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OSS

The Commons Clause causes open-source disruption

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OSS
Legal

Redis Labs tried to legally stop cloud providers from abusing its trademark, but found it difficult because of the legal resources and budgets these giant companies have.

So the company took another route and decided to change the licenses of certain open-source Redis add-ons with the Commons Clause. This change sparked huge controversy within the community with many stating that Redis was no longer open source.

“We were the first significant company to adopt this and announce it in such a way that we got most of the heat from the community on this one,” said Bengal.

The reason for the uproar is because the Commons Clause is meant to add “restrictions” that limit or prevent the selling of open-source software to the Open Source Initiative’s approved open-source licenses.

“ … ‘Sell’ means practicing any or all of the rights granted to you under the License to provide to third parties, for a fee or other consideration (including without limitation fees for hosting or consulting/ support services related to the Software), a product or service whose value derives, entirely or substantially, from the functionality of the Software. Any license notice or attribution required by the License must also include this Commons Clause License Condition notice,” the Commons Clause website states.

According to the OSI, this directly violates item six of its open-source definition in which it states no discrimination against fields of endeavor. “The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research,” the definition explains.

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Massive Release of Open Data (Dataset)

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OSS
  • Scale and nuTonomy open-source massive AI dataset for self-driving cars

    Scale Inc. and Aptiv PLC’s nuTonomy group, two influential players in the autonomous vehicle ecosystem, today open-sourced a massive research dataset designed to aid self-driving car initiatives.

    Autonomous vehicles rely on artificial intelligence models to make navigation decisions. Those AI models, in turn, must be trained with large amounts of sample information to achieve the necessary accuracy, which is where the new dataset comes into the picture.

  • Open Source Multi-Sensor Self-Driving Dataset Available To Public

    Scale has released what it believes to be the largest open source multi-sensor (LIDAR, RADAR, and camera) self-driving dataset published by nuTonomy (acquired by Aptiv in 2017), with annotations by Scale. Academic researchers and autonomous vehicle innovators can access the open-sourced dataset, nuScenes.

    The nuScenes open source dataset is based on LIDAR point cloud, camera sensor, and RADAR data sourced from nuTonomy and then labeled through Scale’s sophisticated and thorough processing to deliver data ideal for training autonomous vehicle perception algorithms. It provides the full dataset that includes 1,000 twenty-second scenes, nearly 1.4 million camera images, 400,000 LIDAR sweeps, and 1.1 million 3D boxes.

SD Times Open Source Project of the Week: freedesktop.org

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GNU
Linux
OSS

Freshly migrated from its self-managed services to GitLab, this week’s highlighted open-source project is freedesktop.org (f.do), the umbrella project encompassing many open-source software packages for running Linux on desktop.

In development since 2000, fd.o is designed to provide developers of desktop Linux distributions easy-to-access packages for getting their desktop environment up and running quickly and completely.

freedesktop.org project administrator Daniel Stone described the project’s goal in a Q&A with GitLab about the migration as “providing a database of available applications and preferred MIME type handlers, network device management, inter-process communication, a PDF renderer; in general, all the things we can do well in one place, to enable people who want to write desktop environments to focus on the thing that matters to them: building the actual desktop!”

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Lights, Camera, Open Source: Hollywood Turns to Linux for New Code Sharing Initiative

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Linux
OSS

In looking to code smarter, faster and more efficiently, developers across the globe and industries are turning to open-source components that allow them to add powerful features to their work without having to write everything from scratch themselves. One of the latest groups to embrace the Open Source movement is the entertainment industry.

Similar to many other initiatives that have come together in recent years to support the sharing of code between companies, a number of key players under the umbrella of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have teamed up with The Linux Foundation to establish the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF). Members include companies like Disney, Google, Dreamworks, Epic Games and Intel, just to name a few.

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Also Linux Foundation: Open Source Networking Days Returning This Fall

ACEINNA Launches the First Open Source IMU Development Kit for Drones, Robots and AGVs

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Hardware
OSS
  • ACEINNA Launches the First Open Source IMU Development Kit for Drones, Robots and AGVs

    ACEINNA Integrated Hardware and Software Can Slash Development Time and Costs by Up to 80%

  • Open source IMU dev kit slashes design costs

    The OpenIMU is what Aceinna presents as the first professionally supported, open-source GPS/GNSS-aided inertial navigation software stack for low-cost precise navigation applications.

  • Open-source software stack for INS/GPS algorithm development

    Whether you are developing autonomously guided vehicles for industrial applications, autonomous cars, factory or industrial robots, drones, ROVs, any kind of smart machine which needs to move – fast or slow, on land, in the air, or in water, integrating an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) based sensor network will greatly improve its navigation and self-location capabilities.

    “Our breakthrough open-source Software for INS/GPS algorithm development is the first professional grade open-source navigation stack running on a low-cost IMU,” says Mike Horton, CTO of ACEINNA. “Not only will this kit save developers time and money, it is simple to use and does not require a PhD.”

Freespire Linux: A Great Desktop for the Open Source Purist

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Linux
OSS

Quick. Click on your Linux desktop menu and scan through the list of installed software. How much of that software is strictly open source? To make matters a bit more complicated, have you installed closed source media codecs (to play the likes of MP3 files perhaps)? Is everything fully open, or do you have a mixture of open and closed source tools?

If you’re a purist, you probably strive to only use open source tools on your desktop. But how do you know, for certain, that your distribution only includes open source software? Fortunately, a few distributions go out of their way to only include applications that are 100% open. One such distro is Freespire.

Does that name sound familiar? It should, as it is closely related to Linspire. Now we’re talking familiarity. Remember back in the early 2000s, when Walmart sold Linux desktop computers? Those computers were powered by the Linspire operating system. Linspire went above and beyond to create an experience that would be similar to that of Windows—even including the tools to install Windows apps on Linux. That experiment failed, mostly because consumers thought they were getting a Windows desktop machine for a dirt cheap price. After that debacle, Linspire went away for a while. It’s now back, thanks to PC/OpenSystems LLC. Their goal isn’t to recreate the past but to offer two different flavors of Linux...

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • YouTube Begins Rolling Out AV1 Support In Beta

    YouTube has begun transcoding videos into the new royalty-free AV1 video codec.

    So far just a handful of videos are available with this AV1 beta support on YouTube. The Google company is supporting AV1 in MP4 within the Media Source for Chrome 70+ and the newest Firefox Nightly builds as of today. The Firefox Nightly support also requires media.av1.enabled and media.mediasource.experimental.enabled preferences enabled.

  • The Evolving Role of Build Engineering in Managing Open Source
  • NetBSD 7.2 comes with Security & Stability Enhancements as well as USB 3.0 Support

    NetBSD has come out with a new release for the 7.x series. The second feature update of NetBSD 7, NetBSD version 7.2, comes with a few new features and enhancements including, most prominently, the support of the USB 3.0 device as well as improvements for the Linux emulation. The latest release also supports the Raspberry Pi 3 computer range, adapting the release to be compatible for running on those devices, and the release ramps up updates for several drivers to make all of this possible.

    The release announcement for the NetBSD 7.2 states that this update incorporates substantial bug fixes and enhancements for overall improvement of the stability and security of NetBSD. The update also introduces new features such as the few mentioned above and other fixes in binary compatibility for ancient NetBSD executables. The iwm(4) driver for Intel Wireless 726x, 316x, 826x, and 416x has also been incorporated and a legacy network adapter has been improved to resolve a setup interruption found in the Hyper-V VMs.

  • LibreJS 7.17 released

    GNU LibreJS aims to address the JavaScript problem described in Richard Stallman's article The JavaScript Trap*. LibreJS is a free add-on for GNU IceCat and other Mozilla-based browsers. It blocks nonfree nontrivial JavaScript while allowing JavaScript that is free and/or trivial.

  • What We Mean When We Say "Data Portability"

    “Data portability” is a feature that lets a user take their data from a service and transfer or “port” it elsewhere. This often comes up in discussions about leaving a particular social media platform and taking your data with you to a rival service. But bringing data to a competing service is just one use for data portability; other, just-as-important goals include analyzing your data to better understand your relationship with a service, building something new out of your data, self-publishing what you learn, and generally achieving greater transparency.

    Regardless of whether you are “porting” your data to a different service or to a personal spreadsheet, data that is “portable” should be easy to download, organized, tagged, and machine-parsable.

    EFF supports users’ legal right to obtain a copy of the data they have provided to an online service provider. Once you move beyond that, however, the situation gets more complicated. Data portability interacts, and sometimes even conflicts, with other digital rights priorities, including privacy and security, transparency, interoperability, and competition. Here are some of the considerations EFF keeps in mind when looking at the dynamics of data portability.

  • Hortonworks plans to revamp Hadoop and its big data tools with cloud best practices in mind

    One big disadvantage that comes with a hybrid cloud strategy is forcing your developers to learn and understand the different techniques required by cloud providers and on-premises software vendors for lots of applications. Hortonworks, the company behind several tools for big-data darling Hadoop, plans to revamp its software over the next few years in order to make modern cloud-native development practices part of its on-premises tools, giving hybrid cloud developers one less thing to worry about.

    Hortonworks plans to announce the Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative Monday, kicking off the project that will allow customers running Hadoop and Hortonworks tools on their own servers to take advantage of newer infrastructure ideas that have become popular since the big-data analysis software was created, said Arun Murthy, co-founder and chief technical officer of Hortonworks. It’s yet another sign that while self-managed servers aren’t disappearing as fast as people once thought they might, the infrastructure concepts of the cloud-native era are going to eventually become de facto standards.

Catalyst IT Buys Open Query, Linux Academy Buys Jupiter Broadcasting

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OSS
  • Brisbane open-source database specialist Open Query acquired by Catalyst IT Australia

    Queensland-based open-source database expert Open Query has been acquired by Catalyst IT Australia, the local arm of New Zealand-born open-source technology integrator.

    Open Query delivers training and support for MySQL, MariaDB, Percona XtraDB and related open source technologies, and offers system administration and security services.

    Open Query's flagship service offering is the support and maintenance of databases on the aforementioned open-source platforms, with offerings spanning initial health checks and ad-hoc consulting, to subscription-based proactive support and remote database monitoring.

  • Linux Academy Announces Acquisition of Jupiter Broadcasting

    Linux Academy, a leading provider of hands-on online training in Linux and cloud technologies, today announced it has acquired Jupiter Broadcasting, a podcasting network covering Linux, security, privacy, community and other open source content, to further strengthen its contributions to the open source and free software industry. Linux Academy will acquire Jupiter Broadcasting's shows, assets, and employees.

Open-source software may aid brain imaging to find disease treatments

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OSS

Researchers say the open-source software, called PySight, acts as a photon counting add-on for laser scanning microscopes. Because it can image deep into tissue, a laser-based technique known as multiphoton microscopy is often used to study the rapid activity of neurons, blood vessels and other cells at high resolution over time. The method uses laser pulses that excite fluorescent probes, eliciting the emission of photons, some of which are detected and used to form 2D and 3D images.

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How to save 11 million Euros by switching to open-source software

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OSS

In 2003, Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows NT4 desktop operating system. As a result, Munich's city government had to migrate over 15,000 personal computers (PCs) to a new operating system. This made the disadvantages of dependence on big proprietary software providers obvious to local policy makers.

In 2004, the City Council decided to migrate its PCs to Linux, a free and open-source operating system, to achieve more independence and stimulate the local economy by using local developers for the migration. The choice for Linux was made despite the fact that Microsoft's CEO personally offered Munich a 90 percent discount on new software. The project, called LiMux, took seven years to complete and saved Munich over 11 million euros ($12.3 million). Other advantages include more flexibility in software management, better security, and a lower number of support calls.

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More in Tux Machines

Qmmp – Qt-based Multimedia Player – the sound with no limits

Do you remember Winamp? In the late nineties, Winamp version 2 was one of the most downloaded Windows applications. The software’s later releases witnessed a terminal decline in its popularity. If you hanker for the good ol’ days, Qmmp might be of interest. Qmmp is a cross-platform, open source, Qt-based multimedia player. The default user interface is similar to Winamp or xmms. But there’s also an alternative user interface. Read more

Programming: "User", Choice of Language, SpiceyPy and Firefox Development

  • Never use the word “User” in your code

    To begin with, no software system actually has “users”. At first glance “user” is a fine description, but once you look a little closer you realize that your business logic actually has more complexity than that.

  • How many programming languages have you used?
    In the 1940s, Grace Hopper was in the Navy Reserves doing programming at the machine level, bit by bit. She realized how limiting it was for humans to use a language meant for machines and wanted to radically change the process by which we program. Without a change, she knew that computing would never reach its potential. "Once humans could learn to speak programming languages and once compilers began translating our intentions into machine language, it was like opening the floodgates," says the host of the Command Line Heroes podcast, Saren Yetbarek. Learn more about Grace Hopper and why there are so many programming languages, plus history on the first open source compiler, by listening to Episode 2 of Command Line Heroes Season 2.
  • Writing Solar System Simulations with NAIF SPICE and SpiceyPy
    Someone asked me about my Javascript Jupiter code, and whether it used PyEphem. It doesn't, of course, because it's Javascript, not Python (I wish there was something as easy as PyEphem for Javascript!); instead it uses code from the book Astronomical Formulae for Calculators by Jean Meeus. (His better known Astronomical Algorithms, intended for computers rather than calculators, is actually harder to use for programming because Astronomical Algorithms is written for BASIC and the algorithms are relatively hard to translate into other languages, whereas Astronomical Formulae for Calculators concentrates on explaining the algorithms clearly, so you can punch them into a calculator by hand, and this ends up making it fairly easy to implement them in a modern computer language as well.) Anyway, the person asking also mentioned JPL's page HORIZONS Ephemerides page, which I've certainly found useful at times. Years ago, I tried emailing the site maintainer asking if they might consider releasing the code as open source; it seemed like a reasonable request, given that it came from a government agency and didn't involve anything secret. But I never got an answer.
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 45

Games: Steam Play, Valve, PlayOnLinux and Lots of Native Ports

  • Linus Tech Tips: "Linux Gaming Finally Doesn't Suck"
    Like him or hate him, Linus (not that one) has his audience, many of whom are now being swayed to try out gaming on Linux. Last month, Valve introduced a new version of Steam Play allowing Linux users to run Windows games thanks to Proton, a modified distribution of Wine. While framerates are obviously no match for the intended OS, Linus shows that at least a handful of popular games, which include DOOM and Skyrim, run well enough to play through.
  • Valve Has Been Working On A HUD For The RADV Vulkan Driver
    It hasn't been merged to Mesa 18.3-devel yet nor even published on the Mesa-dev list for review, but it turns out Valve's Samuel Pitoiset has begun working on a heads-up display (HUD) for the driver. Many have requested having a RADV HUD similar in nature to the Gallium3D HUD while it seems as one of many projects being worked on by the Valve Linux driver team is indeed this option.
  • PlayOnLinux has a new alpha release out with an overhaul of the interface
    PlayOnLinux 5.0 alpha 1 code-named "Phoencis" includes a completely redesigned user interface, along with moving their scripting system from bash to JavaScript. They're also now storing the scripts POL uses to install and setup games and applications on GitHub, so that if there's problems with their own infrastructure you can still use POL.
  • Space sim 'Helium Rain' to leave Early Access next month, along with a major update now available
    They recently released one of their final updates, which includes a few notable new features including: a new Artifact system, which has you scan planets for some research points and lore, a new economy model, AI improvements, some updated graphics, new sectors and so on.
  • Turn-based rogue-like RPG 'Depth of Extinction' confirmed to release on September 27th
    We knew that the rather good rogue-like RPG Depth of Extinction was releasing soon and now we know how soon, this week on Thursday it will be available across a number of stores. Inspired by the greats like XCOM: Enemy Unknown and FTL: Faster Than Light, it follows you trying to save humanity from some sort of vicious AI. You will have to build up a mighty squad of soldiers, level them up and get some decent equipment as you travel through a future set around 500 years after rising water caused humanity to edge on the brink of extinction.
  • The rather good 2D action RPG 'Chronicon' just had a major upgrade
    Being completely honest here, I absolutely love this game! The 2D action RPG Chronicon has a new update with some major improvements. As a reminder, the game is still currently in Early Access. The latest update, released a few days ago moves the game from GMS 1.4 to GMS 2.1.5 which is pretty huge by itself considering how old that version of GameMaker Studio was. This should hopefully improve compatibility with other Linux distributions. In addition, the game has been through a lot of performance-focused work to make as much of the game as smooth as possible. For me, it already performed well and now it's excellent.
  • What even more developers think of Valve's Steam Play
    You think we were done writing about Steam Play? Wrong. Here's what Godot Engine's Rémi Verschelde and Marc Di Luzio (previously Feral Interactive, now at Unity) think about it. First up, a few reminders on things we've already covered: our interview with the creator of DXVK, one of the projects that makes up Steam Play; our little chat with Linux game porter Ethan Lee; what Subset Games thought about it and my own personal thoughts can be found here.
  • The beautifully weird hidden object adventure game My Brother Rabbit is out, it's really sweet
    My Brother Rabbit from Artifex Mundi is an absolutely beautiful adventure game that has shocked me with how good it is.
  • Sunless Skies to leave Early Access on January 31st, 2019 also now out is a free pen and paper RPG system
    Failbetter Games have announced that Sunless Skies is set to leave Early Access on January 31st, 2019. They've also released a free pen and paper RPG system. “We’ve used the time in Early Access to fill the world with the most glorious stories, and to refine the play experience: improving combat, tweaking the skyfaring experience, and closing in on a dark and dread-soaked atmosphere.” says CEO Paul Arendt. “The next update, due on 10th October, will include a complete overhaul of the Reach region and extended mechanics for Terror, fuel, hunger and crew.”

Android Leftovers