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OSS

Making open source evergreen

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OSS

Danese Cooper is one of open source's strongest advocates, credited with advancing the open sourcing of technology at major companies including Sun Microsystems, Intel, and now PayPal, where she has served as head of open source since 2014.

In her Lightning Talk at All Things Open 2017, "Making Open Source Evergreen," Danese presented a ringing call to arms about what she considers open source's most pressing problem: "Not knowing how to make the right choices for the future of the movement."

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2017: A year of highs and lows for Linux and open source

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Linux
OSS

Ah, 2017, it was a good year for Linux—one that continued the solidification of the open source platform on so many levels. From the consumer mobile space to supercomputers, Linux dominated certain sectors in a way no other platform could.

Let's take a look at some of the highlights from the year—both the highs and lows—and hopefully draw a conclusion that 2017 was a banner year for Linux.

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Mozilla’s new open source model aims to revolutionize voice recognition

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Moz/FF
OSS

You may have noticed the steady and sure progress of voice recognition tech in recent times – all the big tech firms want to make strides in this arena if only to improve their digital assistants, from Cortana to Siri – but Mozilla wants to push harder, and more broadly, on this front with the release of an open source speech recognition model.

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Also: Mozilla releases open source speech recognition tools

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Open Source Software Developers Find A Home At Gitcoin

    Open source software is often the ugly stepchild of technology development. Because developers are largely donating their time and efforts, progress lags on building better versions of apps, blockchains and other software. That stifles progress, and leaves advancement in the hands of for-profit ventures, many of them without the public’s best interests at heart.

  • Open source grows up, needs to learn to play with others

    Open source technologies like OpenStack are expanding their presence within service provider environments, emerging as a critical solutions set for operators looking to drive agility and cost efficiency in their infrastructure through automation and digitalisation. That role will only increase with technologies like containers, MEC and 5G come online to drive up demands on the network and deliver new service architectures and capabilities. But even as OpenStack matures inside service provider environments, it must now learn to play with others that form the greater service provider ecosystem, including other open source communities like ONAP and ETSI NFVI, says Ericsson’s Susan James.

  • Will Open-Source Finally Unlock Ag Technology’s Potential?

    To Aaron Ault’s eyes, ag technology right now is something like a walled garden — not unlike the Microsoft of yesteryear, which attempted to gain dominion over the emerging online world by pushing exclusive use of its Windows OS and for-pay Internet Explorer browser.

    “Microsoft was wrong for a long time,” says Ault, who is Senior Research Engineer for the Open Ag Technology and Systems (OATS) Group at Purdue University. “They wanted to own the internet. Now they’re a huge open-source shop” — joining what Ault calls the “business model of success” found today at Android, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

    Agricultural technology needs a similar open-source awakening, Ault says. The current state of ag data, he says frankly, “stinks.” Most farmers don’t share their data, and often justify their stance by noting there’s not much data out there anyway so what does it matter. And because the little data that is out there isn’t used much, a perception lingers that it doesn’t have to be particularly good data.

  • Inocybe aims to take complexity out of open source

    Anyone who’s trying to navigate the telecom waters that are open source these days may appreciate that there are entities out there that want to help.

    Montreal, Canada-based Inocybe is targeting Tier 2 and 3 wired/wireless service providers globally and enterprises to talk open source. The company has been involved with OpenDaylight since the beginning and is one of its top five contributors, and it wants to help entities that don’t have the type of resources the bigger Tier 1 operators have to devote to open-source projects, of which there are many.

  • From 0 to Kubernetes

    Although you hear a lot about containers and Kubernetes these days, there's a lot of mystery around them. In her Lightning Talk at All Things Open 2017, "From 0 to Kubernetes," Amy Chen clears up the confusion.

    Amy, a software engineer at Rancher Labs, describes containers as baby computers living inside another computer that are suffering an "existential crisis" as they try to figure out their place in the world. Kubernetes is the way all those baby computers are organized.

  • 5 best practices for getting started with DevOps

    DevOps often stymies early adopters with its ambiguity, not to mention its depth and breadth. By the time someone buys into the idea of DevOps, their first questions usually are: "How do I get started?" and "How do I measure success?" These five best practices are a great road map to starting your DevOps journey.

  • HDMI 2.1 Specification Brings 4K@120Hz / 8K@60Hz

10 open source technology trends for 2018

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OSS

Technology is always evolving. New developments, such as OpenStack, Progressive Web Apps, Rust, R, the cognitive cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, and more are putting our usual paradigms on the back burner. Here is a rundown of the top open source trends expected to soar in popularity in 2018.

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NXP’s open source OpenIL Linux distro has Xenomai and OpenTSN support

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Linux
OSS

NXP unveiled an “Open Industrial Linux” (OpenIL) distribution with real-time Xenomai extensions, crypto security, and support for OpenTSN networking.

NXP announced a Buildroot-based, Xenomai-hardened “Open Industrial Linux” (OpenIL) distribution designed for industrial, networking, and secure connectivity applications that require real-time, determinist performance. OpenIL is billed as being open source, community backed, and hardware agnostic.

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Also: Linux for the Industry 4.0 era: New distro for factory automation

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • AT&T champions white box routers for open operating system

    AT&T gave a glimpse into its vision of a Disaggregated Network Operating System (dNOS) in a recent white paper titled “Toward an Open, Disaggregated Networking Operating System” with a push toward software-defined networking (SDN) and white box hardware.

    As part of its vision, AT&T coined the term dNOS to refer to the beginning of “an industry discussion on technical feasibility, build interest in participating in the formulation of technical detail, and determine suitable vehicles (standards bodies, open source efforts, consortia, etc.) for common specification and architectural realization.”

  • Hack4Climate – Saving Climate while Sailing on the Rhine

    Everledger’s CEO, Leanne talked about women in technology and swiftly made us realize how we need equal representation of all genders to tackle the global problem. I talked about Outreachy with other female participants and amidst such a diverse set of participants, I felt really connected with a few people I met who were open source contributors. Open source community has always been very warm and fun to interact with. We exchanged what conferences we attend like Fosdem, DebConf and what projects we worked on. Outreachy current round 15 is ongoing however, the applications for the next round 16 of Outreachy internships will open in February 2018 for the May to August 2018 internship round. You can check this link here for more information on projects under Debian and Outreachy. Good luck!

  • The new workspace currency is open source

     

    Open source can be more than just a technology: it can be a hand up. The transparency and the community all come together to create a unique software experience. In this article, Tracy Miranda explains how she got her start in open source and how these skills have proved to be irreplaceable in her career.  

  • Firefox Quantum Vs Chrome – Who’s The New Boss?

    Mozilla has worked for years to give back the stardom their open source web browser lost with the release of Google Chrome. Firefox’s revival journey started with the addition of multiprocess earlier this year, followed by the head-to-toe overhaul of Firefox which now uses Project Neon as its new face.

    Firefox 57 is hailed as a strong competitor to Google Chrome. Now, whether we like it or not, comparisons of the two browsers will be made. So, going along similar lines, this Firefox Quantum vs Chrome post tries to put the two web browsers in front of each other.

  • Second Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 6.0

    After the first Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 6.0, which was held on October 20th 2017, we’re glad to announce the Second Bug Hunting Session on November 27th – this time being held on a Monday, for the first time!

    LibreOffice 6.0 will be announced at the end of January 2018, and so far, almost 800 bugs have been fixed in this version, with more than 700 people reporting, triaging or fixing those bugs. More info can be found here. Besides that, a large number of new features, which are summarized in the release notes, have been added.

  • Choosing a system for the blog

    Let me start by saying that I'm biased towards systems that use flat files for blogs instead of the ones that require a database. It is so much easier to make the posts available through other means (such as having them backed up in a Git repository) that assure their content will live on even if the site is taken down or dies. It is also so much better to download the content this way, instead of pulling down a huge database file, which may cost a significant amount of money to transfer that amount of data. Having flat files with your content with a format that is shared among many systems (such as Markdown) might also assure a smooth transition to a new system, should the change become a necessity at some point.

  • AirSim: Microsoft's open-source AI simulator now available for self-driving vehicles
  • Reflections on Hackathons
  • Bye Bye Cilk Plus: GCC Lightened By 82k L.O.C.

    Earlier this month I reported on Intel's plans for removing Cilk Plus from GCC 8 since this parallel programming effort of theirs was depreciated in GCC 7 and hadn't seen much adoption. It's now official with the code being stripped out of the GCC 8 code-base.

    As of this morning, it's official and Cilk Plus was removed. This marks an end to Cilk Plus in GCC that had only been in GCC since 5.0 and this multi-threaded parallel computing extension for C/C++ that was originally devised at MIT in the late 90's.

  • Facebook, Google, IBM, Red Hat give GPL code scofflaws 60 days to behave – or else

    The tech giants, which release a fair amount of GNU-GPL-licensed source code, have committed to extend the GPLv3's 60-day "cure period" to license compliance errors under GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 and v2.

  • Facebook, Google, IBM, Red Hat Strengthen Open Source License Protection

    Facebook, Google, IBM, and Red Hat today announced they’re going to provide greater legal protection for some of the open source code they license. The companies committed to extend more rights to cure open source license compliance errors.

    Their announcement relates to two widely used open source software licenses: The GNU General Public License (GPL) and the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The GPL version 3 (GPLv3) introduced an express termination approach that offered users an opportunity to cure errors in license compliance, especially mistakes that are inadvertent.

  • 4 ways to engage your organization's various stakeholders

    I've spent most of my professional life helping organizations be more open to their stakeholders. I'm a partner in a consulting company in Chile, whose typical customer is a for-profit organization wishing to develop some kind of public works project (for example, an electricity generation station, a transmission line, a mine, a road, an airport, or something similar). Projects like these typically aim to fill a social need—but they're often intended for locations where development and operation can have negative impacts (or, in economic terms, "externalities").

  • What 'Grey's Anatomy' taught me about open scientific research

    I haven't taken a biology class in years, but the TV show Grey's Anatomy keeps me acquainted with some aspects of the scientific world. I never expected that an episode of the medical drama series would inspire me to explore open source principles in scientific research.

    Maybe you've seen the episode: the characters Derek and Callie, surgeons in neuroscience and orthopedics, are doing a research study using brain sensors to control the movement of prosthetics. When the White House recruits Derek for a brain-mapping initiative, officials mention that the sensors necessary for the work will become proprietary, available only to Derek's project. The proprietary policy leads to an argument about ownership of the sensor technology and whose research is of greater importance.

  • Vulkan 1.0.66 Introduces Three New Extensions

    Vulkan 1.0.66 was released this morning as the newest version of the Vulkan 1.0 graphics and compute specification.

    Vulkan 1.0.66 has a number of fixes pertaining to the documentation as well as some clarifications. There are also three new extensions.

Open source nameserver used by millions needs patching

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OSS
Security

Open source DNS software vendor PowerDNS has advised users to patch its "Authoritative" and "Recursor" products, to squish five bugs disclosed today.

None of the bugs pose a risk that PowerDNS might itself be compromised, but this is the DNS: what an attacker can do is fool around with DNS records in various ways.

That can be catastrophic if done right: for example, if a network is tricked into advertising itself as the whole of the Internet, it can be hosed, or if the wrong network promises it's the best way to reach YouTube, then YouTube is blackholed.

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The politics of the Linux desktop

Filed under
Linux
OSS

The move to Linux wasn't plain sailing, by any stretch of the imagination. If you wanted to use fairly new hardware in the early days, you had to first ensure that there were any drivers for Linux, then learn how to compile and install them. If they were not quite my friends, lsmod and modprobe became at least close companions. I taught myself to compile a kernel and tweak the options to make use of (sometimes disastrous) new, "EXPERIMENTAL" features as they came out. Early on, I learned the lesson that you should always keep at least one kernel in your LILO list that you were sure booted fully. I cursed NVidia and grew horrified by SCSI. I flirted with early journalling filesystem options and tried to work out whether the different preempt parameters made any noticeable difference to my user experience or not. I began to accept that printers would never print—and then they started to. I discovered that the Bluetooth stack suddenly started to connect to things.

Over the years, using Linux moved from being an uphill struggle to something that just worked. I moved my mother-in-law and then my father over to Linux so I could help administer their machines. And then I moved them off Linux so they could no longer ask me to help administer their machines.

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Android Leftovers

Latest KDE and Kubuntu

  • KDE Frameworks 5.41.0 Released with More Than 120 Improvements and Bugfixes
    The KDE Project released today a new version of its open-source KDE Frameworks software stack, a collection of over 70 add-on libraries to the Qt application framework, for GNU/Linux distributions. Each month, KDE releases a new KDE Frameworks build, and version 5.41.0 is now available for December 2017, bringing a month's worth of improvements, bug and security fixes, as well as updated translations.
  • KDE Frameworks 5.41 Released Ahead Of KDE Applications 17.12
    KDE Frameworks 5.41 is now available as the latest monthly update to this collection of add-on libraries complementing Qt5. KDE Frameworks 5.41 has a number of fixes including some crash fixes, updated translations, improvements to Kirigami, support for the idle inhibit manager protocol in KWayland, many Plasma Framework changes, and other updates.
  • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.41.0
    December 10, 2017. KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.41.0. KDE Frameworks are 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.
  • [Kubuntu] Testing a switch to default Breeze-Dark Plasma theme in Bionic daily isos and default settings
    Today’s daily ISO for Bionic Beaver 18.04 sees an experimental switch to the Breeze-Dark Plasma theme by default. Users running 18.04 development version who have not deliberately opted to use Breeze/Breeze-Light in their systemsettings will also see the change after upgrading packages. Users can easily revert back to the Breeze/Breeze-Light Plasma themes by changing this in systemsettings.

Games: Kim, ASTROKILL, Hearthlands and More

The Best Linux Laptop: A Buyer’s Guide with Picks from an RHCE

If you don’t posses the right knowledge & the experience, then finding the best Linux laptop can be a daunting task. And thus you can easily end-up with something that looks great, features great performance, but struggles to cope with ‘Linux’, shame! So, as a RedHat Certified Engineer, the author & the webmaster of this blog, and as a ‘Linux’ user with 14+ years of experience, I used all my knowledge to recommend to you a couple of laptops that I personally guarantee will let you run ‘Linux’ with ease. After 20+ hours of research (carefully looking through the hardware details & reading user feedback) I chose Dell XP S9360-3591-SLV, at the top of the line. If you want a laptop that’s equipped with modern features & excellent performance that ‘just works’ with Linux, then this is your best pick. It’s well built (aluminium chassis), lightweight (2.7 lb), features powerful hardware, long battery life, includes an excellent 13.3 inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen with 3200×1800 QHD resolution which should give you excellently sharp images without making anything too small & difficult to read, a good & roomy track-pad (earlier versions had a few issues with it, but now they seem to be gone) with rubber-like palm rest area and a good keyboard (the key travel is not deep, but it’s a very think laptop so…) with Backlit, two USB 3.0 ports. Most importantly, two of the most common elements of a laptop that can give ‘Linux’ user a headache, the wireless adapter & the GPU (yes the Intel HD Graphics 620 can play 4K videos at 60fps), they are both super compatible with ‘Linux’ on this Dell. Read more