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today's leftovers

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  • Commons Clause in open source licences: business necessity or betrayal of software freedom?

    Accommodation of new business models and technological advances has fundamentally disrupted the open source industry. Unlike on-prem solutions, which are installed in a user environment, cloud-based software remains hosted on the vendor's servers and is accessed by users through a web browser. Because cloud-based offerings do not involve software distribution, the copyleft effect of open source licences is not triggered.

    Large cloud providers use their market power and infrastructure to generate significant revenues by offering proprietary services around successful open source projects, thus depriving such projects of an opportunity to commercialise similar services.


    Whether the benefits of employing the Commons Clause outweigh the potential risks is likely to invoke a case by case analysis. The community consensus on the four software freedoms [the freedom to run the program for any purpose, the freedom to modify it for private or public use, the freedom to make copies and distribute the program and its derivatives] is under continuous pressure for modification. Indeed reshaping the portfolio of freedoms may not necessarily be a threat to open source as we know it, but rather an evolution thereof.

    As Heather Meeker, the drafter of the Commons Clause, has noted, the choice is often between the full proprietary route and a source-available licensing. By choosing the latter, we may preserve at least some of the freedoms.

  • Fedora 30 : About the Jupyter lab tool.

    The tutorial for today is about Jupiter Lab and Fedora 30. You can see an old tutorial with Fedora 29 here.
    The JupyterLab is the next-generation web-based user interface for Project Jupyter.
    This can be installed using conda, pip or pipenv.

  • AWS celebrates Labor Day weekend by roasting customer data in US-East-1 BBQ

    A power outage fried hardware within one of Amazon Web Services' data centers during America's Labor Day weekend, causing some customer data to be lost.

    When the power went out, and backup generators subsequently failed, some virtual server instances evaporated – and some cloud-hosted volumes were destroyed and had to be restored from backups, where possible, we're told.

    A Register reader today tipped us off that on Saturday morning, Amazon's cloud biz started suffering a breakdown within its US-East-1 region.

    Our tipster told us they had more than 1TB of data in Amazon's cloud-hosted Elastic Block Store (EBS), which disappeared during the outage: they were told "the underlying hardware related to your EBS volume has failed, and the data associated with the volume is unrecoverable."


    Unlucky customers who had data on the zapped storage systems were told by AWS staff that, despite attempts to revive the missing bits and bytes, some of the ones and zeroes were permanently scrambled: "A small number of volumes were hosted on hardware which was adversely affected by the loss of power. However, due to the damage from the power event, the EBS servers underlying these volumes have not recovered.

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