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OSS

Openwashing and Compliance

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OSS
  • Open Source Principles Give the Workplace Soul [Ed: Openwashing an OSI sponsor]

    As part of the 20th anniversary of open source software and the Open Source Initiative , the OSI is reaching out to our community of individual and affiliate members, sponsors, current and past board directors, and supporters to share their success stories. We want to hear from those who’ve succeeded in, and with, open source software, development, and communities. This time, we're hearing from OSI Premium Sponsor Cumulus Networks.

  • The Fight for Control: Andrew Lee on Open-Sourcing PIA [Ed: A magazine openwashing its sponsor]

    When I learned that our new sister company, Private Internet Access (PIA), was opening its source code, I immediately wanted to know the backstory, especially since privacy is the theme of this month's Linux Journal. So I contacted Andrew Lee, who founded PIA, and an interview ensued. Here it is.

  • Microsoft MVP Edwin Sarmiento to Join DH2i to Discuss "SQL Server Clustering on Linux without Pacemaker" [Ed: Microsoft pushing proprietary software into GNU/Linux]
  • Mind the feature gaps in the PowerShell open source project [Ed: Openwashing Windows to urge people to use Microsoft APIs]
  • How to Deal with Open Source Vulnerabilities [Ed: FUD pieces like these every day now, from the likes of Black Duck and White Source looking to tell their proprietary products by smearing FOSS]
  • ​Tesla starts to release its cars' open-source Linux software code

    Tesla is still a long way from fully releasing its cars' full open-source programs and Linux operating system code, but it's on its way.

    [...]

    Tesla has been slowly working with the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) to release its code according to strictures of Linux's Gnu General Public License version 2 (GPLv2). SFC leaders Bradley M. Kuhn and Karen M. Sandler wrote: "Conservancy has been engaging with Tesla on its GPL compliance since June 2013, when we advised Tesla that we had received multiple reports of a GPL violation regarding Tesla's Model S. Customers who purchased Tesla's Model S received on-board system(s) that contained BusyBox and Linux, but did not receive any source code, nor an offer for the source."

    The SFC, and other open-source licensing groups, have been working with Tesla to convince its upstream software providers, NVIDIA and Parrot, to disclose complete, corresponding source (CCS) releases for all GPL'd binaries found in Tesla's Model S.

Identity Management and FOSS

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OSS
  • Feeling secure enough to use open source for IAM projects

    Identity is big, really big, especially when it is customer-facing. There are a lot of moving parts to build, pieces to hook up, and external functionality to integrate. The whole makes the identity ecosystem which was once a dream of a few but is fast becoming a reality for many.

    Part of this movement towards a more all-encompassing and task-driven identity data system is the use of an API-approach to identity. These core functional API components are then augmented using open source code to add the bells and whistles. This extends the functionality of the service, quickly, cost-effectively, and easily.

    The thing is, as usual, with the swings come roundabouts. Identity data is a powerful engine that will drive our online transactions to new heights of usability and assurance. However, it comes with a serious price tag. Identity theft is at an all-time high. According to figures from Javelin, 2017 was a record year for stolen identity. In the U.S 16.7 million people had their identity stolen and fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated. One of the reasons for this is the increasing use of online identity, used for high value transactions, that has software vulnerability issues.

  • What's coming in OpenLDAP 2.5

    If pressed, I will admit to thinking that, if NIS was good enough for Charles Babbage, it's good enough for me. I am therefore not a huge fan of LDAP; I feel I can detect in it the heavy hand of the ITU, which seems to wish to apply X.500 to everything. Nevertheless, for secure, distributed, multi-platform identity management it's quite hard to beat. If you decide to run an LDAP server on Unix, one of the major free implementations is slapd, the core engine of the OpenLDAP project. Howard Chu is the chief architect of the project, and spoke at FLOSS 2018 about the upcoming 2.5 release. Any rumors that he might have passed the time while the room filled up by giving a short but nicely rendered fiddle recital are completely true.

    OpenLDAP, which will be twenty years old this August, is produced by a core team of three members, and a "random number" of additional contributors. Development has perhaps slowed down a little recently, but they still manage a feature release every 12-18 months, with maintenance releases as needed. OpenLDAP version 2.4, which was first released in 2007, is still the production release; it is theoretically feature-frozen, having had only three releases in the past two years, but the commit rate is still fairly high and fixes, particularly in documentation, continue. Chu noted that despite it being feature-frozen, 2.4.47 will have some minor new features, but this is definitely the last time this will happen and 2.4 is now "absolutely, for-sure, frozen". Probably.

  • Microsoft Previews Azure AD for Linux Virtual Machines Extension [Ed: Microsoft is trying to make GNU/Linux depend on Microsoft's proprietary protocols]

    Microsoft this month announced a preview of the ability to log into a Linux-based virtual machine (VM) running on its Azure public cloud service using Azure Active Directory credentials.

Databases: Redis, DataStax and IBM's Proprietary Pivot

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Server
OSS
  • Redis 5.0 Nearing Release With New Streams Data Type

    For users of the Redis in-memory key-value database, the Redis 5.0 release candidate is out today for testing.

    This very popular NoSQL database has been working on many features for its Redis 5.0 release, the biggest of which is the Streams data type implementation. Redis Streams is modeled on a log data structure and intended to be an append-only data structure for purposes like logs. Details on this new Redis data type can be found on the Streams documentation.

  • DataStax: balancing yin & yang in the holistic dream

    Computer Weekly Open Source Insider talks to Patrick McFadin in his role as vice president for developer relations at DataStax.

    DataStax is a distributed cloud database built on Apache Cassandra – the firm is a key contributor to the Cassandra project and describes its technology as an always-on data platform.

  • IBM, GSA reach governmentwide agreement for database solutions [Ed: IBM still deploys proprietary databases instead of free/libre ones]
  • GSA inks governmentwide database deal with IBM

    Services on the new contract include IBM Db2 database software for Linux, UNIX and Windows, including versions of Db2 Developer Edition, Db2 Enterprise Server Edition and Db2 Advanced Enterprise Server Edition. The software, according to IBM, helps users manage databases across a variety of platforms, languages and data types.

4 open source tools for distraction-free online reading

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OSS

I’m willing to bet that you do some (probably more than some) reading in a web browser. That reading might include everything from blog posts, articles, and essays to long forum posts and more.

The problem with reading in a browser window is that it's full of distractions. Elements like navigation tools, headers and footers, ads, link boxes, and more can slow your reading and cause frustration.

Let’s take a look at four open source tools that can get rid of those distractions.

Read more

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Progress on the road to open source applications for imaging informatics

    Open source applications for imaging informatics have come a long way in the last decade.

    During a recent Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine webinar, moderated by SIIM Chair Paul Nagy, a panel of contributors to the June issue of the Journal of Digital Imaging discussed the new tools available in imaging informatics.

  • OpenText underlines AI platform Magellan’s open source approach to counter Watson

    Aside from naming its artificial intelligence platform, Magellan, after a 16th-century explorer instead of a 20th-century businessman, Waterloo, Ont.-based OpenText Corp is looking for other ways to differentiate itself from competitor IBM Corp.’s Watson.

    Division directors speaking this week at OpenText Enfuse about the Apache Spark-based platform emphasized its capability to integrate, gorge on huge amounts of unstructured data and spit out useful insights, and its open source nature. They also don’t mind pointing out that IBM’s Watson is a proprietary platform – or as Mark Gamble, senior director of product marketing for analytics at OpenText puts it, a black box.

  • A weekend on the new computer (or, introducing "TenNineFox")

    This Memorial Day weekend I pulled the Sonnet FireWire card from my Quad G5 and put it to sleep. I mean, I put it in sleep mode, and sat down with the Talos II to see if I could get Firefox building and running, and then QEMU (and to see if the G5 would stay asleep for more than a few hours, since I don't need a hot and noisy 230+ watt computer running next to my less hot but noisier 180W one). One glitch with this was switching the KVM away from the G5 caused it to wake up again, so I wrote a little Perl script to fork and log me out, and in the child process run a trivial AppleScript to tell application "Finder" to sleep. Then I could just run that from a remote login session from the T2, and the G5 would peacefully rest at about 20 watts or so.

    First was to grab all the updates. This fixed amdgpu for X11 and now I'm running a fully accelerated GNOME desktop on the AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100. I got Sabrent Bluetooth and USB audio dongles, which "just worked" with Linux, and even got VLC to play some Blu-ray movies (as well as VLC can play them, given that BD+ is still not a solved problem). The T2 firmware update to 1.04 also diminished some of the fan hunting I was hearing and while it's still louder than the G5, it's definitely getting better and better. I'm thinking of getting one of the Supermicro "superquiet" PSUs next, since I notice its higher-pitch fan sound more than the case fans. The only hardware glitch still left over is that I can't figure out why Linux won't recognize the Sonnet FireWire/USB PCIe combo card. It should work, the chipsets should be supported. More on that later.

  • Splitting the Firefox Health dashboard

    Back in January I had to make a critical decision. I had to determine if to separate the Firefox health dashboard (formely known as Platform health) into a backend and frontend projects or to keep it together.

    The intent was to make it easier to maintain the project by reducing the complexity of having code that is presentational versus processing code. I also wanted to remove the boilerplate needed for webpack and babel. It was also beneficial to have the liberty of changing packages without worrying of regressing the frontend or the backend. The only disadvantages was to have to do the work and that we might need in the future coordinated changes (or versioned APIs). We did not see the disadvantage of code being duplicated since there wasn’t any (or much — I can’t recall now) shared between the two apps.

  • Network Security Audit

    As a part of a funded project, I am conducting a security audit of NetBSD’s network stack. The work will end soon, and I would like to briefly present some results.

  • Emacs 26.1 Released, Linux 4.17-rc7, GNOME Foundation Receives Anonymous Donation and More

    Emacs 26.1 was released yesterday. New features include limited form of concurrency with Lisp threads, support for optional display of line numbers in the buffer, use of double buffering to reduce flicker on the X Window System, redesign of Flymake, support for 24-bit colors on text terminals and lots more.

    Linus Torvalds had these remarks over the weekend on Linux 4.17-rc7: "This week we had the whole 'spectre v4' thing, and yes, the fallout from that shows up as part of the patch and commit log. But it's not actually dominant: the patch is pretty evenly one third arch updates, one third networking updates, and one third "rest". He also mentioned "The bulk of it is really pretty trivial one-liners, and nothing looks particularly scary. Let's see how next week looks, but if nothing really happens I suspect we can make do without an rc8."

  • Open source, open standards to underpin Govpass

    The DTA was trying to reduce the amount of vendor lock-in in government services, and that suited Vault Systems as it had always worked with open standards. Its cloud is built on the open source OpenStack platform and security is baked in.

  • Open-source, downloadable textbooks could relieve price strain

    Students and professors at DePaul University may set a new policy — usurping expensive textbook-buying requirements with the option of downloading the material at a discount price.

    Students and professors are now getting the survey via email. Their responses will determine whether the library will be able to grant PDF copies of textbooks that the survey respondents deem the most egregiously expensive.

    The library could do so using Open Educational Resources (OERs) — books that have an open domain that lets people download, share and distribute legally.

    “What we have noted so far is that this is truly a concern and a challenge for DePaul students as evidenced by the fact that we had over 100 responses in the first 10 minutes that the survey was open,” said DePaul librarian Terry Taylor.

    Students at DePaul have been vocal about the high costs of textbooks and have taken advantage of the survey, voicing their concerns.

  • Claudia Garad, Executive Director of Wikimedia Österreich: "We want to create a welcoming atmosphere for newcomers"

    Claudia: There are roughly 10% female contributors in the German-language Wikipedia, and that reflects what I see during offline events. Non-binary is probably around 1-2%. But the numbers are not all 100% accurate, as many volunteers choose not to disclose their gender, and we respect their wish for anonymity. That is even more true for ethnicity - we do not ask for that anywhere. This is what you can get from the information people provide on their user pages. Apart from that, we do not collect any personal data.

    But there are other ways to make the diversity gaps visible: by comparing the number of biographies about females to the number of articles about men. Wikidata makes that really easy nowadays. Or by looking at the language and perspectives that are represented in articles. It becomes obvious very quickly that we have a problem there, and that should be fixed if we strive to collect "the sum of all human knowledge" as our vision statement says.

  • Ohcount – The Source Code Line Counter And Analyzer

    Ohcount is simple command line utility that analyzes the source code and prints the total number lines of a source code file. It is not just source code line counter, but also detects the popular open source licenses, such as GPL, within a large directory of source code. Additionally, Ohcount can also detect code that targets a particular programming API such as KDE or Win32. As of writing this guide, Ohcount currently supports over 70 popular programming languages. It is written in C programming language and is originally developed by Ohloh for generating the reports at www.openhub.net.

    In this brief tutorial, we are going to how to install and use Ohcount to analyze source code files in Debian, Ubuntu and its variants like Linux Mint.

  • Adapt: A Open-Source Decentralized Application Programming Toolkit

    Cryptocurrency is an ever-evolving industry, and there are so many opportunities for traders and investors to take advantage. However, there is one question in any new business venture that has to be answered before any progress can be made – how do you start? While there are pages upon pages of articles that other traders have written, the creators behind ADAPT have developed a clear-cut regimen for new platforms to follow.

Openwashing and FOSS FUD

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OSS

Today's OSS Stories

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OSS
  • ReactOS 0.4.9 Working On Shell Improvements. Kernel Fixes

    While ReactOS 0.4.8 came out just a month ago, ReactOS 0.4.9 is approaching and currently at the release candidate phase.

    As of this weekend, ReactOS 0.4.9-RC23 is now available as the latest testing build towards ReactOS 0.4.9.

  • Privacy Plugins

    Although your phone is probably the biggest threat to your privacy, your web browser is a close second. In the interest of providing you targeted ads, the web is littered with technology that attempts to track each site you go to via a combination of cookies and JavaScript snippets. These trackers aren't just a privacy threat, they are also a security threat. Because of how ubiquitous these ad networks are, attackers have figured out ways to infiltrate some of them and make them serve up even more malicious code.

    The good news is that a series of privacy plugins work well with Firefox under Linux. They show up as part of the standard list of approved add-ons and will help protect you against these kinds of threats. Many different privacy plugins exist, but instead of covering them all, in this article, I highlight some of my personal favorites—the ones I install on all of my browsers. Although I discuss these plugins in the context of Firefox, many of them also are available for other Linux browsers. Because all of these plugins are standard Firefox add-ons, you can install them through your regular Firefox add-on search panel.

  • The Kubernetes ‘fork’: Open source purists miss the point [Ed: Mormon Mac Asay uses religious terms like "purists" to describe the largely atheistic Free software movement in order to make it look toxic and unreasonable]

    Except they clearly don’t, given Red Hat’s OpenShift revenue, which keeps rising. Either those customers are blind to Beda’s argument (similar to those made by another competitor, Canonical, over the years), or they don’t agree with the accusations. Or maybe, just maybe, they don’t care.

  • FOSSID awarded grant for AI in Open Source Auditing by Sweden’s government agency for innovation

    FOSSID, the world’s largest database for scanning open source code and snippets, today announced it is being awarded a grant of 2 Million SEK (US $250,000) to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies into its database and code-scanning tools. The grant is being awarded by Vinnova, Sweden’sgovernment agency focused on research and innovation.

     The FOSSID AI For Open Source Auditing Project will combine the largest and highest performing knowledge base of open source on the market to dramatically cut costs in the software auditing process, reduce risks for tech companies and accelerate overall innovation.

Grow your business without jolts thanks to open source software

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OSS

A lot of big software vendors in the market including Microsoft are concerned that the source code of their program is not accessible by third parties. The implication of this is that the ability to develop applications and fix detected errors are vested in the hands of specific developers.

This is not so with open source software where everyone has access to the source code of a program. Therefore, anyone who knows how to write code can modify, supplement or enhance such program according to their taste.

Several popular programs such as Firefox or VLC player make use of open source licenses. They function on operating systems such as Windows, Mac,and Linux. Currently, over 300,000 software products have been designed for diverse tasks and purposes.

Read more

The Race for Open Source Neural Machine Translation

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OSS

Neural machine translation (NMT) often figures prominently during SlatorCon events, and SlatorCon London held at Nobu Hotel in London Shoreditch on May 17, 2018 was no exception. In his presentation for the event, Jean Senellart, Global CTO of event partner Systran, discussed an aspect of NMT that he found both exciting and scary at the same time: the race for open source.

Senellart briefly went through the history of 50-year old machine translation company Systran, a company that experienced and was directly involved in production-level deployments of all MT technologies—from rules-based MT to statistical MT to NMT.

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Also: Tron (TRX) Opensource Wallet DApp Is Being Developed by Marius Gill

What is a Linux server and why does your business need one?

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Linux
OSS

IT organizations strive to deliver business value by increasing productivity and delivering services faster while remaining flexible enough to incorporate innovations like cloud, containers, and configuration automation. Modern workloads, whether they run on bare metal, virtual machines, containers, or private or public clouds, are expected to be portable and scalable. Supporting all this requires a modern, secure platform.

The most direct route to innovation is not always a straight line. With the growing adoption of private and public clouds, multiple architectures, and virtualization, today’s data center is like a globe, with varying infrastructure choices bringing it dimension and depth. And just as a pilot depends on air traffic controllers to provide continuous updates, your digital transformation journey should be guided by a trusted operating system like Linux to provide continuously updated technology and the most efficient and secure access to innovations like cloud, containers, and configuration automation.

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EXT4 fscrypt vs. eCryptfs vs. LUKS dm-crypt Benchmarks

Given the recent advancements of the EXT4 file-system with its native file-system encryption support provided by the fscrypt framework, here are benchmarks comparing the performance of an EXT4 file-system with no encryption, fscrypt-based encryption, eCryptfs-based encryption, and a LUKS dm-crypt encrypted volume. Read more

Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" Has Reached End of Security Support, Upgrade Now

Released more than three years ago, on April 25, 2015, Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" is currently considered the "oldstable" Debian branch since the release of the Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system series precisely a year ago, on June 17, 2017. As such, Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" has now reached end of life and will no longer receive regular security support beginning June 17, 2018. Security support for Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" will be handed over to the Debian LTS team now that LTS (Long Term Support) support has ended for Debian GNU/Linux 7 "Wheezy" on May 31, 2018. Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" will start receiving additional support from the Debian LTS project starting today, but only for a limited number of packages and architectures like i386, amd64, armel, and armhf. Read more

openSUSE Tumbleweed Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.17, KDE Plasma 5.13 Landed

As of today, the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system is now powered by the latest and most advanced Linux 4.17 kernel series, which landed in the most recent snapshot released earlier. Tumbleweed snapshot 20180615 was released today, June 17, 2018, and it comes only two days after snapshot 20180613, which added the Mesa 18.1.1 graphics stack and KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment, along with many components of the latest KDE Applications 18.04.2 software suite. Today's snapshot 20180615 continued upgrading the KDE Applications software suite to version 18.04.2, but it also upgraded the kernel from Linux 4.16.12 to Linux 4.17.1. As such, OpenSuSE Tumbleweed is now officially powered by Linux kernel 4.17, so upgrading your installs as soon as possible would be a good idea. Read more

today's howtos and leftovers