Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish


Newly-liberated software

Filed under
  • CoursePad to Become Open Source

    Cornell’s most popular course scheduling website,, became an open source platform on Github last Thursday after enjoying two years of popularity among students, according to Jingsi Zhu ’16, the website’s sole developer.

    Zhu explained that he chose to open source his website — or make its code freely available for modification and redistribution — after he graduated last semester and realized that he would need to devote more time to his work than to CoursePad.

  • Yahoo open sources its NSFW-detecting neural network

    Yahoo has open-sourced its NSFW (not suitable/safe for work) detecting neural network, allowing developers to work towards improving the algorithm. Jay Mahadeokar and Gerry Pesavento of Yahoo explained in a blogpost that defining NSFW material on Internet is subjective and identifying such images is non-trivial. “Since images and user-generated content dominate the Internet today, filtering NSFW images becomes an essential component of Web and mobile applications,” they said.

Leftovers: OSS

Filed under

​ For lessons on digital swaraj, Gandhi is an open source

Filed under

Gandhi engaged with the copyright law to subvert the economics he disagreed with, and to infuse it with values close to his heart, wrote a US law professor in a 2013 paper titled ‘Gandhi and Copyright Pragmatism’. “Toward the later part of his life, he also came to deploy copyright law to curtail market-based exploitation when he could. In many ways then, Gandhi’s approach did with copyright law what open source licensing and the Creative Commons Project would begin doing with copyright in the 21st century,” wrote Shyamkrishna Balganesh of University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Now, consider the life and work of Richard M Stallman (callsign RMS in the geek-verse). A champion of the movement for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), he is more commonly known as the pioneer of ‘Copyleft’. “If you want to accomplish something in the world,” says his Wikiquote page, “idealism is not enough — you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal. In other words, you need to be pragmatic.” RMS was among the first to call for a free online encyclopaedia. Wikipedia, no surprise, is governed by Creative Commons licensing.

Read more

Trainline creates open source platform to help developers deploy apps and environments in AWS

Filed under

Leftovers: OSS

Filed under
  • Asterisk 14 Improves Open-Source VoIP

    Digium, the lead commercial sponsor behind the Asterisk open source PBX project announced the release Asterisk 14 this week, continuing to evolve the decade old effort, making it easier to use and deploy.

  • Yahoo open-sources a deep learning model for classifying pornographic images

    Yahoo today announced its latest open-source release: a model that can figure out if images are specifically pornographic in nature.

    The system uses a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning, which involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data (like dirty images) and getting them to make inferences about new data. The model that’s now available on GitHub under a BSD 2-Clause license comes pre-trained, so users only have to fine-tune it if they so choose. The model works with the widely used Caffe open source deep learning framework. The team trained the model using its now open source CaffeOnSpark system.

    The new model could be interesting to look at for developers maintaining applications like Instagram and Pinterest that are keen to minimize smut. Search engine operators like Google and Microsoft might also want to check out what’s under the hood here.

    “To the best of our knowledge, there is no open source model or algorithm for identifying NSFW images,” Yahoo research engineer Jay Mahadeokar and senior director of product management Gerry Pesavento wrote in a blog post.

  • Cloudera, Hortonworks, and Uber to Keynote at Apache Big Data and ApacheCon Europe
  • Vendors Pile on Big Data News at Strata

    Cloudera, Pentaho and Alation are among vendors making Big Data announcements at this week's Strata event.

    Vendors big and small are making news at this week's Strata + Hadoop event as they try to expand their portion of the Big Data market.

    Cloudera highlighted a trio of Apache Software Foundation (ASF) projects to which it contributes. Among them is Spark 2.0, which benefits from a new Dataset API that offers the promise of better usability and performance as well as new machine learning libraries.

  • New alliances focus on open-source, data science empowerment

    How can data science make a true market impact? Partnerships, particularly amongst open source communities. As IBM solidifies its enterprise strategies around data demands, two new partnerships emerge: one with Continuum Analytics, Inc., advancing open-source analytics for the enterprise; and another with Galvanize, initiating a Data Science for Executives program.

    Continuum Analytics, the creator and driving force behind Anaconda — a leading open data science platform powered by Python — has allied with IBM to advance open-source analytics for the enterprise. Data scientists and data engineers in open-source communities can now embrace Python and R to develop analytic and machine learning models in the Spark environment through its integration with IBM’s DataWorks Project.

    The new agreement between IBM and Galvanize, which provides a dynamic learning community for technology, will offer an assessment, analysis and training element for Galvanize’s Data Science for Executives program. This program empowers corporations to better understand, use and maximize the value of their data. The program will support IBM’s DataFirst Method, a methodology that IBM says provides the strategy, expertise and game plan to help ensure enterprise customers’ succeed on their journey to become a data-driven business.

  • Apache Spot: open source big data analytics for cyber
  • Chinese open source blockchain startup Antshares raises $4.5M through crowdsourcing [Ed: Microsoft-connected]
  • August and September 2016: photos from Pittsburgh and Fresno
  • Libre Learn Lab: a summit on freely licensed resources for education

    Libre Learn Lab is a two-day summit for people who create, use and implement freely licensed resources for K-12 education, bringing together educators, policy experts, software developers, hardware hackers, and activists to share best practices and address the challenges of widespread adoption of these resources in education. The 2nd biennial conference is Saturday, October 8th, and Sunday, October 9th, at the MIT Tang Center.

    The keynote addresses will be delivered by the FSF’s own Richard M. Stallman, former Chief Open Education Advisor Andrew Marcinek and founder of HacKIDemia Stefania Druga. At the event, there will be a special tribute to Dr. Seymour Papert (the father of educational computing) by Dr. Cynthia Solomon.

Purism’s next product could be a smartphone that runs Linux/free software

Filed under

Purism is a company that’s been developing laptops and tablets that run Linux-based, free and open source software for a few years.

Now Purism is considering building a smartphone and the company is soliciting feedback from potential customers.

The idea would be to release a Librem Phone that runs GNU/Linux rather than Android, and which offers security and privacy features to help set it apart from most other phones on the market.

Read more

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
  • Tools for writing the next best seller

    I am using bibisco in conjunction with LibreOffice on my Ubuntu 16.04 Asus laptop that I converted over from Windows 7 to develop my characters, scenes, and plot. I tried Manuskript, but find that I like bibisco better, although the results are similar. For one, it gives helpful prompts.

  • GNOME Calendar App to Feature a New Sidebar, Week View & Attendees in GNOME 3.24

    GNOME developer Georges Stavracas wrote an in-depth blog post the other day to inform the GNOME, Linux, and Open Source communities about the upcoming improvements and new features coming to the GNOME Calendar apps.

    Now that some of us are already enjoying the recently released GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, the GNOME developers are hard at work to improve the GNOME apps and core components by either adding new exciting features and technologies or improving existing ones.

  • PHP version 5.6.27RC1 and 7.0.12RC1
  • Kubernetes Arrives in New Flavors

    Kubernetes has taken center stage in recent days, and, as we’ve been noting in recent posts, the open source container cluster manager is heading in new directions. Google has just announced the release of Kubernetes 1.4, which makes the tool much easier to install.

    Meanwhile, Canonical has now launched its own distribution of Kubernetes, with enterprise support, across a range of public clouds and private infrastructure. It's Kubernetes at the core, but features a number of extra bells and whistles.

  • 2016 Women in Open Source Award Winners

    We hope you enjoy and are inspired by this short video celebrating Preeti Murthy and Jessica McKellar, the winners of this year’s Red Hat Women in Open Source Awards.

  • Tech, talent and tools: The secret to monetizing open-source

    “In California during the gold rush, you didn’t make money digging for gold; you made money selling shovels,” said Mehta. A fitting metaphor for the idea that investing in talent and tools, especially tools, is how to turn a profit. The actual data, databases, algorithms and so on would be open source. Money would come from the tools to use that technology to benefit specific areas, such as automation of healthcare.

    And healthcare is a good place to start. “Big Data is all about making life cheaper, better. … If we forget about how to solve problems for humans, we’ve lost. We want to be known for enriching life,” said Mehta.

  • Changing the way we design for the web

    On the one hand, open source should mean lower cost of entry for people from poorer communities (like me, growing up). But on the other, I feel it is hard to contribute when under- or unemployed. I had a grant to work on the Web Animations API documentation, but I can't do as much as I'd like with other animation features (motion paths, advanced timing functions) because I need to spend a lot of time working on my own business, getting paid.

    Essentially this leads to an awkward model where the only contributors are employed programmers—and when it comes to open source animation or design APIs, platforms, etc, this lack of user input really starts to show. Or, the only products with thriving open source development teams are those that have financially lucrative futures, turning the open source software (OSS) model into a capitalist one.

  • Leaders in Data Management and Open Source Innovation to Gather for Postgres Vision 2016
  • CloudReady by neverware

    I thought I would put together a quick “installation” review of a product called CloudReady by neverware. What is CloudReady? CloudReady is basically a project to bring Chromium OS to those who would like to convert traditional laptops into Chromebook-like devices. I stumbled on them several months ago and finally decided to see how hard it was to install Chromium OS and how functional it actually was as a Chromebook-like device. I have a few low end (netbook-like) devices and I have been trying to figure out how I could make them functional for my boys, I thought this might be the solution.

  • Mozilla tells Firefox OS devs to fork off if they want to chase open web apps vision

    The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox development team has decided enough is enough and will stop supporting Windows XP and Vista in March 2017 and also bin Firefox OS.

    The OS first. In this post Mozillans Ari Jaaksi and David Bryant, respectively the head of connected devices and veep for platform engineering, write that “By the end of 2015 Mozilla leadership had come to the conclusion that our then Firefox OS initiative of shipping phones with commercial partners would not bring Mozilla the returns we sought.”

    That decision means that “as of the end of July 2016 have stopped all commercial development on Firefox OS.”

  • Cloudera Delivers Release Built on Apache Spark 2.0, and Advances Kudu

    Cloudera, focused on Apache Hadoop and other open source technologies,has announced its release built on the Apache Spark 2.0 (Beta), with enhancements to the API experience, performance improvements, and enhanced machine learning capabilities.

    The company is also working with the community to continue developing Apache Kudu 1.0, recently released by the Apache Software Foundation, which we covered here. Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. Taken together, Cloudera's new tools are giving it more diverse kinds of presence on the Big Data scene.

    Cloudera claims it was the first Hadoop big data analytics vendor to deliver a commercially supported version of Spark, and has participated actively in the open source community to enhance Spark for the enterprise through its One Platform Initiative. "With Spark 2.0, organizations are better able to take advantage of streaming data, develop richer machine learning models, and deploy them in real time, enabling more workloads to go into production," the company reports.

  • Cloudera Delivers Enterprise-Grade Real-Time Streaming and Machine Learning with Apache Spark 2.0 and Drives Community Innovation with Apache Kudu 1.0
  • INSIDE Secure and Marvell Deliver Open Source Open Data Plane Security VPN Solution [Ed: “open source Open Data Plane (ODP) security API” sounds like nonsensical openwashing]

    INSIDE Secure (Paris:INSD), at the heart of security solutions for mobile and connected devices and network equipment, today announced the Marvell-INSIDE Secure solution, a collaboration that provides open source Open Data Plane (ODP) security API support on Marvell’s ARMADA® 8K and ARMADA 7K System-on-Chip (SoC) families with embedded INSIDE Secure Security Protocol Accelerator IP technology. The Marvell-INSIDE Secure solution provides customers with an easy and efficient way to secure their high-speed networking applications with access to all of the ARM ecosystem’s software support.

  • GE, Bosch Combine Resources to Bolster IoT
  • OpenBSD 6.0 Limited Edition CD set (signed by developers)

    Five OpenBSD 6.0 CD-ROM copies were signed by 40 developers during the g2k16 Hackathon in Cambridge, UK.

    Those copies are being auctioned sequentially on ebay.

    All proceeds will be donated to the OpenBSD Foundation to support and further the development of free software based on the OpenBSD operating system.

  • Friday Working together for Free Software Directory IRC meetup: September 30th
  • Machine Learning with Python

    I first heard the term “machine learning” a few years ago, and to be honest, I basically ignored it that time. I knew that it was a powerful technique, and I knew that it was in vogue, but I didn’t know what it really was— what problems it was designed to solve, how it solved them and how it related to the other sorts of issues I was working on in my professional (consulting) life and in my graduate-school research.

    But in the past few years, machine learning has become a topic that most will avoid at their professional peril. Despite the scary-sounding name, the ideas behind machine learning aren’t that difficult to understand. Moreover, a great deal of open-source software makes it possible for anyone to use machine learning in their own work or research. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that machine learning already is having a huge impact on the computer industry and on our day-to-day lives.

Linaro beams LITE at Internet of Things devices

Filed under

Linaro launched a “Linaro IoT and Embedded” (LITE) group, to develop end-to-end open source reference software for IoT devices and applications.

Linaro, which is owned by ARM and major ARM licensees, and which develops open source software for ARM devices, launched a Linaro IoT and Embedded (LITE) Segment Group at this week’s Linaro Connect event in Las Vegas. The objective of the LITE initiative is to produce “end to end open source reference software for more secure connected products, ranging from sensors and connected controllers to smart devices and gateways, for the industrial and consumer markets,” says Linaro.

Read more


  • Linaro organisation, with ARM, aims for end-end open source IoT code

    With the objective of producing reference software for more secure connected products, ranging from sensors and connected controllers to smart devices and gateways, for the industrial and consumer markets, Linaro has announced LITE: Collaborative Software Engineering for the Internet of Things (IoT).

    Linaro and the LITE members will work to reduce fragmentation in operating systems, middleware and cloud connectivity solutions, and will deliver open source device reference platforms to enable faster time to market, improved security and lower maintenance costs for connected products. Industry interoperability of diverse, connected and secure IoT devices is a critical need to deliver on the promise of the IoT market, the organisation says. “Today, product vendors are faced with a proliferation of choices for IoT device operating systems, security infrastructure, identification, communication, device management and cloud interfaces.”

  • An open source approach to securing The Internet of Things
  • Addressing the IoT Security Problem

    Last week's DDOS takedown of security guru Brian Krebs' website made history on several levels. For one, it was the largest such reported attack ever, with unwanted traffic to the site hitting levels of 620 Gbps, more than double the previous record set back in 2013, and signalling that the terabyte threshold will certainly be crossed soon. It also relied primarily on compromised Internet of Things devices.

10 reasons why CIOs should consider open source software

Filed under

A recent survey shows 78 percent of companies run part or all of their operations on open source software. Indeed, open source continues to gain market traction as more companies adopt open technology to speed innovation, disrupt industries and improve overall productivity.

Those who remain hesitant about adopting open source are in danger of being left behind. Because open source architecture lends itself to more frequent updates, and because of the openness, open source provides the freedom to innovate and mature in the way that enterprises need.

Read more

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Filed under
  • Minijail: Running Untrusted Programs Safely by Jorge Lucangeli Obes, Google
  • Minijail: Google’s Tool To Safely Run Untrusted Programs

    Google’s Minijail sandboxing tool could be used by developers and sysadmins to run untrusted programs safely for debugging and security checks, according to Google Software Engineer Jorge Lucangeli Obes, who spoke last month at the Linux Security Summit. Obes is the platform security lead for Brillo, Google's Android-based operating system for Internet-connected devices.

    Minijail was designed for sandboxing on Chrome OS and Android, to handle “anything that the Linux kernels grew.” Obes shared that Google teams use it on the server side, for build farms, for fuzzing, and pretty much everywhere.

    Since “essentially one bug separates you and any random attacker,” Google wanted to create a reliable means to swiftly identify problems with privileges and exploits in app development and easily enable developers to “do the right thing.”

    The tool is designed to assist admins who struggle with deciding what permissions their software actually needs, and developers who are vexed with trying to second guess which environment the software is going to run in. In both cases, sandboxing and privilege dropping tends to be a hit or miss affair.

    Even when developers use the privilege dropping mechanisms provided by the Linux kernel, sometimes things go awry due to numerous pitfalls along that path. One common example Obes cited was trying to ride a switch user function that will drop-root and then forgetting to check the result of the situation relief, or setuid function, afterwards.

  • Intel and Cloudera Give Apache an Open Source Data/Security Tool

    For the past year, we've taken note of the many Big Data projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support.

    Recently, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. And, Apache Twill has graduated as well. Twill is an abstraction over Apache Hadoop YARN that reduces the complexity of developing distributed Hadoop applications, allowing developers to focus more on their application logic. In another Apache-related Big Data move, Cloudera and Intel have announced that they've contributed a new open-source project to the Apache Software Foundation targeted at using Big Data analytics and machine learning for cybersecurity.

  • Twitter Open Sources Stream Processing Engine Heron

    Twitter announced the open sourcing of Heron, a stream-processing engine that is a successor to Apache Storm. Heron is backwards compatible with Apache Storm, which eases its adoption amongst developers. Heron has replaced Apache Storm as the stream data processing engine inside Twitter due to its scalability, debug-ability, ability to work in a shared cluster infrastructure and better performance. A comprehensive list of features is listed in the documentation.

  • Tencent: Transforming Networks with SDN

    “SDN can really transform the way we do networks,” said Tom Bie, VP of Technology & Operation of Data Center, Networking and Server, Tencent, during his Wednesday keynote address at the Open Daylight Summit. The China telecom giant should know about the issues of massive scale networks: they have more than 200 million users for QQ instant messaging, 300 million users of their payment service, and more than 800 million users of their VChat service. Bie noted that Tencent also operates one of the largest gaming networks in the world, along with video services, audio services, online literature services, news portals, and a range other digital content services.

  • The Second Wave of Platforms, an Interview with Cloud Foundry’s Sam Ramji

    In today’s world of platforms, services are increasingly connected. In the past, PaaS offerings were pretty much isolated. It’s that new connected infrastructure that is driving the growth of Cloud Foundry, the open source, service-oriented platform technology.

    Sam Ramji is CEO of Cloud Foundry, which is holding its European event in Frankfurt this week. At the conference, we spoke with Ramji to discuss, among other topics:

  • How to Find Your First OpenStack Job
  • LibreOffice 5.2.2 Now Available to Download
  • EC approves Slovenia courts data exchange solution

    First CEF AS4-compliant b2b solution developed as open source by a public administration

    The European Commission has tested and approved Laurentius, an eDelivery court documents and case exchange solution compliant with the AS4 profile of the OASIS ebMS standard. In September, Laurentius passed all tests by the EC’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for its so-called “e-SENS AS4 conformant solutions”.

  • SDL 2.0.5 Is Readying For Release: Relative Mouse Mode For Wayland/Mir, Audio Capture

    SDL 2.0 point releases have ranged from being a few months apart to as much as two years apart. Fortunately, SDL 2.0.5 is now being put together for release just nine months after SDL 2.0.4.

    With the Mercurial repository, Sam Lantinga bumped the version in preparation for the SDL 2.0.5 release. The SDL 2.0.5 release hasn't officially happened yet, but it should be here soon.

  • Open standards default at Slovenia supreme court

    The use of open ICT standards is an IT requirement at Slovenia’s Supreme Court, responsible for the IT support of the entire court system in the country. The Supreme Court’s IT department has a strong preference for the development of modular, reusable software solutions. This strategy provides agility and flexibility, says Bojan Muršec, director of IT.

    The focus on open standards frees up the IT department to concentrate on the business, Muršec says. The IT department takes the modular approach serious: the first reusable module ever developed by the court - a court documents dispatch and delivery system - is re-used by all IT systems across the courts. “Making everything reusable prevents creation of silos in the organisation”, the IT director says.

    A positive side effect of the IT strategy is that the court uses mostly open source software solutions. This in turn helps to keep IT costs down, says the IT director, who estimates that the court saves EUR 400 to 500 thousand per year on licence fees: “The cost of proprietary licences always goes up.”

  • Why there is no CSS4 - explaining CSS Levels

    We had CSS1, and CSS2. We even had CSS2.1 and we then moved onto CSS3 – or did we? This post is a quick explanation of how CSS is versioned today.

    CSS versions 1 and 2 were monolithic specifications. All of CSS was included in one massive document. Selectors, positioning, colour – it was all in there.

    The problem with monolithic specifications is that in order to finish the spec, every component part also has to be finished. As CSS has grown in complexity, and new features are added, it doesn’t make sense to draw a line at which all work is stopped on all parts of CSS in order to declare that CSS version finished. Therefore, after CSS2.1 all the things that had been part of the 2.1 specification were broken down into modules. As the new CSS modules included all that had gone before plus any new features, they all came into being at Level 3. Hence CSS3, and people like me who understood CSS as a single specification referred to the group of Level 3 modules as “CSS3”.

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

GParted Live 0.27.0-1 Disk Partitioning Live CD Out Now, Based on GParted 0.27.0

Just one day after announcing the release of the GParted 0.27.0 open-source partition editor software, Curtis Gedak is informing us about the availability of the GParted Live 0.27.0-1 stable release. Read more

Netrunner Core 16.09 "Avalon" Is Based on Debian GNU/Linux 8, KDE Plasma 5.7.5

Today, October 23, 2016, the development team behind the Debian-based Netrunner GNU/Linux distribution proudly announced the release of Netrunner Core 16.09 "Avalon." Read more