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OSS

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Google Maps

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OSS

Google has a firm grip on the desktop. Their products and services are ubiquitous. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there are concerns about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.

In this series, we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything. We’ll recommend open source solutions.

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Linux Foundation: RISC-V ISA and New Mobile Native Foundation

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OSS
  • Learn About the RISC-V ISA with Two Free Training Courses from The Linux Foundation and RISC-V International

    The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and RISC-V International, a non-profit corporation controlled by its members to drive the adoption and implementation of the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), have announced the release of two new free online training courses to help individuals get started with the RISC-V ISA. The courses are available on edX.org, the online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT.

    “RISC-V International is committed to providing opportunities for people to gain a deeper understanding of the RISC-V ISA and expand their skills,” shared Calista Redmond, CEO, RISC-V International. “These courses will allow everyone to build deeper technical insight, learn more about the benefits of open collaboration, and engage with RISC-V for design freedom.”

    With the recent market momentum of RISC-V cores, systems-on-chips (SoCs), developer boards, and software and tools across computing from embedded to enterprise, there is a strong community need to empower individuals who understand how to implement and utilize RISC-V. In order to help meet that demand, The Linux Foundation and RISC-V International designed these free online courses to significantly reduce the barrier to entry for those interested in gaining RISC-V skills.

  • Linux Foundation and RISC-V International launch free RISC-V training classes | ZDNet

    RISC-V, the emerging open-source instruction set processor architecture, is growing up. Sure, most of the attention has come from hardware hackers playing on RISC-V processors on development boards from companies such as SiFive. SparkFun, and BeagleBoard. There's even a BBC Doctor Who-branded RISC-V mini-computer for kids. But, according to RISC-V CTO Mark Himelstein, RISC-V processors have already found a home in data centers and Alibaba cloud servers. So, it's high time for classes on how to use this new open-source hardware architecture.

  • New Mobile Native Foundation to Foster Development Collaboration
  • New Mobile Native Foundation to Foster Development Collaboration

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the Mobile Native Foundation (MNF). The MNF will bring developers together to improve processes and technologies that support large-scale Android and iOS applications. Organizations contributing to this effort include Airbnb, Capital One, Corellium, Elotl, Flare.build, GitHub, GogoApps, Haystack, Line, LinkedIn, Lyft, Microsoft, Peloton, Robinhood, Sauce Labs, Screenplay.dev, Slack, Solid Software, Spotify, Square and Uber.

Events: GNOME, LF, and Linux App Summit (LAS)

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OSS
GNOME
  • Felipe Borges: Save the date: GNOME LATAM 2021, March 27th

    I’m happy to spread the word that a GNOME event in Spanish and Portuguese is taking place this month, on the 27th of March. It will be a free virtual event with talks and panels where everybody is welcome.

  • Cloud Foundry Summit 2021: Call For Papers Open

    The Summit will allow European attendees to participate, as well, with sessions tailored to the virtual format. The Cloud Foundry Foundation will join forces with the community-elected program committee to curate a program that fosters collaboration among attendees and offers interactive platform education.

  • The Linux App Summit (LAS) returns in May, applications open for talks until March 15 | GamingOnLinux

    Planned to happen online again during May 13-15, the Linux App Summit (LAS) is set to return giving you a chance to listen to talks about the future of application design, development and more for Linux. Last year had some pretty interesting talks, like Linux game porter and FNA developer Ethan Lee giving a presentation on how games get built and packages plus Collabora gave an overview of their work with Valve.

Compact Arm Linux gateway features ThingsBoard IoT software

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Linux
OSS

Neousys’ rugged “IGT-22-DEV” IoT gateway runs the open source Linux “ThingsBoard IoT” stack on a TI AM3352 with PoE PD, DIO, serial, USB, and mini-PCIe with uSIM.

After years of playing a dominant role on the pages of LinuxGizmos, the Cortex-A8-based TI Sitara AM335x has faded in recent years in favor of IoT-oriented Cortex-A7 processors such as the i.MX6 UL. Over the last week, however, the Sitara AM3352 has appeared twice: first in Aaeon’s SRG-3352C IoT gateway and now in Neousys’ IGT-22-DEV. Whereas the SRG-3352C showcases NB-IoT, the DIN-rail mountable IGT-22-DEV’s most notable feature is its pre-installed Linux IoT stack based on ThingsBoard IoT Gateway software.

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Apache Monthly Report and OSI Approves Proprietary Software as 'Open' (Openwashing)

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OSS
  • Apache Month in Review: February 2021
  • Approved: Four New Open Source Licenses

    As the steward of the Open Source Defintion, the Open Source Initiative has been designating licenses as "open source" for over 20 years. These licenses are the foundation of the open source software ecosystem, ensuring that everyone can use, improve, and share software. When a license is approved, it is because the OSI believes that the license fosters collaboration and sharing for the benefit of everyone who participates in the ecosystem.

    The world has changed over the past 20 years, with software now used in new and even unimaginable ways. The OSI has seen that the familiar open source licenses are not always well-suited for these new situations. But license stewards have stepped up, submitting several new licenses for more expansive uses. The OSI was challenged to evaluate whether these new concepts in licensing would continue to advance sharing and collaboration and merit being referred to as "open source" licenses, ultimately approving some new special purpose licenses.

  • Cryptographic Autonomy License Approved by OSI

    The controversy over the scope of copyleft these days remains brisk. Regarding CAL, it was so heated that OSI founder Bruce Perens resigned in protest, as the license approached approval. There is a also a larger controversy over whether copyleft licenses written by single companies, and not part of the community drafting process, should be approved, regardless of content.

  • Singapore reveals open-source blockchain COVID-test result tracker, eyes uses as vaccine passport app [Ed: Openwashing surveillance and Orwellian stuff, as has become common]

    Singapore has proposed a blockchain-based document verification system developed by its GovTech agency to provide proof of recent negative COVID-19 tests, and hopes it becomes used to offer proof of vaccination status around the world.

    Named "HealthCerts", the system is based on open-source framework known as OpenAttestation that uses blockchain to issue cryptographically trustworthy documents. The technology is already applied by some local universities to issue and authenticate diplomas.

    [...]

    From that date travelers planning to leave Singapore will book in for a COVID PCR test before they fly. Results will be uploaded to a government website and aspiring tourists will then go online to request the results be notarised by the Ministry of Health. If approved, the QR code linking to the notarised digital certificate will appear in SingPass Mobile, the nation's app for consuming digital government services.

4 open source tools for running a Linux server

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Linux
OSS

In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I'll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. Here are four open source tools for turning any device into a Linux server.

Sometimes I detect a certain mystique around the idea of a server. Many people, should they have an image in their mind at all, think servers must be big, heavy, rack-mounted machines, carefully maintained by an overly deliberate sysadmin and a group of magical tinker gnomes. Other people envision servers as vaporous clouds that somehow power the internet.

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Why India Needs To Fuss Over FOSS

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OSS

Did you know that over 85% of India’s Internet runs on FOSS, or Free an Open Source Software that strikes at the heart of software patents?

If your answer is ‘No’, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that India now ranks 3rd in the world in terms of FOSS usage, according to GitHub. In fact, some of India’s largest government projects, many technology startups, and some of India’s largest software services companies extensively us FOSS, according to a recently-released report titled ‘The State of FOSS in India’ by CivicData Lab.

FOSS communities in India, according to the report supported by Omidyar Network India, have also organized themselves to solve India’s challenges like digital inclusion by creating Indian language fonts, dictionaries and other essential tools that are widely used across the country.

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Best Free and Open Source Software – February 2021 Updates

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OSS

The table above shows articles updated in February 2021.

For our entire collection, check out the categories below. This is the largest compilation of recommended software. The collection includes hundreds of articles, with comprehensive sections on internet, graphics, games, programming, science, office, utilities, and more. Almost all of the software is free and open source.

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Best Linux distros 2021: The finest open source operating systems around

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Linux
OSS

Although the most common operating systems are Windows and macOS, these platforms don’t offer an awful lot of potential for customisation and fine-tuning. Linux, meanwhile, has forged a reputation for being a fully customisable operating system that lets you configure your own software as you wish.

Operating Linux systems isn’t as easy a concept as it might sound, however. This term is an umbrella under which a wide variety of flexible installations fall. These are known as distros, and it can be tricky to know where to get started with them - even for experienced professionals.

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GNOME Foundation and Linux Foundation Leftovers

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OSS
GNOME
  • GNOME 40 Beta has been Released

    Anyone looking to test the beta for the upcoming GNOME 40 release can now do so.

    On the heels of the alpha release of GNOME 40, the developers have announced the availability of the beta, which includes a number of improvements and bug fixes.

    Of course, the biggest change to GNOME is the new horizontal Activities Overview, which makes for a much-improved workflow on the desktop. With the desktops residing at the top of the Overview, it is now easier to drag and drop an application to the specific desktop you want. It’s far more intuitive and efficient. This new layout also improves usage with touch screen navigation and faster overall performance.

    Another hotly anticipated change comes by way of how multi-monitor support will work with the new horizontal Activities Overview. GNOME 40 will default to only showing workspaces on the primary display, with the top bar and the Activities Overview on both displays.

  • State of FinOps 2021 Report Shows Massive Growth in Cloud Financial Management

    Teams working with FinOps, the field of cloud financial management, are expected to grow 40% in 2021 according to a new report from the FinOps Foundation, a Linux Foundation non-profit trade association focused on codifying and promoting cloud financial management best practices and standards. The survey of over 800 FinOps practitioners – with a collective $30+ billion in annual cloud spend – underscores the need for more education around how to manage cloud finances.

  • Here Is How To Create A Clean, Resilient Electrical Grid
  • Linux Foundation, LF Networking, and LF Edge Announce Speaker Line-up for Open Networking & Edge Executive Forum, March 10-12

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, along with co-hosts LF Networking, the umbrella organization fostering collaboration and innovation across the entire open networking stack, and LF Edge, the umbrella organization building an open source framework for the edge, announced today the speaker line-up for Open Networking & Edge Executive Forum. The schedule can be viewed here and the speaker details can be viewed here.

    Open Networking & Edge Executive Forum (ONEEF) is a special edition of Open Networking & Edge Summit, the industry’s premier open networking & edge event, gathering senior technologists and executive leaders from enterprises, telecoms and cloud providers for timely discussions on the state of the industry, imminent priorities and insights into Service Provider, Cloud, Enterprise Networking, and Edge/IOT requirements.

  • Linux Foundation, LF Networking, and LF Edge Announce Speaker Line-up for Open Networking & Edge Executive Forum, March 10-12
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No, Linux Mint is Not Going to Force Updates Like Windows

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Canonical Chooses Google’s Flutter UI SDK to Build Future Ubuntu Apps

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Python: Security and NumPy 1.20 Release

  • Python Package Index nukes 3,653 malicious libraries uploaded soon after security shortcoming highlighted

    The Python Package Index, also known as PyPI, has removed 3,653 malicious packages uploaded days after a security weakness in the use of private and public registries was highlighted. Python developers use PyPI to add software libraries written by other developers in their own projects. Other programming languages implement similar package management systems, all of which demand some level of trust. Developers are often advised to review any code they import from an external library though that advice isn't always followed. Package management systems like npm, PyPI, and RubyGems have all had to remove subverted packages in recent years. Malware authors have found that if they can get their code included in popular libraries or applications, they get free distribution and trust they haven't earned. Last month, security researcher Alex Birsan demonstrated how easy it is to take advantage of these systems through a form of typosquatting that exploited the interplay between public and private package registries.

  • A pair of Python vulnerabilities [LWN.net]

    Two separate vulnerabilities led to the fast-tracked release of Python 3.9.2 and 3.8.8 on February 19, though source-only releases of 3.7.10 and 3.6.13 came a few days earlier. The vulnerabilities may be problematic for some Python users and workloads; one could potentially lead to remote code execution. The other is, arguably, not exactly a flaw in the Python standard library—it simply also follows an older standard—but it can lead to web cache poisoning attacks. [...] [Update: As pointed out in an email from Moritz Muehlenhoff, Python 2.7 actually is affected by this bug. He notes that python2 on Debian 10 ("Buster") is affected and has been updated. Also, Fedora has a fix in progress for its python2.7 package.]

  • NumPy 1.20 has been released

    NumPy is a Python library that adds an array data type to the language, along with providing operators appropriate to working on arrays and matrices. By wrapping fast Fortran and C numerical routines, NumPy allows Python programmers to write performant code in what is normally a relatively slow language. NumPy 1.20.0 was announced on January 30, in what its developers describe as the largest release in the history of the project. That makes for a good opportunity to show a little bit about what NumPy is, how to use it, and to describe what's new in the release. [...] NumPy adds a new data type to Python: the multidimensional ndarray. This a container, like a Python list, but with some crucial differences. A NumPy array is usually homogeneous; while the elements of a list can be of various types, an ndarray will, typically, only contain a single, simple type, such as integers, strings, or floats. However, these arrays can instead contain arbitrary Python objects (i.e. descendants of object). This means that the elements will, for simple data types, all occupy the same amount of space in memory. The elements of an ndarray are laid out contiguously in memory, whereas there is no such guarantee for a list. In this way, they are similar to Fortran arrays. These properties of NumPy arrays are essential for efficiency because the location of each element can be directly calculated. Beyond just adding efficient arrays, NumPy also overloads arithmetic operators to act element-wise on the arrays. This allows the Python programmer to express computations concisely, operating on arrays as units, in many cases avoiding the need to use loops. This does not turn Python into a full-blown array language such as APL, but adds to it a syntax similar to that incorporated into Fortran 90 for array operations.

4 Best Free and Open Source Graphical MPD Clients

MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis. MPD runs in the background playing music from its playlist. Client programs communicate with MPD to manipulate playback, the playlist, and the database. The client–server model provides advantages over all-inclusive music players. Clients can communicate with the server remotely over an intranet or over the Internet. The server can be a headless computer located anywhere on a network. There’s graphical clients, console clients and web-based clients. To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 4 best graphical MPD clients. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to listen to their music collection via MPD. Here’s our recommendations. They are all free and open source goodness. Read more