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OSS

Open Access

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OSS
  • A $100,000 grant would help the University System of Maryland promote open-source textbooks

    Some students spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks every semester, but the Textbook Cost Savings Act of 2017, sponsored by Maryland state Sen. Jim Rosapepe, could help students save a lot of that money.

    The bill would provide a $100,000 grant to the University System of Maryland's William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation to promote the use of open source materials in place of traditional textbooks. The money would be used to foster the use of open education resources, or OERs, among the system's 12 institutions, said MJ Bishop, director of the Kirwan Center.

  • The Met Goes Public Domain With CC0, But It Shouldn't Have To

    The ongoing digitization of the vast wealth of material sitting in museums and archives around the world is one of the greatest projects of the digital age — a full realization of the internet's ability to spread knowledge and culture to all. Or it would be, if it weren't for copyfraud: for every museum genuinely embracing open content and the public domain, there's another claiming copyright on public domain images and being backed up by terrible court rulings.

    And so it's fantastic to see The Metropolitan Museum of Art joining the former camp with a new Open Access policy that is putting images of 375,000 works online with a CC0 public domain declaration. The Met actually partnered with Creative Commons, Wikimedia, Pinterest and others to help make this happen, and has even announced its first Wikimedian-in-residence who will head up the project to get these images into Wikimedia Commons and onto Wikipedia.

    This is all great, but here's the annoying thing: it should be totally unnecessary. These are digitizations of public domain works, and there's no reasonable basis for granting them any copyright protection that would need to be divested with a CC0 mark in the first place. They are not creative transformative works, and in fact they are the opposite: attempts to capture the original as faithfully and accurately as possible, with no detectable changes in the transfer from one medium to another. It might take a lot of work, but sweat of the brow does not establish copyright, and allowing such images to be re-copyrighted (in some cases hundreds or even thousands of years after their original creation) would be pointless and disastrous.

  • The Met Makes 375,000 Public Domain Images Available

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Tuesday that more than 375,000 of the Museum's "public-domain artworks" are now available for unrestricted use.

    "We have been working toward the goal of sharing our images with the public for a number of years," said Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the Met, in a statement. "Our comprehensive and diverse museum collection spans 5,000 years of world culture and our core mission is to be open and accessible for all who wish to study and enjoy the works of art in our care."

    The image collection covers photographs, paintings, and sculptures, among other works. Images now available for both scholarly and commercial purposes include Emanuel Leutze's famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware; photographs by Walker Evans, Alfred Steiglitz, and Dorothea Lange; and even some Vincent van Gogh paintings.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • What is Open Source?

    Open source software is everywhere. It underpins virtually the entire technology sector, with every single element of IT relying on at least one open source component.

    For those who aren't aware, free and open source software (commonly abbreviated to FOSS) is software and tools that are made freely available online. Not only are they free to download, install and use, the creators also publish the source code for these programs - their 'DNA'. This means anyone can recreate, tweak, improve or modify them as they see fit.

  • ToaruOS 1.0 Released, Hobby OS/Kernel Written From Scratch Over 6+ Years

    In the past on Phoronix we have mentioned ToaruOS a few times. It's a "hobby" kernel and operating system written mostly from scratch yet supports Mesa, GCC, Python, and more. It's been in development since 2011 while now the operating system's 1.0 release finally took place.

    The ToaruOS developer wrote in about the Toaru 1.0 release that took place at the end of January. He wrote, "After six years of development, I am very happy to finally announce the 1.0 release of ToaruOS. While I would not consider this "complete" - there is still much work to be done - it is time to refocus my development, and with that comes the time to declare a stable release. ToaruOS 1.0 has been the result of over half a decade of effort, with contributions from a dozen people besides myself."

  • Opening the Software Heritage archive

    We posted this while I was keynoting with Roberto at FOSDEM 2017, to discuss the role Software Heritage plays in preserving the Free Software commons. To accompany the talk we released our first public API, which allows to navigate the entire content of the Software Heritage archive as a graph of connected development objects (e.g., blobs, directories, commits, releases, etc.).

    Over the past months we have been busy working on getting source code (with full development history) into the archive, to minimize the risk that important bits of Free/Open Sources Software that are publicly available today disappear forever from the net, due to whatever reason --- crashes, black hat hacking, business decisions, you name it. As a result, our archive is already one of the largest collections of source code in existence, spanning a GitHub mirror, injections of important Free Software collections such as Debian and GNU, and an ongoing import of all Google Code and Gitorious repositories.

  • 13 best free and open source inventory management systems 2017: How to save money and improve service for your customers

    Inventory management is the process of specifying and quantifying the shape and percentage of goods you hold in stock. By knowing what you have, and where, you can save money and improve your service to customers.

    There are myriad free inventory management software systems to choose from, many of which are free to use. We have highlighted 13 that are worth considering for your business.

  • Raptor Engineering Hopes To Bring OpenBMC To An ASUS Motherboard

    While Raptor Engineering was unsuccessful with their Talos Secure Workstation effort to build a high-end, libre POWER8 workstation, they are now backing a more realistic effort: opening the Baseboard Management Controller of an ASUS server motherboard still on the market.

    They are hoping to replace the proprietary baseboard management controller firmware with an open-source solution using OpenBMC. They are hoping to do this not only for the sake of having a fully-free server/workstation motherboard but also for addressing security holes in the proprietary firmware and add missing features while also allowing Coreboot to interact with this BMC.

  • The Call for Papers for LIBER’s 2017 Annual Conference in Greece — from 5 to 7 July — is now open.

    Implicit in the concept of access to knowledge is the idea of sustainability. As the idea that we should move towards a more open approach to conducting and disseminating research takes hold it is incumbent on libraries to ensure that in this shifting environment that the accessibility, usability, and long term availability of research outcomes are taken care of. This is a proactive role requiring leadership, vision, innovation and a flexible approach to partnering with researchers and infrastructure.

  • Mozilla Had A Crazy Week Landing Servo, WebRender & More Into Firefox Repo

    This was one of the busiest weeks in Firefox's history with having more than ~10,000 change-sets affecting ~97,000 file changes.

    Landing into the mainline codebase of Firefox Nightly's mozilla-central repository was vendoring the Servo project, WebRender, the ECMAScript ECMA-262 conformance test suite, and various Rust dependencies.

  • How We Talk About Free Software Legal Tools

    Companies are using more free software than ever, but often with little or no understanding of the licenses or the community norms that are part of the package. When it comes to talking about free software legal tools, we need to control the message. This talk will offer ideas on how we should craft and deliver our message around the adoption of free software legal tools.

    Companies are using more free software than ever, but often with little or no understanding of the licenses or the community norms that are part of the package. When it comes to talking about free software legal tools, we need to control the message. If we let other entities fill in the gaps in our outreach strategy, a lot of context and nuance will be lost. A poor or incomplete message hinders our ability to gain more widespread acceptance of free software tools and practices.

  • Baofeng Handy Talkie Meets GNU Radio

    There was a time when just about every ham had a pricey VHF or UHF transceiver in their vehicle or on their belt. It was great to talk to friends while driving. You could even make phone calls from anywhere thanks to automatic phone patches. In 1980 cell phones were uncommon, so making a call from your car was sure to get attention.

  • Understanding The Complexity of Copyleft Defense

    After 25 years of copyleft enforcement and compliance work, is copyleft succeeding as a strategy to defend software freedom? This talk explores the history of enforcement of the GPL and other copyleft licenses, and considers this question carefully. Attendees who have hitherto not followed the current and past debates about copyleft licenses and their enforcement can attend this talk and learn the background, and can expect to learn enough to provide salient and informed feedback of their own opinions about the processes behind upholding copyleft.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Intel open sources deep learning with BigDL for Apache Spark
  • Intel, Cloudera open source tech unleashes power of artificial intelligence workloads

    Intel and data management company Cloudera have jointly launched a solution aimed at speeding up the process of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads.

  • Wyatt Emmerich: State should lean on open source software to save money, reduce brain drain
  • Open source code could save money, spur tech growth [Ed: as above]

    Mississippi spends $250 million a year on software to run its government. Much of this software is proprietary code with big national companies. We get locked in to the software. Switching becomes impossible. Steep price increases follow. Taxpayers lose.

    Garrett proposes a better way. Working with our university computer departments, the Legislature should create a Center for Collaborative Software Development. A portion of our state IT spending should be set aside to support this. Student teams could design and compete for state software contracts using open source under university supervision. The winners could go on to found successful software companies based in Mississippi.

  • Inclusive Development gets open source tools from IBM

    IBM is embarking on a new era of open source accessibility by releasing tooling, samples and design patterns to help streamline the development of inclusive web and mobile applications.

    They have recently released two new projects on the developerWorks/open community, AccProbe and Va11yS, to help alleviate accessibility roadblocks during the agile development process, strengthen the user experience by adhering to industry standards, and reduce costs by ensuring accessibility is done right from the beginning.

  • Business applications: the next hurdle for open source adoption

    Is open source finally overcoming the long-held reservations that still persist among some non-technical executives, and even a sizeable number of business technology professionals?

    According to Matthew Lee, regional manager for Africa at SUSE, the German-based, multinational, open-source software company, the answer is both yes – and no.

    "There is no question that open source has become mainstream in many areas. It has more than proven itself in the infrastructure space after hanging around on the periphery of the enterprise providing non-critical functions such as firewalls and Web servers. Now it is starting to move up the enterprise stack but it still faces a significant challenge when it comes to business applications," he said.

  • Circulate on Fridays: Farming from shipping containers and open source

    Get all your circular economy relevant reading and viewing in one place every weekend with Circulate on Fridays. Today, we’re focusing on open source, the potential impact of a new EU circular economy finance platform, and why the future of farming is in shipping containers!

  • Open Networking Summit Announces Initial Keynote Speakers from Amadeus, Andreessen Horowitz, AT&T, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Visa and More
  • The Tizen Partners Summit will be held in Warsaw, Poland, from 23rd to 24th February 2017
  • Struggling for Relevance: Is Mozilla Really Killing Off Firefox? [Ed: Misleading and inane headline; does not say FirefoxOS]

    Mozilla has announced that it is abandoning its efforts to develop a new operating system for smartphones and other connected devices. The decision to shut down the connected devices division will affect about 50 Firefox employees, including Ari Jaaksi, the senior vice president who had headed the initiative.

  • SnapRoute Raises $25M For Open-Source Network Operating System [Ed: but Microsoft in the details]
  • (VIDEO) IAB Tech Lab Priorities: Open Source Kit For In-App Ads, RTB Standard Revamp
  • France updates IT project evaluation tool Mareva

    The IT project management solution was first made available in 2005, by ADAE, the precursor to DINSIC. Support for free and open source software was added sometime after August 2007, when Mareva supported its use in OpenOffice. In 2014, it switched to support LibreOffice, a much more rapidly developing open source office suite.

  • The Linux Foundation Offers Free Open Source Licensing Course: “Compliance Basics for Developers”

    Open Source has grown from a mere idea to a philosophy that drives some of the most crucial innovations around the world. The concept of reviewing code made by others, introducing your own changes, and then distributing the code back to the community creates a feedback loop that helps individual developers accomplish much more as a community than what they can do alone.

  • A new open source dataset links human motion and language

    Researchers have created a large, open source database to support the development of robot activities based on natural language input. The new KIT Motion-Language Dataset will help to unify and standardize research linking human motion and natural language, as presented in an article in Big Data, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Big Data website until March 9, 2017.

  • AtCore: Printing with threads

    When connect to a 3d printer with your compuer you are really just connecting to a serial device. There are some commads you can send it in the form G# and M# commands . These commands do all kinds of stuff every thing from homing the axises to feeding filment and moving the head around. When you slice your model and generate that gcode file you are making generating basicly a long list of comamnds for the printer to follow. The gcode files are plain text and have to be sent out thru a serial device to the printer. Its not complicated to parse the file you just send a command and wait for the printer to return a message indicated its finished the comamnd and then send the next command. We have had this working for some time using a QEventLoop and a while to keep the loop going until the printer is ready for a new command. This was working wonderfully Untill we realized that we were having some blocking problems when printing. After some discussion tomaz , patrick and I decided the best way to fix this is for us to split the printing to its own thread so it can no longer block other parts by hyjacking the main event loop while printing.

FOSS Databases in the News

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OSS
  • MariaDB North American Roadshow Supports Accelerating Adoption of Open Source Relational Databases in the Enterprise
  • Leaders in Data Management and Open Source Innovation to Gather in Boston for Postgres Vision 2017
  • RethinkDB joins The Linux Foundation

    When the company behind RethinkDB shut down last year, a group of former employees and members of the community formed an interim leadership team and began devising a plan to perpetuate the RethinkDB open-source software project by transitioning it to a community-driven endeavor. Today’s announcement by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) marks the culmination of that effort. The CNCF purchased the rights to the RethinkDB source code and contributed it to The Linux Foundation under the permissive ASLv2 license.

  • The liberation of RethinkDB

    There was just one small hiccup with RethinkDB, though it felt forgivable at the time: RethinkDB is open source, but licensed under the AGPL. Whatever your own feelings for the AGPL, it is indisputable that its vagueness coupled with its rarity and its total lack of judicial precedent makes risk-averse lawyers very nervous (especially in companies that have substantial intellectual property to protect) — to the point that it’s not uncommon for companies to ban the use of AGPL-licensed software entirely. This makes the AGPL anti-collaborative, and worse, it’s often the point: when companies license software under the AGPL that they also make available commercially (that is, under a license palatable to the enterprise), they are exhibiting the corporate open source anti-pattern of dual-licensing for profit. (Viz.: Oracle’s infamous relicensing of BerkeleyDB as AGPL.)

Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Sandstorm is returning to its community roots

    Most people know Sandstorm as an open source, community-driven project aiming to enable self-hosting of cloud services and to make it possible for open source web apps to compete with today’s cloud services.

  • AT&T open sourced the heart of their network
  • OPNFV Nearing Commercial Deployment

    It also signals a stage where the OPNFV Project's software platform could be ready for commercial deployment -- dates for which the organization is not setting directly. "We'll defer to the vendors on that," says Heather Kirksey, OPNFV director. But she expects to start collecting deployment data this year. Queries to a couple of the involved vendors have not yet produced responses, but stay tuned.

  • ‘Night in the Woods’ Improving Games by Open Sourcing Code

    Game software developer Jon Manning has created a very well-done 60-second promo for his upcoming talk at the Games Developer Conference in San Francisco, Feb 27-March 3, 2017 – Making Night-in-the-Woods Better with Open Source.

  • Lessons from a brief career in open source

    I wasn't making much headway in the cybersecurity field or in computer forensics. However, I did notice that many postings used words like "Linux" and "open source." I thought that might be a better path to take. So, I enrolled in several free, online courses to improve my skills and to build my credentials. You can find free courses at Cybrary.it, edX.org, and others. I have since been certified in Linux, Java, HTML, e-marketing, Google Analytics, and even FEMA emergency response.

  • FOSS February: A month to celebrate open source

    Open source remains a competitive means of distribution—one that delivers exceptional software to new and devoted users. Despite this, open source, its methodologies, practices, code, and the communities behind them, can be overlooked or misunderstood if they are inadequately communicated. As a professional in tech marketing in the open source space, I often find that my conversations begin by highlighting the key takeaways of open source before I can begin to graze the surface of product-specific impact.

    Open source software has come a long way over the past several years, primarily due to the contributions of active open source communities. Still, convincing an enterprise’s influencers, IT leaders, and developers of the merits of open source remains a challenge in certain spaces. While it is important that organizations take an honest, objective look at the total cost of ownership of any solution, open source or commercial, it became clear to me that impressions of open source were not always reflective of the extraordinary work and talent that can be found in the space.

  • Integrating LibreOffice OnLine into your web app

    I've returned from FOSDEM 2017, where I talked about LibreOffice Online that we develop here at Collabora and how to integrate it with your own web service.

  • [Video] FOSDEM 2017 - Resurrecting dinosaurs, what can possibly go wrong?
  • GUADEC 2017: Friday 28th July to Wednesday 2nd August in Manchester, UK

    The GUADEC 2017 team is happy to officially announce the dates and location of this year’s conference.

    GUADEC 2017 will run from Friday 28th July to Wednesday 2nd August. The first three days will include talks and social events, as well as the GNOME Foundation’s AGM. This part of the conference will also include a 20th anniversary celebration for the GNOME project.

  • New Benchmarks Show Big Increases in Spark Graph Processing

    Companies focused on Big Data have remained very focused on Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley. According to Apache, Spark can run programs up to 100 times faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, and ten times faster on disk. When crunching large data sets, those are big performance differences.

    The race is also on to speed up Spark-driven workloads. Now, Diablo Technologies and Inspur Systems have announced the release of benchmark data showcasing the benefits of the Memory1 solution for Apache Spark workloads. By increasing the cluster memory size with Memory1, Diablo and Inspur claim they were able to cut processing times for graph analytics by half or more.

  • HackerOne Professional, Free for Open Source Projects

    For some time now I have been working with HackerOne to help them shape and grow their hacker community. It has been a pleasure working with the team: they are doing great work, have fantastic leadership (including my friend, Mårten Mickos), are seeing consistent growth, and recently closed a $40 million round of funding. It is all systems go.

  • Three new FOSS umbrella organizations in Europe

    Last year, three new umbrella organizations for free and open-source software (and hardware) projects emerged in Europe. Their aim is to cater to the needs of the community by providing a legal entity for projects to join, leaving the projects free to focus on technical and community tasks. These organizations (Public Software CIC, [The Commons Conservancy], and the Center for the Cultivation of Technology) will take on the overhead of actually running a legal entity themselves.

    Among other services, they offer to handle donations, accounting, grants, legal compliance, or even complex governance for the projects that join them. In my opinion (and, seemingly, theirs) such services are useful to these kinds of projects; some of the options that these three organizations bring to the table are quite interesting and inventive.

Luxembourg University sponsors open source developers

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OSS

“We have been using Debian in our HPC infrastructure since 2007 which has grown to 100 servers and more than 500 computing nodes”, says HPC staff member Hyacinthe Cartiaux. The department is part of the Grid5000 initiative which is also mainly based on Debian.

“We want to extend the lifespan of the Debian releases to at least 5 years in order to provide a stable and safe environment for our researchers”, system administrator Cartiaux says. In February 2016, the department began sponsoring Freexian, a French company that partners with well-known contributors in the free software community to offer long term support. This includes both individual developers and companies specialised in free and open source.

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How I became a project team leader in open source

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OSS

As an idealistic young university undergraduate I hung around with the nerds in the computer science department. I was studying arts and, later, business, but somehow I recognized even then that these were my people. I'm forever grateful to a young man (his name was Michael, as so many people in my story are) who introduced me first to IRC and, gradually, to Linux, Google (the lesser known search engine at the time), HTML, and the wonders of open source. He and I were the first people I knew to use USB storage drives, and oh how we loved explaining what they were to the curious in the campus computer lab.

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Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Udacity open sources its self-driving car simulator for anyone to use

    Self-driving cars require self-driving car software, and Udacity’s helping to feed that need with its nanodegree program in the field. Now, the online education company is also making available its self-driving car simulator via open source license, allowing anyone with a working knowledge of Unity to gab the assets, load its preexisting scenes and create their own tracks for virtual testing.

    If you weren’t already aware, a lot of the ‘education’ of self-driving vehicle software happens in virtual environments, since it’s still relatively expensive to build an actual self-driving test vehicle, and a bit complicated on the regulatory side to find somewhere willing to let you test in real-world conditions – plus you have to prove you can do so with a reasonable expectation of safety. That’s a steep hurdle for tinkerers working independently, and for companies just starting out.

  • Open source vs. COTS: 8 integration considerations

    Nothing is moving faster to the top of IT wish lists than hybrid integration platforms. They offer agencies the ability to use application programming interfaces to integrate on-premises, cloud and mobile applications. However, IT managers face a critical decision when it comes to choosing between an open-source or commercial-off-the-shelf enterprise service bus (ESB) for integration to support that hybrid environment. Below are eight considerations for deciding which digital initiative to implement.

  • 2016 Open Source Yearbook: Print edition now available
  • The benefits of tracking issues publicly

    A public issue tracker is a vital communication tool for an open organization, because there's no better way to be transparent and inclusive than to conduct your work in public channels. So let's explore some best practices for using an issue tracker in an open organization.

    Before we start, though, let's define what we mean by "issue tracker." Simply put, an issue tracker is a shared to-do list. Think of scribbling a quick list of errands to run: buy bread, mail package, drop off library books. As you drive around town, it feels good to cross each item off your list. Now scale that up to the work you have to do in your organization, and add in a healthy dose of software-enabled collaboration. You've got an issue tracker!

  • 4 must-read books for open source career seekers

    Finding a good job can be stressful and finding your dream job even more so. Even in the open source world, with its many opportunities for making a name for yourself by volunteering, it takes effort to make the connection between what you have to offer as a job seeker and what employers are looking for in an employee. One thing that can help set you apart from other applicants is having a solid understanding of yourself and what you bring to the table.

  • The most popular JavaScript front-end tools

    Choosing a development tool based on its popularity isn’t a bad idea. Popular tools are usually more stable, and they often have more resources and community support than less popular tools. Developer satisfaction is another key indicator of a good tool, and for the JavaScript ecosystem, I'm going to show you some significant research on both of these criteria.

    The list that follows contains all of the main tooling categories for a modern JavaScript developer. It includes the most popular tools for each category according to developer popularity and user satisfaction.

  • Netflix Open Sources a Slack Bot for Tracking GitHub Repositories

    Not many organizations have the technology expertise that Netflix has, and it may come as a surprise to some people to learn that the company regularly open sources key, tested and hardened tools that it has used for years. We've reported on Netflix open sourcing a series of interesting "Monkey" cloud tools as part of its "simian army," which it has deployed as a series of satellite utilities orbiting its central cloud platform.

  • Launching an Independent OpenNews Program

    At Mozilla, one of our essential roles is convener: working to identify, connect and support like-minded people who are building a healthier Internet.

    An early — and strong — example of that work is the OpenNews program. Six years ago, Mozilla and Knight Foundation created an initiative to combine open-source practices with journalism. Our aim: strengthen journalism on the open web, and empower newsroom developers, designers and data reporters across the globe.

    The program flourished. Since 2011, OpenNews has placed 33 fellows in 19 newsrooms, from BBC and NPR to La Nacion and the New York Times. It built a global community of more than 1,100 developers and reporters. It spawned the annual SRCCON conference, bolstered newsroom diversity and gave way to innovative newsgathering tools like Tabula. OpenNews has also played a key role in building the annual MozFest in London and Mozilla’s nascent leadership network initiative.

    Mozilla is immensely proud of OpenNews — and immensely grateful to the team behind its success. And today, we’re announcing that OpenNews is spinning out as an independent organization. Going forward, OpenNews — with the support of nonprofit fiscal partner Community Partners — will build on the success it achieved when incubated at Mozilla. OpenNews will continue to play an active role in MozFest and Mozilla’s leadership network.

  • What’s next for open-source Spark?

    A conference focused on a single open source project sounds like the sort of event that will feature a lone keynote speaker speaking to maybe 100 interested parties in a lecture hall at a local college. Spark Summit East was very much the opposite.

    A total of 1,503 people watched the five keynote speakers in a cavernous ballroom at the Hynes Convention Center lay out the future of Spark, the big data processing engine originally developed at the University of California – Berkeley by Matei Zaharia. Spark underlies huge data-driven applications being used by major players like Salesforce, Facebook, IBM and many others, helping organize, analyze, and surface specific grains of sand from beach-sized databases.

  • Cloudera and Intel Team on Accelerating Machine Learning Workloads

    In recent months, countless new machine learning tools have been open sourced, including tools from tech giants such as Google. Both machine learning and AI tools tend to place tough demands on hardware resources, though. With that in mind, Cloudera has announced a jointly tested solution with Intel to advance capabilities for machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads.

Linux and FOSS Events

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OSS

Open source smart home platform gains Ubuntu snap packages

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OSS
Ubuntu

Canonical has released a Snap package mechanism for running Ubuntu apps under the openHAB smart home stack, complete with Azul’s Zulu Embedded Java Runtime.

Canonical’s snap package management mechanism can now run on the open source, Java-driven openHAB home automation framework, enabling easier deployment and secure updating of Ubuntu apps. Last June, Canonical spun off the secure Ubuntu snap format from its container-like Snappy Ubuntu Core IoT distribution, proposing it as an open source, universal package management solution for all Linux distributions. For now, however, it essentially provides an easy, secure way to download, run, and maintain Ubuntu apps packaged under snap.

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Security Leftovers

  • Atom Installer
    One thing that I miss about using Ubuntu is PPA’s there are lot’s of PPA in Ubuntu and you can hack around and install all types of software which are required for your usage. In the Fedora side of the world there are copr repos but they don’t have as many repos as in Ubuntu and you can’t build non-free software (don’t get me wrong here, I love FREEdom software but couldn’t resist not using some beautiful non-free applications such as Sublime). I am creating a work around for this by using shell scripts which are open source (cc0) but when those scripts are executed they install non-free software on your system.
  • MKVToolNix 9.9.0 MKV Manipulation Tool Released with New GUI Improvements, More
    MKVToolNix developer Moritz Bunkus announced today, February 20, 2017, the release and general availability of MKVToolNix 9.9.0 "Pick Up" for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. MKVToolNix 9.9.0 represents a month of hard work, during which the developer managed to add a bunch of new and interesting features, fix as many bugs reported by users since last month's MKVToolNix 9.8.0 point release, as well as to improve the build system, especially in regards to the man pages of the software.
  • Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.9.2 and KDE Applications 16.12.2, More
    The developers behind the Chakra GNU/Linux operating system have announced today the immediate availability of all the latest KDE technologies released this month in the stable repositories of the distribution. Yes, we're talking about the KDE Plasma 5.9.2 desktop environment, KDE Applications 16.12.2 software suite, KDE Frameworks 5.31.0, and KDE Development Platform 4.14.29, all of which can be found in your Chakra GNU/Linux's repos if you want to run the newest KDE software.

today's howtos

Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • IOTA: IoT revolutionized with a Ledger
    Ever since the introduction of digital money, the world quickly came to realize how dire and expensive the consequences of centralized systems are. Not only are these systems incredibly expensive to maintain, they are also “single points of failures” which expose a large number of users to unexpected service interruptions, fraudulent activities and vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious hackers. Thanks to Blockchain, which was first introduced through Bitcoin in 2009, the clear benefits of a decentralized and “trustless” transactional settlement system became apparent. No longer should expensive trusted third parties be used for handling transactions, instead, the flow of money should be handled in a direct, Peer-to-Peer fashion. This concept of a Blockchain (or more broadly, a distributed ledger) has since then become a global phenomenon attracting billions of dollars in investments to further develop the concept.
  • Return Home and Unify: My Case for Unity 8
  • Can netbooks be cool again?
    Earlier this week, my colleague Chaim Gartenberg covered a laptop called the GPD Pocket, which is currently being funded on Indiegogo. As Chaim pointed out, the Pocket’s main advantage is its size — with a 7-inch screen, the thing is really, really small — and its price, a reasonable $399. But he didn’t mention that the Pocket is the resurrection of one of the most compelling, yet fatally flawed, computing trends of the ‘00s: the netbook. So after ten years, are netbooks finally cool again? That might be putting it too strongly, but I’m willing to hope.

Linux Devices

  • Compact, rugged module runs Linux or Android on Apollo Lake
    Ubiqcomm’s 95 x 95mm, Apollo Lake-based “COM-AL6C” COM offers 4K video along with multiple SATA, USB, GbE, and PCIe interfaces, plus -40 to 85°C operation. Ubiqconn Technology Inc. has announced a “COM-AL6C” COM Express Type 6 Compact form factor computer-on-module built around Intel’s Apollo Lake processors and designed to withstand the rigors of both fixed and mobile industrial applications. The module offers a choice among three Intel Apollo Lake processors: the quad-core Atom x5-E3930, quad-core x5-E3940, and dual-core x7-E3950, which are clocked at up to 2.0GHz burst and offer TDPs from 6.5 to 12 Watts.
  • Internet-enable your microcontroller projects for under $6 with ESP8266
    To get started with IoT (the Internet of Things), your device needs, well, an Internet connection. Base Arduino microcontrollers don't have Internet connectivity by default, so you either need to add Ethernet, Wi-Fi shields, or adapters to them, or buy an Arduino that has built-in Internet connectivity. In addition to complexity, both approaches add cost and consume the already-precious Arduino flash RAM for program space, which limits what you can do. Another approach is to use a Raspberry Pi or similar single-board computer that runs a full-blown operating system like Linux. The Raspberry Pi is a solid choice in many IoT use cases, but it is often overkill when all you really want to do is read a sensor and send the reading up to a server in the cloud. Not only does the Raspberry Pi potentially drive up the costs, complexity, and power consumption of your project, but it is running a full operating system that needs to be patched, and it has a much larger attack surface than a simple microcontroller. When it comes to IoT devices and security, simpler is better, so you can spend more time making and less time patching what you already made.
  • Blinkenlights!
  • Blinkenlights, part 2
  • Blinkenlights, part 3
  • [Older] Shmoocon 2017: The Ins And Outs Of Manufacturing And Selling Hardware
    Every day, we see people building things. Sometimes, useful things. Very rarely, this thing becomes a product, but even then we don’t hear much about the ins and outs of manufacturing a bunch of these things or the economics of actually selling them. This past weekend at Shmoocon, [Conor Patrick] gave the crowd the inside scoop on selling a few hundred two factor authentication tokens. What started as a hobby is now a legitimate business, thanks to good engineering and abusing Amazon’s distribution program.
  • 1.8 Billion Mobile Internet Users NEVER use a PC, 200 Million PC Internet Users never use a mobile phone. Understanding the 3.5 Billion Internet Total Audience
    As I am working to finish the 2017 Edition of the TomiAhonen Almanac (last days now) I always get into various updates of numbers, that remind me 'I gotta tell this story'.. For example the internet user numbers. We have the December count by the ITU for year 2016, that says the world has now 3.5 Billion internet users in total (up from 3.2 Billion at the end of year 2015). So its no 'drama' to know what is 'that' number. The number of current internet total users is yes, 3.5 Billion, almost half of the planet's total population (47%).