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today's leftovers

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  • Top 10 Reasons Why Desktop Linux Failed

    1) Linux isn't pre-installed - No matter how much we may debate it, having Windows pre-installed on PCs means that's what people are likely to end up using. In order for someone to move over to Linux on the desktop, there must be a clear reason to do so. There is the problem. The only time I've personally seen users make the switch over to Linux from Windows comes down to frustration with Windows or a desire to advance their skills into an IT field.

    My own Linux story, for example, was a mixture of the two examples above. First off, I was just done with Windows. I had already been dabbling with Linux at the time I completely switched, but I become disenfranchised with the Microsoft way of doing things. So for me, the switch to Linux was based out of frustration.

    Had I not experienced any frustrations with Windows, I might not have ever thought to jump ship over to an alternative. Even when I built my own PCs myself, the OS offered at computer stores was Windows only. This is a huge hurdle for Linux adoption on the desktop.

    2) Linux freedom vs convenience - It's been my experience that people expect a user experience that's consistent and convenience. How one defines this depends on the individual user. For some, it's a matter of familiarity or perceived dependability. For more advanced PC users, a consistent convenience may mean a preferred workflow or specific applications.

    The greater takeaway is that when people are aware of other operating systems, they will usually stick with that they've used the longest. This presents a problem when getting people to try Linux. When using a desktop platform for a long time, you develop habits and expectations that don't lend themselves well to change.

  • How to be efficient and cost effective (or not)

    It's the mid-1990s, and this big corporation is working on a major development project to replace most of its critical systems, says a Unix admin pilot fish working there.

  • [Podcast] PodCTL #41 – Dissecting Kubernetes Surveys

    In a world of open source projects, privately funded companies, one-off cloud services and a mix of public companies, it can often be difficult to determine hype from trends from real usage.

  • PodCTL Podcast #38 – A Beginner’s Guide to Kubernetes
  • Optimizing a Python application with C++ code

    I’ve been working lately in a command line application called Bard which is a music manager for your local music collection. Bard does an acoustic fingerprinting of your songs (using acoustid) and stores all song metadata in a sqlite database. With this, you can do queries and find song duplicates easily even if the songs are not correctly tagged. I’ll talk in another post more about Bard and its features, but here I wanted to talk about the algorithm to find song duplicates and how I optimized it to run around 8000 times faster.

    [...]

    An obvious improvement I didn’t do yet was replacing the map with a vector so I don’t have to convert it before each for_each call. Also, vectors allow to reserve space in advance, and since I know the final size the vector will have at the end of the whole algorithm, I changed to code to use reserve wisely.

    This commit gave the last increase of speed, to 7998x, 36680 songs/second and would fully process a music collection of 1000 songs in just 13 seconds..

  • How A KDE Developer Used C++17 & Boost.Python For About A 8,000x Speed-Up

    Open-source developer Antonio Larrosa who contributes to KDE and openSUSE has been developing a command-line music manager called Bard. He's written an interesting post about how he sped up some of his operations by around eight-thousand times faster.

    In particular, Antonio was focused on speeding up the process of finding song/music duplicates in the user's local music collection. What started out as Python code was morphed into optimized C++ code. Little surprise, the C++ code once tuned was immensely faster than Python -- but the blog post is interesting for those curious about the impact of the various steps he took for tuning this implementation.

  • GLib 2.58 Is Looking Good With Portability Improvements, Efficient Process Launching

    The GLib low-level GNOME library while being quite mature is seeing a significant update with its version 2.58 release due out this September for GNOME 3.30.

    Two of the biggest GLib 2.58 changes we have covered up to now on Phoronix has been the new generic reference counting API and more efficient app launching. The reference counting API has been in the works for 6+ years to help GLib's bindings/integration with languages utilizing automatic memory management / garbage collection. The more efficient process launching via the use of posix_nspawn() is also exciting for better performance, particularly on systems suffering from memory pressure.

  • Taiwan Travel Blog - Day 2 & 3

    My Taiwan Travel blog continues! I was expecting the weather to go bad on July 10th, but the typhoon arrived late and the rain only started around 20:00. I'm pretty happy because that means I got to enjoy another beautiful day of hiking in Taroko National Park.

    I couldn't find time on the 10th to sit down and blog about my trip, so this blog will also include what I did on the 11th.

  • Canonical Releases Minimal Ubuntu, Optimised for Multicloud

    Canonical, the company behind popular Linux system Ubuntu, has released Minimal Ubuntu, a pared-back, significantly faster iteration of its server operating system (OS).

  • Nokia signs billion-euro network tech deal with China Mobile

     

    Nokia said over the one-year framework agreement it will deliver mobile radio access, fixed access, IP routing and optical transport systems as well as other services to the Chinese mobile operator.  

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More in Tux Machines

A Linux/Android kit tablet and "the tiny single-board computers called Raspberry Pi"

  • A Linux/Android kit tablet
    I would like to introduce Diskio Pi, a kit tablet compatible Raspberry Pi and Odroid small boards computer.
  • Raspberry Pi OS Raspbian Now Features VLC Media Player, Minimal Install Image
    The Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new version of its Debian-based Raspbian Linux operating system for Raspberry Pi devices, a release that adds new features, updates, and many other interesting things. Raspbian 2018-11-13 is now the latest version of the Linux and Debian-based operating system for the tiny single-board computers called Raspberry Pi, introducing a new default media player, namely VLC Media Player, with fully hardware-accelerated support through VideoCore’s video engine for H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2 formats.

OSS Leftovers

  • 5 Best Chrome Extensions For Reading News In 2019
    The internet is the major source of news for many of us, and we spend a lot of time reading articles to stay updated. There are many news sources available that offer various categories of news. However, it is a time-consuming task to open each of those websites.
  • 6 Essential Tips for Safe Online Shopping
    The turkey sandwiches are in the fridge, and you didn’t argue with your uncle. It’s time to knock out that gift list, and if you’re like millions of Americans, you’re probably shopping online.
  • Elementary Bugs
    Mozilla is a well-known open-source organization, and thus draws a lot of interested contributors. But Mozilla is huge, and even the more limited scope of Firefox development is a wilderness to a newcomer. We have developed various tools to address this, one of which was an Outreachy project by Fienny Angelina called Codetribute. The site aggregates bugs that experienced developers have identified as good for new contributors (“good first bugs”, although often they are features or tasks) across Bugzilla and Github. It’s useful both for self-motivated contributors and for those looking for starting point for a deeper engagement with Mozilla (an internship or even a full-time job). However, it’s been tricky to help developers identify good-first-bugs.
  • Open Source Cloudify 4.5 Extends its Cloud Native Orchestration to the Network - from Core to Edge [Ed: Another example of proprietary and "Community" edition for openwashing purposes]
  • Why some open-source companies are considering a more closed approach
    “I would put it in a very blunt way: for many years we were suckers, and let them take what we developed and make tons of money on this.” Redis Labs CEO Ofer Bengal doesn’t mince words. His company, known for its open-source in-memory database, has been around for eight years, an eternity in the fast-changing world of modern enterprise software. Cloud computing was very much underway in 2011, but it was still a tool for early adopters or startups that couldn’t afford to bet millions on servers to incubate a promising but unproven idea. Most established companies were still building their own tech infrastructure the old-fashioned way, but they were increasingly realizing that open-source software would allow them to build that infrastructure with open-source components in ways that were much more flexible and cheaper than proprietary packages from traditional enterprise software companies.
  • Rob Port: Audit: North Dakota’s use of open source textbooks has saved North Dakota students a lot of money
    For generations now the cost of higher education has been out of control. This isn’t exactly news to you, I’m sure, but it may surprise you to know that the cost of textbooks has grown even faster than the rapid increase in tuition costs.
  • Envoy and gRPC-Web: a fresh new alternative to REST
    Personally, I’d been intrigued by gRPC-Web since I first read about it in a blog post on the Improbable engineering blog. I’ve always loved gRPC’s performance, scalability, and IDL-driven approach to service interaction and have longed for a way to eliminate REST from the service path if possible. I’m excited that gRPC-Web is ready for prime time because I think it opens up some extremely promising horizons in web development.
  • 2018 LLVM Developers' Meeting Videos Now Online
    For those wishing to learn more about the LLVM compiler stack and open-source compiler toolchains in general, the videos from October's LLVM Developers' Meeting 2018 in San Jose are now online.
  • OpenBSD in Stereo with Linux VFIO

    Now, after some extensive reverse engineering and debugging with the help of VFIO on Linux, I finally have audio playing out of both speakers on OpenBSD.

  • RcppMsgPack 0.2.3
    Another maintenance release of RcppMsgPack got onto CRAN today. Two new helper functions were added and not unlike the previous 0.2.2 release in, some additional changes are internal and should allow compilation on all CRAN systems. MessagePack itself is an efficient binary serialization format. It lets you exchange data among multiple languages like JSON. But it is faster and smaller. Small integers are encoded into a single byte, and typical short strings require only one extra byte in addition to the strings themselves. RcppMsgPack brings both the C++ headers of MessagePack as well as clever code (in both R and C++) Travers wrote to access MsgPack-encoded objects directly from R.

Server: FOSS at the Back End of 'Cloud'

  • Google, Amazon and Facebook Embrace Open Source Software As Future
    Open source coding lets users collaborate on software code, giving them the ability to store and edit code independently. It is designed to make projects built with its software publicly accessible, and has been the key to success for companies like Airbnb and Uber, which have made their fortunes by offering services, rather than the software itself. “The previous generation of developers grew up in a world where there was a battle between closed and open source,” said GitHub's Ben Balter, a researcher with the web-based hosting service for source code and open source software projects. “Today, that is no longer true.”
  • AWS Developing New Services Amid Open-Source Tensions
    Companies that manage open-source software have a message for cloud computing providers like Amazon: pay up, share your code or stop using our technology for free.
  • AWS develops new services amid open-source pushback
    Last month, MongoDB changed its licensing to put the Community Server software under a SSPL license, which lets cloud providers offer MongoDB as a service but only if they open source all of the related code or create a commercial agreement.
  • Urvika Gola: Attending ReactConf’18 in Henderson, Nevada
    Day 2 of React Conf, started with talking about how performance is integral to UX. Code Splitting, a concept were instead of sending the whole code in the initial payload, we send what’s needed to render the first screen and later, lazily loading the rest based on subsequent navigation. A most common problem while implementing code splitting can be ‘what do you display to the user if the view hasn’t finished loading?’ Maybe a spinner, loader, placeholder…?? But lot of these degrades the UX. Then came Concurrent React into the picture, Concurrent React can work on multiple tasks at a time and switch between them according to priority. Concurrent React can partially render a tree without committing the result and does not block the main thread.
  • OpenStack Rebranding Infrastructure Team as OpenDev
    OpenStack is one of the largest open source efforts in the world, with a large infrastructure that is used to build, develop and test the cloud platform. The infrastructure effort is now being rebranded as OpenDev as OpenStack continues to evolve. In a session, at the OpenStack Summit in Berlin, Germany last week, Clark Boylan team lead for the OpenStack Infrastructure team outlined how things are set to change as OpenStack moves beyond its core project to embrace a broader group of Open Infrastructure efforts. "We basically act as beta testers for the infrastructure and make sure things work," Boylan. "If it works for us, it'll probably work for you too."

Unhappy With Apple

  • New iPad Pro Reportedly Suffering From Bending Issues
    It has not been one month since Apple launched its latest iPad Pro models. It has been found that the nearly bezel-less iPad Pro models are prone to bending issues. In a durability test video by the famous YouTuber JerryRigEverything, iPad Pro models bent when a slight force was applied to it. Many new iPad owners also took to MacRumor’s forum to complain about the bending of the latest iPad.
  • How Apple tricked me into buying a new MacBook Air
     

    I have been using MacBook Air laptops for several years now and I like them much better than anything in the Windows space. However, my experience has been far from problem-free and I am angry at what I believe is a deceptive business practice designed to screw money out of loyal users.  

     

    [...]

     

    So for $175 I got my computer completely fixed after being told by both Apple and an Authorised Apple repairer that it could not be salvaged. Furthermore, I subsequently discovered through online inquiry that this particular keyboard had a design fault and that I was not to blame at all for the damage. I had been tricked into buying a new computer needlessly.