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OSS

The state of open source accelerated graphics on ARM devices

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OSS

I’ve been meaning to write about the state of accelerated open source graphics options for a while now to give an update on a blog post I wrote over 5 years ago in January 2012, before the Raspberry Pi even existed! Reading back through that post it was pretty dark times for any form of GUI on ARM devices but with the massive changes in ARM devices and the massive change in SBCs (Single Board Computers) heralded by things like the Raspberry Pi have things improved at all? The answer is generally yes!

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OSS: Open Networking Foundation, Lyft and Uber, WordPress, VMware, FSFE and More

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OSS
  • Open Networking Foundation Subsumes On.Lab

    The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) this week declared its merger with On.Lab as complete. And it named AT&T CTO Andre Fuetsch chairman of ONF’s board.

    The ONF and On.Lab initiated their merger a little less than a year ago. By that point, ONF’s role as a cheerleader for software defined networking was becoming obviated given that SDN had gained wide acceptance. The merged entity has two major projects to shepherd: the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) and the Open Network Operating System (ONOS).

  • Lyft and Uber on Stage Together at Open Source Summit in L.A.

    Envoy is a high-performance open source edge and service proxy that makes the network transparent to applications. Lyft Software Engineer Matt Klein led his team to design the technology to move their architecture away from a monolith toward a microservices model.

    Jaeger is an open source distributed tracing system inspired by Google Dapper paper and OpenZipkin community. It can be used for tracing microservice-based architectures. Uber began deploying Jaeger internally in 2015. It is now integrated into thousands of microservices and recording thousands of traces every second.

  • The challenges of supporting geolocation in WordPress

    As much as we get addicted to mobile phones and online services, nobody (outside of cyberpunk fiction) actually lives online. That's why maps, geolocation services, and geographic information systems (GISes) have come to play a bigger role online. They reflect they way we live, work, travel, socialize, and (in the case of natural or human-made disasters, which come more and more frequently) suffer. Thus there is value in integrating geolocation into existing web sites, but systems like WordPress do not make supporting that easy. The software development firm LuminFire has contributed to the spread of geolocation services by creating a library for WordPress that helps web sites insert geolocation information into web pages. This article describes how LuminFire surmounted the challenges posed by WordPress and shows a few uses for the library.

    LuminFire developer Michael Moore presented the library, called WP-GeoMeta-Lib, at a talk (the slides are available in Moore's blog posting) on August 16 at FOSS4G, the major open-source geolocation conference. FOSS4G's success itself demonstrates the growing importance of geolocation, as well as the thriving free-software communities that create solutions for it through group projects such as the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). FOSS4G held its first conference in 2007 in Thailand. Its global wanderings, which would require sophisticated geolocation tools to track, brought it this year to Boston, where it topped 1,100 registered attendees—its biggest turnout yet.

  • How Serious is VMware About Open Source?
  • Snowden: Public money shouldn't fund software the public isn't allowed to fix

    Paul Brown writes, "The FSFE's 'Public Money? Public Code!' campaign wants to convince lawmakers that software created with public funds should be made available to the public under Free Software licences.

  • Facebook invests in CIFAR AI, CalcFlow goes open source and FTP deprecated in Chrome
  • Ansible announces AWX, 13-year-old keynotes on AI for brain wave analysis, and more news

More of "Public Money, Public Code"

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OSS
  • Public money? Public Code!
  • Public Money? Public Code! 31 organisations ask to improve public procurement of software

    Digital services offered and used by public administrations are the critical infrastructure of 21st-century democratic nations. To establish trustworthy systems, government agencies must ensure they have full control over systems at the core of our digital infrastructure. This is rarely the case today due to restrictive software licences.

  • Public Money, Public Code, Public Control

    An interesting article published by the UK Government Digital Service was referenced in a response to the LWN.net coverage of the recently-launched “Public Money, Public Code” campaign. Arguably, the article focuses a little too much on “in the open” and perhaps not enough on the matter of control. Transparency is a good thing, collaboration is a good thing, no-one can really argue about spending less tax money and getting more out of it, but it is the matter of control that makes this campaign and similar initiatives so important.

  • FSFE: publicly funded software has to be open source

    Digital services offered and used by public administrations are the critical infrastructure of 21st-century democratic nations. To establish trustworthy systems, government agencies must ensure they have full control over systems at the core of our digital infrastructure. This is rarely the case today due to restrictive software licences.

…and today is Software Freedom Day!

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GNU
OSS

For its fourteenth edition the Digital Freedom Foundation is happy to celebrate Software Freedom Day! At the time of this writting we have 112 teams listed on the wiki and about 80+ events registered. Over the year we’ve notice that this “double registration process” (creating a wiki page and then filling the registration form) is a bit difficult for some of our participants and we wish to change that. In the plan for the coming months we plan to have a single registration process which will in turn generate a wiki page. We also want to display the event date as some of us cannot celebrate exactly on this international day due to local celebrations or other reasons.

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Ubuntu-enabled open source SDR board shrinks in size and price

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OSS
Ubuntu

Lime Microsystems launched the $139 “LimeSDR Mini,” a size- and cost-reduced sibling of its Ubuntu Core-enabled LimeSDR board, at CrowdSupply.

Lime Microsystems, a developer of field programmable RF (FPRF) transceivers for wireless broadband systems, has gone to CrowdSupply again, to fund a size- and cost-reduced variant of the LimeSDR board that it launched there last year. Like its larger sibling, the LimeSDR Mini is a “free and open source project” that supports the company’s “entirely open-source” LimeSuite host-side software that supports a range of SDRs.

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Events: Broadband Forum in Helsinki; Samsung Developer Conference 2017

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OSS

OSS: Tanmay Bakshi, Jono Bacon, Blockchain, Instaclustr, and BlueZ

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OSS
  • 13-year-old coder works to advance cognitive tech

    Folks say computers are a young person’s game, and one of the best examples is Tanmay Bakshi (pictured), algorithmist and cognitive developer. Thirteen years old, going on 14, he represents the energy and innovation of young coders. Some of the biggest companies in the industry have offered the enthusiastic Bakshi a seat at the table.

    When asked about the coolest thing he’s working on, Bakshi replied: “It would have to be a tie between AskTanmay, DeepSPADE and advancements with the cognitive story.” Bakshi is an Honorary Cloud Advisor with IBM Corp.

  • Developers must simplify, standardize tech to expand reach, says analyst

    It’s good for a company to have the technology it needs, however, putting that tech to use is another matter. Few companies are staffed with enough tech wizards, and for technology to expand into the mainstream, developers must make it easy for non-tech businesses to integrate new innovations in open source software, according to Jono Bacon (pictured), founder of Jono Bacon Consulting.

  • GMO Blockchain Open Source Software project enters fourth phase

    This time, GMO Internet has teamed up with GMO-Z.com RUNSYSTEM JSC to demonstrate the security applications of blockchain technologies. As many of you are aware, the enhanced security is one of the main advantages of this type of technologies.

  • Open Source as a Service platform launches

    Instaclustr has announced the launch of its Open Source-as-a-Service platform. This comprehensive platform offers customers across industries - and from startups to the enterprise - fully hosted and securely managed Apache Cassandra, Apache Spark, Elasticsearch, Kibana, Lucene, and Zeppelin. Each is delivered to customers in its 100% open source form, with no vendor or technical lock-in. The platform arrives as the company continues to deliver top-line growth in excess of 100% YoY, and has reached milestones of 10 million node hours and 1 petabyte of data under management.

    In an industry where, all too often, providers will deliver open source solutions repackaged into proprietary versions that promote vendor lock-in, Instaclustr is ensuring that every solution it provides will always consist of fully portable open source code.

  • BlueZ 5.47 Released, Working On Bluetooth 5.0 Support & More

    BlueZ 5.47 has been released as the latest user-space components to the Linux Bluetooth stack.

    BlueZ 5.47 is a bit more exciting on the feature front than some of the past releases. BlueZ 5.47 includes support for decoding Bluetooth 5.0 commands and events, Bluetooth Mesh advertising bearer decoding, support for Bluetooth Mesh control applications, the ability to retrieve supported discovery filters, and support for appearance and local name advertising data.

Software Patents Versus Free Software (WordPress, MP3 Playback)

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OSS
Legal
  • On React and WordPress

    Big companies like to bury unpleasant news on Fridays: A few weeks ago, Facebook announced they have decided to dig in on their patent clause addition to the React license, even after Apache had said it’s no longer allowed for Apache.org projects. In their words, removing the patent clause would "increase the amount of time and money we have to spend fighting meritless lawsuits."

    I'm not judging Facebook or saying they're wrong, it's not my place. They have decided it's right for them — it's their work and they can decide to license it however they wish. I appreciate that they've made their intentions going forward clear.

    A few years ago, Automattic used React as the basis for the ground-up rewrite of WordPress.com we called Calypso, I believe it's one of the larger React-based open source projects. As our general counsel wrote, we made the decision that we'd never run into the patent issue. That is still true today as it was then, and overall, we’ve been really happy with React. More recently, the WordPress community started to use React for Gutenberg, the largest core project we've taken on in many years. People's experience with React and the size of the React community — including Calypso — was a factor in trying out React for Gutenberg, and that made React the new de facto standard for WordPress and the tens of thousands of plugins written for WordPress.

    We had a many-thousand word announcement talking about how great React is and how we're officially adopting it for WordPress, and encouraging plugins to do the same. I’ve been sitting on that post, hoping that the patent issue would be resolved in a way we were comfortable passing down to our users.

    That post won't be published, and instead I'm here to say that the Gutenberg team is going to take a step back and rewrite Gutenberg using a different library. It will likely delay Gutenberg at least a few weeks, and may push the release into next year.

  • MP3 Is Dead! Long Live MP3!

    Back in May, there was an unexpected surge in press coverage about the MP3 audio file format. What was most unexpected about it was it all declared that the venerable file format is somehow “dead”. Why did that happen, and what lessons can we learn?

    What had actually happened was the last of the patents on the MP3 file format and encoding process have finally expired. Building on earlier work, it was developed by the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) built on the doctoral work of an engineer at Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Many companies held patents on the standard and it was not until April that the last of them expired. There’s no easy way to ascertain whether a patent has expired even after the date one moght expect it, so the wave of news arose from announcements by Fraunhofer Institute.

    Framing this as an “ending” fits the narrative of corporate patent holders well, but does not really reflect the likely consequences. Naturally the patent holding companies would rather everyone “upgrade” to the newer AAC format, which is still encumbered under a mountain of patents necessitating licensing. But for open source software, the end of patent monopilies signals the beginning of new freedoms.

Is Open Source Secure?

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OSS

With ransomware attacks and security breaches impacting organisations globally on a regular basis, security is very much front and centre of every CSO’s agenda. Known vulnerabilities like Heartbleed and the SMB vulnerability exploited in the WannaCry ransomware attack brought many organisations to their knees, causing panic and chaos.

According to Telstra’s 2017 Cyber Security Report, almost 60 percent of surveyed organisations in Australia detected a security incident on at least a monthly basis in 2016. The Telstra report stated seeing increases in security risks across the board with more than half of all businesses experiencing a ransomware attack last year.

With open source software (OSS) gaining popularity among organisations, there is inevitably discussion around the security of OSS, with most people simply wanting to know: “is open source secure?”

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How an open source tool is helping hurricane victims

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OSS

After Hurricane Harvey recently ripped through the Houston area, causing catastrophic flooding and devastation, the Stephen F. Austin Community Health Network (SFA) responded quickly by leveraging open source technology to reach out to patients and victims of the crisis in areas of Texas that are virtually inaccessible.

Using an advanced cloud-based version of the OpenEMR software, the SFA Community Health Network was able to treat patients in clinics that were physically unreachable by care providers. The next-generation version of the open source electronic health record (EHR) was developed and is maintained by St. Louis-based Williams Medical Technologies, Inc. (WMT).

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BlueBorne Vulnerability Is Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Releases, Update Now

Canonical released today new kernel updates for all of its supported Ubuntu Linux releases, patching recently discovered security vulnerabilities, including the infamous BlueBorne that exposes billions of Bluetooth devices. The BlueBorne vulnerability (CVE-2017-1000251) appears to affect all supported Ubuntu versions, including Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) up to 16.04.3, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) up to 14.04.5, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) up to 12.04.5. Read more

Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit
    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all! Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.
  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT
    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today. Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.
  • APNIC-sponsored proposal could vastly improve DNS resilience against DDoS