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OSS

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • The fourth industrial revolution is under way, and leaders must adopt open source thinking

    For the first time in history, knowledge is free and abundant, ordinary people are more empowered than ever before, and almost every boundary to communication has been lifted.

    [...]

    Welcome to the 21st Century where everyone and everything is connected 24/7, and where exciting progress opportunities and daunting challenges coexist. In this century, life and business have become “open source”. In order to succeed and thrive, our thoughts and actions must also become open source. It is time for business leaders to shed myths of the past, question conventional wisdom, and adopt “open source thinking” around the following fundamental questions/challenges:

  • Can real-world enterprises digest all this open-source, startup stuff?

    Why does the Cloud Native Computing Foundation now host more than 30 projects? Why are cloud-based startups coming out of the woodwork with narrow point solutions? Mostly just so users can have a better time with an application. But it’s all getting a bit weedy. How can enterprises pick out the right technologies from the aisles of them?

    “It’s really easy to forget that infrastructure is not a thing in its own right — it’s solely there to enable applications and to enable other things,” said Steve Herrod (pictured), managing director at General Catalyst Partners LLC.

  • CableLabs Open Source IoT Project Shoots for Scale

    Opening up another chapter in its open source story, CableLabs this week took another shot at the industrial Internet of Things market with its LPWAN Server project.

    The general concept is to create open source LPWAN Server software that can run on off-the-shelf hardware and support a wide range of low-power, IoT wireless technologies designed to transmit small bits of data over long distances. (See Blog: CableLabs Intros Open Source LPWAN Server.)

    "We don't see one clear winner in the LPWAN space," said Daryl Malas, principal architect at CableLabs' advanced technology group. "We don't see NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) dominating all use cases. And we don't see LoRA dominating all use cases."

  • The 10 Coolest New Open-Source Technologies And Tools Of 2018
  • The fight to keep ideas open to all

     

    “The only way we can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed.” This ominous sentence comes not from China’s one-child policy but from one of the 20th century’s most influential—and misunderstood—essays in economics. “The tragedy of the commons”, by Garrett Hardin, marks its 50th anniversary on December 13th.
     

    The article, published in the journal Science, was a neo-Malthusian jeremiad about uncontrolled population growth. But it is remembered for the image that the title conjures up and for the anecdotes that Hardin used. The idea behind it is as simple as it is profound: a resource freely available to all will be used inefficiently. An actual common will inevitably be overgrazed. Who would restrict their cattle if other herders may not follow suit?  

  • Suriname community uses new open-source app to preserve storytelling traditions

    To prevent that from happening, the local community-based organization Stichting voor Dorpsontwikkeling Matawai has spent the last few years documenting their oral storytelling traditions using video recorders and interactive maps. With support from the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), the organization trained younger Matawai to record and interview their elders about the numerous named places and sites in their ancestral lands.

  • Bluespec, Inc. Releases a Second Family of Open-Source RISC-V Processors to Spur Open Innovation

    Flute is a configurable 5-stage application processor complementing the previously released 3-stage Piccolo microcontroller, both of which are suitable for IoT. The initial release provides synthesizable Verilog for a bare metal RV32IMA core and a supervisor level RV64IMA core. Future releases will add floating point and compressed instructions (RV32GC/RV64GC) and run Linux and FreeRTOS. The Flute download (here) provides working Verilator and Icarus simulations and the Verilog has been tested in Xilinx UltraScale/UltraScale+ boards.

Confluent 'Closing Down' in the Face of 'Cloud' Exploitation

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OSS
Legal
  • After Amazon’s cloud encroaches on its turf, a startup is taking a stand: Open source can’t be ‘free and unsustainable R&D’ for tech giants

    In late November, Amazon Web Services announced it would sell a new service on its market-leading cloud called Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka — a service that provides software that Amazon didn't create itself.

    This new service is based on Apache Kafka, an open source software project for handling large amounts of streaming data. AWS took Kafka and repackaged it as a paid cloud service — something completely legal, as open source software is free for anyone to use as they wish.

    Originally created at LinkedIn, the engineers who started Kafka made their own company around the software, called Confluent. At the time the service was revealed, Confluent CEO Jay Kreps told Business Insider that it wasn't worried about Amazon's move, saying "I don't think this announcement will impact our business."

  • Concerned about cloud providers, Confluent becomes latest open-source company to set new restrictions on usage

    Another open-source enterprise technology company is walling off parts of its software from cloud infrastructure providers.

    Confluent announced Friday morning that it is changing the terms of the licenses around several of the real-time data streaming open-source projects it has developed. Several components will no longer be available under the widely used and very permissible Apache 2.0 license: instead, they will be offered under a new license called Confluent Community License that is very similar to the Apache 2.0 license except for a clear restriction on providing KSQL and several other components as cloud services.

Databases: Cassandra/Instaclustr and MariaDB

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OSS
  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Cassandra integrations from Instaclustr

    Open-source managed solutions-as-a-service company Instaclustr wants to address some gaps in a few key integrations for the Apache Cassandra database management solution with the announcement of three new open-source projects.

    The first piece of the problem was finding a way for Kubernetes to more fully integrate with Cassandra. This is where the company’s newly announced open-source Cassandra operator comes in, it explained. “While running Cassandra on Kubernetes can be relatively simple to begin with, Kubernetes provides only a limited understanding of database functionality: it’s blind to key details of the database being written to, and has incomplete capabilities for storing data in-state,” the company wrote in the release announcement.

  • What is a software ‘connector’?

    Open source news to end the week looks to the somewhat incongruous connection between Menlo Park California and Helsinki — it can only be MariaDB Corporation with that HQ combo.

    Updates to end 2018 see the new availability of the MariaDB Connector for Node.js, giving developers a method to build Node.js applications on top of MariaDB’s enterprise relational database.

    MariaDB uses pluggable, purpose-built storage engines to support workloads that previously required a variety of specialised databases. Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment that executes JavaScript code outside of a browser.

Openwashing: Bloomberg, Pimcore, Microsoft, Facebook and More

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OSS

Brave browser switches to Chromium code base

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Google
OSS
Web
  • Brave browser switches to Chromium code base for faster performance

    While Brave used Chromium’s back-end code since its inception in 2016, it used the Muon library for its UI. The company says that the new code base translates to a 22-percent performance improvement. It added that users should notice an 8-to-10-second gain on website load times, as compared to the previous version.

  • Brave browser switches base code to Chromium

    Brave browser has announced that it will fully switch to a Chromium base in its latest release, TheNextWeb reports.

    Brave used Chromium code since its inception in 2016, but used the Muon library for its UI.

    Brave joins the likes of Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi to use Google’s open source Chromium as the base code for their browser.

    Version 0.57, the upcoming version that will use Chromium, will also support Chrome extensions and will categorise extensions as “allowed and vetted”, “allowed and unvetted”, and “blocked.”

California launches open-source code site

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OSS

An open collaboration between agencies, industry partners and civic technologists, Code California aims to take advantage of agency-developed open source code that can be reused across state government. Developed by the California Department of Technology, the program plans to increase security and efficiency by decreasing duplicative acquisitions and vendor lock-in. Making open source software publicly available to developers can also contribute to more stable and secure products, the state said in the site's accompanying playbook.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • #RecruitmentFocus: Open source skills in high demand

    The unemployment rate in South Africa rose to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018, while the demand for skills remains high - leaving an industry conundrum that is yet to be solved. According to SUSE, partnerships that focus on upskilling graduates and providing real-work skills, as well as placement opportunities - could be exactly what the industry in looking for.

  • Stable: not moving vs. not breaking

    There are two terms that brings a heavy controversy in the Open Source world: support and stable. Both of them have their roots in the “old days” of Open Source, where its commercial impact was low and very few companies made business with it.

    You probably have read a lot about maintenance vs support. This controversy is older. I first heard of it in the context of Linux based distributions. Commercial distribution had to put effort in differentiating among the two because in Open SOurce they were used indistictly but not in business. But this post is about the adjectivet stable…

  • Cameron Kaiser: A thank you to Ginn Chen, whom Larry Ellison screwed

    Periodically I refresh my machines by dusting them off and plugging them in and running them for a while to keep the disks spinnin' and the caps chargin'. Today was the day to refurbish my Sun Ultra-3, the only laptop Sun ever "made" (they actually rebadged the SPARCle and later the crotchburner 1.2GHz Tadpole Viper, which is the one I have). Since its last refresh the IDPROM had died, as they do when they run out of battery, resetting the MAC address to zeroes and erasing the license for the 802.11b which I never used anyway. But, after fixing the clock to prevent GNOME from puking on the abnormal date, it booted and I figured I'd update Firefox since it still had 38.4 on it. Ginn Chen, first at Sun and later at Oracle, regularly issued builds of Firefox which ran very nicely on SPARC Solaris 10. Near as I can determine, Oracle has never offered a build of any Firefox post-Rust even to the paying customers they're bleeding dry, but I figured I should be able to find the last ESR of 52 and install that. (Amusingly this relic can run a Firefox in some respects more current than TenFourFox, which is an evolved and patched Firefox 45.)

  • Protecting the world’s oceans with open data science

    For environmental scientists, researching a single ecosystem or organism can be a daunting task. The amount of data and literature to comb through (or create) is often overwhelming.

    So how, then, can environmental scientists approach studying the health of the world’s oceans? What ocean health means is a big question in itself—oceans span millions of square miles, are home to countless species, and border hundreds of countries and territories, each of which has its own unique marine policies and practices.

    But no matter how daunting this task may seem, it’s a necessary and vital one. So in 2012, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and Conservation International publicly launched the Ocean Health Index (OHI), an ambitious initiative to measure the benefits that oceans provide to people, including clean water, coastal protections, and biodiversity. The idea was to create an annual assessment to document major oceanic changes and trends, and in turn, use those findings to craft better marine policy around the world.

Openwashing Leftovers

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OSS

How I Quit Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
Sci/Tech

It was just before closing time at a Verizon store in Bushwick, New York last May when I burst through the door, sweaty and exasperated. I had just sprinted—okay I walked, but briskly—from another Verizon outlet a few blocks away in the hopes I’d make it before they closed shop for the night. I was looking for a SIM card that would fit a refurbished 2012 Samsung Galaxy S3 that I had recently purchased on eBay, but the previous three Verizon stores I visited didn’t have any chips that would fit such an old model.

When I explained my predicament to the salesperson, he laughed in my face.

“You want to switch from you current phone to an... S3?” he asked incredulously.

I explained my situation. I was about to embark on a month without intentionally using any services or products produced by the so-called “Big Five” tech companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. At that point I had found adequate, open source replacements for most of the services offered by these companies, but ditching the Android OS, which is developed by Google, was proving difficult.

Most of the tech I use on a day-to-day basis is pretty utilitarian. At the time I was using a cheap ASUS laptop at work and a homebrew PC at my apartment. My phone was a Verizon-specific version of the Samsung Galaxy J3, a 2016 model that cost a little over $100 new. They weren't fancy, but they’ve reliably met most of my needs for years.

For the past week and a half I had spent most of my evenings trying to port an independent mobile OS called Sailfish onto my phone without any luck. As it turned out, Verizon had locked the bootloader on my phone model, which is so obscure that no one in the vibrant Android hacking community had dedicated much time to figuring out a workaround. If I wanted to use Sailfish, I was going to have to get a different phone.

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RISC-V Will Stop Hackers Dead From Getting Into Your Computer

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
Security

The greatest hardware hacks of all time were simply the result of finding software keys in memory. The AACS encryption debacle — the 09 F9 key that allowed us to decrypt HD DVDs — was the result of encryption keys just sitting in main memory, where it could be read by any other program. DeCSS, the hack that gave us all access to DVDs was again the result of encryption keys sitting out in the open.

Because encryption doesn’t work if your keys are just sitting out in the open, system designers have come up with ingenious solutions to prevent evil hackers form accessing these keys. One of the best solutions is the hardware enclave, a tiny bit of silicon that protects keys and other bits of information. Apple has an entire line of chips, Intel has hardware extensions, and all of these are black box solutions. They do work, but we have no idea if there are any vulnerabilities. If you can’t study it, it’s just an article of faith that these hardware enclaves will keep working.

Now, there might be another option. RISC-V researchers are busy creating an Open Source hardware enclave. This is an Open Source project to build secure hardware enclaves to store cryptographic keys and other secret information, and they’re doing it in a way that can be accessed and studied. Trust but verify, yes, and that’s why this is the most innovative hardware development in the last decade.

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  • Desert Child Now Available on Linux, PC, and Mac OS
    Akupara Games is here with an all-new game that blends a mix of hoverbikes with shooting and racing alongside high-resolution pixel art. It's odd to see a game try so many different genres, but Desert Child does that and more. Adventure games are also covered, as you have to go from place to place and explore the world. Your overall goal is to leave Earth before it blows up, and winning the Grand Prix allows you to go to Mars and escape the planet.
  • The KKnD remake using the OpenRA engine has a first release out
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Debian Installer Buster Alpha 4 release

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