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OSS

Where do all the censored developers go?

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OSS

Being censored by an organization that claims to be promoting Free as in Speech is no small feat. It raises an interesting question: where do I go from here?

The answer has been right under my nose all along: the Uncensored Speakers Toastmasters Club in Dublin.

Uncensored Speakers meets on the second and fourth Friday of each month at The Central Hotel (Open Street Map).

Most Toastmasters groups have some community guidelines against overtly political or religious speeches or use of profane language. Uncensored Speakers claims to be different: a speaker may well choose to say what they really think about Brexit, choosing from some of the most colourful words that the English language has brought us.

Tonight's meeting is an exception: there will be a Table Topics and Humorous Speech contest, I've been invited to join the judging panel.

Censorship credentials

Let's look at how the Free Software censorship scandal has evolved.

In 2017 the Fellowship elected me as their representative to the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

FSFE had just banked that huge €150,000 bequest. In fact, €50k had been withheld by the lawyer pending confirmation that FSFE doesn't lose their charitable status while the other €100k had reached the bank account. FSFE decided to appoint all their staff as voting members of the association, remove the elections from the constitution, put the €100k in reserve to underwrite future obligations to staff and then the two most senior staff, the president, Matthias Kirschner and the executive director, Jonas Oberg, went on extended periods of paternity leave.

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How a business was built on podcasts for Linux: The story of Jupiter Broadcasting

Filed under
Linux
Interviews
OSS

I spend a lot of time on the road and enjoy listening to podcasts about a variety of topics. One of my interests is keeping up with the latest news and information about Linux and open source, and that led me to Jupiter Broadcasting, an open source (both in topics covered and its own license) podcasting network. I met Jupiter's cofounder Chris Fisher when I visited System76's Denver headquarters in late 2018.

Jupiter Broadcasting emerged from The Linux Action Show, a podcast that began in 2006 and ended 10 years later in early 2017. The show was such a success that, in 2008, Chris and co-founder Bryan Lunduke decided to start Jupiter Broadcasting. Back then, the company only had two shows, The Linux Action Show and CastaBlasta. Now it offers 10 Linux-related podcasts with titles like Linux Headlines, Linux Action News, Choose Linux, Coder Radio, Self-Hosted, and more.

I was interested in learning more about Jupiter, so I was grateful when Chris agreed to do this interview (which has been lightly edited for length and clarity).

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5 ways to contribute to open source during Hacktoberfest

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OSS

There's always a lot to get excited about in October: sweater weather, pumpkin spice, Halloween costumes, and for the last three years, Hacktoberfest.

Hacktoberfest is a "month-long celebration of open source software." It's organized by DigitalOcean and DEV and open to anyone. In my experience, Hacktoberfest is an easy way for users of open source to become contributors to open source. It's also celebratory and community-oriented and always includes some beautifully done artwork, which is later turned into stickers.

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Torrential – An Open-Source Torrent Client for elementaryOS

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OS
OSS

We have covered several torrent client applications on FossMint in topics such as 10 Best Cloud Torrent Service Providers and Best BitTorrent Client Apps for Linux in 2019. But as you already know by now, at least one new open-source application is created every other week.

Today, I bring you an open-source application developed for the torrenting world and it goes by the name of Torrential.

Torrential is a simple open-source torrent client designed for elementary OS users to download torrents in style while enjoying speed and minimalistic design experience.

It doesn’t have any settings unique to it, though, so technically it is another torrent client alternative that hopes to provide users with a speedy torrenting experience. However, as is expected of all Linux client applications, you can customize Torrential’s look using themes.

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Events: CopyleftConf, LibreOffice Conference, Kubernetes Contributor Summit

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OSS
  • Announcing the Second Annual CopyleftConf!

    Last year's event was the first ever CopyleftConf. It was great! We have some videos up and more are coming. Also, our call for proposals is open now, through the end of the month -- we'd love to hear from you.

    The response was really positive and we're looking forward to putting on a fantastic 2020 event. Because last year's event was so well attended, we've gotten a larger venue for this year.

    Participants from throughout the copyleft world ? developers, strategists, enforcement organizations, scholars and critics ? will be welcomed for an in-depth, high bandwidth, and expert-level discussion about the day-to-day details of using copyleft licensing, obstacles facing copyleft and the future of copyleft as a strategy to advance and defend software freedom for users and developers around the world.

  • Nine more videos from the LibreOffice Conference 2019

    Yes, we’ve uploaded some more presentations from the recent LibreOffice Conference 2019 in Almeria, Spain. Many of these cover interoperability between LibreOffice and other office software.

  • Contributor Summit San Diego Schedule Announced!

    There are many great sessions planned for the Contributor Summit, spread across five rooms of current contributor content in addition to the new contributor workshops. Since this is an upstream contributor summit and we don’t often meet, being a globally distributed team, most of these sessions are discussions or hands-on labs, not just presentations. We want folks to learn and have a good time meeting their OSS teammates.

    Unconference tracks are returning from last year with sessions to be chosen Monday morning. These are ideal for the latest hot topics and specific discussions that contributors want to have. In previous years, we’ve covered flaky tests, cluster lifecycle, KEPs (Kubernetes Enhancement Proposals), mentoring, security, and more.

OBS Studio is an open source video recorder and streaming app for Windows, Linux and macOS

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OSS

OBS Studio aka Open Broadcaster Software Studio is very popular among YouTube users. You can use it to broadcast gameplay streams live or use it to record videos (which you may then upload to YouTube or other video hosting sites). Want to set up a camera and mic to record content for your vlog? You can do that too.

This is one of those rare applications that is user-friendly on the one hand but still advanced enough to deliver the options that advanced users require. That being said, we're going to take a look at the basic usage of the program, the recording of on-screen content.

OBS Studio is a cross-platform program that is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

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KDE Applications 19.08.2 Open-Source Software Suite Released with Many Bug Fixes

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KDE
OSS

Coming a month after the first point release, KDE Applications 19.08.2 is here to address more than 20 bug fixes across a wide range of applications and core components, including Dolphin, Gwenview, Kate, Kdenlive, Kontact, Konsole, Lokalize, Spectacle, and many others, in an attempt to make the KDE Applications 19.08 open-source software suite more stable and reliable.

Highlights of this release include improvements to High-DPI (HiDPI) support in the Konsole terminal emulator and other apps, the ability to update the search parameters when switching between different searches in the Dolphin file manager, and support for the KMail email client to save messages directly to remote folders.

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Also: Applications 19.08.2

System76 Launches Two Linux Laptops Powered by Coreboot Open-Source Firmware

Filed under
Linux
OSS

Driven by the idea that technology should always be free and open, System76 is launching today the Galago Pro and Darter Pro laptops with their new Coreboot-based open-source firmware, which not only makes these computers boot faster than with a proprietary firmware, but it also protects them against various security vulnerabilities and other threats.

"Our lightweight open source firmware gets users from boot screen to desktop 29% faster," said System76. "Removing unnecessary features from the firmware such as network connectivity and execution environments also decreases the potential for vulnerability, meaning users who upgrade to the new laptops will benefit from increased security."

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Also: System76 Will Begin Shipping 2 Linux Laptops With Coreboot-Based Open Source Firmware

System76 launches two Linux with Comet Lake chips and Coreboot

System76 Launches Two Intel Laptops With "Open-Source Firmware" Coreboot

Freedom from censorship on mailing lists

Filed under
OSS

One prominent tool used to construct the fake community is the email discussion list.

When people join a discussion list, they assume and believe that they are being exposed to a wide range of opinions. Therefore, when some opinions or critical information is hidden, ordinary members of the list are deceived. People have not consented to this deception.

In 2018, FSFE used these tactics to make it appear that nobody supported elections any more. In 2019, rogue elements of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) staff used the same tactics to undermine their own founder, Richard Stallman. FSF is the organization that explains their use of the word Free using the phrase Free as in speech, not free as in beer. When they don't even allow Free Speech on their own LibrePlanet-discuss mailing list, the organization loses all credibility.

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BleachBit 2.3 Beta

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OSS

When your computer is getting full, BleachBit quickly frees disk space. When your information is only your business, BleachBit guards your privacy. With BleachBit you can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn't know was there.

Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.

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More in Tux Machines

FOSS in SaaS/Back End/Databases

  • What to expect from Scylla Summit 2019

    Scylla (the company) takes its name directly from Scylla [pronounced: sill-la], a Greek god sea monster whose mission was to haunt and torment the rocks of a narrow strait of water opposite the Charybdis whirlpool. Outside of Greek history, Scylla is an open source essentially distributed NoSQL data store that uses a sharded design on each node, meaning each CPU core handles a different subset of data.

  • Licence to grill: A year on, MongoDB's Eliot Horowitz talks to The Reg about SSPL

    A year after its controversial switch to the Server Side Public License (SSPL), and with new products livening up the summer, MongoDB remains unrepentant. The change was aimed at making vendors selling a service using the company's code share the source of applications used to run the service as well as any tweaks. The move appeared to be aimed squarely at cloud vendors, content to "capture all the value and give nothing back to the community," as Dev Ittycheria, CEO of MongoDB, told us at the time. Elements of the open source community were less than impressed. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) rejected the company's attempts to get the licence approved and eventually MongoDB withdrew the thing from the process, although the company continued to use it for its own products. Indeed, at MongoDB's London .Local event, where we met co-founder and CTO Eliot Horowitz, the company was trumpeting the opening up of its Compass GUI for MongoDB under the SSPL.

  • From Russia with OLAP: Percona uses ClickHouse analytics

    At Percona Live Europe last week, one such example came up around the open source scene that is developing in Russia and how one of the projects that is now starting to open up to international use.

  • The love and the lament: Percona CEO details state of open source data

    Open source has changed, obviously it has. Starting from its origins among the hobbyist programmers and hackers who dared to defy the proprietary Silicon Valley behemoths, the open community-centric model for software development has now been widely adopted by the commercial software sector. In many cases, open source has become the norm for modern platforms, tools and applications. But how has this affected the nature of open development and what impact has this shift left in its wake on the data landscape that we view today?

  • GraphDB 9.0 Open Sources Its Front End and Engine Plugins to Support Knowledge Graph Solutions

    Ontotext has announced GraphDB 9.0, which is aimed at lowering the effort required for development and continuous operation of knowledge graphs by opening multiple integration extension points for its users and developers. GraphDB is a database for managing semantic information with more than 30 large production installations in big enterprises. With the growing complexity of enterprise data integration, many organizations are starting the journey of building knowledge graphs.

  • Ververica Announces Open Source Framework to Enable Lightweight, Stateful Applications at Scale

    Ververica, the original creators of Apache Flink, today announced at Flink Forward Europe the launch of Stateful Functions (statefun.io), an open source framework that reduces the complexity of building and orchestrating stateful applications at scale. Stateful Functions enables users to define loosely coupled, independent functions with a low footprint that can interact consistently and reliably in a shared pool of resources. Ververica will propose the project, licensed under Apache 2.0, to the Apache Flink community as an open source contribution.

  • DataStax offers bidirectional data dexterity for Apache Kafka

    DataStax has opened up ‘early access’ to its DataStax Change Data Capture (CDC) Connector for Apache Kafka, the open source stream-processing (where applications can use multiple computational units, similar to parallel processing) software platform. As a company, DataStax offers a commercially supported ‘enterprise-robust’ database built on open source Apache Cassandra. Stream processing is all about speed and cadence, so, the DataStax CDC Connector for Apache Kafka gives developers ‘bidirectional data movement’ between DataStax, Cassandra and Kafka clusters.

Security: WireGuard, SafeBreach and More

  • WireGuard Snapshot `0.0.20191012` Available
    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA256
    
    Hello,
    
    A new snapshot, `0.0.20191012`, has been tagged in the git repository.
    
    Please note that this snapshot is a snapshot rather than a final
    release that is considered secure and bug-free. WireGuard is generally
    thought to be fairly stable, and most likely will not crash your
    computer (though it may).  However, as this is a snapshot, it comes
    with no guarantees; it is not applicable for CVEs.
    
    With all that said, if you'd like to test this snapshot out, there are a
    few relevant changes.
    
    == Changes ==
    
      * qemu: bump default version
      * netns: add test for failing 5.3 FIB changes
      
      Kernels 5.3.0 - 5.3.3 crash (and are probably exploitable) via this one liner:
      
      unshare -rUn sh -c 'ip link add dummy1 type dummy && ip link set dummy1 up && ip -6 route add default dev dummy1 && ip -6 rule add table main suppress_prefixlength 0 && ping -f 1234::1'
      
      We fixed this upstream here:
      
      https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/davem/net.git/commit/?id=ca7a03c4175366a92cee0ccc4fec0038c3266e26
      
      This is relevant to WireGuard because a very similar sequence of commands is
      used by wg-quick(8).
      
      So, we've now added some tests to catch this code path in the future. While
      the bug here was a random old use-after-free, the test checks the general
      policy routing setup used by wg-quick(8), so that we make sure this continues
      to work with future kernels.
      
      * noise: recompare stamps after taking write lock
      
      We now recompare counters while holding a write lock.
      
      * netlink: allow preventing creation of new peers when updating
      
      This is a small enhancement for wg-dynamic, so that we can update peers
      without readding them if they've already been removed.
      
      * wg-quick: android: use Binder for setting DNS on Android 10
      
      wg-quick(8) for Android now supports Android 10 (Q). We'll be releasing a new
      version of the app for this later today.
    
    This snapshot contains commits from: Jason A. Donenfeld and Nicolas Douma.
    
    As always, the source is available at https://git.zx2c4.com/WireGuard/ and
    information about the project is available at https://www.wireguard.com/ .
    
    This snapshot is available in compressed tarball form here:
      https://git.zx2c4.com/WireGuard/snapshot/WireGuard-0.0.20191012.tar.xz
      SHA2-256: 93573193c9c1c22fde31eb1729ad428ca39da77a603a3d81561a9816ccecfa8e
      BLAKE2b-256: d7979c453201b9fb6b1ad12092515b27ea6899397637a34f46e74b52b36ddf56
    
    A PGP signature of that file decompressed is available here:
      https://git.zx2c4.com/WireGuard/snapshot/WireGuard-0.0.20191012.tar.asc
      Signing key: AB9942E6D4A4CFC3412620A749FC7012A5DE03AE
    
    If you're a snapshot package maintainer, please bump your package version. If
    you're a user, the WireGuard team welcomes any and all feedback on this latest
    snapshot.
    
    Finally, WireGuard development thrives on donations. By popular demand, we
    have a webpage for this: https://www.wireguard.com/donations/
    
    Thank you,
    Jason Donenfeld
    
  • WireGuard 0.0.20191012 Released With Latest Fixes

    WireGuard is still working on transitioning to the Linux kernel's existing crypto API as a faster approach to finally make it into the mainline kernel, but for those using the out-of-tree WireGuard secure VPN tunnel support, a new development release is available.

  • SafeBreach catches vulnerability in controversial HP Touchpoint Analytics software

    Now the feature is embroiled in another minor controversy after security researchers at SafeBreach said they uncovered a new vulnerability. HP Touchpoint Analytics comes preinstalled on many HP devices that run Windows. Every version below 4.1.4.2827 is affected by what SafeBreach found. In a blog post, SafeBreach Labs security researcher Peleg Hadar said that because the service is executed as "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM," it is afforded extremely powerful permissions that give it wide access. "The CVE-2019-6333 vulnerability gives attackers the ability to load and execute malicious payloads using a signed service. This ability might be abused by an attacker for different purposes such as execution and evasion, for example: Application Whitelisting Bypass Signature Validation Bypassing," Hadar wrote. [...] The company has long had to defend HP Touchpoint Analytics against critics who say it gives HP unnecessary access to users' systems. When it first became widely noticed in 2017, dozens of users complained that they had not consented to adding the system.

  • Security Tool Sprawl Reaches Tipping Point
  • How trusted digital certificates complement open source security

    Application developers incorporating open source software into their designs may only discover later that elements of this software have left them (and their customers) exposed to cyber-attacks.

  • Securing the Container Supply Chain

FOSS in Finance/Currency Leftovers

Programming Leftovers

  • Xilinx unveils open source FPGA platform

    The Vitis unified software platform from FPGA vendor Xilinx is the result of five-year project to create software development tools using familiar languages like C++ and Python to develop a wide range of applications for its reprogrammable chip.

  • Listen: How ActiveState is tackling “dependency hell” by providing enterprise-level support for open source programming languages [Podcast]

    “Open source back in the late nineties – and even throughout the 2000s – was really hard to use,” ActiveState CEO Bart Copeland says. “Our job,” he continues, “was to make it much easier for developers to use open source and much easier for enterprises to use open source.”

  • 10 open source projects proving the power of Google Go

    Now 10 years in the wild, Google’s Go programming language has certainly made a name for itself. Lightweight and quick to compile, Go has stirred significant interest due to its generous libraries and abstractions that ease the development of concurrent and distributed (read: cloud) applications. But the true measure of success of any programming language is the projects that developers create with it. Go has proven itself as a first choice for fast development of network services, software infrastructure projects, and compact and powerful tools of all kinds.

  • The Eclipse Foundation Launches The Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group for Cloud Native Software

    The Eclipse Foundation today announced the launch of the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group (ECD WG), a vendor-neutral open source collaboration that will focus on development tools for and in the cloud. The ECD WG will drive the evolution and broad adoption of emerging standards for cloud-based developer tools, including language support, extensions, marketplaces, and developer workspace definition. Founding members of the ECD WG include Broadcom, EclipseSource, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, SAP, Software AG, and Typefox among many others.

  • You cannot cURL under pressure

    With cURL having this many features (with the general mass of them being totally unknown to me, let alone how you use them) got me thinking… What if you could do a game show style challenge for them?

  • Follow-up on ‘ASCII Transliteration without ICU or iconv’

    By an anonymous commenter, I got pointed to that Unicode (in Qt) is slightly more complicated than I had considered when writing the code: I missed to handle planes beyond the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP) and the ‘surrogates’ between code points 0xD800 and 0xDFFF. In a series of recently pushed Git commits I addressed problem of surrogates and fixed some more issues. Some preparatory work has been done to support more planes in the future, but as of now, only the BMP is supported. For details, please have a look at the five commits posted on 2019-10-12.