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OSS

Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Rust severely disappoints me

    I wanted to like Rust. I really did. I’ve been investigating it for months, from the outside, as a C replacement with stronger correctness guarantees that we could use for NTPsec.

    I finally cleared my queue enough that I could spend a week learning Rust. I was evaluating it in contrast with Go, which I learned in order to evaluate as a C replacement a couple of weeks back.

  • Oviedo university studies to increase open source

    The University of Oviedo in Asturias, one of Spain’s autonomous communities, is studying ways to increase its use of free and open source software, reports La Nueva España, a newspaper. Using free and open source software will help to avoid the use of unlicensed software, the university management is quoted as saying in December.

    The university is also looking into using free software solutions to reduce academic plagiarism.

    The newspaper notes how Asturia’s one and only university is at the bottom end of the annual ranking of universities that use free software (Ranking de Universidades en Software Libre, RuSL.

  • There's A New Port Of RISC-V For GCC

    For those following the progress of the RISC-V open-source and royalty-free processor ISA, a new port of the GNU Compiler Collection for this architecture is now available.

    Palmer Dabbelt of UC Berkeley previously mentioned a few months ago their GCC RISC-V code was held up due to university lawyers due to upstream GCC contributions requiring copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation, which upset the university. But it seems they're past that now as Palmer announced this week the new RISC-V port for GCC.

More OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Pantek, Metisentry merge to build on open source IT expertise

    Two local IT services firm that specialize in open source technologies have merged.

  • Hedge fund firm Man AHL says open sourcing software helps attract best developer talent

    A commonly held view of hedge funds is of secretive organisations that jealously guard the tools that make them money. Contrary to this is the trend among certain firms to open source their software and invite collaboration from the developer community.

    Firms that have blazed a trail in the open sourcing of this sort of technology are the likes of AQR, which kick-started the Pandas libraries project, and Man AHL, which has open-sourced its Arctic data storage system.

    Arctic powers Man AHL's vast financial market data store and is built on top of the open-source no-SQL database MongoDB. The Arctic codebase was made available on GitHub back in 2015.

  • Software Company Anahata Announces Management Restructuring
  • Software Company Anahata Appoints Ambarish Mohan as the Head of Open Source
  • Apache Beam Graduates to Help Define Streaming Data Processing

    Open-source effort originally developed from code contributed by Google moves from the Apache incubator to become a Top Level Project

    The open-source Apache Beam project hit a major milestone on Jan.10, graduating from the Apache Incubator and officially becoming a Top Level Project. Beam is a technology that provides a unified programming model for streaming as well as batch data processing.

    The Apache Incubator is an entry point for new projects into the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), with graduation marking a level of maturity and adherence to established policies and processes.

    "Graduation is an exciting milestone for Apache Beam," Davor Bonaci, Vice President of Apache Beam, said in a statement. "Becoming a top-level project is a recognition of the amazing growth of the Apache Beam community, both in terms of size and diversity."

  • Yahoo Open Sources Tool for Continuous Delivery at Scale

    For the past year, we've taken note of the many open source projects focused on Big Data and infrastructure technology hat have been contributed to the community. Some of these are real difference makers--strong enough for new startup companies to align around them with business models focused on them. While the Apache Software Foundation has has announced many of these, some of the bigger tech companies are contributing as well.

    Yahoo recently open sourced a distributed “publish and subscribe” messaging system dubbed Pulsar that’s capable of scaling while protecting low latencies. Yahoo uses Pulsar to drive several of its own in-house applications. And now, Yahoo is open sourcing Screwdriver.cd, an adaption of its Continuous Delivery build system for dynamic infrastructure.

  • Mozilla and Market Researchers Herald Big IoT Future

    Early last year, Mozilla announced that the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the next big opportunity for its open source software platform. "The Internet of Things is changing the world around us, with new use cases, experiences and technologies emerging every day," wrote officials in a post. "As we continue to experiment in this space, we wanted to take a moment to share more details around our approach, process and current projects we’re testing."

    We've heard similar predictions from several companies, and now two recent studies are confirming that the Internet of Things (IoT) is poised for huge growth.

    Studies from International Data Corporation (IDC), and one from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC), confirm that worldwide IoT spending is set to skyrocket.

  • The State of Open Source Licensing [Ed: Stop relying on Black Duck for information; was created as anti-GPL company.]

    Copyleft licenses, for example, of which the GPL is the most notable variant, are committed to the freedom of the source code. Code governed by a copyleft license asks for reciprocity from consumers; if changes to the code base are made and distributed (we’ll come back to that word), they must be released and shared under the original terms. Permissive licenses, on the other hand, are built around freedom for the developer: permissively licensed assets impose few if any restrictions on downstream users, and require no such reciprocity. Both communities are strongly committed to freedom; the difference lies in what, precisely, is kept free.

  • Renault Is Planning To Release Its Hardware As An Open-Source Automotive Platform

    Auto maker Renault is developing an open-source platform based on the Twizy that is a compact and lightweight electric vehicle with the bodywork parts removed. The POM will be made available to start-ups, independent laboratories, private customers and researchers, enabling third parties to copy and modify existing software in order to create a customizable electric vehicle. Renault has partnered with B2B company OSVehicle to develop and sell this open-source platform to the community. Bringing together entrepreneurs, developers, designers, and engineers, they will make it easier for them to build, share, distribute and modify the hardware designs of electric vehicles.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • FSFE: H2020 funded software should be free

    Software that is developed in research projects funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme should be published under a free software licence, says the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The advocacy group wants to know how much of the H2020 budget is spent on paying for proprietary software licences.

  • Social network App.net to shut down, open-source its platform

    The next (and last) step for App.net is to offer all its infrastructure as open source. Previously, the company open-sourced key projects that ran on top of the service, such as the alpha microblogging client, but not its full underlying platform. One possibility is for App.net to go in the same direction as Diaspora—with the ability to be self-hosted, in much the same manner as a WordPress installation.

  • Open Source Helps Drive Citizen Engagement With Minimal Cost

    Open source software drives innovation. People with great ideas have the ability to develop software and make it available for others to use. Agencies receptive to using open source software can take advantage of this innovation, learning new ideas about how technology is used and deployed.

    For example, DevOps is a relatively new field in the federal market and there are number of open source tools that enable its implementation that will automate the task of code verification, automated testing, deployment, etc. thereby increasing adoption.

    A typical starting point for developing a citizen engagement platform is a web content management solution (WCMS). An engagement platform developed on a WCMS allows an organization to create and publish content that is engaging to the audience and available to anyone on any device.

    Some technologies, such as Drupal, have also extended their capability to integrate other open source technologies like JavaScript frameworks and search engines. They can be further leveraged to create the ideal experience that is needed for today’s audiences that use varying devices. Further, this content can be revised as often as needed without any need for IT involvement.

  • D-Wave open sources quantum app development software

    To foster a quantum software development ecosystem, the company created qbsolv, which lets developers build higher-level tools and applications leveraging the D-Wave quantum systems without the need to understand the complex physics of quantum computers.

  • A 5 year old girl vs. CoderDojo

    In early December'16 together with my 5 year old daughter we visited an introductory workshop about the Hello Ruby book and another workshop organized by Coder Dojo Bulgaria. Later that month we also visited a Robo League competition in Sofia. The goal was to further Adriana's interest into technical topics and programming in particular and see how she will respond to the topics covered and the workshops and training materials format in general. I have been keeping detailed notes and today I'm publishing some of my observations.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Tips for non-native English speakers working on open source projects

    The primary language of most open source projects is English, but open source users and contributors span the globe. Non-native speakers face many communication and cultural challenges when participating in the ecosystem.

    In this article, we will share challenges, how to overcome them, and best practices for easing onboarding of non-native speakers, as non-native English speakers and contributors to OpenStack. We are based in Japan, Brazil, and China, and work daily with the huge OpenStack community that is spread around the world.

    The official language of OpenStack is English, which means we communicate daily as non-native speakers.

  • How companies can help employees contribute to open source

    I'm a part of the Drupal community, which has more than 100,000 active contributors worldwide. And among them is a growing group of employees who are encouraged by their employers to contribute to open source.

    These days, finding a seasoned developer whose resume or CV doesn't mention an open source contributionor two (or more) is rare. The best developers know it matters, and it's becoming normal for contributions to help you get, or keep, a job. If you're an employer in technology, you know that. So how can you help your employees contribute to open source?

  • Open Networking Summit Returns With New and Enhanced Format for 2017; Call for Proposals Closes Jan 21
  • Report Notes OpenStack Gaining Traction with Telcos, and In Europe

    The OpenStack cloud computing platform is evolving in a number of notable new directions, notes Forrester's report OpenStack's Global Traction Expands For Its Newton Release. In particular, the report notes that OpenStack is gaining traction as a public cloud solution, and much of that trend is playing out in Europe. Additionally, telcos are flocking to OpenStack, says Forrester.

    Here are more details.

    “In the past year, telcos like CableLabs, SK Telecom, and Verizon have shelved their previous objections to the Neutron networking project and flocked to the OpenStack community, contributing features like Doctor,” notes the report. “Leading infrastructure & operations (I&O) professionals, application developers, and CIOs at firms like American Express, Disney, and Walmart have embraced OpenStack for their digital businesses. It’s the foundation of many private (and, increasingly, of many public) cloud services that give your company the agility it needs to respond to customer demand, from core systems to the mobile apps that deliver differentiated customer experiences.”

  • Mirantis to Support and Manage OpenContrail SDN

    In 2016, the SDN (Software Defined Networking) category rapidly evolved, and it also became meaningful to many organizations with OpenStack deployments. IDC published a study of the SDN market earlier this year and predicted a 53.9% CAGR from 2014 through 2020, at which point the market will be valued at $12.5 billion. In addition, the Technology Trends 2016 report ranked SDN as the best technology investment for 2016.

  • Why open source seeds could be vital for the future of food

    Open source, a movement most commonly associated with tech, coding and hacking, is now becoming an increasingly important issue for food according to a recent article published on Ensia and GreenBiz. It might be somewhat surprising, for example, to learn that more than one-third of all carrot growing material has been patented and is protected by intellectual property rights (IPs). This raises a host of new challenges for small scale, independent breeders, who are responding by endorsing an “open source movement for seeds”, and could become a critical topic for those advocating a vision for a regenerative, more distributed food system with greater resilience designed in.

  • D-Wave goes public with open-source quantum-classical hybrid software
  • D-Wave Just Open-Sourced Quantum Computing
  • D-Wave Releases Open Quantum Software Environment
  • D-Wave open sources quantum software development tool qbsolv
  • At Last, An Open Source Electric Vehicle From A Major Manufacturer

    There is a rule of thumb to follow when looking at product announcements at the fringes of the motor industry that probably has something in common with crowdfunding campaigns. If the photographs of the product are all renders rather than real prototypes, walk away. It is said that small volume vehicle production is a space that attracts either crooks or dreamers, and parting with your money to either can be a risky business. So when yet another electric vehicle platform makes its debut it’s always worth looking, but too often the rendered images outnumber anything from the real world and you know you’ll never see one on the road.

  • REMINDER - MEDIA ALERT: ESD Alliance to Host Discussion on Open Source, RISC-V Processor
  • After Lawsuits And Denial, PaceMaker Vendor Finally Admits Its Product Is Hackable

    So we've noted how the lack of security in the Internet of Things is a bit of a problem. Initially, many of us thought that easily hacked smart tea kettles and smart refrigerators were kind of cute. Then we realized that this same, paper-mache grade security is also apparently embedded in everything from automobiles to medical gear. Then, more recently, we realized that all of these poorly-secured devices were being quickly compromised and used in botnets to help fuel massive, historically unprecedented, new DDoS attacks. The warnings were there all along, we just chose to ignore them.

    For more than a decade people had been warning that the security on pacemakers simply wasn't very good. Despite these warnings, many of these devices are still vulnerable to attack. This week the FDA was forced to issue a warning, noting that security vulnerabilities in the St. Jude Medical implantable cardiac device and corresponding Merlin@home Transmitter could be a serious problem. It's notable as it's the first time we've seen the government publicly acknowledge this specific type of threat.

Open source enlightenment needed to end 'dark ages' of health IT

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OSS

Your article - "Whatever happened to Open Source in 2016?" highlights the brief vogue that open source recently enjoyed in the NHS – 2014-15 – and now seems to have lost. It raises some good questions and important issues, though I sense some broader perspective may be worth adding here.

It’s worth remembering that healthcare is a well-established science – the first medical school established in the 9th century. While information technology is still a young science – the first MSc in software engineering dates from 1979.

We know that the relatively risk averse culture of healthcare differs very significantly from the frenetic pace of innovation we see in the software world.

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Linux/FOSS Events

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OSS

Openwashing

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The 6 unwritten rules of open source development

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Development
OSS

The sports world is rife with unwritten rules. These are the behaviors and rituals that are observed but rarely documented in an official capacity. For example, in baseball, unwritten rules range from not stealing bases when well ahead to never giving up an intentional walk when there’s a runner on first. To outsiders, these are esoteric, perhaps even nonsensical guidelines, but they are followed by every player who wants to be a valued teammate and respected opponent.

Software development, particularly open source software development, also has an invisible rulebook. As in other team sports, these rules can have a significant impact on how an open source community treats a developer, especially newcomers.

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5 ways to be successful with open source software

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OSS

The skills gap in big data will remain relatively constant in the next year, but this shouldn’t deter people from adopting Hadoop and other open-source technologies. As most of us know, when new technologies are created and vie for users, they are known by few.

Only once a particular type of software is a mature standard part of the canon do we begin to have a substantial number of folks skilled in its use — but even then the skills gap can persist. It will disappear only when we stop seeing big improvements to the stack, which I doubt we want. In short, the skills gap is one of the primary factors gating the rate of platform change, but it’s also a sign innovation is at hand.

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Also: Proof that openness scales

My first three contributions to open source

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OSS

Getting started with an open source project can be intimidating. I wanted to contribute to open source projects, but struggled with where to start. When the time came and I finally took the shot, I ended up having an excellent learning experience. Here is my experience with my first three open source contributions.

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Security Leftovers

  • Major Cloudflare bug leaked sensitive data from customers’ websites
    Cloudflare revealed a serious bug in its software today that caused sensitive data like passwords, cookies, authentication tokens to spill in plaintext from its customers’ websites. The announcement is a major blow for the content delivery network, which offers enhanced security and performance for more than 5 million websites. This could have allowed anyone who noticed the error to collect a variety of very personal information that is typically encrypted or obscured.
  • SHA1 collisions make Git vulnerable to attakcs by third-parties, not just repo maintainers
    After sitting through an endless flood of headless-chicken messages on multiple media about SHA-1 being fatally broken, I thought I'd do a quick writeup about what this actually means.
  • Torvalds patches git to mitigate against SHA-1 attacks
    Linux creator Linus Torvalds says two sets of patches have been posted for the distributed version control system git to mitigate against SHA-1 attacks which are based on the method that Dutch and Google engineers detailed last week. The post by Torvalds detailing this came after reports emerged of the version control system used by the WebKit browser engine repository becoming corrupted after the two proof-of-concept PDF files that were released by the Dutch and Google researchers were uploaded to the repository.
  • Linus Torvalds on "SHA1 collisions found"
  • More from Torvalds on SHA1 collisions
    I thought I'd write an update on git and SHA1, since the SHA1 collision attack was so prominently in the news. Quick overview first, with more in-depth explanation below: (1) First off - the sky isn't falling. There's a big difference between using a cryptographic hash for things like security signing, and using one for generating a "content identifier" for a content-addressable system like git. (2) Secondly, the nature of this particular SHA1 attack means that it's actually pretty easy to mitigate against, and there's already been two sets of patches posted for that mitigation. (3) And finally, there's actually a reasonably straightforward transition to some other hash that won't break the world - or even old git repositories.
  • [Older] Wire’s independent security review
    Ever since Wire launched end-to-end encryption and open sourced its apps one question has consistently popped up: “Is there an independent security review available?” Well, there is now!
  • Malware Lets a Drone Steal Data by Watching a Computer’s Blinking LED
  • FCC to halt rule that protects your private data from security breaches
    The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation of a privacy rule that requires ISPs to protect the security of its customers' personal information. The data security rule is part of a broader privacy rulemaking implemented under former Chairman Tom Wheeler but opposed by the FCC's new Republican majority. The privacy order's data security obligations are scheduled to take effect on March 2, but Chairman Ajit Pai wants to prevent that from happening. The data security rule requires ISPs and phone companies to take "reasonable" steps to protect customers' information—such as Social Security numbers, financial and health information, and Web browsing data—from theft and data breaches. "Chairman Pai is seeking to act on a request to stay this rule before it takes effect on March 2," an FCC spokesperson said in a statement to Ars.
  • Google releases details of another Windows bug
  • How to secure the IoT in your organisation: advice and best practice for securing the Internet of Things
    All of the major technology vendors are making a play in the Internet of Things space and there are few organisations that won’t benefit from collecting and analysing the vast array of new data that will be made available. But the recent Mirai botnet is just one example of the tremendous vulnerabilities that exist with unsecured access points. What are the main security considerations and best practices, then, for businesses seeking to leverage the potential of IoT?

GNOME News

  • FEDORA and GNOME at UNSAAC
    Today I did a talk to introduce students of UNSAAC to the Fedora and GNOME world as it was announced by the GDG Cusco group. We started at 8:30 am and it was a free event:
  • GNOME Theme For Firefox Gets Updated, Looking Great
    There are a lot of complete themes for Firefox. We spoke about 3 of them in one of our previous articles. The good news today is that “GNOME 3” theme (which was also called Adwaita) for Firefox was updated. Now it’s working with all versions higher than Firefox 45. Previously, the theme didn’t work with the recent versions of Firefox. So people had to switch to other available themes. Fortunately, this finally changed today when another developer took the code, fixed the compatibility problems and re-released the theme.
  • GStreamer Now Supports Multi-Threaded Scaling/Conversion For Big Performance Win
    With the addition of over two thousand lines of code, GStreamer's video-convert code within gst-plugins-base is now properly multi-threaded. Video scaling and conversion can now be multi-threaded when using GStreamer. With this multi-threading work by Sebastian Dröge, he commented with the commit, "During tests, this gave up to 1.8x speedup with 2 threads and up to 3.2x speedup with 4 threads when converting e.g. 1080p to 4k in v210."

Linux and Graphics

  • OpenRISC For Linux 4.11 Gets Some Optimizations, Prepares For SMP
    OpenRISC continues advancing with its sights on being a free and open processor for embedded systems using the RISC instruction set architecture. Last year the Linux kernel got a new OpenRISC maintainer and for Linux 4.11 there is a fair amount of interesting changes for the OpenRISC code within the mainline tree.
  • drm for v4.11 - main pull request
    The tinydrm code seems like absolute pure shit that has never seen a compiler. I'm upset, because I expect better quality control. In fact, I expect *some* qualitty control, and this piece-of-shit driver has clearly seen none at all. And those patches were apparently committed yesterday. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?
  • [Old] A Guide Through The Linux Sound API Jungle
    At the Audio MC at the Linux Plumbers Conference one thing became very clear: it is very difficult for programmers to figure out which audio API to use for which purpose and which API not to use when doing audio programming on Linux.
  • Mesa, Vulkan & Other Driver Talks From 2017 Embedded Linux Conference
  • Fuzzing Mesa Drivers Begin To Uncover Bugs
    Last December we wrote about work being done on fuzzing OpenGL shaders leading to wild differences with the work being done at the Imperial College London. While they were testing other drivers on different operating systems, they have now fired up tests of Mesa.
  • Wayland's Weston 2.0 Compositor Released
    Wayland 1.13 was released earlier this week but the adjoining Weston compositor update didn't happen at the same time due to some last minute changes needing more time to test, but this Friday, Weston 2.0 is now shipping. But before getting too excited, Weston 2.0 doesn't represent some break-through changes but rather was bumped away from the Wayland versioning rhythm due to its new output configuration API breaking Weston's ABI. Thus the major version bump.
  • weston 2.0.0
    Welcome to the official release of Weston 2.0. There are no changes since RC2.

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