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OSS

Security scandal around WhatsApp shows the need for decentralised messengers and digital sovereignty

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OSS
Security

The recent security scandal around WhatsApp and access to the content of private groups shows that there is an urgent need for action with regard to secure communication.
Links to private chat groups in the proprietary WhatsApp messenger can be used to show the communication and private data of group members, even if you are not a member. The links could be found on various search engines. Even if they are removed from search results, links still work and give access to private group communication. Among these groups are also administrations like civil servants of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance. This case shows again that digital sovereignty is crucial for states and administrations. The security breach was first reported by Deutsche Welle.

In order to establish trustworthy and secure communication, governments need to strengthen interoperable Free Software solutions using Open Standards and enable decentralisation. This helps administrations as well as individuals to protect their privacy and empowers them to have control of the technology they use. The software is already in place and was used by most of the internet users before Google and Facebook joined the market: XMPP! This open protocol, also known as Jabber, has been developed by the Free Software community since 1999. Thanks to Open Standards it is possible to communicate with people who use a completely different client software and XMPP server. You are even able to communicate with other services like ICQ or AIM - some might remember. XMPP has also been used by tech enterprises like Facebook and Google for their chat systems, but both eventually switched to isolated proprietary solutions, so XMPP has been forgotten by many users.

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10 Best Free Linux Speech Recognition Tools – Open Source Software

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Linux
OSS

Speech is an increasingly popular method of interacting with electronic devices such as computers, phones, tablets, and televisions. Speech is probabilistic, and speech engines are never 100% accurate. But technological advances have meant speech recognition engines offer better accuracy in understanding speech. The better the accuracy, the more likely customers will engage with this method of control. And, according to a study by Stanford University, the University of Washington and Chinese search giant Baidu, smartphone speech is three times quicker than typing a search query into a screen interface.

The speech recognition market is estimated to be worth about $10 billion a year in the next four years. Witness the rise of intelligent personal assistants, such as Siri for Apple, Cortana for Microsoft, and Mycroft for Linux. The assistants use voice queries and a natural language user interface to attempt to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions without the requirement of keyboard input. And the popularity of speech to control devices is testament to dedicated products that have dropped in large quantities such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod. Speech recognition is also used in smart watches, household appliances, and in-car assistants. In-car applications have lots of mileage (excuse the pun). Some of the in-car applications include navigation, asking for weather forecasts, finding out the traffic situation ahead, and controlling elements of the car, such as the sunroof, windows, and music player.

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Solus Linux Creator Ikey Doherty Enters the Game Dev Business With a New Open Source Game Engine

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OS
Interviews
OSS
Gaming

You are here: Home / Games / Solus Linux Creator Ikey Doherty Enters the Game Dev Business With a New Open Source Game Engine
Solus Linux Creator Ikey Doherty Enters the Game Dev Business With a New Open Source Game Engine
Last updated February 28, 2020 By John Paul Leave a Comment

Ikey Doherty, the creator and former lead dev of Solus, is back with a new project. His new company, Lispy Snake, Ltd, uses open source technology to create games, with a focus on Linux support.

I asked Ikey some questions about his new project. Here are his answers.

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4 technologists on careers in tech for minorities

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OSS

In honor of Black History Month, I've garnered the opinions of a few of my favorite technology professionals and open source contributors. These four individuals are paving the way for the next generation alongside the work they're doing in the technology industry. Learn what Black History Month means to them, what influences their career, resources for minorities wanting to break into tech, and more.

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Events: Linux Security Summit, SUSECON, Canonical and Ubuntu

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OSS
  • Linux Security Summit North America 2020: CFP and Registration

    Note that the conference this year has moved from August to June (24-26). The location is Austin, TX, and we are co-located with the Open Source Summit as usual.

    We’ll be holding a 3-day event again, after the success of last year’s expansion, which provides time for tutorials and ad-hoc break out sessions. Please note that if you intend to submit a tutorial, you should be a core developer of the project or otherwise recognized leader in the field, per this guidance from the CFP...

  • Learn about Fulfilling Your Organization’s Business Needs at SUSECON 2020!

    SUSECON 2020 is a unique opportunity to educate yourself about all the most important developments in enterprise open source technology, in one location, during more than 160 sessions, over five days. Register now – you don’t want to miss this opportunity!

  • Prepare for the Future With Roadmap Presentations at SUSECON 2020

    SUSECON 2020 is one of the best opportunities of the year to immerse yourself in SUSE technologies and get answers your questions about open source and SUSE solutions. This is the one time each year that we bring all our technology superstars together to talk about the future. Click here to register – you don’t want to miss it!
    By attending SUSECON 2020, you will have the opportunity to learn about forthcoming SUSE solutions to help your organization accomplish its business goals.

  • Canonical at the 9th OSM Hackfest, Madrid

    To all telecommunications service providers, global system integrators, research institutions, OSM community members and innovators all over the world: heads-up! The 9th OSM Hackfest starts in two weeks and Canonical as always will be there. We will lead hackfest sessions, answer any questions you may have and help drive the evolution of the OSM project. The event will be hosted by Telefonica in Madrid, Spain from 9th to 13th of March.

    NOTE: seats are limited, so don’t wait for any longer and register today.

    OSM (open source MANO) is an open-source project that enables telcos with MANO (management and orchestration) capabilities for VNFs (virtual network functions). It is hosted by ETSI and supported by 14 global telecommunications service providers with 137 organisations involved in total. Starting from release SEVEN, OSM now supports the possibility of deploying CNF (container network function) workloads on Kubernetes.

  • BSides SF 2020 CTF: Infrastructure Engineering and Lessons Learned

    Last weekend, I had the pleasure of running the BSides San Francisco CTF along with friends and co-conspirators c0rg1, symmetric and iagox86. This is something like the 4th or 5th year in a row that I’ve been involved in this, and every year, we try to do a better job than the year before, but we also try to do new things and push the boundaries. I’m going to review some of the infrastructure we used, challenges we faced, and lessons we learned for next year.

Purges in Free Software

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OSS
  • What is a safe space?

    When foreign people come along with a different, but no less valid, Code of Conduct, zealots start screaming out for the comfort of their safe space. That is how we get the hysteria that precipitated the Hanau shooting and the lynching of Polish workers in the UK in the name of Brexit.

    The Third Reich may have been the ultimate example of the search for a safe space: a safe space for the white Aryan race. Nazis really believed they were creating a safe space. Germans allowed the Nazis to rule, in the belief that they were supporting a safe space.

    The golden rule of a safe space is that it is only safe for some. As George Orwell puts it, All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    Tolerance and safe spaces are mutually exclusive.

  • The right to be rude

    The historian Robert Conquest once wrote: “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.”

    Today I learned that the Open Source Initiative has reached that point of bureaucratization. I was kicked off their lists for being too rhetorically
    forceful in opposing certain recent attempts to subvert OSD clauses 5 and 6. This despite the fact that I had vocal support from multiple list members who thanked me for being willing to speak out.

    It shouldn’t be news to anyone that there is an effort afoot to change – I would say corrupt – the fundamental premises of the open souce culture. Instead of meritocracy and “show me the code”, we are now urged tpo behave so that no-one will ever feel uncomfortable.

    The effect – the intended effect, I should say, is to diminish the prestige and autonomy of people who do the work – write the code – in favor of self-appointed tone-policers. In the process, the freedom to speak necessary truths even when the manner in which they are expressed is unpleasant is being gradually strangled.

    And that is bad for us. Very bad. Both directly – it damages our self-correction process – and in its second-order effects. The habit of institutional tone policing, even when well-intentioned, too easily slides into the active censorship of disfavored views.

Panfrost Open-Source Driver Gets Initial OpenGL ES 3.0 Support

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OSS

This comes as great news for Linux users, especially gamers. While many 3D apps and games have basic OpenGL ES 2.0 support, for advanced rendering tasks the newer OpenGL ES 3.0 is required, and Panfrost now supports it.

As expected, OpenGL ES 3.0 is by far more powerful than its predecessor, adding new features like to 3D textures, instanced rendering, multiple render targets on Mali T760 GPUs and higher, primitive restart, as well as uniform buffer objects.

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Also: Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Adds Experimental OpenGL ES 3.0 For Open-Source Arm Mali

No More WhatsApp! The EU Commission Switches To ‘Signal’ For Internal Communication

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OSS
Security

In a move to improve the cyber-security, EU has recommended its staff to use open source secure messaging app Signal instead of the popular apps like WhatsApp.

Signal is an open source secure messaging application with end to end encryption. It is praised by the likes of Edward Snowden and other privacy activists, journalists and researchers. We’ve recently covered it in our ‘open source app of the week‘ series.

Signal is in news for good reasons. The European Union Commissions have instructed its staff to use Signal for public instant messaging.

This is part of EU”s new cybersecurity strategy. There has been cases of data leaks and hacking against EU diplomats and thus policy is being put in place to encourage better security practices.

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7 open source Q&A platforms

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OSS

Where do you go when you have a question? Since humans began walking the earth, we've asked the people around us—our family, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, or other people we know well. Much later came libraries and bookstores offering knowledge and resources, as well as access for anyone to come in and search for the answers. When the home computer became common, these knowledge bases extended to electronic encyclopedias shipped on floppy disks or CD-ROMs. Then, when the internet age arrived, these knowledge bases migrated online to the likes of Wikipedia, and search engines like Google were born with the purpose of making it easy for people to search for answers to their questions. Now, sites like StackOverflow are there to answer our software questions and Quora for our general queries.

The lesson is clear, though. We all have questions, and we all want answers for them. And some of us want to help others find answers to their questions, and this is where self-hosted Q&A sites come in.

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The City of Dortmund continues its transition to open source software

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OSS

Five years after the creation of its Open Source Working Group, the City of Dortmund published several reports on the “Investigation of the potential of Free Software and Open Standards”. The reports share the city of Dortmund’s open source policy goals as well as its ambition to create an alliance of municipalities in favour of open source software.

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