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OSS Leftovers and Openwashing

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OSS
  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Token4Hope

    This week’s open-source project of the week is Token4Hope, a charity project powered by the DCore blockchain intended to draw transparency and security to charitable contributions. 

    “When we realized that often charitable donations lack transparency and people would donate substantially more if they knew where exactly their funds go, we decided to propose our version of the system. A version that effectively applies blockchain’s core intrinsic properties – transparency & immutability,” said Matej Michalko, CEO and founder of DECENT, the company behind the project.

  • Space Swap 110% is a Totally Free Open Source Match-3 Puzzler

    All of the great match-three puzzlers of the last few years have the same thing in common: after a while, they pull up the difficulty drawbridge and refuse to let you get any further unless you buy lives or wait patiently for daily scraps of gameplay.

    Space Swap 110% is different. This polished little puzzler from Fallen Angel Software gives you everything up front, so that the only barrier to progress is your own level of ability.

    The gameplay will be familiar to anybody who has ever played a match-three puzzler – particularly one like Bejeweled Blitz. 

  • OpenGov raises $51M to boost its cloud-based IT services for government and civic organizations

    On the first of these, the company says that its board of directors includes, in addition to Lonsdale (who is now the chairman of the company); Katherine August-deWilde, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of First Republic Bank; John Chambers, Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures and Former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems; Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz; and Zac Bookman, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenGov.

    [...]

    On the first of these, the company says that its board of directors includes, in addition to Lonsdale (who is now the chairman of the company); Katherine August-deWilde, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of First Republic Bank; John Chambers, Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures and Former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems; Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz; and Zac Bookman, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenGov .

  • Open Mainframe Project Gains Momentum

    The Open Mainframe Project, an open source initiative that enables collaboration across the mainframe community to develop shared tool sets and resources, is announcing four new members: Phoenix Software, Syncsort, Western University, and Zoss Team LLC; and three new projects: Feilong, zorow, and TerseDecompress.

  • Samsung’s open source key:value SSD is a game-changer for unstructured apps
  • New open-source project wants to expand serverless vision beyond functions
  • Why We Need More Open-Source Epidemiological Tools

    In the middle of an outbreak, having the right tools can make all the difference. Epidemiological resources, such as modeling systems, are useful but can be costly and have limited use across large teams. 

    A newer tool, though, is changing the game in outbreak response and modeling. The Spatiotemporal Epidemiologic Modeler (STEM) is an open-source software that is available to the global health community. This is not just a rigid instrument against disease, in that it is not pre-set to a specific disease or environment and has the flexibility for hundreds of variations.

    “STEM has been used to study variations in transmission of seasonal influenza in Israel by strains; evaluate social distancing measures taken to curb the H1N1 epidemic in Mexico City; study measles outbreaks in part of London and inform local policy on immunization; and gain insights into H7N9 avian influenza transmission in China. A multi-strain dengue fever model explored the roles of the mosquito vector, cross-strain immunity, and antibody response in the frequency of dengue outbreaks,” the authors of a briefing in Health Security wrote.

  • UW Libraries Names Open Textbook Grant Recipients for Fall Semester

    University of Wyoming Libraries recently awarded open textbook grants to seven faculty members and one graduate student to implement open educational resources (OER) in their classes this fall.

    The open textbooks resulting from the grants are projected to save UW students more than $138,000 each semester.

    “With the Alt-Textbook Grant Program, University of Wyoming Libraries hopes to continue to encourage the creativity and innovation we have seen from past applicants,” says Hilary Baribeau, an assistant librarian in Digital Collections. “By creating open textbooks and course materials, faculty at UW help meet student needs and encourage student success at a time when the costs for textbooks are higher than ever.” 

    Grants are awarded to instructors who adopt, adapt or create new open textbooks or other materials for their courses. Grant awards range from $1,500 to $3,000.

The Mission Of Coreboot - Is It About Open-Source Or Appeasing Hardware Vendors?

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Hardware
OSS

There was recently a debate on the Coreboot mailing list about the mission statement / description of this open-source BIOS/firmware replacement for systems that traditionally has liberated boards from proprietary BIOS but still on modern platforms is often pulling in a number of binary blobs.

The current description of the project as set out on Coreboot.org is "coreboot is an extended firmware platform that delivers a lightning fast and secure boot experience on modern computers and embedded systems. As an Open Source project it provides auditability and maximum control over technology."

Recently brought up though was trying to provide clarity that Coreboot isn't necessarily a complete solution for those wanting a 100% open-source firmware solution due to the likes of Intel FSP/ME and other binary components often being required for any functional support.

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James Bottomley: The Mythical Economic Model of Open Source

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OSS

Open Source is a Creative Intellectual Endeavour

All the creative endeavours of humanity, like art, science or even writing code, are often viewed as activities that produce societal benefit. Logically, therefore, the people who engage in them are seen as benefactors of society, but assuming people engage in these endeavours purely to benefit society is mostly wrong. People engage in creative endeavours because it satisfies some deep need within themselves to exercise creativity and solve problems often with little regard to the societal benefit. The other problem is that the more directed and regimented a creative endeavour is, the less productive its output becomes. Essentially to be truly creative, the individual has to be free to pursue their own ideas. The conundrum for society therefore is how do you harness this creativity for societal good if you can’t direct it without stifling the very creativity you want to harness? Obviously society has evolved many models that answer this (universities, benefactors, art incubation programmes, museums, galleries and the like) with particular inducements like funding, collaboration, infrastructure and so on.

Why Open Source development is better than Proprietary

Simply put, the Open Source model, involving huge freedoms to developers to decide direction and great opportunities for collaboration stimulates the intellectual creativity of those developers to a far greater extent than when you have a regimented project plan and a specific task within it. The most creatively deadening job for any engineer is to find themselves strictly bound within the confines of a project plan for everything. This, by the way, is why simply allowing a percentage of paid time for participating in Open Source seems to enhance input to proprietary projects: the liberated creativity has a knock on effect even in regimented development. However, obviously, the goal for any Corporation dependent on code development should be to go beyond the knock on effect and actually employ open source methodologies everywhere high creativity is needed.

What is Open Source?

Open Source has it’s origin in code sharing models, permissive from BSD and reciprocal from GNU. However, one of its great values is the reasons why people do open source aren’t the same reasons why the framework was created in the first place. Today Open Source is a framework which stimulates creativity among developers and helps them create communities, provides economic benefits to corportations (provided they understand how to harness them) and produces a great societal good in general in terms of published reusable code.

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Open Source and Open Hardware

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Hardware
OSS
  • Should open source software advertise?
  • Blockchain Firm Offchain Labs Releases Alpha Of Open-Source Scaling Solution

    New Jersey-based Offchain Labs has announced the launch of the Alpha 2 version of its scaling solution that can be easily integrated to any Etherum application.

    Led by a former White House Deputy Chief of Technology and a team of U.S.-based academics, Offchain Labs aims to make smart contracts more private, secure, and scalable using a combination of protocol design, incentives, and virtual machine architecture. The firm has invented Arbitrum, a blockchain agnostic Layer 2 scaling solution that incentivizes parties to agree off-chain how a virtual machine would act in order to improve transaction throughput, speed, and privacy.

  • As Crypto Markets Go Cold, Who Will Pay for Open-Source Code?

    Earlier this year IBM purchased Red Hat, the oft-referred to model for how open source can thrive, for $34 billion.

    Long the consultant to enterprises, IBM is going through a transitional period as a business and needs a boost. Red Hat’s open-source software offers IBM the ability to better compete in cloud services offered by Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

    Why is this important? Red Hat is one of the most name-checked examples of how open-source software can be successful. It is often used as an example of how championing open source can lead to business success. This is particularly pertinent to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, where open-source ethos rule the technology.

  • Fridge0: an open source hardware solar fridge with no battery requirement

    Joey Hess designed the first Fridge0 a year ago: it uses a standard chest freezer with added thermal mass, a simple controller, and a photovoltaic panel that effectively stores sunshine as coldness, obviating the need for expensive backup batteries.

  • Open Source Smart Smoker Brings The Heat (Slowly)

    Conceptually, cooking on a grill is simple enough: just crank up the flames and leave the food on long enough for it to cook through, but not so long that it turns into an inedible ember. But when smoking, the goal is actually to prevent flames entirely; the food is cooked by the circulation of hot gasses generated by smoldering wood. If you want a well-cooked and flavorful meal, you’ll need the patience and dedication to manually keep the fuel and air balanced inside the smoker for hours on end.

    [...]

    Ultimately, this project boils down to tossing a bunch of temperature sensors at the problem. The software developed by [HackersHub] takes the data collected by the five MAX6675 thermocouples and uses it to determine when to inject more air into the chamber using a PWM-controlled fan at the bottom of the smoker. As an added bonus, all those temperature sensors give the user plenty of pretty data points to look at in the companion smartphone application.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • How this open-source code could help stop deforestation

    “It’s hard to stop humans from destroying our planet, but we can stop the machines they use,” says Hugo Veiga, executive creative director at AKQA Brazil, a creative firm that created the code, called the Code of Conscience, along with Tekt Industries and other partners.

  • Ottawa firm developing open source AI to ID mould from just a picture

    An Ottawa-based mould removal company is turning its machine learning solution over to the open source community in hopes of developing a robust platform to speed up the identification of dangerous moulds.

    Mold Busters, founded 15 years ago by Ottawa entrepreneur Michael Golubev and his father, Andrey, is a mould identification and remediation company operating in Ontario and Quebec with franchises in a few Asia-Pacific countries. The firm recently unveiled its InstaLab platform, which looks to identify mould just by taking a picture of the fungal growth, potentially saving days on the current time-intensive processes.

  • Insilico Medicine Brings GENTRL AI System to Open Source for Drug Discovery

    Insilico Medicine has developed GENTRL, a new artificial intelligence system for drug discovery that dramatically accelerates the process from years to days. In the industry’s first successful experimental validation of such AI technology for drug discovery in cells and animals, Insilico successfully tested the technology by creating a series of entirely new molecules capable of combating disorders like fibrosis.

    The traditional drug discovery starts with the testing of thousands of small molecules in order to get to just a few lead-like molecules and only about one in ten of these molecules pass clinical trials in human patients. Insilico was able to ideate and generate a novel molecule from start to finish in 21 days. In a similar technique used by DeepMind to outcompete human GO players, GENTRL — powered by generative chemistry that utilizes modern AI techniques — can rapidly generate novel molecular structures with specified properties. Insilico has made GENTRL’s source code available as open source.

Events: GUADEC 2019, Akademy and Open Source XR Conference

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OSS
  • The Future of Theming on GNOME, and more from GUADEC 2019

    The System76 team has returned from GUADEC and successfully recovered from crippling jetlag! (Mostly.) Based on many constructive conversations that took place over the course of the conference, we’re very excited about GNOME’s future and eager to see how the project progresses. Here’s what we learned:

    Theming

    Theming was a huge topic of discussion at GUADEC. Ultimately, GNOME members arrived at a compelling solution that we believe works for GNOME, application developers, and hardware vendors alike. The proposed solution involves transitioning Adwaita, GNOME’s default theme, into a theming engine, along with adding the necessary documentation.
    Using Adwaita as a theming engine would introduce new flexibilities to theming in GNOME, and would allow app developers more control over the appearance of their application on different themes. The addition of FreeDesktop.org’s dark style is being considered as well, which would also allow for better control over an application’s appearance across desktop environments.

  • New job, but no Akademy

    Since June of this year, I’m working for NLnet foundation. NLnet gives grants to people to improve the internet.

    NLnet is growing because it is handling grants for European Next Generation Internet (NGI) programs. This means more funds for new search technologies and privacy enhancing technologies. Typical grants go towards the creation of materials (mostly software) that are made available under free licenses.

    I’m honoured to have been asked for this position and will do my best for the success of the projects that we support.

  • Bringing the FOSS XR community together

    With the recent release of the OpenXR 1.0 specification, the presence of numerous Open Source platforms for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, and a growing community of developers, the need for a collaborative Open Source XR Conference became clear. With millions of VR headsets already on the market and preliminary support for platforms like Linux and BSD introduced, the only remaining pieces of the puzzle needing more work are better open drivers and adoption.

    That being said, we're very excited to announce the 1st edition of the FOSS XR Conference, a new yearly gathering aimed at bringing the community together and giving a podium to the future of XR. Whether it's users, developers, engineers, businesses, hackers or hobbyists, anyone with an interest in Open Source XR can attend, share knowledge and code.

    Taking place on 26 October in parallel with the Blender Conference (a long running conference in Amsterdam held by the Blender Foundation, at their trusty location The Balie), FOSS XR will have presentations throughout the day, a small dedicated hackerspace for meeting new people working on projects and more. Presentations will include everything from open source driver development, to the use of open source in XR applications, reverse engineering and showcases.

Events: GUADEC 2019 Report, Akademy Plans, foss-north IoT and Security Day Called Off Due to Health Problems

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OSS
  • Tobias Bernard: GUADEC 2019

    Last week I was in Thessaloniki (Greece) for this year’s GUADEC. This time I took vacations before the conference, visiting Athens and Delphi among other places, before coming to Thessaloniki.

    [...]

    I made an effort to see more talks this year, because there were so many interesting ones. Kudos to the speakers and organizers for getting such an excellent program together! Among my favorites were Allan’s talk on UX strategy and tactics, Cassidy’s about his research on dark styles, and Deb Nicholson’s closing keynote on building a free software utopia.

  • Going to Akademy together with MBition

    MBition is still in the learning phase as organization when it comes to Open Source, but the enthusiasm among my colleagues, including the leadership team, with the posibility of becoming contributors in the near future makes me confident about our Open Source journey.

    [...]

    In order to learn about community driven projects, I think KDE is a great place to start and not just because I am involved in the project. There are several additional reasons.

  • Change of Plans

    TL;DR; foss-north IoT and Security Day has been cancelled, or at least indefinitely postponed, due to health reasons.

    For the past three weeks (from August 11, to be exact) I have had a fever that I couldn’t really shake. At the same time my wife had pneumonia for which she was successfully treated. Antibiotics is treated with care in Sweden, so I basically waited for my CRP tests to return a high enough value for my doctor to be convinced that I had an infection.

Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start! An Interview with Leonardo Favario

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Interviews
OSS

Yes, I must admit that for me the Free Software movement was love-at-first-sight! I immediately felt it was a natural tool to empower people and I really enjoyed the thriving communities that were flourishing around even small pieces of wonderfully written code. As such, as many youngsters do, I jumped from channel to channel trying to fit all the small pieces together and get the complete puzzle in place. Soon I decided that lurking was not my way of being, so I started to create communities around Free Software, getting friends to work together. I am particularly fond of communities striving to improve education by using technology and that’s where I have been active lately, especially in Italy. One example is the Open edX community where it’s possible to find a great combination of actors, ranging from full stack devs to educators, all trying to work together on the future of education. That’s something that I love about FOSS communities.

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6 Open Source Paint Applications for Linux Users

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Linux
OSS

As a child, when I started using computer (with Windows XP), my favorite application was Paint. I spent hours doodling on it. Surprisingly, children still love the paint apps. And not just children, the simple paint app comes handy in a number of situations.

You will find a bunch of applications that let you draw/paint or manipulate images. However, some of them are proprietary. While you’re a Linux user – why not focus on open source paint applications?

In this article, we are going to list some of the best open source paint applications which are worthy alternatives to proprietary painting software available on Linux.

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SDR dev kit builds on Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

Avnet has launched an “RFSoC Development Kit” that extends Xilinx’s eval kit for its Linux-powered, Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC. The kit adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF front-end for SDR prototyping and integrates MATLAB and Simulink. Xilinx launched its 5G-focused Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC variant of its Arm/FPGA hybrid Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoc last year and then announced a Gen3 update in early February. Avnet has now launched an extended version of the Linux-driven Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation Kit that adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF Front-end 1.8GHz Card and MATLAB support for software-defined radio (SDR) prototyping, Read more Also: SMARC 2.0 module runs Linux on i.MX8M Mini

today's howtos

PCLinuxOS 2019.09 updated installation media release

The KDE versions both full and the minimalistic Darkstar contain kernel 5.2.15 plus a fully updated KDE Plasma desktop. Plasma desktop 5.16.5, Plasma Applications 19.08.1 and Plasma Frameworks 5.62. The Mate Desktop was refreshed with kernel 5.2.15 and the applications and libraries were updated to their most recent stable versions from the previous release. The Xfce Desktop was tweaked and now uses the Whisker menu by default. A login sound was added and the applications were updated along with some minor bug fixes. In addition all ISOs now include the Nvidia 430.50 driver and will be used instead of the nouveau driver if your video card supports it. Hardware detection scripts were updated to provide better support for video cards that can use the Nvidia 430.50 driver. Pulseaudio has been updated to the stable 13.0 release. The Simple Update Notifier was reworked and now works for keeping you notified of system updates and the ability to update from the applet using apt-get. Small improvements were made to the Live media boot scripts. Vbox test media is also included on the installation media. This program allows you to quickly test an ISO on the fly or usbstick with various options without having to create a permanent VM in Virtualbox. Requires a valid Virtualbox installation. Thanks to the people involved for their contributions to this program. Read more

Android Leftovers