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OSS

Open Source Privacy Tools NSA Can't Crack: OTR, PGP, RedPhone, Tor And Tails

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OSS
Security

In a recent talk at the Chaos Communication Congress, Jacob Appelbaum, who is a core member of the Tor Project and is now working with Der Spiegel and Laura Poitras to analyze the Snowden documents, unveiled some documents showing which tools NSA couldn't crack.

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FOSS' Shining Moments of 2014

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OSS

"This year we had a very dark highlight with the Systemd situation," said Google+ blogger Gonzalo Velasco C. "Wounds are still bleeding in some communities; forks were made; tons of antacids were consumed. Time will heal those, but for now, the bitter taste remains." That said, "distros like Slackware, Gentoo and PCLinuxOS stayed put on their convictions not to use it, and that is very good."

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Also: Open source and Linux in 2014

Best open education tools and tales in 2014

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OSS

A great Bengali polymath and noble prize winner in literature (Rabindranath Tagore) once said: "Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time". With changing times, the systems and customs that govern our society should also change. Human beings are intrinsically curious. To quote Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, "Curiosity is the lust of the mind". However, there also seems to be another aspect of our human nature that sees systems and customs in a preordained manner. This aspect stifles disruptive innovation, restricts growth in a vertical direction, and fortifies the stubborn staying power of our fixations with these systems and customs.

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MozJPEG 3.0

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Moz/FF
OSS
Web

Mozilla has done a study of image formats and concluded that WebP and JPEG XR are not a big-enough improvement over well-optimized JPEG. In the study only HEVC (H.265) was significantly better, but it’s a patent-encumbered format, so it can’t be used freely (shhhh!)

It seems that Mozilla has a short-term and a long-term plan for image compression. They’re sponsoring development of the Daala codec, which is technically very interesting, but not production-ready yet.

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Best open source in government: policies, new tools, and case studies

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OSS

As I reflect on another year of open source in government stories, I took a look back at the articles we published on Opensource.com this year to see if there were any noticeable commonalities. I found that most articles on the government channel fell into one of three categories: government policies, new tools available, and case studies.

This is consistent with the trend I highlighted last year (We have policies. Now what?). As Mark Bohannon is fond of saying, "Governments are wrestling with the 'how tos' of open source choices; not 'whether' to use it." Government policies are become more refined and sophisticated in regards to open technologies, and increasingly, governments are choosing to "default to open." However, governments still need help implementing those policies, and citizens are stepping up by creating new, open source tools and open formats to help governments get the job done.

Rather than do a traditional Top 10 list this year, I wanted to highlight a few standouts from each of these categories from 2014 that I think are worth reading if you missed them the first time. Or might even be worth a second read if it’s been a while.

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What will 2015 bring for the open source cloud?

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OSS

Regardless of what we see in 2015, the open source cloud will continue to grow, change, and adapt. What is your top prediction for this year?

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Open Source's 2014: MS 'cancer' embrace, NASDAQ listings, and a quiet dog

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OSS

Ho hum. Another year, another slew of open source announcements that prove the once-maligned development methodology is now so mainstream as to be tedious. Running most of the world’s most powerful supercomputers? Been there, done that. Giving retailers the ability to deliver highly customized paper coupons to consumers based on warehouse inventory nearby? So 2013!

And yet in 2014 we had a few events in open source that managed to surprise us, and suggest an even brighter future.

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Cenatic to focus on open source reuse and certification

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OSS

In 2015, Cenatic, the open source software resource centre of the Spanish government, will campaign to get enterprises to implement, share and re-use open source solutions. The centre wants to help companies select the right free software solutions. It will also promote sharing and re-use, and reinforce the network of free software service providers.

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Kodi 14.0 Helix Unwinds

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OSS

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! We are proud to announce the release of Kodi 14.0, which comes with a new name, a new logo, and a wide variety of new features, but underneath the new coat of paint remains the same software we all love.

A detailed changelog for Kodi 14 can be found under milestones on our code repository, should you be interested. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the features that come with Kodi 14.0.

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Study: ‘European Parliament should use open source’

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OSS

The European Parliament should use free software and open standards for all of its ICT systems and data, concludes a study by the EP’s Greens/European Free Alliance: “That is the most appropriate way for the Parliament to meet its own standard of ‘utmost transparency’.”

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More in Tux Machines

Introduction to Modularity

Modularity is an exciting, new initiative aimed at resolving the issue of diverging (and occasionally conflicting) lifecycles of different “components” within Fedora. A great example of a diverging and conflicting lifecycle is the Ruby on Rails (RoR) lifecycle, whereby Fedora stipulates that itself can only have one version of RoR at any point in time – but that doesn’t mean Fedora’s version of RoR won’t conflict with another version of RoR used in an application. Therefore, we want to avoid having “components”, like RoR, conflict with other existing components within Fedora. Read more

Our First Look at Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon

Now that I’ve had about a week to play around in Mint 18, I find a lot to like and have no major complaints. While Cinnamon probably isn’t destined to become my desktop of choice, I don’t dislike it and find it, hands down, the best of the GNOME based desktops I’ve tried so far. Anybody looking for a powerful, all purpose distro that’s designed to work smoothly and which can be mastered with ease would be hard pressed to find anything better. Read more

The subtle art of the Desktop

The history of the Gnome and KDE desktops go a long way back and their competition, for the lack of a better term, is almost as famous in some circles as the religious divide between Emacs and Vi. But is that competition stil relevant in 2016? Are there notable differences between Gnome and KDE that would position each other on a specific segment of users? Having both desktops running on my systems (workstation + laptop) but using really only one of them at all times, I wanted to find out by myself. My workstation and laptop both run ArchLinux, which means I tend to run the latest stable versions of pretty much any desktop software. I will thus be considering the latest stable versions from Gnome and KDE in this post. Historically, the two environments stem from different technical platforms: Gnome relies on the GTK framework while KDE, or more exactly the Plasma desktop environment, relies on Qt. For a long time, that is until well into the development of the Gnome 3.x platform, the major difference was not just technical, it was one of style and experience. KDE used to offer a desktop experience that was built along the lines of Windows, with a start center on the bottom left, a customizable side bar, and desktop widgets. Gnome had its two bars on the top and bottom of the screen, and was seemingly used as the basis for the first design of Mac OS X, with the top bar offering features that were later found in the Apple operating system. Read more

Xubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Released, Upgrade Path from Xubuntu 14.04 LTS Now Open

The first point release of the Xubuntu 16.04 LTS computer operating system has been officially published as part of the Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) announcement earlier in the week. Read more