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OSS Leftovers

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  • The  104 in Prague

    I attended with a free one-day pass for the IETF and free hackathon registration, so more than just the draft presentation happened. During the hackathon I sat at the MAPRG table and worked on PATHspider with Mirja Kühlewind from ETH Zurich. We have the code running again with the latest libraries available in Debian testing and this may become the basis of a future Tor exit scanner (for generating exit lists, and possibly also some bad exit detection). We ran a quick measurement campaign that was reported in the hackathon presentations.

    During the hackathon I also spoke to Watson Ladd from Cloudflare about his Roughtime draft which could be interesting for Tor for a number of reasons. One would be for verifying if a consensus is fresh, another would be for Tor Browser to detect if a TLS cert is valid, and another would be providing archive signatures for Tor Metrics. (We’ve started looking at archive signatures since our recent work on modernising CollecTor).

    On the Monday, this was the first “real” day of the IETF. The day started off for me at the PEARG meeting. I presented my draft as the first presentation in that session. The feedback was all positive, it seems like having the document is both desirable and timely.

  • Facebook Opens Up Glow Compiler Back-End For Goya AI Accelerator

    In the AI races for dedicated hardware accelerators, Habana Labs is off to an early lead when it comes to having a mainline, open-source kernel driver and now is also the first AI processor having a back-end implemented within Facebook's Glow AI open-source compiler.

Free Software/Open Source Monitors/Monitoring Tools: Surveys

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  • Top 5 Open-Source SNMP Monitoring Tools

    We’d all love to benefit from infinite network bandwidth, wouldn’t we? But the reality of very different. Most of the time, we have to do with the bare minimum as bandwidth is still quite expensive. Consequently, networks often suffer from congestion and other problems linked to insufficient bandwidth. At the same time, applications are handling more and more data and need to move it through the network. This puts an additional toll on network bandwidth. To stay out of trouble, you need to keep a close eye on your network and the evolution of its usage and one of the best ways of doing that is to use a bandwidth monitoring tool.

    We’ll begin by discussing network monitoring. We’ll briefly explain what it is and the different types of monitoring that are typically available. We’ll then dig deeper into the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and tell you what’s important to know about it, how it works, and how monitoring tools use it to measure — or rather calculate — network bandwidth utilization. And once we’re all on the same page, we’ll get into the core of this post and review some of the best open-sou

    rce SNMP monitoring tools. While some are quite rudimentary, others are very polished and professional tools.

  • The 7 Best Free And Open-Source Ping Monitor Tools

    A typical network has so many components that it is of the utmost importance to always keep an eye on everything. But with today’s distributed and/or cloud-based data centers, monitoring is more complex than ever. This is why there is a seemingly infinite number of monitoring systems available, all geared at helping administrators stay on top of everything. Various types of monitoring exist from the simplest to the most elaborate. Today, we’re having a look at ping monitoring, one of the most elementary forms of monitoring. It consists simply of using ping to make sure that each monitored component is up and running and responding within an acceptable time frame.

    Before we begin, we’ll spend some time discussing ping, what it is and how it works. Ping is an old utility that is deceptively simple and powerful. But it is so reliable that it has not been superseded by anything yet, despite the fact that it’s bee around for ages. We’ll then have a look at ping as the basis for a monitoring tool and discuss the various common features of such systems. We’ve kept the best for last so we’ll finally review some of the best free and open-source ping monitoring tools we could find.

First open source MIPS code is released

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Wave Computing has released its first open source MIPS ISA without license fees or royalties. The MIPS Open release includes the latest R6 version of the MIPS 32-and-64-bit ISA plus an IDE for embedded Linux and RTOSes and support for the free MIPSfpga core.

As promised in December when Wave Computing made the surprising announcement that it was open sourcing its MIPS architecture with a MIPS Open Initiative, the company offered its first MIPS Open Release. The initial release includes the latest R6 (Release 6) versions of its 32- and 64-bit MIPS ISAs, as well as extensions including virtualization, multi-threading, SIMD, DSP and microMIPS compression.

There is also an IDE for embedded Linux and RTOS development, as well as an open source FPGA stack that was not mentioned in the December announcement. This appears to relate to the free, academia-targeted MIPSfpga RTL for microAptiv cores that was released several years ago by Imagination Technologies before it sold the MIPS architecture to Wave Computing.

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Events: Devuan, Debian, Red Hat and SUSE

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  • [devuan-dev] The 1st Devuan conference kicks off tomorrow afternoon!
  • Jonathan Dowland: Fourth Annual UK System Research Challenges Workshop

    I gave a talk on my research at the Fourth Annual UK System Research Challenges Workshop. This is the second time I've attended this conference. Last year I presented on some Red Hat work.

    The conference took place at Redworth Hall, a 17th Century Jacobean Manor House converted into a spa Hotel. The main presentations took place in an ornate hall with high ceilings, candelabra and long curtains (definitely not a drop you can buy at Dunelm)

  • DevSecOps Pune Meetup 4

    This I had attended almost a month back. I just didn’t have the time or the energy to blog about it. Thankfully, one of the organizers Rohan Nageskar took the time to blog about it so I don’t have to do much other than share a few of the links I had shared and some which I had forgotten to do on that date. The first one was about usage of A.I. for vulnerability assessment using twitter mentions as a source. While the idea certainly has merit and would go a long way in getting nods to fix vulnerabilities in the code during the whole cycle of development, production, deployment, scaling, maintainance till the time the code or app. or whatever needs to be retired. At the same time however, it is not known how accurate the system would be because at the end, it still relies on human input and humans per-se are bad at threat perception and evaluation as per millions of examples. All the wars that have been fought and are still being fought in whatever name is a strong example of that.

    One of the other things that I shared was the Intel Spoiler attack which was just shared just a few hours ago or something so it was pretty fresh at the time. I also shared a bit about where the hardware industry seemed to be heading and it seems at least for the near future that AMD would have the leg up. There’s the whole RISC bit for which chips are already out there and lot more being promised in the coming months and year but that’s a different topic altogether.

    Incidentally, while Rohan was sharing about using Ansible for scaling a webapp and how you would have different servers for scaling the webapp. depending on needs, I was wondering that definitely the BJP IT Team would have profited from Rohan’s presentation. While Rohan didn’t go much into specifics of things, it was more or a high-level overview of the process, it did establish some groundwork for any individual or team as to how they could go about it. For newbies they could well read up on the differences on webapp. and website . To my mind, they are one and the same as most sites nowadays are dyanmic in nature due to nature of things.

  • Open Source Stories at Red Hat Summit 2019

    When Open Source Stories first launched it was a documentary film series that showcased interesting ways to apply open source thinking, highlighting the stories behind open source technology and the people making a difference. We’ve told the stories of: a community-powered arts festival; a network of volunteers designing 3-D-printed prosthetics and giving them away for free; a high school that launched a student-run IT department; advocates for open health care records; organizations using open source to build self-driving cars; an art museum creating interactive and collaborative exhibits; and citizen scientists who are using open hardware to contribute to research.

    However since the premiere of the first film in 2015, it has morphed into much more than that. What started as a passion project for Red Hat has grown into a celebration of how community, meritocracy and a free exchange of ideas can unlock potential across a range of disciplines. Open Source Stories now spans the film series, live talks, article series, and CO.LAB, which introduces middle school students to the principles of open source.

  • SUSE poised for growth with new owner

    The newly-independent open source company is looking forward to pursuing its own strategy under a new owner, it says.

Licensing Tricks and Traps in Fake 'FOSS'

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Streaming internet radio with RadioDroid

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Online news outlets have recently lamented the passing of Google's Chromecast Audio device. The device received favorable reviews in the audio press, so I had already been thinking about acquiring one. Given the news of Chromecast's demise, I decided to look for one at a reasonable price—before they were all snapped up or thrown in the dumpster.

I found one at MobileFun and put in my order. The device eventually arrived, packaged in the usual serviceable but minimal Google wrapping, with a very brief Get Started guide printed on the outside.

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5 open source tools for teaching young children to read

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Anyone who sees a child using a tablet or smartphone observes their seemingly innate ability to scroll through apps and swipe through screens, flexing those "digital native" muscles. According to Common Sense Media, the percentage of US households in which 0- to 8-year-olds have access to a smartphone has grown from 52% in 2011 to 98% in 2017. While the debates around age guidelines and screen time surge, it's hard to deny that children are developing familiarity and skills with technology at an unprecedented rate.

This rise in early technical literacy may be astonishing, but what about traditional literacy, the good old-fashioned ability to read? What does the intersection of early literacy development and early tech use look like? Let's explore some open source tools for early learners that may help develop both of these critical skill sets.

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Events and Back End: AsiaBSDcon, LinuxFest Northwest, SUSECON, Red Hat Summit and More

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  • AsiaBSDcon 2019 Recap | BSD Now 292

    FreeBSD Q4 2018 status report, the GhostBSD alternative, the coolest 90s laptop, OpenSSH 8.0 with quantum computing resistant keys exchange, project trident: 18.12-U8 is here, and more.

  • NFNW 2019: What Presentations Are You Going to Attend?

    Looking over the fine list of presentations and events for LinuxFest Northwest 2019, here are my preliminary picks for which ones I want to attend. Since there are several at any given time slot, there are quite a few more I'd like to see but... conflicts. I hope they record the presentations and post them in a timely fashion.

  • SUSE Details Open Plans For Enterprise Linux Growth [Ed: Forbes perpetuates lies, e.g. "world where even Microsoft now loves Linux"No, it does not. It's a PR lie. But carry on spreading it for Bill.]

    German software companies often start their names with the letter S (SAP, Software AG and a few others) and so SUSE is no exception.

  • Red Hat Summit 2019 Track Guide: Cloud-Native App Dev

    We hope you already know that at Red Hat Summit 2019, taking place in Boston May 7-9, there will be a ton of interesting sessions and content to consider. With such a packed agenda, it may be difficult to choose which breakout sessions to attend and which will be the most meaningful for your personal "why" for attending Red Hat Summit. If your goal is to better understand cloud-native application development and how it fits into your enterprise goals, or how you can get started with developing cloud-native apps, we have you covered with a variety of breakout sessions to choose from.

    In today’s always on, always connected, and fast-moving digital world, applications need to keep up. Cloud-native applications are composed of small, independent and loosely coupled services, and cloud-native application development can be seen as a way to optimize existing applications, speed up the process of building new ones and connect them together. We expect it will be a hot topic at Red Hat Summit because it touches many different aspects of the developer and user experience. Check out some of our recommended  breakout sessions, roadmaps and labs to help you build your schedule to maximize your time on-site!

  • The making of Creating ChRIS: Developing a content strategy for a film series

    Naomi Amado, writer for Red Hat, discusses why it’s important for content folks to have project management skills, and the benefits of having a non-technical perspective when editing technical content.

  • Operators 101: Your auto-pilot for Kubernetes workloads
  • Kubernetes 1.14: Local Persistent Volumes GA

    The Local Persistent Volumes feature has been promoted to GA in Kubernetes 1.14. It was first introduced as alpha in Kubernetes 1.7, and then beta in Kubernetes 1.10. The GA milestone indicates that Kubernetes users may depend on the feature and its API for production use. GA features are protected by the Kubernetes deprecation policy.

Events: HTTP Workshop, foss-north and SUSECON

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  • Daniel Stenberg: Workshop Season 4 Finale

    The 2019 HTTP Workshop ended today. In total over the years, we have now done 12 workshop days up to now. This day was not a full day and we spent it on only two major topics that both triggered long discussions involving large parts of the room.


    Mike Bishop did an excellent presentation of HTTP/3 for HTTP people that possibly haven’t kept up fully with the developments in the QUIC working group. From a plain HTTP view, HTTP/3 is very similar feature-wise to HTTP/2 but of course sent over a completely different transport layer. (The HTTP/3 draft.)

    Most of the questions and discussions that followed were rather related to the transport, to QUIC. Its encryption, it being UDP, DOS prevention, it being “CPU hungry” etc. Deploying HTTP/3 might be a challenge for successful client side implementation, but that’s just nothing compared the totally new thing that will be necessary server-side. Web developers should largely not even have to care…

    One tidbit that was mentioned is that in current Firefox telemetry, it shows about 0.84% of all requests negotiates TLS 1.3 early data (with about 12.9% using TLS 1.3)

    Thought-worthy quote of the day comes from Willy: “everything is a buffer”

  • Daniel Stenberg: The HTTP Workshop 2019 begins

    35 persons from all over the world walked in the room and sat down around the O-shaped table setup. Lots of known faces and representatives from a large variety of HTTP implementations, client-side or server-side – but happily enough also a few new friends that attend their first HTTP Workshop here. The companies with the most employees present in the room include Apple, Facebook, Mozilla, Fastly, Cloudflare and Google – all with three each I believe.

    Patrick Mcmanus started off the morning with his presentation on HTTP conventional wisdoms trying to identify what have turned out as successes or not in HTTP land in recent times. It triggered a few discussions on the specific points and how to judge them. I believe the general consensus ended up mostly agreeing with the slides. The topic of unshipping HTTP/0.9 support came up but is said to not be possible due to its existing use. As a bonus, Anne van Kesteren posted a new bug on Firefox to remove it.

  • foss-north 2019 – it is happening

    This years experiments are the training day, and community day. Looking at the various RSVPs for the community day, it looks like we’ll be 130+ attendees. For the conference days we have only ten tickets left out of 240, beating last years record attendance with 90 people.

  • The Openness Continues: SUSECON Day 2 Recap

    Michael Miller then took the stage, provided an overview of the day and then welcomed Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo, President of Engineering, Product and Innovation to the stage.  But before diving into this discussion for the day, Thomas introduced a new SUSE video instructing everyone on the proper way to say “SUSE”.

Open Source Is Winning, and Now It's Time for People to Win Too

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Teaching kids about open source? Don't forget to teach them ethics as well.

Back when I started college, in the fall of 1988, I was introduced to a text editor called Emacs. Actually, it wasn't just called Emacs; it was called "GNU Emacs". The "GNU" part, I soon learned, referred to something called "free software", which was about far more than the fact that it was free of charge. The GNU folks talked about software with extreme intensity, as if the fate of the entire world rested on the success of their software replacing its commercial competition.

Those of us who used such programs, either from GNU or from other, similarly freely licensed software, knew that we were using high-quality code. But to our colleagues at school and work, we were a bit weird, trusting our work to software that wasn't backed by a large, commercial company. (I still remember, as a college intern at HP, telling the others in my group that I had compiled, installed and started to use a new shell known as "bash", which was better than the "k shell" we all were using. Their response was somewhere between bemusement and horror.)

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