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OSS Leftovers

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  • Outreachy Had 41 Interns Complete Their Work This Summer

    In addition to Google's Summer of Code recently having wrapped up, so have the Outreachy projects that also engaged in various open-source activities over the summer months.

    From May to August, Outreachy had 41 interns work on their projects. Outreachy still has plans to expand their reach to more under-represented groups in tech, but for this latest round it was available "internationally to women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people. Internships are also open to residents and nationals of the United States of any gender who are Black/African American, Hispanic/[email protected], Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander."

  • IT Science Case Study: How Walmart Embraced Test Automation, Open Source

    Here is the latest article in the eWEEK feature series called IT Science, in which we look at what actually happens at the intersection of new-gen IT and legacy systems.

    Unless it’s brand new and right off various assembly lines, servers, storage and networking inside every IT system can be considered “legacy.” This is because the iteration of both hardware and software products is speeding up all the time. It’s not unusual for an app-maker, for example, to update and/or patch for security purposes an application a few times a month, or even a week. Some apps are updated daily! Hardware moves a little slower, but manufacturing cycles are also speeding up.

  • A simple picture language for GNU Guile

    One thing that I really love about Racket is its picture language, which allows you to play with geometric shapes in an interactive session in Dr Racket. The shapes are displayed right there in the REPL, just like numbers or strings. Instead of writing a programme that prints "hello world" or that computes the Fibonacci numbers, one could write a programme that composes differently rotated, coloured shapes and prints those instead.

  • Redis Labs changes license, Valve releases new Steam Play beta version, and more news

    Database developer Redis Labs changed the license on its database modules to limit "the ability of cloud providers to offer these Redis Modules to customers."

    The new license "combines Apache v2.0 with Commons Clause, which restricts the sale of covered software." Redis CTO Yiftach Shoolman "justified the license shift by saying that cloud providers benefit from open-source software while giving nothing back." However, Redis stresses that its core database code is still under a BSD license.

    Although Redis defended this move as protecting open source, condemnation from the open source world was swift. Simon Phipps of the Open Source Initiative called this "an abrogation of software freedom," while developer Drew DeVault said that Common Clause "presents one of the greatest existential threats to open source."

  • Rust pattern: Iterating an over a Rc<Vec>

    This post examines a particular, seemingly simple problem: given ownership of a Rc<Vec<u32>>, can we write a function that returns an impl Iterator<Item = u32>? It turns out that this is a bit harder than it might at first appear – and, as we’ll see, for good reason. I’ll dig into what’s going on, how you can fix it, and how we might extend the language in the future to try and get past this challenge.

Dutch government to remove legal barriers to sharing code as open source

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The Dutch government plans to remove legal roadblocks to allow public services to publish the source code of their ICT solutions. A pending proposal from the government to the parliament will change the country’s rules of conduct that minimise interference with the private sector. Next year, the government will begin encouraging public services to publish their source code publicly.

In recent months, the government has been working on a proposal to change itsrules of conduct. The proposal has not yet been submitted to the Dutch parliament, but the changes are anticipated in NL DIGIbeter, a brochure detailing the country’s digital agenda that was published in August. This week, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry referred to the brochure when asked about pending changes to the rules of conduct.

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Annual computer graphics conference encourages use of open source

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It's been a few years since I last attended the annual SIGGRAPH Conference. If you're not familiar with SIGGRAPH, it's a special interest group within the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) that focuses on computer graphics. It holds a North American conference every year, usually on the western side of the continent. This year it was in Vancouver, Canada.

I like to describe the conference as the largest gathering of artists, researchers, and technicians (and some marketers, of course) with a focus on computer graphics. They come from all over the world to share what they know, learn from their peers, and show off their new toys. It's one of my favorite conferences to attend.

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OSS: Nyoka, Low-code Platforms and IBM on Eclipse Foundation etc.

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

    Software AG is aiming to bring the burgeoning world of artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, machine learning and deep learning in line with the statistical and data mining industry standard of the Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML).

    Nyoka is a Python library, compatible with Python 3.5+, which features full support for the PMML XML-based predictive model and provides data preprocessing, script execution and deep neural networks through extensions. Through Nyoka, Software AG explains users can export PMML implementations of a large number from popular machine learning and deep learning Python frameworks. For any that aren’t supported out of the box, users can create their own exporters.

  • Open source low-code platforms extend app dev capabilities

    Open source low-code platforms are growing in popularity because there is more flexibility for app customization and ownership compared to proprietary products. The current generation of open source products has vendor support, expert consultation and training available, but enterprises can also rely on the community at large for support without fear of lock-in. However, there are a lot of options in the market right now, and enterprises need to find the right platform for their goals.

    Explore these three popular open source low-code platforms.

  • Who Is Paying for Open Source?

    There is a misconception among some that open source is free. In a keynote at the Open Source Summit, Angel Diaz, Vice President of Developer Technology, Open Source and Advocacy at IBM outlined who actually is paying for open source.

    According to Diaz, the "second awakening" of open source technologies is now occurring with the growth of open cloud, artificial intelligence and transactional architectures.

    "We are reinventing and democratizing technology and doing it in a way that is open and allows everyone to gain value," Diaz said.

    Diaz said that when asking the question about who is paying for open source, the question isn't just about money for services and product, it's about time and investment. From his perspective, there are three core groups that pay for open source: consortia, enterprises and individuals.

    The Consortia includes groups like the Eclipse Foundation and the Linux Foundation, among many others. Diaz said that consortia have helped to establish the end user as a first class entity for the consumption of open source software.

Boffins trying to build a open source secure enclave on RISC-V

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At some point this fall, a team of researchers from MIT's CSAIL and UC Berkeley's EECS aim to deliver an initial version of an open source, formally verified, secure hardware enclave based on RISC-V architecture called Keystone.

"From a security community perspective, having trustworthy secure enclaves is really important for building secure systems," said Dawn Song, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley and founder and CEO of Oasis Labs, in a phone interview with The Register. "You can say it's one of the holy grails in computer security."

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Torvalds Says Open Source Is the Way to Combat Software Complexity

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Linus Torvalds is no longer worried about what happens to Linux if he gets hit by a bus, as he's confident there is a work flow process in place that guarantees the success of Linux. Torvalds, the creator of Linux, shared his views on the future of Linux in a conversation with Dirk Hohndel, Chief Open Source Officer at VMware at the Open Source Summit here Aug. 31

Torvalds exchanged lively banter with Hohndel on a wide variety of topics ranging from the recent Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, the state of hardware performance, the Linux development process and the future of Linux without Torvalds' guiding hand.

"What I really worry about is the flow of patches and the workflow is more important than the code," Torvalds said. "If you have the right work flow, code will sort itself out and if a bug happens, we know how to deal with it."

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Also: Intel Open-Sources New TPM2 Software Stack

Limiting Free Licences and New FUD From Veracode/CA

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  • ​Javascript Tool Maker Relents After Mixing Immigration Politics with Open Source Licensing

    In very short order, Lerna, a company that offers some Javascript tooling, has learned the hard way not to mess with the integrity of an open source license. In other words, don’t decide you’re going to take an existing OSI-certified open source license, modify it to suit your agenda, license your code under the newly derived license, and still continue to refer to your offering as "open source.”

    First, this analysis piece is really just a follow up to my previous post about why it’s time to reject the latest attack on open source software (OSS). The main point of that post was to point out that all of us who have experienced the benefits of open source (ok, that’s nearly all human beings) should play a role in defending it. Otherwise, it will whither and so too will the benefits most of us have come to enjoy, blind to the fact that open source is playing such an important role in our lives.

  • Does Redis' Commons Clause threaten open-source software?
  • Get a Jump on Reducing Your Open Source Software Security Risks [Ed: Anti-FOSS firm Veracode/CA pays IDG for spam which stigmatises FOSS as lacking security]

SharkLinux Distro: Open Source in Action

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Every so often I run into a Linux distribution that reminds me of the power of open source software. SharkLinux is one such distribution. With a single developer creating this project, it attempts to change things up a bit. Some of those changes will be gladly welcomed by new users, while scoffed at by the Linux faithful. In the end, however, thanks to open source software, the developer of SharkLinux has created a distribution exactly how he would want it to be. And that my friends, is one amazing aspect of open source. We get to do it our way.

But what is SharkLinux and what makes it stand out? I could make one statement about SharkLinux and end this now. The developer of SharkLinux reportedly developed the entire distribution using only an Android phone. That, alone, should have you wanting to give SharkLinux a go.

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OSS: Storj Labs, Hazelcast's Change of CEO and New Open-Source Projects Emerge for Machine Learning

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  • Storj Labs Launches Incentive Program For Open Source Projects

    Storj Labs, a provider of decentralized cloud storage network, has announced the launch of its Open Source Partner Program. This program aims at rewarding open source projects and companies when their users store data in the cloud.


    This is a new approach by a crypto startup as it aims to create economic empowerment on the Storj network. The launch of the program sees ten partners join in, including Confluent, Couchbase, FileZilla, InfluxData, MariaDB, Minio, MongoDBNextcloud, Pydio, and Zenko. What role these companies will play is yet to be disclosed.

    The company also announced the launch of the V3 private Alpha. This was after a successful upgrade of the V3 network. Developments of this network have been underway since the beginning of the year. The company consequently promised to release a Whitepaper and update their licensing for the network. The upgrade was aimed at achieving better scalability. The company now says that the V3 private Alpha will be first run on a test environment to ensure that it’s stable.

  • Hazelcast Change CEO, Pledge Continued Open-Source Commitments

    Hazelcast, makers of open-source developer-focused infrastructure components, including an in-memory data grid (IMDG) and a stream processing engine (Hazelcast Jet) have been through a management change.

    The previous CEO, Greg Luck, moves to become Chief Technology Officer (a position he previously held) and member of the board. The incoming CEO is Kelly Herrell, a Silicon Valley veteran who was most recently Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brocade Communications, as a result of Brocade's acquisition of Vyatta where Herrell was Chief Executive Officer.

  • New Open-Source Projects Emerge for Machine Learning

    Two open-source projects contributed by Chinese tech giants Baidu and Tencent will focus on machine and deep learning advances with the long-term goal of making the AI technologies easier to use while advancing cloud services using deep learning frameworks.

    The Linux Foundation said it would add the two projects to its deep learning community projects focused on boosting the ecosystem for AI, machine learning and deep learning. Tencent’s Angel Project consists of a distributed machine learning platform running on Apache Spark and YARN. Baidu’s Elastic Deep Learning (EDL) framework aims to allow cloud service providers to use deep learning tools to build clustered cloud offerings.

    Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), which has followed Google and other U.S. tech companies in steadily releasing its machine learning tools to the open-source community, said the EDL project will use its PaddlePaddle tool along with TensorFlow to accelerate cluster cloud services deployments. EDL uses the Kubernetes container orchestrator as a cluster controller along with a PaddlePaddle auto-scaler. The combination “changes the number of processes of distributed jobs to the idle hardware resource in the cluster, and a new fault-tolerable architecture,” the Linux Foundation said.

It's Time To Reject The Latest Attack On Open Source Software

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Open source software is under attack. Again. And so it's beholden on all of us to take a stand before the current scourge marginalizes the wonderous benefits of open source (which accrue to every human) and the organization which looks after both the sanctity of the open source movement and the integrity of the licenses behind it: the Open Source Initiative.

Whether you know it or not, all humans are the beneficiaries of open source software in almost everything we do in our digital lives. Most of everything we use -- the smartphones, the cable modem routers, our desktops and laptops, the Web sites and services we access, the APIs at work under the hood of it all -- is built using open source software (in all or in part). It can be easily argued that all of our user experiences would be a lot suckier and slower were it not for the open source model and how it drives innovation (much of it charitable) which trickles into every digital moment without exception. Some experiences that add value to our lives might not exist at all were it not for open source.

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Also: Open Source Devs Reverse Decision to Block ICE Contractors From Using Software

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Mozilla: Firefox GCC/LLVM Clang Dilemma, September 2018 CA Communication and CfP

  • Fedora Firefox – GCC/CLANG dilemma
    After reading Mike’s blog post about official Mozilla Firefox switch to LLVM Clang, I was wondering if we should also use that setup for official Fedora Firefox binaries. The numbers look strong but as Honza Hubicka mentioned, Mozilla uses pretty ancient GCC6 to create binaries and it’s not very fair to compare it with up-to date LLVM Clang 6. Also if I’m reading the mozilla bug correctly the PGO/LTO is not yet enabled for Linux, only plain optimized builds are used for now…which means the transition at Mozilla is not so far than I expected.
  • September 2018 CA Communication
    Mozilla has sent a CA Communication to inform Certification Authorities (CAs) who have root certificates included in Mozilla’s program about current events relevant to their membership in our program and to remind them of upcoming deadlines. This CA Communication has been emailed to the Primary Point of Contact (POC) and an email alias for each CA in Mozilla’s program, and they have been asked to respond to the following 7 action items:
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Security: Quantum Computing and Cryptography, Time to Rebuild Alpine Linux Docker Container

  • Quantum Computing and Cryptography
    Quantum computing is a new way of computing -- one that could allow humankind to perform computations that are simply impossible using today's computing technologies. It allows for very fast searching, something that would break some of the encryption algorithms we use today. And it allows us to easily factor large numbers, something that would break the RSA cryptosystem for any key length. This is why cryptographers are hard at work designing and analyzing "quantum-resistant" public-key algorithms. Currently, quantum computing is too nascent for cryptographers to be sure of what is secure and what isn't. But even assuming aliens have developed the technology to its full potential, quantum computing doesn't spell the end of the world for cryptography. Symmetric cryptography is easy to make quantum-resistant, and we're working on quantum-resistant public-key algorithms. If public-key cryptography ends up being a temporary anomaly based on our mathematical knowledge and computational ability, we'll still survive. And if some inconceivable alien technology can break all of cryptography, we still can have secrecy based on information theory -- albeit with significant loss of capability. At its core, cryptography relies on the mathematical quirk that some things are easier to do than to undo. Just as it's easier to smash a plate than to glue all the pieces back together, it's much easier to multiply two prime numbers together to obtain one large number than it is to factor that large number back into two prime numbers. Asymmetries of this kind -- one-way functions and trap-door one-way functions -- underlie all of cryptography.
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