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Updated: 6 hours 28 min ago

The beauty of open source hardware

Wednesday 3rd of October 2018 07:00:00 AM

Alicia Gibb is the face of open hardware right now. She went to library school where they taught her that freedom of information and access to it is the most important thing.

She's been in love with "open source" ever since and eventually got into open hardware through hackerspace meetups. Her favorite thing is when an LED lights up. "It's the 'Hello World' of hardware. You know something is working."


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A quick-start guide for the Raspberry Pi

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018 07:03:00 AM
Whether absolute beginner or seasoned programming novice, we all need a helping hand remembering those key commands. I use a Raspberry Pi every day, but I rely on sticky notes and web searches to get by, so I put together this handy cheat sheet on the basics.   This Raspberry Pi cheat sheet covers what you need to boot your Pi, how to install the operating system, how to enable SSH and connect to WiFi, how to install software and update your system, and includes links for where to get further help.  
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4 open source invoicing tools for small businesses

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018 07:02:00 AM

No matter what your reasons for starting a small business, the key to keeping that business going is getting paid. Getting paid usually means sending a client an invoice.

It's easy enough to whip up an invoice using LibreOffice Writer or LibreOffice Calc, but sometimes you need a bit more. A more professional look. A way of keeping track of your invoices. Reminders about when to follow up on the invoices you've sent.


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How to use the SSH and SFTP protocols on your home network

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018 07:01:00 AM

Years ago, I decided to set up an extra computer (I always have extra computers) so that I could access it from work to transfer files I might need. To do this, the basic first step is to have your ISP assign a fixed IP address.


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Beyond engagement: What leaders need to know about empowering others

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018 07:00:00 AM

Discussing the concept of "empowerment" with organizational leaders often exposes an interesting dichotomy: While leaders often support empowering teams, they're occasionally wary of empowering individuals. Empowered teams, the thinking goes, are innovative and agile—but empowered individuals are obstinate and rebellious. So asking senior leaders to invest in efforts to empower individual contributors could potentially sound like a request to equip everyone with a blowtorch and a machete.


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Popular programming languages, Audiophile Linux distro, GNU, Bash, Raspberry PI, DevOps, GIMP, and more

Monday 1st of October 2018 04:55:00 PM

More than 3,000 readers took our poll last week: How many programming languages have you used?. And more than two-thousand respondents say they've used 5 or more programming languages. Read on to see what else was popular on Opensource.com in the past week.


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16 iptables tips and tricks for sysadmins

Monday 1st of October 2018 07:02:00 AM

Modern Linux kernels come with a packet-filtering framework named Netfilter. Netfilter enables you to allow, drop, and modify traffic coming in and going out of a system. The iptables userspace command-line tool builds upon this functionality to provide a powerful firewall, which you can configure by adding rules to form a firewall policy. iptables can be very daunting with its rich set of capabilities and baroque command syntax.


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Scaling your developer community with plugins

Monday 1st of October 2018 07:01:00 AM

Community managers care about growth in their community, but growing development communities is hard work. It's rare for developers to start contributing code to projects they've never worked with before—it's far more likely that your developers were (or still are) users of the project, too.


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Turn your book into a website and an ePub using Pandoc

Monday 1st of October 2018 07:00:00 AM

Pandoc is a command-line tool for converting files from one markup language to another. In my introduction to Pandoc, I explained how to convert text written in Markdown into a website, a slideshow, and a PDF.


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CLIP OS, fighting bias and diagnosing cancer with AI, Consul open source citizen participation platform, and more news

Saturday 29th of September 2018 07:00:00 AM

In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look France's new secure operating system, IBM's bias-hunting toolkit, using open source AI to diagnose cancer, and more.

French security agency releases CLIP OS

The National Cybersecurity Agency of France takes digital protection very seriously — so seriously, in fact, that the organization has its own secure operating system, which it's open sourced.


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10 handy Bash aliases for Linux

Friday 28th of September 2018 07:02:00 AM

How many times have you repeatedly typed out a long command on the command line and wished there was a way to save it for later? This is where Bash aliases come in handy. They allow you to condense long, cryptic commands down to something easy to remember and use. Need some examples to get you started? No problem!

To use a Bash alias you've created, you need to add it to your .bash_profile file, which is located in your home folder. Note that this file is hidden and accessible only from the command line. The easiest way to work with this file is to use something like Vi or Nano.


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Quiet log noise with Python and machine learning

Friday 28th of September 2018 07:01:00 AM

Continuous integration (CI) jobs can generate massive volumes of data. When a job fails, figuring out what went wrong can be a tedious process that involves investigating logs to discover the root cause—which is often found in a fraction of the total job output. To make it easier to separate the most relevant data from the rest, the Logreduce machine learning model is trained using previous successful job runs to extract anomalies from failed runs' logs.


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Using Grails with jQuery and DataTables

Friday 28th of September 2018 07:00:00 AM

I’m a huge fan of Grails. Granted, I’m mostly a data person who likes to explore and analyze data using command-line tools. But even data people sometimes need to look at the data, and sometimes using data means having a great data browser. With Grails, jQuery, and the DataTables jQuery plugin, we can make really nice tabular data browsers.


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Happy Birthday, GNU: Why I still love GNU 35 years later

Thursday 27th of September 2018 07:02:00 AM

GNU was publicly announced on September 27, 1983, and today has a strong following.

GNU is...

  • an operating system
  • an extensive collection of computer software
  • free software
  • licensed under the GNU Project's own General Public License (GPL)

What else is GNU to you? Which tool is your favorite? Here are five great responses.


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What containers can teach us about DevOps

Thursday 27th of September 2018 07:01:00 AM

One can argue that containers and DevOps were made for one another. Certainly, the container ecosystem benefits from the skyrocketing popularity of DevOps practices, both in design choices and in DevOps’ use by teams developing container technologies. Because of this parallel evolution, the use of containers in production can teach teams the fundamentals of DevOps and its three pillars: The Three Ways.

Principles of flow

Container flow


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How naming of variables works in Perl 6

Thursday 27th of September 2018 07:00:00 AM

In the first four articles in this series comparing Perl 5 to Perl 6, we looked into some of the issues you might encounter when migrating code, how garbage collection works, why containers replaced references, and using (subroutine) signatures in Perl 6 and how these things differ from Perl 5.


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An introduction to swap space on Linux systems

Wednesday 26th of September 2018 07:03:00 AM

Swap space is a common aspect of computing today, regardless of operating system. Linux uses swap space to increase the amount of virtual memory available to a host. It can use one or more dedicated swap partitions or a swap file on a regular filesystem or logical volume.


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3 open source distributed tracing tools

Wednesday 26th of September 2018 07:01:00 AM

Distributed tracing systems enable users to track a request through a software system that is distributed across multiple applications, services, and databases as well as intermediaries like proxies. This allows for a deeper understanding of what is happening within the software system. These systems produce graphical representations that show how much time the request took on each step and list each known step.


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How to use the Scikit-learn Python library for data science projects

Wednesday 26th of September 2018 07:00:00 AM

The Scikit-learn Python library, initially released in 2007, is commonly used in solving machine learning and data science problems—from the beginning to the end. The versatile library offers an uncluttered, consistent, and efficient API and thorough online documentation.


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More in Tux Machines

Raspberry Pi lookalike offers HDMI 2.0 and optional M.2

Geniatech’s “XPI-S905X” is a new Raspberry Pi pseudo clone with a quad -A53 Amlogic S905X plus 2GB RAM, up to 16GB eMMC, 4K-ready HDMI 2.0, LAN, 4x USB, touch-enabled LVDS, and optional M.2. Geniatech, which is known for Qualcomm based SBCs such as the Snapdragon 410 based, 96Boards-like Development Board IV and Snapdragon 820E based Development Board 8, has posted specs for a Raspberry Pi form factor board with a quad -A53, Amlogic S905X with 1/6GHz to 2GHz performance. No pricing is available for the XPI-S905X, which appears to be aimed at the OEM market. Read more

​Linus Torvalds talks about coming back to work on Linux

"'I'm starting the usual merge window activity now," said Torvalds. But it's not going to be kernel development as usual. "We did talk about the fact that now Greg [Kroah-Hartman] has write rights to my kernel tree, and if will be easier to just share the load if we want to, and maybe we'll add another maintainer after further discussion." So, Kroah-Hartman, who runs the stable kernel, will have a say on Linus' cutting-edge kernel. Will someone else get write permission to Torvalds' kernel code tree to help lighten the load? Stay tuned. Read more Also: Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board election call for nominations

Mozilla: Firefox 65 Plans and Firefox 63 Analysis

  • Firefox 65 Will Block Tracking Cookies By Default
    Mozilla today released Firefox 63, which includes an experimental option to block third-party tracking cookies, protecting against cross-site tracking. You can test this out today, but Mozilla wants to enable it for everyone by default in Firefox 65.
  • The Path to Enhanced Tracking Protection
    As a leader of Firefox’s product management team, I am often asked how Mozilla decides on which privacy features we will build and launch in Firefox. In this post I’d like to tell you about some key aspects of our process, using our recent Enhanced Tracking Protection functionality as an example.
  • Firefox 63 Lets Users Block Tracking Cookies
    As announced in August, Firefox is changing its approach to addressing tracking on the web. As part of that plan, we signaled our intent to prevent cross-site tracking for all Firefox users and made our initial prototype available for testing. Starting with Firefox 63, all desktop versions of Firefox include an experimental cookie policy that blocks cookies and other site data from third-party tracking resources. This new policy provides protection against cross-site tracking while minimizing site breakage associated with traditional cookie blocking.
  • Firefox 63 – Tricks and Treats!
  • Firefox 63 Released, Red Hat Collaborating with NVIDIA, Virtual Box 6.0 Beta Now Available, ODROID Launching a New Intel-Powered SBC and Richard Stallman Announces the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines
    Firefox 63.0 was released this morning. With this new version, "users can opt to block third-party tracking cookies or block all trackers and create exceptions for trusted sites that don't work correctly with content blocking enabled". In addition, WebExtensions now run in their own process on Linux, and Firefox also now warns if you have multiple windows and tabs open when you quit via the main menu. You can download it from here.
  • Changes to how Mozilla Readability extracts article metadata in Firefox 63
    Mozilla Readability will now extract document metadata from Dublin Core and Open Graph Protocol meta tags instead of trying to guess article titles. Earlier this year, I documented how reader mode in web browsers extract metadata about articles. After learning about the messy state of metadata extraction for reader mode, I sought to improve the extraction logic used in Mozilla Readability. Mozilla Readability was one of the first reader mode parsers and it’s used in Firefox as well as other web browsers.

Security: Cross-Hyperthread Spectre V2 Mitigation Ready For Linux, Targeted vs General-Purpose Security and More

  • Cross-Hyperthread Spectre V2 Mitigation Ready For Linux With STIBP
    On the Spectre front for the recently-started Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel is STIBP support for cross-hyperthread Spectre Variant Two mitigation. Going back to the end of the summer was the patch work for this cross-hyperthread Spectre V2 mitigation with STIBP while now it's being merged to mainline.
  • Targeted vs General purpose security
    There seems to be a lot of questions going around lately about how to best give out simple security advice that is actionable. Goodness knows I’ve talked about this more than I can even remember at this point. The security industry is really bad at giving out actionable advice. It’s common someone will ask what’s good advice. They’ll get a few morsels, them someone will point out whatever corner case makes that advice bad and the conversation will spiral into nonsense where we find ourselves trying to defend someone mostly concerned about cat pictures from being kidnapped by a foreign nation. Eventually whoever asked for help quit listening a long time ago and decided to just keep their passwords written on a sticky note under the keyboard. I’m pretty sure the fundamental flaw in all this thinking is we never differentiate between a targeted attack and general purpose security. They are not the same thing. They’re incredibly different in fact. General purpose advice can be reasonable, simple, and good. If you are a target you’ve already lost, most advice won’t help you. General purpose security is just basic hygiene. These are the really easy concepts. Ideas like using a password manager, multi-factor-auth, install updates on your system. These are the activities anyone and everyone should be doing. One could argue these should be the default settings for any given computer or service (that’s a post for another day though). You don’t need to be a security genius to take these steps. You just have to restrain yourself from acting like a crazy person so whoever asked for help can actually get the advice they need.
  • Oracle Moves to Gen 2 Cloud, Promising More Automation and Security [Ed: Ellison wants people to blindly trust proprietary blobs for security (a bad thing to do, never mind the CIA past of Oracle and severe flaws in its DBs)].
    A primary message from Ellison is that the Gen 2 Oracle cloud is more secure, with autonomous capabilities to help protect against attacks. Ellison also emphasized the segmentation and isolation of workloads on the Gen 2 Oracle cloud, providing improved security.
  • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #182
    Here’s what happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between Sunday October 14 and Saturday October 20 2018...