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Friday, 22 Jun 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Automatically Change Wallpapers in Linux with Little Simple Wallpaper Changer

Here is a tiny script that automatically changes wallpaper at regular intervals in your Linux desktop. Read more

EU Law Threatens Free/Open Source Software

  • EU votes on copyright law that could kill memes and open source software
    The European Union has passed an initial vote in favour of the Copyright Directive, a legislation experts say "threatens the internet". As reported by Wired, the mandate is designed to update internet copyright law but contains two controversial clauses. Ultimately, it could force prominent online platforms to censor their users' content before it's posted—which could impact everyone from meme creators to open source software designers and livestreamers. Despite passing a vote yesterday—held by the EU's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI)—the directive needs parliamentary approval before becoming law.
  • The EU Parliament Legal Affairs Committee Vote on Directive on Copyright, David Clark Cause and IBM's Call for Code, Equus' New WHITEBOX OPEN Server Platform and More
    Yesterday the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee voted in favor of "the most harmful provisions of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market", Creative Commons reports. The provisions include the Article 11 "link tax", which requires "anyone using snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for its use online." The committee also voted in favor of Article 13, which "requires online platforms to monitor their users' uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement through automated filtering." There are still several steps to get through before the Directive is completely adopted. See EDRi for more information.
  • GitHub: Changes to EU copyright law could derail open source distribution
  • The E.U. votes to make memes essentially illegal
    On Wednesday, European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs voted to essentially make memes illegal. The decision came as part of the approval process for the innocuously named “Article 13,” which would require larger sites to scan all user uploads using content recognition technology in an attempt to flag any and all remotely copyrighted material in photos, text, music, videos, and more. Meaning memes using stills from copyrighted films could be auto-blocked, along with remixes of viral videos, and basically anything that’s popular on live-streaming sites like Twitch.
  • Europe takes step towards 'censorship machines' for internet uploads
    A key committee at the European Parliament has voted for a new provision in a legislative act that forces tech giants and other online platforms to share revenues with publishers. It is known as Article 13, and is part of an updating of the Copyright Directive. Article 13 proposes that large websites use “content recognition technologies” to scan for copyrighted materials, though it doesn’t explain how this works in practice. This means texts, sounds and even code which get uploaded have to go through an automated filtering system, potentially threatening the creation of memes and open-source software developers.

The EC’s Expected Decision Against Android Is an Unfortunate Attack on Open Source Software

The European Commission (“EC”) is preparing to release its decision against Android, and its framing of the issues makes clear that successful open source software will have a hard time in Europe. In its Statement of Objections, the Commission signaled that Apple’s iOS, Android’s fiercest rival, would be excluded from the market definition because it is closed source and not available to other hardware makers. The decision is expected to declare unlawful strategies to monetize a free product, provide a consistent user experience to customers expecting the Google brand, and to maintain code consistency to minimize problems for developers using the platform. The decision is not expected to contain any indication on how open source platform developers can solve these problems that are fundamental to their success. Read more

Google, IBM and Microsoft

  • Five Common Chromebook Myths Debunked
    When Chromebooks first came out in 2011, they were basically just low-spec laptops that could access web apps – fine for students maybe, but not to be regarded as serious computers. While they’ve become more popular (the low cost, simplicity, and dependability appeal to businesses and education systems), as of 2018 Chromebooks still haven’t managed to become widely accepted as a Windows/Apple/Linux alternative. That may be about to change. The humble Chromebook has gotten a lot of upgrades, so let’s get ourselves up to speed on some things that just aren’t true anymore. [...] The 2011 Chrome OS was pretty bare-bones, but it’s gone to the opposite extreme since then. Not only is it steadily blurring the line between Chrome and Android, it can now install and run some Windows programs as well, at the same time as a Chrome and an Android app, if you like. And hey, while you’re at it, why not open a Linux app as well? You can already install Linux on a Chromebook if you want, but one of the next versions of Chrome OS is going to include a Linux virtual machine accessible right from your desktop (which is already possible, just not built-in and user-friendly). In sum, Chrome OS has gone from barely being an operating system to one that can run apps from four other OSes at the same time.
  • Like “IBM’s Work During the Holocaust”: Inside Microsoft, Growing Outrage Over a Contract with ICE
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E15 – Fifteen Minutes - Ubuntu Podcast
    ...Microsoft getting into hot water over their work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Plus we round up the community news.

A look at Lutris – Open Gaming Platform for GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gaming

Lutris is quite the handy application I’ve discovered, that helps with organization and installation of games on GNU/Linux, even if they come from multiple sources. One of the project's goals is to support any game that runs on Linux regardless of whether it runs natively, through Wine, or other means.

The main appeal of Lutris is that it provides an interface to manage all games installed on the machine regardless of source. While it is necessary to integrate the games in the application first, doing so is not super complicated. You may add local games right away by selecting them from the local system or visit the Lutris website to add games this way.

Lutris simplifies nearly everything. Users can visit the list of support games on the Lutris website, choose to download and install the game (Note: If its a game that must be bought, you must own it first.)

The website lists supported games and where you can acquire or download them. You can use filters on the site to display only free games, games of a genre, or use the built-in search to find games of interest quickly using it.

Read more

GNOME Desktop: Flatpak and Random Wallpaper Gnome Extension

Filed under
GNOME
  • Flatpak in detail, part 2

    The first post in this series looked at runtimes and extensions. Here, we’ll look at how flatpak keeps the applications and runtimes on your system organized, with installations, repositories, branches, commits and deployments.

  • Flatpak – a history

    I’ve been working on Flatpak for almost 4 years now, and 1.0 is getting closer. I think it might be interesting at this point to take a retrospective look at the history of Flatpak.

  • Random Wallpaper Gnome Extension Changes Your Desktop Background With Images From Various Online Sources

    Random Wallpaper is an extension for Gnome Shell that can automatically fetch wallpapers from a multitude of online sources and set it as your desktop background.

    The automatic wallpaper changer comes with built-in support for downloading wallpapers from unsplash.com, desktopper.co, wallhaven.cc, as well as support for basic JSON APIs or files.

    The JSON support is in fact my favorite feature in Random Wallpaper. That's because thanks to it and the examples available on the Random Wallpaper GitHub Wiki, one can easily add Chromecast Images, NASA Picture of the day, Bing Picture of the day, and Google Earth View (Google Earth photos from a selection of around 1500 curated locations) as image sources.

KDE: QtPad, Celebrating 10 Years with KDE, GSoC 2018

Filed under
KDE
  • QtPad - Modern Customizable Sticky Note App for Linux

    In this article, we'll focus on how to install and use QtPad on Ubuntu 18.04. Qtpad is a unique and highly customizable sticky note application written in Qt5 and Python3 tailored for Unix systems.

  • Celebrating 10 Years with KDE

    Of course I am using KDE software much longer. My first Linux distribution, SuSE 6.2 (the precursor to openSUSE), came with KDE 1.1.1 and was already released 19 years ago. But this post is not celebrating the years I am using KDE software.

    Exactly ten years ago, dear Albert committed my first contribution to KDE. A simple patch for a problem that looked obvious to fix, but waiting for someone to actually do the work. Not really understanding the consequences, it marks the start of my journey within the amazing KDE community.

  • GSoC 2018 – Coding Period (May 28th to June 18th): First Evaluation and Progress with LVM VG

    I got some problems during the last weeks of Google Summer of Code which made me deal with some challenges. One of these challenges was caused by a HD physical problem. I haven’t made a backup of some work and had to rework again in some parts of my code. As I already knew how to proceed, it was faster than the first time.

    I had to understand how the device loading process is made in Calamares to load a preview of the new LVM VG during its creation in Partition Page. I need to list it as a new storage device in this page and deal with the revert process. I’ve implemented some basic fixes and tried to improve it.

Open Hardware: Good for Your Brand, Good for Your Bottom Line

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Chip makers are starting to catch on to the advantages of open, however. SiFive has released an entirely open RISC-V development board. Its campaign on the Crowd Supply crowd-funding website very quickly raised more than $140,000 USD. The board itself is hailed as a game-changer in the world of hardware. Developments like these will ensure that it won't be long before the hardware equivalent of LEGO's bricks will soon be as open as the designs built using them.

Read more

elementary OS – A Beautiful OS for Open Source Lovers

Filed under
Reviews

elementary OS is an open source Ubuntu-based distro and one of the most awesome GNU/Linux distros ever. It has gained a lot of traction over years, coming in at #5 on Distro Watch’s popularity scale with 1,324 hits per day.

elementary OS is usually mentioned only in light of macOS and sometimes Windows, given that it features a beautiful and consistent UI which makes it an ideal replacement; it deserves to stand out more because its active community of developers has not only successfully delivered a unique distro, all of its apps are custom built and they are lovely!

It’s excellent for both Linux beginners and pros which is evident in how artistically comprehensive their online documentation. The team succeeded it keeping to the 3 core rules of their design philosophy which are: “concision”, “avoid configuration” and “minimal documentation”.

Read more

Red Hat News and Upcoming Results

Filed under
Red Hat

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

KDE and GNOME: File Picker, Flatpaks and Epiphany 3.29

Filed under
KDE
LibO
GNOME
  • LibreOffice Picks Up A Native "KDE 5" File Picker

    Several months back LibreOffice developers began working on better integration with KDE Plasma 5 and that has advanced again today with now having a native file picker.

  • Going In-Depth With Flatpak For Sandboxed Application Packaging

    Red Hat / GNOME developer veteran Matthias Clasen has recently begun a series of blog posts going in-depth with Flatpaks for those wondering how this application deployment technology is taking over the Linux desktop.

    Last week Clasen penned the initial piece for explaining bundles, runtimes, and extensions in the Flatpak realm.

  • Epiphany 3.29.3 Picks Up A Reader Mode, Finally Disables NPAPI Plugins

    Epiphany 3.29.3 is now available as the latest version of this GNOME Web Browser.

    Being in the middle of the GNOME 3.30 development cycle, the Epiphany 3.29.3 release is made up of many changes. First up, Epiphany now has an experimental reader mode that is inspired by Mozilla's Firefox reader mode. When viewing page sources in Epiphany, it will also now display within the web browser itself rather than the text editor.

Linux, LF Study and SysVinit 2.90

Filed under
Linux

Red Hat News

Filed under
Red Hat

Debian and Derivatives: Debian Installer Buster Alpha 3, Freexian, GSoC, DebCamp18, Linux Mint

Filed under
Debian
  • Debian Installer Buster Alpha 3 release

    The Debian Installer team[1] is pleased to announce the third alpha release of the installer for Debian 10 "Buster".

  • Debian Installer Buster Alpha 3 Released

    The third alpha release of the Debian Installer to be used by Debian 10 "Buster" is now available for testing.

    There are many changes to this updated Debian Installer with the last alpha release being from last December. This newest Debian Installer for Buster now uses Cryptsetup 2.0, updates to the Linux 4.16 kernel (rather than 4.13), locale choosing improvements, various flash-kernel updates, debootstrap improvements, and other changes.

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, May 2018
  • GSoC Status Update - First Month

    In the past month I have been working on my GSoC project in Debian’s Distro Tracker. This project aims at designing and implementing new features in Distro Tracker to better support Debian teams to track the health of their packages and to prioritize their work efforts. In this post, I will describe the current status of my contributions, highlight the main challenges, and point the next steps.

  • I'm going to DebCamp18, Hsinchu, Taiwan
  • [Older] Linux Mint vs Ubuntu

    There probably aren't two Linux distributions more closely related than Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Actually, the two are so close to one another, there's serious debate about whether or not they are the same distribution.

    Linux Mint takes Ubuntu and adds some extra polish to it. Mint has a different default configuration, some additional packages, and its own desktop environments. Otherwise, it's the same distribution as Ubuntu.

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Sculpt for The Curious

    Sculpt for The Curious is the second development stage of the Genode-based general-purpose OS used at Genode Labs. Compared to the initial version, which was targeted at early adopters only, the new version invites a broader user base to explore the system. It comes in the form of a ready-to-use disk image for a bootable USB thumb drive.

  • Genode-Based Sculpt OS Now Available With Easy-To-Use Disk Image

    Sculpt OS is striving to become a general purpose operating system built off the Genode OS framework. The second release of Sculpt OS is now available and it's much easier now to try out.

    Sculpt OS relies upon Genode's micro-kernel architecture, sandboxed drivers, and other modern approaches for providing a unique OS on commodity PC hardware.

  • Bitfi and McAfee Announce First Truly Unhackable and Open Source Crypto Wallet

    Bitfi, a global payments technology company working to enable businesses and consumers to participate in the digital currency economy, today announced Bitfi Wallet – the first unhackable, open source hardware wallet with an accompanying dashboard that features wireless setup and support for many popular cryptocurrencies and crypto assets, including Monero, a fully decentralized private cryptocurrency that has previously never had a hardware wallet solution.

  • Call for Code is open and organizations are lining up to join the cause

    Today is the first official day of Call for Code, an annual global initiative from creator David Clark Cause, with IBM proudly serving as Founding Partner. Call for Code aims to unleash the collective power of the global open source developer community against the growing threat of natural disasters.

    Even as we prepare to accept submissions from technology teams around the world, the response from the technology community has been overwhelming and today I am thrilled to announce two new partners joining the cause.

  • Getting started with Open edX to host your course

    Now in its seventh major release, the Open edX platform is a free and open source course management system that is used all over the world to host Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as well as smaller classes and training modules. To date, Open edX software has powered more than 8,000 original courses and 50 million course enrollments. You can install the platform yourself with on-premise equipment or by leveraging any of the industry-leading cloud infrastructure services providers, but it is also increasingly being made available in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model from several of the project’s growing list of service providers.

    The Open edX platform is used by many of the world’s premier educational institutions as well as private sector companies, public sector institutions, NGOs, non-profits, and educational technology startups, and the project’s global community of service providers continues to make the platform accessible to ever-smaller organizations. If you plan to create and offer educational content to a broad audience, you should consider using the Open edX platform.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: June 22nd starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
  • Xapian Joins Conservancy as a Member Project

    Software Freedom Conservancy proudly welcomes Xapian as Conservancy's newest member project. Xapian is a probabilistic information retrieval library that allows developers to add advanced indexing and search facilities to their own applications.

    Conservancy, a public charity focused on ethical technology, is the home of over forty member projects dedicated to developing free and open source software. Conservancy acts as a corporate umbrella, allowing member projects to operate as charitable initiatives without having to independently manage their own corporate structure and administrative services.

    "We've spent the past 18 years at Xapian developing a technologically mature software package," said Olly Betts, Xapian's Project Lead. "We're excited about how Conservancy can help us extend that maturity to our project governance."

  • Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language

    Packt Publishing, publisher of software learning resources, has revealed the results of its 2018 Skill Up survey in a new report.

    From what programming languages, frameworks, and libraries are most used, to job satisfaction, attitudes to management and what it’s like to work in the software industry today, the report offers a snapshot of what matters to software developers in 2018.

What Is the Intersection of OpenStack and Kubernetes?

Filed under
Server

Lew Tucker is a busy man. Aside from his day job as VP and CTO for Cloud Computing at Cisco, Tucker also sits on the board of directors at both the OpenStack Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, giving him a unique perspective on both organizations.

Some in the industry have positioned Kubernetes as a competitive replacement for OpenStack, but that's not what Tucker sees. In a video interview, Tucker explains where the intersection currently exists between OpenStack and Kubernetes and why he expects both to be successful.

Read more

Graphics: Vulkan, AMDGPU, Wayland

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Vulkan Display Extensions To Be Used By SteamVR Merged Into Mesa RADV/ANV

    Keith Packard's long in development work for improving the Linux display stack infrastructure for better dealing with VR head-mounted displays is about rounded out with the new Vulkan extension support being merged into Mesa.

    Just over a year ago famed X developer Keith Packard started contract work for Valve to improve the plumbing around the Linux/X.Org support for virtual reality HMDs for better performance and better integration. Within the Linux kernel and the X.Org Server he's worked and landed the DRM leasing support of outputs to let a VR compositor (Steam VR) have direct access to the output, "non-desktop" quirk handling so VR HMDs don't become mapped as part of a standard Linux desktop, and related work.

  • A Slew Of AMDGPU DC Updates Published, Further Improvements For Raven Ridge

    There hasn't been a new AMDGPU DC code drop in a while as AMD developers work to improve their internal processes, but hitting the wire today is a set of 51 new patches for this "display code" stack that work on a variety of improvements.

  • Sway 1.0 Wayland Compositor Nears With Floating Windows, Tablet Support & More

    The release of the Sway 1.0 Wayland compositor is inching closer with the recent third alpha release. Sway for the uninformed is a very promising i3-compatible Wayland compositor.

    Earlier this month Sway 1.0 Alpha 3 was released to succeed the second alpha release from the month prior. Sway 1.0 is succeeding the Sway 0.15 changes with a great deal of improvements. Most notably with the 1.0 series is now requiring the WLROOTS modular Wayland compositor library.

Security: OpenBSD, FUD and More

Filed under
Security
  • OpenBSD Disabling SMT / Hyper Threading Due To Security Concerns

    Security oriented BSD operating system OpenBSD is making the move to disable Hyper Threading (HT) on Intel CPUs and more broadly moving to disable SMT (Simultanious Multi Threading) on other CPUs too.

    Disabling of Intel HT and to follow with disabling SMT for other architectures is being done in the name of security. "SMT (Simultanious Multi Threading) implementations typically share TLBs and L1 caches between threads. This can make cache timing attacks a lot easier and we strongly suspect that this will make several spectre-class bugs exploitable. Especially on Intel's SMT implementation which is better known as Hypter-threading. We really should not run different security domains on different processor threads of the same core."

    OpenBSD could improve their kernel's scheduler to workaround this, but given that is a large feat, at least for now they have decided to disable Hyper Threading by default.

    Those wishing to toggle the OpenBSD SMT support can use the new hw.smt sysctl setting on OpenBSD/AMD64 and is being extended to cover CPUs from other vendors and architectures.

  • Linux malware threats - bots, backdoors, trojans and malicious apps [Ed: Ignoring back doors in Windows and other proprietary platforms to instead focus on malicious software one actually needs to install on one's machine or choose a trivial-to-guess password (when there are open ports)]
  • Does Open Source Boost Security? Hortonworks Says Yes

    Organizations are best served security-wise if they favor and adopt open source technology — especially enterprise open source — over proprietary alternatives, according to Hortonworks. However, not everybody agrees that open source software intrinsically is more secure.

    It’s tough to argue that open source hasn’t brought significant benefits to the IT industry and the tens of thousands of organizations that rely on IT products to automate their operations. Starting with the introduction of Linux in the late 1990s, major swaths of the tech industry have shifted to open source development methodologies. That includes the vast majority of the big data ecosystem, which has been largely bootstrapped by various Apache Software Foundation projects.

  • Don't Neglect Open Source Security [Ed: Well, if you have chosen proprietary software, then you have already given up on security altogether. With FOSS there's at least control and hope.]
  • How to build a strong DevSecOps culture: 5 tips [Ed: Red Hat is still promoting dumb buzzwords that help employers overwork their staff]
  • A Framework to Strengthen Open Source Security and Compliance [Ed: Firms that profit from perceived insecurity of FOSS push so-called 'white papers' into IDG]

Mozilla: Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source, VR, Phabricator, Rust and WebRender

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Call for Feedback! Draft of Goal-Metrics for Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source (CHAOSS)

    In the last few months, Mozilla has invested in collaboration with other open source project leaders and academics who care about improving diversity & inclusion in Open Source through the CHAOSS D&I working group. Contributors so far include:

    Alexander Serebrenik (Eindhoven University of Technology) , Akshita Gupta (Outreachy), Amy Marrich (OpenStack), Anita Sarma (Oregon State University), Bhagashree Uday (Fedora), Daniel Izquierdo (Bitergia), Emma Irwin (Mozilla), Georg Link (University of Nebraska at Omaha), Gina Helfrich (NumFOCUS), Nicole Huesman (Intel) and Sean Goggins ((University of Missouri).

  • Introducing A-Terrain - a cartography component for A-Frame

    Have you ever wanted to make a small web app to share your favorite places with your friends? For example your favorite photographs attached to a hike, or just a view of your favorite peak, or your favorite places downtown, or a suggested itinerary for friends visiting?

  • Setting up Arcanist for Mozilla development on Windows
  • Taming Phabricator

    So Mozilla is going all-in on Phabricator and Differential as a code review tool. I have mixed feelings on this, not least because it’s support for patch series is more manual than I’d like. But since this is the choice Mozilla has made I might as well start to get used to it. One of the first things you see when you log into Phabricator is a default view full of information.

  • This Week in Rust 239

    This week's crate is SIMDNoise, a crate to use modern CPU vector instructions to generate various types of noise really fast. Thanks to gregwtmtno for the suggestion!

  • WebRender newsletter #20

Canonical: GNOME Software, Buzzwords, Ubuntu Server, Themes and Zenkit

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Report from the GNOME Software design sprint

    A couple of weeks ago representatives from across Canonical met in London to talk about ideas to improve the user experience of GNOME Software. We had people from the store team, snap advocacy, snapd, design and from the desktop team. We were also fortunate enough to be joined by Richard Hughes representing upstream GNOME Software.

  • Emerging Trends in Financial Services: IoT, AI and Blockchain

    The answer has its roots at both an infrastructure level, where legacy technology is being replaced with something more akin to what is seen in challengers banks or in technology leaders from Silicon Valley, and in changing mentalities, where a new mindset can be just as important as the technology that’s adopted.

    Of course, to say that this is simply a technological problem is naive, often, technology implementation is the easy part, with the larger challenge coming with organisational acceptance of the need to change.

    Often, the case is that an organisation isn’t culturally ready for change, resulting in projects that fail and negatively impact the ability to evolve with an increasingly tumultuous market that is being impacted by regulatory changes and a technology revolution.

    Mark Baker, Field Product Manager at Canonical, said: “We tend to find that the technology is the easy part once we’ve got the business aligned around a common goal with common sets of objectives and accepting of the change.”

    However, once an organisation is culturally aligned around a common goal and is accepting of technological change, then it is possible to work with a technology partner like Canonical in order to deploying the technology simple.

  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 19 June 2018

    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team.

  • Simple Dark/Light GTK/Gnome Shell Theme for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)

    There are many dark themes for GTK with a simple and good color scheme. But, I have been looking for a simple dark theme especially for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). I tried many Dark themes on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and my mind was set on Qogir Dark theme.

    The simple design and the comfort of the dark colors scheme is quite amazing and gives a relief looking for the desktop environment. Qogir comes with a Dark and Light Theme for GTK 2.0 / GTK 3.0 and Gnome Shell. The Dark or the Light theme integration with the default installed applications such as Nautilus file manager, LibreOffice and Mozilla Firefox are quite good.

  • Zenkit: The influence of developer communities in progressing snaps

    Last month, Zenkit published their project management tool as a snap. For those not familiar with Zenkit, they introduced themselves in a guest blog at the time the snap was published which can be read here. Since then, we caught up with Philipp Beck, Full Stack Developer at Zenkit, to discover his opinion on snaps and the publishing experience.

    Philipp was introduced to snaps via a developer friend of his and could immediately appreciate the potential benefits for Zenkit to pursue and the advantages it would offer their users. For the former, Philipp comments: “The biggest draw for us was the ease at which we could reach a diverse range of Linux users, without having to specifically package Zenkit for each distribution. There are obvious benefits here in terms of time saved in updating multiple Linux packages too.”

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More in Tux Machines

Automatically Change Wallpapers in Linux with Little Simple Wallpaper Changer

Here is a tiny script that automatically changes wallpaper at regular intervals in your Linux desktop. Read more

EU Law Threatens Free/Open Source Software

  • EU votes on copyright law that could kill memes and open source software
    The European Union has passed an initial vote in favour of the Copyright Directive, a legislation experts say "threatens the internet". As reported by Wired, the mandate is designed to update internet copyright law but contains two controversial clauses. Ultimately, it could force prominent online platforms to censor their users' content before it's posted—which could impact everyone from meme creators to open source software designers and livestreamers. Despite passing a vote yesterday—held by the EU's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI)—the directive needs parliamentary approval before becoming law.
  • The EU Parliament Legal Affairs Committee Vote on Directive on Copyright, David Clark Cause and IBM's Call for Code, Equus' New WHITEBOX OPEN Server Platform and More
    Yesterday the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee voted in favor of "the most harmful provisions of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market", Creative Commons reports. The provisions include the Article 11 "link tax", which requires "anyone using snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for its use online." The committee also voted in favor of Article 13, which "requires online platforms to monitor their users' uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement through automated filtering." There are still several steps to get through before the Directive is completely adopted. See EDRi for more information.
  • GitHub: Changes to EU copyright law could derail open source distribution
  • The E.U. votes to make memes essentially illegal
    On Wednesday, European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs voted to essentially make memes illegal. The decision came as part of the approval process for the innocuously named “Article 13,” which would require larger sites to scan all user uploads using content recognition technology in an attempt to flag any and all remotely copyrighted material in photos, text, music, videos, and more. Meaning memes using stills from copyrighted films could be auto-blocked, along with remixes of viral videos, and basically anything that’s popular on live-streaming sites like Twitch.
  • Europe takes step towards 'censorship machines' for internet uploads
    A key committee at the European Parliament has voted for a new provision in a legislative act that forces tech giants and other online platforms to share revenues with publishers. It is known as Article 13, and is part of an updating of the Copyright Directive. Article 13 proposes that large websites use “content recognition technologies” to scan for copyrighted materials, though it doesn’t explain how this works in practice. This means texts, sounds and even code which get uploaded have to go through an automated filtering system, potentially threatening the creation of memes and open-source software developers.

The EC’s Expected Decision Against Android Is an Unfortunate Attack on Open Source Software

The European Commission (“EC”) is preparing to release its decision against Android, and its framing of the issues makes clear that successful open source software will have a hard time in Europe. In its Statement of Objections, the Commission signaled that Apple’s iOS, Android’s fiercest rival, would be excluded from the market definition because it is closed source and not available to other hardware makers. The decision is expected to declare unlawful strategies to monetize a free product, provide a consistent user experience to customers expecting the Google brand, and to maintain code consistency to minimize problems for developers using the platform. The decision is not expected to contain any indication on how open source platform developers can solve these problems that are fundamental to their success. Read more

Google, IBM and Microsoft

  • Five Common Chromebook Myths Debunked
    When Chromebooks first came out in 2011, they were basically just low-spec laptops that could access web apps – fine for students maybe, but not to be regarded as serious computers. While they’ve become more popular (the low cost, simplicity, and dependability appeal to businesses and education systems), as of 2018 Chromebooks still haven’t managed to become widely accepted as a Windows/Apple/Linux alternative. That may be about to change. The humble Chromebook has gotten a lot of upgrades, so let’s get ourselves up to speed on some things that just aren’t true anymore. [...] The 2011 Chrome OS was pretty bare-bones, but it’s gone to the opposite extreme since then. Not only is it steadily blurring the line between Chrome and Android, it can now install and run some Windows programs as well, at the same time as a Chrome and an Android app, if you like. And hey, while you’re at it, why not open a Linux app as well? You can already install Linux on a Chromebook if you want, but one of the next versions of Chrome OS is going to include a Linux virtual machine accessible right from your desktop (which is already possible, just not built-in and user-friendly). In sum, Chrome OS has gone from barely being an operating system to one that can run apps from four other OSes at the same time.
  • Like “IBM’s Work During the Holocaust”: Inside Microsoft, Growing Outrage Over a Contract with ICE
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E15 – Fifteen Minutes - Ubuntu Podcast
    ...Microsoft getting into hot water over their work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Plus we round up the community news.