The German city of Munich is complimenting the free and open source software development community for providing fast and easy assistance. On the blog of the city's IT department, Peter Onderscheka, business unit manager for IT stategy and IT security, writes how the developers' quick responses helped the city implement new services. Examples include sending alerts about new job openings, a solution based on Phplist, and an online order form for coupons, using Pdfsam.
"Users of open source products can easily get in touch with the developers, pose questions, propose features and even help fix bugs", Onderscheka writes. "The developers usually respond immediately."
"These informal and direct contacts provide straightforward and free access to the core developers of open source software", he adds.
Onderscheka thanks two developers in particular, Michiel Dethmers, from the Netherlands, who is involved in the Phplist project, and Italian Andrea Vacondio, helping the the city tweak Pdfsam.
Choosing the Phplist newsletter solution allowed Munich to rely on the feedback from the community "which answered in detail our questions about security."
"Work on stuff that matters" is a famous call to action from founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Tim O’Reilly. But, how about working on stuff that matters while getting paid for it? There are an abundance of open source-related jobs out there if you’ve got the right skills.
Mark Atwood, Director of Open Source Engagement at HP gave a talk on How to Get One of These Awesome Open Source Jobs at the Great Wide Open conference in Atlanta, Georgia this year (April 2 - 3). His talk was originally targeted to students, but he later removed the "Advice for Students" part because the seven tips below really apply to anyone looking to score their open source dream job.
First, DSL router owners got an unwelcome Christmas present. Now, the same gift is back as an Easter egg. The same security researcher who originally discovered a backdoor in 24 models of wireless DSL routers has found that a patch intended to fix that problem doesn’t actually get rid of the backdoor—it just conceals it. And the nature of the “fix” suggests that the backdoor, which is part of the firmware for wireless DSL routers based on technology from the Taiwanese manufacturer Sercomm, was an intentional feature to begin with.
Back in December, Eloi Vanderbecken of Synacktiv Digital Security was visiting his family for the Christmas holiday, and for various reasons he had the need to gain administrative access to their Linksys WAG200G DSL gateway over Wi-Fi. He discovered that the device was listening on an undocumented Internet Protocol port number, and after analyzing the code in the firmware, he found that the port could be used to send administrative commands to the router without a password.
After Vanderbecken published his results, others confirmed that the same backdoor existed on other systems based on the same Sercomm modem, including home routers from Netgear, Cisco (both under the Cisco and Linksys brands), and Diamond. In January, Netgear and other vendors published a new version of the firmware that was supposed to close the back door.
For this benchmarking we used the stock compilers available through the Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty Tahr" archive, which provided GCC 4.8.2 and LLVM Clang 3.4 -- the current stable versions of each compiler. The CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS set were "-O3 -march=native" to optimize the generated code performance for this particular hardware. GCC 4.8 introduced AMD Jaguar support while LLVM Clang 3.4 followed with the support. GCC 4.9 will already land AMD Excavator (bdver4) support.
One of the main problems Linux is facing as a gaming platform is the absence of support from any major publisher, but that is about to change. It seems that we might get a Linux version of Watch Dogs on Linux.
Ubisoft is certainly one of the biggest publishers out there. The company is responsible for a number of very important franchises and it does most of the work in-house, be it some Tom Clancy game or the next Assassin's Creed.
To be fair, there already are some publishers that have shown their support for the game, and 2K is probably the biggest one of them. The newly-announced Civilization Beyond Earth will be arriving on Linux, although the port is being handled Aspyr Media, which is not exactly ideal.
OpenCL 1.2 was unveiled in late 2011 (and has already been succeeded by OpenCL 2.0 in late 2013). OpenCL 1.2 added features like better image support, separate compilation and linking of objects, device partitioning, and many other changes. NVIDIA though has lagging behind AMD in supporting OpenCL 1.2 by their Linux graphics driver.
“It's been a week, so here's another rc. And while -rc1 was one of the biggest rc's in memory, rc2 looks fairly normal. We had a few niggling issues fixed, but it really wasn't anything horribly worse than usual. It might be a *bit* bigger than most -rc2's, but let's wait to see after rc3 whether things are actually busier than usual. Quite often rc2 is calmer than rc3, with it taking a week for some issues to show up,” Linus Torvalds said in the announcement.
Valve’s effort in pushing Steam OS and Linux gaming seems to be paying off. Developers and publishers who thought Linux to be a non-viable option now are porting their games to that platform. And so is GameConnect, the developer behind the RTS and FPS hybrid Nuclear Dawn. After a very long silence, they have just announced that their game is ready for Linux. Back in February, the GameConnect confirmed in an email that no one was working on the Linux version, so it was at a standstill while both the Windows and Mac version were well on their way and working 100%.
Ubuntu 14.04 was released recently and as usual the other flavors of Ubuntu have also been updated to 14.04 including Ubuntu GNOME. Ubuntu GNOME tends to get overlooked a bit, given all the attention that goes to the main Ubuntu release. However, that’s a shame since it has quite a lot to offer anyone who prefers the GNOME interface to that of Unity.
The offering makes the source code of 38 UI widgets in the Kendo UI Core publicly available for use by both commercial and non-commercial developers. In addition, developers have access to related tools for mobile app development, such as templates and input validation. The resources are available from both Telerik's website and a GitHub repository.
Today's news hunt includes the news that Ubuntu 14.04 was released Friday. Also today is a review of AntiX, a lightweight SimplyMepis derivative, that I overlooked last week. In addition, Jesse Smith at Distrowatch.com reviews Robolinux 7.4.2, a distribution he describes as "Debian-based distribution which places strong emphases on user-friendliness and the idea that people should be able to easily migrate from Windows."
Google just announced their list of accepted student projects for this year's Google Summer of Code. After going through all of the projects on the list for the different upstream open-source projects involved, there's a ton of improvements to be worked on by students this summer and financed by Google. This is perhaps the most exciting Google Summer of Code ever.
The R9 295X graphics card was announced earlier this month and consists of two R9 "Hawaii" GPUs and 8GB of video memory. However, given the rather poor and not too useful CrossFire support under Linux, the R9 295X will likely not be too beneficial. The R9 295X also costs $1500 USD, so it's out of the hands of most Linux gamers.