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OSS

This open-source Echo rival respects your privacy and doesn’t want to sell you anything

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Linux
OSS

While a real butler will cost you a fortune in wages, digital assistants are cheap and plentiful – and with names almost as archaic as Jeeves, to boot. Alexa, Bixby, Cortana, Siri and Google Assistant all want your business, but there’s a reason the prices are so tempting: each is backed by a massive company very keen to tempt you into its ecosystem for targeted advertising, direct sales or general company revenue.

This week’s crowdfund is different: a smart speaker that has a refreshing desire not to sell at you. Alphr readers, meet Mycroft.

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23 open source audio-visual production tools

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OSS

Open source is well established in cloud infrastructure, web hosting, embedded devices, and many other areas. Fewer people know that open source is a great option for producing professional-level audio-visual materials.

As a product owner and sometimes marketing support person, I produce a lot of content for end users: documentation, web articles, video tutorials, event booth materials, white papers, interviews, and more. I have found plenty of great open source software that helps me do my job producing audio, video, print, and screen graphics. There are a lot of reasons that people choose open source over proprietary options, and I've compiled this list of open source audio and video tools for people who:

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Open Source as a driver of VoIP communications innovation

    Today, we’re seeing the same software giants ride the wave of popularity surrounding open source solutions, releasing portions of their code to users at no cost. Is this a generous gesture to help the cause or a more calculated attempt to get the developer community to offer up advice on how to improve their products? You can be the judge.

  • Nordic Free Software Award reborn

    Remember the glorious year 2009 when I won the Nordic Free Software Award?

    This award tradition that was started in 2007 was put on a hiatus after 2010 (I believe) and there has not been any awards handed out since, and we have not properly shown our appreciation for the free software heroes of the Nordic region ever since.

  • What lies ahead for open source?

    Simon Phipps, past president of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and founder of UK-based open source management consulting company, Meshed Insights, points out that without open source, we might not have the Internet or the worldwide web; our computers and mobile devices might be very different; cloud computing and the Internet of Things would probably be impossible to scale, and Google and Facebook might not exist.

  • Open Source Turns 20, Powers Computing as We Know It Today
  • Open source software turns 20

    First let me say in full disclaimer that I love open source software and initiatives, and I come from the enterprise world as it where in 1998. The days where IT budgets were as fat as overfed guppy goldfish, and open source tech was barely used in production environments.

  • 5 best software for writing guitar tablature and never miss a note

    LilyPond is another useful software that provides music notation for everyone. This music engraving tool is devoted to creating the highest-quality sheet music.

    [...]

    This is a free software that is a part of the GNU Project.

  • Fun with numbers

    And now Google is doing their own thing. Some positive parts about it, but by focusing on filtering annoying types of ad units they're closer to the Adblock Plus "Acceptable Ads" racket than to a real solution. So it's better to let Ben Williams at Adblock Plus explain that one. I still don't get how it is that so many otherwise capable people come up with "let's filter superficial annoyances and not fundamental issues" and "let's shake down legit publishers for cash" as solutions to the web advertising problem, though. Especially when $16 billion in adfraud is just sitting there. It's almost as if the Lumascape doesn't care about fraud because it's priced in so it comes out of the publisher's share anyway.

  • How to build your own private smart home with a Raspberry Pi and Mozilla’s Things Gateway

    Last year we announced Project Things by Mozilla. Project Things is a framework of software and services that can bridge the communication gap between connected devices by giving “things” URLs on the web.

    Today I’m excited to tell you about the latest version of the Things Gateway and how you can use it to directly monitor and control your home over the web, without a middleman. Instead of installing a different mobile app for every smart home device you buy, you can manage all your devices through a single secure web interface. This blog post will explain how to build your own Web of Things gateway with a Raspberry Pi and use it to connect existing off-the-shelf smart home products from various different brands using the power of the open web.

  • Announcing “Project Things” – An open framework for connecting your devices to the web.

    Last year, we said that Mozilla is working to create a framework of software and services that can bridge the communication gap between connected devices. Today, we are pleased to announce that anyone can now build their own Things Gateway to control their connected device directly from the web.

    We kicked off “Project Things”, with the goal of building a decentralized ‘Internet of Things’ that is focused on security, privacy, and interoperability. Since our announcement last year, we have continued to engage in open and collaborative development with a community of makers, testers, contributors, and end-users, to build the foundation for this future.

  • New open source drug discovery project aims to develop mycetoma treatment

    The MycetOS (Mycetoma Open Source) project was launched today by the University of Sydney, Erasmus MC, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to use an Open Pharma approach to discover compounds that could lead to new treatments for patients suffering from fungal mycetoma (eumycetoma), a devastating disease for which current treatments are ineffective, expensive, and toxic.

  • Open source software bill advances in House, but doesn’t ditch the DUNS

    The ongoing debate on how the federal government processes its spending data continued Tuesday, as the House Oversight Committee approved a bill that would allow agencies to use open source elements for the electronic tracking of grant information. The markup also included a tit-for-tat about the bill’s potential long-term impact.

    The committee advanced the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act by voice vote after tacking on an amendment by Gerry Connolly, D-Va., to give the executive branch more latitude in implementing the legislation. The bill would overhaul the government’s reporting structure for grant and cooperative agreements by requiring that agencies use nonproprietary, or open source, data taxonomies and identifiers for grantees.

    The current identifiers, maintained by contractor Dun & Bradstreet, are known as the data universal numbering system, or DUNS. It requires grantees and contractors to purchase a software license to access the government’s data system to receive funds.

  • UQDS: A software-development process that puts quality first

    The Ultimate Quality Development System (UQDS) is a software development process that provides clear guidelines for how to use branches, tickets, and code reviews. It was invented more than a decade ago by Divmod and adopted by Twisted, an event-driven framework for Python that underlies popular commercial platforms like HipChat as well as open source projects like Scrapy (a web scraper).

    Divmod, sadly, is no longer around—it has gone the way of many startups. Luckily, since many of its products were open source, its legacy lives on.

    When Twisted was a young project, there was no clear process for when code was "good enough" to go in. As a result, while some parts were highly polished and reliable, others were alpha quality software—with no way to tell which was which. UQDS was designed as a process to help an existing project with definite quality challenges ramp up its quality while continuing to add features and become more useful.

Events: Libre Graphics World, DevConf, SnowCamp

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OSS
  • Libre Graphics World: 2018 in perspective

    It's arguable, but by now, it's pretty safe to say that the proverbial year of Linux on the desktop is never happening. But... do we really need it so much? Especially if there an impressive lineup of upcoming libre software releases set for 2018? Let's see what this year is bringing us.

  • DevConf 2018

    Robbie Harwood gave an overview of Kerberos for Developers. Kerberos has a reputation for being difficult to use and manage. As far as I can tell, maintaining a server can still be tricky but using it as a developer has improved significantly. There are several libraries available, including bindings in python which were demoed. Although I don't do much with Kerberos applications usually, it's good to know there are easy to use APIs available.

    There was a joint presentation on Hardware Root of Trust. This was an overview of current TPM support. TPMs have historically been somewhat controversial as they have been associated with reducing user freedom. TPMs are also very good at providing a secure way to store keys for protecting data, which was much of the focus of the talk. There's been ongoing work to make TPMs do useful things such as disk encryption. The TPM software support has come a long way and I look forward to seeing new uses.

    Ulrich Drepper gave a talk on processor architectures. This seemed very timely given the recent speculative execution shenanigans. There was a lot of focus on the existing Intel architecture and its limitations. We're beginning to hit physical limits to increase speed (see the slides about memory power use). As processor architectures get more complex, compilers and programmers have to improve as well. Sometimes I do miss working with hardware (until it breaks of course).

  • SnowCamp 2018 Trip Report

    Last week, Red Hat was present at the SnowCamp conference in Grenoble, France. The SnowCamp is a technical conference that includes a unique combination of deep dive sessions (universities), technical talks, and a final day on the ski slopes. With around 400 attendees and 70 sessions, this third edition of the SnowCamp was a great opportunity to meet the developers from the Grenoble area, in the most innovative city in the world (Source: Forbes and Mashable). Red Hatters presented 2 universities and 7 talks covering many projects and products, such as OpenShift, Infinispan, Monitoring, and Containers.

Nextcloud 13 Brings Improved UI, Video and Text Chat, End-to-end Encryption, Improved performance and more

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Server
OSS

Nextcloud 13 is out after 9 months of development and testing. This release brings improvements to the core File Sync and Share like easier moving of files and a tech preview of our end-to-end encryption for the ultimate protection of your data. It also introduces collaboration and communication capabilities, like auto-complete of comments and integrated real-time chat and video communication. Last but not least, Nextcloud was optimized and tuned to deliver up to 80% faster LDAP, much faster object storage and Windows Network Drive performance and a smoother user interface. Read on to find out what else is new and don’t miss our thanks and invitation on the bottom!

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New open source platform offers secure, self-hosted collaboration

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OSS

As businesses are keen to embrace flexible working and digital transformation, there’s increased focus on collaboration and sharing of information.

But with existing regulations like HIPAA and upcoming ones like GDPR it's important to keep collaboration secure. German company Nextcloud is launching a solution in the form of a self-hosted, open source platform offering end-to-end encryption, video and text chat, and enhanced collaboration.

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Open Source and Standards Team: How Red Hat Measures Open Source Success

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Linux
Red Hat
OSS

Red Hat is, by its very nature, a deviation from the norm in this series of profiles. It is not a company with an open source program, but rather an open source company with an open source and standards office and an engineering team dedicated to curating communities and tending upstream contributions. In essence, Red Hat is a living, breathing testament to the success of open source. However, it still benefited from some organization and goal-setting in its community efforts.

“The Open Source and Standards office, or what some would refer to as an open source program office, was established six years ago to create a consistent way to support communities which Red Hat is actively participating. We created a centralized organization of expertise and resource to support our goals by flanking the considerable upstream engineering efforts ,” explained Deborah Bryant, senior director, Open Source and Standards, in the office of the CTO at Red Hat.

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How to start an open source program in your company

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OSS

Many internet-scale companies, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, have established formal open source programs (sometimes referred to as open source program offices, or OSPOs for short), a designated place where open source consumption and production is supported inside a company. With such an office in place, any business can execute its open source strategies in clear terms, giving the company tools needed to make open source a success. An open source program office's responsibilities may include establishing policies for code use, distribution, selection, and auditing; engaging with open source communities; training developers; and ensuring legal compliance.

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Events: FOSDEM, Open Collaboration Conference, INDEX (IBM) and Linux Foundation Events

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OSS
  • notes from the fosdem 2018 networking devroom

    I am on my way back from FOSDEM and thought I would share with yall some impressions from talks in the Networking devroom. I didn't get to go to all that many talks -- FOSDEM's hallway track is the hottest of them all -- but I did hit a select few. Thanks to Dave Neary at Red Hat for organizing the room.

  • Heptio Kubernetes Subscription, FOSDEM, Upcoming Events and Replika (the Emotional Chatbot)

    The Free Open Source Developers European Meeting (FOSDEM) 2018 just happened over the weekend. You can watch the recently uploaded videos on the official YouTube channel.

  • Video: ITProTV Interview with Jason Callaway of Redhat at BSides Delaware
  • Open Collaboration Conference CFP Now Open

    Earlier last year I announced last year that I was partnering up with the Linux Foundation to create the Open Community Conference as part of their Open Source Summit events in North America and Europe.

    Well, the events happened, and it was (in my humble opinion) an enormous success. We had 120+ papers submitted to the North American event and 85+ papers submitted to the European event. From there I whittled it down to around 40 sessions for each event which resulted in some fantastic content and incredible discussions/networking.

  • Linux and Open Source: A Recipe for Innovation

    That’s the idea behind the first-ever INDEX community event coming up February 20-22 in San Francisco, which will feature a keynote presentation from The Linux Foundation’s executive director, Jim Zemlin. Harnessing the power of shared innovation is crucial to remaining competitive in today’s markets, and Jim will discuss building sustainable open source projects to advance the next generation of modern computing.

  • Submit a Proposal to Speak at LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China

    We have opened the LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China (LC3) 2018 call for proposals, and we invite you to share your expertise in this exploding open source market. Proposals are due March 4, 2018.

  • Vint Cerf, Andre Fuetsch, Nick McKeown to Keynote at Open Networking Summit North America 2018

    Open Networking Summit (ONS) is the industry’s premier open networking event gathering enterprises, cloud and service providers, from across the ecosystem to share learnings, highlight innovation and discuss the future of Open Source Networking.

    Hear from industry visionaries and leaders on the latest updates and the future of Networking beyond SDN/NFV including 5G & IoT; cloud networking (Kubernetes & Cloud Foundry); AI & ML applied to networks; and the use of networking in industry verticals like FinTech and Automotive.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Genode Is Developing A GPU Multiplexer For Intel Graphics Hardware

    Besides talking about GNU Hurd in 2018 one of the other interesting talks in FOSDEM's micro-kernel track this year was on an Intel GPU resource multiplexer being developed by the Genode project.

    Thanks to hardware-based features for isolation on Intel Broadwell "Gen 8" graphics and newer, Genode OS has been working on GPU resource multiplexing for their operating system framework.

  • Why enterprises are flocking to open source

    As the leader of an open source foundation, I have a unique perspective on the way open source technologies are catalyzing the digital transformation of enterprises around the world. More than half of the Fortune 100 is using Cloud Foundry. If you’re wondering why, there are two main reasons: one is the allure of open source, and the other is the strength of the platform itself.

  • GNU's Ring Continues Trying To Be Like Skype/WhatsApp For FLOSS/Privacy-Minded Fans

    Ring that joined the GNU project in late 2016 to focus on decentralized, multi-device communication has high hopes for 2018.

    GNU Ring is still striving as a "free universal distributed communication platform" and to offer similar functionality to say Skype or WhatsApp but while being open-source and respecting the privacy of its users in part by being decentralized.

  • Review: 6 slick open source routers

    Hackers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but the lousy stock firmware your routers shipped with.

    Apart from smartphones, routers and wireless base stations are undoubtedly the most widely hacked and user-modded consumer devices. In many cases the benefits are major and concrete: a broader palette of features, better routing functions, tighter security, and the ability to configure details not normally allowed by the stock firmware (such as antenna output power).

  • Kodi 18 Is Coming But They Are Already Thinking About Kodi 19

    At this weekend's FOSDEM event in Brussels, Martijn Kaijser of the Kodi project provided an update on their current activities for 2018.

    After going over their successful Kodi 17 release, the focus turned to talking about Kodi 18 "Leia" that they have been working on since the end of 2016. Their design goals with Kodi 18 are to improve the architecture and implementation of this open-source, cross-platform media player. As part of improving the code-base they are focusing on C++11 support, improving the code quality, dropping unmaintained features/code, and other cleanups. They are also working on moving non-core features out to add-ons.

  • Mozilla VR Blog: A-Painter performance optimizations
  • GFX-RS Continues Advancing For High-Performance, Portable Graphics In Rust

    GFX-RS has been the Rust programming language project for a high-performance, portable graphics API that can map to Vulkan, Apple's Metal, Direct3D, etc from a single Rust API.

    Dzmitry Malyshau of Mozilla and Markus Siglreithmaier talked about this portable graphics abstraction project at the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting in Belgium. GFX-RS has been in development since 2013~2014 but is currently undergoing a "total rewrite" in trying to better this single Rust API that supports backends for all major graphics APIs.

  • Jahia Updates DX Platform, Magnolia's New Financial Partner, More Open Source News

    Jahia has kicked off 2018 by releasing Jahia DX 7220 — the latest edition of its digital experience platform.

    Jahia DX 7220 boasts a new user interface (UI), code-named ‘Anthracite’ which, “reflects feedbacks gathered from customers focus groups carried out along the development phase.”

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Android Leftovers

Three essential tools for the GNU/Linux Photographer

As a Journalist by day, and awesome cave dwelling Linux nerd by night, I take a lot of photographs with my Nikon D3300. That said, there are the obvious tools by Adobe that one can use, such as Photoshop, but there are some pretty awesome tools available for free to GNU/Linux users I thought I might share. With the three together, I’ve got basically everything I have needed. Read more

Remembering Tom Wallis, The System Administrator That Made The World Better

So it was a shock to get an email this week that Tom had married for the first time at age 54, and passed away four days later due to a boating accident while on his honeymoon. Tom was a man with a big laugh and an even bigger heart. When I started a Linux Users Group (LUG) on campus, there was Tom – helping to arrange a place to meet, Internet access when we needed it, and gave his evenings to simply be present and a supporter. Read more

Introducing the potential new Ubuntu Studio Council

Back in 2016, Set Hallström was elected as the new Team Lead for Ubuntu Studio, just in time for the 16.04 Xenial Long Term Support (LTS) release. It was intended that Ubuntu Studio would be able to utilise Set’s leadership skills at least up until the next LTS release in April 2018. Unfortunately, as happens occasionally in the world of volunteer work, Set’s personal circumstances changed and he is no longer able to devote as much time to Ubuntu Studio as he would like. Therefore, an IRC meeting was held between interested Ubuntu Studio contributors on 21st May 2017 to agree on how to fill the void. We decided to follow the lead of Xubuntu and create a Council to take care of Ubuntu Studio, rather than continuing to place the burden of leadership on the shoulder of one particular person. Unfortunately, although the result was an agreement to form the first Ubuntu Studio Council from the meeting participants, we all got busy and the council was never set up. Read more