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OSS Leftovers

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  • Linux Australia Joins Open Source Initiative

    The Open Source Initiative is the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD) and the community-recognized body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD-conformant. The organization's members play an important role across the world in community building, education and public advocacy to promote the importance of non-proprietary software. In doing so they further international awareness of how open source technologies, licenses and models of development can provide economic and strategic advantage.

  • Fixing bufferbloat on your home network with OpenBSD 6.2 or newer

    The reason for this is a phenomenom called "bufferbloat". I'm not going to explain it in detail, there are plenty of good resources to read about it, including the eponymous Bufferbloat is the result of complex interactions between the software and hardware systems routing traffic around on the Internet. It causes higher latency in networks, even ones with plenty of bandwidth. In a nutshell, software queues in our routers are not letting certain packets through fast enough to ensure that things feel interactive and responsive. Pings, TCP ACKs, SSH connections, are all being held up behind a long line of packets that may not need to be delivered with the same urgency. There's enough bandwidth to process the queue, the trick is to do it more quickly and more fairly.

  • libredwg-0.5 released [alpha]
  • H1-2018 Was Certainly Eventful For The GCC Compiler

    The first half of 2018 was certainly eventful for the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) with the stable release of GCC8, feature development on GCC9 kicking off, and all the associated fun.

    The stable GCC 8.1 debut brought with it initial C++2A support, initial Intel Cannonlake and Icelake CPU enablement, Profile Guided Optimization improvements and other optimization passes work, Intel CET, Qualcomm Saphira CPU support and other ARM CPU improvements, C17 language support, updates for the Go and Fortran languages, AMD HSA IL / BRING improvements, and a whole lot of other work that built up over the past year. GCC 8.1 was officially released in early May while all feature work is now focused on GCC 9 that should debut as stable around the end of Q1'2019.

  • 5 military phrases for DevOps practitioners

OSS: "Open source has won the day" and More

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  • Industry Watch: Open source has won the day

    I remember talking to other technology reporters in 2000, asking if they thought Linux had a commercial future. Some saw the uptake in server rooms and were certain of it. Others believed Linux advocates to be nothing more than anti-vendor zealots and hobbyists who would rather write software themselves than pay for it, and that’s where open-source would remain.

  • Shedding Light: A New Open Source Imaging System

    The open source movement has facilitated the development of low cost and easy-to-use technologies for scientific settings. A study published in PLOS ONE describes the creation of a novel multi-fluorescence imaging system from readily available, low cost components.

    The study has just been awarded the 2018 PLOS Open Source Toolkit Channel Prize, and I was lucky to interview via email study authors Isaac Nuñez and Tamara Matute, of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, who both contributed to the answers below.


    The GOSH (Global Open Science Hardware) movement and OpenPlant work to promote open source technology. We believe that openly shared technologies, such as open scientific hardware and open genetic tools, are crucial for technology development and knowledge production, particularly in low income countries.

  • This 22-Year-Old Spanish Programmer is Building an Open Source, Secure Alternative to Facebook

    Joel Hernández is frank about why he’s trying to launch Openbook, an open source, hyper-secure social network as an alternative to Facebook.

    The 22-year-old programmer and entrepreneur, who by day works as a security software engineer for Dutch telecoms giant KPN, told Computer Business Review: “We are sleepwalking into a zero privacy world. This may not be abused now, but it will be in future. I’m someone with the capability to fix a small part of that.”

    Two years ago he had tried to talk a group of friends into the project, amid concerns about Facebook and other social media platform’s data sharing practices and a perceived lack of privacy. They told him they didn’t think anyone cared enough to make the leap to an alternative that prioritised security and transparency.

  • How open source can transform the way a company's developers work together

    Open source has been a tech mainstay for decades in large part, as Tilde co-founder and JavaScript veteran Yehuda Katz has argued, because it "gives engineers the power to collaborate across ...companies without involving [business development]."

    "The benefits of this workaround are extraordinary and underappreciated," Katz continued. But open source offers something just as extraordinary and even more underappreciated, something that edX community lead John Mark Walker recently pointed out on Twitter.

    Namely, what open source does to collaboration among engineers inside the same company.

Open source money: Bitcoin, blockchain, and free software

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Whether you believe that blockchain technology is poised to change the world or that it is a flash in the pan, one thing is sure: Technical and legal questions about blockchain are on everyone's mind today. People often wonder: Is Bitcoin "open source"? But this question arises from confusion about three separate concepts: blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and open source software.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • Juniper CTO: Open Source Software Can Be Profitable

    Bikash Koley came to Juniper with a clear understanding of the power of open source software, from his years at Google as a senior network architect who helped drive things such as OpenConfig, getting the industry to rally around key standards for next-gen networks. (See Google to Open Key Network Models for Industry Comment, Standardization, Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models and Google: OpenConfig Grows, Goes Commercial.)

    As the CTO of Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), however, he is seeing the other side of open source and how it is transforming vendor business models. Koley is still a big fan and says Juniper will be able to successfully transition to a profitable provider of software and more, in support of open source deployment and standards development. But that will require some significant changes in how the company operates. (See Juniper Weathers Hypercloud Storm, Says CTO Koley.)

  • Introduction to TensorFlow: Google Brain’s Open-Source Framework for Machine Learning

    Google captivated the world at I/O 2018 when its Google Assistant phoned in an appointment with a hair salon with all the pep and aplomb of a living, breathing human assistant. The tone was conversational, the prose complete with vocal fillers, and the rhythm so natural the recipients on the other end of the phone call were unaware they were speaking with a machine.

  • CryptoKitties Keeps With Ethereum and Goes Open-Source
  • Haiku monthly activity report - 06/2018

    I just wanted to note that the 5 Haiku contributors who joined Liberapay are now part of a "team".

    In case you missed it, Liberapay is a way to donate money to some Haiku contributors directly. They are an open source project, funded themselves by donations from their users, and with an interesting approach to funding free software and other commons creations. Your donations are anonymous if you use this channel, which makes sure it isn't used as a hidden contract work or bounty or any other kind of commercial system. So, have a look at the Haiku team on Liberapay and consider funding the work of either the team as a whole, or one contributor in particular.

  • Haiku Continues Working On EFI Support, 32-Bit Apps With 64-Bit OS

    Haiku OS continues working towards its long-awaited beta and there continues to be other improvements made for this BeOS-inspired platform.

    The Haiku crew have published their latest monthly report detailing their accomplishments for the month prior (June 2018). There is ongoing driver improvements, continued work on (U)EFI boot support, furthering the 32-bit/64-bit hybrid support to allow 32-bit applications to work with a Haiku 64-bit system, compiler updates, and various application work.

  • Building community at Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL) 2018

    From May 19-20, 2018, the local open source community in Tirana, Albania organized the fifth year of Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL). For the fifth year, the Fedora Project participated as a sponsor of this regional conference. OSCAL focuses on topics of software freedom, open knowledge, free culture, and decentralization. It attracts a range of international speakers and sponsors to a mostly local Albanian audience.

  • June 2018 ISO C++ Meeting Trip Report (Core Language)

    The Summer 2018 ISO C++ standards committee meeting this year was back in Rapperswil, Switzerland. The new features for C++2a are coming fast now; the Core language working group had very little time for issue processing because of all the proposal papers coming to us from the Evolution working group.

  • What Game of Thrones teaches us about working openly

    You might think the only synergy one can find in Game of Thrones is that between Jaime Lannister and his sister, Cersei. Characters in the show's rotating cast don't see many long term relationships, as they're killed off, betrayed, and otherwise trading loyalty in an effort to stay alive. Even the Stark children, siblings suffering from the deaths of their parents, don't really get along most of the time.

  • Open Source Components: Safety Checks Required [Ed: "govinfosecurity" gives a platform to anti-FOSS Microsoft 'proxy' Black Duck (to help it sell fear of FOSS and proprietary Synopsys crapware)]
  • 3Dsimo Kit is an Open Source, Multimaterial 3D Pen Assembly Kit

    3Dsimo Kit is the world’s first multimaterial assembly kit 3D pen. Based on the same idea as RepRap 3D printers, every part of 3Dsimo Kit is open source. All the necessary blueprints are freely available on our website,, or on GitHub at This assembly kit is easy to assemble — the whole build includes only 2 bolts, everything else is snapped or plug-in. Assembly takes 15-20 minutes. Thanks to the OLED display, choosing material profiles is quick and easy. 3Dsimo Kit is set up from the package with profiles for ABS and PLA filament. Adding new material profiles is very easy, all the needed manuals are available at: Every week there will be new upgrades, software or hardware, which will be ready to be 3D printed or uploaded to the device.

AGL Outlines Virtualization Scheme for the Software Defined Vehicle

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Last August when The Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project released version 4.0 of its Linux-based Unified Code Base (UCB) reference distribution for automotive in-vehicle infotainment, it also launched a Virtualization Expert Group (EG-VIRT). The workgroup has now released a white paper outlining a “virtualized software defined vehicle architecture” for AGL’s UCB codebase.

The paper explains how virtualization is the key to expanding AGL from IVI into instrument clusters, HUDs, and telematics. Virtualization technology can protect these more safety-critical functions from less secure infotainment applications, as well as reduce costs by replacing electronic hardware components with virtual instances. Virtualization can also enable runtime configurability for sophisticated autonomous and semi-autonomous ADAS applications, as well as ease software updates and streamline compliance with safety critical standards.

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How to make a career move from proprietary to open source technology

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I started my journey as a software engineer at Northern Telecom, where I developed proprietary software for carrier-grade telephone switches. Although I learned Pascal while in college, at Northern Telecom I was trained in a proprietary programming language based on C. I also used a proprietary operating system and a proprietary version-control software.

I enjoyed working in the proprietary environment and had opportunities to do some interesting work. Then I had a turning point in my career that made me think about things. It happened at a career fair. I was invited to speak at a STEM career panel at a local middle school. I shared with the students my day-to-day responsibilities as a software engineer, and one of the students asked me a question: "Is this really what you always wanted to do in life? Do you enjoy and love what you are doing?"

Whenever my manager asked me this question, I would safely answer, "Yes, of course, I do!" But I had never been asked this by an innocent 6th grader who is interested in STEM. My response to the student was the same: "Of course I do!"

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How the Apache License allows open source to thrive

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Open source is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and so is the Apache License. The Apache License is a permissive free software license that is currently in its third iteration. The license allows customers to use intellectual property for any purpose, such as modifying or distributing it.

According to Roman Shaposhnik, member of the Apache Software Foundation board of directors, the license was created from a combination of business interests and a desire of the Apache Group (which later became the Apache Software Foundation) to ensure that the community around Apache httpd web server grew. That Apache web server was actually the first project to be licensed under the Apache License, Shaposhnik said.

“These licenses help us achieve our goal of providing reliable and long-lived software products through collaborative open source software development. In all cases, contributors retain full rights to use their original contributions for any other purpose outside of Apache while providing the ASF and its projects the right to distribute and build upon their work within Apache,” the Apache Software Foundation wrote on their website.

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Could more open source in schools help plug the skills gap?

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This week saw the final for an open source coding competition open to Key Stage Three school students, bringing in 10 schools and roughly 100 pupils across the UK to build an open source app for the charity of their choice – and the organisers believe it could provide a small blueprint for open source solving the computing skills gap.

Now in its second year, the competition originally evolved from a conversation between the heads of computing at two independent schools, Churcher’s and Lord Wandsworth’s College (LWC), where the two agreed that it was a “shame” that they didn’t collaborate more on programming projects. So they tried their hands at organising one.

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Free Software and "Open Source"

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  • Is open source open for business?

    The free software movement, which was founded in 1983 with the establishment of the GNU Project and later The Free Software Foundation (FSF) began the open source environment that we know today.

  • Open source at 20: The ubiquity of shared code

    The start of “open source” began around 1998, when OSI’s Phipps says the company Netscape came along with plans to release its browser code under a free software license. Instead of going for the GPL, the company created a new license, which became known as the Mozilla project license. “It became obvious that there was a big slice of this software freedom movement that was unrepresented. Tied up with that was a difficulty in talking about it because the words the movement used to talk about it up to that point were confusing. When you hear the world free, you assume it doesn’t cost anything,” he said.

    So, in 1998, a group of people got together and decided to reframe the software freedom movement in a way that would allow people to quickly understand what it was about, and would allow businesses to embrace it without needing to engage in a complicated debate about ethics, Phipps explained. Out of that, came the decision to use the term open source.

    “The introduction of the term ‘open-source software’ was a deliberate effort to make this field of endeavor more understandable to newcomers and to business, which was viewed as necessary to its spread to a broader community of users,” Christine Peterson, who is known for coining the term open source, wrote in a February blog post retelling the story. According to OSI’s Phipps, the term open source had already been commonly used in the industry at that point, but really took off when Peterson and Todd Anderson began using the term at a meeting at VA Research. Weeks later, the term was picked up by Tim O’Reilly, who renamed his Freeware Summit to Open Source Summit, and was also started to be used by Netscape.

    “For the name to succeed, it was necessary, or at least highly desirable, that Tim O’Reilly agree and actively use it in his many projects on behalf of the community. Also helpful would be use of the term in the upcoming official release of the Netscape Navigator code. By late February, both O’Reilly & Associates and Netscape had started to use the term,” Peterson wrote.

SiFive To Release Code As Open-Source For Fully Initializing The RISC-V Board

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Last week we noted how some of the code to boot the RISC-V SiFive HiFive Unleashed development board was closed-source. That upset some in the Coreboot community with hoping for a more open development board built around the RISC-V open-source processor ISA. The good news is that SiFive will soon be releasing the necessary code for initialization as open-source.

The code for initializing the DDR controller was not open-source and SiFive believed they could not open-source it. The good news is that SiFive has discovered they will be able to open-source it.

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