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today's leftovers

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  • What have you been playing recently and what are your thoughts?

    It's Sunday, it's a lazy day for some and plenty of you are probably playing through your backlog of games.

    I've been testing out the Linux beta of the upcoming monster capture game Monster Crown. One that was crowdfunded some time ago, and it's incredibly promising. The developer has been great to chat to and they seem very committed to polishing the Linux build. Still a long road ahead though but a rather unique take on a Pokemon-like that I can't wait to put more time into

  • A Calculator In 2020?

    I’ll confess. I want a proper desktop calculator from time to time. But why? Sure, I can run calculations on the very computer that I’m using to type right now. And in terms of programming languages, the resources are far superior on my laptop. Unit conversions? Units, or the Interwebs. Heck, I can even type calculations directly into the Unix world’s default editor.

  • How many Raspberry Pis do you own?

    The Raspberry Pi is so accessible and affordable, and that means it can be easy to start a collection, even unintentionally. There are now nine different boards available, and amazingly all of them are still useful for something. Being so low-powered and easy to maintain, they have a surprisingly long shelf life, and a continual ability to keep working on whatever set of tasks it's been set up to do.


    On the other hand, the Raspberry Pi offers a great way to introduce others to the world of open source. Whether someone is learning Linux, web development, game programming, or just wants to try out a low-powered free desktop, the Raspberry Pi has something for anyone curious about emerging tech. If you have people like that in your life, then you may not own many Raspberry Pis because you're too busy giving them away as gifts!

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® BrooklynTM v1.0
  • Pasadena Convention Center event impacted by fears over coronavirus

    The coronavirus put a dent in a software conference that kicked off Thursday — one of many events throughout the region that have been scaled back or curtailed as the virus spreads across the state.

    SCALE, an open-source software conference being held at Pasadena Convention Center, has lost some of its scheduled speakers and exhibitors over fears of the spreading coronavirus.

    Conference Chairman Ilan Rabinovitch said fewer classes will be held as a result.

  • Real-time communication and collaboration in a file sync & share environment - A introduction to Nextcloud Talk

    At the beginning of this year I gave two times a presentation about Nextcloud Talk. First at the annual CS3 conference in Copenhagen and just one week later at FOSDEM in Brussels. Nextcloud Talk provides a full featured real-time communication platform. Completely Free Software, self-hosted and nicely integrated with all the other aspects of Nextcloud.

  • Google‌ ‌Expands‌ ‌Open‌ ‌Images‌ ‌Dataset‌ ‌and‌ ‌Adds‌ ‌New‌ ‌Localized‌ ‌Narratives‌ ‌Annotation‌

    Google AI has just released a new version (V6) of their photo dataset Open Images, which now includes an entirely new type of annotation called localized narratives. These multimodal descriptions of images incorporate synchronized voice, text, and mouse trace annotations that provide more in-depth training data for what is already one of the largest open "source annotated" image datasets in the world.


    Localized narratives provide spoken descriptions of images which are grounded by the annotator's mouse which hovers over each region of the image that they are describing. Since the voice and the mouse pointer are synchronized, every word in the description can be localized. The mouse traces are seen as a more natural way for humans to provide a sequence of grounding locations, compared to the current standard of listing bounding boxes.

  • University marks Open Education Week with $1.6 million in savings for students

    As the world celebrated Open Education Week March 2-6, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln announced its students have saved an estimated $1.6 million in textbook costs using inclusive access and open education resource programs. More than 23,000 students have participated in the programs, with an average savings of about $70 per student.

    The university began pilot programs for digital course materials in fall 2018, with $117,836 in savings for almost 2,000 students.

    "This dramatic increase is very exciting and shows the great potential of these programs as we implement them across more courses and disciplines," said Amy Goodburn, senior associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate education. "The instructors using these materials have put in a tremendous amount of effort in reworking their courses and classrooms to make their students' experiences successful and affordable."

  • The Latest Skype Update Breaks Some Linux Systems, Prevents App From Working [Ed: What Microsoft proprietary software does to itself and everything around it]

    Skype is a popular platform that is used by millions of people for Text, Audio or Video-based communications. It allows you to call your friends and family at affordable prices. Skype offers desktop versions for almost all platforms including Linux.

    However, Skype issues aren’t new and the latest Skype for Linux patch is the latest to cause more problems. People who are running Skype on CentOS systems are now reporting that the latest update broke the messaging app.

  • The trendy five: Best open source picks from GitHub in February 2020 [Ed: JAXenter continue to promote the ruinous delusion/lie that projects not controlled by Microsoft don't exist or count]
  • Walmart Joins Hyperledger to Expand Role in Open-Source Community

    Hyperledger’s executive director, Brian Behelendorf, told Cointelegraph that Hyperledger has about 250 members total to date. Hyperledger is an open-source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

  • The Edge AI and Vision Alliance Announces Three Hands-On Open-Source Training Classes for Computer Vision and AI in 2020
  • Open Cybersecurity Alliance (OCA) Advances Mission to Bring Interoperability Across Cybersecurity Products [Ed: "Open" as in connecting proprietary software]

today's leftovers

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  • 2020-03-06 | Linux Headlines

    A 16-year-old critical vulnerability has been discovered in PPP, iXsystems is merging FreeNAS and TrueNAS, GCompris moves to Patreon for funding, and Samba makes big changes to its cryptography implementation.

  • 8 Capture Devices for Streaming | Windows and Linux

    8 Capture Devices for Streaming | Windows and Linux Let's review 8 streaming devices that I have bought and used over the past year and a half. I have attempted to use all these on both Windows and Linux.

  • Intel PMC Mux Control Driver Coming For Linux 5.7 To Change USB-C Modes

    One of the new Intel drivers up for testing that is currently in the USB-next for the forthcoming Linux 5.7 kernel cycle is the Intel PMC Mux Control driver.

    The intel_pmc_mux Linux driver is for Intel's latest hardware platforms in being able to change the mode/roles of USB-C ports. The PMC (Power Management Controller) micro-controller with this mux-agent is predominantly found on newer Intel SoCs.

  • Reproducible Builds in February 2020

    One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security. However, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into ostensibly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes.


    Media coverage & upstream news — A new paper on reproducible containers, Ruby updates, etc.

  • ClipGrab

    There is a new tool available for Sparkers: ClipGrab

  • Google Interviewing Process for Software Developer Role in 2020

    From what Olivia told me, the interviewing process at Google comprises three stages: first of all, there are two remote coding interviews on algo and data structures. If you’re extraordinary, you might just have one interview, but for an average software engineer it will be two. The next stage is an on-site interview in one of the Google offices, which includes several coding interviews (again!), a system design interview, and last but not least, ‘Googleyness and Leadership’. The last one detects how well you’ll fit into the company.


    In Olivia’s words, «Even if you pass all the interviews and reach the final stage, it doesn’t guarantee that you will get the job. Because Google’s hiring process has one more step, which will take place without you. In this last stage, several senior Googlers (who don't know you and have never spoken to you) will review your CV and feedback from the interviewers and decide whether you will fit into Google or not. Only with their endorsement can you land the job.» OK, it’s time for frustrating moment #2.

  • My Second Year as a Solo Developer

    My long-term unprofitability often perplexes people. They assume I fund my money-losing endeavors with freelance work, but the truth is that 100% of my working hours go into my non-lucrative businesses. This is possible due to three main factors: [...]

today's leftovers

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  • Colorpicker: Mininal But Complete Color Picker App

    There are quite a few color picker applications for Ubuntu Linux. Colorpicker is another one written with Electron, and works in Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

  • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS (February 2020)

    In February 2020, I have worked on the Debian LTS project only for 5.75 hours (of 20 hours planned). I gave back 12 hours to the pool and reduced my availability to 8 hours per month.

    Unfortunately, last month I got too distracted by other interesting and challenging projects, and also by some intense personal topics.

  • Ubuntu Blog: The State of Robotics – February 2020

    In 2020 we are already seeing the world of robotics hit the ground running. So far this year new and exciting things have been cropping up in every industry. The mainstream media pick up ROS stories and big-name robotics companies are no longer just on the factory floors. Here we talk about MoveIt for ROS2, ROS best practices, a robotics competition, Boston Dynamics, Otto motors, and more. But there is certainly a lot of we have missed. If you’re working on any robotics projects that you’d like us to talk about, be sure to get in touch. Fire an email to, we’d love to hear about it and share it with our audience. For now, though let’s look at the state of robotics in February.

  • Ubuntu 20.04 Controls Application Access & Provides More Privacy & Security!!

    Ubuntu 20.04: The latest version of Ubuntu is 20.04 and it is going to be released in April 2020. The team Canonical is the core developers of this Ubuntu 20.04 version. They mentioned that Ubuntu 20.04 will be the best release ever. Yeah, we know many new features are going to arrive with Ubuntu 20.04 which includes Finger Print Sensor Detection, Multiple Screen Options, Default Dark Theme and Changes in Home Icons and many more.

    Now, one of the Ubuntu users found that Ubuntu 20.04 controls the application access! These features will let you control the applications to maintain your privacy and data security.

  • foss-north 2020 Community Day

    Let me tell you about the foss-north 2020 community day. It has been an idea for many years, but it all started last year. The idea is that we welcome open source projects to a day of hacking, workshoping, teaching and fun the day before the conference.

  • People of WordPress: Mary Job

    Mary remembers when cybercafés started trending in Nigeria. She had just finished high school and was awaiting her results for admission to university. She spent all of her time (10 hours a day) and all of her pocket money buying bulk time online at cafes. All the way through university that was true, until in 2008 she graduated with a degree in philosophy and bought her own computer and modem.

    She started blogging in 2009. Initially, she tried out Blogger, Hubpages, and WordPress—but found WordPress too complicated.

  • Standards and Open Source News Summary – March 5, 2020

    Is there nowhere to hide? Streamlined targeted advertising comes to television. The on-line world has seen ever more laser-like ad targeting of viewers, particularly on dominant platforms like Google and Facebook. The same practice has existed in the print world in a more limited way for even longer, where sophisticated regional printing centers swapped ads in national magazines based on zip codes or other data. But what about television?

    Cable TV stations in the US have had similar capabilities, and that practice will now be streamlined and broadened by the release of a new targeted advertising specification from the HbbTV Association, a membership-based standards developer, “dedicated to providing open standards for the delivery of advanced interactive TV services through broadcast and broadband networks for connected TV sets and set-top boxes.” A simultaneously issued companion specification offers a standardised signalling mode for advertisement substitution in live TV broadcasts.

    Defining terms: A new standard to facilitate AI in healthcare. Perhaps the first standards developed by humans were words – abstract sounds that primitive peoples agreed would signify specific objects or actions. We’ve been creating taxonomies, schemas and other standardized vocabularies ever since in order to ensure accuracy of understanding and facilitate the interoperable exchange and merging of data.

    In the case of medicine and health care, the process has been ongoing for decades with mixed results, and with the advent of artificial intelligence – AI – that challenge takes on a new dimension, and has generated a new standard for the use of AI in healthcare. The goal is to assign definitions for sometimes vague or inconsistently used terms in order to increase data integrity and create more trusted AI solutions. The AI in Healthcare standard was developed by more than fifty major IT vendors, like Amazon and Microsoft, as well as startups and healthcare companies, all members of the Consumer Technology Association.

Leftovers: GCompris, SOM, Integrators and Open Data

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  • GCompris is back on Patreon

    In case you missed the news: last month I decided to make the full version of GCompris gratis for all platforms! I hope that this move will make it easier for all the children in the world to get access to the best educational software.

    Now in order to support my work on GCompris development, I will rely only on Patreon.

    Each month I will publish a News post there to keep patrons informed of the work done. All the patrons will have their name on the donation page of GCompris website, except those who select the “Hidden Cats” tier.

  • RF system-on-module ideal for extensive range of applications

    The environment supports industry-standard Linux Industrial I/O applications, MATLAB, Simulink, and GNU Radio, and streaming interfaces for custom C, C++, Python, and C# applications. HDL reference designs and drivers allow zero day development.

  • 3 Reasons Why Integrators Should Embrace Open Source Systems

    The security industry has come a long way in the past decade. As companies strive to make their products more accessible to cater to end-user demands, system designs are changing. One of the most significant advancements we’ve seen is a migration from proprietary systems to systems that have the flexibility to work seamlessly with other equipment, regardless of the manufacturer.

    Open source systems are impacting all aspects of physical security, from development to installation. Thanks to the flexibility these systems provide, integrators can create individualized solutions tailored to their client’s unique needs. While the benefits are many, there are three key reasons to embrace open source systems to ensure you are providing your clients with the tools they need, now and in the future.

  • Useful data sets for Call for Code

    More data is becoming freely available through initiatives such as institutions and research publications requiring that data sets be freely available along with the publications that refer to them. For example, Nature magazine instituted a policy for authors to declare how the data behind their published research can be accessed by interested readers.

    To make it easier for tools to find out what’s in a data set, authors, researchers, and suppliers of data sets are being encouraged to add metadata to their data sets. There are various forms for metadata that data sets use. For example, the US Government site uses the standard DCAT-US Schema v1.1 whereas the Google Dataset Search tool relies mostly on tagging. However, many data sets have no metadata at all. That’s why you won’t find all open data sets through search, and you need to go to known portals and explore if portals exist in the region, city, or topic of your interest. If you are deeply curious about metadata, you can see the alignment between DCAT and in the DCAT specification dated February 2020. The data sets themselves come in various forms for download, such as CSV, JSON, GeoJSON, and .zip. Sometimes data sets can be accessed through APIs.

    Another way that data sets are becoming available is through government initiatives to make data available. In the US, has more than 250,000 data sets available for developers to use. A similar initiative in India,, has more than 350,000 resources available.

today's leftovers

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  • How to launch IoT devices – Part 3: make vs buy decisions
  • Install and Use Wireshark on Ubuntu Linux
  • Okular and restoration of tabs (plus Debian packages)

    I have the need to restore my okular tab setup on restart, since I often have quite a lot of pdfs open to view at the same time. Unfortunately, the current okular doesn’t provide this feature. There is a merge request by one of the main authors of okular, but it doesn’t work for me in a stand-alone setup, that is not running KDE but only Okular. I developed a much simpler fix for the restoration problem (because most of the code is already there!), see this merge request, which – although not perfect for sure – does the trick for me.

  • Open source is getting bigger and richer, says SUSE

    Melissa Di Donato, CEO of open source software company SUSE, was at a tech summit recently where every other attendee was an executive from a proprietary, closed-source software company.

    "They were all talking about the importance of crowd-sourcing, of community building, so I raised my hand and said: 'Wait a minute – are you aware there is a whole world out there and it's called open source? Do you even know what open source is?'"

  • The future of open source licences is changing [Ed: Asking Microsoft and companies connected to it, such as OpenLogic and WhiteSource, about FOSS licences in order to promote the anti-copyleft agenda. Microsoft created an extensive framework and network of proxies to smear and mislead about the GPL for well over a decade. The article includes another one of them, WhiteSource. There's also Black Duck, which was created by a Microsoft marketing person to attack the GPL. As for OpenLogic, Stormy Peters worked there before working directly for Microsoft. Guess who founded/ran OpenLogic...]
  • Khronos Moves Ahead With Developing "ANARI" API For Analytic Rendering

    A formal working group has now commenced to create this analytic rendering API which they are calling ANARI. The ANARI API will be focused on having an industry standard around data visualizations and is one step above Khronos' graphics APIs like Vulkan and OpenGL. ANARI will be focused on data presentation and similar in nature to the vendor-specific NVIDIA VisRTX and Intel OSPRay.

today's leftovers

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  • RedNotebook 2.18

    RedNotebook is a modern desktop journal. It lets you format, tag and search your entries. You can also add pictures, links and customizable templates, spell check your notes, and export to plain text, HTML, Latex or PDF. RedNotebook is Free Software under the GPL.

  • Disaster tolerance with Apache Cassandra

    The size and scope of today's Internet companies require more than your average SQL. Apache Cassandra is one of the NoSQL systems filling the need for high availability at scale.

    Apache Cassandra is an open source NoSQL distributed database that stores and manages large volumes of data on standard servers. Cloud providers use Cassandra for configurations with many data centers spread across global networks.

  • CouchDB Adds Live Shard Splitting

    There's a major new release of Apache CouchDB, with improvements including live shard splitting, user-defined partitioned databases for faster querying, and an automatic view index warmer.

    Apache CouchDB is an open source NoSQL document database that stores data in a schema-free JSON format. CouchDB uses its own replication protocol to keep JSON documents synchronized. CouchDB was originally developed by Damien Katz, and was then adopted as a successful Apache project. CouchDB comes with a developer-friendly query language, and optionally MapReduce for simple, efficient, and comprehensive data retrieval.

  • Some Election-Related Websites Still Run on Vulnerable Software Older Than Many High Schoolers

    The Richmond, Virginia, website that tells people where to vote and publishes election results runs on a 17-year-old operating system. Software used by election-related sites in Johnston County, North Carolina, and the town of Barnstable, Massachusetts, had reached its expiration date, making security updates no longer available.

    These aging systems reflect a larger problem: A ProPublica investigation found that at least 50 election-related websites in counties and towns voting on Super Tuesday — accounting for nearly 2 million voters — were particularly vulnerable to cyberattack. The sites, where people can find out how to register to vote, where to cast ballots and who won the election, had security issues such as outdated software, poor encryption and systems encumbered with unneeded computer programs. None of the localities contacted by ProPublica said that their sites had been disrupted by cyberattacks.

today's leftovers

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  • Unconventional Warfare has tactical combat with visual novel style storytelling up on Kickstarter

    Unconventional Warfare is certainly a peculiar mix with visual novel styled story-telling with anime characters, plus it's also a tactical shooter.

  • How to Play Old Flash Games in 2020, and Beyond

    Adobe is killing Flash at the end of 2020, but Flash games are an important part of internet history. Thankfully, a community project called Flashpoint is stepping up to save them. Here’s how you can keep playing all your favorites for the foreseeable future.

  • GNOME 3.36 Seeing Last Minute Mutter Wayland Improvements

    On top of the last minute GNOME 3.36 work on scaled/transformed hardware cursors handling, there is some other interesting last-minute Wayland work on the Mutter side.

    On Saturday shortly after Red Hat's Jonas Ådahl released Wayland-Protocols 1.19, he went ahead and merged the Mutter compositor changes for the new protocol support around implicit and explicit repositioning of already mapped pop-ups. There is also GTK-side changes pending too for synchronized Wayland pop-up moving.

    Details on the Mutter changes around the Wayland pop-up moving via the MR that was honored this weekend.

  • Fuchsia Friday: Google is beginning to ‘dogfood’ test Fuchsia OS

    So what would a dogfood test of Fuchsia actually look like? From what we’ve learned over the years, Fuchsia is able to run on desktops, laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, phones, routers, smart displays, and more. That means a dogfood test could be for any or all of these different purposes for Fuchsia.

    Thankfully, from a comment on another code change, we can confirm at least one way that Fuchsia will likely be dogfooded. In a longer discussion about how Fuchsia’s update system works, a Googler shares two very interesting URLs — or at least something designed to look like a URL.

  • What to expect from SUSECON 2020

    Well, since you put it like that, ah go on then, we said… and so it came to pass that the Computer Weekly Developer Network and Open Source Insider team signed up for SUSECON 2020 in Dublin’s fair city.

    SUSE, or occasionally, SuSE (pronounced soo’-sah), is a German Linux distribution provider. SuSE is an abbreviation for “Gesellschaft f|r Software und Systementwicklung mbH”, which loosely translates to mean ‘Software and System Development Company’.

    The company assembles open source components for the Linux operating system and related programs into a selection of distribution packages that can be purchased — and, going deeper, it offers solutions that helps its customers, partners and communities simplify, modernise and accelerate their business through enterprise Linux, containers, hybrid and multi-cloud and edge computing.

  • Fundamentals of IoT and edge in retail start with SUSE, the rest is up to you

    In the last article in this series, we covered IIoT (industrial internet of things): an area of technology that’s been around for probably thirty or more years (in tech years, that’s an age). Industry has been quietly deploying edge-based technology in all sorts of facilities, on a massive variety of machinery, plant, and physical systems. It’s easy to talk, therefore, about IoT at the edge as a new concept, but in truth, it’s really not.

  • Advent of open source

    Although cyber-attacks and data breaches on networks and devices are now commonplace, for many organisations security remains a low priority in many organisations, writes Joe McManus, Director of Security at Canonical, the company that publishes Ubuntu OS, among other software.
    The saying is true, it is not if you will be hacked, but when. This can be down to a number of reasons, ranging from a lack of skills within the organisation – with unfilled cybersecurity jobs expected to reach 1.8 million in two years – to simple ignorance and a lack of training. It seems as though we have not learned from the past. Organisations seem destined to repeat mistakes from the past. We still common misconfiguration and lack of applying patches as a major vector for cyber breaches.
    A major challenge is that engineering groups have not incorporated security into their software development lifecycle (SDLC). Furthermore, rarely has the security team been included in the early stages of development to the threat model and if they are, the model is not updated as feature creep expands the threat surface of the application. . However, the cybersecurity tide is turning, no longer is the security group seen as a roadblock to production but rather a trusted advisor that can ensure projects succeed in the current threat landscape. More businesses are realising they need to include security higher up the agenda.Implementing it early on in projects, monitoring it throughout development, and patching it throughout the software lifecycle are all becoming more of a priority.

  • Daisy open source audio development board from $29

    Daisy is an open source audio development board created by Electrosmith based in San Diego, California. Specifically created to enable users to create powerful electronic instruments and sound processors. Launched via Kickstarter this month the audio development board is now available to back with earlybird pledges from just $29 or roughly £23 and worldwide shipping expected to take place during April 2020. Daisy features two channels of line level audio IO on-board, thanks to its high fidelity stereo audio codec(AKM) with up to 24-bit, 192kHz.


    “Adding additional channels of audio is easy using standard digital audio protocols such as TDM, I2S, PDM, and S/PDIF which are broken out to the pin headers. There is full support for USB MIDI IN and OUT through its onboard micro USB port and the USB pins on the header bank. It also features UART pins for connecting MIDI through 5 pin DIN, or TRS cables.”

  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Selects Alfresco to Modernise and Manage 3+ Million Patient Records
  • Healthcare Design Studio, GoInvo Releases Open Source Information Visualization "Understanding Coronavirus"

    GoInvo, a digital health design consultancy headquartered in Arlington, Massachusetts, today announced the release of "Understanding Coronavirus", (, the latest in a series of open source research and visualizations related to public health.

  • Coronavirus data analyses published on open-source platform Galaxy

    Dr. Wolfgang Maier and Dr. Björn Grüning from the University of Freiburg, together with researchers from universities in Belgium, Australia and the U.S., have reviewed previously available data on sequences of the novel coronavirus and published their analyses on the open source platform Galaxy. The two Freiburg bioinformaticians hope that this will facilitate the exchange of data between authorities, institutes and laboratories dealing with the virus. The Freiburg researchers have documented their approach and results on the bioRxiv portal.


    Within a few days, the team was able to apply identical workflows to each of the available sequences and make them publicly accessible via Galaxy. As a result, researchers worldwide now have access to the network of Galaxy servers in Europe, the U.S. and Australia, not only for the evaluation of the data, but also as the scientific infrastructure for their own work with COVID-19 data. This means that scientists will be able to analyze new COVID-19 datasets on public servers within hours after their release through the same workflows used to analyze the current data.

  • Commentary: COVID-19 crisis reveals the extraordinary promise of bioengineering

    From tackling the spread through open-source platforms to delivering food using robots, the COVID-19 outbreak has shone a light on engineering’s potential to make a difference, says Gong Ke.

  • AFA celebrates first open source textbook
  • Apple deleted files that I owned without telling me. It was inevitable, but I'm still pissed.

    I reached out to Apple, and I was told that, "This album has been modified by the content provider for many reasons. […] From time to time our content providers update their items in the catalog to ensure the highest possible quality for our customers," and that this was why I could no longer directly re-download the album from the iTunes Store.

    This is, of course, the inevitable risk of buying any kind of digital media — you don't actually own it. You're technically just buying a license to access that media, which can be revoked at any time. Presumably, that's what happened here (although Apple wouldn't just say so directly). I'm certainly surprised that Epitaph — a famously independent punk rock record label — would revoke the license for one Menzingers album while leaving the rest of them intact on the iTunes Store. But music licensing is messy.

    What's particularly frustrating, however, is that I had manually converted the entire Rented World album into non-Apple music files, and re-uploaded those into iTunes Match — specifically to avoid this kind of situation. While I'm not that surprised that Apple still embedded something in the audio files that would allow them to keep tracking the song across different formats, I am appalled that they could and would remove those files from my iTunes Match library as well.

today's leftovers

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  • Destination Linux 162: Ikey Doherty Interview, Stuart Langridge Guest Host

    Topics covered in this episode:

    Keeping Kids Safe Online


    Ikey Doherty of Lispy Snake (formerly of Solus)

    Other Topics:
    GNOME 3.36 Preview
    ISP’s Claim Privacy Law Violates “Free Speech”

  • Daniel Stenberg: Expect: tweaks in curl

    One of the persistent myths about HTTP is that it is “a simple protocol”.



    HTTP/1.1 is designed for being sent over TCP (and possibly also TLS) in a serial manner. Setting up a new connection is costly, both in terms of CPU but especially in time – requiring a number of round-trips. (I’ll detail further down how HTTP/2 fixes all these issues in a much better way.)

    HTTP/1.1 provides a number of ways to allow it to perform all its duties without having to shut down the connection. One such an example is the ability to tell a client early on that it needs to provide authentication credentials before the clients sends of a large payload. In order to maintain the TCP connection, a client can’t stop sending a HTTP payload prematurely! When the request body has started to get transmitted, the only way to stop it before the end of data is to cut off the connection and create a new one – wasting time and CPU…

    “We want a 100 to continue”

    A client can include a header in its outgoing request to ask the server to first acknowledge that everything is fine and that it can continue to send the “payload” – or it can return status codes that informs the client that there are other things it needs to fulfill in order to have the request succeed. Most such cases typically that involves authentication.

  • Environmental activist Shannon Dosemagen joins FSF conference keynote lineup

    Shannon Dosemagen is the second confirmed keynote speaker for the LibrePlanet conference. Dosemagen is the co-founder and current executive director of Public Lab, a nonprofit organization creating local environmental science solutions following the free software philosophy, and winner of the FSF's Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Shannon Dosemagen is an environmental health advocate and a community science champion, and is enthusiastic about free systems and technology that support the creation of a more just and equitable future. She is a previous Fellow at both the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and the Loyola University Environmental Communications Institute. During 2020, she will be a Fellow with the Shuttleworth Foundation, working on new concept.

    At LibrePlanet, Dosemagen will discuss her experience democratizing science to address environmental problem-solving. Her experiences and frustrations doing this work are very familiar to the free software community: "The work I do on the environment and health is being increasingly challenged by environmental deregulation and lack of cooperation. We're also seeing heightened pressure to drastically alter how society functions in an effort to curb the climate crisis. This is a profound moment, and critical to address at an event aptly themed 'Free the Future.'"

    "Shannon's work is very important, and is a testament to the success of community collaboration," says Zoë Kooyman, the FSF's program manager. "Public Lab's work towards free hardware solutions is a strong indicator of what the four freedoms can achieve, and how they can work towards a better future outside of software. Shannon is an experienced speaker and organizer, and we are proud to have her keynote at LibrePlanet."

  • GNU Health HMIS patchset 3.6.3 released with coronavirus COVID-19 coding information

    GNU Health 3.6.3 patchset has been released !

  • PCI Express 6.0 Reaches Version 0.5 Ahead Of Finalization Next Year

    Following the PCI Express 6.0 announcement from last summer that called for 64 GT/s transfer rates, version 0.5 of the PCIe 6.0 specification is now out for evaluation. 

    PCI Express 6.0 v0.5 is a "first draft" specification so that PCI-SIG members can review it and provide any feedback before delivering a complete draft in the months ahead and the v1.0 final draft in 2021. 

  • Mirantis Co-Founder Boris Renski Launches Enterprise LTE Network Startup

    There are no product details so far, but the plan is to leverage the newly opened CBRS spectrum to build 4G LTE wireless solutions and open-source most of the innovation.

today's leftovers

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  • Bring your ideas to the world with kubectl plugins

    kubectl is the most critical tool to interact with Kubernetes and has to address multiple user personas, each with their own needs and opinions. One way to make kubectl do what you need is to build new functionality into kubectl.

    Challenges with building commands into kubectl

    However, that’s easier said than done. Being such an important cornerstone of Kubernetes, any meaningful change to kubectl needs to undergo a Kubernetes Enhancement Proposal (KEP) where the intended change is discussed beforehand.

    When it comes to implementation, you’ll find that kubectl is an ingenious and complex piece of engineering. It might take a long time to get used to the processes and style of the codebase to get done what you want to achieve. Next comes the review process which may go through several rounds until it meets all the requirements of the Kubernetes maintainers – after all, they need to take over ownership of this feature and maintain it from the day it’s merged.

    When everything goes well, you can finally rejoice. Your code will be shipped with the next Kubernetes release. Well, that could mean you need to wait another 3 months to ship your idea in kubectl if you are unlucky.

    So this was the happy path where everything goes well. But there are good reasons why your new functionality may never make it into kubectl. For one, kubectl has a particular look and feel and violating that style will not be acceptable by the maintainers. For example, an interactive command that produces output with colors would be inconsistent with the rest of kubectl. Also, when it comes to tools or commands useful only to a minuscule proportion of users, the maintainers may simply reject your proposal as kubectl needs to address common needs.

    But this doesn’t mean you can’t ship your ideas to kubectl users.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 Released With More Features For Open-Source, Cross-Platform Automated Benchmarking

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.4-Vestby is now available as one of our largest updates in recent years for our open-source, cross-platform automated benchmarking framework. Almost wanting to rebrand it as Phoronix Test Suite 10, sticking to conventional versioning the Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 release brings numerous result viewer improvements, a lot of polishing to the PDF result exporting, various Microsoft Windows support improvements, new statistics capabilities, some useful new sub-commands, and much more as the latest quarterly feature release.

  • Linux 5.6 Tests On AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon 8280 2P With 100+ Benchmarks

    The latest benchmarks for your viewing pleasure are looking at the dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 performance up against the dual AMD EPYC 7742 CPUs while using the in-development Linux 5.6 kernel as the first time trying out these highest-end server processors on this new kernel debuting as stable in about one month's time.

  • PyIDM – An Open Source Alternative to IDM (Internet Download Manager)

    pyIDM is a free, open-source alternative to IDM (Internet Download Manager), used to download general files and videos from youtube as well as other streaming websites. It is developed using Python (requires Python 3.6+) and relies only on open source tools and libraries such as pycurl, youtube_dl, FFmpeg, and pysimplegui.

    It features multiple-connections, a speed engine (and it offers high download speeds based on libcurl); resume uncompleted downloads, support for fragmented video streams, support for encrypted/non-encrypted HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) media streams.

    Besides, it also supports scheduling downloads, re-using an existing connection to a remote server, and HTTP proxy support. And it allows users to control options such as selecting a theme (there are 140 themes available), set proxy, selecting segment size, speed limit, maximum concurrent downloads and maximum connections per download.

  • DRM Plugin crashes after openSUSE Tumbleweed update

    A few days ago openSUSE users started complaining about DRM Plugin crashes in Firefox after running a Tumbleweed update.

    Netflix requires the DRM plugin in Firefox to be able to play encrypted videos. The plugin would crash due to a bug in Firefox 73. While this bug affected not just openSUSE users, but everyone using Firefox 73, it became apparent to TW users as v73 landed in the Tumbleweed repo.

  • How Melissa Di Donato Is Going To Reinvent SUSE

    SUSE is one of the oldest open source companies and the first to market Linux for the enterprise. Even though it has undergone several acquisitions and a merger, it remains a strong player in the business. It has maintained its integrity and core values around open source. It continues to rely on its tried-and-tested Linux business and European markets, and generally shies away from making big moves taking big risks.

    Until now.

    SUSE appointed Melissa Di Donato as its first female CEO. She is making some serious changes to the company, from building a diverse and inclusive culture to betting on emerging technologies and taking risks.

    Soon after taking the helm last year, Di Donato spent the first few months traveling around the globe to meet SUSE teams and customers and get a better sense of the perception of the market about the company.

    Just like Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, Di Donato didn’t come to the company from an open source background. She had spent the last 25 years of her career as a SUSE customer, so she did have an outsider’s perspective of the company.

    “I am not interested in what SUSE was when I joined. I am more interested in what we want to become,” she said.

  • Experimental feature: snap refresh awareness and update inhibition

    We’d like to follow up on last week’s article about parallel installs for classic snaps with another bleeding-edge topic. Today, we will discuss snap refreshes. By design, snaps come with automatic updates, and by default, the update (refresh) frequency check is four times a day. Whenever new application versions are published, they soon become available and propagate to all end-user systems.

    Normally, the process is transparent and seamless, but there could be exceptions. For instance, if you have an app open and running, an update could be disruptive in the middle of your work. Some developers have asked for an option to inhibit refreshes of snaps while they are running, and this is now a new, experimental feature that you can enable and test on your system.


    The app refresh capability offers snaps users another level of control in the overall user experience. Automatic updates are geared toward security, but users can defer updates for up to 60 days, and now, they also have the ability to gracefully update applications with minimal disruption to their normal usage patterns and workflows.

    We very much welcome your feedback and suggestions, especially with new and upcoming features. The refresh awareness option is a good example of where the developer feedback has been valuable and useful in making the snap ecosystem even friendlier and more robust. If you have any ideas on this topic – or any other, please join our forum for a discussion.

  • How Domotz streamlined provisioning of IoT devices

    Learn how Ubuntu Core and snaps gives Domotz a competitive advantage

    As the number of IoT devices scale, the challenges of provisioning and keeping them up to date in the field increases. Domotz, who manufacture an all-in-one, network monitoring and management device for enterprise IoT networks, found themselves with this challenge that was further compounded by their rapid software release cadence.

    One of the most crucial and difficult aspects for Domotz to solve was the delivery of automatic updates to the tens of thousands of devices deployed. Domotz turned to snaps and Ubuntu Core to meet their exacting requirements.

    I absolutely believe that Ubuntu Core and snaps give us a competitive advantage. We are the only company in the IoT network management space that can guarantee a secure, always-up-to-date device for our customers’ on-premises deployments.

  • A birthday gift: 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 now only $35

    TL;DR: it’s our eighth birthday, and falling RAM prices have allowed us to cut the price of the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 to $35. You can buy one here.

  • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2020 [Ed: Redmonk uses to assess programming languages use only projects that Microsoft (a Redmonk client) controls. Some 'research', eh?]
  • Announcing Rust 1.41.1

    The Rust team has published a new point release of Rust, 1.41.1. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

    If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.41.1 is as easy as:

    rustup update stable
    If you don't have it already, you can get rustup from the appropriate page on our website.

  • This Week in Rust 327
  • Zip Files: History, Explanation and Implementation

    I have been curious about data compression and the Zip file format in particular for a long time. At some point I decided to address that by learning how it works and writing my own Zip program. The implementation turned into an exciting programming exercise; there is great pleasure to be had from creating a well oiled machine that takes data apart, jumbles its bits into a more efficient representation, and puts it all back together again. Hopefully it is interesting to read about too.

    This article explains how the Zip file format and its compression scheme work in great detail: LZ77 compression, Huffman coding, Deflate and all. It tells some of the history, and provides a reasonably efficient example implementation written from scratch in C. The source code is available in

    I am very grateful to Ange Albertini, Gynvael Coldwind, Fabian Giesen, Jonas Skeppstedt (web), Primiano Tucci, and Nico Weber who provided valuable feedback on draft versions of this material.

today's leftovers

Filed under
  • MATE 1.24 Binaries Pushed

    I have just build the latest MATE 1.24 on top of latest Slackware-Current (per Feb 26 2020) and pushed the binaries into the usual repository provided by Darren Austin at I took this chance to bump some libraries to the latest version available.

    As mentioned earlier, i can't provide mate-power-manager 1.24 since it requires new upower 0.99.x which uses a new API, so i will leave it as it is for now. Once new upower gets included, i will have to make some test first before pushing mate-power-manager 1.24 to public.

  • Lessons learned from Credit Karma GraphQL architecture

    Credit Karma and similar companies have transformed the personal finance market during the past two decades. Credit Karma has undergone multiple transformations since launching in 2007, culminating in reports this week from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal that it will be acquired by Intuit in a deal valued at $7 billion. Credit Karma did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of the acquisition.

    While multiple technologies have helped spur Credit Karma's growth, in recent years the company has increasingly embraced GraphQL architecture as a way to improve its services with faster response times for its 100 million members. According to the company, approximately 50% of Credit Karma's data traffic flows through GraphQL.

  • How to de-Google-ify your site to make it faster and visitor friendly

    Did you know that 94% of sites include at least one third-party resource while the median page requests content from 9 different domains? These third-party resources represent 35% of the total network activity and 7 of the 10 most used resources are owned by Google.

    Third-party resources slow down the web and are a concern for the privacy of people who visit these sites. Google themselves will point the finger at their analytics and ads when you use their speed tests. They provide guides on making third-party resources less slow too.

    Here’s how you can de-Google-ify your site, get fully independent and in control while having faster loading time, being more eco-friendly and more compliant with the privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

  • Open security group unveils common OpenDXL language

    Initially developed by McAfee, the OpenDXL messaging framework is already used by more than 4,000 suppliers and enterprises to develop and share integrations between various tools.

    Now, with the release of OpenDXL Ontology, OCA said it could offer a single, common language for notifications, information and actions across security products, providing users with a set of tooling that can be applied once and automatically reused everywhere, while eliminating the need to update integrations for new product versions and functionalities.

  • Open Cybersecurity Alliance announces new language for connecting cybersecurity tools

    OpenDXL Ontology is based on the Open Data Exchange Layer (OpenDXL), an open messaging framework to develop and share integrations with other tools. With the release of the language, the alliance can provide a single, common solution for notifications, information, actions and communicating with other tools. In addition, it provides companies with a set of tooling that can be applied once and automatically reused everywhere across all product categories, while also eliminating the need to update integrations as product versions and functionalities change

  • Open Cybersecurity Alliance Unveils First Open Source Language

    The newly formed Open Cybersecurity Alliance connects the fragmented cyber-security landscape with common, open source code and practices that allow companies to “integrate once, reuse everywhere.” Governed under the auspices of OASIS, the OCA now includes more than 25 member organizations and has brought two major intero-perability projects into the open-source realm, with OpenDXL Ontology (contributed by McAfee) and STIX Shifter (contributed by IBM Security) now available for cross-industry collaboration and development on GitHub.

    In addition to the availability of OpenDXL Ontology, the OCA is also announcing the formation of its Technical Steering Committee, including leaders from AT&T, IBM Security, McAfee, Packet Clearinghouse, and Tripwire, who will drive the technical direction and development of the organization.

  • Test and Code: 102: Cosmic Python, TDD, testing and external dependencies - Harry Percival

    Harry Percival has completed his second book, "Architecture Patterns with Python".
    So of course we talk about the book, also known as "Cosmic Python".
    We also discuss lots of testing topics, especially related to larger systems and systems involving third party interfaces and APIs.

  • IRC is Not Dead | Self-Hosted 13

    Self-Hosted IRC solutions are better than ever. Alan Pope joins us to make a case for the classic way to communicate online and tells us about a modern client for the web, mobile, and desktop you run on your server.

    Plus, follow up on the new Self-Hosted wiki, and more.

  • BSD Fundraising | BSD Now 339

    Meet FuryBSD, NetBSD 9.0 has been released, OpenBSD Foundation 2019 campaign wrapup, a retrospective on OmniOS ZFS-based NFS fileservers, NetBSD Fundraising 2020 goal, OpenSSH 8.2 released, and more.## Headlines

  • is Now HTTPS and Got New Design!

    Dear readers! We have two good news for you. Starting from Tuesday, 25 February 2020, website is now more secure with HTTPS and more fresh with new design. Firstly, by HTTPS you would notice a green padlock on your browser address bar. That's the security sign meaning connection between you and this site is now encrypted. By encrypted means you are safe from tampering in the middle of connection which usually done by crackers or bad internet services. Secondly, after a period of broken design (caused by shutdown as our image assets were hosted there) whole website is now kindly redesigned by the owner of this website, Mr. Mahmudin Ashar. However, there are still undergoing changes being made so you will see more stuffs coming. Personally, as an author here I really feel grateful to him and I love these changes! I hope these changes make you feel more comfortable visiting us. Do you love these new changes? Please give us feedbacks on comment section. We thank you all dear readers for your support!

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Programming: micro.sth, RProtoBuf, Perl and Python

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    Many developers turn their noses up at PHP, but I have a soft spot for it. For me, it's the most approachable programming language by far. It feels intuitive in a way no other languages do, and it makes it possible to cobble together a working application with just a handful of lines of code. So whenever I can't find a tool for a specific job, I try to build one myself. The latest project of mine is a case in point. I was looking for a simple application for keeping a photographic diary, and I was sure that I'd be able to find an open-source tool for that. I searched high and low, but I came back empty-handed. Sure, there are plenty of static website generators, but I'd prefer something that doesn't require me to perform the write-generate-upload dance every time I want to post a quick update. And I need something that I can use not only to maintain a simple diary, but also store notes, manage tasks, and draft articles -- all this without getting bogged down by configuring templates, defining categories, and tweaking settings. And because I want most of my content to be private, I should be able to protect access to it with a password.

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    A new release 0.4.17 of RProtoBuf is now on CRAN. RProtoBuf provides R with bindings for the Google Protocol Buffers (“ProtoBuf”) data encoding and serialization library used and released by Google, and deployed very widely in numerous projects as a language and operating-system agnostic protocol. This release contains small polishes related to the release 0.4.16 which added JSON support for messages, and switched to ByteSizeLong. This release now makes sure JSON functionality is only tested where available (on version 3 of the Protocol Buffers library), and that ByteSizeLong is only called where available (version 3.6.0 or later). Of course, older versions build as before and remain fully supported.

  • Perl Weekly Challenge 53: Rotate Matrix and Vowel Strings

    These are some answers to the Week 53 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

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    In Python, == compares the value of two variables and returns True as long as the values are equal.

today's howtos