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OSS

FOSS and Linux Events

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Linux
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.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • A Quick Hands-On With Chatty, A Desktop Twitch Chat Client
    Chatty is a desktop Twitch Chat client for Windows, macOS and Linux written in Ja
  • HP Linux Imaging and Printing 3.16.8 Adds Support for Linux Mint 18, Fedora 24
    The open-source HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) project has been updated on August 29, 2016, to version 3.16.8, a maintenance update that adds support for new printers and GNU/Linux operating systems. According to the release notes, HP Linux Imaging and Printing 3.16.8 adds support for new all-in-one HP printers, including HP OfficeJet Pro 6970, HP OfficeJet Pro 6960, HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile, HP DeskJet 3700, as well as HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3700. Also new in the HPLIP 3.16.8 update is support for the recently released Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, and the upcoming KDE editions, the Fedora 24 Linux operating system, as well as the Debian GNU/Linux 8.5 "Jessie" distribution. So if you're using any of these OSes, you can now update to the latest HPLIP release.
  • MPlayer-Based MPV 0.20.0 Video Player Released with New Options and Commands
    The popular, open-source, and cross-platform MPV video player software received a new update, version 0.20.0, which comes only two weeks after the previous 0.19.0 maintenance release. MPV 0.20.0 is not a major update, and, according to the release notes, it only implements a couple of new options and commands, such as "--video-unscaled=downscale-big" for changing the aspect ratio. Additionally, the MPlayer-based video playback application also gets the "--image-display-duration" option for controlling the duration of image display, and a new "dcomposition" flag for controlling DirectComposition.
  • FFmpeg 3.1.3 "Laplace" Open-Source Multimedia Framework Now Available for Linux
    The major FFmpeg 3.1 "Laplace" open-source and cross-platform multimedia framework has received recently its third maintenance update, version 3.1.3, which brings updated components. FFmpeg 3.1 was announced two months ago, at the end of June, and it introduced a multitude of new features to make the popular multimedia backend even more reliable and handy to game and application developers. Dubbed Laplace, FFmpeg 3.1 is currently the most advanced FFmpeg release, cut from Git master on June 26, 2016.
  • GNU Scientific Library 2.2 released
    Version 2.2 of the GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is now available. GSL provides a large collection of routines for numerical computing in C. This release contains new linear algebra routines (Pivoted and Modified Cholesky, Complete Orthogonal Decomposition, matrix condition number estimation) as well as a completely rewritten nonlinear least squares module, including support for Levenberg-Marquardt, dogleg, double-dogleg, and Steihaug-Toint methods. The full NEWS file entry is appended below.

today's howtos

Leftovers: OSS

  • Report: If DOD Doesn't Embrace Open Source, It'll 'Be Left Behind'
    Unless the Defense Department and its military components levy increased importance on software development, they risk losing military technical superiority, according to a new report from the Center for a New American Security. In the report, the Washington, D.C.-based bipartisan think tank argues the Pentagon, which for years has relied heavily on proprietary software systems, “must actively embrace open source software” and buck the status quo. Currently, DOD uses open source software “infrequently and on an ad hoc basis,” unlike tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook that wouldn’t exist without open source software.
  • The Honey Trap of Copy/Pasting Open Source Code
    I couldn’t agree more with Bill Sourour’s article ‘Copy.Paste.Code?’ which says that copying and pasting code snippets from sources like Google and StackOverflow is fine as long as you understand how they work. However, the same logic can’t be applied to open source code. When I started open source coding at the tender age of fourteen, I was none the wiser to the pitfalls of copy/pasting open source code. I took it for granted that if a particular snippet performed my desired function, I could just insert it into my code, revelling in the fact that I'd just gotten one step closer to getting my software up and running. Yet, since then, through much trial and error, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to use open source code effectively.
  • Affordable, Open Source, 3D Printable CNC Machine is Now on Kickstarter
    The appeals of Kickstarter campaigns are many. There are the rewards for backers, frequently taking the form of either deep discounts on the final product or unusual items that can’t be found anywhere else. Pledging to support any crowdfunding campaign is a gamble, but it’s an exciting gamble; just browsing Kickstarter is pretty exciting, in fact, especially in the technological categories. Inventive individuals and startups offer new twists on machines like 3D printers and CNC machines – often for much less cost than others on the market.
  • Open Standards and Open Source
    Much has changed in the telecommunications industry in the years since Standards Development Organization (SDOs) such as 3GPP, ITU and OMA were formed. In the early days of telecom and the Internet, as fundamental technology was being invented, it was imperative for the growth of the new markets that standards were established prior to large-scale deployment of technology and related services. The process for development of these standards followed a traditional "waterfall" approach, which helped to harmonize (sometimes competing) pre-standard technical solutions to market needs.

Leftovers: BSD

  • The Voicemail Scammers Never Got Past Our OpenBSD Greylisting
    We usually don't see much of the scammy spam and malware. But that one time we went looking for them, we found a campaign where our OpenBSD greylisting setup was 100% effective in stopping the miscreants' messages. During August 23rd to August 24th 2016, a spam campaign was executed with what appears to have been a ransomware payload. I had not noticed anything particularly unusual about the bsdly.net and friends setup that morning, but then Xavier Mertens' post at isc.sans.edu Voice Message Notifications Deliver Ransomware caught my attention in the tweetstream, and I decided to have a look.
  • Why FreeBSD Doesn't Aim For OpenMP Support Out-Of-The-Box