Leftovers: OSS and Sharing
Future Cert, the UK and Ireland representative for the LPI (Linux Professional Institute), is calling for more awareness of Open Source software training amongst the under 21s and especially women, which the industry is so desperately in need of.
New figures from a recent Future Cert student survey reveals that the number of women and young people taking LPI Certification in Open Source computing remains extremely low.
Of those questioned, 98% were male, and just 2% were female, taking an LPI exam. This figure is significantly less than an already low figure of around 15% to 17% of women in IT careers in general. It raises the question, what does the industry need to do to make an Open Source career attractive to women?
Checkpoint/Restore In Userspace, or CRIU, is a software tool for Linux that allows freezing a running application (or part of it) and checkpointing it to disk as a collection of files. The files can then be used to restore and run the application from the point where it was frozen. The distinctive feature of the CRIU project is that it is mainly implemented in user space.
Back in 2012, when Andrew Morton accepted the first checkpoint/restore (C/R) patches to the Linux kernel, the idea to implement saving and restoring of running processes in user space seemed kind of crazy. Yet, four years later, not only is CRIU working, it has also attracted more and more attention. Before CRIU, there had been other attempts to implement checkpoint/restore in Linux (DMTCP, BLCR, OpenVZ, CKPT, and others), but none were merged into the mainline. Meanwhile CRIU survived, which attests to its viability. Some time ago, I implemented support for the Test Anything Protocol format into the CRIU test runner; creating that patch allowed me to better understand the nature of the CRIU testing process. Now I want to share this knowledge with LWN readers.
The CRIU tests are quite easy to use and available for everyone. Moreover, the CRIU team has a continuous-integration system that consists of Patchwork and Jenkins, which run the required test configurations per-patch and per-commit. Patchwork also allows the team to track the status of patch sets to make the maintainer's work easier. The developers from the team always keep an eye on regressions. If a commit breaks a tree, the patches in question will not be accepted.
Chat app Wire has been rapidly adding feature as of late as it looks to gain some traction against the myriad of competitors out there. The latest trick in its arsenal is screen sharing.
Now you can click on the new screen-sharing button to, well, share your screen during a call (if you’re on a desktop, that is). It works during group chats too and, as with all Wire communications, is encrypted end-to-end. Wire believes it’s the first messaging app to include end-to-end encryption.
Software in the Public Interest (SPI) has completed its 2016 board elections. There were two open seats on the board in addition to four board members whose terms were expiring. The six newly elected members of the board are Luca Filipozzi, Joerg Jaspert, Jimmy Kaplowitz, Andrew Tridgell, Valerie Young, and Martin Zobel-Helas. The full results, including voter statistics, are also available.
Software Freedom Kosova is an annual international conference in Kosovo organized to promote free/libre open source software, free culture and open knowledge, now in its 7th edition. It is organized by FLOSSK, a non governmental, not for profit organization, dedicated to promote software freedom and related philosophies.
Medicines for Malaria Venture, a nonprofit group based in Geneva, Switzerland, distributed 400 diverse compounds with antimalarial activity — called the Malaria Box — to 200 labs in 30 nations in late 2011. The findings from subsequent studies and analyses were published Thursday in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
Distributing the Malaria Box to various labs enabled scientists to analyze the compounds and develop findings that have led to more than 30 new drug-development projects for a variety of diseases.
As a stipulation to receiving the samples, the various research groups had to deposit the information from their studies in the public domain.
The 3D printing community has already successfully taken over the market for cosmetic prostheses, as fantastic initiatives like E-NABLE have proven. But the world of bionics is a different place and just a handful of makers have gone there with any form of success, such as the very inspiring Open Bionics. But even 3D printed bionic prostheses are definitely within our reach, as French open source fanatic Nicolas Huchet of Bionico has proven. Though by no means a making expert himself, he 3D printed his own open source bionic hand during a three month residency at FabLab Berlin and has now shared all the files – including an extensive tutorial – online. This means you can now 3D print your very own bionic prosthesis at home for just $700.
Designed from scratch and developed by BCN3D engineers in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Departament d’Ensenyament (Department of Education), the BCN3D Moveo is an Arduino Mega 2560-powered, 3D printed robotic arm which could enable schools and colleges in Spain and elsewhere to teach students the basics of robotics, mechanical design, and industrial programming. When the Departament d’Ensenyament approached BCN3D one year ago regarding the possibility of an educative robotics project, the tech organization jumped at the chance to get on board.
10 hot Android smartphones that got price cuts recently
With numerous smartphone getting launched each month, brands always adjust prices to give slightly competitive edge to older smartphone models and also to clear inventories. Here are 10 smartphones that got price cuts recently.
Debian and Ubuntu News
Welcome to this year's third issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community.
Last week, we took a look at the initial release of the "portal" framework developed for Flatpak, the application-packaging format currently being developed in GNOME. For comparison, we will also explore the corresponding resource-control framework available in the Snap format developed in Ubuntu. The two packaging projects have broadly similar end goals, as many have observed, but they tend to vary quite a bit in the implementation details. Naturally, those differences are of particular importance to the intended audience: application developers.
There is some common ground between the projects. Both use some combination of techniques (namespaces, control groups, seccomp filters, etc.) to restrict what a packaged application can do. Moreover, both implement a "deny by default" sandbox, then provide a supplemental means for applications to access certain useful system resources on a restricted or mediated basis. As we will see, there is also some overlap in what interfaces are offered, although the implementations differ.
Snap has been available since 2014, so its sandboxing and resource-control implementations have already seen real-world usage. That said, the design of Snap originated in the Ubuntu Touch project aimed at smartphones, so some of its assumptions are undergoing revision as Snap comes to desktop systems.
In the Snap framework, the interfaces that are defined to provide access to system resources are called, simply, "interfaces." As we will see, they cover similar territory to the recently unveiled "portals" for Flatpak, but there are some key distinctions.
Two classes of Snap interfaces are defined: one for the standard resources expected to be of use to end-user applications, and one designed for use by system utilities. Snap packages using the standard interfaces can be installed with the snap command-line tool (which is the equivalent of apt for .deb packages). Packages using the advanced interfaces require a separate management tool.
MATE HUD, a Unity HUD-like tool that allows searching through an application's menu, was recently uploaded to the official Yakkety Yak repositories, and is available (but not enabled) by default in Ubuntu MATE 16.10.