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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Split Emerges in Open Source MANO Efforts
    A broad attempt to create a single open source effort around managing and orchestrating NFV is now bifurcating into two separate groups, based on irreconcilable views of how to best standardize the MANO going forward.
  • LibreOffice 5.1 Looks Better and Plays Nicer with Other Office Apps
  • LibreOffice 5.1 shows first signs of a new user interface
    The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice (LO) 5.1. With this release, LO is moving toward a totally reorganized user interface. In earlier conversations with LibreOffice developers and The Document Foundation whenever I would ask about modernizing the UI they told me that their first priority was to clean up the code they inherited from OpenOffice. And once the codebase is clean they would start to focus in UI. That day has finally come.
  • Feedback on teaching open source usability
    I was pleased that ten students signed up for the elective. This may seem small, but it is a significant number for a campus of some 1,900 students and a small computer science department. The same number of students also signed up for other electives that semester, including a course on databases. I organized the class similarly to the usability projects I mentor for Outreachy. Over thirteen weeks, students learned about open source software and usability testing. Most weeks included two assignments: summarizing several assigned articles, and exercising their knowledge of that week's topic. Later in the semester, students moderated two in-person usability tests; the second was their final project. At the end of each semester, students responded to a course evaluation, called the Student Rating of Teaching. The evaluation is totally anonymous. I don't know which students made which comments, or indeed which students chose to respond to the survey.
  • Swift’s Benchmarking Suite is Now Open Source [Ed: to help Apple lock-in]
    Apple has open sourced Swift’s benchmarking suite, a key piece in tracking Swift performance and catching performance regressions when adding new features to the language. Swift’s benchmarking suite is a collection of Swift source files that implement test suites and benchmarking helper functions, plus a number of Python scripts that implement a test harness and facilities for metrics comparison.
  • Face it: There's no money in open source [Ed: says Asay from Adobe]
  • FSF: You did it! The fundraiser was a success -- are you ready for what's next?
    Once again, the free software community helped put the FSF in a strong position to tackle our list of free software initiatives in 2016, by giving $5 or $10,000, becoming a member for the first time, donating a little bit extra this year, and simply helping spread the word. We've said it before, but we'll say it again: we really can't do this work without your passion and generosity.
  • [denemo] Release 2.0.2 is out now.
  • Open-Source Textbooks Gain Support to Improve College Affordability
    Universities and state governments are supporting open-source textbooks as a way to make college more affordable. The open textbooks are produced with publicly available material. They are issued to students for free or a small fraction of the hundreds of dollars they typically spend annually on books.
  • OUR VIEW: Making college texts — if not college — affordable
    We’re all familiar with the high cost of a college education: estimated expenses for a year at the University of Connecticut, including on-campus housing, is, according to the school’s website, $25,802. So that’s a little over $100,000 for a four-year education. And that’s only the beginning. If a student takes four courses each semester and each requires one or more textbooks, the annual cost for books and supplies could be as much as $1,200, according to the College Board. Of course, if more than one book is required or if the student selects one of the high-cost majors, it could be far more. The standard textbook for Fundamentals of General Chemistry I at the University of Connecticut has a list price of $303.
  • Researcher illegally shares millions of science papers free online to spread knowledge
    A researcher in Russia has made more than 48 million journal articles - almost every single peer-reviewed paper every published - freely available online. And she's now refusing to shut the site down, despite a court injunction and a lawsuit from Elsevier, one of the world's biggest publishers. For those of you who aren't already using it, the site in question is Sci-Hub, and it's sort of like a Pirate Bay of the science world. It was established in 2011 by neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who was frustrated that she couldn't afford to access the articles needed for her research, and it's since gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of papers being downloaded daily. But at the end of last year, the site was ordered to be taken down by a New York district court - a ruling that Elbakyan has decided to fight, triggering a debate over who really owns science.
  • WHO Full Speed On Zika R&D, Two Candidate Vaccines Emerging; Funders, Journals Commit To Sharing Of Data
  • $99 CowTech Ciclop Open Source 3D Scanner Hits Kickstarter (video)
    So if you think CowTech Ciclop 3D scanner is something you could benefit from, visit the Kickstarter website now to make a pledge and help this awesome $99 open soruce 3D scanner become a reality.
  • Faircap Project: Open source 3D printed water filter aims to solve global crisis for just $1
    The Faircap Project is a collaborative, clean water initiative, whose aim is to create an affordable open source 3D printed water filtration device that could provide clean, safe, drinkable water to those in need. The startup has already created a working prototype, but is now calling on engineers, designers, microbiologists, or anyone interested in helping to pitch their own open source ideas and make the Faircap filter as low cost and accessible as possible.
  • Is the vinyl LP an open music format?
    This is my first article for a new column here on Opensource.com about music from an open point of view. Some things I won't be doing: I won't be concentrating solely on music released under an open license. I won't be writing (much) about making one's own music. I won't be writing (much) about music theory or professional matters, or probably really very much of anything of interest to professional musicians. I will write about music I encounter that interests me for one reason or another. I'll tell you about how to enjoy music in an open environment, like on a Linux-based laptop, desktop, or server. I'll share hardware I've purchased or tried out that works well, and some that doesn't, in an open environment. I promise to write about good places to buy music that are Linux-friendly (that is, those that don't require installing downloaders that only run on other operating systems). And I will point out some other websites, and occasionally print media, that increases my enjoyment of music.

Linux and FOSS Events (I love Free Software Day, OpenStack Summit Austin)

  • Encryption: probably better than a box of chocolates
    This is a fun activity, but it can also make a difference. The right to encrypt is endangered around the world, with governments threatening our security and freedom by demanding legal or technological crippling of encryption. Resist with the power of love -- encrypt with your valentine, and tell the world! And as we've discussed at length, free software is necessary for privacy online. Because nonfree software's code can't be audited publicly, we can never trust it to be free of back doors inserted by accident or by design. We're thankful to all the hardworking free software developers who give us a fighting chance at digital privacy. It goes without saying, but we do love FS.
  • Sharing the free software love #ilovefs
    I like to think of every day on Opensource.com as I love Free Software Day, but we couldn't miss celebrating the official I love Free Software Day 2016, too. Granted, the official day to say "thank you" is on February 14th, so we're showing our love a little early to make sure you don't miss it.
  • OpenStack Summit Austin 2016 Presentation Votes (ends Feb. 17th, 2016)
    Open voting is available for all session submissions until Wednesday, Feb 17, 2016 at 11:59PM PST. This is a great way for the community to decide what they want to hear. I have submitted a handful of sessions which I hope will be voted for. Below are some short summary's and links to their voting pages.

Firefox OS (Linux)

  • Make your own Firefox OS TV
    Mozilla may not be actively developing Firefox OS for smartphones anymore… but the company is still pushing the operating system as an option for smart TVs and Internet-of Things products. Don’t want to spend money on a TV that comes with Firefox OS? You can build your own Firefox-based smart TV device… sort of.
  • Mozilla refocuses Firefox OS on connected devices
    One by one, the promising new smartphone operating systems, which hoped to chip away at the Android/iOS duopoly, are admitting defeat and refocusing on the less entrenched world of wearables and the Internet of Things. Mozilla has joined that sad procession, in the wake of Samsung Tizen, webOS and Baidu Cloud OS, and perhaps just ahead of Windows Phone, to judge by that platform’s increasingly tiny showing in Microsoft’s results.

Security Leftovers

  • Friday's security updates
  • Internet Providers to Use Private Routers as Public Hotspots
    The Juniper report highlighted the consumer benefits that the policy offers, such as free or reduced-fee access to the operator’s homespot network. At least one in three home routers will be used as public WiFi hotspots by 2017, and the total installed base of such dual-use routers will reach 366 million globally by the end of 2020, according to a report from Juniper Research.
  • Will you be my cryptovalentine?
    Over the last few year Free Software Foundation Europe runs a campaign called "I love Free Software Day". It's an opportunity to share your appreciation (or love) with the developers of your favorite Free Software project. So after you are done reading this post, choose your favorite project and send its developer(s) an appreciation email. Last year Zak Rogoff , had a great similar idea. On a post he wrote he suggested we use the Valentine's Day as an opportunity to use Free Software in order to setup secure and private communications with our significant other.
  • Pwn2Own Hacking Contest Returns as Joint HPE-Trend Micro Effort
    Over a half million dollars in prize money is up for grabs as the Zero Day Initiative browser hacking contest continues even as corporate ownership shifts. The annual Pwn2Own browser hacking competition that takes place at the CanSecWest conference is one of the premier security events in any given year, as security researchers attempt to demonstrate in real time zero-day exploits against modern Web browsers. This year there was initial concern that the event wouldn't happen, as the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), which is the primary sponsor of Pwn2Own, is currently in a state of transition.
  • Kaspersky Researcher Shows How He Hacked His Hospital While Sitting In His Car
    When we visit a hospital, we put our complete trust in our doctor and the medical equipment that he/she uses. With advancement in technology, these equipment have become more complex and interconnected. Sadly, ensuring standard cybersecurity measures is not a top priority of the medical professionals. This fact was recently outlined by a Kaspersky security researcher who hacked a hospital while sitting in his car.
  • Amazon Cloud is Prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse
    There are a number of reasons why an Amazon Web Services (AWS) user might need to violate the acceptable terms of use - including the onset of a zombie apocalypse. Amazon updated its terms of service this week alongside its Lumberyard gaming development platform, with a new provision about acceptable use in connection with safety-critical systems.