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Links 13/2/2016: Debian 6.0 EOL

Posted in News Roundup at 12:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Pinterest open-sources its Teletraan tool for deploying code

    As promised last year when the company introduced it, Pinterest today announced that it has released its Teletraan tool for deploying source code on GitHub under an open source Apache license.

    “Teletraan is designed to do one thing, deploy code,” Pinterest software engineer Baogang Song wrote in a blog post. “Not only does it support critical features such as zero downtime deploy, rollback, staging and continuous deploy, but it also has convenient features, such as displaying commit details, comparing different deploys, notifying deploy state changes through either email or chat room, displaying OpenTSDB metrics and more.”

  • Split Emerges in Open Source MANO Efforts

    A broad attempt to create a single open source effort around managing and orchestrating NFV is now bifurcating into two separate groups, based on irreconcilable views of how to best standardize the MANO going forward.

  • Events

    • Share your love for free software

      Yes, we love Free Software and this readily means that we love technology, people, social equanimity, and the various meanings one may take on for the word “freedom”. We care about it and we all want to bear witness of the growth and consolidation of new projects, and the progress of elder ones into full-fledged solutions driven by healthy and thriving communities. Free Software communities are inherently diverse and put together people with different motivations, expectations, and interests. Some are there to make friends and advance their technical and social skills, while others want to pursue the dream of an open world or even have Free Software as their daily paid job. In spite of such a diversity, one thing unite all of us in this Free Software odyssey: we love what we do.

    • Encryption: probably better than a box of chocolates

      This is a fun activity, but it can also make a difference. The right to encrypt is endangered around the world, with governments threatening our security and freedom by demanding legal or technological crippling of encryption. Resist with the power of love — encrypt with your valentine, and tell the world!

      And as we’ve discussed at length, free software is necessary for privacy online. Because nonfree software’s code can’t be audited publicly, we can never trust it to be free of back doors inserted by accident or by design. We’re thankful to all the hardworking free software developers who give us a fighting chance at digital privacy. It goes without saying, but we do love FS.

    • Sharing the free software love #ilovefs

      I like to think of every day on Opensource.com as I love Free Software Day, but we couldn’t miss celebrating the official I love Free Software Day 2016, too. Granted, the official day to say “thank you” is on February 14th, so we’re showing our love a little early to make sure you don’t miss it.

    • OpenStack Summit Austin 2016 Presentation Votes (ends Feb. 17th, 2016)

      Open voting is available for all session submissions until Wednesday, Feb 17, 2016 at 11:59PM PST. This is a great way for the community to decide what they want to hear.

      I have submitted a handful of sessions which I hope will be voted for. Below are some short summary’s and links to their voting pages.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 44.0.2 Arrives for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X

        Mozilla launched a second update for the Firefox 44.0 branch, but this is a smaller release with just a couple of smaller fixes, albeit the security issue is quite important.

      • Mozilla Thunderbird 45.0 to Finally Bring GTK3 Integration for Linux, Sort Of

        Earlier today, Mozilla has come out with the sixth point release of the stable 38.0 branch of its Thunderbird e-mail, news, and chat client, fixing a few minor issues reported by users since the 38.5.x series.

      • Make your own Firefox OS TV

        Mozilla may not be actively developing Firefox OS for smartphones anymore… but the company is still pushing the operating system as an option for smart TVs and Internet-of Things products.

        Don’t want to spend money on a TV that comes with Firefox OS? You can build your own Firefox-based smart TV device… sort of.

      • Mozilla refocuses Firefox OS on connected devices

        One by one, the promising new smartphone operating systems, which hoped to chip away at the Android/iOS duopoly, are admitting defeat and refocusing on the less entrenched world of wearables and the Internet of Things. Mozilla has joined that sad procession, in the wake of Samsung Tizen, webOS and Baidu Cloud OS, and perhaps just ahead of Windows Phone, to judge by that platform’s increasingly tiny showing in Microsoft’s results.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Feedback on teaching open source usability

      I was pleased that ten students signed up for the elective. This may seem small, but it is a significant number for a campus of some 1,900 students and a small computer science department. The same number of students also signed up for other electives that semester, including a course on databases. I organized the class similarly to the usability projects I mentor for Outreachy. Over thirteen weeks, students learned about open source software and usability testing. Most weeks included two assignments: summarizing several assigned articles, and exercising their knowledge of that week’s topic. Later in the semester, students moderated two in-person usability tests; the second was their final project.

      At the end of each semester, students responded to a course evaluation, called the Student Rating of Teaching. The evaluation is totally anonymous. I don’t know which students made which comments, or indeed which students chose to respond to the survey.

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Swift’s Benchmarking Suite is Now Open Source [Ed: to help Apple lock-in]

      Apple has open sourced Swift’s benchmarking suite, a key piece in tracking Swift performance and catching performance regressions when adding new features to the language.

      Swift’s benchmarking suite is a collection of Swift source files that implement test suites and benchmarking helper functions, plus a number of Python scripts that implement a test harness and facilities for metrics comparison.

  • Funding

    • Faking Open, Debian Influence, Da Linux

      Matt Asay today said that there is no money in Open Source software because the “open source companies” that get rich don’t do it with Open Source software. The big story today must be the Russian government’s plan to dump Windows for Linux. Debian 6.0 will reach its end-of-life at the end of the month and Tecmint.com recently looked at the influence Debian has had on the Linux community. A new website helps you decide what you can do for Fedora and I Love Free Software day approacheth. New openSUSE Board member Bryan Lunduke sees some problems in KDE Neonland and Swapnil Bhartiya shared his picks for best distros of 2016.

    • Face it: There’s no money in open source [Ed: says Asay from Adobe]

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open-Source Textbooks Gain Support to Improve College Affordability

        Universities and state governments are supporting open-source textbooks as a way to make college more affordable.

        The open textbooks are produced with publicly available material. They are issued to students for free or a small fraction of the hundreds of dollars they typically spend annually on books.

      • OUR VIEW: Making college texts — if not college — affordable

        We’re all familiar with the high cost of a college education: estimated expenses for a year at the University of Connecticut, including on-campus housing, is, according to the school’s website, $25,802. So that’s a little over $100,000 for a four-year education. And that’s only the beginning.

        If a student takes four courses each semester and each requires one or more textbooks, the annual cost for books and supplies could be as much as $1,200, according to the College Board. Of course, if more than one book is required or if the student selects one of the high-cost majors, it could be far more. The standard textbook for Fundamentals of General Chemistry I at the University of Connecticut has a list price of $303.

      • Researcher illegally shares millions of science papers free online to spread knowledge

        A researcher in Russia has made more than 48 million journal articles – almost every single peer-reviewed paper every published – freely available online. And she’s now refusing to shut the site down, despite a court injunction and a lawsuit from Elsevier, one of the world’s biggest publishers.

        For those of you who aren’t already using it, the site in question is Sci-Hub, and it’s sort of like a Pirate Bay of the science world. It was established in 2011 by neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who was frustrated that she couldn’t afford to access the articles needed for her research, and it’s since gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of papers being downloaded daily. But at the end of last year, the site was ordered to be taken down by a New York district court – a ruling that Elbakyan has decided to fight, triggering a debate over who really owns science.

      • WHO Full Speed On Zika R&D, Two Candidate Vaccines Emerging; Funders, Journals Commit To Sharing Of Data
    • Open Hardware

      • $99 CowTech Ciclop Open Source 3D Scanner Hits Kickstarter (video)

        So if you think CowTech Ciclop 3D scanner is something you could benefit from, visit the Kickstarter website now to make a pledge and help this awesome $99 open soruce 3D scanner become a reality.

      • Faircap Project: Open source 3D printed water filter aims to solve global crisis for just $1

        The Faircap Project is a collaborative, clean water initiative, whose aim is to create an affordable open source 3D printed water filtration device that could provide clean, safe, drinkable water to those in need. The startup has already created a working prototype, but is now calling on engineers, designers, microbiologists, or anyone interested in helping to pitch their own open source ideas and make the Faircap filter as low cost and accessible as possible.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Is the vinyl LP an open music format?

      This is my first article for a new column here on Opensource.com about music from an open point of view. Some things I won’t be doing: I won’t be concentrating solely on music released under an open license. I won’t be writing (much) about making one’s own music. I won’t be writing (much) about music theory or professional matters, or probably really very much of anything of interest to professional musicians.

      I will write about music I encounter that interests me for one reason or another. I’ll tell you about how to enjoy music in an open environment, like on a Linux-based laptop, desktop, or server. I’ll share hardware I’ve purchased or tried out that works well, and some that doesn’t, in an open environment. I promise to write about good places to buy music that are Linux-friendly (that is, those that don’t require installing downloaders that only run on other operating systems). And I will point out some other websites, and occasionally print media, that increases my enjoyment of music.


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