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KDE 5.8 LTS, Fedora PSA, Magic Security Dust

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The top story today was the release of KDE Plasma 5.8 which was covered by all the top sites. This release brings some new features and long term support. It's already in KDE neon as well. Elsewhere, The Inquirer began a new series on the legends of Linux and Fedora's Adam Williamson posted a public service announcement for version 24. A bit of drama emerged from Andrew Ayer's systemd post and Martin Owens ruminated on Free Software Faith.

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HPE Donates Hardware to Debian Project, GNOME Sans systemd

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The Debian project today announced the "in-kind" donation of several servers to "boost reliability of Debian's core infrastructure." The new hardware will be deployed in Canada, US, and Australia to replace some aging machines as well as expand core services and storage. In other news, a new project aims to provide GNOME 3.22 to Slackware without systemd or Wayland, right as a new ugly systemd bug gives another reason to avoid it. Mageia bid farewell to a lost friend and contributor today and Matt Hartley shared his picks for best firewall distribution.

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LibreOffice at 6, New Souped up Mint Mini

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September 28 was the official birthday for LibreOffice and Italo Vignoli looked back at some of the milestones for the project. Elsewhere, the Ubuntu family got new betas and Clement Lefebvre announced a new Mintbox Mini. Jack M. Germain reviewed Panther OS and Ryan Lynch recommended four distributions for Windows users.

Happy Birthday LibreOffice! It was officially six years ago September 28 that The Document Foundation and LibreOffice were announced. The project consisted of former OpenOffice.org developers and volunteered who feared the worst after its sale to Oracle. Since that time, LibreOffice has grown and matured into an award winning Open Source office suite. Group photos taken at the LibreOffice conference at Brno were also shared including one of the attendees who were there on day one, as Bjoern Michaelsen explained. Although they were the seed, the project has grown to hundreds of contributors from all over the world. Italio Vignoli said the project attracted new developers every month for 72 straight months. He also said tomorrow begins the LibreOffice 5.3 developmental cycle, which is planned for release in January 2017.

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Inside: Merging Communities

Happy 6th Birthday, LibreOffice

Linux Users v Windows Users, Debian Mourns Another

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The Debian project today shared the news of the passing of a long time contributor on September 17. In other news, the Linux Journal offered a free digital copy of their September 2016 magazine. Bruce Byfield compared Linux users to Windows users and My Linux Rig spoke to elementary OS founder Daniel Foré about his "Linux Setup."

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Unimpressive Yakkety Yak, Plasma 5 Issues in Leap

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Today was a rough day in Linux distro news, Scott Gilbertson reviewed the Beta of upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 saying there's not a whole lot to recommend in this update. Neil Rickert test drove openSUSE's latest beta and had issues with his NVIDIA. Jesse Smith couldn't tell what was added to Uruk over base Trisquel and Gary Newell didn't see much point to portable Porteus since most stuff didn't work.

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Also: Indicator Sound Switcher Makes Switching Audio Devices on Ubuntu a Snap

openSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta 2, Kubuntu 16.10 Beta too

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openSUSE's Douglas DeMaio today announced the availability of Leap 42.2 Beta 2. This beta includes a beta of Plasma 5.8 LTS. Elsewhere, Valorie Zimmerman announced a beta for Kubuntu 16.10 for testers as well. Red Hat dominated the headlines today and not just for their continued success on Wall Street while the Microsoft/Lenovo story is running a close second. The Free Software Foundation needs input for their new swag line and LibreOffice won a Bossie Award.

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Rosy Red Hat, GNOME 3.22, MS/Lenovo Barricading

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Red Hat, Inc. released the financial results for the second quarter ending August 31, 2016 in a press release today. Red Hat stock seems to be going in the right direction for them as well even as insiders sell off their shares. The top story today must have been the skirmish resulting from reports of Linux being blocked from certain Lenovo laptops under orders from Microsoft. Elsewhere, GNOME 3.22 was released as a new age rating system is planned for 3.23. And finally, The Document Foundation reported the results of its 2016 Membership Committee elections.

It was widely reported today that Lenovo laptops featuring Windows 10 lock the hard drive with proprietary code that Linux can not read - so in essence, blocking users from installing Linux. A user asking in a Lenovo support forum was told by an employee that Linux was blocked due to an agreement with Microsoft. The news traveled around the Intertubes with lightening speed making headlines at every tech site in existence. So, Lenovo and Microsoft jumped into damage control saying it was due to proprietary RAID software. Former kernel contributor Matthew Garrett addressed the issue on his blog today saying the sensational headlines are distracting from a real issue here. He said this is probably because "recent Intel hardware needs special setup for good power management and Microsoft could be insisting that Signature Edition systems ship in "RAID" mode in order to ensure that. Or it could be a misunderstanding regarding UEFI Secure Boot." He said it all boils down to Intel doing "very little to ensure that free operating systems work well on their consumer hardware." In any case, two major contributors to the Linux kernel and open source really couldn't care less about either. Today's sensational headlines might not be accurate, but they do point to a real problem, among many others.

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Also: Lenovo responds to Linux blocking issue, issues non-denial denial

Debian 8 Updated, Kubuntu Help Wanted, Mageia 5.1

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The Debian project announced an update to their stable Debian 8 branch, the sixth such update since its release. This update is primarily to address security issues. Elsewhere, the Mageia folks announced an update to version 5, released last summer, to hold users over since 6.0 has been delayed. The Linux Grandma put out the call for help today as they're running a bit low on developers over there and the Free Software Foundation as well as Richard Stallman replied to the accusations of discrimination in the case of LibreBoot.

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Fedora 24 Funage, Smoooth Mageia 5, Tumblin' Tumbleweed

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Today in Linux news, Red Hat formally announced their 2017 expansion plans into Boston. Elsewhere, Dedoimedo posted another guide, this time how to make Fedora 24 useful and fun. After a rough start, Michael Huff found Mageia 5 to be "smart, eager and full of potential" and Dimstar has this week's Tumbleweed update.

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Also about Fedora:

  • Sneak into…

    the current stage of the Fedora 25 Supplemental Wallpaper.. Start of this month I openend the submission phase for the Fedora Supplemental Wallpaper. So far we have received 91 submissions and currently 72 of them are approved. So far 49 contributors earned a badge for their submission. But there is still time until 11. October left to contribute a wallpaper.

  • Event Report: Fedora Women Day 2016, Kolkata

    A two-day workshop on women in free software and Fedora Women Day were held on the 15th and 16th of July 2016 at the Netaji Subhash Engineering College in Kolkata, India. This event was jointly organized by Ubuntu Women Project, Fedora Project, and the university. It was substantially sponsored by Ubuntu Women Project. The goal of the workshop was also to get new participants interested, improve the level of participation by women, and explore new avenues of free software community development. Given the factors involved, the Workshop on Women in Free Software / Fedora Women Day 2016 (shortened to WWFS-FWD’2016) was a successful one.

  • Fedora 24 - From 0 to Fun in 10 minutes

    Ladies and gentlemen, it's pimping time. We shall now transform a tame Fedora installation that is not designed for mass consumption into a beautiful and majestic fun box. This means adding codecs and pretty stuff and extra software that people crave. We shall do this quickly and easily, and I will be your shepherd.

    Recently, I've discovered or rather rekindled my passion for all things Red Hat and Gnome, and Fedora has joined the list, after a long season of dreadful releases. It works well, it's fun and stable and fast, and all it's missing is some flavor and spice.

Memory Lane, Cooking w/ Linux, Red Hat's New Digs

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Earlier this year a Red Hat logo was spotted at 300 A Street in Boston sparking rumors of an expansion. Well, today it was confirmed. In other news, Gary "the Everyday Linux User" walked us down memory lane with a glance back at distributions that graced the top 10 at Distrowatch.com. Marcel Gagne has put "Cooking With Linux" on YouTube and another project has jumped the GNU ship.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE's Plasma 5.10.4 in Chakra GNU/Linux

15 ways to empower students with open source tools

Recently I read the fascinating book Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Own Learning, by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani. The book led me to think more deeply about my teaching methods and how I like to learn. I think learning should be exciting, and I'm happiest when I'm actively engaged in what I'm doing. Why wouldn't students in our schools want anything different than that? And why aren't we doing more to give that experience to them? While many schools today have a 1:1 ratio of computers/tablets to students, most of them use platforms and software that allow little (if any) modification. Students can't tinker with the software or hardware. Yet tinkering and experimenting are at the heart of learning. The authors of Empower say that students in environments that foster "making" take ownership of their learning more readily and tend to be deeper thinkers who are more at home with frustration. Ultimately, they wrote, "makers are better equipped for life." Read more

Red Hat Upgrade and Insider Selling

OSS: Yandex, The Open Source Way, Machine Learning, and BSD

  • In Other API Economy News: Yandex Open Source Machine Learning Library and More
    We start your weekend off with a review of the stories we couldn’t cover with a look at what what going on in the world of APIs. We start off with news that Yandex, the Russian search engine company, has announced that they are open-sourcing CatBoost, a machine learning library. The library is based on gradient boosting, a machine learning technique described by TechCrunch as being “designed to help “teach” systems when you have a very sparse amount of data, and especially when the data may not all be sensorial (such as audio, text or imagery), but includes transactional or historical data, too.” Yandex is freely releasing CatBoost for anyone to use under an Apache License. This move is similar to what we saw from Google when they open sourced TensorFlow in late 2015. As the demand for artificial intelligence solutions backed by machine learning platforms continues to grow, moves like this serve to help a wide range of developers take advantage of the technology.
  • CatBoost: Yandex's machine learning algorithm is available free of charge
  • The Open Source Way
    "Open source", in the world of IT, is program code that is meant for collaboration and open contribution. Intended to be modified and shared, because by design and spirit, it is meant for the public at large. It’s been said that “"open source" intimates a broader set of values—what we call "the open source way." Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.” So it is a natural conclusion that in this age of open and transparent government, that the government IT manager or technician would be one of the first to want to embrace this new role of collaborative team member within a larger community. Additionally, as organizations, especially government, continue to emerge from the technology funding embargo of the Great (2008) Recession - an economic force that froze IT purchases and programs and forced many into strict “keep the lights on” operational mode, IT managers and CIO’s are carefully expending their still relatively measly budgets. [...] For IT organizations, especially government, with limited budgets and long procurement processes, time and increased experience with open source products will lead to a growing understanding and acceptance. And as this understanding progresses and becomes more accepted, open source will become a “go to” option to keep up with the fast moving technical environment, and perhaps eventually, as a standard first option, realizing the broader set of open source values by relying on the collective work and minds of a virtual community of IT “hackers”, “geeks” and “nerds”, working globally, 24x7/365 to explore, develop and showcase whatever tech that sparks their individual interest.
  • Top 5 open-source tools for machine learning

    Given the paradigmatic shifts that a true revolution in machine learning could bring, it’s important to maintain tech’s devotion to open-source. These kinds of scientific advancement don’t belong to any one company or corporation, but to the whole world. Making ML open and evenly distributed means everyone can join in this revolution.

  • Release of TinySegmenter 0.3
    Today I released version 0.3 of TinySegmenter, a Japanese Tokenizer in pure Python (released in New BSD license), with a single minor fix for proper install on systems not-using UTF-8 (apparently that still exists! :P). Thanks to Mišo Belica for the patch. Apparently some of his Japanese users are using it for Sumy, his software to extract summary from texts.
  • BSDTW 2017 CFP
     

    BSDTW 2017 will be held on the 11th and 12th of November 2017 (Sat/Sun), in Taipei. We are now requesting proposals for talks. We do not require academic or formal papers. If you wish to submit a formal paper, you are welcome to, but it is not required.

    The talks should be written with strong technical content. Presentations on the use of BSD in products and companies are strongly encouraged but marketing proposals are not appropriate for this venue.