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02.21.16

Links 21/2/2016: Linux Mint Web Site Breaches, MWC 2016

Posted in News Roundup at 8:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Tencent and Why Open Source is About to Explode in China

    One of the pioneers of the internet in China gave a highly provocative talk – asking the audience why China had yet to birth a major open source project. The consensus in the audience (polled via WeChat platform) was that China’s culture inhibited open source. I heard this in my travels throughout China.

    Frankly I can see this both ways. While I see the cultural challenges everyone was telling me about, their awareness of the challenge is so tangible that it is driving leaders in the community like Tencent’s Marty Ma and TethrNet’s Kevin Yin to try just a little harder. Even if the majority of Chinese tech workers don’t quite fully get open source now, we’re seeing leaders emerge in the country willing to invest of their time and energy to change things. I wouldn’t bet against them.

  • IoT industry leaders announce open source standard group

    On Friday, a group of industry leaders making headway in the Internet of Things (IoT) market announced a cross-industry collaboration effort aimed at unlocking the massive opportunities for consumers and business with IoT devices, and ultimately a way to quickly get everyone to adopting a single open standard.

  • Coreboot Now Supports U-Boot As A Payload
  • Coreboot Receives Initial POWER8 Support
  • New Businessweek Comic Uses Open-Source Al Jazeera Code

    Businessweek just published a comic strip online by Peter Coy and Dorothy Gambrell, which also appeared in print today. It argues against Fed Chair Janet Yellen introducing negative interest rates. For online readers that find their view of the strip too constricted, the site offers a way to focus on one digestible bit at a time. Open-source software released by Al Jazeera America (AJAM) last year under the MIT license, called Pulp, allowed Bloomberg to better the reading experience without writing new code.

  • AquaJS framework for Node.js is open source and in beta

    AquaJS is a framework for Node.js that was created at Equinix, which provides carrier-neutral datacenters and Internet exchanges for interconnection. AquaJS was developed to provide a way to start microservice-based application development. It is built with open-source modules, along with a few in-house modules, such as including architecture and design, programming best practices, technology, and deployment and runtime.

  • Learn Why Node.js is an Open Source Juggernaut

    The Node.js Foundation was created last year to support the open source community involved with Node.js, which offers an asynchronous event driven framework designed to build scalable network applications.

  • Events

    • What Should We Stop Doing? (FLOSS Community Metrics Meeting keynote)

      One trend I see underlying a big chunk of FLOSS metrics work is the desire to automate the emotional labor involved in maintainership, like figuring out how our fellow contributors are doing, making choices about where to spend mentorship time, and tracking a community’s emotional tenor. But is that appropriate? What if we switched our assumptions around and used our metrics to figure out what we’re spending time on more generally, and tried to find low-value programming work we could stop doing? What tools would support this, and what scenarios could play out?

    • Comparing Codes of Conduct to Copyleft Licenses (My FOSDEM Speech)

      I will briefly mention my credentials in speaking about this topic, especially since this is my first FOSDEM and many of you don’t know me. I have been a participant in free and open source software communities since the late 1990s. I’m the past community manager for MediaWiki, and while at the Wikimedia Foundation, I proposed and implemented our code of conduct, which we call a Friendly Space Policy, for in-person Wikimedia technical spaces such as hackathons and conferences.

    • What to expect from QCon London 2016

      Actually, it’s mostly more of the same (in a good way)… but perhaps at a slightly amplified level — the only change we have reflected here is to profile QCon London in the open source blog category.

      Okay yes there will be your proprietary players there too, but open source will be especially strong this year… as it is everywhere.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Open Source Interview: Former Mozilla President Li Gong on the HTML5 OS

        In this article, I introduce our new series—the Open Source interview—inviting you to suggest questions to ask our interviewees in a follow-up email interview. The first candidate is Li Gong, former president of Mozilla, who is now heading Acadine Technologies. They are busy launching H5OS, an open source platform for mobile and IoT.

      • Servo Lands Its New GPU-Accelerated Rendering Backend

        Mozilla’s experimental Servo web layout engine written in Rust has landed its new “WebRender” back-end that leverages GPU rendering.

        WebRender is an experimental GPU rendering back-end for Servo. WebRender tries to offload as much of the rendering work to the GPU rather than having to draw the web content via the CPU.

      • Mozilla: Real Data Encryption Requires Political Action, Not Just Code

        Mozilla took a strong stance on online privacy this week by reiterating the need for more encryption — but also noting that, in our age of government backdoors, encryption software alone may not be enough to keep data secure.

        In a blog post, Mozilla, the organization behind Firefox and other popular open source software, declares that “encryption isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity.” And it plays up the importance of projects like Let’s Encrypt, a partnership Mozilla helped launch in 2014 to create an open certificate authority for encrypting websites.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Analysts Find Hadoop Now Entrenched in Banking, Government

      The open source Hadoop Big Data platform is not only on the rise, but it is becoming more entrenched in important sectors, including business and government. That is just one of the findings in a Research and Markets report titled “World Hadoop Market – Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014 – 2021″.

      The report also finds that the global Hadoop market is expected to garner revenue of $84.6 billion by 2021, registering a CAGR of 63.4% during the period 2016 to 2021. That is nothing to shake a stick at.

      North America accounted for around 52% share of the overall market revenue in 2015, according to the report, owing to higher rate of adoption in industries such as IT, banking, and government. Europe is anticipated to witness the fastest CAGR of 65.7% during the forecast period.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Joining The Document Foundation Board

      At the end of 2015 I was honoured to be elected to serve as a director of The Document Foundation — the charity that develops LibreOffice — for two years. The new Board commenced yesterday, February 18 and immediately started conducting business by selecting a Chair – Marina Latini from the LibreItalia community – and a vice-chair, the redoubtable Michael Meeks of Collabora.

      While some doubted when it was formed, with a few even mounting campaigns to undermine it for reasons I still don’t understand, The Document Foundation has quickly developed into a model for new open source community charities.

    • Pondering the future of the Document Foundation

      This past week we had had the pleasure to welcome both our new marketing assistant and the new board of directors of the Document Foundation. I would like to say a few words on where the Document Foundation stands now – and I must stress that I’m confident the new board has the right people to handle the future of the foundation.

      The Document Foundation is still a small entity compared to the Mozilla or OpenStack Foundation. However, with several hundreds of thousands of euros/dollars of resources, it just happens to stand just behind these behemoths. It is not an easy task. Commonly held opinions often do not apply with us: “pay X to code feature Y”. That is somewhat possible, but we tend not to do it, unless there is a strategic reason (and enough money) to do it. We do fund, however, our entire infrastructure, the release management process, infrastructure and tools that help the community develop, improve and release LibreOffice. As the Document Foundation is now four years old, we are adjusting our internal processes and decision making structure in order to scale up and be more effective. There is no easy answer, because most of the ones that could be made were already found during the past four years.

  • CMS

    • Remember WordPress’ Pingbacks? The W3C wants us to use them across the whole web

      Something called Webmentions – which looks remarkably like the old WordPress pingbacks, once popular in the late 2000s – is grinding through the machinery of the mighty, and slow-moving, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

      But don’t be deceived. Lurking behind that unassuming name lies something that might eventually offer users a way of ditching not just Facebook and Twitter but also those other massive corporations straddling the web.

  • Google Openwashing

  • IBM

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Kuhn’s Paradox

      I believe this paradox is primarily driven by the cooption of software freedom by companies that ostensibly support Open Source, but have the (now extremely popular) open source almost everything philosophy.

      For certain areas of software endeavor, companies dedicate enormous resources toward the authorship of new Free Software for particular narrow tasks. Often, these core systems provide underpinnings and fuel the growth of proprietary systems built on top of them. An obvious example here is OpenStack: a fully Free Software platform, but most deployments of OpenStack add proprietary features not available from a pure upstream OpenStack installation.

      Meanwhile, in other areas, projects struggle for meager resources to compete with the largest proprietary behemoths. Large user-facing, server-based applications of the Service as a Software Substitute variety, along with massive social media sites like Twitter and Facebook that actively work against federated social network systems, are the two classes of most difficult culprits on this point. Even worse, most traditional web sites have now become a mix of mundane content (i.e., HTML) and proprietary Javascript programs, which are installed on-demand into the users’ browser all day long, even while most of those servers run a primarily Free Software operating system.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • GitHub is proprietary, therefore it is evil

      There has been a lot of noise recently on how GitHub is bad, and how developers should stop using it.

    • Hello, Kotlin: Another programming language for JVM and JavaScript

      Why Kotlin? JetBrains is a developer tools company whose IntelliJ IDEA IDE has been adapted by Google for Android Studio, and the short answer seems to be that the company wanted something better than Java with which to build its own products.

    • A Programmer’s Dream: This Is What Your Code Actually Looks Like On GitHub

      Codeology is an online visualization program that allows you to see your GitHub project in front of your eyes.

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2016

      It’s been a very busy start to the year at RedMonk, so we’re a few weeks behind in the release of our bi-annual programming language rankings. The data was dutifully collected at the start of the year, but we’re only now getting around to the the analysis portion. We have changed the actual process very little since Drew Conway and John Myles White’s original work late in 2010. The basic concept is simple: we periodically compare the performance of programming languages relative to one another on GitHub and Stack Overflow. The idea is not to offer a statistically valid representation of current usage, but rather to correlate language discussion (Stack Overflow) and usage (GitHub) in an effort to extract insights into potential future adoption trends.

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