elections. It’s a small company run by vegans and powered by love. It goes by the name “Microsoft.” (You’re forgiven for never having heard of it.) The recent headlines were grandiose and thrilling: “Microsoft offers software tools to secure elections.” “Microsoft aims to modernize and secure voting with ElectionGuard.” Could anything be safer than software christened “ElectionGuard™”?! It has “guard” right there in the name. It’s as strong and trustworthy as the little-known Crotch Guard™ – an actual oil meant to be sprayed on one’s junk. I’m unclear as to why one sprays it on one’s junk, but perhaps it’s to secure your erections? (Because they’ve been micro-soft?)
  • Netflix Researchers Just Fixed 4 Severe Linux And FreeBSD Vulnerabilities
  • Netflix Uncovers TCP Bugs Within The Linux & FreeBSD Kernels
    As Netflix's first security bulletin for 2019, they warned of TCP-based remote denial of service vulnerabilities affecting both Linux and FreeBSD. These vulnerabilities are rated "critical" but already being corrected within the latest Git code.

Games: Project Zero Deaths, Littlewood, Ravenfield, ENCODYA

  • Project Zero Deaths, a new free to play online platform shooter has Linux support
    A free game to start the day with, as the multiplayer platform shooter Project Zero Deaths recently entered Early Access and it includes Linux support.
  • The peaceful building RPG 'Littlewood' is now available in Early Access with Linux same-day support
    Littlewood from developer Sean Young arrived on Steam in Early Access today and it looks like a very promising and peaceful RPG. Funded thanks to the help of nearly four thousand people on Kickstarter, Littlewood is set after the world has been saved and you're the hero tasked with rebuilding a town.
  • Ravenfield, the fun single-player FPS now has a built-in map editor and destructible object support
    The amount of content being added into Ravenfield is quite impressive and now anyone can easily make their own maps for it, without the need of Unity. Early Access Build 16 went live recently, with a custom-made map editor that works on Linux and it's surprisingly easy to use. You no longer need the Ravenfield mod tools for Unity, making it far more accessible. It comes with all of the official Ravenfield props, meaning you can place down all sorts of things. When ready, it also has Steam Workshop support built in for you to publish it.
  • Science Fiction point-and-click Encodya has a demo released, will go to Kickstarter
    The background story of the upcoming science fiction point and click game Encodya is the Kickstarter campaign for the animation short movie Robot Will Protect You. Getting over 23.000€ from an initial target of 8.750€, it reached several stretch goals, the last one being "We'll start developing a game!". And so they did... The game, named "ENCODYA", grabbed my attention in a Facebook group about point and click adventures. Drawn by the art, I asked if a Linux version would be possible. Indeed it was, and I was asked if I could test it. As it's using Unity, I expected it to a) fail on trying to play a video, b) show graphical problems or c) just run like the Windows version. First a) it was. But the author was eager to make the Linux version and a fix was attempted. After struggling with finding the right output options for the studio's intro video, we found that everything seems to be working just like on Windows. So Hooray for the game engines supporting the OS of our choice!