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Linux Candy: cacafire – Color ASCII Fire

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Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!! Both feet too if you’re sufficiently pliant.

Linux Candy is a new series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We’re only going to feature open-source software in this series.

I’m not going to harp on about the tired proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. But there’s a certain element of truth here. If you spend all day coding neural networks, mastering a new programming language, sit in meetings feeling bored witless, you’ll need some relief at the end of the day. And what better way by making your desktop environment a bit more memorable.

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Virtualmin CPanel – Free & Open Source Web Hosting Panel

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As the name suggests, a server control panel lets you control your server graphically, and provides you important server statistics, manage websites, databases, email accounts, etc. right in your browser without having to pass long commands.

You can do pretty much everything from the control panel. It makes handling complex and time-consuming server tasks extremely easy.

In this series, I will cover open source, free, and paid Linux control panels. If you need more features, you may need to support the development by giving a few dollars per year.

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FSFE information stall on Animal Welfare Run in Vienna

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A few were active GNU/Linux users. Some had never heard of free software before and others had fleeting experiences with it many years ago. Especially the outlook on having software that they can trust seemed to motivate people to consider a closer look into it. Therefore, our introductory leaflets were taken with much interest. Many people wanted to free their Android phones and try email encryption. But as always, our distribution overview leaflet with an explanation on why open standards matter on the other side were very important. Of course the email self defense leaflets and the freedom leaflets were gladly taken too too.

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IBM, Red Hat and 'Drones for Good' (DroneAid)

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Red Hat
  • Open Source is the Building Block for Digital Transformation

    According to Damien Wong, Vice President and General Manager, Asian Growth and Emerging Markets, Red Hat, both IBM and Red Hat believe that the multi-cloud approach is the way forward and they aim to become the leading hybrid and multi-cloud provider.
    “Red Hat is still Red Hat. We are true to our principals. We keep our own brand and keep Red Hat developer programs. We remain neutral and independent. And yes, we will compete with IBM.”
    Having said that at a media session during the Red Hat Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Damien added that innovation today needs to be scaled safely. And one of the best ways to that is with open source. By being able to share ideas and innovations, organisations and developers will be able to overcome the challenges of discovery and creation.


    “This is a clear endorsement of our strategy being the right one. If you are leading in a race, and no one is chasing you, you’re probably going the wrong direction. But if others are catching up, you are on the right path. This is the right direction and with everyone playing catch up, it’s only a great thing for the community. Participation and robust collaboration among commercial competitors will make it stronger.”

  • TOKAI Group Adopts Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated for Fully-Managed Enterprise Kubernetes

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that TOKAI Group, a group of consolidated subsidiary companies under TOKAI Holdings Corporation, has selected Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated as its overall development and operations infrastructure. With the leading enterprise Kubernetes platform as its primary container platform, TOKAI Group has used the platform to integrate the disparate web applications built by its respective group companies.

  • Submissions Open for 2020 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year Award

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that submissions are being accepted for the 14th annual Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year Award.

    The Red Hat Certified Professional (RHCP) of the Year Award recognizes the hard work, expertise and ingenuity of a current Red Hat Certified Professional. The award program is open to holders of a current Red Hat certification or Certificate of Expertise in eligible countries. The certification must also be current during the 2020 Red Hat Summit event.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: DroneAid

    This week’s SD Times open-source project of the week is an IBM hackathon winning project that uses visual recognition to detect and count SOS icons on the ground from drone streams overhead to help first responders plot rescue actions. 

    DroneAid was developed by developer Pedro Cruz after he witnessed Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and saw how people in rural areas desperately wrote signs seeking food and water so that planes and helicopters could see their messages. 

    “I thought that drones could be the perfect solution for rapidly assessing damages from the air and they could help with capturing images that could then be processed by AI computer vision systems,” Cruz wrote in a blog post that described the steps that were necessary to complete the project.  

  • Drones for Good: DroneAid Goes OpenSource

    Perhaps one of the most inspiring Drones for Good stories we’ve heard in the last few years is that of Pedro Cruz, a Puerto Rican native who responded to the devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Maria by creating DroneAid, a tool designed to communicate SOS signs on the ground to first responders, during a Call for Code Hackathon.  Now a full-time IBM developer, Pedro Cruz is bringing DroneAid to the open source community – making it available to as many people as possible.

  • Hurricane Maria survivor designs DroneAid open source disaster relief tool

    Pedro Cruz spent weeks after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in September 2017 helping bring food and water to people trapped in remote areas. 

    He quickly realized he could use an airborne drone to help, using its video connection to read dozens of messages painted on the ground asking rescue crews to bring water, food or medicine. 

    It wasn’t until nearly a year after the hurricane devastated the island territory in September 2017 that Cruz figured out a way to connect his drone to disaster aid through a computerized visual recognition tool.

Telecoms and FOSS: Openwashing by ONS, AT&T, and Deutsche Telekom

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  • View from the airport: Linux Open Networking Summit 2019

    When it comes to the future of networking, the Linux Foundation is headed for the edge
    Networking enthusiasts descended onto the Belgian city of Antwerp last week to attend the Open Networking Summit 2019, where we were treated to talks from key figures in all avenues of the networking industry. While there were more sessions than I could ever have hoped to attend, I chose to get swept up in the edge computing side of things, a topic which thoroughly stole the spotlight for the three-day affair.

    Arpit Joshipura, GM of networking at the Linux Foundation, kicked things off with his Monday morning keynote. He front-loaded the event with a very positive prediction for edge computing: that the industry's revenue will overtake cloud by 2025 and will go on to be four times bigger than the cloud industry ever was or will be.

  • Why AT&T's Latest Open Source Contribution Matters

    AT&T has made a lot of contributions to the open networking community during the past few years, but last week's donation has "milestone" written all over it.

    The operator announced Friday it had submitted its specifications for a distributed disaggregated chassis (DDC), based on Broadcom's Jericho2 processors, to the Open Compute Project (OCP), the open source body launched by Facebook, Intel and Rackspace in 2011 and which started focusing on how to reduce the cost of networking hardware in 2013.

  • Deutsche Telekom calls for MNO unity to avoid open source cost and chaos

    Breezy statements about the necessity of the multivendor, cloud-native 5G network are a thing of the past. These goals remain central in the discussions of the largest operators, but they are more focused on the huge challenges of moving to reality – while many tier two players are watching from the sidelines, evaluating simpler options, such as cloud-hosted services, that may emerge over the coming years.

OSS Leftovers

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  • NHSX will not develop new standards, says senior tech advisor

    If you were wondering how NHSX will be developing new standards to speed up innovation, its senior technology advisor, Terence Eden, has a very blunt answer for you. They won’t.

    “Developing standards takes a huge amount of time, effort and money and those are three things which we don’t have,” he told delegates at the Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) event in London today.

    Instead, NHSX will look for the best international open standards which are already in use.

    “We want to be able to buy software from around the world and we want our software to integrate with other health systems. We can’t take a parochial attitude to data and integration anymore,” Eden said.  

    And as for developers who approach NHSX with closed standard solutions, Eden has an even blunter response: “They will get a firm but polite refusal and it might not be that polite.” 

    The NHS does not want to be beholden to repeatedly buying from the same suppliers, he explained.

  • NGINX Announces New Versions of Open Source, Commercial, and Partner Solutions, Helping Businesses Evolve Apps for the Digital Era

    This year’s updates are different, though – not only because of specific new features and functions, but because we’re now supported by the breadth and depth of F5. Collectively, these updates represent a bold extension to our vision.

    But first, let’s explain why these updates are needed in today’s fast‑paced, digital era.

    Three Waves of Digital Transformation Organizations are at a digital tipping point. The pressure to grow revenues, compete on a global scale, and keep costs in check requires a digital‑first approach. But the evolution to a digital business doesn’t happen overnight. Digital transformation is a journey.

  • Multi-Cloud on the rise and Open Source disrupting the modern application stack
  • Cruise Open Sources DSL Framework for Kubernetes

    The bulk of the contributions being made to the open source Kubernetes ecosystem come from IT vendors. However, as IT organizations become more familiar with the platform, many of them are starting to make significant contributions.

    Case in point is Cruise, a startup building autonomous vehicles, which has launched Isopod, an open source domain-specific language (DSL) framework designed to make it easier to configure multiple Kubernetes clusters.

    Charles Xu, a software engineer at Cruise, says Cruise has employed Isopod to migrate add-ons and add new ones to multiple Kubernetes clusters. The result has been 80% faster rollouts and a 60% reduction in code size, thanks to reuse.

    Instead of relying on YAML files, Isopod renders Kubernetes objects as Protocol Buffers (Protobufs) that can be consumed by the Kubernetes application programming interface (API). Kubernetes objects and cluster targets are scripted in Starlark, a Python dialect created by Google. Isopod extends Starlark with runtime built-ins to access services and utilities such as Vault secrets management, Kubernetes apiserver, HTTP requester, Base64 encoder and UUID generator to replace CLI dependencies. Isopod also uses a separate runtime for unit tests to mock all built-ins.

  • Confluent adds free tier to Kafka real-time streaming data cloud service

    When Confluent launched a cloud service in 2017, it was trying to reduce some of the complexity related to running a Kafka streaming data application. Today, it introduced a free tier to that cloud service. The company hopes to expand its market beyond large technology company customers, and the free tier should make it easier for smaller companies to get started.

    The new tier provides up to $50 of service a month for up to three months. Company CEO Jay Kreps says that while $50 might not sound like much, it’s actually hundreds of gigabytes of throughput and makes it easy to get started with the tool.

  • Cloudera’s Shaun Bierweiler: Open Source Software Facilitates Customization, Integration in Support of Gov’t Mission

    In addition, the nature of the software enables it to support backward-compatible application programming interfaces as well as newer programs and apps.

  • All You Need to Know About an Open Source Software

    Open source is simply a term that refers to something people transform and simply share because its design is publicly accessible. The term open source is derived from the context of software development so that it can map a certain approach to creating computer programs.

    Open source software has been a dominant powerhouse acting behind the development of the internet. Whilst there are quite a number of free software programs out there, most of them are branded. This simply means that the development company owns the codes. The good thing about open source software is that it enables you to edit, and at the same time, adapt the source code as you see fit.


    If you have this open source alternative, there is no need for you to pay for Office. Libre Office is a full suite of office software that encompass some exceptional apps for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, as well as database.

    With this all your documents will just look as sharp and professional and they will be no different from paid for software. The good thing is that there are quite a number of templates available at your disposal to download.

  • Advantages of open source software compared to paid equivalents

    Thanks to the internet revolution, the software industry has been one of the fastest-growing and highest-performing sectors over the last two decades. Innovation continues to push technology forward, creating new opportunities for startups to enter the market and break new ground.

    In the old days, software companies would develop products designed to run on desktop computers. That changed with the shift to cloud computing, where companies rely on hosting providers to manage their infrastructure and data centre needs.

    One major decision that enterprises face is whether to invest in open source technologies or go through a commercial route instead. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the key benefits of open source software and look at how they can support company growth.

  • Startup Uses Open Source to Help Cities Crunch Mobility Data

    As shared scooters, bikes and cars have proliferated through city streets across the U.S., local governments have been eager to get their hands on data about how people are using all those new options.

    That’s easier said than done. There are quite a few companies operating in the space, with varying levels of eagerness to share data, and privacy concerns to boot.

    With the emergence of data standards like the Mobility Data Specification that came out of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and others, it’s become more feasible. And that’s where Lacuna, a relatively young startup based in Palo Alto, Calif., is angling to make a name for itself.

  • Takeaway from MLOps NYC: Open Source Frameworks Need TLC
  • Welcome to the Fediverse

    If you're looking for social media options where the user has more control, you'll find a range of options to explore in the Fediverse, including the popular Mastodon.

    Despite what it may seem, despite its promise of unbridled communication possibilities and its supposed gift of giving voice to the traditionally voiceless, current social media is a walled garden at best, although a slimy cesspit with bars over the top would be a more apt description.

    The problem with the current social media status quo is that the platform does not have your interests at heart. The companies that run proprietary social media platforms gradually introduce more and more restrictive terms of service, package your personal data and sell it off to other companies and governments, make their algorithms more manipulative, and so on.


    One discovery Cruz made early on was that artificial intelligence computer vision systems needed to read a standard set of icons asking for assistance instead of reading handwritten messages on the ground in various languages through optical character recognition. He settled on eight different icons—such as SOS, OK, food, water, medicine—drawn from a recognized set of icons used by the United Nations. They can be printed on mats that are distributed prior to a storm or spray-painted or drawn by hand.

Databases: MongoDB, ArangoDB and KarelDB

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Funding and Buyouts

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FOSS in Science

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  • Open-source radiotelemetry technology has potential to revolutionize wildlife research

    Biologists and ecologists monitor wildlife to learn more about their behaviors, but tracking small creatures can be challenging, time-consuming and costly. Through a National Science Foundation grant, a multidisciplinary team at Northern Arizona University—led by Michael Shafer, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Carol Chambers, professor of wildlife ecology; and Paul Flikkema, professor of electrical engineering—has developed technology that could revolutionize the way this research is conducted through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Better yet, the scientists are sharing what they have learned in a paper appearing in Methods of Ecology and Evolution, a peer-reviewed journal published by the British Ecological Society.

    “We want to help people who study wildlife better track small animals that have been tagged with tiny tracking devices, and we want other labs to take what we’ve learned and improve on it so that biologists have cost-effective tools that best suit their needs,” Shafer said.


    As part of the NSF grant requirements, Shafer and his team are sharing how they created the device and what they have learned. In the published paper, Shafer, Flikkema and graduate students Gabriel Vega and Kellan Rothfus provide instructions and a list of the exact materials they used, such as the model of motors, the software they developed and all the other hardware specifications. The team also shared the information on a new website.

    By sharing exactly how they constructed their device, Shafer and his team hope that other labs and life scientists will adapt the technology to meet a suite of research needs.

    “If scientists are looking for a really small animal on the ground, the antenna can be configured straight down, but if they are looking for a songbird in a tree, obviously, the antenna should scan outward,” Shafer said. “There’s a learning curve, and the users will need to use what they know about animal behavior as they configure the device to work best for them. They will need to experiment with it.”

  • Deep learning powers a motion-tracking revolution

    A surge in the development of artificial-intelligence technology is driving a new wave of open-source tools for analysing animal behaviour and posture.


    Di Santo was investigating the motions involved when fish such as skates swim. She filmed individual fish in a tank and manually annotated their body parts frame by frame, an effort that required about a month of full-time work for 72 seconds of footage. Using an open-source application called DLTdv, developed in the computer language MATLAB, she then extracted the coordinates of body parts — the key information needed for her research. That analysis showed, among other things, that when little skates (Leucoraja erinacea) need to swim faster, they create an arch on their fin margin to stiffen its edge.


    DeepPoseKit offers “very good innovations”, Pereira says. Mathis disputes the validity of the performance comparisons, but Graving says that “our results offer the most objective and fair comparison we could provide”. Mathis’ team reported an accelerated version of DeepLabCut that can run on a mobile phone in an article posted in September on the arXiv preprint repository.

    Biologists who want to test multiple software solutions can try Animal Part Tracker, developed by Kristin Branson, a computer scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, and her colleagues. Users can select any of several posture-tracking algorithms, including modified versions of those used in DeepLabCut and LEAP, as well as another algorithm from Branson’s lab. DeepPoseKit also offers the option to use alternative algorithms, as will SLEAP.

  • After Hurricane Dorian, The 'Wikipedia Of Maps' Came To The Rescue
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