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OSS

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • VLC 4.0 Media Player Eyeing New User Interface, Better Wayland Support & VR/3D

    Work on the new VLC 4.0 user-interface is progressing, there will be GNOME and KDE adaptations, support for both server-side and client-side decorations, and great support for Wayland as well as X11 -- including support for macOS, Windows, etc. 

    With VLC 4.0, they intend to gut out support for Windows XP/Vista as well as bumping the macOS, iOS, and Android requirements. On the Linux front, they intend to require OpenGL acceleration for this media player.

  • Libvpx 1.8 Released With VP9 Encode Performance Improvements

    It's been just over a year since the debut of libvpx 1.7 while today a major new release is available for this library providing VP8/VP9 video encode/decode capabilities. 

    With the libvpx 1.8.0 release, Google engineers focused on enhancing the VP9 video encode performance to make it more suitable for real-time and video on-demand use-cases. 

  • Interview: The power of open source
  • Nasdaq head of tech talks about open source and IPOs

    Companies are increasingly looking to build viable businesses around open source software, but the business plan isn't foolproof.

    Open source software — packages of code licensed by the creator so others can update and build upon them — has continued to grow in popularity among big companies.

    The benefits, such as low costs, the ability to innovate quickly, a selling point to recruit developers who want to continue stay involved with the open source community, are undeniable.

    But the approach isn't without its faults. In general, firms are hesistant to build a project on top of an open source package that could lose support and stop getting updated. Brad Peterson, Nasdaq's chief technology and information officer, said any firm using open source wants software that will have longevity.

  • Ericsson hooks up with O-RAN Alliance

    Ericsson announced today that it has joined the O-RAN Alliance, a group of telecom service providers and suppliers that are determined to change the way radio access network (RAN) architecture and orchestration are done, aiming for a more open approach rather than the proprietary ways of years gone by.

  • After Plan S, Here's Plan U: Funders Should Require All Research To Be Posted First As A Preprint

    Preprints are emerging as a way to get research out to everyone free of charge, without needing to pay page charges to appear in a traditional open access title. The growing popularity is in part because research shows that published versions of papers in costly academic titles add almost nothing to the freely-available preprints they are based on.

    [...]

    Those are all attractive features of the Plan U idea, although Egon Willighagen has rightly pointed out that using the right license for the preprints is an important issue. At the time of writing, the Plan U Web site is rather minimalist. It currently consists of just one page; there are no links to who wrote the proposal, what future plans might be, or how to get involved. I asked around on Twitter, and it seems that three well-known figures in the open science world -- Michael Eisen, John Inglis, and Richard Sever -- are the people behind this. Eisen has been one of the leading figures in the open access world since its earliest days, while Inglis and Sever are co-founders of the increasingly-popular bioRxiv preprint server, which serves the biology community. That augurs well for the idea, but it would still be good to have the details fleshed out on a more informative Web site -- something that Sever told Techdirt will be coming in due course.

  • Google Brain and DeepMind researchers release AI benchmark based on card game Hanabi
  • Facebook Open-Sources DeepFocus, Bringing More Realistic Images to Virtual Reality
  • HashiCorp Launches New Professional Services Program to Accelerate Successful Implementation of the HashiCorp Multi-Cloud Automation Products for Large Enterprises
  • Why open source requires a bigger investment at AWS than its competitors

Open Source Initiative Board of Directors and Transparency Reports

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  • Affirmation of the Open Source Definition

    In 1799 the kilogram was defined as the mass of a litre of water. In 1889, metal cylinders of the precise identical mass were created as reference objects.

    In the hundreds of years since, the physical nature of the metal caused those cylinders no longer to reflect the identical mass as defined. In order to ensure the integrity of a vital unit of measurement, the kilogram was redefined as the same mass but simply expressed in terms of fundamental and invariable physical constants.

    Without this single, standard definition of this or other fundamental units, commerce as we know it would not be possible. There is no trust in a world where anyone can invent their own definition for units, items, and concepts on which others rely, and without trust there is no community, no collaboration, and no cultural or technological development.

    In exactly the same way, the term "open source software" was coined in 1998 as software that provides a set of precise freedoms and benefits, including but not limited to the freedoms to run, study, redistribute, and improve the software on which you rely . These benefits are codified in the Open Source Definition (OSD), which is based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines. The Open Source Initiative, its members, affiliates, and sponsors, promote and protect this fundamental definition through software license review and approval.

  • [OSI] January 2019 License-Review Summary
  • [OSI] January 2019 License-Discuss Summary

    The corresponding License-Review summary is online at https://opensource.org/LicenseReview012019 and covers discussion on the SSPL v2 and the C-FSL.

Top 10 FOSS legal developments of 2018

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In 2018, we saw a clear demonstration of the free and open source software (FOSS) business model's importance when IBM moved to purchase Red Hat for $34 billion. The FOSS ecosystem also celebrated its durability last year, as the Open Source Initiative (OSI) celebrated the 20th anniversary of the open source movement.

Meanwhile, old legal problems returned. We saw another significant increase in litigation decisions involving FOSS issues, and several of these cases are very important. This increase in litigation is a reminder of the importance of an active compliance program for all corporations that use FOSS (which now means virtually all corporations).

Continuing the tradition of looking back to spot trends that will affect the future, the following are 2018's top 10 legal developments in FOSS.

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Events: FOSDEM Talks, CPE and devconfcz

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  • GStreamer Has An Exciting 2019 Planned With Some Big Features

    Looking towards GStreamer 1.18 and beyond, neural networks in the context of this multimedia framework are being evaluated. There is also exploration around scaleable streams, the never-ending work on performance optimizations, the Meson build system support nearly mature, continued explorations around VR, HDR video, better OpenCV integration, more NVIDIA CUDA support, and continued integration around Rust.

    Tim-Philipp Müller made it clear though they do not intend to rewrite GStreamer entirely in Rust or to even make the language a hard dependency, but they will do more without breaking this backwards compatibility and this language does hold potential for the longer term, including more bindings.

  • FOSDEM talk on TableGen

    Video and slides for my talk in the LLVM devroom on TableGen are now available here.

  • Quickly post-FOSDEM

    Four days of Brussels: eat, sleep and be nerdy. I learned many things at FOSDEM 2019, although not in areas that I expected. Koalas, silicon and testing strategies, yes.

    I stayed with friends at a wonderful bed-and-breakfast near the university. A cat was provided for conversational purposes at breakfast — and breakfast was beautiful. A ten minute walk to the venue along a park makes the start of a FOSDEM day a very different experience from, say, a packed and smelly bus 71. Thank you, June, for making our stay a memorable one. Thanks to Rohan and Roman for being good roomies.

    [...]

    Lots of people were asking about Pine64 hardware, so we referred them to the stand over in building AW. Here’s a picture with everything tidy — it must have been Saturday during set-up, before the crowds arrived. I didn’t have much time with the Pine hardware — the phone, the new laptop, and all the other gadgetry. They are showing off a huge number of little gadgets, all very open and inexpensive to boot.

  • Daniel Stenberg: My 10th FOSDEM

    I didn’t present anything during last year’s conference, so I submitted my DNS-over-HTTPS presentation proposal early on for this year’s FOSDEM. Someone suggested it was generic enough I should rather ask for main track instead of the DNS room, and so I did. Then time passed and in November 2018 “HTTP/3” was officially coined as a real term and then, after the Mozilla devroom’s deadline had been extended for a week I filed my second proposal. I might possibly even have been an hour or two after the deadline. I hoped at least one of them would be accepted.

  • Video: Take your loop mounts to the next level with nbdkit

    Loop mounting is popular, but very limited in what it can do on Linux. I gave a talk at FOSDEM on Saturday entitled Better loop mounts with NBD: Take your loop mounts to the next level with nbdkit, and it’s online already!

  • CPE meetings and devconf2019

    I recently went to Brno, CZ for CPE (Community Platform Engineering) meetings and then devconfcz 2019 and thought I would share my take on both of them.

If Software Is Funded from a Public Source, Its Code Should Be Open Source

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If we pay for it, we should be able to use it.

Perhaps because many free software coders have been outsiders and rebels, less attention is paid to the use of open source in government departments than in other contexts. But it's an important battleground, not least because there are special dynamics at play and lots of good reasons to require open-source software. It's unfortunate that the most famous attempt to convert a government IT system from proprietary code to open source—the city of Munich—proved such a difficult experience. Although last year saw a decision to move back to Windows, that seems to be more a failure of IT management, than of the code itself. Moreover, it's worth remembering that the Munich project began back in 2003, when it was a trailblazer. Today, there are dozens of large-scale migrations, as TechRepublic reports:

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Radio ham's Open Satellite Project

    Radio amateur Lucas Teske PU2NVX explains the Open Satellite Project and its open-source weather satellite software

    "The final goal is to have a generic satellite receiver that is easy to configure to a new satellite or protocol," project originator Lucas Teske PU2NVX explains of the Open Satellite Project and its open-source weather satellite software.

    Developer Lucas Teske has a very clear reason for having started the Open Satellite Project, an ongoing effort to develop open-source software for the receipt and decoding of satellite data using software-defined radio (SDR) hardware including the LimeSDR family.

  • Puppet makes a change at the top with new CEO Yvonne Wassenaar

    After years of buying enterprise technology from software vendors, new Puppet CEO Yvonne Wassenaar will get a chance to run one.

    Puppet plans to announce Tuesday that Wassenaar will take over the CEO role from Sanjay Mirchandani, who informed Puppet’s board a few months ago that he had decided to pursue other opportunities. Wassenaar was CEO of drone image-analysis company Airware until last September, and might be familiar to the tech community in Puppet’s hometown of Portland after several years as CIO at New Relic.

  • 5 Advantages Of Open Source Software

    Over the years, open source software has become crucial to the running of many businesses around the world. Many businesses prefer the use of proprietary software because they know that the software packages are perfect for their business. However, many other businesses prefer the option of open source software and hardware because they can alter it to their needs. There are many advantages to using open source software and below we’ll have a look at some of the most beneficial reasons why many businesses prefer open source software.

    If you’re interested in getting your hands on open source software and hardware for your business, it could pay to look at Vilros.com, which is a supplier of all the top branded names, such as Arduino products, in the open source software and hardware industry.

  • At IndusInd Bank, Adoption Of Proprietary Technologies Is Being Surpassed By Pure Open Source Tech

    The product space includes keeping tabs on the developments taking place in the area of payments and e-commerce. The element of innovation, being taken up in many financial institutions has a lot of bearing on studying and exploring the potential avenues of strengthening the financial products. Understanding the process end to end across functions is also important. CIOs cannot afford to restrict themselves to having an understanding of just the technology part of the process and being unaware of how the process works in other functions. After product and process comes technology. A thorough understanding and grasp over product and process will help a CIO in taking a decision on whether to innovate with the product or process or both in order to come up with a sustainable innovation that will stand out in the market. It will not be a ‘me too’ innovation.

  • Drone companies to develop open source code for DGCA compliance

    A group of companies are working towards creating an open source code, certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), to meet the requirements of the ‘no permission - no takeoff’ (NPNT) software programme. The programme was mandated by the Drone Regulations which came into effect on 1 December 2018.

    Some of the companies which are a part of the Drones Working Committee at industry body Digital India Collective for Empowerment (DICE) are working on multiple pieces of the flight control software for drones in India which are NPNT compliant.

  • Keyhole Software Releases Open Source "Byzantine Tools" For Blockchain

    Keyhole Software has announced the release of Byzantine Tools, a series of blockchain open source projects to enhance Hyperledger blockchain networks.

    The new release includes Byzantine Browser, Byzantine Config, and Byzantine Flu open source tools. All add functionality to Hyperledger blockchains or show examples demonstrating the importance of blockchain to the enterprise-level organizations.

  • Red Hat notes open source rise

    Digital transformation and economic crises are pushing business organisations to embrace open source technology, says Red Hat Inc.

    "Business organisations are adopting open source software, lowering their operating costs and becoming more scalable, with better time to market, enabling digital transformation," said Damien Wong, vice-president and general manager for Asian growth and emerging markets of Red Hat Inc.

    With the stagnant global economy, companies are taking a wait-and-see approach to technology spending, he said.

    Open source helps organisations lower upfront investment and leads to faster innovation.

    Open source leads to open organisations, configuring their architecture for the future in terms of interoperability and engagement with others through agile and adaptable processes, he said.

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

    While not exactly an open-source project, Hacktoberfest is a monthlong celebration of open-source software, and provides many contributions to the open-source community. The sixth annual Hacktoberfest won’t be taking place until October, but organizer DigitalOcean wants to help developers looking to get in on the festivities this year by providing developers with a few things to know before they release their repos into the public.

  • The future of open source and DevOps

    The writing on the wall is clear: for large, independent software vendors not doing open source today, you’ll need to either start open sourcing your code or else purchase an open source vendor to stay relevant in 2019. Your open source will need to be layered on top of DevOps, responsible for bringing together everything from coding and building to deploying and monitoring applications.

  • What are the pros and cons of open source network monitoring tools?

    Open source network monitoring tools are increasingly attractive to IT groups trying to meet service-level agreement demands while operating under tight budgets that limit their ability to invest in sophisticated network monitoring services.

    The price point for open source network monitoring software -- starting at free -- makes these tools pretty appealing for enterprises seeking new and better ways to manage performance across complex and highly distributed networks.

    In the past, the knock on open source tools was that they were difficult to install and not user-friendly. And, unlike their commercial peers, open source network monitoring tools did not always have a strong customer support team that could help IT managers when they ran into problems.

  • Casa open sources its Lightning Network node software

    The Casa Node has easily been one of the most desired and sought-after Bitcoin-related items during the 2018 holiday season. The demand for the “Lightning node in a box” product has been so high that the shipping had to be delayed during the month of December just to keep up with the orders.

    However, some critics have pointed out that there isn’t anything special about the device: it takes the rather modest hardware capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 3+, adds a hard drive for storage, and completes the package with all the necessary cables to make the device work. But just like in the case of Apple products, the costumers are paying for three essential elements: software, user experience, and costumer support.

  • Capital One Banks on Open Source to Scale Innovation

    When they started their transformation journey, Capital One was opposed to open source. In 2012, they started developing their continuous integration pipeline with Apache Subversion, Jenkins, SonarQube, etc. But because of the risks posed by open source, they quickly engaged their legal department and together developed a formal due diligence approach and strategy. First, they identified and categorized all perceived risks associated with using open source software, such as security, trade secret disclosure, devaluation of patent portfolio, M&A devaluation, intellectual property infringement, etc. The key development risks were touching on security, licensing and reputation. They then identified a monitoring and remediation plan for each risk category, trained and empowered every employee involved in the process to act.

  • Simple Mobile Tools – A Collection of Open Source, Ad-Free apps

    “Be together, not the same” – that’s the slogan Google used back in 2016 to describe how every person in the world can set up Android to their liking. There are literally thousands of variations of thousands of applications, themes, and mods. But, every now and then, we like to settle and look for something simple. Unfortunately, Android isn’t as consistent as iOS. That’s exactly what XDA Junior Member tibbi2 is aiming to fix with his apps.

  • App developer releases open-source version of Chroma for the Razer Phone 2

    The Razer Phone 2 could be a solid option for fans of mobile gaming on Android. However, it may be less attractive to those who also like to have root access.

  • Logo+ is an open source version of the Chroma app on the Razer Phone 2

    Nowadays, the smartphone industry is as challenging for newcomers as it gets. It’s not so easy to stay relevant when dozens of flagship-tier smartphones are released each year. We all saw what happened to Essential and their pretty standard phone, which is a shame since they offer great software support. User feedback has shown that to keep afloat in the game, you need to have some unique features. Razer has managed to get its user base in just 2 years. Their “gaming phone,” AKA the Razer Phone 2, is aimed at Android enthusiasts. Apart from the obvious flagship specs, it features a 120Hz variable refresh rate HDR screen, stereo speakers, and a glowing RGB logo on the back which can be customized by a system app, Chroma.

  • Startup Behind Ubiquitous NGINX Web Server Ready To Embrace The Channel
  • Nginx: managing monolithic app traffic is an API game

    Nginx is the company that likes to be called NGINX, except it’s not… because it’s not an acronym, it’s supposed to say “engine-X”, which is a cool snazzy name, right?

    Actually, Nginx would only ever rank as Nginx, because almost all reputable press outlets only allow acronyms up to a maximum of three letters.

    There’s always an exception that proves the rule and SuSE might be the fly in the ointment. Or could it be TIBCo (who would prefer we say TIBCO, for The Information Bus Company) that makes this an imperfect rule?

  • Open Source & Machine Learning: A Dynamic Duo

    In recent months, machine-learning code has become readily available in the open source community, putting security analysts on a path toward easier data pattern recognition.
    As a data scientist, I'm always looking for new patterns and insights that guide action — especially ways to make data science more effective for cybersecurity. One pattern I see consistently throughout the industry is the inability to operationalize machine learning in a modern security operations center. The challenge is that the capabilities behind different machine-learning models are difficult to explain. And if those of us in security can't understand how something works, and how to apply it to what we do, why on earth would we trust it?

  • Open Source for enterprise trends in 2019

    We know that open source is well established as the place where software innovation happens. Today enterprises are looking at open source even more closely for pro-active, adaptive and innovative technologies to deliver better customer experience. As we move into 2019, we see open source technologies further making its mark in some of the key trends we are already experiencing.

    Software Defined Approach to Data Management

    Industrial IoT, smart cities and wearables are bringing together and producing more sophisticated data than ever before. While the proliferation of data is nothing new, the volume of unstructured data and the way in which it is managed is. Additionally, many enterprise IT teams are moving to hybrid-environments that have on-prem systems and cloud environments, creating additional challenges for these teams. In 2019, more companies will adopt software-defined storage (SDS) to address the performance and availability challenges caused by the data explosion.

  • Intel Publishes Open-Source AV1 Video Encoder "SVT-AV1"

    Yet another open-source project out of Intel is SVT-AV1, which is a new AV1 video encoder implementation for Windows and Linux Systems.

    SVT-AV1 is short for the Scalable Video Technology AV1 encoder. Intel is aiming to make this encoder fast enough for video on-demand and live encoding/transcoding applications. Hearing their CPU-based performance plans for SVT-AV1 is certainly exciting and much welcomed, since there isn't any speedy AV1 encoder at this stage nor any really dominant player among the open-source options... On the decoding front, dav1d is doing very well and hopefully SVT-AV1 will take over on the encoding front at least until GPUs begin supporting native AV1 accelerated encoding.

Latest (Past Week's) Openwashing Examples

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FOSS Licensing/Legal Disputes

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Legal

Top 5 open source network monitoring tools

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Maintaining a live network is one of a system administrator's most essential tasks, and keeping a watchful eye over connected systems is essential to keeping a network functioning at its best.

There are many different ways to keep tabs on a modern network. Network monitoring tools are designed for the specific purpose of monitoring network traffic and response times, while application performance management solutions use agents to pull performance data from the application stack. If you have a live network, you need network monitoring to make sure you aren't vulnerable to an attacker. Likewise, if you rely on lots of different applications to run your daily operations, you will need an application performance management solution as well.

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Getting started with Scalar, a semantic web publishing platform

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Budget cuts at universities and the increased cost of printing journals have created a crisis in academic publishing. These factors plus the desire for open access to academic publishing have accelerated interest in alternatives to traditional print publications, such as Scalar.

Scalar is open source publishing software that enables authors to create rich, long-form scholarly content. In other words, according to its website, it "gives authors tools to structure essay and book-length works in ways that take advantage of the unique capabilities of digital writing, including nested, recursive, and non-linear formats."

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More in Tux Machines

Essential System Tools: QDirStat – Excellent Qt-based directory statistics

This is the latest in our series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For this article, we’ll look at QDirStat, a graphical application to show what’s devouring your disk space and help you tidy up the disorder. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the summary page of this article. QDirStat is a continuation of the KDirStat utility. QDirStat is based on the latest Qt 5, and doesn’t need any KDE libraries or infrastructure. If you come from a Windows background you’ve probably tried WinDirStat, a Windows port of KDirStat, the predecessor of QDirStat. Read more

KDE is adding Matrix to its instant messaging infrastructure

KDE has been looking for a better way of chatting and live-sharing information for several years now. IRC has been a good solution for a long time, but it has centralized servers KDE cannot control. It is also insecure and lacks features users have come to expect from more modern IM services. Other alternatives, such as Telegram, Slack and Discord, although feature-rich, are centralized and built around closed-source technologies and offer even less control than IRC. This flies in the face of KDE's principles that require we use and support technologies based on Free software. However, our search for a better solution has finally come to an end: as of today we are officially using Matrix for collaboration within KDE! Matrix is an open protocol and network for decentralised communication, backed by an open standard and open source reference implementations for servers, clients, client SDKs, bridges, bots and more. It provides all the features you’d expect from a modern chat system: infinite scrollback, file transfer, typing notifications, read receipts, presence, search, push notifications, stickers, VoIP calling and conferencing, etc. It even provides end-to-end encryption (based on Signal’s double ratchet algorithm) for when you want some privacy. Read more Also: KDE To Support Matrix Decentralized Instant Messaging

Android Leftovers

Canonical Is Planning Some Awesome New Content For The Snap Store

There I was, thoughtfully drafting an article titled "3 Things Canonical Can Do To Improve The Snap Ecosystem," when I jumped on the phone with Evan Dandrea, an Engineering Manager who just so happens to be responsible for the Snapcraft ecosystem at Canonical. As it turns out, that headline will need a slight edit. One less number. That's because I've just learned Canonical has some ambitious plans for the future of the Snap Store. Read more