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OSS

Linux Devices/Open Hardware

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • Site.js and Pi

    Chatting about Pi, on a Pi, with a chat server running on Site.js on the same Pi.

  • This MicroATX Motherboard is Based on Phytium FT2000/4 Arm Desktop SoC @ 3.0 GHz
  • Rikomagic R6 Review – Part 1: Android Mini Projector’s Unboxing and First Boot

    Rikomagic R6 is a mini Android projector that looks like a vintage radio, or depending on your point of view a mini vintage television.

  • Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae Open Source Hardware Association in Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., No. 18-2214 (Fed. Cir.)

    Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc. is a case of first impression for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The question on appeal is whether a design patent’s scope is tied to the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent.

    In this amicus brief, the Open Source Hardware Association (“OSHWA”) explains the potential effects on open source hardware development, and design practice generally, of untethering design patent protection from the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. A large percentage of open-source hardware combines both ornamental and functional elements, and industrial design routinely involves applying design concepts from disparate fields in novel ways. To engage in this practice, open-source hardware designers need to know the universe of available source material and its limits. Further, understanding the licensing requirements of open-source hardware begins with understanding how the elements that make up that hardware may or may not be protected by existing law. Accordingly, while many creators of open-source hardware do not seek patent protection for their own creations, an understandable scope of design patent protection is nonetheless essential to their ability to collaborate with other innovators and innovate lawfully.

    The brief argues that the District Court in the case—and every district court that has considered the issue—correctly anchored the patented design to the article of manufacture when construing the patent. The brief explains that anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture is the best approach, for several reasons. Connecting the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture calibrates the scope of design patent protection to the patentee’s contribution over the prior art. It avoids encumbering the novel and nonobvious application of prior designs to new articles of manufacture, a fundamental and inventive practice of industrial design. It aligns the scope of design patent protection with its purpose: encouraging the inventive application of a design to an article of manufacture. This balances protection for innovative designs with later innovators’ interest in developing future designs. Finally, anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture helps fulfill design patent law’s notice function by clarifying the scope of protection.

EPA and EPAAR

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OSS
  • EPA Rule Will Make Its Custom Code Open Source By Default

    The Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to default to making all its custom code open source, finally meeting an Office of Management and Budget policy instituted during the last administration.

    The EPA will publish a notice Friday in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on a new open-source policy that will be added to the agency’s acquisition regulations. The clause—which will be added to all EPA contracts that include the use of open-source software or the development of custom code that may or may not be shared widely—will require contractors to provide the agency with all “underlying source code, license file, related files, build instructions, software user’s guides, automated test suites and other associated documentation as applicable,” according to the notice.

  • Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR); Open Source Software

    A Proposed Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency on 10/18/2019

    [...]

    The EPA is writing a new EPAAR clause to address open source software requirements at EPA, so that the EPA can share custom-developed code as open source code developed under its procurements, in accordance with Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Memorandum M-16-21, Federal Source Code Policy: Achieving Efficiency, Transparency, and Innovation through Reusable and Open Source Software. In meeting the requirements of Memorandum M-16-21 the EPA will be providing an enterprise code inventory indicating if the new code (source code or code) was custom-developed for, or by, the agency; or if the code is available for Federal reuse; or if the code is available publicly as open source code; or if the code cannot be made available due to specific exceptions.

To space and beyond with open source

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OSS

The Cambridge Dictionary defines curiosity as "an eager wish to know or learn about something." It's curiosity that fuels our drive to acquire knowledge about outer space, but what drives our curiosity, our "eager wish," in the first place?

I believe that our curiosity is driven by the desire to escape the unpleasant feeling of uncertainty that is triggered by acknowledging our lack of knowledge. The intrinsic reward that comes from escaping uncertainty pushes us to find a correct (or at least a less wrong) answer to whatever question is at hand.

If we want space discovery to advance at a faster pace, we need more people to become aware of the rewards that are waiting for them when they make the effort and discover answers for their questions about the universe. Space discovery is admittedly not an easy task, because finding correct answers requires following rigorous methods on a long-term scale.

Luckily, open source initiatives are emerging that make it easier for people to get started exploring and enjoying the beauty of outer space.

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OSI Announces Appointment of New Board Directors

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OSS

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is pleased to announce the appointments of Deb Bryant and Tracy Hinds to fill the two vacant seats on the OSI Board of Directors. Their terms will begin immediately and run through October 2021. We hope you will join us in welcoming both to the OSI.

Deb Bryant is returning to the OSI Board after spending several years away. After spending her days as the Senior Director of the Open Source Programs Office at Red Hat, Deb volunteers for open source organizations and supports the open source community. Bryant is passionate about open and transparent governments, bringing open source technology and ideas into the public sector.

Tracy Hinds has an impressive history of managing development, operations, and growth for non-profit and for-profit organizations. Previous Education and Community Manager as well as Board Director of the OpenJS(formerly Node.js) Foundation, Hinds now works as Head of Platform at Samsung NEXT and is the president of GatherScript, where she works to support startup engagement and community, inspired by her prior work as a web engineer, community builder, OSS advocate, and strategist.

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Apache Rya matures open source triple store database

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OSS

The open source Apache Rya database effort is continuing to move forward as it reaches a new level of project maturity and acceptance.

Rya (pronounced "ree-uh") is an RDF (resource description framework) triple store database. The project started at the U.S. government's Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences with an initial research paper published in 2012.

The project joined the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in 2015 as an incubated project, and in September 2019 achieved what is known as Top-Level Project status. The Top-Level status is an indication and validation of the project's maturity, code quality and community. The ASF is home to Hadoop, Spark and other widely used database and data management programs.

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Also: Yahoo Groups is being prepared for shutdown, with all stored archives to be deleted on Dec 14

How I built and maintain Cantata, an open source music player

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Interviews
OSS

This is the third in a series of conversations with developers who build and maintain open source music players. Craig Drummond is the developer and maintainer of Cantata, an open source music player that acts as a frontend (client) to the Music Player Daemon (MPD) music server. I have two small headless computers at home configured as music servers—one connected to our stereo in our living room, one in my upstairs office. I first ran into Cantata while I was looking for a way to control these servers, and wow, it is one impressive piece of work.

I was interested in learning more about Cantata, so I was grateful when Craig agreed to do this interview (which has been lightly edited for length and clarity). Without further ado, let’s chat with Craig.

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In 2019, multiple open source companies changed course—is it the right move?

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OSS

Free and open source software enables the world as we know it in 2019. From Web servers to kiosks to the big data algorithms mining your Facebook feed, nearly every computer system you interact with runs, at least in part, on free software. And in the larger tech industry, free software has given rise to a galaxy of startups and enabled the largest software acquisition in the history of the world.

Free software is a gift, a gift that made the world as we know it possible. And from the start, it seemed like an astounding gift to give. So astounding in fact that it initially made businesses unaccustomed to this kind of generosity uncomfortable. These companies weren't unwilling to use free software, it was simply too radical and by extension too political. It had to be renamed: "open source."

Once that happened, open source software took over the world.

Recently, though, there's been a disturbance in the open source force. Within the last year, companies like Redis Labs, MongoDB, and Confluent all changed their software licenses, moving away from open source licenses to more restrictive terms that limit what can be done with the software, making it no longer open source software.

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Also: Network Time Foundation Joins Open Source Initiative

OSS: Events, WordPress and Licensing

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OSS
  • Director Digital Business Solutions to kick off ApacheCon Europe in Berlin

    The European Commission, a long-time user of open source software, is strengthening its relationship with the Apache Foundation. At the Hackathon in May, the Commission brought together more than 30 developers involved in six different Apache projects. Attendees came from Croatia, Ireland, Poland and Romania, and even from Russia and the United States. At the meeting, many developers met in person for the first time. The hackathon helped the project members build connections and strengthen bonds.

  • FOSSCOMM 2019 aftermath

    FOSSCOMM (Free and Open Source Software Communities Meeting) is a Greek conference aiming at free-software and open-source enthusiasts, developers, and communities. This year was held at Lamia from October 11 to October 13.

    It is a tradition for me to attend to this conference. Usually I have presentations and of course booths to inform the attendees about the projects I represent.

    This year the structure of the conference was kind of different. Usually the conference starts on Friday with "beer event". Now it started with registration and a presentation. Personally I made my plan to leave from Thessaloniki by bus. It took me about 4 hours on the road. So when I arrived, I went to my hotel and then waited for Pantelis to go to the University and setup our booths.

  • Automattic Announces Mark Davies as Chief Financial Officer

    Automattic Inc., the parent company of WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Tumblr, among other products, has announced that Mark Davies has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.

    Davies comes to Automattic from Vivint, a $1B+ annual revenue smart home technology company, where he served as chief financial officer since 2013.

    The news follows Automattic's recent $300 million Series D investment round from Salesforce Ventures, and its acquisition in September of the social blogging platform Tumblr.

  • Empowering Generations of Digital Natives

    Technology is changing faster each year. Digital literacy can vary between ages but there are lots of ways different generations can work together and empower each as digital citizens.

    No matter whether you’re a parent or caregiver, teacher or mentor, it’s hard to know the best way to teach younger generations the skills needed to be an excellent digital citizen. If you’re not confident about your own tech skills, you may wonder how you can help younger generations become savvy digital citizens. But using technology responsibly is about more than just technical skills. By collaborating across generations, you can also strengthen all your family members’ skills, and offer a shared understanding of what the internet can provide and how to use it to help your neighborhoods and wider society.

  • How to Verify Smart Contracts on Etherscan

    You have your smart contract written, tested, and deployed. However, customers aren’t willing to do business with you unless they know the contract’s source code. After all, it could be set up in a way that’s not in their interest.

    Thankfully, Etherscan offers a neat tool that allows you to verify smart contracts so interested parties can see the source code and verify for themselves that everything is as it should be.

    While the process is simple, there are intricacies that might cause problems, especially to people not very familiar with Ethereum and the Solidity programming language.

  • Ethical Open Source: Is the world ready?

    Given its incredible popularity in the marketplace, there is no question that many software developers (and their respective companies) today see great value in using software that is subject to open source licenses. Users focus on the advantages to be had by gaining access, usually at no or minimal charge, to the software’s source code and to the thriving open source community supporting such projects.

    Powered by a worldwide community supporting the code base, open source code is generally perceived to be more reliable, robust and flexible than so-called proprietary software, with increased transparency leading to better code stability, faster bug fixes, and more frequent updates and enhancements.

    Historically the question of ethics and open source software (OSS) has mainly focussed on the goal of obtaining and guaranteeing certain “software freedoms,” namely the freedom to use, study, share and modify the software (as exemplified by the Free Software Definition and copyleft licenses such as the GPL family), and to ensure that derivative works were distributed under the same license terms to end “predatory vendor lock-in.”

Linux Foundation on Spying Giants Branded 'Confidential' and Banks Framed as "Open FinTech"

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OSS
  • Confidential Computing Consortium Establishes Formation with Founding Members and Open Governance Structure

    The Confidential Computing Consortium, a Linux Foundation project and community dedicated to defining and accelerating the adoption of confidential computing, today announced the formalization of its organization with founding premiere members Alibaba, Arm, Google Cloud, Huawei, Intel, Microsoft and Red Hat. General members include Baidu, ByteDance, decentriq, Fortanix, Kindite, Oasis Labs, Swisscom, Tencent and VMware.

    The intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium was announced at Open Source Summit in San Diego earlier this year. The organization aims to address data in use, enabling encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system, reducing exposure to sensitive data and providing greater control and transparency for users. This is among the very first industry-wide initiatives to address data in use, as current security approaches largely focus on data at rest or data in transit. The focus of the Confidential Computing Consortium is especially important as companies move more of their workloads to span multiple environments, from on premises to public cloud and to the edge.

  • Confidential Computing Consortium Establishes Formation with Founding Members and Open Governance Structure – Member Comments
  • Open FinTech Forum Brings Together Technologists and Business Executives to Accelerate Development in Finance Sector

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the speakers and program for Open FinTech Forum taking place December 9, 2019 at the Convene Conference Center in New York. To register, please visit: https://events19.linuxfoundation.org/events/open-fintech-forum-2019/register/

    Open FinTech Forum is where financial services IT decision makers come to learn about the open technologies driving digital transformation – technologies like AI, blockchain and more – and how to best utilize an open source strategy and implementation to enable new products, services and capabilities; increase IT efficiencies; establish and strengthen internal license compliance programs; and attract top-level talent and train existing talent on the latest disruptive technologies.

    “Open FinTech Forum brings the open source communities that support financial services together with CIOs, IT managers and developers working in the heart of finance,” said Angela Brown, General Manager of Events at The Linux Foundation. “We’re looking forward to showcasing the industry’s emerging and established open technologies fueling this space.”

Measuring the business value of open source communities

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OSS

It is still the early days of building a platform for bringing together these disparate data sources. The CHAOSS core of Augur and GrimoireLab currently supports over two dozen sources, and I’m excited to see what lies ahead for this project.

As the CHAOSS frameworks mature, I’m optimistic that teams and projects that implement these types of measurement will be able to make better real-world decisions that result in healthier and more productive software development lifecycles.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: GNOME/GTK, Android-x86, Fedora, LibreOffice and More

  • g_array_steal() and g_ptr_array_steal() in GLib 2.63.1

    Another set of new APIs in the upcoming GLib 2.63.1 release allow you to steal all the contents of a GArray, GPtrArray or GByteArray, and continue using the array container to add more contents to in future. This is work by Paolo Bonzini and Emmanuel Fleury, and will be available in the soon-to-be-released 2.63.1 release.

  • GNOME Shell Hackfest 2019

    This week, I have attended the GNOME Shell Hackfest 2019 held in Leidschendam, The Netherlands. It was a fantastic event, in a fantastic city! The list of attendees was composed of key members of the community, so we managed to get a lot done — a high amount of achievements for only three days of hackfest, in fact.

  • Android-x86: Run Android on your PC: Release Note 7.1-r3

    The Android-x86 project is glad to announce the release of 7.1-r3. This is the third stable release for Android-x86 7.1 (nougat-x86). The prebuilt images are available in the following site as usual: https://www.fosshub.com/Android-x86-old.html https://osdn.net/rel/android-x86/Release%207.1 Key Features The 7.1-r3 is mainly a bugfixes release of 7.1-r2. It based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat MR2 security updates (android-7.1.2_r39). Some newer features are also back-ported from 8.1 release. We encourage users of 7.1-r2 or older release upgrade to this release.

  • David Cantrell: rpminspect-0.8 released (and a new rpminspect-data-fedora)

    Work on the test suite continues with rpminspect and it is finding a lot of corner-case type runtime scenarios. Fixing those up in the code is nice. I welcome contributions to the test suite. You can look at the tests/test_*.py files to see what I'm doing and then work through one inspection and do the different types of checks. Look in the lib/inspect_NAME.c file and for all of the add_result() calls to figure out what tests should exist in the test suite. If this is confusing, feel free to reach out via email or another means and I can provide you with a list for an inspection.

  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-42

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 31 was declared No-Go. We are currently under the Final freeze. I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

  • New Feature in Libreoffice: Full-Sheet Previews

    The feature was developed on the cp-6.2 branch of LibreOffice code-base (which is basicly Collabora Office 6.2), and is already available in Collabora Office snaphots. And is being backported to LibreOffice master, so it will be also available in LibreOffice development builds and soon in the Collabora Office snapshots.

  • Rooting for ZFS | TechSNAP 414

    We dive into Ubuntu 19.10’s experimental ZFS installer and share our tips for making the most of ZFS on root. Plus why you may want to skip Nest Wifi, and our latest explorations of long range wireless protocols.

  • 2019-10-18 | Linux Headlines

    Researchers discover a kernel bug that can crash Linux devices, Fedora 31’s release date slips, Cedalo opens up its Streamsheets code, Google announces the Android NDK 21 beta, and Unix turns 50.

  • Google Launches A Refreshed Pixelbook Laptop At $649

    Say hello to a more affordable Chromebook that's lightweight and more fun to type on.

Proprietary Software, Games, Patent Traps/Tax and Openwashing

  • Adobe Announces Plan To Essentially Steal Money From Venezuelans Because It 'Has To' Due To US Sanctions

    Adobe has long had a history of questionable behavior, when it comes to the rights of its customers, and how the public is informed on all things Adobe. With the constant hammering on the concept that software it sells is licensed rather than purchased, not to mention with the move to more SaaS and cloud-based software, the company is, frankly, one of the pack leaders in consumers not actually owning what they bought.

  • Fantasy tactical RPG Wildermyth blends a mix of hand-painted 2D and 3D art & arrives on Steam soon

    With character art during the turn-based battles that look like paper cutouts in a 3D environment, Wildermyth certainly has a strange and lovely charm to it. Currently available on itch.io where users have been testing it for some time, Worldwalker Games have now announced that their character-driven tactical RPG will enter Early Access on Steam on November 13. In Wildermyth, your party will be tasked with defending the lands from various threats, switching between the turn-based combat and making decisions on the over-world map. It has choice-based comic-styled events, which can end up changing your heroes' appearance, personalities, relationships, and abilities.

  • Paragon Looks To Upstream Their Microsoft exFAT Driver For The Linux Kernel

    With the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel release there is now an exFAT file-system driver based on an old Samsung code drop of their exFAT driver support for mobile devices. This comes after Microsoft made the exFAT specification public recently and gave their blessing for a native Linux driver for the file-system. The Linux developers acknowledge though the current exFAT code is "horrible" and a "pile of crap" but is within the staging area. So in Linux 5.4's staging is this preliminary read-write driver for exFAT that continues to be cleaned up and further improved upon. Meanwhile there is also another out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver based on Samsung's sdFAT code that is said to be in better shape than the mainline code. But now there's another option with Paragon Software wanting to upstream their own exFAT driver into the Linux kernel.

  • VMware’s Joe Beda: Enterprise Open Source Is Growing [Ed: “Enterprise Open Source” means proprietary software and openwashing for marketing purposes]

    One of the fathers of Kubernetes says enterprise customers see the most benefit from the community-driven approach because their users get the opportunity to influence the direction development takes.

Linux Devices/Open Hardware

  • Site.js and Pi

    Chatting about Pi, on a Pi, with a chat server running on Site.js on the same Pi.

  • This MicroATX Motherboard is Based on Phytium FT2000/4 Arm Desktop SoC @ 3.0 GHz
  • Rikomagic R6 Review – Part 1: Android Mini Projector’s Unboxing and First Boot

    Rikomagic R6 is a mini Android projector that looks like a vintage radio, or depending on your point of view a mini vintage television.

  • Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae Open Source Hardware Association in Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., No. 18-2214 (Fed. Cir.)

    Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc. is a case of first impression for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The question on appeal is whether a design patent’s scope is tied to the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. In this amicus brief, the Open Source Hardware Association (“OSHWA”) explains the potential effects on open source hardware development, and design practice generally, of untethering design patent protection from the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. A large percentage of open-source hardware combines both ornamental and functional elements, and industrial design routinely involves applying design concepts from disparate fields in novel ways. To engage in this practice, open-source hardware designers need to know the universe of available source material and its limits. Further, understanding the licensing requirements of open-source hardware begins with understanding how the elements that make up that hardware may or may not be protected by existing law. Accordingly, while many creators of open-source hardware do not seek patent protection for their own creations, an understandable scope of design patent protection is nonetheless essential to their ability to collaborate with other innovators and innovate lawfully. The brief argues that the District Court in the case—and every district court that has considered the issue—correctly anchored the patented design to the article of manufacture when construing the patent. The brief explains that anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture is the best approach, for several reasons. Connecting the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture calibrates the scope of design patent protection to the patentee’s contribution over the prior art. It avoids encumbering the novel and nonobvious application of prior designs to new articles of manufacture, a fundamental and inventive practice of industrial design. It aligns the scope of design patent protection with its purpose: encouraging the inventive application of a design to an article of manufacture. This balances protection for innovative designs with later innovators’ interest in developing future designs. Finally, anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture helps fulfill design patent law’s notice function by clarifying the scope of protection.

Graphics: Gallium3D and AMDGPU

  • Gallium3D's Mesa State Tracker Sees "Mega Cleanup" For NIR In Mesa 19.3

    AMD developer Marek Olšák has landed a "mega cleanup" to the Gallium3D Mesa state tracker code around its NIR intermediate representation handling. As part of getting the NIR support in good enough shape for default usage by the RadeonSI driver, Marek has been working on a number of clean-ups involving the common Gallium / Mesa state tracker code for NIR.

  • AMDGPU DC Looks To Have PSR Squared Away - Power-Savings For Newer AMD Laptops

    It looks like as soon as Linux 5.5 is where the AMDGPU kernel driver could be ready with Panel Self Refresh (PSR) support for enabling this power-savings feature on newer AMD laptops. While Intel's Linux driver stack has been supporting Panel Self Refresh for years, the AMD support in their open-source Linux driver code has been a long time coming. We've seen them working towards the support since Raven Ridge and now it appears the groundwork has been laid and they are ready to flip it on within the Display Core "DC" code.