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OSS

FOSS in Finance and Blockchains

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OSS
  • Jack Dorsey answers our questions about Square’s plans for Bitcoin

    Square is a company best known for its disruptive card payment technology. Founded in 2009 by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the company sells affordable mobile-based point-of-sale systems. But beyond the world of traditional fiat currencies, the firm is making cautious steps into the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency.

    Back in March, Dorsey tweeted that Square was actively recruiting a modest team of cryptocurrency developers and designers to work on open-source contributions to the ecosystem. In the months that followed, Square’s kept quiet about its progress.

  • Jack Dorsey’s open-source Bitcoin initiative makes its first hire

    Jack Dorsey's open-source Bitcoin initiative, Square Crypto, brings on a former Google project manager as its first hire.

  • Nash Prepares to Launch Beta Version of Decentralized Exchange

    With a mission of “bringing distributed finance to everyone,” five open-source blockchain developers have come together to form a distributed finance platform using blockchain technology that allows for decentralized and non-custodial cryptocurrency trading.

  • Target open sources a blockchain solution called ConsenSource; plans to contribute to Hyperledger Grid framework

    Retail behemoth Target has been working on a blockchain proof of concept since mid-2018, the company’s vice president of architecture Joel Crabb wrote in a blog post. The blockchain solution called ConsenSource, which has been recently open-sourced, was developed to manage the certification of Target’s suppliers in the manufacturing of Target-branded paper products.

  • US Retailer Target Unveils Open Source Blockchain for Supply Chain Tracking
  • The Graph: An open-source query protocol for blockchains, using GraphQL

    Anyone who's ever tried to build distributed applications (dApps) on the (Ethereum) blockchain would concur: Although blockchains are conceptually quite close to databases, querying databases feels like a different world entirely compared to querying blockchains.

  • Why cloud is the best defense against AWS [Ed: Adobe keeps sending its stooge Mac Asay to support turning FOSS into de facto proprietary software (sometimes Adobe even pays the publishers to do this])
  • Software below the poverty line [Ed: Overlooks the fact that a lot of proprietary software is not profitable, is a failure, goes bankrupt faster due to high expenditure]

    Most people believe that open source sustainability is a difficult problem to solve. As an open source developer myself, my own perspective to this problem was more optimistic: I believe in the donation model, for its simplicity and possibility to scale.

    However, I recently met other open source developers that make a living from donations, and they helped widen my perspective. At Amsterdam.js, I heard Henry Zhu speak about sustainability in the Babel project and beyond, and it was a pretty dire picture. Later, over breakfast, Henry and I had a deeper conversation on this topic. In Amsterdam I also met up with Titus, who maintains the Unified project full-time. Meeting with these people I confirmed my belief in the donation model for sustainability. It works. But, what really stood out to me was the question: is it fair?

    I decided to collect data from OpenCollective and GitHub, and take a more scientific sample of the situation. The results I found were shocking: there were two clearly sustainable open source projects, but the majority (more than 80%) of projects that we usually consider sustainable are actually receiving income below industry standards or even below the poverty threshold.

Openwashing Leftovers/New Examples

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OSS

The fight to keep open source truly “open” ⁠— open source providers need to stand up

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OSS

However, as more projects get embedded into profitable business applications, we are beginning to see new trends in the space. Powerful vendors are pushing their own marketing agendas and monetising what should be freely available, leading open source providers to build walls around their code, limiting the extent to which companies can enrich, police and contribute to any given project, in a vicious cycle. This is the case with Amazon, for instance, which was able to profit from Redis Labs’ software without giving back to its open source community. In response, Redis Labs created a new software license that dictated clear restrictions on what could and could not be done with its software.

[...]

With more companies catching on to the ability to monetise open source by selling add-on support and enterprise services, huge technology players are scrambling to get into the scene. To demonstrate just how critical open source is to the software industry, in 2018 alone GitHub was bought for $7.5 billion, Salesforce purchased Mulesoft for $6.5 billion, and — the largest deal of them all — IBM took over Red Hat for $34 billion.

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GreatFET One open source hacking tool

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Development
Hardware
OSS

Electronic enthusiasts, hobbyists, hackers and makers may be interested in a new open source piece of hardware called the GreatFET One, which has been designed to provide a “significant step up” in capabilities from GoodFET while making the design manufacturable at a lower cost than GoodFET.

“Whether you need an interface to an external chip, a logic analyzer, a debugger, or just a whole lot of pins to bit-bang, the versatile GreatFET One is the tool for you. Hi-Speed USB and a Python API allow GreatFET One to become your custom USB interface to the physical world.” The GreatFET One by Great Scott Gadgets is now available to purchase priced at $79.95 directly from the Adafruit online store.

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Open Hardware: X-FAB RISC-V Microcontroller

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Hardware
OSS
  • X-FAB Silicon Foundries tapes-out open-source RISC-V MCU

    Together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, X-FAB Silicon Foundries has announced the first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V System on Chip (SoC) reference design.

    This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz.

    The open-source top-level design uses X-FAB proprietary analog IP and is created with an open-source design flow. This hybrid open-source design brings the power of open innovation and at the same time protecting significant investment in proprietary IP.

  • X-FAB and Efabless Announce Successful First Silicon of Raven, An Open-Source RISC-V Microcontroller

    X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, today announced the successful first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V System on Chip (SoC) reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has successfully bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz.

  • X-FAB and Efabless Deliver Open Source Mixed-Signal SoC

    Mixed signal foundry X-FAB Silicon Foundries and crowd-sourcing IC platform Efabless Corp. have announced silicon availability of a RISC-V based mixed signal system-on-chip (SoC) reference design. The open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools.

  • X-Fab and Efabless announce Raven open-source RISC-V microcontroller

    X-Fab Silicon Foundries, an analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, and crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless, has announced the silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V system on chip (SoC) reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools, they said.

    The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has successfully bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz, they added.

Events: Talks, Linux Plumbers Conference, and Red Hat

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OSS
  • Learning by teaching, and speaking, in open source

    When Jenny Han wrote these words, I doubt she had the open source community in mind. Yet, for our group of dispersed nomads, the summer brings a wave of conferences that allow us to connect in person.

    From OSCON in Portland to Drupal GovCon in Bethesda, and Open Source Summit North America in San Diego, there’s no shortage of ways to match faces with Twitter avatars. After months of working on open source projects via Slack and Google Hangouts, the face time that these summer conferences offer is invaluable.

  • Linux Plumbers Conference: Live Patching Microconference Accepted into 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Live Patching Microconference has been accepted into the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference! There are some workloads that require 100% uptime so rebooting for maintenance is not an option. But this can make the system insecure as new security vulnerabilities may have been discovered in the running kernel. Live kernel patching is a technique to update the kernel without taking down the machine. As one can imagine, patching a running kernel is far from trivial. Although it is being used in production today[1][2], there are still many issues that need to be solved.

  • Virtual event: Conquer complexity with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

    Since the general release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, we’ve had great response from those of you who have downloaded the product and used our complimentary RHEL 8 resources. RHEL 8 is the most developer-friendly version ever, but you may still have questions.

    [...]

    In addition to development, topics will include management, scalability, performance, workloads and migration, security, and deploying to a hybrid cloud.

Events: GStreamer Conference, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, You, Me and IoT Microconferenc

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OSS
  • GStreamer Conference 2019 announced to take place in Lyon, France

    The GStreamer project is happy to announce that this year's GStreamer Conference will take place on Thursday-Friday 31 October - 1 November 2019 in Lyon, France.

    You can find more details about the conference on the GStreamer Conference 2019 web site.

    A call for papers will be sent out in due course. Registration will open at a later time. We will announce those and any further updates on the gstreamer-announce mailing list, the website, and on Twitter.

    Talk slots will be available in varying durations from 20 minutes up to 45 minutes. Whatever you're doing or planning to do with GStreamer, we'd like to hear from you!

  • Making Data Mobile In The Cloud Native World: Ori Bendori, Reduxio

    The interview was recorded at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Barcelona.

  • You, Me and IoT Microconference Accepted into 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference

    integral part of our daily lives, controlling such devices as on/off switches, temperature controls, door and window sensors and so much more. But the technology itself requires a lot of infrastructure and communication frameworks such as Zigbee, OpenHAB and 6LoWPAN. Open source Real-Time embedded operating systems also come into play like Zephyr. A completely open source framework implementation is Greybus that already made it into staging.

CAVO encouraged by—and encouraging—state and local governments’ open source elections systems.

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OSS

According to CAVO, the PAVE Act, tendered by United States’ senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Kamala Harris of California, includes provisions to address financial barriers that could be incurred by state and local governments evaluating open source options for their elections systems.

CAVO communications director Brent Turner explained, the PAVE bill sets a variety of cybersecurity standards, and requires every voting machine used by a state or local government to undergo testing to affirm those requirements are met. In addition to the standards set forth in PAVE, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also has their own requirements. PAVE directs DHS to undertake this testing, of both the standards included in PAVE and their own, on behalf of the state or local government.

Turner added, “Local and state governments are of course also free to set their own additional cybersecurity standards for voting machines used in their jurisdictions beyond those identified in PAVE and by DHS”. Section 2216 of the PAVE bill states that DHS will cover the costs to test any open source technology against state or local voting standards. Turner noted this is critical for the adoption of open source options as “proprietary providers of voting technology can easily foot the bill themselves to have their product tested for compliance with those state or local standards, but open source projects may not have the resources to fund the certification process, thus eliminating themselves from consideration by state and local jurisdictions.”

“In essence, the PAVE bill makes it easier for state and local governments to use open source technology, or, at least, to make sure the cost of certification doesn’t get in the way.”

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Also today: Microsoft and the Pentagon Are Quietly Hijacking U.S. Elections

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Android 8 forces FOSS apps to use Firebase for push notifications or label them as “using too much battery”

    Recently, Google imposed background limitations on the Android 8.0 (API level 26) for what apps can do while running in the background. Per this new update, Android 8 forces developers to use Firebase for their push notifications, or otherwise tell the user that the app has misbehaved. Push notifications are needed by all messaging apps such as Telegram-FOSS, riot.im, and other FOSS apps The problem here is that the Firebase Android client library is not open source. FOSS apps now cannot keep push notification features in Android 8 while also remaining 100% open source and not being stigmatized as misbehaved..

    Google official reason for putting this limitation is to improve the user experience. They state that when many Android apps and services are run simultaneously, it places a load on the system. Further if additional apps or services, run in the background, it places an additional load on the system, which could result in a poor user experience. For example, when a user is playing a game in one window while browsing the web in another window, and using a third app to play music, this could result in abrupt shut down of one of the apps, due to immense load on the system.

  • Introducing Matrix 1.0 and the Matrix.org Foundation

    Now, before you get too excited, it’s critical to understand that Matrix 1.0 is all about providing a stable, self-consistent, self-contained and secure version of the standard which anyone should be able to use to independently implement production-grade Matrix clients, servers, bots and bridges etc. It does not mean that all planned or possible features in Matrix are now specified and implemented, but that the most important core of the protocol is a well-defined stable platform for everyone to build on. On the Synapse side, our focus has been exclusively on ensuring that Synapse correctly implements Matrix 1.0, to provide a stable and secure basis for participating in Matrix without risk of room corruption or other nastinesses.

  • g2k19 Hackathon Report: Stefan Sperling on Access Points and Ghosts
  • 37th VistA Community Meeting

    Speaker, Topic / Link To Presentation [...]

  • Smarten Up Your Air Conditioning with the ESP8266

    If you’re looking for “smart” home appliances, there’s no shortage of options on the market. Even relatively low-end gadgets are jumping on the Internet of Things bandwagon these days (for better or for worse). But what if you’re not looking to purchase a brand new major appliance right now? In that case, you might be interested in seeing how [Giulio Pons] added some high-tech features to his existing air conditioner on the cheap.

    Since his AC unit had an infrared remote control, the first thing [Giulio] needed to do was come up with a way to emulate it. An easy enough project using the ESP8266 and an IR LED, especially when he found that somebody had already written a IR communications library for his particular brand of AC. From there, he could start tacking on sensors and functionality.

  • HestiaPi: A Stylish Open Hardware Thermostat

    Of course, the hardware is only half the equation. To get the HestiaPi Touch talking to all the other smart gadgets in your life, it leverages the wildly popular OpenHAB platform. As demonstrated in the video after the break, this allows you to use the HestiaPi and its mobile companion application to not only control your home’s heating and air conditioning systems, but pretty much anything else you can think of.

  • Simple Arduino Universal Remote Control

    The infrared remote control might not hold the seat of honor in the average home theater setup that it once enjoyed, but it’s not quite out to pasture yet. After all, what are you going to use to stop Netflix once the Chromecast invariably disconnects from your phone? As long as there are devices out there that will respond to commands blasted their way via an IR LED, hackers will be looking to get in on the action.

Money laundering and crypto-coin legislation could hurt open-source ecosystem – activists

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OSS

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and UK Open Rights Group have responded to an HM Treasury consultation on money laundering legislation, in particular to the suggestion that publishing open-source software should be subject to customer due diligence requirements.

The Transposition of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) was published (PDF) for consultation in April. 5MLD is an EU directive which the UK is obliged to put into law by January 2020 – presuming that the UK is either still in the EU or in transitional arrangements.

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8 Top Ubuntu server Web GUI Management Panels

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

Android Leftovers

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

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