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Links 13/8/2016: Plasma 5.8 LTS, Alpine Linux 3.4.3

Posted in News Roundup at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • Simplenote for Android and other platforms now open source
  • Note-Taking App ‘Simplenote’ gets Open Sourced
  • Flow Home launcher is dead, some elements will be released open source

    Almost two years ago, we covered the Flow Home launcher as a rather innovative take on the Android home screen. It gave you the things you usually want to check on your phone – Facebook feed, Twitter, Instagram, the weather – and put it together in a kind of timeline flow. At its time, it was a totally new thing.

    As the whole Android ecosystem has moved forward in over 2 years, we’ve realized that people kind of want to stay with a standard home launcher – this is why the successful launchers like Nova and Action Launcher don’t change a lot in the basic Android proposition for a home screen. HTC’s Blinkfeed – quite similar to Flow Home – has gotten a small following, but like Flow Home it hasn’t quite caught the masses’ attention.

  • Adblock Plus says open source developers will fight for users’ right to block ads on Facebook

    Following on from Facebook’s decision to override users’ ad blocking tools, Adblock Plus has fired one more shot, saying that it will continue the fight for the right to an ad-free social networking experience.

    After finding a way to prevent Facebook blocking ads, which Facebook then bypassed once again, Adblock Plus says that while the game of cat and mouse may continue, it wants to use what it describes as “probably be the last time we talk about it for a while” to say that the open source community will fight the good fight for users.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 49 for Linux: Plugin-Free Netflix and Amazon Video

        ozilla plans to support plugin-free streaming on Netflix and Amazon Video on Firefox for Linux starting with version 49 stable of the browser.

        The streaming world is slowly moving towards using HTML5 for streaming purposes and away from using plugins such as Microsoft Silverlight or Adobe Flash.

      • “Way Cooler” Is A Wayland Window Manager / Compositor Written In Rust

        Way Cooler is another project to add to the list of interesting Wayland compositors / window managers from the futuristic NEMO-UX to Swap to many others.

        Way Cooler advertises itself as a tiling window manager written in Rust and targeting Wayland. Similar to Sway, Way Cooler features i3-style tiling. This new open-source project also has client application support via an IPC, a Lua scripting environment to extend the window manager, and there is support for XWayland X11 programs.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation’s 2015 Annual Report

      Besides the Free Software Foundation issuing their first-ever annual report this week, The Document Foundation has come out this week as well with their 2015 annual report.

      Their annual report covers new advisory board members, the releases made by LibreOffice over the course of the year, financials, conferences / events, and more.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Public Services/Government

    • U.S. government seeks reduced use of custom software, releases new policy to ‘free the code’

      With the presidential election season upon us, I’m often asked whether the U.S. government efforts to encourage use of open source software (OSS) will continue when a new administration comes into office in January.

      As I’ve written before, there has been a shift, going back almost a decade, away from the debate over whether to use open source to a focus on the how to. The release by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the U.S. Federal Source Code Policy on August 8th is the latest manifestation of this shift. It achieves the goal laid out in the Obama administration’s Second Open Government National Action Plan (PDF) for improved access to custom software code developed for the federal government. The plan emphasized use of (and contributing back to) open source software to fuel innovation, lower costs, and benefit the public. It also furthers a long-standing “default to open” objective going back to the early days of the administration.

    • A Policy Win For Open Source Software In New Zealand [Ed: by Open Source Open Society]

      The recent announcement of a new policy framework providing guidance to public agencies on the licensing of open source software (OSS) will lead to better results across government and industry by enabling more collaboration. The policy is significant as it increases the likelihood of future government web services being developed using open source code and allowing external parties to copy, adapt or integrate their features. It will drive more efficient use of public money, more integrated government web services, local innovation and economic growth. However, perhaps most remarkable is the transparent and collaborative online consultation and drafting process through which this ambitious idea became a robust policy in less than a year.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Russia’s 3Dquality Continues to Expand and Impress with Growing Range of 3D Printers
      • Minimalist Cetus 3D Printer Soon to Hit Kickstarter
      • Qubie is an open hardware solution for tracking wait times at voting places

        With an incredibly important national election coming up, it’s more critical than ever that everyone who can vote does — and is able to. Election tech firm Free and Fair is hoping to help avoid overflowing voting locations with a simple, open source device that automatically monitors waiting times and keeps voters and officials informed.

        Free and Fair creates open source software for polling places, from checking in voters to actually taking and tallying votes — but Qubie is the company’s first original hardware, created for the Hackaday Prize. Founder Daniel Zimmerman explained that it was just another aspect of the voting process that struck them as out of date.

        “In the last few elections there have been reports of long queue times, people giving up and going home,” he told TechCrunch. “Election technology is in a pretty sorry state — we thought it’d be nice to gather data on that rather than anecdotes.”

  • Standards/Consortia


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