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today's leftovers

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  • Panel: A New Era of Open? COVID-19 and the Pursuit for Equitable Solutions

    In this panel, we’ll examine the fields of Open Data, Open Science, and Open Source Medical Hardware with leading experts and practitioners, asking questions like: “What does “open” mean in the COVID-19 context?” “What role can open access and the open community play in ensuring there is timely and equitable access to medical and scientific research outputs and data, vaccines and treatments?” “Can open science and open data help prevent the next pandemic?” “What legal tools should be used to expedite the manufacturing of vaccines?” “How can we balance individual privacy with the need to share information about genome variation and patterns of infection?”

  • WordPress Boots Pirated Themes and Plugins [Ed: "Pirated" is technically and legally the wrong term]

    WordPress issued a statement that pirated themes and plugins are prohibited from being distributed from the official repositories

    [...]

    WordPress.org announced that plugins and themes that are pirated versions of paid plugins and themes will be removed from the official WordPress repositories. The WordPress community debated if that approach violated the WordPress Open Source GPL license that allows derivative works to be distributed.

    The announcement itself affirmed that premium plugins are developed under the GPL that allows the creation of derivative works. But it also reserved the right to remove the plugins from the official plugin repository.

  • New Release: OnionShare 2.3

    This post was originally published on Micah Lee's blog.

    After a ridiculously long sixteen months (or roughly ten years in pandemic time) I'm excited to announce that OnionShare 2.3 is out! Download it from onionshare.org.

  • What is virtualisation? The basics

    Virtualisation plays a huge role in almost all of today’s fastest-growing software-based industries. It is the foundation for most cloud computing, the go-to methodology for cross-platform development, and has made its way all the way to ‘the edge’; the eponymous IoT. This article is the first in a series where we explain what virtualisation is and how it works. Here, we start with the broad strokes. Anything that goes beyond the scope of a 101 article will be covered in subsequent blog posts. Let’s get into it.

    [...]

    Snaps are containerised software packages that focus on being singular application containers. Where LXC could be seen as a machine container, Docker as a process container, snaps can be seen as application containers. Snaps package code and dependencies in a similar way to containers to keep the application content isolated and immutable. They have a writable area that is separated from the rest of the system, but are visible to the host via user application-defined interfaces and behave more like traditional Debian apt packages.

    Snaps are designed for when you want to deploy to a single machine. Applications are built and packaged as snaps using a tool called snapcraft that incorporates different container technologies to create a secure and easy-to-update way to package applications for workstations or for fleets of IoT devices. There are a few ways to develop snaps. Developers can configure snap to even run unconfined while they put it together and containerise everything later when pushing to production. Read more about the different way snaps can be configured in another article.

  • Full Circle Magazine #166

    This month:
    * Command & Conquer : LMMS
    * How-To : Python, Podcast Production, and Make a Budget
    * Graphics : Inkscape

    [...]

  • resolvd(8) - daemon to handle nameserver configuration

    From manual page description (at the time of writing):

    resolvd handles the contents of /etc/resolv.conf, which contains details of the system's DNS nameservers, and is read by the resolver routines in the C library.

    resolvd checks whether unwind(8) is running and monitors the routing socket for proposals sent by dhclient(8), slaacd(8), or network devices which learn DNS information such as umb(4).

  • February 2021 Web Server Survey

    Apache also holds a more significant lead in terms of Netcraft’s active sites metric, which favours sites with unique content. Apache serves 25.5% of active sites, whereas nginx serves 19.8%. Google accounts for a reasonably large 9.9% share of active sites, owing to its popular Blogger service.

    Microsoft’s server software market share remains in decline. Microsoft’s figures took a significant drop in 2020 in favour of OpenResty, and Microsoft now only has 6.5% (-1.0pp) of the site market and 6.0% (-0.3pp) of domains as of February 2021. OpenResty also looks set to overtake Microsoft as the third largest vendor in terms of sites and active sites.

  • #MonthOfMaking is back in The MagPi 103!
  • The Rise & Rise Of Linux Foundation

    Open Source Development Labs and Free Standards Group merged to form the Linux Foundation at the turn of the millennium.

  • Bundling for the Web

    One set of touted advantages for bundling relate to performance and efficiency. Today, we have a better understanding of the ways in which performance is affected by resource composition, so this has been narrowed down to two primary features: compression efficiency and reduced overheads.

    Compression efficiency can be dramatically improved if similar resources are bundled together. This is because the larger shared context results in more repetition and gives a compressor more opportunities to find and exploit similarities.

    Bundling is not the only way to achieve this. Alternative methods of attaining compression gains have been explored, such as SDCH and cross-stream compression contexts for HTTP/2. Prototypes of the latter showed immense improvements in compression efficiency and corresponding performance gains. However, general solutions like these have not been successful in find ways to manage operational security concerns.

    Bundling could also reduce overheads. While HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 reduce the cost of making requests, those costs still compound when multiple resources are involved. The claim here is that internal handling of individual requests in browsers has inefficiencies that are hard to eliminate without some form of bundling.

    I find it curious that protocol-level inefficiencies are not blamed here, but rather inter-process communication between internal browser processes. Not having examined this closely, I can’t really speak to these claims, but they are quite credible.

    What I do know is that performance in this space is subtle. When we were building HTTP/2, we found that performance was highly sensitive to the number of requests that could be made by clients in the first few round trips of a connection. The way that networking protocols work means that there is very limited space for sending anything early in a connection[2]. The main motivation for HTTP header compression was that it allowed significantly more requests to be made early in a connection. By reducing request counts, bundling might do the same.

  • Digital Restrictions (DRM) Screws People Yet Again: Book DRM Data Breach Exposes Reporters' Emails And Passwords

    I have a few different services that report to me if my email is found in various data breaches, and recently I was notified that multiple email addresses of mine showed up in a leak of the service NetGalley. NetGalley, if you don't know, is a DRM service for books, that is regularly used by authors and publishers to send out "advance reader" copies (known around the publishing industry as "galleys.") The service has always been ridiculously pointless and silly. It's a complete overreaction to the "risk" of digital copies of a book getting loose -- especially from the people who are being sent advance reader copies (generally journalists or industry professionals). I can't recall ever actually creating an account on the service (and can't find any emails indicating that I had -- but apparently I must have). However, in searching through old emails, I do see that various publishers would send me advance copies via NetGalley -- though I don't think I ever read any through the service (the one time I can see that I wanted to read such a book, after getting sent a NetGalley link, I told the author that it was too much trouble and they sent me a PDF instead, telling me not to tell the publisher who insisted on using NetGalley).

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Best Free Android Apps: Joplin – note taking and to-do application

There’s a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series. See the Eligibility Criteria section below. Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organized into notebooks. The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified. Read more

How I digitized my CD collection with open source tools

The restrictions on getting out and about during the pandemic occasionally remind me that time is slipping by—although some days, "slipping" doesn't quite feel like the right word. But it also reminds me there are more than a few tasks around the house that can be great for restoring the sense of accomplishment that so many of us have missed. One such task, in my home anyway, is converting our CD collection to FLAC and storing the files on our music server's hard drive. Considering we don't have a huge collection (at least, by some people's standards), I'm surprised we still have so many CDs awaiting conversion—even excluding all the ones that fail to impress and therefore don't merit the effort. Read more

Hyperbola Linux Review: Systemd-Free Arch With Linux-libre Kernel

In the last month of 2019, the Hyperbola project took a major decision of ditching Linux in favor of OpenBSD. We also had a chat with Hyperbola co-founder Andre Silva, who detailed the reason for dropping Hyperbola OS and starting a new HyperbolaBSD. HyperbolaBSD is still under development and its alpha release will be ready by September 2021 for initial testing. The current Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre v0.3.1 Milky Way will be supported until the legacy Linux-libre kernel reaches the end of life in 2022. I thought of giving it a try before it goes away and switches to BSD completely. Read more