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OSS Leftovers

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  • Can Open Source Improve Japan’s New Blockchain-based Voting System?

    Besides Switzerland and the USA, Japan is now the most recent implementer of Blockchain in its voting system. Let’s take a look at the news in brief and also the current challenges in the model. Can Open Source help in tackling them?

    [...]

    Complete details of the initiative (translated) are available on the Tsukuba city page.

    Though integrating Blockchain with the “My Number” system makes the voting process easier, there really are some notable setbacks, one of which is described in the video that needs to be dealt with in order to improve this voting system.

  • IRC's 30th Birthday; Mozilla Working on New JavaScript APIs for VR; Arch Linux Answering Questions on Reddit; Microsoft Splits Its Visual Studio Team Services; and Hortonworks, IBM and Red Hat Announce the Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative

    Mozilla yesterday announced it is beginning a new phase of work on JavaScript APIs "that will help everyone create and share virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) projects on the open web". Mozilla's new WebXR Device API has two goals: 1) "To support a wider variety of user inputs, such as voice and gestures, giving users options for navigating and interacting in virtual spaces"; and 2) "To establish a technical foundation for development of AR experiences, letting creators integrate real-world media with contextual overlays that elevate the experience." For more information, see the Immersive Web Community Group.

  • Converting a WebGL application to WebVR

    A couple months ago I ported the Pathfinder demo app to WebVR. It was an interesting experience, and I feel like I learned a bunch of things about porting WebGL applications to WebVR that would be generally useful to folks, especially folks coming to WebVR from non-web programming backgrounds.

    Pathfinder is a GPU-based font rasterizer in Rust, and it comes with a demo app that runs the Rust code on the server side but does all the GPU work in WebGL in a TypeScript website.

    We had a 3D demo showing a representation of the Mozilla Monument as a way to demo text rasterization in 3D. What I was hoping to do was to convert this to a WebVR application that would let you view the monument by moving your head instead of using arrow keys.

  • Combining the Benefits of Commercial & Open Analytics [Ed: "Commercial & Open" is misleading because Free/Open Source software is used a lot commercially. Some just attempt to spread the line/lie that only proprietary is suitable commercially.]
  • More Details On The AMD GCN Back-End For GCC That's Expected To Merge For GCC 9

    -
    Last week I reported on Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics posting their new AMD GCN port to the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). This GPU back-end for the widely-used GCC compiler is hoped for merging ahead of the GCC 9 stable release expected in early 2019. At this past weekend's GNU Tools Cauldron 2018 conference was a briefing by Mentor Graphics on undertaking funded by AMD.

  • Book review: The Economics of Open Access – on the Future of Academic Publishing

    Two decades ago, the world of academic publishing was taken by a storm called ‘open access’. The movement of ‘open access’ advocates for making published content available to the public for free. No fees and no (or little) right-based restrictions to limit access (apparently, the wisdom that authors need financial incentives to create does not apply to scholars who write for pleasure or reputation alone). The aim of open access is [was] to democratize access to knowledge. In ‘The Economics Open Access’, Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen investigate whether ‘open access’ strategies have delivered on their promises.

    Combined with the rise of the Internet and digital technologies, open access strategies should have made the dissemination of knowledge (via academic publications) cheaper than ever. Instead, we find libraries facing higher subscription fees which forces them to cut back on their catalogue listing and monograph in-take…so what went wrong?

    The book offers an economic empirical analysis the impact of ‘open access’ has had on the academic publishing market world-wide. The analysis is based on two different sets of data: an ‘objective’ data set capturing the state of the academic publishing markets (i.e. growth in publication numbers, publishers, levels of open-access practices etc.), and a ‘subjective’ data set which documents scholars’ views on open access policies and how they engage with them in practice. This second set of data, based on over 10,000 responses from 25 different countries, is undoubtedly the most novel and original contribution of the book to the debate.

  • Europe's New 'Plan S' For Open Access: Daft Name, Great News

    Keeping copyright in the hands of authors is crucial: too often, academics have been cajoled or bullied into handing over copyright for their articles to publishers, thus losing the ability to determine who can read them, and under what conditions. Similarly, the CC-BY license would allow commercial use by anyone -- many publishers try to release so-called open access articles under restrictive licenses like CC-BY-NC, which stop other publishers from distributing them.

    Embargo periods are routinely used by publishers to delay the appearance of open access versions of articles; under Plan S, that would no longer be allowed. Finally, the new initiative discourages the use of "hybrid" journals that have often enabled publishers to "double dip". That is, they charge researchers who want to release their work as open access, but also require libraries to take out full-price subscriptions for journals that include these freely-available articles.

    Suber has a number of (relatively minor) criticisms of Plan S, which are well-worth reading. All-in-all, though, this is a major breakthrough for open access in Europe, and thus the world. Once "admirably strong" open access mandates like Plan S have been established in one region, others tend to follow in due course. Let's just hope they choose better names.

  • Open Jam, the open source game jam, returns for 2018

    Team Scripta is back with the second annual Open Jam, a game jam that promotes open source games and game creation tools.

  • AsioHeaders 1.12.1-1

    A first update to the AsioHeaders package arrived on CRAN today. Asio provides a cross-platform C++ library for network and low-level I/O programming. It is also included in Boost – but requires linking when used as part of Boost. This standalone version of Asio is a header-only C++ library which can be used without linking (just like our BH package with parts of Boost).

More in Tux Machines

Software and Games: Hegemon, Gift of Parthax, Lutris

  • Hegemon – A Modular System Monitor Application Written In Rust
    When it comes to monitor running processes in Unix-like systems, the most commonly used applications are top and htop, which is an enhanced version of top. My personal favorite is htop. However, the developers are releasing few alternatives to these applications every now and then. One such alternative to top and htop utilities is Hegemon. It is a modular system monitor application written using Rust programming language.
  • Wizard arena-fighter 'Gift of Parthax' is now officially out on Linux
    Announced yesterday after a pretty short beta period, the magical arena fighting game Gift of Parthax is now officially available for Linux. Along with putting the Linux build out in public, their latest release also fixes a few bugs. The developer sent over a key and I've been testing it, the Linux version seems to be working really quite nicely. If you liked the idea of Wizard of Legend, but found it a little too fast for your tastes then Gift of Parthax might be a better fit although it's single-player only.
  • Lutris 0.4.20 is now out, to help you manage all your games plus some Overwatch testing
    I have to admit, the game manager Lutris [Official Site] has come along quite a bit since I last used it. Today, version 0.4.20 was made available. For those not aware of it, Lutris is an application that aims to give you a single place to manage all your games on Linux. It supports native games, Wine, various emulators and so on. The application itself is available under the GPL and the helper scripts to install games can be viewed before using them so it's quite nice.

today's howtos

OSS Leftovers

  • Editor's Corner—Open source is not 'one size fits all' [Ed: But that's a plus, not a minus. With proprietary software it's one unsuitable thing for everything; doesn't scale.]
    Open source communities are no doubt playing a key role in moving the telecommunications industry forward, but not everyone is on board the bandwagon. Over the past five months or so, we've spent a fair amount of time writing about open source groups and standards development organizations (SDOs) such as the Linux Foundation, MEF, Open Networking Foundation, OpenDaylight, the TM Forum and ETSI, and there's clearly more cooperation afoot for the good of the industry. But artificial intelligence startup B.Yond's chief marketing officer, Rikard Kjellberg, said his company has to be careful when it comes to choosing which open source community to commit its resources to. Kjellberg spoke to FierceTelecom on the heels of the AT&T Spark conference earlier this month.
  • Collabora Had Another Stellar Year For Open-Source Consulting
    The Collabora open-source consulting firm whose expertise spans from the Linux kernel to LibreOffice and X.Org had another successful year. The UK-based company last week reported their 2017 financial position last week providing a glimpse at the viability of open-source / free software consulting.
  • Daniel Stenberg: The Polhem prize, one year later
    Family and friends have gotten a rudimentary level of understanding of what curl is and what it does. I'm not suggesting they fully grasp it or know what an "internet protocol" is now, but at least a lot of people understand that it works with "internet transfers". It's not like people were totally uninterested before, but when I was given this prize - by a jury of engineers no less - that says this is a significant invention and accomplishment with a value that "can not be overestimated", it made them more interested. The little video that was produced helped:
  • Open Source Voice Assistant, Mycroft AI, Named Top Deal By KingsCrowd
  • Service providers increasingly adopt open source for their networks
    Communications service providers (CSPs) are increasingly keen to adopt open source technologies to deliver their services, according to research. At this week’s Open Networking Summit Europe in Amsterdam, delegates heard that DevOps, automation, cloud, big data and analytics, software-defined networking (SDN), and management and orchestration (MANO) were increasingly being supported by open source solutions. Commissioned research questioned 150 CSP representatives across 98 companies worldwide. It found that 98% of CSPs are “confident” that open networking solutions can achieve the same level of performance as traditional networking solutions.
  • Communications Service Providers Overwhelmingly Confident in Open Source Networking Solutions, Survey Finds
  • WLinux Distro for Windows Subsystem for Linux Now Available, openSUSE Call for Hosts, New Firefox Bug, Firefox Collecting Telemetry Data and Creative Commons Releases Significant CC Search Update
    In other Firefox news, the browser evidently is collecting telemetry data via hidden add-ons, ITWire reports. The ITWire post also quotes Mozilla's Marshall Eriwn, director of Trust and Security: "...we will measure Telemetry Coverage, which is the percentage of all Firefox users who report telemetry. The Telemetry Coverage measurement will sample a portion of all Firefox clients and report whether telemetry is enabled. This measurement will not include a client identifier and will not be associated with our standard telemetry."
  • This “Netflix For Open Source” Startup Helps Programmers Get Paid
    Open source developers, especially those who work on lesser known projects, do not get much attention or money for the work they do. While some developers are paid to work on open source projects as a part of their day jobs, they can get overwhelmed by the amount of work these projects require.
  • Portable Computing Language 1.2 Released For OpenCL On CPUs & More
    The Portable Computing Language (a.k.a. POCL or PortableCL) is the effort for getting OpenCL running on CPUs as well as other hardware for this open-source code-base that supports OpenCL 1.2 with some OpenCL 2.0+ functionality. The main "feature" of POCL 1.2 is support for LLVM Clang 7.0 as previously the support was limited to LLVM 6.0, but now this new version of LLVM is supported. The HWLOC 2.0 library is also now supported. There are also some minor feature additions like device-side printf being supported.
  • Robert O'Callahan: More Realistic Goals For C++ Lifetimes 1.0
    Over two years ago I wrote about the C++ Lifetimes proposal and some of my concerns about it. Just recently, version 1.0 was released with a blog post by Herb Sutter. Comparing the two versions shows many important changes. The new version is much clearer and more worked-out, but there are also significant material changes. In particular the goal has changed dramatically.

Money and Press for FOSS FUD firms