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OSS Leftovers

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  • LG Announces webOS Open-Source Edition

    What was Palm webOS nearly a decade ago is seeing its latest incarnation as LG webOS Open-Source Edition.

    The interesting history of webOS continues... While you probably recall HP acquired Palm in 2010 and with that there was webOS on the HP TouchPad. Around 2012 is when HP then announced they would publish the webOS source code as "Open webOS". WebOS was then acquired by LG Electronics where it's been in use for a few years now for smart TVs, IoT, and other LG devices. There's also been a few offshoots over the years like LuneOS as a fork of webOS.

  • Mi A1 Oreo Kernel source code released by Xiaomi

    Xiaomi’s first Android One phone, the Mi A1 was expected to receive Android 8.0 Oreo update by the end December, and the company did roll out the update to the device under the stipulated time. However, the kernel source for the upgrade was left covered with no access to it for third-party developers. This also violated the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2) and also hampered the advancement of developers who base their codes on source codes. Thankfully, after a delay of more than two months, Xiaomi has finally released the kernel source code of Android 8.1 for the Xiaomi Mi A1.

  • GSoC and Outreachy: Mentors don't need to be Debian Developers

    A frequent response I receive when talking to prospective mentors: "I'm not a Debian Developer yet".

    As student applications have started coming in, now is the time for any prospective mentors to introduce yourself on the debian-outreach list if you would like to help with any of the listed projects or any topics that have been proposed spontaneously by students without any mentor.

    It doesn't matter if you are a Debian Developer or not. Furthermore, mentoring in a program like GSoC or Outreachy is a form of volunteering that is recognized just as highly as packaging or any other development activity.

    When an existing developer writes an email advocating your application to become a developer yourself, they can refer to your contribution as a mentor. Many other processes, such as requests for DebConf bursaries, also ask for a list of your contributions and you can mention your mentoring experience there.

  • 11th Open Source Day Conference

    On May 23rd, Warsaw will host the 11th edition of Open Source Day. OSD is the largest conference about open source in Poland and CEE region, gathering every year nearly 1000 participants. The programme of the upcoming edition is focused mainly on practical sessions devoted to the most important directions of IT market development. Registration for the event is already open. For the first 600 attendees, participation in the conference is free-of-charge.

    Open Source Day is the biggest event in Poland and CEE region dedicated to open source. Over 6,000 people took part in previous editions, and several thousand followed the event online. Open Source Day is the knowledge exchange platform about open software, as one of the most important trends in the development of modern technologies, enabling creation of high-quality, stable IT solutions, which today are the basis for all branches of the economy.

  • March Add(on)ness: Tab Centre Redux (2) vs Tabby Cat (3)
  • March Add(on)ness: Reverse Image Search (2) Vs Unpaywall (3)
  • Facebook, Google and Big Switch Networks to Demonstrate Open Source Collaboration with Next-Gen Network Operating Systems During OCP Summit Keynote
  • 6 common questions about agile development practices for teams

    You’ve probably heard a speaker ask this question at the end of their presentation. This is the most important part of the presentation—after all, you didn't attend just to hear a lecture but to participate in a conversation and a community.

    Recently I had the opportunity to hear my fellow Red Hatters present a session called "Agile in Practice" to a group of technical students at a local university. During the session, software engineer Tomas Tomecek and agile practitioners Fernando Colleone and Pavel Najman collaborated to explain the foundations of agile methodology and showcase best practices for day-to-day activities.

LG releases webOS Open Source Edition, looks to expand webOS usage

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LG’s smart TVs ship with an operating system called webOS, which is the latest version of an operating system that was developed by Palm to run on phones, acquired by HP to use with tablets, and eventually sold to LG, which is still using it today.

But now LG wants to expand the adoption of webOS and the company is working with the South Korean government to solicit business proposals from other companies interested in using webOS.

LG has also released a webOS Open Source Edition version of the operating system.

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Test driving 4 open source music players and more

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In my last article, I described my latest music problem: I need an additional stage of amplification to make proper use of my new phono cartridge. While my pre-amplifier contains a phono stage, its gain is only suitable for cartridges that output about 5mV, whereas my new cartridge has a nominal output of 0.4mV.

Based on my investigation, I liked the looks of the Muffsy phono kits, so I ordered the head amplifier, the power supply, and the back panel. I also needed to obtain a case to hold the boards and the back panel, available online from many vendors. Muffsy does not sell the “wall wart” necessary to power the unit, so I ordered one of those from a supplier in California. Finally, inspecting my soldering iron, solder “sucker,” and solder, I’ve realized I need to do better—so a bit more shopping, online or local, is in order there. Finally, for those, like me, whose soldering skills may be rusty and perhaps were not all that great to begin with, Muffsy kindly offers links to two instructional videos.

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2018 Affiliate and Individual Member Election Results

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The OSI would like to thank all of those who ran for the Board. Volunteering to serve the OSI and support the Open Source community is a tremendous commitment in time and energy--we truly appreciate their willingness to contribute to our continued success and participate in our ongoing work to promote and protect open source software, communities, and development as well as the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement.

The winners of the 2018 Board of Directors elections are,

VM Brasseur (elected by the Individual Membership)
Chris Lamb (elected by the Affiliate Membership)
Faidon Liambotis (elected by the Affiliate Membership)
Josh Simmons (elected by the Individual Membership)

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OSCAL'18 in Albania and Campus Party in Brazil

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  • OSCAL'18, call for speakers, radio hams, hackers & sponsors reminder

    The OSCAL organizers have given a reminder about their call for papers, booths and sponsors (ask questions here). The deadline is imminent but you may not be too late.

    OSCAL is the Open Source Conference of Albania. OSCAL attracts visitors from far beyond Albania (OpenStreetmap), as the biggest Free Software conference in the Balkans, people come from many neighboring countries including Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece and Italy. OSCAL has a unique character unlike any other event I've visited in Europe and many international guests keep returning every year.

  • About Campus Party + 20 years of OSI

    This year was the 4th year that I attended Campus Party, and with butterflies, in my belly, I went over there to show Atelier and do two talks: One about Qt and one about Free Software.

    We are working on AtCore and Atelier since 2016, and on the couple weeks of January, we made the first release of AtCore. That triggered a lot of feelings. And with the good part of those feelings, I made some partnerships(To get a 3DPrinter and material) and went to Campus Party to show our work.

If you hitch a ride with a scorpion… (Coverity)

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I haven’t seen a blog post or notice about this, but according to the Twitters, Coverity has stopped supporting online scanning for open source projects. Is anybody shocked by this? Anybody?


Not sure what the story is with Coverity, but it probably has something to do with 1) they haven’t been able to monetize the service the way they hoped, or 2) they’ve been able to monetize the service and don’t fancy spending the money anymore or 3) they’ve pivoted entirely and just aren’t doing the scanning thing. Not sure which, don’t really care — the end result is the same. Open source projects that have come to depend on this now have to scramble to replace the service.


I’m not going to go all RMS, but the only way to prevent this is to have open tools and services. And pay for them.

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Easily Fund Open Source Projects With These Platforms

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Financial support is one of the many ways to help Linux and Open Source community. This is why you see “Donate” option on the websites of most open source projects.

While the big corporations have the necessary funding and resources, most open source projects are developed by individuals in their spare time. However, it does require one’s efforts, time and probably includes some overhead costs too. Monetary supports surely help drive the project development.

If you would like to support open source projects financially, let me show you some platforms dedicated to open source and/or Linux.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • What Is Fuchsia, Google’s New Operating System?

    Fuchsia first popped up on the tech world’s radar in mid-2016, when an unannounced open source project from Google appeared on the GitHub repository. According to initial inspection by the technology press, it was designed to be a “universal” operating system, capable of running on everything from low-power smartwatches to powerful desktops. That potentially includes phones, tablets, laptops, car electronics, connected appliances, smarthome hardware, and more.

  • Google created an AI-based, open source music synthesizer

    Move over musicians, AI is here. Google's 'NSynth' neural network is designed to take existing sounds and combine them using a complex, machine learning algorithm. The result? Thousands of new musical sounds, and an instrument you can play them on.

  • March Add(on)ness: uBlock (1) vs Kimetrack (4)
  • TenFourFox FPR6 SPR1 coming

    Stand by for FPR6 Security Parity Release 1 due to the usual turmoil following Pwn2Own, in which the mighty typically fall and this year Firefox did. We track these advisories and always plan to have a patched build of TenFourFox ready and parallel with Mozilla's official chemspill release; I have already backported the patch and tested it internally.

  • GCC 8 Compiler Offering More Helpful Debug Messages, Usability Improvements

    Red Hat's David Malcom has outlined some of the usability improvements coming with the imminent release of GCC 8.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time changed: March 16th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
  • Your guide to LibrePlanet 2018, wherever you are, March 24-25

    The free software community encompasses the globe, and we strive to make the LibrePlanet conference reflect that. That's why we livestream the proceedings of the conference, and encourage you to participate remotely by both watching and participating in the discussion via IRC.

  • Open Source Advocate Dr. Joshua Pearce Publishes Paper on Inexpensive GMAW Metal 3D Printing

    One of the most outspoken advocates of open source philosophy in the 3D printing industry is Dr. Joshua M. Pearce, Associate Professor, Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering for Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech).

  • ONF Launches Stratum Open-Source SDN Project

    The growing adoption of software-defined networking over the past several years has given a boost to makers of networking white boxes. The separation of the network operating system, control plane and network tasks from the underlying proprietary hardware meant that organizations could run that software on white-box switches and servers that are less expensive than those systems from the likes of Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

    Network virtualization technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV) have proven to be a particular boon for hyperscale cloud providers like Google and Facebook and telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon, which are pushing increasingly massive amounts of traffic through their growing infrastructures. Being able to use less expensive and easily manageable white boxes from original design manufacturers (ODMs) has helped these organizations keep costs down even as demand rises.

How Open Source Approach is Impacting Science

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Dive into the exciting world of Innovative Science to explore and find out about how the Linux-based Operating System and Open Source are playing a significant role in the major scientific breakthroughs that are taking place in our daily lives.
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Government of Jamaica to Actively Pursue Greater Use of Open Source Software – Wheatley

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Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley today outlined the Government of Jamaica’s intention to pursue greater use of Open Source Software as part of its thrust to transform ICT within government while at the same time reducing the attendant costs associated with the use of proprietary software.

Guided by recommendations outlined in an Open Source Policy Framework report which was completed in late 2016, Minister Wheatley stated that “It is clear that there are huge benefits to be gained from greater use of open source software by developing countries like Jamaica and we intend to take a more active approach to incorporation of these types of software across government.”

Minister Wheatley in speaking about recurrent enterprise agreements with Microsoft, IBM and other proprietary software vendors said “ for a very long time we have been confined by the strictures and high costs of the license regimes of proprietary software offerings and we will now, in keeping with goals of our Vision 2030 plan, make the move to unleash the innovative capacity of our country by leading the way in the adoption of open source platforms”

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Android Leftovers

Radeon GPUs Are Increasingly Competing With NVIDIA GPUs On Latest RadeonSI/RADV Drivers

As it's been a few weeks since last delivering a modest Linux GPU comparison and given the continuously evolving state of the Linux kernel Git tree as well as the Mesa project that houses the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan drivers, here are our latest benchmarks showing the current state of the AMD Radeon open-source Linux graphics driver performance relative to NVIDIA's long-standing and high-performance but proprietary driver using several different graphics cards. Read more

AMD And CTS Labs: A Story Of Failed Stock Manipulation

We have attempted to contact Jessica Schaefer from Bevel PR, the listed PR firm on the vulnerability disclosure website, only to be greeted by a full voicemail inbox. We attempted to contact both Bevel PR and CTS Labs by email and inquire about the relationship between CTS and Viceroy, and provided them with ample time to respond. They did not respond to our inquiry. So, let's look at Viceroy Research. According to MoneyWeb, Viceroy Research is headed by a 44-year-old British citizen and ex-social worker, John Fraser Perring, in conjunction with two 23-year-old Australian citizens, Gabriel Bernarde and Aidan Lau. I wonder which of these guys is so fast at typing. Viceroy Research was the group responsible for the uncovering of the Steinhoff accounting scandal, about which you can read more here. After successfully taking down Steinhoff, it tried to manufacture controversy around Capitec Bank, a fast-growing South African bank. This time it didn't work out so well. The Capitec stock price dropped shortly and quickly recovered when the South African reserve bank made a statement that Capitec's business is sound. Just a week ago Viceroy attempted to do the same thing with a German company called ProSieben, also with mixed success, and in alleged breach of German securities laws, according to BaFin (similar to the SEC). Now, it appears it is going after AMD, though it looks to be another unsuccessful attack. Investor Takeaway After the announcement of this news, AMD stock generally traded sideways with slight downward movement, not uncommon for AMD in general. Hopefully this article showed you that CTS's report is largely nonsense and a fabrication with perhaps a small kernel of truth hidden somewhere in the middle. If the vulnerabilities are confirmed by AMD, they are likely to be easily fixed by software patches. If you are long AMD, stay long. If you are looking for an entry point, this might be a good opportunity to use this fake news to your advantage. AMD is a company with a bright future if it continues to execute well, and we see it hitting $20 per share by the end of 2018. Read more

Canonical Officially Announces Mozilla's Firefox as a Snap App for Ubuntu Linux

The Firefox Snap package appears to be maintained by Mozilla, which allows Linux users to test drive the latest features of their Quantum browser on multiple GNU/Linux distributions that support Canonical's Snappy universal binary format. Developed by Canonical, the Snap universal application packaging format for Linux lets Linux users enjoy the most recent release of a software product as soon as it's released upstream. It's secure by design and works natively on multiple popular Linux OSes. Read more