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OSS

R.T. Russell's Z80 BBC Basic is now open source

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Development
OSS

As part of the work I’ve been doing with cpmish I’ve been trying to track down the copyright holders of some of the more classic pieces of CP/M software and asking them to license it in a way that allows redistribution. One of the people I contacted was R.T. Russell, the author of the classic Z80 BBC BASIC, and he very kindly sent me the source and agreed to allow it to be distributed under the terms of the zlib license. So it’s now open source!

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Letter of Recommendation: Bug Fixes

    I wouldn’t expect a nonprogrammer to understand the above, but you can intuit some of what’s going on: that we don’t need ImageMagick to scale images anymore, because the text editor can scale images on its own; that it’s bad form to spell-check hex values, which specify colors; that the bell is doing something peculiar if someone holds down the alt key; and so forth.

    But there’s also something larger, more gladdening, about reading bug fixes.

    My text editor, Emacs, is a free software project with a history going back more than 40 years; the codebase itself starts in the 1980s, and as I write this there are 136,586 different commits that get you from then to now. More than 600 contributors have worked on it. I find those numbers magical: A huge, complex system that edits all kinds of files started from nothing and then, with nearly 140,000 documented human actions, arrived at its current state. It has leaders but no owner, and it will move along the path in which people take it. It’s the ship of Theseus in code form. I’ve probably used Emacs every day for more than two decades. It has changed me, too. It will outlive me.

    Open source is a movement, and even the charitably inclined would call it an extreme brofest. So there’s drama. People fight it out in comments, over everything from semicolons to codes of conduct. But in the end, the software works or it doesn’t. Politics, our personal health, our careers or lives in general — these do not provide a narrative of unalloyed progress. But software, dammit, can and does. It’s a pleasure to watch the code change and improve, and it’s also fascinating to see big companies, paid programmers and volunteers learning to work together (the Defense Department is way into open source) to make those changes and improvements. I read the change logs, and I think: Humans can do things.

  • The Top 17 Free and Open Source Network Monitoring Tools

    Choosing the right network monitoring solution for your enterprise is not easy.

  • Hedge-fund managers are overwhelmed by data, and they're turning to an unlikely source: random people on the internet

    Alternative data streams of satellite images and cellphone-location data are where managers are now digging for alpha, as new datasets are created every day. And hedge funds have been spending serious cash searching for those who can take all this information and quickly find the important pieces.

    Now, as margins shrink and returns are under the microscope, hedge funds are beginning to consider a cheaper, potentially more efficient way to crunch all this data: open-source platforms, where hundreds of thousands of people ranging from finance professionals to students, scientists, and developers worldwide scour datasets — and don't get paid unless they find something that a fund finds useful.

  • TD Ameritrade Is Taking Its First Steps Towards Major Open Source Contributions

    STUMPY is a python library to identify the patterns and anomalies in time series data. STUMPY has benefited from open source as a means to shorten development roadmaps since the early 2000s and it represents a new opportunity for TD Ameritrade to give back to the developer community.

  • The Future of Open Source Big Data Platforms

    Three well-funded startups – Cloudera Inc., Hortonworks Inc., and MapR Technologies Inc. — emerged a decade ago to commercialize products and services in the open-source ecosystem around Hadoop, a popular software framework for processing huge amounts of data. The hype peaked in early 2014 when Cloudera raised a massive $900 million funding round, valuing it at $4.1 billion.

  • No Easy Way Forward For Commercial Open Source Software Vendors

    While still a student in 1995, Kimball developed the first version of GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) as a class project, along with Peter Mattis. Later on as a Google engineer, he worked on a new version of the Google File System, and the Google Servlet Engine. In 2012, Kimball, Mattis, and Brian McGinnis launched the company Viewfinder, later selling it to Square.

  • 6 Reasons Why Developers Should Contribute More To Open Source

    Even by fixing minor things like a bug in a library or writing a piece of documentation can also help the developers to write readable or maintainable code. They can independently suggest to the community and generally tend to stick by the rules of writing a code that is easy to understand. The fact that the code will be exposed to everyone naturally makes them write focus on making it readable.

  • WIDE Project, KDDI develop router with open-source software, 3.2T-packet transmission

    The WIDE Project has adopted a router developed by Japanese operator KDDI. The router runs open-source software, and will be used with the networks operated and managed by the WIDE Project. The router will use open-source software with up to 3.2T-packet transmission.

    For this project, KDDI plans to start tests this month to verify the practical utility and interoperability of these routers when put to use in the actual service environment. The WIDE Project will be in charge of network administration and definition of requirements for router implementation.

  • Lack of progress in open source adoption hindering global custody’s digitisation

    Custody industry is lagging behind the rest of the financial services sector for open source projects, according to industry experts.

  • TNF: Industry should be focusing on open source development

    According to O'Shea, open source and the community are helping firms to find and attract experienced technology talent “uber engineers”.

  • Google Open Sources TensorNetwork , A Library For Faster ML And Physics Tasks

    “Every evolving intelligence will eventually encounter certain very special ideas – e.g., about arithmetic, causal reasoning and economics–because these particular ideas are very much simpler than other ideas with similar uses,” said the AI maverick Marvin Minsky four decades ago.

    Mathematics as a tool to interpret nature’s most confounding problems from molecular biology to quantum mechanics has so far been successful. Though there aren’t any complete answers to these problems, the techniques within domain help throw some light on the obscure corners of reality.

  • Open source to become a ‘best practice’

    There are many magic rings in this world… and none of them should be used lightly. This is true.

    It is also true that organisations in every vertical are now having to work hard and find automation streams that they can digitise (on the road to *yawn* digital transformation, obviously) and start to apply AI and machine learning to.

    Another key truth lies in the amount of codified best practices that organisations now have the opportunity to lay down.

    One we can denote a particular set of workflows in a particular department (or team, or group, or any other collective) to be deemed to be as efficient as possible, then we can lay that process down as a best practice.

  • 10 Open-Source and Free CAD Software You Can Download Right Now

    Many CAD software products exist today for anyone interested in 2D or 3D designing.

    From browser tools to open-source programs, the market is full of free options available for hobbyists or small companies just starting out.

Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

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OSS
  • How We Helped Our Reporters Learn to Love Spreadsheets

    But, some people did learn. At The New York Times and elsewhere, coder-journalists have mashed databases to discover wrongdoing, designed immersive experiences that transport readers to new places and created tools that change the way we work.
    Even with some of the best data and graphics journalists in the business, we identified a challenge: data knowledge wasn’t spread widely among desks in our newsroom and wasn’t filtering into news desks’ daily reporting.

    Yet fluency with numbers and data has become more important than ever. While journalists once were fond of joking that they got into the field because of an aversion to math, numbers now comprise the foundation for beats as wide ranging as education, the stock market, the Census and criminal justice. More data is released than ever before — there are nearly 250,000 datasets on data.gov alone — and increasingly, government, politicians and companies try to twist those numbers to back their own agendas.

  • The New York Times has a course to teach its reporters data skills, and now they’ve open-sourced it

    The New York Times wants more of its journalists to have those basic data skills, and now it’s releasing the curriculum they’ve built in-house out into the world, where it can be of use to reporters, newsrooms, and lots of other people too.

  • Open Source Headset With Inside-Out Tracking, Video Passthrough

    The folks behind the Atmos Extended Reality (XR) headset want to provide improved accessibility with an open ecosystem, and they aim to do it with a WebVR-capable headset design that is self-contained, 3D-printable, and open-sourced. Their immediate goal is to release a development kit, then refine the design for a wider release.

  • Open-Source Bionic Leg Aims to Rapidly Advance Prosthetics

    Scientists at University of Michigan have created an open-source leg in hopes of expediting the development of smart prosthetics.

  • Open-Source AI Bionic Leg Offers a Unified Platform for Prosthetics

    Open-source design and programming could accelerate scientific advances by offering a unified platform to prosthetics research efforts.

  • Bringing Pneumatics To The Masses With Open Source Soft Robotics

    Physicist and engineer [tinkrmind] wants to change that. He has been developing an open source soft robotics tool called Programmable Air for the past year with the aim of creating an accessible way for the hacker community to work with pneumatic robotics. We first came across [tinkrmind]’s soft robotics modules at World Maker Faire in New York City in 2018 but fifty beta testers and a wide range of interesting projects later — from a beating silicone heart to an inflatable bra — they are now being made available on Crowd Supply.

  • Samasource announces company growth ahead of exhibition of fashion R&D open source dataset at CVPR 2019

FOSS in Finance and Blockchains

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OSS
  • Jack Dorsey answers our questions about Square’s plans for Bitcoin

    Square is a company best known for its disruptive card payment technology. Founded in 2009 by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the company sells affordable mobile-based point-of-sale systems. But beyond the world of traditional fiat currencies, the firm is making cautious steps into the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency.

    Back in March, Dorsey tweeted that Square was actively recruiting a modest team of cryptocurrency developers and designers to work on open-source contributions to the ecosystem. In the months that followed, Square’s kept quiet about its progress.

  • Jack Dorsey’s open-source Bitcoin initiative makes its first hire

    Jack Dorsey's open-source Bitcoin initiative, Square Crypto, brings on a former Google project manager as its first hire.

  • Nash Prepares to Launch Beta Version of Decentralized Exchange

    With a mission of “bringing distributed finance to everyone,” five open-source blockchain developers have come together to form a distributed finance platform using blockchain technology that allows for decentralized and non-custodial cryptocurrency trading.

  • Target open sources a blockchain solution called ConsenSource; plans to contribute to Hyperledger Grid framework

    Retail behemoth Target has been working on a blockchain proof of concept since mid-2018, the company’s vice president of architecture Joel Crabb wrote in a blog post. The blockchain solution called ConsenSource, which has been recently open-sourced, was developed to manage the certification of Target’s suppliers in the manufacturing of Target-branded paper products.

  • US Retailer Target Unveils Open Source Blockchain for Supply Chain Tracking
  • The Graph: An open-source query protocol for blockchains, using GraphQL

    Anyone who's ever tried to build distributed applications (dApps) on the (Ethereum) blockchain would concur: Although blockchains are conceptually quite close to databases, querying databases feels like a different world entirely compared to querying blockchains.

  • Why cloud is the best defense against AWS [Ed: Adobe keeps sending its stooge Mac Asay to support turning FOSS into de facto proprietary software (sometimes Adobe even pays the publishers to do this])
  • Software below the poverty line [Ed: Overlooks the fact that a lot of proprietary software is not profitable, is a failure, goes bankrupt faster due to high expenditure]

    Most people believe that open source sustainability is a difficult problem to solve. As an open source developer myself, my own perspective to this problem was more optimistic: I believe in the donation model, for its simplicity and possibility to scale.

    However, I recently met other open source developers that make a living from donations, and they helped widen my perspective. At Amsterdam.js, I heard Henry Zhu speak about sustainability in the Babel project and beyond, and it was a pretty dire picture. Later, over breakfast, Henry and I had a deeper conversation on this topic. In Amsterdam I also met up with Titus, who maintains the Unified project full-time. Meeting with these people I confirmed my belief in the donation model for sustainability. It works. But, what really stood out to me was the question: is it fair?

    I decided to collect data from OpenCollective and GitHub, and take a more scientific sample of the situation. The results I found were shocking: there were two clearly sustainable open source projects, but the majority (more than 80%) of projects that we usually consider sustainable are actually receiving income below industry standards or even below the poverty threshold.

Openwashing Leftovers/New Examples

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OSS

The fight to keep open source truly “open” ⁠— open source providers need to stand up

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OSS

However, as more projects get embedded into profitable business applications, we are beginning to see new trends in the space. Powerful vendors are pushing their own marketing agendas and monetising what should be freely available, leading open source providers to build walls around their code, limiting the extent to which companies can enrich, police and contribute to any given project, in a vicious cycle. This is the case with Amazon, for instance, which was able to profit from Redis Labs’ software without giving back to its open source community. In response, Redis Labs created a new software license that dictated clear restrictions on what could and could not be done with its software.

[...]

With more companies catching on to the ability to monetise open source by selling add-on support and enterprise services, huge technology players are scrambling to get into the scene. To demonstrate just how critical open source is to the software industry, in 2018 alone GitHub was bought for $7.5 billion, Salesforce purchased Mulesoft for $6.5 billion, and — the largest deal of them all — IBM took over Red Hat for $34 billion.

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GreatFET One open source hacking tool

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Development
Hardware
OSS

Electronic enthusiasts, hobbyists, hackers and makers may be interested in a new open source piece of hardware called the GreatFET One, which has been designed to provide a “significant step up” in capabilities from GoodFET while making the design manufacturable at a lower cost than GoodFET.

“Whether you need an interface to an external chip, a logic analyzer, a debugger, or just a whole lot of pins to bit-bang, the versatile GreatFET One is the tool for you. Hi-Speed USB and a Python API allow GreatFET One to become your custom USB interface to the physical world.” The GreatFET One by Great Scott Gadgets is now available to purchase priced at $79.95 directly from the Adafruit online store.

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Open Hardware: X-FAB RISC-V Microcontroller

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Hardware
OSS
  • X-FAB Silicon Foundries tapes-out open-source RISC-V MCU

    Together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, X-FAB Silicon Foundries has announced the first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V System on Chip (SoC) reference design.

    This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz.

    The open-source top-level design uses X-FAB proprietary analog IP and is created with an open-source design flow. This hybrid open-source design brings the power of open innovation and at the same time protecting significant investment in proprietary IP.

  • X-FAB and Efabless Announce Successful First Silicon of Raven, An Open-Source RISC-V Microcontroller

    X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, today announced the successful first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V System on Chip (SoC) reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has successfully bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz.

  • X-FAB and Efabless Deliver Open Source Mixed-Signal SoC

    Mixed signal foundry X-FAB Silicon Foundries and crowd-sourcing IC platform Efabless Corp. have announced silicon availability of a RISC-V based mixed signal system-on-chip (SoC) reference design. The open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools.

  • X-Fab and Efabless announce Raven open-source RISC-V microcontroller

    X-Fab Silicon Foundries, an analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, and crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless, has announced the silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V system on chip (SoC) reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools, they said.

    The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has successfully bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz, they added.

Events: Talks, Linux Plumbers Conference, and Red Hat

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OSS
  • Learning by teaching, and speaking, in open source

    When Jenny Han wrote these words, I doubt she had the open source community in mind. Yet, for our group of dispersed nomads, the summer brings a wave of conferences that allow us to connect in person.

    From OSCON in Portland to Drupal GovCon in Bethesda, and Open Source Summit North America in San Diego, there’s no shortage of ways to match faces with Twitter avatars. After months of working on open source projects via Slack and Google Hangouts, the face time that these summer conferences offer is invaluable.

  • Linux Plumbers Conference: Live Patching Microconference Accepted into 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Live Patching Microconference has been accepted into the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference! There are some workloads that require 100% uptime so rebooting for maintenance is not an option. But this can make the system insecure as new security vulnerabilities may have been discovered in the running kernel. Live kernel patching is a technique to update the kernel without taking down the machine. As one can imagine, patching a running kernel is far from trivial. Although it is being used in production today[1][2], there are still many issues that need to be solved.

  • Virtual event: Conquer complexity with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

    Since the general release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, we’ve had great response from those of you who have downloaded the product and used our complimentary RHEL 8 resources. RHEL 8 is the most developer-friendly version ever, but you may still have questions.

    [...]

    In addition to development, topics will include management, scalability, performance, workloads and migration, security, and deploying to a hybrid cloud.

Events: GStreamer Conference, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, You, Me and IoT Microconferenc

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OSS
  • GStreamer Conference 2019 announced to take place in Lyon, France

    The GStreamer project is happy to announce that this year's GStreamer Conference will take place on Thursday-Friday 31 October - 1 November 2019 in Lyon, France.

    You can find more details about the conference on the GStreamer Conference 2019 web site.

    A call for papers will be sent out in due course. Registration will open at a later time. We will announce those and any further updates on the gstreamer-announce mailing list, the website, and on Twitter.

    Talk slots will be available in varying durations from 20 minutes up to 45 minutes. Whatever you're doing or planning to do with GStreamer, we'd like to hear from you!

  • Making Data Mobile In The Cloud Native World: Ori Bendori, Reduxio

    The interview was recorded at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Barcelona.

  • You, Me and IoT Microconference Accepted into 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference

    integral part of our daily lives, controlling such devices as on/off switches, temperature controls, door and window sensors and so much more. But the technology itself requires a lot of infrastructure and communication frameworks such as Zigbee, OpenHAB and 6LoWPAN. Open source Real-Time embedded operating systems also come into play like Zephyr. A completely open source framework implementation is Greybus that already made it into staging.

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Android Leftovers

Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

If you are new to the Linux command line, you may find yourself wondering why there are so many unusual directories, what they are there for, and why things are organized the way they are. In fact, if you aren't accustomed to how Linux organizes files, the directories can seem downright arbitrary with odd truncated names and, in many cases, redundant names. It turns out there's a method to this madness based on decades of UNIX convention, and in this article, I provide an introduction to the Linux directory structure. Although each Linux distribution has its own quirks, the majority conform (for the most part) with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS). The FHS project began in 1993, and the goal was to come to a consensus on how directories should be organized and which files should be stored where, so that distributions could have a single reference point from which to work. A lot of decisions about directory structure were based on traditional UNIX directory structures with a focus on servers and with an assumption that disk space was at a premium, so machines likely would have multiple hard drives. Read more

Games: Terminal, Donensbourgh, Voxel Tycoon, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, Truck the System, RPCS3 and Thrive

  • 5 command-line games for sysadmins
    Just because you prefer working in a text-mode interface doesn't mean you're not entitled to a little fun here and there. Last December, I took some time out before the holidays to explore some of my favorite command-line diversions into a series for Opensource.com. It ended up being a bit of an advent calendar for terminal toys, and I got some great suggestions from readers. Now summer has arrived, at least for us in the northern hemisphere, and for many of this means a time of summer breaks, vacations, and generally trying to fit in a little relaxation between committing code and closing tickets. So to that end, I thought I'd revisit five of my favorite command-line games from that series, and share them here with you on Enable Sysadmin.
  • Donensbourgh, a medieval farming RPG that could be one to watch has Linux support
    Currently in the early stages but it seems promising, Donensbourgh is a medieval RPG with no violence or combat of any kind for those after perhaps a more relaxing experience. I'm glad developers take risks and make games like this, as I do enjoy games with plenty of combat but I often find there's not enough outside of that. Sadly, it seems they don't do their development videos showcasing gameplay in English so I've not a clue what they're saying.
  • An early build of the tycoon strategy game 'Voxel Tycoon' will release on itch.io later this month
    Voxel Tycoon, another in-development indie game that will have Linux support is arriving soon with an early build. What exactly is it? The developer says it's a "tycoon strategy game about transportation, building factories, and mining in a beautiful voxel landscapes" which sounds interesting. Even more interesting perhaps, is their claim that it will include "all-new features never before seen in the genre". I'm keen to see if it will live up to that in any way, so I will be taking a look when it's ready.
  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech can now be picked up DRM-free on GOG
    SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, the fun card-based tactical RPG from Image and Form (developer) and Thunderful (publisher) can now be picked up DRM-free on GOG.
  • Truck the System, an upcoming game about building trucks and then racing them sounds amusing
    Currently in development by UK developer jorgen games (hooray, a fellow Brit!), Truck the System is a slightly unusual racing game that's coming to Linux. It's not a standard racing game like Dirt or Grid as you will be actually building your vehicle, possibly adding a bunch of weapons and then race or fight your way to the finish. Sounds like it could be a lot of fun! There's no full trailer yet since it's still in development but here's a few quick clips to give you an idea:
  • PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 has a new report out, over 40% of listed games now "Playable"
    RPCS3, the very impressive PlayStation 3 emulator continues advancing quickly with the team putting up a new report. This latest report covers April, with the delay being due to not having enough contributors. They're actually looking for help writing them, which you can apply for here.
  • Thrive, a free and open source game about the evolution of life
    Thrive [Official Site] is a game I came across years ago, a game about the evolution of life with you starting as a tiny Microbe and eventually working up to something more complex. That idea might sound familiar and for good reason, as it was originally inspired by the game Spore. However, they're attempting to go a little further by being scientifically accurate and have the evolution play-out across both you and everything around you.