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OSS

On FOSS in Canada and the UK

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OSS
  • Shame On My Country, Canada…

    I’m proud of Canada. It’a vital place and home of several generations of my family. One can still afford health care here, get a good education for a reasonable price, grow your own food or hunt/gather it, get plenty of clean water and fresh air, live in mountains, planes, deserts and forests, whatever you choose. However, when it comes to government spending money foolishly on non-Free software that the world can and does provide at cost as Free/Libre Open Source Software, Canada is as backwards as governments in Africa and the Middle East.

  • Don't write off Jeremy Corbyn's Digital Democracy Manifesto - here's why it's a lofty bill of ideas [Ed: Microsoft trying to sneak itself in there as well]

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn this week unveiled a ‘Digital Democracy Manifesto’ that was widely derided in the British media – but there are some ideas within it that, though unfortunately dressed in clunky jargon, are more radical and far-reaching than they are being given credit for.

    [...]

    Jeremy Corbyn’s call for platform cooperatives is an idea that has also been put forward by British Computer Society fellow, Microsoft UK CTO, and former NHS IT director Jerry Fishenden on our sister site CIO. Simply put, the ‘platform cooperative’ is the idea of turning sharing economy apps on their head as the basis for a software platform of mutual aid and cooperation but outside of private profit.

Linux/FOSS Events

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OSS
  • FUDCon Phnom Penh: Call for Papers

    FUDCon is the Fedora Users and Developers Conference, a major free software event held in various regions around the world, usually annually per region. FUDCon is a combination of sessions, talks, workshops, and hackfests in which project participants can work on specific initiatives. FUDCon is always free to attend for anyone. For 2016, the FUDCon for the APAC region will be in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It will be held at Norton University (NU) Phnom Penh from 04. to 06. November 2016. The event happens synchronized with the BarCamp Phnom Penh/ASEAN, the biggest technology-oriented event in Cambodia and one of the biggest in the region with 4,000 registered visitors.

  • QtCon FInished First Day of 13 Tracks of Talks

    David Faure is one of the longest-standing developers of KDE software. Today he wanted to give some history of KDE development as it was done back in KDE 1 days, to see how that links to current community practices. The K in KDE stood for Kool before that was dropped, but who knew the Q in Qt stood for Quasar before that was transformed into Cute. He spoke of the original kfm code which Martin Graesslin said still remained in KWin to support Konqueror as a desktop window. Today it was decided this code could now be removed!

  • Video: KVM Forum 2016 - Painless Switch to KVM
  • Video: KVM Forum 2016 - KVM Status Report

How open source technologies are transforming the BBC

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OSS

The BBC Archive contains material dating the back to the 1880s, preceding the formation of the Corporation itself.

Created in recognition of the intellectual and cultural value in BBC public service programming, it preserves the BBC’s content as a cultural record and for the benefit of future generations.

The UK government recently set out a proposal for increased archive access, agreeing with BBC that the Archive represents a valuable resource for the general public and academia.

The BBC Rewind project was born of a converged editorial and engineering team originating at BBC Northern Ireland, liberating archived content for public access prototypes and continued use in production. It also focuses on using smart data management technologies to improve the way the Archive can be searched and content discovered.

Read more

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS

Linux/FOSS Events

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Linux
OSS
  • Burgers 2016

    Me and Ana travelled to Cambridge last weekend for the Debian UK BBQ. We travelled by train and it was a rather scenic journey. In the past, on long journeys, I’ve used APRS-IS to beacon my location and plot my route but I have recently obtained the GPS module for my Yaesu VX-8DE and I thought I’d give some real RF APRS a go this time.

  • Arrival at FSFE Summit and QtCon 2016, Berlin

    The FSFE Summit and QtCon 2016 are getting under way at bcc, Berlin. The event comprises a range of communities, including KDE and VideoLAN and there are also a wide range of people present who are active in other projects, including Debian, Mozilla, GSoC and many more.

  • Coherent Accelerators, FPGAs, and PLD Microconference Accepted into LPC 2016

    It has been more than a decade since CPU core clock frequencies stopped doubling every 18 months, which has shifted the search for performance from the “hardware free lunch” to concurrency and, more recently, hardware accelerators. Beyond accelerating computational offload, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and programmable logic devices (PLDs) have long been used in the embedded space to provide ways to offload I/O or to implement timing-sensitive algorithms as close as possible to the pin.

    Regardless of how they are used, however, there exists a common class of problems which accompany the use of FPGAs, accelerators, and PLDs on Linux. Perhaps most important are the probing, discovery, and enumeration of these devices, which can be a challenge given the wide variety of interconnects to which they may be attached.

OSS Leftovers

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What Are Open Source Products?

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A lot has been written recently about open source products and services, namely the former doesn’t really exist and the latter is the exclusive way forward. As a self-proclaimed open source product expert, I have opinions and would like to share them. Firstly, the blending of enterprise software and services long predated the emergence of open source. And secondly, open source is a development model, not a business model, and it has very little actual impact on the ultimate delivery of products and services.

Read more

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Build vs. buy equation changes, as open source big data tools surge

    Build vs. buy is a decision that has long been intrinsic to the mission of the IT leader. In the age of big data and open source software tooling, the familiar dilemma has taken a different tone, according to reporters speaking in the latest edition of the Talking Data podcast.

    Important elements in making build vs. buy decisions are the total cost of ownership of software over time, the competitive benefit to be gained by adding new features quickly and the skill sets available within the organization for any given new technology initiative.

  • On complexity in big data

    What’s the scale we’re using here? What makes big data and NoSQL more complex than cloud or mobile?

  • Building a classroom around interactive code
  • Get started with Dr. Geo for geometry

    Dr. Geo II is an open source application that allows users to explore geometry first-hand. Its target audience is school-age children. As school is now in session for many kids, here's a brief tutorial on how to get started with Dr. Geo II.

  • iXsystems' FreeNAS 10 Beta Available Now
  • Defense Department needs to embrace open source or military will lose tech superiority
  • Nice: NASA Opens Up Its Research Online For Free

    Every once in a while, we get some good news out of a government agency. Based on a 2013 directive from the White House, NASA had finally announced early this year that it would be following the NIH model and making its publicly funded research available for free online. With the only caveat being a restriction on research that relates to national security, NASA has made good on plans to publish the rest of this research on Pubspace, its new publicly-facing portal for sharing this research.

Containers and Forks

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Server
OSS
  • A Docker Fork: Talk of a Split Is Now on the Table

    Discussions about a split from Docker are now underway among several Docker ecosystem vendors and end users. Expressing frustration of Docker’s management of Docker Engine, the technologists with the companies are exploring ways to address various issues around supporting enterprise Docker deployments.

  • Forking Docker will lead to more fragmentation

    If you have been keeping up with Docker lately, you may have come across my blog post about the sad state of Docker. In this post, I go over how the 1.12 release appeared interesting from all the marketing announcements and the constant copying and pasting of the same Docker content into blogs over the world. However, many others and I expressed our opinions on Hacker News on how Docker failed to deliver a quality product and how they failed to create a quality release. The New Stack then summarized all of the weekend discussions going on in a new blog post and discussed that a fork of Docker may arise. Is a fork really the best answer? Let’s take a look.

    The nice thing about open source software is that anyone can take the software and modify it as needed or even create their own version of the software for redistribution. Software repositories like GitHub make it really easy for developers to fork a project and begin making their own changes and improvements. A recent example was the fork of OwnCloud into NextCloud. My problem with forking is that it leads to fragmentation. I personally like one or two ways of doing something well versus many different ways to partially achieve the same goal.

  • Why the container community is wrong to whine about Docker

    The Docker inmates want to run the asylum, as Red Hat's Daniel Riek makes clear. So much so, in fact, that there are rumblings of a Docker fork. Companies like Red Hat see their future in containers and worry about being forced into second-class citizenship, while operations vendors like VMware worry about the entire fabric of their virtualization businesses being ripped to shreds.

  • Memory Issues with Linux Control Groups Might Affect Containerized Applications

    The paper authors suggest several workarounds for these problems, including pre-touching the memory, which involves ensuring that the memory is allocated when the process starts, rather than on demand. The exact methods of doing this vary across platforms. Another option is to better assess the memory footprint of an application so that allocation can be done more accurately. The page cache usage is not easy to estimate, but the anonymous memory can be estimated easily. The anonymous memory can be estimated from system metrics like the Resident Set Size (RSS).

  • Docker usage rises, but high portability pointless for most

    The adoption of Docker -- and containers in general -- within AWS environments continues to rapidly increase. However, reports show that abandonment rates align with adoption rates, which is interesting for those looking at Docker's potential.

    Docker usage has quintupled in a single year -- following the patter of most-hyped technologies, according to a recent study by Datadog, a monitoring and analytics platform. But this raises some questions: Can this growth be sustained? And, if so, what will be the likely patterns of adoption?

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More in Tux Machines

Proxmox VE 4.3 released

Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today announced the general availability of Proxmox Virtual Environment 4.3. The hyper-converged open source server virtualization solution enables users to create and manage LXC containers and KVM virtual machines on the same host, and makes it easy to set up highly available clusters as well as to manage network and storage via an integrated web-based management interface. The new version of Proxmox VE 4.3 comes with a completely new comprehensive reference documentation. The new docu framework allows a global as well as contextual help function. Proxmox users can access and download the technical documentation via the central help-button (available in various formats like html, pdf and epub). A main asset of the new documentation is that it is always version specific to the current user’s software version. Opposed to the global help, the contextual help-button shows the user the documentation part he currently needs. Read more

Games for GNU/Linux

Security News

  • Tuesday's security updates
  • New Open Source Linux Ransomware Divides Infosec Community
    Following our investigation into this matter, and seeing the vitriol-filled reaction from some people in the infosec community, Zaitsev has told Softpedia that he decided to remove the project from GitHub, shortly after this article's publication. The original, unedited article is below.
  • Fax machines' custom Linux allows dial-up hack
    Party like it's 1999, phreakers: a bug in Epson multifunction printer firmware creates a vector to networks that don't have their own Internet connection. The exploit requirements are that an attacker can trick the victim into installing malicious firmware, and that the victim is using the device's fax line. The firmware is custom Linux, giving the printers a familiar networking environment for bad actors looking to exploit the fax line as an attack vector. Once they're in that ancient environment, it's possible to then move onto the network to which the the printer's connected. Yves-Noel Weweler, Ralf Spenneberg and Hendrik Schwartke of Open Source Training in Germany discovered the bug, which occurs because Epson WorkForce multifunction printers don't demand signed firmware images.
  • Google just saved the journalist who was hit by a 'record' cyberattack
    Google just stepped in with its massive server infrastructure to run interference for journalist Brian Krebs. Last week, Krebs' site, Krebs On Security, was hit by a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took it offline, the likes of which was a "record" that was nearly double the traffic his host Akamai had previously seen in cyberattacks. Now just days later, Krebs is back online behind the protection of Google, which offers a little-known program called Project Shield to help protect independent journalists and activists' websites from censorship. And in the case of Krebs, the DDoS attack was certainly that: The attempt to take his site down was in response to his recent reporting on a website called vDOS, a service allegedly created by two Israeli men that would carry out cyberattacks on behalf of paying customers.
  • Krebs DDoS aftermath: industry in shock at size, depth and complexity of attack
    “This attack didn’t stop, it came in wave after wave, hundreds of millions of packets per second,” says Josh Shaul, Akamai’s vice president of product management, when Techworld spoke to him. “This was different from anything we’ve ever seen before in our history of DDoS attacks. They hit our systems pretty hard.” Clearly still a bit stunned, Shaul describes the Krebs DDoS as unprecedented. Unlike previous large DDoS attacks such as the infamous one carried out on cyber-campaign group Spamhaus in 2013, this one did not use fancy amplification or reflection to muster its traffic. It was straight packet assault from the old school.
  • iOS 10 makes it easier to crack iPhone back-ups, says security firm
    INSECURITY FIRM Elcomsoft has measured the security of iOS 10 and found that the software is easier to hack than ever before. Elcomsoft is not doing Apple any favours here. The fruity firm has just launched the iPhone 7, which has as many problems as it has good things. Of course, there are no circumstances when vulnerable software is a good thing, but when you have just launched that version of the software, it is really bad timing. Don't hate the player, though, as this is what Elcomsoft, and what Apple, are supposed to be doing right. "We discovered a major security flaw in the iOS 10 back-up protection mechanism. This security flaw allowed us to develop a new attack that is able to bypass certain security checks when enumerating passwords protecting local (iTunes) back-ups made by iOS 10 devices," said Elcomsoft's Oleg Afonin in a blog post.
  • After Tesla: why cybersecurity is central to the car industry's future
    The news that a Tesla car was hacked from 12 miles away tells us that the explosive growth in automotive connectivity may be rapidly outpacing automotive security. This story is illustrative of two persistent problems afflicting many connected industries: the continuing proliferation of vulnerabilities in new software, and the misguided view that cybersecurity is separate from concept, design, engineering and production. This leads to a ‘fire brigade approach’ to cybersecurity where security is not baked in at the design stage for either hardware or software but added in after vulnerabilities are discovered by cybersecurity specialists once the product is already on the market.

Ofcom blesses Linux-powered, open source DIY radio ‘revolution’

Small scale DAB radio was (quite literally) conceived in an Ofcom engineer’s garden shed in Brighton, on a Raspberry Pi, running a full open source stack, in his spare time. Four years later, Ofcom has given the thumbs up to small scale DAB after concluding that trials in 10 UK cities were judged to be a hit. We gave you an exclusive glimpse into the trials last year, where you could compare the specialised proprietary encoders with the Raspberry Pi-powered encoders. “We believe that there is a significant level of demand from smaller radio stations for small scale DAB, and that a wider roll-out of additional small scale services into more geographic areas would be both technically possible and commercially sustainable,” notes Ofcom. Read more