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today's leftovers

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  • Wine-Staging 4.6 Brings Big Performance Improvement For Multi-Threaded Games / Apps

    Friday's release of Wine 4.6 was exciting in that it started merging the code for WineD3D Vulkan support, now supports a shared Wine-Mono, and other big ticket work. Wine-Staging 4.6 is now available as the latest experimental patches re-based atop the latest upstream Wine. This Wine-Staging update is quite exciting in its own right. 

  • GNU Hackers Meetings - News: Malfunction in ghm-planning (at) gnu.org

    Due to a problem in the alias configuration, mails sent to ghm-planning before Sun Apr 14 8:00 CEST have been silently dropped.

  • FOSSASIA OpenTech Summit’19

    Last month, I attended FOSSASIA’s annual conference which was held in Singapore. This conference was a collection of amazing, life-changing experiences. It was my first experience as a speaker and it taught me so much about the open-source culture. This summit took place from 14th March to 17th March in the beautiful city of Singapore. This was my second foreign trip as well. First one was to San Francisco as a part of the Student Startup Exposure Program.

    My flight was scheduled for 12th March from Jaipur and had a layover at Chennai for 5 hours. I reached the Changi Airport in the early morning of 13th. This airport was quite scenic and is also ranked as the top airport in the world.

  • OpenSUSE's Spectre Mitigation Approach Is One Of The Reasons For Its Slower Performance

    OpenSUSE defaults to IBRS for its Spectre Variant Two mitigations rather than the Retpolines approach and that is one of the reasons for the distribution's slower out-of-the-box performance compared to other Linux distributions. 

    A Phoronix reader pointed out this opensuse-factory mailing list thread citing a "huge single-core performance loss" on a Lenovo laptop when using openSUSE. There's a ~21% performance loss in single-threaded performance around the Spectre Variant Two mitigations, which itself isn't surprising as we've shown time and time again about the performance costs of the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations.

  • Are you missing the potential of dynamic SAP communication?

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Technologies on which the world of Instagram exist

    Ubuntu Linux 11.04 is run by Instagram’s engineers on Amazon EC2. This specific version is used because previous Ubuntu versions were found to be unpredictable. They were also freezing a lot on EC2 under high traffic.

  • Bursary applications for DebConf19 are closing in less than 72 hours!

    If you intend to apply for a DebConf19 bursary and have not yet done so, please proceed as soon as possible!

    Bursary applications for DebConf19 will be accepted until April 15th at 23:59 UTC. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

    You can apply for a bursary when you register for the conference.

  • ntroducing Debian Trends: historical graphs about Debian packaging practices, and “packages smells”

    Following this blog post I did some work on setting up a proper framework to graph historical trends about Debian packaging practices. The result is now available at https://trends.debian.net/, and I’m confident that I will be able to update this on a regular basis (every few months).

    Additionally (and much more controversially I guess Smile ) I also added an analysis of “package smells”, such as “not using dh”, “not using a recent debhelper compat level”, “not using a 3.0 source format”, etc. I understand that in some cases there might be good reasons to keep those “smells”, but I find it valuable to have them presented in a more actionable way to fix the cases that should be fixed. So there’s a list of smells, sorted by maintainer/uploader.

  • Key Differences in Security, Management for Serverless vs. Containers [Ed: Look what we have here; a “sponsored” article from Linux Foundation sponsor, in a site partly controlled by the Foundation. Press coverage for sale at this non-profit.]

    Serverless functions and containers are two of the hottest topics in the IT world today. They’re also two technologies that share a lot in common — after all, both are ways to deploy code inside isolated, discrete environments. They are by no means identical technologies, but in the abstract, they function in similar ways.

  • Patch blues-day: Microsoft yanks code after some PCs are rendered super secure (and unbootable) following update

    A bunch of PCs running the wares of Sophos or Avast have been freezing or failing to start following the installation of patches emitted by Microsoft on 9 April.

    The afflicted are those running Windows 8.1, 7, Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012. Avast for Business and Cloudcare have been hit by the problem, as have PCs running Endpoint Protection managed by Sophos Central or Sophos Enterprise Console (SEC).

    Microsoft said this morning that it had "temporarily blocked devices from receiving this update if the Sophos Endpoint is installed", a move which, sadly, had come a bit late for those afflicted.

  • Microsoft played key role in stopping “Right to Repair” in Washington

    When something breaks, you fix it. It’s common sense.

    Repair saves consumers money, and it reduces the amount of waste that goes on the scrap heap.

    But when only the manufacturer has the ability to fix our electronics, they can charge whatever they want for repairs. They can also push us into buying a brand new product altogether, adding to our waste problems.

    That’s why WashPIRG has supported “Right to Repair” reforms which prevent manufacturers from monopolizing repairs. Earlier this year, Washington’s Right to Repair bill passed out of committee for the second session in a row with strong bipartisan support. But also for the second year in a row, the bill was put on ice before it went to a full floor vote.

  • GnuCash 3.5-1
  • Homeless in Vancouver: Some positives and negatives of Dumpster diving

    Sitting in a window seat of the restaurant, I took the negative and held it, matte emulsion-side-up, flat against the window in front of me. With my other hand I photographed it with my little Dumpster-dived point-and-shoot camera. Then I opened the photo in an image editing program on my laptop called GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program).

  • DragonFly's HAMMER2 File-System Picks Up More Performance Optimizations

    DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon who also created the HAMMER family of file-systems remains quite busy on filling out the remaining features for HAMMER2 and tuning its performance.

    Landing today within the DragonFlyBSD Git code has been the latest HAMMER2 file-system improvements.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • The Lima DRM/KMS Driver Is Ready For Introduction With Linux 5.2

    Beyond the Lima Gallium3D driver being merged into Mesa 19.1, the Linux 5.2 kernel will be introducing the DRM/KMS kernel open-source driver developed via reverse-engineering for these Arm Mali 400/450 graphics processors. 

    Yesterday marked the merger of the big Lima Gallium3D driver for providing basic OpenGL support being merged into Mesa 19.1, which should be released as stable around the end of May. Last week meanwhile marked the acceptance of the Lima DRM driver into DRM-Next ahead of next month's Linux 5.2 merge window.

  • RSS Guard 3.5.7

    RSS Guard is a simple (yet powerful) feed reader. It is able to fetch the most known feed formats, including RSS/RDF and ATOM. It's free, it's open-source. RSS Guard currently supports Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian. RSS Guard will never depend on other services - this includes online news aggregators like Feedly, The Old Reader and others.

  • SoftMaker Office Celebrates 30th Anniversary With A Free Update [Ed: No, proprietary software is never ever free. Because you’re never in control (neither over the tool nor its cost down the line).]

    German software developer SoftMaker is celebrating its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, SoftMaker is releasing a free anniversary update of its Microsoft Office alternative SoftMaker Office.

    Besides bug fixes, it includes many new features and improvements. It is noteworthy here that SoftMaker Office 2018 already features a redesigned user interface, thus giving users the choice of working with the new ribbons interface or classic menus.

  • How To Install Angular on CentOS 7
  • How to add UUID entry in /etc/fstab in Linux
  • How to install Calligra Office Suite on Ubuntu 18.04
  • Install and Configure Wildfly (JBoss) on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • What is enterprise open source?

    We already know what open source is, right? There’s a great deal written about open source from just about every angle, even a handy definition of what constitutes open source, but what about enterprise open source? While not necessarily exhaustive, here’s what we’re talking about when we say "enterprise open source."

    First and foremost, it is open source. A product isn’t "enterprise open source" simply because it integrates a single permissively licensed open source library or "works with" or "runs on" open source.

  • Google's open source partner play is good business, not "some sort of generous magical deal"

    Google does open source better than anyone, because it understands how to turn long-term open source value into long-term sustainable revenue.

today's leftovers

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  • FLOSS Weekly 525: Mycroft

    Mycroft is the Private and Open Voice Solution for Consumers and Enterprises. It runs anywhere - on a desktop computer, inside an automobile, or on a Raspberry Pi. This is open source software which can be freely remixed, extended, and improved. Mycroft may be used in anything from a science project to an enterprise software application.

  • Automated Tuning Of Linux Audio

    Audio systems in Linux are terrible. You’ve never known true pain until you’ve tried to set up a recording or broadcasting workstation running Linux. I did, twenty years ago, and nothing has changed since. This wasn’t really a problem when Linux was either used in server spaces or some nerd’s battle station, but now we have small single board computers that everyone uses and wants to turn into a modular synth. Welcome to paintown, because the Linux audio stack is terrible.

    For the past ten years, [Dynobot] has been working on improving audio in Linux. This is a decade of reading manuals from IBM and Oracle, and a deep knowledge of how to adjust settings so audio actually works. All of this work is now combined into a single script that improves everything. This means the priority of the Audio group is changed, the thread priority is better, the latency is better, and for anyone who wants to set up a local streaming service, the network latency is better. It’s not everything, and there’s no mention of recording multitrack audio, but we’ll accept the baby steps here.

  • An Overview of Main Features of Augur Version 2 and What They Mean

    On Monday (April 8), the team behind Augur, "a decentralized oracle and peer to peer protocol for prediction markets", announced that version 2 of the software is feature-complete and ready for third-party formal audits. This article provides an overview of these features.

  • Windows Subsystem for Linux distro gets a preening, updated version waddles into Microsoft's app store [Ed: Microsoft EEE of "Linux". It's just Windows, not "Linux".]

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Volkswagen joins Automotive Grade Linux

    Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), described as a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open source platform for connected car technologies, has announced that Volkswagen has joined it and the Linux Foundation, a non-profit organisation 'enabling mass innovation through open source'.

  • Volkswagen Joins Automotive Grade Linux and the Linux Foundation to Accelerate Open Source Innovation and Shared Software Development

     

    Automotive Grade Linux is a collaborative open source project that is bringing together automakers, suppliers and technology companies to accelerate the development and adoption of a fully open software stack for the connected car. With Linux at its core, AGL is developing an open platform from the ground up that can serve as the de facto industry standard to enable rapid development of new features and technologies. Although initially focused on In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI), AGL is the only organization planning to address all software in the vehicle, including instrument cluster, heads up display, telematics, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. The AGL platform is available to all, and anyone can participate in its development. Learn more: https://www.automotivelinux.org/

  • Managing Partitions with sgdisk
  • Yaru Colors: Ubuntu's Default Theme In 11 Colors (Gtk, Icons And Gnome Shell)

    Yaru Colors is a fork of the Yaru theme (default Ubuntu Gtk, icon and Gnome Shell themes) in 11 colors, with each Gtk theme being available in regular and dark versions, great for those who like Yaru, but would like to to use different accent / folder colors. Only the Gnome desktop is supported.

  • Why I don’t care about CPU architecture: my emotional journey

    When OSNews covered the RISC V architecture recently, I was struck by my own lack of excitement. I looked into it, and the project looks intriguing, but it didn’t move me on an emotional level like a new CPU architecture development would have done many years ago. I think it’s due to a change in myself, as I have got older. When I first got into computers, in the early 80s, there was a vibrant environment of competing designs with different approaches. This tended to foster an interest, in the enthusiast, in what was inside the box, including the CPU architecture. Jump forwards to the current era, and the computer market is largely homogenized to a single approach for each class of computing device, and this means that there is less to get excited about in terms of CPU architectures in general. I want to look at what brought about this change in myself, and maybe these thoughts will resonate with some of you.

    [...]

     

    So, this raises the question, is there any rational reason to care about the CPU architecture nowadays, and thinking about that, was there ever?

  • An “Open Pay Wall”, has Medium lost its mind?

    Today’s attempt to transform Medium into a walled garden is, at best, stupid and dangerous. But it is a reminder that we should never trust a centralised place.

    When Medium started to launch a paying subscription, not knowing yet what to offer to pay members, I thought they understood it. I happily jumped on the wagon and spent $5 a month to support the platform.

    Finally, a platform was reacting to the “free ad myth”, the fantasy that ads provide money without having to return anything in exchange. Finally, someone was acknowledging that advertising was hurting our brains and transforming every content creator into a sausage salesperson. It was time for creators to be paid directly by people consuming their work.

  • Why old-school printed books may be better than e-books for teaching kids to read

    Parents and toddlers chat more as they read printed stories together compared to when they share electronic books, a new study from the University of Michigan found. Researchers say those conversations can be instrumental in teaching children to read and express themselves.

  • Do we really own our digital possessions?

     

    My research has found that many consumers do not consider these possibilities, because they make sense of their digital possessions based on their previous experiences of possessing tangible, physical objects. If our local bookstore closed down, the owner wouldn't knock on our door demanding to remove previously purchased books from our shelves. So we do not anticipate this scenario in the context of our eBooks. Yet the digital realm presents new threats to ownership that our physical possessions haven't prepared us for.
     

    Consumers need to become more sensitised to the restrictions on digital ownership. They must be made aware that the "full ownership" they have experienced over most of their physical possessions cannot be taken for granted when purchasing digital products. However, companies also have a responsibility to make these fragmented ownership forms more transparent.
     

today's leftovers

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  • Episode 62 | This Week in Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we have a ton of stuff to talk about like Fedora’s announcement of the Beta for Fedora 30, Linux Journal released their 25th Anniversary issue for Free to everyone and UBports announced they were successful in forming their own Foundation. We also got a lot of App News this week from GIMP, WPS Office, Strawberry & DeaDBeeF music players, Chef automation tool, and more. We’re also going to check out some other Distro News from Sabayon and Linux Mint. Later in the show, we’ll check out some other news from Raspberry Pi, Wayland, Purism and more. Then we’ll round out the show with some Linux Gaming News from Aspyr Media and SuperTuxKart. All that and much on this episode of your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • March Madness and the Quarterly Report

    The biggest highlight last quarter is getting hired to work on some part of KDE, particularly the documentation. It’s not the coding I’ve always dreamed of but getting paid to work on something you’ve been passionate about for years is a dream come true. Sadly, it’s just a three-month gig. More on the details on another post.

  • SwagArch GNU/Linux 19.04 overview | A simple and beautiful Everyday Desktop

    In this video, i am going to show an overview of SwagArch GNU/Linux 19.04 and some of the applications pre-installed.

  • SUSE Manager 4.0 Beta 2 is out!

    With the first version you are able to create content projects, select a custom set of software channels as sources and create a lifecycle made of environments.
    Once you have selected some sources you can build the selected set which will populate the first environment. After the the first environment is built you can promote it through the environment lifecycle to the next environment in the loop.
    The result of the build (therefore the content of every environment) is a channel tree (made of cloned software channels of the sources selection) and you can assign systems to it.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 573
  • Career Guidance For Young People: A Retrospective

    At a conference in London, I had a non-zero number of beers with two editors who were launching a new Linux magazine called Linux Format. I plucked up the courage to ask if I could write an article and they said, “Yes, but if it is shit, we won’t publish it”. This seemed like a fair arrangement.

    The article passed muster and it went into the magazine. I started writing more and more and when I completed university, I decided to be a full time writer. It didn’t pay much, but I loved what I did, and it earned enough money to support the relatively frugal life my girlfriend and I lived. This is when I got the first taste of being able to devote my career to something I loved, and it was an amazing feeling.

    One of the articles I wrote was about a newly minted organization in Birmingham called OpenAdvantage. They were focused on training people in the West Midlands in Open Source; especially focused on manual laborers re-skilling in technology as more and more factories moved out of the area. After the article was published I was invited to lunch by one of the founders, Paul Cooper, where he somewhat surprisingly offered me a job to be a consultant there.

    I took the job and spent two years doing a range of things I had never done: consulting, training, learning new technologies, and more. While nerve-wracking at first, it gave me a taste for jumping in the deep end and figuring things out as I went. What followed were careers at Canonical, XPRIZE, GitHub, and then onto my current consulting business.

  • NumFOCUS Announces Cambridge Spark will Host a PyData Conference in 2019

    While this isn’t the first UK PyData event, Cambridge Spark will be bringing the event to Cambridge for the first time. “I’m delighted to announce Cambridge Spark’s continued support to the NumFOCUS and PyData community. We look forward to launching PyData Cambridge and share our appreciation for this thriving city that has become the UK hub for tech innovation and AI,” said Dr. Raoul-Gabriel Urma, CEO, Cambridge Spark.

  • LibrePlanet 2019 wrap-up: Building the free software utopia

    From the time of free software's inception, with Richard Stallman's announcement of the GNU Project in 1984, community has been a central part of its philosophy: we must be free to choose to share any software we use or create. Stallman wrote, "I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it," and from this point concluded that we must always be permitted to share our discoveries and innovations with others, in order to make their computing and their lives easier and better. Software that is free always has benefits beyond the individual, and the free software movement depends on a vibrant, ever-changing, committed pool of developers, activists, users, and enthusiasts to keep the dream alive and the movement growing.

    Every year, the LibrePlanet conference brings together many members of that movement to celebrate our achievements, strategize how to deal with our setbacks, show off new ideas, and decide what new frontiers we will trailblaze together next. The 2019 conference included many introductions to, and updates from, new and familiar projects, discussions on copyleft and security, and explorations of free software in the business world, but one compelling theme was woven through both days of the conference: how do we maintain and increase the health of our all-important community?

  • How To Install Instructure Canvas LMS For Free

    The Canvas LMS software is Open Source. The AGPLv3 license it is under allows users to collaborate in software hosted on a cloud. Users of AGPLv3 licensed software must make any work based on it public and free. You cannot sell it, but you can sell products or offer services supported by the software. Including online courses, of course. Instructure does not release 100% of Canvas code, so you might not get the exact same experience as in signing on as a customer.

  • I know what EU did last summer: Official use of Microsoft wares to be probed over slurp fears

    The European Union's Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has announced an investigation into Microsoft products used by EU institutions.

    The probe will build a list of Microsoft wares in use by official bloc bodies and check that the "contractual arrangements" between the two are "fully compliant with data protection rules".

    The move is at least partially in response to a report commissioned by the Dutch government that found that the software giant's Office Pro Plus application suite, which includes the likes of Word and Outlook, was collecting all manner of data and stashing it on US-based servers.

    That got regulators a little hot under the collar since such activities are very much frowned upon under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Users can alter the amount of data slurped by Microsoft's productivity applications (assuming they can find the settings) but not easily turn it off completely.

today's leftovers

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  • Poddr – podcast client built with Electron and Angular

    I’ve written a few reviews of podcast players including the console based castero, and the graphical CPod. This time, I’m going to examine Poddr, a graphical podcast player that shares similarities with CPod. For example both are web-technologies based using the Electron framework.

    A podcast is a form of digital media consisting of an episodic program downloaded or streamed over the Internet using an XML protocol called RSS. Podcast episodes can be audio radio, video files, PDFs, or ePub files. These episodes can be viewed and listened to on a number of different devices including computers, portable media players, and smartphones.

    The publisher or broadcaster podcasts the program by offering the episodes and the XML document to a web server. Whilst large media corporations are prominent publishers of podcasts, almost anyone can publish them, as often or as infrequent as they wish. Podcasts are a great way of keeping up to date with the latest news, reviews, banter, gossip, to deepen your understanding of the world we live in, and much more.

    Podcasting lets listeners automatically receive the latest episodes of their chosen programmes as soon as they are released. This operation is made very simple by using the appropriate client software. The consumer can subscribe to the podcast and automatically check for and download new episodes, or download episodes of a podcast series individually.

  •  

  • Daniel Silverstone: A quarter in review

    I managed to sort things so that Gitano won't drop out of Debian, and I've done a bit more on NetSurf than I did previously, but in the past quarter I've not done a lot on the pub software I mentioned at the start of the year.

    Rob and I have booked off a chunk of April, so perhaps I'll get a chance to do some of that then.

    Sadly, I've also started a bunch of projects, including beginning to plan work with Lars on a Yarn re-design.

    So over-all, this one gets a "C" - satisfactory but could do a lot better.

  • GitHub Has More Than 3,000 Projects Mentioning Vulkan, 100~200 For D3D12 [Ed: Microsoft monoplising its competition (to DX). Delete GitHub and use something else.]

today's leftovers

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  • Here’s What Doug Cutting Says Is Hadoop’s Biggest Contribution

    Apache Hadoop isn’t the center of attention in the IT world anymore, and much of the hype has dissipated (or at least regrouped behind AI). But the open source software project still has a place for on-premise workloads, according to Hadoop co-creator Doug Cutting, who says Hadoop will be remembered most of all for a single contribution it made to IT.

    At last week’s Strata Data Conference in San Francisco, Cutting shared some time with Datanami to discuss the open source software project that he’s best known for, the state of distributed systems development right now, and what he sees coming next down the pike.

  • How to keep edge computing open for business –  let the gorillas write the script

    The diversity of devices, protocols, machines: A proprietary edge computing system does not keep up with rapid changes at the edge. An open source approach combines the insight and rapid development of hundreds of committers, moves the orchestration to the cloud and provides agility, performance, and security lacking in embedded software at the edge.

    One aspect of open source is that each project can build on others and not have to do all of the legwork to get a piece of software operation, they can concentrate on their unique approach, ideas, and requirements.

    There is nothing to stop the giants like Amazon, once they detect a viable market, from offering their own distribution and ultimately locking in their proprietary solutions. The question is can open source gather enough momentum to overcome the intrusion? (this needs some explaining)

  • Industry Watch: Crumbs for Cupcake-Native Development

    “Cloud” is a five-letter word meaning “someone else’s computer.” Someone else’s computer, however, is different than your own computers, because of the (somewhat) infinitely large pool of resources, and also because you can use microservices. Or, as I.B. prefers to think of them, crumbs. When you use crumbs, your applications become less like a light, fluffy cupcake and more like a sticky, mushy ball of random things squished together. That sounds rather unpalatable, but trust me, it can be delicious.

  • A Power/Performance Optimization Is On The Way For POWER Linux Users

    For those currently using a Raptor Talos II or awaiting the Raptor Blackbird or are running another IBM POWER system like the recently covered cheap POWER servers, there is a CPU Idle patch-set on the way that helps improve the power/performance.

    A Phoronix reader pointed out an interesting patch series this week that is to the Linux kernel's CPU Idle code and specifically should help out IBM POWER processors due to tweaking the auto-promotion logic for CPU idle states.

  • DeaDBeeF 1.8.0 is out

    It's been almost 3 years since the previous release, but the new one is finally here! It was a lot of effort to make it happen.

    Aside from the regular changelog post, I'd like to add that you might have noticed the major version bump. It's not because of any compatibility loss, but simply because we decided that DeaDBeeF is mature enough to stop using version 0. Thanks everyone who have helped to ship this release, either by reporting issues, or by submitting patches! And enjoy the new features!

today's leftovers

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  • Librem Laptop RAM and Storage Bump, 32GB max RAM

    Technology is constantly improving, and we do get excited whenever we can add those improvements and upgrades to our products — especially when we can do so without raising prices. Recently, we announced a version 4 upgrade for our Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops; today we are happy to announce we have upgraded the default configuration on both laptops to 8GB RAM and a 250Gb M.2 SATA disk, while keeping the same base price of $1399 and $1599 respectively.

    We know that many of our customers have high RAM requirements, whether that’s due to using a RAM-hungry OS like Qubes or to just having too many chat tabs open in your browser. The single SO-DIMM RAM slot in the Librem 13 and Librem 15 meant an upper limit of 16GB RAM on our laptops… until now. Due to constant advances in RAM density we have been able to validate 32GB SO-DIMMs in our current product line and starting today will offer 32GB RAM as a premium upgrade to both the Librem 13 and Librem 15. If you’ve been holding off on your Librem laptop order because of RAM, wait no longer!

  • FPgM report: 2019-14

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 30 Beta was released!

  • Anti-Piracy Outfit MUSO Comes Out Against The Use Of DRM

    When it comes to the record of anti-piracy outfit MUSO, based in the UK, you get a mixed-bag. On the one hand, the organization was caught patting itself on the back for the number of takedowns of infringing content it had achieved, when the number it was touting was made up in some sizable percentage of the number of takedown requests it had issued. The focus at all on takedowns as a method for combating piracy, rather than the development of better business models that take advantage of the internet, is itself a problem. On the other hand, MUSO has also been willing to tell content publishers that piracy is by and large their fault, with a lack of convenient legal alternatives being the biggest barrier to ending copyright infringement. So, a little bad, a little good.

    Well, we can add another item to the good column, as MUSO recently came out on its own site with a piece that essentially argues that DRM should be abandoned completely. And, while the alternative on offer in the post is more takedown efforts, MUSO is at least trying to frame this as an argument for better treatment of consumers.

  • USB4: What this future standard means for USB chaos and Thunderbolt 3

    Now that the upcoming USB4 spec promises to “adopt the Thunderbolt 3 protocol,” some hope it means an end to our international nightmare of USB confusion. You know, the one where there are:

    Two different connectors: USB-A or USB-C

    Four different active specs: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2

    Scarce Thunderbolt 3 support, despite using the same form factor as USB-C

    An upcoming USB 3.2 spec that precedes USB4 and introduces yet more confusion through clumsy rebranding

  • A Big Thanks to Our Subscribers

    We asked LJ subscribers to write in and tell us about themselves, so we could feature them in our 25th Anniversary Issue as a way to thank them for their loyalty through the years. The response was so overwhelming, we were able to include only a few of them in the issue, but read on to see all of the responses here and to learn more about your fellow readers. We truly enjoyed "meeting" all of you who participated and are humbled by your words of support.

today's leftovers

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  • Autodesk Flame 2020’s AI Will Be Able to Isolate Objects in Moving Footage

    A productivity enhancement called Automatic Background Reactor is only available on Linux, but aims to keep projects moving by triggering background rendering automatically whenever a shot has been modified. Flame, Flare and Flame Assist 2020 will also support Open FX plug-ins as batch/BFX nodes or directly on the Flame timeline, as well as for Cryptomatte rendering.

    Licensing has been tweaked as well, with monthly, yearly, and three-year single-user options available for Linux. Customers on single-user licenses for Mac will be able to transfer their license to Linux, Autodesk said.

  • Add Appstream Release Data to your App Releases

    Appstream is a metadata standard for your software releases which gets used by package managers and app stores as well as web sites such as kde.org (one day at least).

    If you are incharge of making releases of an application from KDE mind and make sure it has an appstream appdata file.  You should also include a screenshot preferably in the product-screenshots git repo.

  • Manjaro 18 + Starting Your Journey | Choose Linux 6

    The LInux Gaming Report rolls forward as Jason throws Manjaro 18 on the test bench and walks away shocked.

    Then we offer some best practices and tips for, well, choosing Linux! How to pick the right hardware for your needs, where to discover your perfect distribution, and how to best enjoy your new journey.

  • The Debian project leader election

    While a few weeks back it looked like there might be a complete lack of Debian project leader (DPL) candidates, that situation has changed. After a one-week delay, five Debian developers have nominated themselves. We are now about halfway through the campaign phase; platforms have been posted and questions have been asked and answered. It seems a good time to have a look at the candidates and their positions.

    The five candidates are Joerg Jaspert, Jonathan Carter, Sam Hartman, Martin Michlmayr, and Simon Richter. Platforms for four of the candidates can be found here along with their rebuttals to the other platforms. Simon Richter has not provided a platform or participated in the debian-vote mailing list since his nomination mail on March 17. It is not clear what that means and there was no response to an email query about his plans. The other four candidates provided detailed platforms that outlined their experience in the Debian project and their vision for its future.

  • Alef Mobitech Joins Linux Foundation Edge
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today's leftovers

  • Hardware Review - The ZaReason Virtus 9200 Desktop
  • Chrome OS 76 will disable Crostini Linux backups by default
    Essentially, this is still a work in progress feature. And I shouldn’t be terribly surprised by that, even though in my experience, the functionality hasn’t failed me yet. That’s because we know that the Chromium team is considering on a way to backup and restore Linux containers directly from the Files app on a Chromebook. That proposal is targeted for Chrome OS 78, so this gives the team more time to work that out, as well as any other nits that might not be quite right with the current implementation.
  • Andrei Lisita: Something to show for
    Unfortunately along with the progress that was made we also encountered a bug with the NintendoDS core that causes Games to crash if we attempt to load a savestate. We are not yet 100% sure if the bug is caused by my changes or by the NintendoDS core itself. I hope we are able to fix it by the end of the summer although I am not even sure where to start since savestates are working perfectly fine with other cores. Another confusing matter about this is that the Restart/Resume Dialog works fine with the NintendoDS core and it also uses savestates. This led me to believe that perhaps cores can be used to load savestates only once, but this can’t be the problem since we re-instantiate the core every time we load a savestate. In the worst case we might just have to make a special case for the NintendoDS core and not use savestates with it, except for the Resume/Restart dialog. This would sadden me deeply since there are plenty of NintendoDS games which could benefit from this feature.
  • OSMC's June update is here with Kodi v18.3
    Team Kodi recently announced the 18.3 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes. Here's what's new:

OSS Leftovers

  • A comparison of open source, real-time data streaming platforms
    A variety of open source, real-time data streaming platforms are available today for enterprises looking to drive business insights from data as quickly as possible. The options include Spark Streaming, Kafka Streams, Flink, Hazelcast Jet, Streamlio, Storm, Samza and Flume -- some of which can be used in tandem with each other. Enterprises are adopting these real-time data streaming platforms for tasks such as making sense of a business marketing campaign, improving financial trading or recommending marketing messages to consumers at critical junctures in the customer journey. These are all time-critical areas that can be used for improving business decisions or baked into applications driven by data from a variety of sources.
  • Amphenol’s Jason Ellison on Signal Integrity Careers and His Free, Open Source PCB Design Software
    Ellison, Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC, gives his insight on the importance of networking, giving to the EE community, and his open-source signal integrity project. How does signal integrity engineering compare to other EE fields? What are open-source resources worth these days? What makes for a good work life for an engineer? Learn this and more in this Engineer Spotlight! Jason Ellison started down the path to becoming an electrical engineer because someone told him it was "fun and easy if you're good at math." In this interview with AAC's Mark Hughes, Ellison—a Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC—describes how his career has grown from these beginnings into the rewarding and diverse work of signal integrity engineering.
  • Cruise open-sources Webviz, a tool for robotics data analysis [Ed: Releasing a little tool that's part of proprietary software so that it 'feels' more "open"]
    Cruise, the self-driving startup that General Motors acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2016, generates an enormous amount of data by any measure. It orchestrates 200,000 hours of driving simulation jobs daily in Google Cloud Platform, spread across 30,000 virtual cars in an environment running on 300,000 processor cores and 5,000 graphics cards. Both those cars and Cruise’s fleet of over 180 real-world autonomous Chevrolet Bolts make thousands of decisions every second, and they base these decisions on observations captured in binary format from cameras, microphones, radar sensors, and lidar sensors.
  • EWF launches world’s first open source blockchain for the energy industry
    The Energy Web Foundation this week announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than ten Energy Web Foundation (EWF) Affiliates — including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers — are hosting validator nodes for the live network, according to the company.
  • Pimcore Releases Pimcore 6.0, Amplifying User-Friendly Digital Experiences Through Open Source
    Pimcore, the leading open-source platform for data and customer experience management, has released the most powerful version of the Pimcore platform, Pimcore 6.0. The updated platform includes a new user interface that seamlessly connects MDM/PIM, DAM, WCM, and digital commerce capabilities to create more advanced and user-friendly experiences quickly and efficiently.
  • VCV Rack reaches version 1.0.0: free and open-source modular synth gets a full release
    VCV Rack is a free, open-source modular software synth that’s been gaining ground for a couple of years, but only now has it reached the significant milestone of version 1.0. Designed to replicate the feeling of having a hardware modular synth on your desktop, VCV Rack enables you to add both free and paid-for modules, and now supports polyphony of up to 16 voices. There’s MIDI Output, too with CV-Gate, CV-MIDI and CV-CC modules enabling you to interface with drum machines, desktop synths and Eurorack gear.
  • Flying Above the Shoulders of Giants
    Thanks to open-source platforms, developers can stand on the shoulders of software giants to build bigger and better things. Linux is probably the biggest...
  • MIT Researchers Open-Source AutoML Visualization Tool ATMSeer
    A research team from MIT, Hong Kong University, and Zhejiang University has open-sourced ATMSeer, a tool for visualizing and controlling automated machine-learning processes. Solving a problem with machine learning (ML) requires more than just a dataset and training. For any given ML tasks, there are a variety of algorithms that could be used, and for each algorithm there can be many hyperparameters that can be tweaked. Because different values of hyperparameters will produce models with different accuracies, ML practitioners usually try out several sets of hyperparameter values on a given dataset to try to find hyperparameters that produce the best model. This can be time-consuming, as a separate training job and model evaluation process must be conducted for each set. Of course, they can be run in parallel, but the jobs must be setup and triggered, and the results recorded. Furthermore, choosing the particular values for hyperparameters can involve a bit of guesswork, especially for ones that can take on any numeric value: if 2.5 and 2.6 produce good results, maybe 2.55 would be even better? What about 2.56 or 2.54?
  • Open-Source Cybersecurity Tool to Enhance Grid Protection
    A revolutionary new cybersecurity tool that can help protect the electric power grid has been released to the public on the code-hosting website GitHub.
  • Quick notes for Mozilla Whistler All Hands 2019
  • Deeper into the data fabric with MongoDB
    However, to gain access to rich search functionality, many organisations pair their database with a search engine such as Elasticsearch or Solr, which MongoDB claims can complicate development and operations — because we end up with two entirely separate systems to learn, maintain and scale.

Raspberry Pi 4 is here!

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi—Raspberry Pi 4—was released today, earlier than anticipated, featuring a new 1.5GHz Arm chip and VideoCore GPU with some brand new additions: dual-HDMI 4K display output; USB3 ports; Gigabit Ethernet; and multiple RAM options up to 4GB. The Raspberry Pi 4 is a very powerful single-board computer and starts at the usual price of $35. That gets you the standard 1GB RAM, or you can pay $45 for the 2GB model or $55 for the 4GB model—premium-priced models are a first for Raspberry Pi. Read more

Open Data, Open Access and Open Hardware

  • DoD’s Joint AI Center to open-source natural disaster satellite imagery data set
    As climate change escalates, the impact of natural disasters is likely to become less predictable. To encourage the use of machine learning for building damage assessment this week, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute and CrowdAI — the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint AI Center (JAIC) and Defense Innovation Unit — open-sourced a labeled data set of some of the largest natural disasters in the past decade. Called xBD, it covers the impact of disasters around the globe, like the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti. “Although large-scale disasters bring catastrophic damage, they are relatively infrequent, so the availability of relevant satellite imagery is low. Furthermore, building design differs depending on where a structure is located in the world. As a result, damage of the same severity can look different from place to place, and data must exist to reflect this phenomenon,” reads a research paper detailing the creation of xBD. [...]

    xBD includes approximately 700,000 satellite images of buildings before and after eight different kinds of natural disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Covering about 5,000 square kilometers, it contains images of floods in India and Africa, dam collapses in Laos and Brazil, and historic deadly fires in California and Greece.

    The data set will be made available in the coming weeks alongside the xView 2.0 Challenge to unearth additional insights from xBD, coauthor and CrowdAI machine learning lead Jigar Doshi told VentureBeat. The data set collection effort was informed by the California Air National Guard’s approach to damage assessment from wildfires.

  • Open-source textbooks offer free alternative for UC Clermont students
    Some UC Clermont College students are avoiding paying hundreds of dollars for textbooks — and getting the content for free — thanks to online open-source textbooks, a growing trend among faculty at the college and throughout higher education. UC Clermont Dean Jeff Bauer, who is also a professor of business, said the benefits of open textbooks are many. “All students have the book on the first day of class, it saves them a lot of money, and the information can be accessed anywhere, anytime, without carrying around a heavy textbook,” Bauer said. “They don’t need to visit the bookstore before or after each semester to buy or sell back books, either.”
  • Open Source Computer Controlled Loom Knits Pikachu For You
    The origin story of software takes us back past punch card computers and Babbage's Difference Engine to a French weaver called Joseph Marie Jacquard.
  • Successful open-source RISC-V microcontroller launched through crowdfunding
    X-FAB Silicon Foundries, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, launched the first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V SoC reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from start of design to tape-out in less than three months employing the Efabless design flow produced on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations, the solution should operate at up to 150MHz.
  • Open Hardware: Open-Source MRI Scanners Could Bring Enormous Cost Savings
    Wulfsberg explore the possibilities of open source MRI scanning. As open-source technology takes its place around the world—everywhere from makerspaces to FabLabs, users on every level have access to design and innovation. In allowing such access to MRI scanning, the researchers realize the potential for ‘technological literacy’ globally—and with MRIs specifically, astronomical sums could be saved in healthcare costs. The authors point out that medical technology is vital to the population of the world for treating not only conditions and illnesses, but also disabilities. As so many others deeply involved in the world of technology and 3D printing realize, with greater availability, accessibility, and affordability, huge strides can be made to improve and save lives. Today, with so many MRI patents expiring, the technology is open for commercialization.