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Misc

Open Data, Open Hardware and More

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Misc
  • Scale AI releases free lidar data set to power self-driving car development
  • Waltham-based ICS partners with RespiraWorks to create open source ventilator
  • Physicists design FDA-approved, open-source ventilator to combat COVID-19

    A group of physicists specializing in the dark matter composition of the universe have shifted focus to design an FDA-authorized, open-source ventilator that can treat patients with COVID-19.

    The device, known as Mechanical Ventilator Milano (MVM), was designed by members of the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration, an international coalition dedicated to the study of dark matter, in six weeks. A small number of off-the-shelf components were chosen to build it so manufacturing could take place swiftly.

    "As an open-source device the different components that are used in the design are known to the public, including the hardware and software components; and the software can even be downloaded and used as is,” Andrew Renshaw, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Houston and a member of the collaboration, told HCB News. “The idea behind this is that the design can then be picked up by different manufacturers from around the world and they can work with the MVM team to either use it as is, or make modifications that can be included in a model they would then market.”

  • Commons: how the art of co-operation is the only way out of this crisis

    Our broken systems are proving incapable to cope with the COVID-19 emergency, let alone the looming threat of social and environmental collapse. Yet the long-held practices of the commons are becoming more obvious solutions to the world’s biggest problems. The commons movement, as a complement to established movements – Degrowth, Open Source, anti-austerity, decolonialism, Social Solidarity Economy, ecofeminism, Buen Vivir – is rising.

    [...]

    You can find the commons in urban gardens, collective fisheries, farming, foresting, food systems, cities and creative commons licensing. They often transcend the limitations of the market/state system. Specific examples include cooperatively managed forests, water distribution irrigation systems, social currencies, Free/Libre and Open-Source Software, self organized urban spaces, distributed manufacturing networks and more.

  • Open Source Repository for COVID-19 Drug-Delivery Simulation Data Launched

    The Molecular Sciences Software Institute (MolSSI), based in Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center, has launched an open-source website that will allow biomolecular scientists from around the world to share computer-aided drug-testing simulations targeting the protein at the center of COVID-19.

    [...]

    Under the leadership of Teresa Head-Gordon, a MolSSI co-director and a professor of chemistry, bioengineering, and chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, the MolSSI team started work on the COVID-19 website about a month ago, after scores of scientists began discussing ways to share simulation modeling data they had on the coronavirus.

    The hub allows biomolecular researchers to compare computational models of the COVID-19 virus and to share what findings the scientists have made on drug delivery to the host protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “If we’re all trying to act fast, we’ll want to focus on a certain class of drugs that are repurposed, they’ve already been through clinical trials for other diseases or related viruses,” Head-Gordon said. “You have known molecules, and you want to see if there are places on the target protein that you can disrupt.”

  • Open source medical equipment repair database for Covid-19

    iFixit is creating a comprehensive database of repair manuals for medical equipment such as ventilators to help medical professionals around the world tackle the Covid-19 pandemic
    Teardown and repair specialist iFixit is creating a database of repair manuals for medical equipment to help tackle the Covid-19 outbreak around the world and is encouraging manufacturers to help.

    Hospitals are having trouble getting service information to fix medical equipment, and that is being made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic. “We’ve heard countless stories from biomedical technicians about how medical device manufacturers make their jobs more difficult by restricting access to repair information,” said Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit.

  • Space10 designs open-source bee homes for digital fabrication

    "I want people to design a dream home for bees that provides the perfect environment for their offspring, while at the same time being incredibly easy to design, assemble and place," said Klein, who is based in Copenhagen.

    "It was important for me that Bee Home is aesthetically pleasing and almost feels like you've added a sculpture to your garden or your balcony," she continued. "This project really exemplifies how design can do good for both people and their environment."

  • SPACE10 Creates Open-Source Bee Homes for World Bee Day

    IKEA’s research and design lab SPACE10 has created a new open source Bee Home. Working with Bakken & Bæck and designer Tanita Klein, the team has launched the free Bee Home project to coincidence with the United Nations International Bee Day. The project takes advantage of digital fabrication and parametric design so that people can design and fabricate their own Bee Home locally.

  • Space10 Launches Free and Open-Source 'Bee Home' Project

    SPACE10 recently collaborated with Bakken & Bæck and Tanita Klein to launch Bee Home, an open invitation for everyone to give bees the space they need. Through a digital platform, the project allows anyone to design, customize and download their very own Bee Home locally.

    This project takes advantage of the newest developments in digital fabrication and parametric design and introduces entirely new distribution methods to enable a fully democratic design process. Not only are the design files available and free for download, but the assembly of the Bee Home doesn't require tools of any kind. Inspired by Japanese wood joinery and a few tricks in carpentry, the multiple storeys of the Bee Home are actually locked together through a 'spine and key' system that maintains the home's structural integrity while making it incredibly easy to assemble and dismantle.

  • Vote to include aero handicap and open source ideas

    While a lot of the main target in current weeks has been on the discount of a deliberate price range cap, different rules aimed toward enhancing the game have shaped a part of a ‘New Deal’ that has been championed by FIA president Jean Todt.

Openwashing and Openness Fluff

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Misc
  • Alliance Bank goes open-source to enhance in-branch CX

    Alliance Bank Malaysia turned to open-source solutions to deliver its first fully-digital in-branch experience

  • Coyne PR Rolls 'Open Source' Website [Ed: The PR 'industry' clearly does not understand what "open source" means (or just lies about it)]

    Coyne PR has unveiled a new website that takes an open source approach to sharing key learnings, best practices and practical tips and advice related to COVID-19 and beyond.

  • Facebook Makes Its React Native Open-Source Framework Fully Accessible [Ed: Adweek helps mass surveillance company paint itself as friend of disabled people, plus the openwashing angle]
  • Accenture and Fujitsu Announce Launch of HyperLedger Cactus, an Open-Source Blockchain Integration Framework
  • F1 News: F1 set for vote on aero handicap and open source ideas

    Radical rules including an aero development handicap system and the use of open source parts in Formula 1 could be approved later on Friday.

    [...]

    Beyond the budget caps, team are also set to vote on a range of other rules tweaks to reduce costs - including potential for tokens on chassis developments.

    Longer term, there is also a proposal for a radical aero development handicap system, where the worst performing teams are allowed more windtunnel and CFD development time compared to the more successful outfits.

    While F1 has previously steered clear of more obvious handicap systems such as success ballast, it is understood that the aerodynamic development plan has gathered support as it is felt to be much less artificial. The hope is that it will help close up the grid.

  • Bitcoin wallet makers SatoshiLabs now building open-source chips

    New Tropic Square company, founded by SatoshiLabs, seeks to produce truly open-source crypto wallets and more via fully-auditable custom chips.

  • SpaceChain Foundation Invests in Core Semiconductor to Produce Open Hardware Platform for Direct Satellite-to-Devices Communication

    SpaceChain Foundation today announced it has contracted and invested in Core Semiconductor, an innovator in provably secure computing platforms for all connected devices, to produce the world's first open-source hardware platform capable of providing a downlink to mobile phones and small devices directly from satellites in orbit, without the use of a satellite dish on Earth or a third-party network.

    With security inherently built-in, the technology is designed with the blockchain industry in mind and to bring blockchain applications to a global user base.

    Core Semiconductor has designed the platform to be small enough to fit inside any handheld device. With a commodity price point, the platform is affordable and is easy to deploy, making it perfect for any company or hobbyist to incorporate. The technology is designed for low bitrate applications of around 1250 bytes per minute, making it ideal for verifying blockchain hashes and encrypted signatures.

  • design your own bee house with IKEA's bee home open-source project

    may 20, 2020 marks world bee day and to celebrate it, SPACE10 — IKEA’s external innovation hub — is launching bee home, their latest open-source design project in collaboration with bakken & bæck and designer tanita klein. bees are vital for life on planet earth; in fact a third of what we eat depends on these busy, buzzing insects and other pollinators. but due to human impact, these hard-working insects are in danger of going extinct as we have unwittingly destroyed their homes and natural habitats when building our own homes, cities and landscaped our gardens.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • It's About Time: MIPS Release 5 + Warrior P5600 Support Coming With Linux 5.8

    While MIPS Release 6 is the latest version of the MIPS ISA, the MIPS Release 5 support is finally set to be mainlined with the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel cycle.

    The MIPS R5 ISA was announced in 2012 with SIMD and virtualization capabilities among other improvements with hardware appearing after 2013. Now finally MIPS Release 5 and now finally the Release 5 changes are going to be supported by the mainline Linux kernel. This support is coming thanks to Russia's Baikal Electronics.

  • For Pac-Man's 40th birthday, Nvidia uses AI to make new levels

    Pac-Man turns 40 today, and even though the days of quarter-munching arcade machines in hazy bars are long behind us, the legendary game’s still helping to push the industry forward. On Friday, Nvidia announced that its researchers have trained an AI to create working Pac-Man games without teaching it about the game’s rules or giving it access to an underlying game engine. Nvidia’s “GameGAN” simply watched 50,000 Pac-Man games to learn the ropes.

  • Is Proprietary Software Really Better Than Open-Source?

    All else equal, the perceived costs of open-source are either overestimated or become beneficial given the timeframe. There are other arguments to be made, but a convincing litmus test is what business customers prefer. Evidence from the last six years does not favor proprietary software, according to a Burtchworks’ 2019 survey of data analytics professionals. The most popular proprietary statistical software, SAS, has been losing market share to both major open-source platforms, R and Python, over the past half-decade (with Python emerging as the winner). What’s especially striking is the movement toward open-source programming languages across years of experience. Those with less than a decade of work experience are roughly five to 10 times more likely to prefer one of the open-source languages to SAS. This trend redoubles itself for future workers: 95 percent of college/graduate students prefer open-source to proprietary. Recent moves toward open-source programming and away from proprietary are a result of organizations across many industries innately “voting with their resources” in favor of open-source solutions. This trend is occurring in spite of, or perhaps even because of, the widely perceived costs.

  • Vikna: pre-release of a text console UI framework for Raku

    After almost half a year of work I finally publish my new project Vikna which is also the subject of my talk at the upcoming Conference in the Cloud.

    As the subject says, it is a clear pre-release and a proof of concept for the preview of those who might be interested. In the project I tried to get hold of all the best what Raku can offer in the field of asynchronous/threaded processing and OO. Whish you can as much fun trying it as I have in developing!

  • The Raspberry Pi Press store is looking mighty fine
  • David Tomaschik: Everyone in InfoSec Should Know How to Program

    Okay, I’m not going to lie, the title was a bit of clickbait. I don’t believe that everyone in InfoSec really needs to know how to program, just almost everyone. Now, before my fellow practitioners jump on me, saying they can do their job just fine without programming, I’d appreciate you hearing me out.

    So, how’d I get on this? Well, a thread on a private Slack discussing whether Red Team operators should know how to program, followed by people on Reddit asking if they should know how to program. I thought I’d share my views in a concrete (and longer) format here.

  • IBM and Facebook boost accessibility, Microsoft's apology, and other open source news [Ed: Microsoft says, we were wrong about open source, but all our software is still proprietary software anyway ;-)]
  • Microsoft Open Sources GW-BASIC from 1983 [Ed: Openwashing with abandonware]
  • Full Circle Weekly News #172

    Debian Leader Says “One Year Will Do”
    https://www.itwire.com/open-source/debian-leader-hartman-says-one-year-at-the-helm-will-do-for-now.html
    Debian 8 Adds Longer Support
    https://raphaelhertzog.com/2020/03/11/keeping-debian-8-jessie-alive-for-longer-than-5-years/
    Debian 11 Package Freeze Scheduled
    https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2020/03/msg00002.html
    Gnome 3.36 “Gresik”
    https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.36/
    The Linux Foundation Open Sources Project OWL
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-foundation-open-sources-disaster-relief-iot-firmware-project-owl/
    FreeNAS and TrueNAS are Merging
    https://www.ixsystems.com/blog/freenas-truenas-unification/
    There’s a Vulnerability in Timeshift
    https://www.openwall.com/lists/oss-security/2020/03/06/3
    Linux Kernel 5.6 rc6 Out
    https://lkml.org/lkml/2020/3/15/312
    Zorin OS 15.2 Out
    https://zoringroup.com/blog/2020/03/05/zorin-os-15-2-is-released-harder-better-faster-stronger/

    Wine 5.4 Out
    https://www.winehq.org/announce/5.4

    Red Hat’s Ceph Storage 4 Out
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/red-hat-ceph-storage-4-arrives/

    AWS’ Bottle Rocket Out
    https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/11/aws-launches-bottlerocket-a-linux-based-os-for-container-hosting/

    Tails 4.4 Out
    https://tails.boum.org/news/version_4.4/index.en.html

    Basilisk Browser Out
    https://itsfoss.com/basilisk-browser/

    LibreELEC 9.2.1 Out
    https://libreelec.tv/2020/03/libreelec-leia-9-2-1/

    KDE Plasma 5.18.3 Out
    https://kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.18.3.php

    SDL (or Simple DirectMedia Layer) 2 Out
    https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/sdl-2-the-hugely-important-cross-platform-development-library-updated-to-2012.16189

    Splice Machine 3.0 Out
    https://searchdatamanagement.techtarget.com/news/252479696/Splice-Machine-30-integrates-machine-learning-capabilities-database

    4M Linux 32.0 Out
    https://4mlinux-releases.blogspot.com/2020/03/4mlinux-320-stable-released.html

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Open-source tech helps companies quickly adapt during pandemic

    As the COVID-19 pandemic shakes the world, companies need to change to embrace remote work and increasingly online operations. One way to quickly adapt to these new dynamics is to use open-source tools, available for access from anywhere in the globe, according to Alan Clark (pictured), who works in SUSE’s CTO Office focusing on emerging technologies and open source.

    “Our customer sentiments are changing; their purchasing habits are obviously changing. That’s changing the services that companies need to deliver,” Clark said. “And one of the powers of open source is being able to provide that to them and deliver those services very rapidly.”

  • Zstd 1.4.5 Released With 5~10% Faster Decompression For x86_64, 15~50% For ARM64

    Facebook's compression experts responsible for Zstandard have today released Zstd 1.4.5 with more performance improvements.

    Zstandard 1.4.5 comes with faster decompression performance. On x86_64 CPUs the Zstd 1.4.5 performance benefits are in the area of 5~10%. But if you are running on Arm SoCs this time around it can be 15~50% faster. Most of the Arm decompression improvements will be on the lower end of that range but for certain SoCs under ideal conditions can be 50% faster.

  • Kernel sources for the Moto G8 Play and Nubia Play 5G are now available

    To promote such development as well as fulfilling the legal obligation regarding GNU General Public License v2, most OEMs nowadays publicly release kernel sources sometime after their devices hit the market. Now two major smartphone manufacturers, Motorola and Nubia, have released kernel sources for the Moto G8 Play and the Nubia Play 5G, respectively.

  • Instaclustr CTO on open source database as a service

    Ben Bromhead: Our original vision was wildly different and, like all good startups, we had a pretty decent pivot. When the original team got together, we were working on a marketplace for high value data sets. We took a data warehouse approach for the different data sets we provided and the access model was pure SQL. It was kind of interesting from a computer science perspective, but we probably weren't as savvy as we needed to be to take that kind of business to market.

    [...]

    Our take on it [managed Cassandra as a service] is also a little bit different from some of the other vendors in that we really take a multi-technology approach. So you know, not only are we engaging with our customers around their Cassandra cluster, but we're also helping them with the Kafka cluster, Elasticsearch and Redis.

    So what ends up happening is we end up becoming a trusted partner for a customer's data layer and that's our goal. We certainly got our start with Cassandra, that's our bread and butter and what we're known for, but in terms of the business vision, we want to be there as a data layer supporting different use cases.

  • Best Chrome Extensions for Screen Capture

    Oftentimes when you are browsing the Internet, you end up finding something that appears on your computer screen that you would like to share with others. These could be as simple as a meme that hooked you in, or as important as some error message that you need in order to consult with IT. You might even need to record your screen for a demo that explains how to use a tool or complete some task.
    At times like these, it is important to have tools that help in grabbing an image or recording your screen. This is where Chrome extensions for screen capture come into play, which come packed with features that may not be present in the default Snipping Tool.

    In this article, we will be looking at some of the best Chrome extensions for screen capture.

  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, ipmitool, kernel, squid, and thunderbird), Debian (pdns-recursor), Fedora (php and ruby), Red Hat (dotnet and dotnet3.1), SUSE (dom4j, dovecot23, memcached, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (clamav, libvirt, and qemu).

  • macOS 10.15: Slow by Design

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Linux security: 8 more system lockdown controls
  • CrowdStrike Falcon bolsters Linux protection with ML prevention, custom and dynamic IoAs

    CrowdStrike, a leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection, announced the CrowdStrike Falcon platform is bolstering its Linux protection capabilities with additional features, including machine learning prevention, custom Indicators of Attack (IoAs) and dynamic IoAs.

  • CrowdStrike expands Linux protection, adds machine learning prevention
  • Microsoft Has Now Open-Source Their BASIC Code From 1983 [Ed: Microsoft is openwashing with abandonware again]
  • Percona users detail open source database challenges

    The business networking platform LinkedIn uses MySQL extensively as a back-end data store for both internal and public-facing assets.

    LinkedIn has a centralized MySQL site reliability engineering (SRE) team that provides MySQL as a managed service inside of the company, which uses about 2,300 MySQL databases currently.

    LinkedIn engineer Karthik Appigatla, during a technology keynote session Wednesday at the 24-hour Percona Live Online conference, outlined how the business networking site has managed to scale and secure its MySQL deployment.

    [...]

    Meanwhile, e-commerce platform vendor Shopify has seen firsthand some of the problems when deploying database services in the cloud. The Ottawa-based vendor deploys its fleet of MySQL services on the Google Cloud Platform at large scale.

    Shopify engineers Akshay Suryawanshi and Jeremy Cole, outlined some of the challenges they faced with cloud deployment during a technology keynote session at the Percona conference on May 19.

    Suryawanshi noted that Shopify is used by more than a million merchants during the peak Black Friday through Cyber Monday shopping period (Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 in 2019) and it can handle hundreds of millions of queries across its MySQL infrastructure.

    A key promise of the cloud is the concept of elastic scalability that enables users to start up new servers on demand to handle traffic. Cole noted that sometimes the instant, on-demand promise doesn't actually always work out as expected.

Free Software, Proprietary Stuff and Openwashing

Filed under
Misc
  • BSD Now 351: Heaven: OpenBSD 6.7

    Backup and Restore on NetBSD, OpenBSD 6.7 available, Building a WireGuard Jail with FreeBSD's standard tools, who gets to chown things and quotas, influence TrueNAS CORE roadmap, and more.

  • The Open Source Catch-22 | Self-Hosted 19

    We react to recently proposed Home Assistant changes, Alex attempts an extreme remote install, and we take a look at HomelabOS.

    Plus why Chris continues to collect Raspberry Pi's at an alarming rate.

  • April the month of Linux releases and open source updates

    Linux releases and software updates, as every year, April almost never passes without a new event in Linux and open source world. This year, The month "overlooked us" with interesting events about Linux and open-source.

    So what is this events and news? This is what you will know in the following lines. Have a pleasant reading.

  • MauiKit and Maui apps 1.1.1

    Today, we are pleased to announce the release of MauiKit and Maui Apps 1.1.1!.

    Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux mobile devices? Then join us on Telegram: https://t.me/mauiproject. If you are interested in testing this project and helping out with translations or documentation, you are also more than welcome.

    The Maui Project is free and open-source software incubated by the KDE Community and developed by Nitrux Latinoamericana.

  • Installation images renamed from .fs to .img

    In a commit touching quite a few files, Theo recently renamed the installation images from installXX.fs to installXX.img: [...]

  • Innovating and scaling efficiently with Kubernetes and MicroK8s

    With the benefits of Kubernetes now well established in the containerisation space, its adoption continues to exponentially increase. However, as developers and enterprises alike turn to Kubernetes for more and more types of use cases, available Kubernetes solutions often fail to meet their exact needs.

    Canonical’s extensive Kubernetes portfolio is centered around Charmed Kubernetes and MicroK8s, designed to provide full flexibility from cloud to edge in order to facilitate efficient innovation and scaling.

  • Open Source Artificial Intelligence: Leading Projects

    Open source artificial intelligence projects don't always get a lot of publicity, but they play a vital role in the development of artificial intelligence. Because these open source projects are often pursued as passion projects by developers (sometimes in colleges and universities), the advances are creative and particularly forward looking.

    Typically freed from the constraints of a corporate setting (though some are supported by companies), these open source AI projects can dream big - and often deliver ground breaking machine learning and AI advances.

    Also important: the advances from these leading open source AI projects fuel the larger AI sector. That is, a new idea from this month's AI project ends up next year (or even next month) in a high end AI solution sold by a company.

    Remember, if you know of additional top open source AI tools that should be on this list, please include them in the comments section below.

  • CrowdStrike Falcon Expands Linux Protection with Enhanced Prevention Capabilities
  • BlueMail Launches Support for Debian and Red Hat Linux in Major Expansion

    Blix Inc., a leading provider of messaging solutions to consumers and businesses, today announces its popular BlueMail client is now compatible with Debian and Red Hat Linux. With this expansion, BlueMail is now available on a dozen Linux distributions, including Arch Linux, CentOS, elementaryOS, Fedora, KDE Neon, Kubuntu, Manjaro, Linux Mint, openSUSE and Ubuntu. As the world faces an increasingly remote workforce, this expansion brings BlueMail's cross-platform productivity and safety features to a global network of consumers, companies, and IT business leaders.

  • Zooming Past Equity in Higher Education: Technocratic Pedagogy Fails Social Justice Test - Censored Notebook

    The response to COVID-19 by governing institutions has altered the lives and practices of people across the nation, including the students, faculty, and staff in higher education. One of the biggest changes in educational institutions has been the increased reliance on Zoom conferences in-place of traditional face-to-face classroom meetings. For example, in May 2020, the website for Ohlone College, a community college in Fremont, CA, had an announcement that read, “IMPORTANT: All classes will be held online during the 2020 Summer Term. Classes that have scheduled meeting days and times will meet via ConferZoom online.”

  • Zoom fatigue is real and it’s costly

    I think a good rule of thumb is to keep Zoom calls restricted to four people or fewer and 30 minutes or shorter. And even with four people, do email if you can, phone calls if you must and Zoom only if there's some really good reason for it.

  • GitHub Reinstates Popcorn Time Code Despite MPA 'Threat'

    Earlier this month, an MPA takedown notice pulled Popcorn Time's GitHub repository offline. The Hollywood group, which also represents Netflix, argued that the code facilitates mass copyright infringement. While that may be the case, Popcorn Time filed a counternotice arguing that they own the code. Faced with contradicting requests, Github has now reinstated the repository.

  • Chrome 83 adds DNS-over-HTTPS support and privacy tweaks

    After delays to Chrome version 81 in March, and the scrapping of version 82 a month later, this week sees the early arrival of Chrome 83 with a longer list of new security features than originally planned.

    As browser updates go, it’s a lot to take in although some of them are more tweaks to existing features than anything radically new.

    It’s hard to pick out a single big feature, although for some it will be upgraded support for DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH), a privacy technology that makes it much harder for third parties (ISPs, the Government, malevolent parties) to see which web domains someone is visiting.

    See our previous coverage for more explanation of the benefits of DoH (and forthcoming support for it in Windows 10) but be aware that Google still doesn’t make using this as easy as it should be.

  • Google rolls out pro-privacy DNS-over-HTTPS support in Chrome 83... with a handy kill switch for corporate IT

    Google released Chrome 83 on Tuesday after skipping version 82 entirely due to coronavirus-related challenges, bringing with it security for DNS queries, a revised extension interface that developers dislike, and a few other features.

    The latest iteration of Google's browser implements DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH), a way to prevent domain-name queries from being observed on the network, between the browser and the DNS server, at least. Traditionally, DNS queries and replies sent using TCP or UDP are not encrypted, even when internet users are interacting with websites over an encrypted HTTPS connection.

    DoH was proposed to improve privacy and security by wrapping TLS encryption around the DNS queries that convert human-friendly domain names, like theregister.co.uk, into network addresses computers can connect to, such as 104.18.5.22.

    Google has been testing DoH since Chrome 78 last year, and is now rolling it out proper. Mozilla has been doing the same in its Firefox browser, and in February made DoH available to US Firefox users by default.

  • Mozilla VR Blog: Firefox Reality for HoloLens 2

    Mozilla's Mixed Reality team is excited to announce the first public release of Firefox Reality in the Microsoft store. We announced at Mobile World Congress 2019 that we were working with Microsoft to bring a mixed reality browser to the HoloLens 2 platform, and we're proud to share the result of that collaboration.

    Firefox Reality is an experimental browser for a promising new platform, and this initial release focuses on exposing the powerful AR capabilities of HoloLens 2 devices to web developers through the new WebXR standard.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Sparky & coronavirus

    …what we expected, but we were not thinking that it would be so bad.

    Our dear friends, the coronavirus changed everything now, and we lost our main source of income, which we used to pay our monthly rent, food and medicine – we both suffer from chronic diseases. In addition, all products and services getting more expensive everywhere, in Poland too.

    From your current donations and money from advertising, we will cover only some bills of electricity, gas, water, internet, domains, taxes, small computer equipment (memory, USB sticks, mice, batteries, etc …) and fuel. But there is 400 Euros too short to cover rent, meals and medicines.

  • Experimental feature: progressive releases

    “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” This is a quote famously attributed to the Prussian field marshal Helmuth von Moltke. It is also quite applicable to software development: “No code survives contact with the user.”

    In mission-critical environments, staggered deployments of software are a crucial part of controlled updates, designed to ensure maximum stability of production applications and services. This allows developers to monitor and observe the adoption of new versions of their tools, as well as enable operational teams to meet compliance and security targets. Until recently, the timing of automatic snap updates was mostly governed by the client side refresh schedule. Now, there is a new experimental feature that gives snap developers the ability to fine-tune rollouts of new revisions – progressive releases.

  • Getting started with GPG (GnuPG)
  • What Is WireGuard VPN?

    If you use a VPN, there’s a good chance it runs using OpenVPN or IPsec, which have been the dominant standards for quite a while. WireGuard, however, is giving them a run for their money, and it’s easy to see why. It’s cleanly-coded, connects in a snap, uses heavily-tested modern cryptography, and works with just about everything. WireGuard was even included in the Linux kernel 5.6. Linux creator Linus Torvalds said, “Compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it’s a work of art.”

  • Struggling to write good documentation? Two open source developers weigh in

    To be fair, Willison may not have always been as focused on documentation. But when his company, Lanyrd, was acquired by Eventbrite, he said it made him rethink his code. In his six years at Eventbrite, the company's engineering team grew from 100 to 600, spread across three continents. "We had to learn from the open source community. How do you maintain all of this different software with engineers in different places? And the answer was unit tests, documentation, being really disciplined, and code reviews."

    Today Willison maintains 73 open source projects, many of them mostly alone. Yet he still focuses on the same developer hygiene learned at Eventbrite: "I'm taking the lessons I learned from a 600-engineer organization and applying them to a one-engineer organization." The result? "My productivity has gone through the roof." Things that seem like they'd slow him down (like writing good documentation) actually speed up development: "When I come back to the project in two months, everything works, and I know where everything is."

    But what if you're not a developer who wants to slow down to write the docs? Or, perhaps even more tellingly, what if you're a developer who isn't capable of writing great docs?

  • Mozilla VR Blog: Firefox Reality 10

    Our team has been hard at work on the latest version of Firefox Reality. In our last two versions, we had a heightened focus on performance and stability. With this release, fans of our browser on standalone VR headsets can enjoy the best of both worlds—a main course of in-demand features, with sides of performance and UI improvements. Firefox Reality 10 is a feature-packed release with something for every VR enthusiast.

    But perhaps the most exciting news of this release is we’re releasing in conjunction with our new partner, Pico Interactive! We’re teaming up to bring the latest and greatest in VR browsing to Pico’s headsets, including the Neo 2 – an all-in-one (AIO) device with 6 degrees of freedom (DoF) head and controller tracking. Firefox Reality will be released and shipped with all Pico headsets. Learn more about what this partnership means here. And check out Firefox Reality in the Pico store.

  • Mozilla Open Innovation Team: Redesigning Mozilla’s Contribute Page: A UX Overview

    The previous Contribute page on Mozilla.org received around 100,000 views a month and had a 70% bounce rate.

    For page engagements just over 1% of those viewers clicked on the “Get Involved” button, taking them to the Mozilla Activate page.

    We wanted to change that.

    We began this redesign project with a discovery phase. As a result of the strict environment the page would live in, all of our assumption testing had to be carried out through upfront discovery research as opposed to evaluative A/B testing post design.

    We started to collate previous findings and analysis, drawing conclusions from past efforts like the Contribute Survey Analysis carried out in 2019.

  • New Iceberg Plugin Brings a Distraction-Free Writing Experience to WordPress

    Ever on the hunt for a more beautiful, simplified writing experience inside WordPress, I jumped at the chance to beta test the new Iceberg plugin. Rich Tabor and Jeffrey Caradang, the same team behind CoBlocks, have created a new markdown editor built on top of Gutenberg that provides the best writing experience for WordPress since core’s retired Distraction Free Writing mode.

    [...]

    Gutenberg designers and engineers have been working for the past two years to bring the writing experience in the editor to a functional place that meets the needs of those who use WordPress primarily for writing. So far the block editor’s Fullscreen mode is incapable of producing the kind of zen writing experience that most writers crave when turning to third-party writing apps.

    Iceberg is GPL-licensed and is even available on GitHub for download and collaboration. I asked Tabor what he planned to do if someone proposed that some version of Iceberg be added to core.

    “Honestly, I think it would be great if WordPress adopted the same high level of support for writers as Iceberg does,” he said. “Sure it may not be completely ideal economically, but Iceberg is built on an editor built by thousands of hands. If Iceberg is deemed a clever enough solution to be a part of core, then that’s ok. Although I’m positive there’s room to continue experimenting within the realm of empowering writers.”

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Peter Hutterer: xisxwayland checks for Xwayland ... or not

    One of the more common issues we encounter debugging things is that users don't always know whether they're running on a Wayland or X11 session. Which I guess is a good advertisement for how far some of the compositors have come. The question "are you running on Xorg or Wayland" thus comes up a lot and suggestions previously included things like "run xeyes", "grep xinput list", "check xrandr" and so on and so forth. None of those are particularly scriptable, so there's a new tool around now: xisxwayland.

  • NVIDIA Engineer Revives Work On Linux Proactive Memory Compaction

    One of the interesting patch series initially published back in 2019 by NVIDIA engineer Nitin Gupta was on proactive memory compaction for the Linux kernel while so far in 2020 it hasn't yet been merged but a fifth revision to the work was published today.

    The proactive memory compaction was brought on to address latency issues currently experienced with the kernel's on-demand memory compaction behavior that can happen as a result of requesting a lot of hugepages.

  • What is SeExpr about?

    YES! Once I get a prototype up and running, and a build is made, I’ll need lots of testers for the UX bits.

    But most importantly: I need examples! Up to now, SeExpr is used mostly with proprietary software: Pixar’s Renderman (wiki here), and Autodesk’s Maya. The only open-source software that supports SeExpr is INRIA’s compositing software, Natron. Fully free, open source examples that we can bundle with Krita, would go a long way towards showcasing this project.

    That’s all from me! Next time, I’ll dissect the insides of the SeExpr library. Please chime in with any comments, amyspark @ #krita in the Freenode network.

  • Complex text shaping fixed in Konsole 20.08

    Konsole was one of the few terminal emulators with proper complex text shaping support. Unfortunately, complex text (including Malayalam) shaping was broken around KDE Applications release 18.08 (see upstream bug 401094 for details).

  • Sparky 2020.05~dev

    Call for testers.

    It is a development release of Sparky which is based on Debian testing “Bullseye”.

    The Sparky Advanced Installer received (experimental) improvements by darekem73, such as:
    • autopartitioning
    • partition encrypting
    • logical volume support
    The Yad based GUI is disabled, so text mode only.

    Other changes:
    • sparky tools uses ‘spterm’ (Sparky Terminal) now
    • ‘debi-tool’ replaced by ‘gdebi’ back
    • ‘otter-browser’ replaced by ‘epiphany-browser’ (thanks to lami07)
    • added Openbox Noir to the desktop list

  • AOMedia AV1 2.0 Codec Library Released With Many Improvements

    Version 2.0 of the libaom AOMedia AV1 video encoder / video codec SDK library is now available as the first major update in nearly two years.

    Libaom 2.0 is the first release since the original 1.0 release back in mid-2018 after the AOMedia codec working group approved the 1.0 release. The developers view this AOMedia AV1 2.0 release as now being their "first official release" for production.

  • Firebird 4.0 Beta 2 release is available for testing

    Firebird Project announces the second (and last) Beta release of Firebird 4.0, the next major version of the Firebird relational database, which is now available for testing on Windows and Linux platforms.

    This Beta release arrives with features and improvements already implemented by the Firebird development team, as well as with countless bugfixes. Our users are appreciated giving it a try and providing feedback to the development mailing list. Apparent bugs can be reported directly to the bugtracker.

  • Payment portals leak the passport numbers of the tens of thousands of Muscovites ticketed for quarantine violations

    Over the past two months, Moscow has issued tens of thousands of fines to local residents for violating the city’s coronavirus self-isolation restrictions. Thanks to weak cryptographic security, the personal data of those ticketed is now available online.

  • Slackware is now PAM'ified

    After three months of testing (initially it was planned to be few days only), PAM is finally merged into the main tree of Slackware-Current per 18 May 2020. Many people have expected this to happen, they just wait for the trigger and finally Pat pushed the changes today.

    Some people have started to panic about the integration of PAM, but really, there is nothing to worry about. Slackware will still keep to it's root and traditions. The integration of PAM is something inevitable as more and more upstream projects requires PAM as one of the authentication mechanism (including my Cinnamon SlackBuilds project) and the myth about PAM being insecure is no longer valid. Other distributions have been using PAM for many years and they do work well, so it should work well with Slackware as well.

    Kudos to Patrick and the rest of the crew and some contributors, the integration of PAM is very smooth and there's no breakage at all. Everything works normally before and after the upgrade process as long as you follow the instructions carefully (install those three important packages: pam, libpwquality, cracklib). I have upgraded all my machines (except for my laptop but soon) to the PAM'ified version of Slackware and everything works fine here.

Openwashing and Faking Open

Filed under
Misc
  • New Challenges Require New Thinking

    As has been said before, these are trying times we live in. We are being challenged as individuals, families and companies. And if you have been keeping an eye on this space, you’ve noticed that SUSE – as a company and as individual employees wherever we are – have been doing our best to find ways to help. To help our customers, our partners and our friends and co-developers in open source. To help the medical manufacturing industry and the healthcare community they serve. To help our neighbors around the world.

    The global COVID-19 pandemic has created or uncovered many problems that can be mitigated or even solved with the right technology deployed in the right way. New challenges (and we are all certainly seeing our share of those, wherever we live) require new solutions and new ways of thinking. So we’re doing our best to help you find new ways to solve emerging (and sometimes long-standing) business issues.

    [...]

    Meanwhile, we are pleased to invite you to join thousands of enterprise software users and industry watchers at SUSECON Digital, starting May 20.

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 2 Public Release Candidate 2!

    As a reminder Media1 contains the binaries (usual installation ISO), Media2 contains the sources and Media3 which contained debuginfo packages is _not_ provided as ISO image anymore but still available as Online Channel.

  • Chrome 83 redesigns security/privacy settings, extensions UI, adds built-in ‘Safety Check,’ more

    In light of COVID-19, Google delayed the release of Chrome 81 to ensure browser stability, while skipping version 82 and moving up the next update. Chrome 83 is now rolling out with features from the passed-over release and a big focus on security/privacy.

    Tab groups are officially launching with this release on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, but the company notes a gradual rollout.

  • How Cloud Buildpacks can help you deploy complex applications to your cloud

    We all know what containers are, right? Of course, right. They've been around for decades, but Docker made containers so easy to use they've reshaped how we run and deploy complex applications. But, as useful as they are, you can't use them by hand to easily install complex programs. For that, we need a different take on automating program deployment: Cloud Buildpacks.

    [...]

    While Cloud Buildpacks started before cloud-native development techniques took off in programming circles, Buildpacks are now incorporating cloud-native techniques. Pivotal and Heroku started the Cloud Native Buildpacks project in January 2018. It has since transitioned to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as part of the Cloud Native Sandbox.

  • Microsoft Admits: “We Were Wrong About Open Source” [Ed: Distraction from other MIT affairs?]

    During a virtual MIT event, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal counsel, admitted that Microsoft had the wrong perception of open-source culture back in the 20s.

    Brad said, “Microsoft was on the wrong side of history when open source exploded at the beginning of the century, and I can say that about me personally.” He joined Microsoft in 1993 when Linux and the free software revolution were on the verge of rising to change the world of open source.

  • Microsoft admits it was wrong about Linux and open source

APIs and Standards

Filed under
Misc
  • How API Copyright Cases Could Hurt The Software Sector

    The U.S. Supreme Court has reportedly postponed hearing a case that some say could lead to chaos in the software sector.

    On April 13, the high court announced that it has rescheduled hearings in the legal battle expected to establish whether application programming interfaces (APIs) are protected by copyright law. APIs, of course, are the bricks and mortar of building software. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the court said it won't take up the case again until its next term, which begins in October.

    For the software industry, the delay represents something of a reprieve.

    Many legal experts and top players in software development, including Microsoft and IBM, have explained how any decision that allows the copyrighting of APIs could bring chaos. Because the practice of copying programmatic interfaces was for a long time widely believed by those in the industry to be legal, such a ruling could mean that scores of developers have unwittingly embedded into countless programs the equivalent of legal time bombs.

    Not only could a ruling like that likely lead to confusion about liability, but it could also threaten the software industry's prevailing spirit of cooperation. In recent years, some of the top companies have collaborated in an unprecedented way to produce mutually beneficial standards and practices through projects like Open Policy Agent. As the co-founder and CEO of a marketplace-as-a-service company for API-first products, I've seen how these have helped pave the way for the sector's long run of innovation and growth. If the experts are correct, making APIs copyrightable could encourage opportunists to exploit the situation and wipe out all the trust that's been built in the business.

  • SD 8.0 Specification To Allow 4GB/s Transfer Rates By Leveraging PCIe 4.0

    SD 8.0 cards will retain backwards compatibility and will run even faster thanks to PCIe 4.0 and NVMe 1.4. For hardware making use of PCIe 3.0 x2 or PCIe 4.0 x1, transfer rates are said to be up to ~2GB/s while using PCIe 4.0 x2 will allow up to 4GB/s. SD Express cards supporting dual PCIe lanes will now have three rows of pins.

  • Stop setting the language of your website based on my location

    A much better way (and probably easier) is to use the user's browser/system language. That's the language I want to read on 99% of the time. Otherwise, why would I have my machine in that language? And if it's not, I will change it myself.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux on the OneGx1 mini laptop: Running Ubuntu 20.04

The One Netbook OneGx1 mini laptop is an unusual little computer that features a 7 inch display, an Intel Core i5-10210Y quad-core processor, and a physical design clearly inspired by gaming laptops. It supports an optional set of detachable game controllers that can clip onto the sides of the device. And One Netbook offers the OneGx1 with optional support for 4G LTE or 5G cellular networks. As I discovered after spending a few days testing the OneGx1, it offers decent performance for general purpose computing, but gaming is a bit of a mixed bag. But that was with Windows 10. What about other operating systems? Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Professional Institute (on FLOSS Weekly), Linux Headlines and Destination Linux

  • FLOSS Weekly 585: Linux Professional Institute

    In this episode, we discuss open source certification as well as career support offered through LPI. Doc Searls and Aaron Newcomb interview Jon "Maddog" Hall, who is a committed educator and a community developer. He is the board chair at LPI as well as the Co-founder and Senior Adviser to Caninos Loucos, which is a project to get Single Board Computers (SBCs) designed and built-in Brazil. This allows students to receive needed supplies to go to university. He is also the President of Project Cauã, which teaches university students how to run their own IT business and work part-time as they go to school.

  • 2020-07-01 | Linux Headlines

    Mozilla’s Firefox 78 rollout is not going smoothly, antirez steps down as the Redis Labs leader, Couchbase debuts a new managed service, the ArcMenu GNOME extension introduces new features, and manjaro32 closes its doors.

  • Destination Linux 180: Is Matrix.org The Future of Communication? + Linux Mint 20 & Firefox VPN

    00:00:00 Intro 00:00:24 Welcome to DL180 00:00:45 What Ryan has been up to . . . 00:02:07 What Michael has been up to . . . 00:04:24 What Noah has been up to . . . 00:04:38 Discussion: ProtonMail and their aim at Google’s GSuite 00:06:42 Noah shows that his segues are legendary 00:07:00 Sponsored by Digital Ocean · [do.co/dln] 00:09:07 Community Feedback about the Pinebook Pro and some issues with it 00:10:01 Ryan’s response to the feedback 00:11:03 Noah’s response to the feedback 00:12:14 DLN Forum & Telegram group are great places for tech help 00:12:45 News: Mozilla announces the Firefox VPN service 00:18:06 News: Linux Mint 20 Released 00:30:04 Main Topic: Matrix / Riot Might Be The Future of Communication 00:52:03 Linux Gaming: Ryan Gives Noah Suggestions for FPS Games on Linux 00:59:51 Software Spotlight: Tux Typing 01:01:14 Tip of the Week: Increase Your Terminal History Size 01:03:16 Outro 01:03:24 Get More DL by Becoming a Patron 01:04:20 DLN Store destinationlinux.network/store 01:04:55 How to Join the DLN Community 01:04:58 Noah’s delivery of this part is totally lit 01:05:40 Destination Linux Network destinationlinux.network 01:06:00 FrontPageLinux.com frontpagelinux.com 01:06:15 Patron Post Show (become a Patron to Join us each week!)

today's howtos

IBM/Red Hat/Fedora: Systemd, Containers, Ansible, IBM Cloud Pak and More

  • Systemd 246 Is On The Way With Many Changes

    With it already having been a few months since systemd 245 debuted with systemd-homed, the systemd developers have begun their release dance for what will be systemd 246.

  • Containers: Understanding the difference between portability, compatibility and supportability

    Portability alone does not offer the entire promise of Linux containers. You also need Compatibility and Supportability.

  • Red Hat Updates Ansible Automation Platform

    Red Hat recently announced key enhancements to the Ansible Automation portfolio, including the latest version of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and new Red Hat Certified Ansible Content Collections available on Automation Hub.

  • IBM Cloud Pak for Integration in 2 minutes
  • Introducing modulemd-tools

    A lot of teams are involved in the development of Fedora Modularity and vastly more people are affected by it as packagers and end-users. It is obvious, that each group has its own priorities, use-cases and therefore different opinions on what is good or bad about the current state of the project. Personally, I was privileged (or maybe doomed) to represent yet another, often forgotten, group of users - third-party build systems. Our team is directly responsible for the development and maintenance of Copr and a few years ago we decided to support building modules alongside building just regular packages. We stumbled upon many frustrating pitfalls that I don’t want to discuss right now but the major one was definitely not enough tools for working with modules. That was understandable in the early stages of the development process but it has been years and we still don’t have the right tools for building modules on our own, without relying on the Fedora infrastructure. You may recall me expressing the need for them at the Flock 2019 conference.

  • GSoC 2020 nmstate project update for June

    This blog is about my experience working in nmstate project and first month in GSoC coding period. I was able to start working on implementing the varlink support mid of community bonding period. This was very helpful because I was able to identify some issues in the python varlink package that was not mentioned in documentation and I had to spend more time finding the cause of the issue. There have been minor changes to proposed code structure and project timeline after the feedback from the community members. In the beginning it was difficult to identify syntax errors in varlink interface definitions. This has been slow progress because of new issues and following are the tasks I have completed so far.