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OSS

Google's FOSS

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Google
OSS
  • Google updates Santa Tracker open source code with changes from last Christmas

    Is it Christmas time already? Not quite, but we don't have long before kids start counting down the days to Santa's visit. When they ask, Google is again ready to provide an answer.

    Last April, Google open sourced Santa Tracker and its various components. Then it developed new experiences to show off around Christmas time. Eight months later, that code is now open source as well.

  • More News Arrives on Fuchsia, Google's Mystery Open Source OS

    Everyone loves a mystery and if you're a mystery fan you have to be paying attention to Google's mysterious new open source operating system, which is dubbed "fuchsia," alluding to what you get when you mix purple with pink. While you'll read many reports saying that nothing has been said about fuchsia officially, Google engineers actually have popped up in various online forums descrbing the new OS.

FOSS Scare

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OSS
  • The trouble with open source research on the web

    Every open source research project -- no matter how simple or complex -- starts with browsing the internet. But researchers should know that their identity can be obtained through a number of basic techniques, which could have consequences ranging from modified data to directed cyber attacks or worse.

    Even the simplest of website visits will expose significant details about your location and your device, and pretty much any site you visit will drop code on your computer to track what you’re doing as you traverse the internet. Most of the time, this exchange is benign, but there can be times when content will be modified or attacks launched based on the identity of the user.

    When Tim Berners-Lee released his building blocks for the modern internet, they were designed for the academic research community. Like other initiatives of the time, web protocols (and the browsers to support them) were built to easily share information, not for privacy or security. In order to minimize or even prevent counter-surveillance while conducting open source research, it is important to understand how the underlying protocols exchange information when you visit a web page.

  • Endurance Robots launches fully roboticized open-source platform [Ed: That's not FOSS. Using OpenCV to make a proprietary and Windows-only platform?]

    Finally, we used the standard Microsoft SAPI. This product with various language sets is distributed free of charge.

  • Intel claim open source driven by 'enthusiasts' is 'complete rubbish' says Weaveworks founder [Ed: Intel is badmouthing FOSS while putting secret/proprietary back doors in its chipsets]

    Weaveworks founder and CEO Alexis Richardson delivered a verbal drubbing to an Intel senior architect yesterday after he suggested open source software is still driven by "enthusiasts" who alone don't produce "enterprise-capable product" without distributors 'professionalising' parts of it themselves.

    Richardson, speaking at an open source panel debate hosted by Rackspace, described Markus Leberecht's claim as "complete rubbish", leaving the solutions architect floundering.

    When discussing the increasing relevance of open source software to the enterprise, senior data centre solutions architect Leberecht volunteered the notion that "open source has become a natural thing for enterprise to consume when distributors have professionalised certain parts of [it]".

    "So just to re-emphasise the role that some of the companies on the panel here [companies included MongoDB, Red Hat, and Rackspace, as well as Weaveworks] are taking in this particular way of getting open source to market: by itself open source is attention-driven, enthusiasts driving a certain topic, but that doesn't give us enterprise-capable product."

How open source helps startups get a big data boost

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OSS

Big data isn't new. We've actually had fairly sophisticated data infrastructure long before Hadoop, Spark, and such came into being. No, the big difference in big data is that all this fantastic data infrastructure is open source software running on commodity servers.

Over a decade ago, entrepreneur Joe Kraus' declared that "There's never been a better time to be an entrepreneur because it's never been cheaper to be one," and he was right, though he couldn't have foreseen how much so. Though Kraus extolled the virtues of Linux, Tomcat, Apache HTTP server, and MySQL, today's startups have access to a dazzling array of the best big data infrastructure that money doesn't need to buy.

Read more

Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Vendor-supplied or open-source HMI software?

    When an HMI project requires more functionality than that offered by self-contained touchscreen units, the next step is to use an industrial PC-based system. The PC can be a traditional keyboard and mouse if the environment allows, or an integrated computer/touchscreen with varying degrees of environmental protection.

    [...]

    The three biggest advantages when using open source are the price (free or close to it), the programmer’s ability to modify and extend the code in any way required and having the final project being a smaller, more efficient product. The programming skill needed to create an application is somewhat higher than what is required using off-the-shelf development packages.

  • 5 steps for making community decisions without consensus

    Healthy open source communities usually include a wide range of people with different ideologies, goals, values, and points of view—from anarchists to CEOs of major corporations. The normal approach for making decisions that affect the entire community should be an attempt to reach consensus through discussion; however, what if you're attempting to make a decision that is critically important, but there are irreconcilable differences in the community?

    The Xen Project community had such a decision to make in the wake of the XSA-7 security issue about the project's security policy. We knew beforehand that there was unlikely to be consensus, so we thought carefully about how we could approach the discussion.

    Our main goals were to find a "center of gravity" of the community preference, and to make sure that the people who didn't get what they wanted felt like their voice was heard and taken into consideration. In this article, I'll briefly summarize my conclusions from that experience.

  • How to fire yourself: A founder's dilemma

    I learned more about business, software, and, most importantly, people, in the first two years of Lucidworks than I did in the previous 10-15 years of school and work combined. Being a founder was (and is) a thrilling ride and one that expands your brain in ways you never knew it could expand. It's also an addictive ride, as your brain starts to crave the novelty of newness that comes from context switching between a dozen different things, seemingly all at once, as well as the satisfaction that comes from being "the one who gets it done." Not that you ever really are that person, but more on that in a moment.

  • HackerNest Tech Job Fair
  • Outreachy talk

    Yesterday I gave a talk about Outreachy to Girls Coding Kosova. Since there is isn’t anyone else from Kosovo who participated in Outreachy previously and they were not really informed about it, I thought I’d share my amazing experience and give some details about the program. I decided to focus more on the application process since that was the “tricky” part when I applied and seemed to be the same for them as well, since they had a lot of questions regarding the application part. I pretended to be applying for the second time and went through the application process step by step. Starting from choosing an organization, choosing a project, contacting mentors and coordinators via e-mail or IRC, making a small contribution etc.

  • MidnightBSD 0.8 Switches the System Compiler from GCC 4.2 to LLVM/Clang 3.3

    MidnightBSD developer Lucas Holt proudly announced the release of the MidnightBSD 0.8 operating system. Based on the latest BSD and FreeBSD technologies, this update brings you the latest software updates and under-the-hood improvements.

    MidnightBSD 0.8 is here eleven months after the release of MidnightBSD 0.7, and five months after the MidnightBSD 0.7.6 maintenance update. It's a major milestone that switches the system compilers from GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 4.2 to LLVM/Clang 3.3, uses the libdispatch library in the package manager, and fixes bugs for the mports framework.

  • Free Software Directory meeting recap for August 12th, 2016
  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 19th
  • Vala -- seems ideal so far

    I was searching for a language to write the phone GUI with... python3+gtk3 is way too slow; 9 seconds for trivial application is a bit too much (on N900). python2+gtk2 is a lot better at 2 seconds. Lua should be even faster.

  • Revoking old PGP key

FOSS/Sharing in Governments

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OSS
  • US Government Reshapes Core Services Through Open Source

    Yesterday Kathryn Ryan interviewed Eric Hysen, the head of U.S. Digital Service at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about his organisation’s efforts to streamline and improve government IT projects. Hysen, formerly a Silicon Valley tech guru at Google discusses how DHS is partnering top private sector tech expertise with innovators inside government to transform critical government services. This approach is part of a fundamental shift in thinking in the US that seeks to tackle Government services delivery problems through more open source and human centred design approaches. The interview is available here:

  • Slovakian Public Procurement Bulletin published in XML format

    The Slovakian Public Procurement Office (PPO) has published its Public Procurement Bulletin in an open XML format, making all announcements of public procurement, including editorial corrections, available for download and (automated) processing.

  • "Helsinki Region Infoshare service increasing trust toward city and officials"

    Over the last five years, more than 1200 datasets have been published on the open data portal of Greater Helsinki, comprising the Finnish cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen. According to the City of Helsinki, just opening up the data has resulted in 1-2 percent savings. "Making lots of our city purchase data public has opened up a new view for citizens into city administration, and it increases people's trust toward the city and its officials," said Tanja Lahti, the project manager for the Helsinki Region Infoshare (HRI) service.

  • UN: open data to improve state accountability and transparency

    Publishing government data online can improve accountability and transparency not only of national governments, but also of parliaments and the judiciary. Consequently, open data will play an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted in 2015 by the United Nations with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [1, 2]. "With growing access to social media, an increasing number of countries now proactively use networking opportunities to engage with people and evolve towards participatory decision-making. This is done through open data, online consultations, and multiple ICT-related channels."

FOSS Events

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OSS
  • Is open source eating the world?

    Open source technology is understandably controversial, not least because it has massively eroded the software licensing revenues of established IT players.

    At a panel hosted by Rackspace, entitled ‘Open source is eating the world: Building on open source for enterprise’, participants disagreed over what was driving the production of open source, but not over the scale of disruption it had brought to the industry.

  • Rackspace open source cloud breakfast: techie toasties & cloudpaccinos

    As a side note of huge interest… during general discussions it emerged that (according to one statistic) the split between female and male developers is roughly 80% to 20% in favour of males, obviously. But, significantly, that split drops down to 90% to 10% — why that should be is unknown, but it may be a good pointer for where responsibilities lie.

  • Upskill U on Open Source & the Cloud With Heavy Reading

    On Wednesday in the Upskill U course "Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services," Roz Roseboro, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, will address why and how operators are implementing open source for cloud platforms and services. This course will examine relevant open source projects for telcos, how open source differs from traditional standards bodies and what concerns operators have about open source, like security. (Register for Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services.)

Plane Maker Airbus Joins Hyperledger Blockchain Project

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Linux
OSS

FOSS and Finance

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OSS
  • Hyperledger Tests Open Strategy With First Blockchain Explorer

    Business blockchain consortium Hyperledger is now building an open-source tool that will let anyone explore the distributed ledger projects being created by its members.

    Originally conceived by an intern at the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the proposal to create a blockchain explorer gained steam last month when it was informally proposed to members. It was then that other prominent contributors to the Linux-led group discovered they all had similar efforts underway.

    But instead of launching competing open-source services, an effort began to merge the blockchain explorers being developed by DTCC, IBM and Intel. The joint project has been dubbed the "Hyperledger Explorer".

    Similar to block explorers already being offered for other public blockchains, the tool would make it easier to learn about Hyperledger from the inside, while still protecting the privacy valued by many of the non-profit organization's members.

  • Does the Open-Source Model Enable Bitcoin-Stealing Wallet Apps?

    According to an Apple Insider report published on August 9, a disturbing trend has emerged on Apple’s App Store as a series of malicious copycats of well-known Bitcoin wallet apps became available to download. Some of the fake wallets looked quite similar to the real thing but were specifically tweaked to steal bitcoins from unsuspecting users. As a result some $20,000 reportedly ended up in the pockets of scam artists before Apple was able to filter and remove the apps from its store.

  • Mozilla Awards Nearly $600,000 to Qualifying Open Source Projects

    Last year, Mozilla launched the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) – an award program specifically focused on supporting open source and free software. As The VAR Guy notes: "The Mozilla Foundation has long injected money into the open source ecosystem through partnerships with other projects and grants. But it formalized that mission last year by launching MOSS, which originally focused on supporting open source projects that directly complement or help form the basis for Mozilla's own products."

    Now, Mozilla has reported that it awarded a hefty $585,000 to nine open source projects in Q2 of this year alone. Here is more on a couple of the most interesting projects and what they are focusing on.

    PyPy. PyPy is a fast, compliant alternative implementation of the Python language (2.7.10 and 3.3.5). Its developers tout its performance advantages over Python.

FOSS and Security

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OSS
Security
  • Coffee Shop DevOps: How to use feedback loops to get smarter
  • How to design your project for participation

    Working openly means designing for participation. "Designing for participation" is a way of providing people with insight into your project, which you've built from the start to incorporate and act on that insight. Documenting how you intend to make decisions, which communication channels you’ll use, and how people can get in touch with you are the first steps in designing for participation. Other steps include working openly, being transparent, and using technologies that support collaboration and additional ways of inviting participation. In the end, it’s all about providing context: Interested people must be able to get up to speed and start participating in your project, team, or organization as quickly and easily as possible.

  • So long, Firefox Hello!

    After updating my PCLinuxOS install, I noticed that the icon of Firefox Hello had changed: it was read and displayed a message reading "Error!"

    I thought it was a simply login failure, so I logged in and the icon went green, as normal. However, I noticed that Hello did not display the "Start a conversation" window, but one that read "browse this page with a friend".

    A bit confused, I called Megatotoro, who read this statement from Mozilla to me. Apparently, I had missed the fact that Mozilla is discontinuing Hello starting from Firefox 49. Current Firefox version is 48, so...

  • FreeBSD 11.0 Up to Release Candidate State, Support for SSH Protocol v1 Removed

    The FreeBSD Project, through Glen Barber, has had the pleasure of announcing this past weekend the general availability of the first Release Candidate for the upcoming FreeBSD 11.0 operating system, due for release on September 2, 2016.

    It appears to us that the development cycle of FreeBSD 11.0 was accelerated a bit, as the RC1 milestone is here just one week after the release of the fourth Beta build. Again, the new snapshot is available for 64-bit (amd64), 32-bit (i386), PowerPC (PPC), PowerPC 64-bit (PPC64), SPARC64, AArch64 (ARM64), and ARMv6 hardware architectures.

  • Open Source//Open Society Conference Live Blog

    This conference offers 2 huge days of inspiration, professional development and connecting for those interested in policy, data, open technology, leadership, management and team building.

  • White House Source Code Policy Should Go Further

    A new federal government policy will result in the government releasing more of the software that it creates under free and open source software licenses. That’s great news, but doesn’t go far enough in its goals or in enabling public oversight.

    A few months ago, we wrote about a proposed White House policy regarding how the government handles source code written by or for government agencies. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has now officially enacted the policy with a few changes. While the new policy is a step forward for government transparency and open access, a few of the changes in it are flat-out baffling.

  • The Brewing Problem Of PGP Short-ID Collision Attacks
  • Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG hit by malware: HEI

    A data breach at 20 U.S. hotels operated by HEI Hotels & Resorts for Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt and Intercontinental may have divulged payment card data from tens of thousands of food, drink and other transactions, HEI said on Sunday.

  • Linux TCP Flaw Leaves 80% Android Phones Open To Spying
  • Good morning Android!
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Leftovers: Software

  • 5 Cool Unikernels Projects
    Unikernels are poised to become the next big thing in microservices after Docker containers. Here’s a look at some of the cool things you can do with unikernels. First, though, here’s a quick primer on what unikernels are, for the uninitiated. Unikernels are similar to containers in that they let you run an app inside a portable, software-defined environment. But they go a step further than containers by packaging all of the libraries required to run the app directly into the unikernel.
  • Cedrus Is Making Progress On Open-Source Allwinner Video Encode/Decode
    The developers within the Sunxi camp working on better Allwinner SoC support under Linux have been reverse-engineering Allwinner's "Cedar" video engine. Their project is being called Cedrus with a goal of "100% libre and open-source" video decode/encode for the relevant Cedar hardware. The developers have been making progress and yesterday they published their initial patches that add a V4L2 decoder driver for the VPU found on Allwinner's A13 SoC.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 6.6 Milestone 3 Released For Linux Benchmarking
  • Calibre 2.65.1 eBook Viewer Adds Driver for Kobo Aura One and Aura 2 Readers
    Kovid Goyal released today, August 26, 2016, a new maintenance update of his popular, cross-platform, and open-source Calibre e-book viewer, converter and library management tool. Calibre 2.65 was announced earlier, and it looks like it's both a feature and bugfix release that adds drivers for the Kobo Aura One and Kobo Aura Edition 2 ebook readers, along with a new option to the Kobo driver to allow users to ignore certain collections on their ebook reader. The list of new features continues with support for right-to-left text and tables to the DOCX Input feature, as well as the implementation of a new option to allow users to make searching case-sensitive. This option can be found and enabled in the "Searching" configuration section under Preferences.
  • Calamares 2.4 Universal Installer Framework Polishes Existing Functionality
    A new stable version of the Calamares universal installer framework used by various GNU/Linux distributions as default graphical installer has been released with various improvements and bug fixes. Calamares 2.4 is now the latest build, coming two months after the release of the previous version, Calamares 2.3, which introduced full-disk encryption support. However, Calamares 2.4 is not as big as the previous update as it only polished existing functionality and address various annoying issues reported by users.
  • RcppArmadillo 0.7.400.2.0
    Another Armadillo 7.* release -- now at 7.400. We skipped the 7.300.* serie release as it came too soon after our most recent CRAN release. Releasing RcppArmadillo 0.7.400.2.0 now keeps us at the (roughly monthly) cadence which works as a good compromise between getting updates out at Conrad's sometimes frantic pace, while keeping CRAN (and Debian) uploads to about once per month. So we may continue the pattern of helping Conrad with thorough regression tests by building against all (by now 253 (!!)) CRAN dependencies, but keeping release at the GitHub repo and only uploading to CRAN at most once a month.
  • Spotio Is A Light Skin for Spotify’s Desktop App — And Its Coming To Linux
    Spotify’s dark design is very much of its identity. No-matter the platform you use it on, the dark theme is there staring back at you. Until now. A bunch of ace websites, blogs and people I follow have spent the past 24 hours waxing lyrical over a new Spotify skin called Spotio.