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OSS Leftovers and Open Access

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  • Google Chrome’s Ad Blocking Feature to Roll Out Worldwide on July 9

    Google has made an announcement that it is expanding its ad blocking feature in Chrome browser to the whole world starting July 9. The initiative of Ad-blocking was introduced with Chrome version 71 back in December in collaboration with the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), which is an organization that works for the interests of the users of the internet and designs guidelines for ads to be shown on web pages.

    The initiative of optimizing ads for the consumers had begun with U.S., Canada, and Europe earlier. Now the CBA is planning to improve the user experience on the internet worldwide by expanding its Better Ads Standards to all countries and Google is complying with them. From July 2019, Chrome will filter these 12 types of ads that cause an intrusive experience for the users. These include pop up ads and ads with autoplay videos.

  • Google Chrome Labs releases online and open source Etch-A-Sketch clone, Web-A-Skeb

    Web-A-Skeb works well in all major browsers, not just Chrome, including desktop and mobile, (and can even be installed as a progressive web app). It will certainly be a fun time waster for me for a few days. Interested web developers can check out the Web-A-Skeb source code on GitHub.

  • The Future Of Open Source Software: More Of Everything

    We have been awash in predictions for weeks now. That’s what we do every time the calendar completes another trip around the sun.

    And in most cases, as the year wears on and reality doesn’t always conform to the forecasts, that line from Yogi Berra (if he didn’t actually say it, who cares?) gets more and more relevant: Predictions are hard, especially about the future.

    But when it comes to the future of open source software, given the trend lines of the past few years, it seems pretty safe to say that a single word – more – will be present in just about everything that happens in 2019.

  • Peer-reviewed physics for Wikipedia: PLOS ONE Topic Pages

    Wikipedia pages on physics have a huge impact. The numbers speak for themselves. The page “Quantum computing” is viewed in excess of 3,000 times every day. “Nanotechnology” is viewed in excess of 2,000 times per day. Even a topic like “Monte Carlo method” is viewed 2,000 times per day. I could teach every semester for my entire lifetime and not reach as many students as these Wikipedia pages reach in a single day.

    Science Wikipedia pages aren’t just for non-experts. Physicists – researchers, professors, and students – use Wikipedia daily. When I need the transition temperature for a Bose-Einstein condensate (prefactor and all), or when I want to learn about the details of an unfamiliar quantum algorithm, Wikipedia is my first stop. When a graduate student sends me research notes that rely on unfamiliar algebraic structures, they reference Wikipedia. The influence on academics is even directly apparent in their publications: Language from Wikipedia articles has been found to influence the language of academic papers after just a couple years.

  • PLOS ONE Topic Pages: Peer-Reviewed Articles That Are Also Wikipedia Entries: What's Not To Like?

    The two-pronged approach of these "Topic Pages" has a number of benefits. It means that Wikipedia gains high-quality, peer-reviewed articles, written by experts; scientists just starting out gain an important new resource with accessible explanations of often highly-technical topics; and the scientists writing Topic Pages can add them to their list of citable publications -- an important consideration for their careers, and an added incentive to produce them.

    Other PLOS titles such as PLOS Computational Biology and PLOS Genetics have produced a few Topic Pages previously, but the latest move represents a major extension of the idea. As the blog post notes, PLOS ONE is initially welcoming articles on topics in quantum physics, but over time it plans to expand to all of physics. Let's hope it's an idea that catches on and spreads across all academic disciplines, since everyone gains from the approach -- not least students researching their homework.

More in Tux Machines

SUSE releases enterprise Linux for all major ARM processors

SUSE has released its enterprise Linux distribution, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), for all major ARM server processors. It also announced the general availability of SUSE Manager Lifecycle. SUSE is on par with the other major enterprise Linux distributions — Red Hat and Ubuntu — in the x86 space, but it has lagged in its ARM support. It’s not like SLES for ARM is only now coming to market for the first time, either. It has been available for several years, but on a limited basis. Read more

MellowPlayer – multi-platform cloud music integration

With my CD collection spiraling out of control, I’m spending more time listening to music with a number of popular streaming services. Linux offers a great range of excellent open source music players. But I’m always on the look out for fresh and innovative streaming players. Step forward MellowPlayer. MellowPlayer offers a web view of various music streaming services with integration with your desktop. It was developed to provide a Qt alternative to Nuvola Player. The software is written in C++ and QML. Read more

Some Thoughts on Open Core

Nothing is inherently anti-business about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). In fact, a number of different business models are built on top of FOSS. The best models are those that continue to further FOSS by internal code contributions and that advance the principles of Free Software in general. For instance, there's the support model, where a company develops free software but sells expert support for it. Here, I'd like to talk a bit about one of the more problematic models out there, the open core model, because it's much more prevalent, and it creates some perverse incentives that run counter to Free Software principles. If you haven't heard about it, the open core business model is one where a company develops free software (often a network service intended to be run on a server) and builds a base set of users and contributors of that free code base. Once there is a critical mass of features, the company then starts developing an "enterprise" version of the product that contains additional features aimed at corporate use. These enterprise features might include things like extra scalability, login features like LDAP/Active Directory support or Single Sign-On (SSO) or third-party integrations, or it might just be an overall improved version of the product with more code optimizations and speed. Because such a company wants to charge customers to use the enterprise version, it creates a closed fork of the free software code base, or it might provide the additional proprietary features as modules so it has fewer problems with violating its free software license. Read more

Linux 4.20 Allows Overclockers To Increase The Radeon TDP Power Limit

The AMDGPU Linux kernel driver for a while has now offered command-line-driven OverDrive overclocking for recent generations of Radeon GPUs. This has allowed manipulating the core and memory clock speeds as well as tweaking the voltage but has not supported increasing the TDP limit of the graphics card: that's in place with Linux 4.20 Up until now with the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver there hasn't been support for increasing the TDP power limit beyond its default, but has allowed for reducing that limit should you be trying to conserve power / allow your GPU to run cooler. A change was quietly added to the Linux 4.20 kernel to allow increasing the power limit when in the OverDrive mode. This change wasn't prominently advertised but fortunately a Phoronix reader happened to run across it today and tipped us off. Read more