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Audiocasts/Shows: Django Riffs, Linux Headlines, FLOSS Weekly and mintCast

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  • Django Riffs, a podcast for learning Django

    I’ve started a podcast! The podcast is called Django Riffs, and my goal is to help beginners learn how to use Django. You can find the show at or check iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.

    Each episode of the podcast will be a topical exploration of one facet of the Django web framework. With many years of Django under my belt, I believe I have the experience to help beginners on their journey into learning Django. More experienced Djangonauts may benefit from a refresher on the subjects that we cover.

  • 2020-02-05 | Linux Headlines

    On-premises classics move to the cloud, why Tor is building its own packages, and a great update for a beloved command-line app.

  • FLOSS Weekly 565: Weaviate

    Weaviate allows you to find the data that you're looking for fast and reliable, but it also allows you to index the data based on its meaning. It helps to automatically classify data based on the meaning of the data, even if your data contains complex branch-specific language. Weaviate can organize the data according to your wishes, 100% automated.

  • mintCast 327.5 – Doppelganger

    In our Innards section, we talk Linux Mint’s new Doppelganger with Joshua Peisach (@ItzSwirlz) from Ubuntu Cinnamon (@UbuntuCinnamon).

    Some listener feedback and “check this out.”

RawTherapee 5.8 Released

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  • RawTherapee v5.8

    Software should be installed through your distribution’s package manager.

    If RawTherapee 5.8 is not yet available in your package manager, you can use the AppImage:

    Download it.
    Make it executable: chmod u+x RawTherapee_5.8.AppImage
    Run it: ./RawTherapee_5.8.AppImage

  • RawTherapee 5.8 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu 19.10

    RawTherapee 5.8, cross-platform raw photo processing system, was released a day ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.10, Linux Mint 19.x.

  • RawTherapee v5.8 Can Recover Photo Detail ‘Lost to Lens Blur’

    Cross-platform open source RAW processing tool RawTherapee has a new release out — and if you’re a keen photographer, it sounds like an essential update.

    RawTherapee v5.8 is the latest stable version of the free photo editor, and the first to be released this year (2020). The update introduces support for CR3 data (on cameras that support it), plus improved handling for camera models, DCP dual-illuminated input profiles, and better memory usage.

    But the “big new feature” in this update is the addition of a new Capture Sharpening tool. This, RawTherapee developers say, helps ‘recover detail lost to lens blur’.

    “[Capture Sharpening] takes place right after demosaicing, and as it works in linear space it is not prone to haloing. Capture Sharpening in combination with Post-Resize Sharpening allows for detailed and crisp results,” the RawTherapee team say of the feature.

    RawTherapee is free, open source software available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

OSS Leftovers

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  • Haiku R1 Beta 2 Is Hopefully Not Too Far Away

    The BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system that has been in development since 2001 saw its long-awaited beta release in late 2018 while it looks like a second beta release could be on approach for this open-source operating system.

    Haiku OS developer François Revol presented at this weekend's FOSDEM 2020 conference on Haiku OS and the R1 Beta2 that hopefully isn't too far out at this point.

  • seL4 Microkernel Being Ported To RISC-V

    Micro-kernel researcher and seL4 developer Gernot Heiser presented at last weekend's FOSDEM conference on the state of seL4. On the development front, their major recent accomplishment is bringing this micro-kernel to RISC-V. With their seL4 port to RISC-V their initial hardware target is for Munich-based HENSOLDT Cyber. The Bavarian firm is developing a secure RISC-V processor based on the open-source "Ariane" core and the secure OS for Hensoldt will be running seL4.

  • GRUB 2.06 Planning For Release This Year - Possibly With Intel TXT + AMD SKINIT Support

    Oracle's Daniel Kiper provided an update on the GRUB boot-loader efforts and their hopes on sticking to a yearly release cadence. 

    At FOSDEM 2020 in Belgium this weekend, Kiper provided his annual update on the affairs of GRUB. 

    In recapping the 2019 accomplishments for GRUB, there was RISC-V architecture support added, native DHCPv4, LUKS2 encryption support, and a lot of other features. Looking ahead though GRUB 2.06 should be out in the next few months with more features. 

  • Getting started with GnuCash

    For the past four years, I've been managing my personal finances with GnuCash, and I'm quite satisfied with it. The open source (GPL v3) project has been growing and improving since its initial release in 1998, and the latest version, 3.8, released in December 2019, adds many improvements and bug fixes.

    GnuCash is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The application implements a double-entry bookkeeping system and can import a variety of popular open and proprietary file formats, including QIF, QFX, OFX, CSV, and more. This makes it easy to convert from other personal finance applications, including Quicken, which it was created to replicate.

    With GnuCash, you can track personal finances as well as small business accounting and invoicing. It doesn't have an integrated payroll system; according to the documentation, you can track payroll expenses in GnuCash, but you have to calculate taxes and deductions outside the software.

  • Google Chrome Browser FINALLY Catches Up

    "There's little else in the world that's as annoying as visiting a website and a few seconds after arriving, video or audio starts playing. I don't know about you, but it makes my blood boil. Don't. Take. My. Choices. Away. And that's exactly what it does. If I want to watch a video or listen to an audio file, I will decide by clicking the play button.

    "Plan on autoplaying media any time you visit a media site, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, CNN, Fox, or any number of other media outlets. The annoyance is just about enough to make you vow to never visit that particular site ever again. But then you do revisit, and get annoyed all over again."

    That was how my initial article about stopping autoplaying media began in the June 2018 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine. Fully a year and a half after we ran our initial article in The PCLinuxOS Magazine on how to stop autoplaying media elements inside a browser, Google Chrome has finally caught up! At that time, we looked at Firefox Quantum, Opera and Google Chrome. Firefox earned a A+ for its ability to block autoplaying media elements. Meanwhile, Opera earned a C-, and Google Chrome earned a despicable F. Little has changed since then with those rankings, at least until now. Firefox upped the ante with additional controls since then, which we reported on in the January 2019 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine.

  • Chrome 80 Released with SameSite Cookie Enforcement, 56 Security Fixes

    Chrome 80 and Chromium 80 web browsers are now available for download with various new features and improvements.

  • Karl Dubost: Week notes - 2020 w05 - worklog - Mozilla All Hands Berlin

    Left home in between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM. All geared up for the coronavirus outbreak just in case. Japan is not yet heavily affected. 3 cases at the time of this writing and all coming from Chinese traveling in Japan. Taking the train to Narita Airport. Then the plane to Brussels, and finally Brussels to Berlin.

  • How much do we bend to the will of our tools?

    How much of our design and architecture thinking is still bound by what’s easy to type? How much do we bend to the will of our tools? And, maybe most importantly, are we even aware of it?

15 Notable Open Source Apps

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Open source software is always in flux, and new projects are being born every day. Open Source principles are spreading beyond software to not only include code, but in some cases, code that is being used to write an open source book or to do open source science where anyone is welcome to participate. And, cross-platform or platform-independent apps that work on any operating system are becoming much more common than those designed for a particular OS. We like to shine a spotlight on those that seem particularly noteworthy, but there are plenty more that didn't get included. If you know of one, please make a note in the comments section below.

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OpenCensus to monitor your Kubernetes cluster

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In my last article in this series, I introduced monitoring with Prometheus, the leading open source metric instrumentation, collection, and storage toolkit. While Prometheus has become the de facto standard for monitoring Kubernetes for many users, there may be reasons why you might choose another approach for metric telemetry.

One reason is that using Prometheus introduces another component in your cluster that needs to be maintained and updated and will require additional management to ensure data persistence over the long term. Another reason is that Prometheus collects an incredibly large set of metrics right out of the box, and this could become cost-prohibitive in situations where metric volume is an input into your overall observability costs.

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Amandine 'cryptie' Jambert, CNIL & FSFE privacy scandals

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There have recently been concerns raised on various mailing lists about the identity of Cryptie in FSFE.

For many years, Amandine Jambert has wandered around the free software world using a pseudonym, Cryptie. While anybody else using an alternative name has been accused of trolling, Jambert has had some immunity. Why? As concerns grow about the hidden conflicts of interests and corporate influence in free software organizations and as these organizations use the weight of their reputations to shame and humiliate people, it is more important than ever to identify the controllers of the organizations.

Thanks to Wright's investigations, we can now search for information about Cryptie and search for information about Amandine Jambert @ CNIL and find they are the same person.


There have recently been concerns raised on various mailing lists about the identity of Cryptie in FSFE.

For many years, Amandine Jambert has wandered around the free software world using a pseudonym, Cryptie. While anybody else using an alternative name has been accused of trolling, Jambert has had some immunity. Why? As concerns grow about the hidden conflicts of interests and corporate influence in free software organizations and as these organizations use the weight of their reputations to shame and humiliate people, it is more important than ever to identify the controllers of the organizations.

Thanks to Wright's investigations, we can now search for information about Cryptie and search for information about Amandine Jambert @ CNIL and find they are the same person.

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Serpent Is an Open-Source Game Framework Focused on 2D Games

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Ikey Doherty's new startup Lispy Snake presents Serpent, an open-source game framework for helping indie game developers create 2D games.

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Project with the same name in Wikipedia (not the same thing):

  • Serpent (software)

    Serpent is a continuous-energy multi-purpose three-dimensional Monte Carlo particle transport code. It is under development at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland since 2004.[1] Serpent was originally known as Probabilistic Scattering Game (PSG) from 2004 to the first pre-release of Serpent 1 in October 2008.[2] The development of Serpent 2 was started in 2010.[3] The active development of Serpent 1 has been discontinued even though Serpent 2 is not officially released yet. Serpent 2 is however available for registered users of Serpent 1.[4]

    Serpent was originally developed to be a simplified neutron transport code for reactor physics applications. Its main focus was on group constant generation with two-dimensional lattice calculations. Burnup calculation capability was included early on. Nowadays Serpent is used in a wide range of applications from the group constant generation[5] to coupled multi-physics applications, fusion neutronics and radiation shielding.[3] In addition to the original neutron transport capabilities, Serpent is able to perform photon transport.[3]

Standards: EHR, NHS, and CSS

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  • Epic’s call to block a proposed data rule is wrong for many reasons

    But it doesn’t really work like that. At the cost of millions to billions of dollars per hospital or health system, health care relies on pre-internet proprietary and non-interoperable software where, as in the old “Roach Motel” ads, data check in, but they don’t check out. In addition, EHR software is sold under contracts that contain both hold harmless clauses to abdicate responsibility for adverse events associated with their products and nondisclosure clauses to inhibit reporting of serious adverse events. As described in “Death by a Thousand Clicks,“ EHRs have contributed to an epidemic of physician burnout.

  • Interoperability to be hotly debated at Digital Health Rewired 2020

    As an issue which has been cited as the highest priority for NHS IT leaders two years in a row in Digital Health Intelligence’s annual NHS IT Leadership Survey, interoperability within healthcare could transform how medical records are shared.

    The Interoperability track will explore latest developments and examples of interoperability and use of the key standards, such as FHIR, that enable interoperability at scale.

  • Old CSS, new CSS

    I first got into web design/development in the late 90s, and only as I type this sentence do I realize how long ago that was.

    And boy, it was horrendous. I mean, being able to make stuff and put it online where other people could see it was pretty slick, but we did not have very much to work with.

    I’ve been taking for granted that most folks doing web stuff still remember those days, or at least the decade that followed, but I think that assumption might be a wee bit out of date. Some time ago I encountered a tweet marvelling at what we had to do without border-radius. I still remember waiting with bated breath for it to be unprefixed!

    But then, I suspect I also know a number of folks who only tried web design in the old days, and assume nothing about it has changed since.

    I’m here to tell all of you to get off my lawn. Here’s a history of CSS and web design, as I remember it.

  • Making A Website 06 – Finishing Touches

    It’s time for the final post in my Making A Website series. In this 6th and final post, we’re going to be adding some finishing touches to our website. This is mostly going to be CSS changes, to improve our theme.

SimpleLogin: Open Source Solution to Protect Your Email Inbox From Spammers

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SimpleLogin is an open-source service to help you protect your email address by giving you a permanent alias email address.

Normally, you have to use your real email address to sign up for services that you want to use personally or for your business.

In the process, you’re sharing your email address – right? And, that potentially exposes your email address to spammers (depending on where you shared the information).

What if you can protect your real email address by providing an alias for it instead? No – I’m not talking about disposable email addresses like 10minutemail which could be useful for temporary sign-ups – even though they’ve been blocked by certain services.

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Also: Google promises next week's cookie-crumbling Chrome 80 will only cause 'a very modest amount of breakage'

OSS Leftovers

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  • Unotech Software Raises $2 Mn To Increase Focus On Open Source Development

    Enterprise technology startup Unotech Software has raised $2Mn Series A funding from Manish Choksi, promoter of Asian Paints. Along with the funding round, the company will also undergo a shift in its software architecture.

    Unotech said it would evolve into an open source IT platform and services organisation with specialisation in identity management, business process automation and digital transformation. To enable the same, Unotech is revamping its digital brand presence and also relaunching its website to share its offerings under a new stratagem.

    The fresh capital will also be used to reconstruct the company’s market presence. “Unotech Software is realigning its IT products and services to adapt to its new approach of rapid development, rapid partnership and alliances and rapid go-to-market, under the core pillars of access, automate and assist,” said Vikash Jha, Unotech’s CEO and CTO in a statement.

  • Security in the financial industry

    By using the mix of hardware and software that the so-called “security service container” offers, developers get the same quality of security that they would on Linux, and this works in any data center, whether on-premise or using cloud services. The next generations of finserv IT infrastructures are being built around Linux because it is easy to deploy, and gives you a highly functional and easily automated stack. Industry giants such as Barclays have already built whole data center infrastructures around Linux. Besides providing easy access to innovations and software frameworks for IT teams, open source software also increases trust, which is essential for security compliance in the long term.

    When it comes to close-sourced software, it is impossible to verify all background activities happening, and in case of a bug or an error, it is hard to analyse the reasons behind them, given only the original developer can access the backend. In the case of open source, the community of developers is very quick to spot and fix bugs or errors.

  • Silicon Labs announce open-source licencing model for Micrium RTOS

    Silicon Labs has announced a new open-source licensing model for Micrium µC/ family of real time operating system (RTOS) components.

    By adopting permissive license terms for the µC/ components, Silicon Labs is extending the benefits of µC/ software to the widest user base possible and giving the embedded developer community a role in future software development efforts.

    Silicon Labs plans to ensure a smooth transition to open-source terms for all licensees of µC/ software. The company will continue to provide technical support for customers with valid maintenance agreements. Silicon Labs is also working closely with partners who may offer similar support services in the near future.

    The new open-source µC/ license model will go into effect on February 28, 2020. The open-source license applies to all µC/ software components including µC/OS-II, µC/OS-III, µC/FS, µC/TCP-IP, µC/USB-Device, µC/USB-Host, µC/CAN and µC/Modbus.

  • Apex.OS 1.0 now available, brings ROS-based development to autonomous vehicles

    Last week, Jan Becker, co-founder and CEO of Apex.AI, announced the availability of Apex.OS 1.0. The framework is based on ROS 2, the open-source Robot Operating System, and it is intended to ease software development for autonomous vehicles.

    Becker said in a blog post that he and Dejan Pangercic co-founded Apex.AI in 2017 with the goal of making “mobility safer and more reliable.” As the software stack for robotics and self-driving cars evolves, software engineers will need to simplify and specialize, Becker wrote.

    “Apex.OS is a natural choice for automotive companies interested in using modern software practices to implement autonomy,” he stated. “ROS is already the de facto standard for robotics, and Apex.OS extends that standard to the autonomous driving industry. In doing so, Apex.OS offers companies a head start on bringing safety to the autonomous driving software layer, the means to focus their business on their own key differentiators, and much faster time to market.”

  • The DevOps food chain: Software may be eating the world, but open source is devouring software

    As the world turns digital, speed is critical. Software deployments and updates that used to take months are now happening daily, as developers adjust to the demands of an environment where continuous integration is replacing the traditional drawn-out development cycle. Fueling this ability to move fast is the open-source software movement, which is gaining strength across all industries as cloud-native hits the mainstream.

    “Software is eating the world, but open source is eating software,” said Balaji Siva (pictured), vice president of product and business development/marketing at OpsMx.

    Siva joined John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, at theCUBE’s Palo Alto studio for a CUBE Conversation on the evolution of networking.


    The answer comes from open-source tools such as Spinnaker (which came to fame as the tool used by media streaming service Netflix Inc. to enable continuous delivery to the cloud), Tekton and Jenkins. “These [allow] enterprises to take their container-based applications, and functions in some cases, and deploy to various clouds, AWS or Google or Azure,” Siva said.

    Getting DevOps right can be tricky, but once companies have adapted to the agile mindset the efficiency and speed benefits are huge. Developing the non-DevOps way required multiple engineers working on multiple features over many months.

  • The IT Pro Podcast: Opening up to open source

    The open source debate is over. Companies are no longer prevaricating over whether or not they should be using open source tools and components within their IT organisations, and tools like Jenkins, Ruby and Visual Studio Code have become commonplace throughout business. But with all this love for open source components, why are these organisations lagging behind in adopting the ethos and methodologies of open source?

    In this week’s episode, we sit down with Puppet’s field CTO Nigel Kersten to discuss the current state of open source adoption, including the lack of high-level knowledge sharing, the relationship between open source and SaaS, and why businesses should get better at giving back to the open source community.

  • TTC blockchain DApp ecosystem project Tigris Protocol now open-source
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