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OSS

Mastodon 2.0

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OSS
Web

About 6 months have passed since April, during which the major mainstream breakthrough of our decentralized social network took place. From 20,000 users to almost a million! What better time to run through a couple examples of what’s been introduced since then?

Mastodon is defined by its focus on good user experience, polished design and superior anti-abuse tools. In that vein, the web app has received numerous updates. Using the latest browser features, the web app receives real push notifications, making it almost indistinguishable from a native mobile app. It works faster and looks smoother thanks to many performance and design improvements.

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Room for Improvement: Areas Where Open Source Can Get Even Better

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OSS

Open source software delivers a huge amount of value. But it stands to offer even more. Here's a list of the ways open source can evolve to meet the needs of developers and organizations even better than it does today.

Opportunities for continued evolution and improvement in open source include:

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Why it's pointless to criticize Amazon for being 'bad' at open source

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OSS

Apparently AWS is B-A-D because it's a net consumer of open source software. You know, like every single company on earth, inside or outside of tech, probably even including Red Hat. The simple truth is that everyone consumes far more open source software than they contribute. It's just how the world works.

For those trying to keep score, however, and paint Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a bad open source citizen, the question is "Why?" Accusations of open source parsimony don't seem to have damaged developers' love for AWS as a platform, so exactly what are critics hoping to accomplish? Is it simply a matter of "paying a tax," as some suggest? If we've been reduced to inventing taxes to be paid, with no apparent reason for imposing them, we're doing open source wrong.

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MongoDB's successful IPO reflects its differences with traditional open source

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OSS

MongoDB had a good first day of trading with share prices popping roughly 25% over their opening. As the latest big data platform company to IPO, Mongo's fortunes are being compared and equated to Cloudera and Hortonworks.

As upstarts, each is in a race to grow business while whittling down the red ink. Cloudera and Hortonworks are a bit further along this path as their operating losses have begun trending downward - but that happened only after those companies went public.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • FOSDEM 2018 Real-Time Communications Call for Participation
  • Top Bank, Legal and Software Industry Executives to Keynote at the Open Source Strategy Forum
  • Copyleft is Dead. Long live Copyleft!

    As you may have noticed, we recently re-licensed mgmt from the AGPL (Affero General Public License) to the regular GPL. This is a post explaining the decision and which hopefully includes some insights at the intersection of technology and legal issues.

  • Crowdsourcing the way to a more flexible strategic plan

    Trust the community. Opening a feedback platform to anyone on campus seems risky, but in hindsight I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The responses we received were very constructive; in fact, I rarely received negative and unproductive remarks. When people learned about our honest efforts at improving the community, they responded with kindness and support. By giving the community a voice—by really democratizing the effort—we achieved a surprising amount of campus-wide buy-in in a short period of time.

    Transparency is best. By keeping as many of our efforts as public as possible, we demonstrated that we were truly listening to our customers and understanding the effects of the outdated technology policies and decisions that were keeping them from doing their best work. I've always been a proponent of the idea that everyone is an agent of innovation; we just needed a tool that allowed everyone to make suggestions.

    Iterate, iterate, iterate. Crowdsourcing our first-year IT initiatives helped us create the most flexible and customer-centric plan we possibly could. The pressure to move quickly and lay down a comprehensive strategic plan is very real; however, by delaying that work and focusing on the evolving set of data flowing from our community, we were actually able to better demonstrate our commitment to our customers. That helped us build critical reputational capital, which paid off when we did eventually present a long-term strategic plan—because people already knew we could achieve results. It also helped us recruit strong allies and learn who we could trust to advance more complicated initiatives.

  • Reform is a DIY, modular, portable computer (work in progress)

    Want a fully functional laptop that works out of the box? There are plenty to choose from. Want a model that you can upgrade? That’s a bit tougher to find: some modern laptops don’t even let you replace the RAM.

    Then there’s the Reform. It’s a new DIY, modular laptop that’s designed to be easy to upgrade and modify. The CAD designs will even be available if you want to 3D print your own parts rather than buying a kit.

    You can’t buy a Reform computer yet. But developer Lukas Hartmann and designer Ana Dantes have developed a prototype and are soliciting feedback on the concept.

  • New neural network teaches itself Go, spanks the pros

    While artificial intelligence software has made huge strides recently, in many cases, it has only been automating things that humans already do well. If you want an AI to identify the Higgs boson in a spray of particles, for example, you have to train it on collisions that humans have already identified as containing a Higgs. If you want it to identify pictures of cats, you have to train it on a database of photos in which the cats have already been identified.

OSS: Open Source Initiative, Open Xchange, OpenOffice, MakerBot

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OSS
  • Open Source Initiative Welcomes Cumulus Networks As Premium Sponsor

    The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), the internationally recognized home of the open source software movement working to raise awareness and adoption of open source software, announced today the generous sponsorship of Cumulus Networks. Cumulus joins OSI's growing community of corporations that recognize the importance of not only investing in open source software projects and development, but also building a diverse ecosystem that promotes collaboration, enables innovation, and ensures quality.

    Cumulus Networks has a strong tradition of internally-driven development of original open source software, including most notably, contributions to the Linux kernel that complete the data center feature set for Linux such as Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF), MPLS, MLAG infrastructure, multicast routing features, etc. Cumulus' most recent open source effort is FRRouting, co-developed by a group of contributing companies in the open networking space, to enhance routing protocols. Cumulus Networks has also been a key driving member of the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) with contributions to the Open Compute Project, Prescriptive Topology Manager--which simplifies the deployment of large L3 networks--and ifupdown2, a rewrite of Debian's tool for configuring networks that greatly simplifies large, complicated networking configurations.

  • Let's dig into how open source could KO the Silicon Valley chat silos

    There's never been a better opportunity for the world to start untangling itself from the giant Silicon Valley data harvesters than now. Last week, we revealed a plan to embed open-source chat into three quarters of the world's IMAP servers.

    And this may be an important development. Maybe.

    Google, Yahoo!, Apple and Microsoft handle around half the world's email, some 2.5 billion users, while open-source IMAP servers handle the rest, around 2.5-3 billion. Of these the Dovecot open-source server, part of the German business Open Xchange, is installed on 75 per cent of boxes. Quietly drop IM into the mix, and you've given the world a reason to leave WhatsApp.

  • Open source, agility powering enterprise IT

    Looking back over the past decade, history has certainly demonstrated that trying to predict the pace and nature of technology development is a near impossible task, writes Quentin Barnard, lead architect at redPanda Software.
    While analysts, business leaders and policymakers have certainly made wise predictions, businesses and individuals have to remain agile, responsive and open-minded to a wide possibility of outcomes and developments. It is also helpful, however, to reflect on key trends that have emerged in recent times — and to use this information to prepare for the years ahead.
    For software developers and development houses, several prominent themes emerged in 2017.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Five Years of Apache® OpenOffice™ as a Top-Level Project

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today the five-year anniversary of Apache® OpenOfficeTM, the leading Open Source office document productivity suite.

  • MakerBot Labs: new experimental 3D printing platform is MakerBot's olive branch to open source community

    New York 3D printing company MakerBot has launched MakerBot Labs, an experimental platform with open APIs, custom print modes, and an online resource-sharing site. The platform purportedly allows users to “push the limits” of 3D printing.

  • MakerBot attempts to embrace the open-source community with its new Labs platform

    The topic of open source has been a touchy one for MakerBot over the past decade. The one-time 3D-printing darling was the subject of some serious smack talk among the maker community when it stopped disclosing machine design in 2012 — a departure from the company’s roots as in the open-source Rep-Rap community.

    Announced this week, MakerBot Labs doesn’t mark a full return to those roots, but it does find the company carving out a niche for the DIY community that was once a driving force in its rapid growth.

    “I understand the history,” CEO Nadav Goshen told TechCrunch during a phone call this week, “This is one step in the direction. It’s a step to understand that there are limitations to openness. Openness for us doesn’t mean we have to compromise on quality or ease of use. We’re trying to take responsibility for both.”

Top 7 open source terminal emulators for Linux

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Linux
OSS

Are you a system administrator, Linux power user, or someone who just spends a lot of time at the command line? Chances are your choice of terminal emulator says something about you. Do you prefer something lightweight? Full of features and customizable options? Or do you just use the default that ships with your distribution?

If you're not familiar with terminal emulator clients, essentially they are graphical applications that give you shell access to your machine. By using a text-mode interface to your computer, you can unleash the true power of Linux and the many applications that provide fast, efficient, and customizable control over its every function, not to mention many utilities that system administrators and developers rely on for their day-to-day work. To get to the shell from your system's graphical interface, you need a terminal emulator.

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NVIDIA ups Competition Using Open Source Collaboration

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OSS

Let’s imagine that you are a company with a very successful if nuanced product. Graphics accelerator chips, for example.

Hypothetically speaking, imagine that you find an interesting use for your chip in a rising market defined by a burgeoning technology. If you need an example, just use deep learning AI software.

Now, let’s say this proves to be a massive windfall for your company, raising its stock prices tenfold in just three short years.

What do you do with this fortunate turn of events?

Do you start designing your own AI chips based on your original design and remain one of the top competitors in this new market, or do you go open source and give your chip architecture designs to the public?

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OSS and Sharing Leftovers

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OSS
  • GMO Internet introduces open source KYC as blockchain project enters fifth phase
  • Eclipse Science Advances Open Source Technology for Scientific Research

    The Eclipse Science Working Group, a working group of the Eclipse Foundation, today announced the new releases of five open source projects used by the scientific research community to advance and simplify the software used by science projects, like genomic, astrophysics, nuclear simulations, etc. The new project releases are part of an annual release train that is managed by the Science WG.

  • Dmark East Africa to develop open source IT applications

    We have an operation around the region; in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda. And this has exposed us to different levels of talent across the region.  As a result, we have come to a conclusion that Uganda has special talents in the area of information technology, specifically, product development or software engineering.

  • DevOps Jobs: 4 trends to watch
  • Amazon, PwC join campaign to bring open-source EMR to Puerto Rico in wake of Hurricane Maria

    The first phase of the campaign comprises immediate disaster response. The collaborators will deploy a version of the open-source cloud platform OpenEMR-Plus, which proved successful in response efforts after Hurricane Harvey in Houston. They will also provide supply chain assistance.

  • UK Startup Lifebit Builds on Popular Nextflow Open-Source Genomics Platform
  • Makerbot Labs Is One Step Toward Open Source 3D Printing

    3D printing feels a bit stuck. At the dawn of the 2010s, the device seemed destined to reimagine the creative process, putting the power of additive manufacturing within anyone's grasp. But trend has gone cold since reaching its popular zenith in 2013. While people continue to create amazing things with 3D printing, the "one in every household" promise has been put on temporary—or possibly permanent—hold.

    But the leader of the once great 3D printing revolution hasn't gone away quietly. In fact, it's done the opposite. Makerbot, the Brooklyn-based startup that sold its first printers back in 2009, is launching a brand new platform, Makerbot Labs, to help turn its 3D printing community into super-users, able to access parts of the printer that were otherwise inaccessible. Makerbot describes this new platform as a place, built for creators, who want to experiment with 3D printing but still have the bedrock of the platform to fall back on if need be.

  • IEEE to develop standard for automotive Ethernet of over 1 Gbps

    Industry body IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) announced the formation of a task force to develop IEEE P802.3ch—Standard for Ethernet physical layer specifications and management parameters for greater than 1 Gbps automotive Ethernet. The new standards development project aims to meet the demand for higher speed Ethernet in the automotive environment to support ongoing technological developments, such as connected cars, advanced driver assisted systems and infotainment systems.

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More in Tux Machines

Distributions: Debian, Ubuntu

  • MX-17 Release Candidate 1 now available
    MX-17 RC1 images are now available for download.
  • Debian 8.10 and Debian 9.3 released - CDs and DVDs published
  • “Rock Solid” Debian 9.3 And “Lightweight” Bodhi Linux 4.4.0 Available — Download Here
    In early 2017, the Debian Release team pushed Debian 9.0 “stretch” release, which would remain supported for the next 5 years. Named after Toy Story’s rubber toy octopus, this release has just witnessed its third update in the form of Debian 9.3 (release notes). As expected, Debian “stretch” 9.3 ships with tons of security patches and fixes for some serious issues. Prior to this release, on various instances, security advisories for different issues have already been released.
  • 3rd Ubucon Europe 2018
    Yes! A new edition for ubunteros around the world!
  • HiDPI is Released!  Work on Initial Setup continues and the TryPopOS contest
    You can now plug in a LoDPI external display to your Galago Pro or you HiDPI Oryx, Serval, or Bonobo and expect it to just work.  The same is true when plugging a HiDPI display into any other System76 laptop.  No more complicated tricks every time you plug a second monitor in.
  • System76 Rolls Out Its New HiDPI Daemon
    Linux system vendor System76 has released their new HiDPI daemon for their laptops and desktops to improving the display experience on multi-monitor configurations. This HiDPI daemon is geared for offering a better display experience when using both HiDPI and lower DPI displays, e.g. a HiDPI laptop display paired with a lower resolution external monitor, a desktop with multiple monitors of varying resolutions, etc. Their HiDPI experience is built around X.Org for now until Wayland is mature and is tested for Intel/NVIDIA graphics given those are the GPUs they are mostly shipping at this point. This daemon will listen for monitor plug/unplug events and then configure the HiDPI/LoDPI experience accordingly, allow you to switch displays between different modes if the application in use doesn't support HiDPI properly, etc.
  • What’s New in Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon Edition
    Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon edition is the latest release of Linux Mint 18 series features Cinnamon Desktop 3.6 as default desktop environment. Cinnamon 3.6 is the largest and most important part of the Linux Mint 18.3 release. It includes loads of improvements, new features and bug fixes.

KDE and GNOME: Kubuntu, Krita, GNOME Development

  • Kubuntu 18.04 LTS Could Switch to Breeze-Dark Plasma Theme by Default, Test Now
    The latest daily build live ISO images that landed earlier today for Kubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) apparently uses the Breeze-Dark Plasma theme for the KDE Plasma 5.11 desktop environment by default. However, we've been told that it's currently an experiment to get the pulse of the community. "Users running [Kubuntu] 18.04 development version who have not deliberately opted to use Breeze/Breeze-Light in their System Settings will also see the change after upgrading packages," said the devs. "Users can easily revert back to the Breeze/Breeze-Light Plasma themes by changing this in System Settings."
  • Interview with Rytelier
    The amount of convenience is very high compared to other programs. The amount of “this one should be designed in a better way, it annoys me” things is the smallest of all the programs I use, and if something is broken, then most of these functions are announced to improve in 4.0.
  • Grow your skills with GNOME
    For the past 3 years I’ve been working very hard because I fulfill a number of these roles for Builder. It’s exhausting and unsustainable. It contributes to burnout and hostile communication by putting too much responsibility on too few people’s shoulders.
  • GTK4, GNOME's Wayland Support & Vulkan Renderer Topped GNOME In 2017
  • A Lot Of Improvements Are Building Up For GIMP 2.9.8, Including Better Wayland Support
    It's been four months since the release of GIMP 2.9.6 and while GIMP 2.9 developments are sadly not too frequent, the next GIMP 2.9.8 release is preparing a host of changes. Of excitement to those trying to use GIMP in a Wayland-based Linux desktop environment, GIMP's color picker has just picked up support for working on KDE/Wayland as well as some other Color Picker improvements to help GNOME/Wayland too. GIMP's Screenshot plugin also now has support for taking screenshots on KDE/Wayland either as a full-screen or individual windows. Granted, GIMP won't be all nice and dandy on Wayland itself until seeing the long-awaited GTK3 (or straight to GTK4) port.

Red Hat and Fedora

OSS Leftovers

  • How Open Source Databases Unlock Faster Computing
  • The art of the usability interview
    During a usability test, it's important to understand what the tester is thinking. What were they looking for when they couldn't find a button or menu item? During the usability test, I recommend that you try to observe, take notes, capture as much data as you can about what the tester is doing. Only after the tester is finished with a scenario or set of scenarios should you ask questions.
  • This open-source interview approach will help you avoid unconscious bias
    The lack of diversity in tech has been front and center this past year. Large tech companies have publicly vowed to fix the problem. But how? One answer is recognizing, acknowledging, and eliminating unconscious bias from the hiring process.
  • Microsoft Goes All In With Kubernetes
  • OpenBSD Now Officially Supports 64-bit ARM
    OpenBSD has graduated its 64-bit ARM (ARM64) architecture to being officially supported. As outlined in the OpenBSD Journal with a change made this week by lead OpenBSD developer Theo de Raadt, OpenBSD's ARM64 support is now considered officially supported.
  • LLVM Clang 6.0 Now Defaults To C++14
    Up to now LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler has defaulted to using C++98/GNU++98 as its default C++ standard, but fortunately that's no more. Clang's default C++ dialect is now GNU++14 version of C++14 rather than GNU++98 (C++98). The older versions of the C++ standard remain available and can be set via the -std= argument, just as those previously could have specified C++11 / C++14 / C++17, but now in cases where not specified, GNU++14/C++14 is the default.
  • Tor Browser 7.0.11 is released
    Tor Browser 7.0.11 is now available from the Tor Browser Project page [1] and also from our distribution directory [2].