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OSS

FOSS in Blockchains and Ethereum

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OSS

Openwashing Leftovers (Mostly Google and Microsoft)

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Google
Microsoft
OSS

Atomic Lab Going Open Source after Dumping Microsoft over High Fees

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OSS

DumCan open source software cope with petabytes of data? We’re about to find out.

Administrators at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), after moving in lockstep with Microsoft longer than their researchers have been smashing atoms with the Large Hadron Collider, appear to have reached the breaking point with the giant technology company.

Rather than pay their vendor of long standing - Microsoft - a 10x increase to license mission-critical software, they’re developing their own.

In a blog posted last week, Emmanuel Ormancy, a systems architect at the Geneva-based laboratory, said CERN’s Microsoft Alternatives project will take an open-source approach to wresting control of core functionalities and data from the software company. The project, known internally as MAlt, has run since 2018 and will trot out a pair of pilot platforms later this year.

The reason: vendor lock-in, which occurs when users become over-reliant on providers of the proprietary products and support services needed to run their operations.

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9 Open Source Password Managers to Secure Yourself With

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OSS
Security

People use password managers so that they don’t have to remember all the usernames/passwords of the websites they visit. Instead, they can just remember 1 password, and then access all the other passwords whenever they need. In addition to that, this allows you as a user to increase the length and the complexity of the passwords you use, because now, you no longer have to remember them, so you can make your Facebook’s password something like 21#^#Y3#^2h281+_0H^I@F!##YU&^ with no problem.

Also, some password managers offer other features that you can use. E.g: Auto-fill (automatically fill the passwords when you open the URL in your browser), synchronization between devices, team storage (sharing passwords between multiple people), smartphone integration, various types & tools of encryption, emergency codes.. And so on.

Traditionally, there are many closed-source proprietary password managers, and there are those which are open source. In today’s article, we’ll see 9 open source password managers that you can use to secure yourself.

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OSS: OpenHMD, Open Scare, and Mozilla Localization

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OSS
  • OpenHMD 0.3.0-rc2 Released For This Open-Source API/Drivers For VR/AR Hardware

    Issued today was the second release candidate for OpenHMD 0.3.0, the open-source project providing a common API and different drivers for VR/AR hardware.

    OpenHMD 0.3.0-rc2 continues with supporting the 3Glasses D3, Oculus CV1, Windows Mixed Reality HMD, NOLO, HTC Vive, HTC Vive Pro, Deepoon E2, and GearVR Gen1. The PlayStation PSVR support did end up getting disabled in this release, however.

  • Open-Source JavaScript: Compliance Tips For Companies [Ed: Paying lawyers for programming not because they actually write code but because they seek to make themselves necessary by exaggerating threats associated with merely complying (with licences)]
  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n report: July edition

    Since our last report, we’ve shipped the first release of Firefox Preview (Fenix) in 11 languages (including en-US). The next upcoming step will be to open up the project to more locales. If you are interested, make sure to follow closely the dev.l10n mailing list this week. And congratulations to the teams that helped make this a successful localized first release!

OSS: OSI, Mozilla, Crunchy Data, LibreOffice, NexDock

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OSS
  • On Why OpenStack Foundation Joined the OSI

    Over the past year, the definition of open source has been challenged, as some companies wanted to change the licensing of their software while continuing to reap the benefits of calling it open source, or at least the benefits of being potentially confused with open source.

    That makes the work of the Open Source Initiative more important than ever. For more than 20 years, the OSI has been a steadfast guardian of the Open Source Definition. They’ve kept it focused on user freedoms, evaluating new proposed software licenses against that definition, while discouraging further license proliferation. They’ve also been instrumental to the success of open source through their tireless advocacy and education work.

    These objectives resonate with the work we do at the OpenStack Foundation (OSF). Today open source is necessary, but not sufficient: users of open-source licensed software are sometimes denied some of the original free and open source software benefits. We need to go beyond how the software is licensed and drive new standards on how open source should be built. Users should be able to tell easily the difference between a truly open collaboration guaranteeing all of open source benefits and single-vendor or open core projects.

  • 8 Years of Reps Program, Celebrating Community Successes!

    The Reps program idea was started in 2010 by William Quiviger and Pierros Papadeas, until officially launched and welcoming volunteers onboard as Mozilla Reps in 2011. The Mozilla Reps program aims to empower and support volunteer Mozillians who want to be official representatives of Mozilla in their region/locale/country. The program provides a framework and a specific set of tools to help Mozillians to organize and/or attend events, recruit and mentor new contributors, document and share activities, and support their local communities better. The Reps program was created to help communities around the world. Community is the backbone of the Mozilla project. As the Mozilla project grows in scope and scale, community needs to be strengthened and empowered accordingly. This is the central aim of the Mozilla Reps program: to empower and to help push responsibility to the edges, in order to help the Mozilla contributor base grow. Nowadays, the Reps are taking a stronger point by becoming the Community Coordinators.

  • Will Kahn-Greene: Crash pings (Telemetry) and crash reports (Socorro/Crash Stats)

    I keep getting asked questions that stem from confusion about crash pings and crash reports, the details of where they come from, differences between the two data sets, what each is currently good for, and possible future directions for work on both. I figured I'd write it all down.

    This is a brain dump and sort of a blog post and possibly not a good version of either. I desperately wished it was more formal and mind-blowing like something written by Chutten or Alessio.

    It's likely that this is 90% true today but as time goes on, things will change and it may be horribly wrong depending on how far in the future you're reading this. As I find out things are wrong, I'll keep notes. Any errors are my own.

  • CIS Benchmark for PostgreSQL 11 Enhances PostgreSQL Security for Enterprises
  • Crunchy Data releases an update to the CIS Benchmark for PostgreSQL 11

    Crunchy Data, the leading provider of trusted open source PostgreSQL technology and support, in collaboration with the Center for Internet Security, announces the publication of a PostgreSQL CIS Benchmark for PostgreSQL 11.

    Crunchy Data again collaborated with CIS by evaluating open source PostgreSQL 11 against CIS’s security requirements and developed the guide defining how open source PostgreSQL can be configured and deployed to meet security requirements for enterprise systems.

    The PostgreSQL CIS Benchmark offers security-conscious enterprises a comprehensive guide for open source PostgreSQL configuration and usage. Enterprises can refer to the CIS Benchmark as they consider open source PostgreSQL as an alternative to proprietary and other database systems.

  • Annual Report 2018: LibreOffice events and activities around the world

    Zdeněk Crhonek and Stanislav Horáček attended the two biggest Czech FOSS events, LinuxDays in Prague and OpenAlt in Brno. There was generally positive feedback from users, interest in new features and what is going on. Also, there was discussion with someone from the National Technical Library in Prague (who enthusiastic about FOSS, migrated client computers to Linux and LibreOffice, and encouraging us to spread the word about it) and a representative of an organization trying to coordinate using FOSS in Czech municipalities (two towns running LibreOffice, with the intention to pay for some bug fixing).

    Other meetups took place at these events: a meeting with the Slovak community (Miloš Šrámek and Andrej Kapuš) in Brno, a meeting with the Czech localization community (Mozilla, Linux distributions), discussing mainly the possibility of a new Czech dictionary, and a discussion with a marketing specialist who suggested ways to simplify the LibreOffice web page.

    Apart from events, the Czech community worked continuous localization of LibreOffice’s user interface, website, help and marketing materials (press releases, video subtitles). There was also user support and moderation on the Czech “Ask LibreOffice” site.

  • LibreOffice QA Report: June 2019
  • NexDock 2 Hands-On Video

    The NexDock 2 crowdfunding swiftly met its goal earlier this year (no major shock as there’s little else like it out there to my knowledge).

    A 13.3-inch laptop shell that lets you use smartphones and single-board PCs as fully-fledged computers. The NexDock provides the screen, keyboard and trackpad, and your phone or Raspberry Pi provides the brain.

    Every time I see the dock in action I want one. And that want goes double since the launch of the Raspberry Pi 4 and its touted desktop-class performance…

    Anyway, if you want one you can have one.

  • A worldwide, open source model for solar performance

    As solar’s share in the global energy mix continues to grow, managing the intermittencies inherent to the technology and ensuring its reliable integration into grids is an ever more important question.

    By collecting 38 years’ of irradiation, temperature and weather data and combining it with the historical output of European solar installations, scientists at Denmark’s Aarhus University have developed a model they say can predict the output of PV projects anywhere in the world.

    “We can look at not only a single installation but energy production in entire countries or continents from PV installations,” said Marta Victoria, an assistant professor at Aarhus University. “This is extremely important for the way in which the energy systems of the future can be combined to function optimally.”

6 open source web browser alternatives

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OSS
Web

Open source web browsers have come a long way since Microsoft dominated the web browser market with its closed source Internet Explorer (IE). For many years, IE was the standard browser for Microsoft's Windows operating system, while Safari (also closed source) was the default browser for MacOS. Then Mozilla's introduction of Firefox, followed by Google's release of Chrome, sparked a revolution in open source internet browsers. Those two are extremely well known but are not the only open source browsers available.

This article introduces seven open source browsers, summarizes their features, and shares how you can contribute to them.

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OSS: TODO Group at OSI, Open Source Sees Donations Blocked, Mozilla Wants Web Regulation, LibreOffice GSoC Report and WordPress Chrome Extensions That You Should Try

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LibO
Moz/FF
OSS
  • Open Source Initiative Welcomes TODO Group as Affiliate Member

    The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), the non-profit corporation with global scope formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community, announced today the affiliate membership of TODO Group. Boasting membership from some of today's most active corporations working in and with Open Source Software, the TODO Group shares experiences, develops best practices, and collaborates around common tooling to address some of the most common challenges related to open source program management, development, deployment, and management.

    As Open Source Software continues its growth into and across corporate infrastructure, more and more companies are seeking peers and partners to help understand, not only "the value of open source" but "the open source ethos" as well. Businesses across industries--not just technology--use, contribute to, and maintain, thousands of open source projects, both large and small. Despite open source's twenty year history, many of these programs face challenges in ensuring high-quality and frequent releases, engaging with developer communities, and contributing back to other projects effectively. Here, as a resource to those seeking authentic engagement with open source communities of practice, the OSI and TODO Group will work together, helping organizations identify potential projects, assess community alignment, and participate credibly and reliably to foster success.

  • I am sorry, we are unable to accept donations right now

    About two weeks ago, an attacker tried to use presumably stolen credit card information on our donation form. He was able to try around 300 different numbers in only a few hours before we noticed this and tried to block him. We consulted with the technical support hotline of our payment provider.

    Unfortunately, the risk department decided to disable our account at the same time before we could implement some better protection against fraud like this and was not able to contact us about it. After endless calls with them and lots and lots of promises about being called back, I was finally able to get hold of someone who told me that they are no longer able to provide their services to us - without any specific reason.

    This is not the first time that an open source project has been fallen victim to being cut off of their payments and it is indeed threatening to the existence of all those projects. Now it seems to be our turn.

    To not go too much into detail, this seems to be a case of that our payment provider terminated our contract because of one simple reason: They do not know what an Open Source project is and how donations work. The concept does not seem to be anything that they can understand or are willing to learn. It would have helped us to know this when we set up our donations system with them, but unfortunately we could not foresee this.

    Some parts of the banking business in Germany really seems to be living in the eighteen-hundreds. The Germans being people who overwhelmingly prefer to pay things in cash, this does not come as a surprise. As a tourist I can only recommend to bring some cash to wherever you go or you won't be able to pay. Something that works the other way round in our neighbouring countries or elsewhere. Credit cards work everywhere.

  • Building on the UK white paper: How to better protect internet openness and individuals’ rights in the fight against online harms

    In April 2019 the UK government unveiled plans for sweeping new laws aimed at tackling illegal and harmful content and activity online, described by the government as ‘the toughest internet laws in the world’. While the UK government’s proposal contains some interesting avenues of exploration for the next generation of European content regulation laws, it also includes several critical weaknesses and grey areas. We’ve just filed comments with the government that spell out the key areas of concern and provide recommendations on how to address them.

    The UK government’s white paper responds to legitimate public policy concerns around how technology companies deal with illegal and harmful content online. We understand that in many respects the current European regulatory paradigm is not fit for purpose, and we support an exploration of what codified content ‘responsibility’ might look like in the UK and at EU-level, while ensuring strong and clear protections for individuals’ free expression and due process rights.

  • [LibreOffice GSoC] Week 5 Report

    At week 4 I have finished the first phase of the new UI logger which was the grammar and the new sentences of the log messages and rewrite all the log statement with the new grammar.

    This week I have started the implementation of the Compiler of the new logger grammar. This Compiler is responsible for taking the log file with the new grammar and generate a UI test case that performs the same as the user actions.

  • 12 Best WordPress Chrome Extensions That You Should Try

    Google Chrome browser is currently the most widely used desktop browser and it comes with hundreds of extensions to ease your work. In one of our previous articles, we discussed 25 best chrome extensions for productivity.

    Here keeping in mind the usage of WordPress users, we are listing out the 12 Best Chrome Extensions for WordPress that you should try and have been suggested by our experts. If you are currently building a website, these extensions are sure to make your life easy!

Resignations Signal Generational Change at Apache Foundation

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Server
OSS

ASF isn’t the only Linux and open source organization experiencing a paradigm shift as leadership shifts from an old to new guard. At Open Source Initiative, where I am currently serving as a first term-board member, this transition has been made easier by the fact that the organization’s leadership prepared for the change.

“The OSI Board has undergone a conscious, managed transition over the past eight years, which I’ve played a significant role in devising and leading and hope to finally step back from next March,” Simon Phipps, OSI’s president, told me. “The Board that set this in motion under Michael Tiemann deserve a lot of credit too for their vision and trust.”

According to Phipps, instead of prolonging the inevitable, OSI took steps to hasten and welcome new blood with new ideas to the organization.

“Around 2010, the board members decided to make room for a new approach to leading OSI and introduced both term limits and a stakeholder membership (affiliate organizations and individual open source advocates) to select replacement directors,” he explained. “The new board was arranged so that no one constituency could take control, and it was fully expected that the result would be a more varied board membership.”

At OSI, forcing the change to the next generation of leaders early in a controlled fashion seems to have smoothed some of the bumps that are currently an issue at ASF.

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Server and OSS Leftovers

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Server
OSS
  • Breaking IT Down: What Is Kubernetes?

    Kubernetes is an open source tool used for automating and managing container operations. Ever since its launch as an open source platform in 2014, Kubernetes has grown to become the preferred choice for container orchestration. It has the support of tech majors and is the most popular open source project after Linux among the open source community of developers.

    Container technology enables packaging of an application together with all its dependencies, such as OS, SSL libraries, and configuration files, into a single container. This technology is not new; it has been a part of Linux operations for years.

  • Platform9 Extends Scope of Kubernetes Services

    Platform9 announced this week it is adding support for a range of complementary technologies to the managed Kubernetes service it already provides.

    Company CEO Sirish Raghuram says now that Kubernetes adoption is achieving critical mass, organizations are looking to invoke additional services. Platform9 now supports the open source Prometheus monitoring tools and an instance of the open source MySQL database to support stateful containerized applications running on Kubernetes that need access to persistent sources of data.

  • We’re talking Kubernetes at TC Sessions: Enterprise with Google’s Aparna Sinha and VMware’s Craig McLuckie

    Over the past five years, Kubernetes has grown from a project inside of Google to an open source powerhouse with an ecosystem of products and services, attracting billions of dollars in venture investment. In fact, we’ve already seen some successful exits, including one from one of our panelists.

    On September 5th at TC Sessions: Enterprise, we’re going to be discussing the rise of Kubernetes with two industry veterans. For starters we have Aparna Sinha, director of product management for Kubernetes and the newly announced Anthos product. Sinha was in charge of several early Kubernetes releases and has worked on the Kubernetes team at Google since 2016. Prior to joining Google, she had 15 years experience in enterprise software settings.

  • Should Google be a bit less like Google to succeed in cloud?

    It's also very possible that it oversteps the mark. As James Urquhart put it, "Google is the Sun Microsystems of this decade. Engineering for engineering to engineer by engineering. A phenomenal approach for discovering innovative solutions, but not necessarily a great one for product-market fit." Is Google too Googley for its own good?

  • SIM swap horror story: I've lost decades of data and Google won't lift a finger

    We pay for Google Drive, Google Fi, and Google Play Movies so I was hoping there would be some level of customer service for paying customers. There are no phone numbers available for customers who pay for services or those who only use free services. Google prides itself on collecting my information and using it to help with search results. Thus, it has all sorts of information on how I conduct my daily life, including tracking my every movement, tracking my business trips, seeing who I contact daily, and much more. You would think it would be smart enough to see when some stranger appears and completely changes my account information.

    According to Gmail, my Google account has now been deleted so I'm no longer trying to just reset the password, but instead I am trying to recover my account. I have countless PR folks, friends, family, and others who are in my long Gmail history and am currently unable to access any of that information. I also have thousands of photos that may be lost forever if Google won't work with me to get my account back.

  • The Risks Of Outsourcing

    One risk that is often underestimated is that the security of IT outsourced to a cloud provider has a single point of failure, the security of the account at the cloud provider. Brian Wilson of Backblaze pointed to the risk that the account suffers a billing problem: [...]

  • Is Hadoop Dead?

    When you hear "No one needs big data", look over the CV of the speaker. An African telecoms carrier going through amazing levels of growth is not going to reach out to a greenfield JavaScript Web Developer and ask them if they could help architect their data platform and optimise their billing calculations. You might find a lot of internally-hosted web applications in an Airline's headquarters but when it comes to analysing PBs of aircraft telemetry for predictive maintenance there might not be any PHP developers on that project.

    The above projects often aren't advertised in a way that web developers would be exposed to them. This is why someone could spend years working on new projects that are at the bottom of their S-curve in terms of both growth and data accumulated and largely never see a need for data processing outside of what could fit in RAM on a single machine.

  • NZTA open sources security tool for use by other agencies

    The New Zealand Transport Agency is open sourcing a security assurance tool it is developing with Wellington company Catalyst.
    Catalyst has been working with NZTA to open source the tool that automates aspects of the security assurance process and embeds security requirements earlier in the product development life-cycle.

    The Security Development Lifecycle Tool (SDLT), aligns with common government security classifications and risk assessment practices to deliver "security by design" across the agency's tech teams.

    NZTA opted to open source the tool so other government agencies can similarly reduce their compliance overheads and focus on core delivery.

  • 5 common open source software licenses you need to know

    There are two versions of the GNU General Public License (GPL). The terms of the latest iteration, GPL version 3, are clear and readable overall; it allows open copy, redistribution and modification. Developers who use open source code covered by GPL version 3 can choose to charge a fee for their open source software.

    However, the GPL imposes several important restrictions on developers and users. The GPL emphasizes copyleft behaviors for activities such as including linking, distribution, modification and re- or sub-licensing. Generally, copyleft clauses require that uses of the work observe the same terms and conditions to which the original code adheres. Thus, open source software obtained under GPL version 3 retains those rights indefinitely. In addition, developers must include a copy of the GNU GPL with the software as it's redistributed and within the software itself. Other restrictions exist for source and binary software distributions under the GPL.

    The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) provides a slightly more permissive option than version 3. The agreement, for instance, allows linking the LGPL code with code under non-GPL licenses -- a practice prohibited under GPL version 3. Consequently, developers often use LGPL when they want to allow for the use of non-GPL open source libraries, but preserve other copyleft restrictions.

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8 Top Ubuntu server Web GUI Management Panels

Ubuntu Server with command-line interface might sound little bit wired to newbies because of no previous familiarization. Thus, if you are new to Ubuntu Linux server running on your local hardware or some Cloud hosting and planning to install some Linux Desktop Graphical environment (GUI) over it; I would like to recommend don’t, until and unless you don’t have supported hardware. Instead, think about free and open-source Ubuntu server Web GUI Management panels. Moreover, for a moment, you can think about Desktop Graphical environment for your local server but if you have some Linux cloud hosting server, never do it. I am saying this because Ubuntu or any other Linux server operating systems are built to run on low hardware resources, thus even old computer/server hardware can easily handle it. GUI means more RAM and hard disk storage space. Read more

Android Leftovers

Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish reaches end of life on Thursday, upgrade now

Canonical, earlier this month, announced that Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish will be reaching end-of-life status this Thursday, making now the ideal time to upgrade to a later version. As with all non-Long Term Support (LTS) releases, 18.10 had nine months of support following its release last October. When distributions reach their end-of-life stage, they no longer receive security updates. While you may be relatively safe at first, the longer you keep running an unpatched system, the more likely it is that your system will become compromised putting your data at risk. If you’d like to move on from Ubuntu 18.10, you’ve got two options; you can either perform a clean install of a more up-to-date version of Ubuntu or you can do an in-place upgrade. Read more