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09.01.19

Links 1/9/2019: 4MLinux 30.0, LLVM 9.0 Third RC

Posted in News Roundup at 3:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • EROFS Is Graduating From Staging In Linux 5.4

        Linux 5.4 will be a big kernel on the file-system front as in addition to introducing the new VirtIO-FS and exFAT file-system support, Huawei’s EROFS file-system will be graduating from staging.

      • Linux Foundation

        • CNCF Project Journey Proves Kubernetes Is Everywhere

          Yes, Kubernetes is everywhere. And a new Project Journey report from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) includes some big numbers showing just how everywhere Kubernetes is in the market.

          The report, which is the first of its kind from CNCF on Kubernetes, found that the container orchestration platform has 315 companies contributing to the project today with “several thousand having committed over the life of the project.” That is a significant increase from the 15 that were contributing prior to CNCF adopting the project in early 2016.

          Including individual contributors, Kubernetes has counted about 24,000 total contributors since being adopted by CNCF, seen 148,000 code commits, 83,000 pull requests, and 1.1 million total contributions.

          “It is the second- or third-highest velocity open source project depending on how you count it — up there with Linux and React,” explained CNCF Executive Director Dan Kohn in an interview.

        • Hyperledger accepts open source Ethereum client ‘Pantheon’ as first public blockchain project

          The Hyperledger blockchain consortium has officially accepted ConsenSys’ Pantheon as its first public blockchain project, CoinDesk reported.

          Pantheon, an open source Ethereum Client developed by PegaSys – a protocol engineering team at ConsenSys, has been now renamed to Hyperledger Besu.

          The addition of Pantheon has been approved by the Hyperledger technical steering committee and it joins other existing blockchain codebases such as Hyperledger Fabric, which is backed by IBM, and Hyperledger Sawtooth, backed by Intel.

        • Hyperledger Unanimously Approves First Ethereum Codebase For Enterprises

          Among the most important differences between Pantheon and Hyperledger Besu is that since being approved by the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee, the rebranded ethereum client will receive support training new users, certification of developers working with high-stakes enterprises, and will be more easily integrated with existing codebases, perhaps easing the path to adoption by ensuring that companies on potentially competing networks can work together.

      • Graphics Stack

        • GreenWithEnvy 0.13 Released For Better NVIDIA GPU Overclocking On Linux

          t’s been a number of months since last seeing a new release of GreenWithEnvy or hearing anything out of the project, but this weekend is finally a new version of this open-source overclocking panel for NVIDIA graphics cards on Linux.

          GreenWithEnvy 0.13 is the new release out today and their first since February. GreenWithEnvy 0.13 has various library updates, fixes the saving of preferences when running the Flatpak version of the program, and adds an option to minimize the application to the tray when hitting the close button.

    • Applications

      • AppEditor – Simple Tool To Edit Application Menu Entries

        AppEditor is an open-source tool allows you to edit application entries shown in application menu and their properties.

      • LazyDocker is a user-friendly terminal GUI for Docker

        Actually, there is! Said something is the recently released LazyDocker. LazyDocker is a simple, open source terminal UI for both docker and docker-compose that makes managing your containers from the command line really quite simple.

        You should be warned, however, that LazyDocker is very much in beta. But even with the beta release status, LazyDocker works quite well and makes managing your Docker containers from the terminal exponentially easier.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Open-source flash emulator hopes to preserve a generation of Flash games

        In a bid to preserve a generation’s worth of Flash games, a new open-source project hopes to create, and share, a Flash emulator.

        The project – which comes just a few weeks after Adobe announced plans to “end-of-life Flash” – hopes to secure a way to play Flash games in your browser via emulation. Mike Welsh, who has previously worked on the Flash-to-HD video converter Swivel for Newgrounds, is currently leading the project.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gets A New “Recently Used” Implementation, Fixes App Reviews Showing In Discover

          This new “recentlyused:/” implementation allows for filtering based upon activity / agent / MIME type to better select the recently used files/folders.

          - KDE Discover has restored support for showing application reviews.

          - Kate and other KTextEditor software will strip off Windows-style new-line characters from pasted text.

          - A fix for a common crash to the Baloo file indexing service.

          - Various user interface improvements.

        • I’m Going to Akademy!

          In just five days I’ll be on my way to Akademy! I’m so excited to meet with all my friends from KDE! After missing the conference weekends in Almería and Vienna, I’ll be able to get the full Akademy experience again – including delivering a talk!

        • KDE Connect macOS Release

          Now it’s the end of Google Summer of Code 2019. As my GSoC project, the port of KDE Connect on macOS has made great progress. You can find and download it in my blog release page.

          Note: This post aims at presenting the features of KDE Connect which have been implemented on macOS. If you’d like to know more information, such as compilation of your own KDE Connect binary on macOS, please turn to another post in my post Connect your Android phone with your Mac via KDE Connect. And if you’re interested in what I’ve done during Google Summer of Code, my status report of Google Summer of Code is HERE.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Coding Education Challenge promises $500k for innovative ways to teach next-gen programmers

          Non-profit organization The GNOME Foundation and philanthropic tech company Endless have teamed up to help the next-generation of coders by announcing the Coding Education Challenge. Endless has agreed to provide $500,000 to fund the competition.

          The challenge’s aim is to attract projects that’ll bring new ways for educators and students to teach and learn coding through free and open-source coding software.

    • Distributions

      • RaspEX Project Now Lets You Turn Your Raspberry Pi 4 into a HTPC with Kodi

        If you’re looking for a fast, working, and easy-to-install operating system to turn your tiny Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer into a versatile HTPC (Home Theatre PC), the latest RaspEX Kodi build is here to help with that, and it also supports previous Raspberry Pi models.

        Based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” and Raspbian operating system series, RaspEX Kodi focuses on the open-source and cross-platform Kodi media center for all the video and audio playback operations, and more. Kodi 18.3 “Leia” is being used in the current release of RaspEX Kodi.

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 4.6 now available

          Happy Labor Day Weekend, dear BetaNews readers! Tomorrow, many of us “working stiffs” will get the opportunity to do nothing. We can sit around, watch TV, barbecue some meat — hell, for one day, we can pretty much do whatever we’d like. Personally, I picked up some steaks from Costco, which are marinating now in anticipation. Sadly, not everyone will be off from work tomorrow, so if you will be at your job on Labor Day, please accept both my sympathies and respect.

          If you want something fun to do tomorrow while relaxing at home, why not install Linux? Seriously, folks, what better time than Labor Day to look into replacing Windows 7 or Windows 10 on your PC with something better and faster? If your PC has been sluggish, or if you are wary of all the telemetry (spying) built into Windows 10, a distribution such as Linux Lite can breathe new life into your computer. Today, following a short beta period, Linux Lite 4.6 “Final” becomes available for download.

        • 4MLinux 30.0 STABLE released.

          The status of the‭ 4MLinux 30.0 series has been changed to STABLE. Edit your documents with LibreOffice 6.2.6.2 and GNOME Office (AbiWord 3.0.2, GIMP 2.10.12, Gnumeric 1.12.44), share your files using DropBox ‬79.4.143,‭ surf the Internet with Firefox 68.0.2 and Chromium ‬76.0.3809.100,‭ send emails via Thunderbird 60.8.0, enjoy your music collection with Audacious 3.10.1, watch your favorite videos with VLC 3.0.7.1 and mpv 0.29.1, play games powered by Mesa 19.0.5 and Wine 4.14. You can also setup the 4MLinux LAMP Server (Linux 4.19.63, Apache 2.4.39, MariaDB 10.4.7, PHP 5.6.40 and PHP 7.3.8). Perl 5.28.1, Python 2.7.16, and Python 3.7.3 are also available.

      • Slackware Family

        • LibreOffice updates for Slackware 14.2 and -current

          This month, I am building different versions for LibreOffice, for our stable Slackware 14.2 and for the -current testing ground. During my holiday, new versions became available and last week I built packages from those sources.

          The 6.2.6 release which was announced by the Document Foundation two weeks ago brings some security fixes to the 6.2 series. Therefore it was important to get rid of the old 6.2.5 packages. I built 6.2.6 for Slackware 14.2 and those packages have been available for download now since early last week. Go get them!

        • VLC 3.0.8 packages

          The Release Notes state that this releases provides fixes for several security issues among wich 11 which are CVE-worthy. Meaning that it’s prudent to upgrade your VLC to 3.0.8 soonest.

          I have the new packages available (for Slackware 14.2 and -current) in my repository since a couple of days. I used the opportunity to update the following internal libraries as well: bluray, dav1d, ebml, and matroska.

          You will also probably note that there is no “npapi-vlc” package. I decided to retire this VLC based NPAPI webbrowser plugin from my repository. Modern browsers are all moving away from NPAPI plugin support, and relying on HTML5 instead. Chrome/Chromium always only supported PPAPI based plugins anyway.

        • Chromium package updates

          There was a new Chromium source release last week, but there were other software releases that had priority to get packages out the door. Therefore I could only chromium packages this weekend.
          Chromium 76.0.3809.132 fixes 3 security holes. Note that the version before that (76.0.3809.100) also fixed 4 critical holes but I never packaged that as I went on holiday. So, upgrading now would be a good idea.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • Can Fairphone 3 scale ethical consumer electronics?

          Fairphone, the Dutch social enterprise that’s on a mission to rethink the waste and exploitation that underpins the business of consumer electronics, has unboxed its third smartphone.

          The handset, which is sold with the promise of longevity rather than cutting edge obsolescence, goes on pre-sale from today in Europe via Fairphone’s website with a suggested retail price of €450 (depending on local taxes and levies). It will ship to buyers on September 3.

          Like its predecessor, the design is modular to allow the user to swap out damaged parts for replacement modules that Fairphone also sells.

          Out of the box the phone comes with Android 9 preloaded. A post-launch update will make it easy for buyers to wipe Google services off their slate and install the Android Open Source Project instead.

          Commenting in a statement, CEO Eva Gouwens said: “We developed the Fairphone 3 to be a real sustainable alternative on the market, which is a big step towards lasting change. By establishing a market for ethical products, we want to motivate the entire industry to act more responsibly since we cannot achieve this change alone.”

          “We envision an economy where consideration for people and the planet is a natural part of doing business and according to this vision, we have created scalable ways to improve our supply chain and product,” she added.

        • Huawei Ark compiler open-source code to arrive on August 31

          Today, Huawei EMUI officially said that the Ark compiler open-source code is ready. The company wrote, “wait for August 31 show you the code!”. In April this year, Huawei’s consumer business CEO, Yu Chengdong, officially released Huawei Ark compiler. According to the company, the compiler can improve the compilation efficiency of Android applications. As of now, this feature is already available in many Huawei and Honor smartphones.

        • Huawei launches open source site for Ark Compiler to promote HarmonyOS, related ecosystem

          Huawei launched a website for the long-anticipated open source project Ark Compiler over the weekend, a significant step in helping global developers adopt Android coding into applications that are compatible with the Chinese company’s HarmonyOS.

          The site will also help push forward the building of an ecosystem for HarmonyOS amid the US attack on the Chinese technology powerhouse.

          The website of Ark Compiler was put online on Saturday, allowing users to access and download the source code. A compiler is a program that translates programming language into machine language, which could bridge the gap between human instructions and a machine’s ability to understand them. Such programs are critical to the efficiency of execution.

          Huawei said its Ark Compiler could work without the need for an interpreter to enable direct translation.

          In releasing the compiler, Huawei said it aims to share technological development with developers and grow with them together to promote industrial innovation in an open way and build up an open ecosystem.

        • Huawei to push ahead with flagship phone launch — with or without Google services

          Huawei will launch a new flagship phone next month which may not come with Google apps, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told CNBC, as the Chinese firm faces being blocked from accessing the search giant’s software.

          The Mate 30 will be showcased at a September 19 launch event in Munich, Germany, the source said. It will be powered by Huawei’s latest processor called the Kirin 990 which is yet to be unveiled. The Mate 30 will be able to connect to next-generation mobile networks known as 5G which promise super-fast data speeds.

          Huawei is pushing ahead with the launch despite being on a U.S. blacklist known as the Entity List. It restricts American firms from doing business with the Chinese company. But the tech giant has been given another 90-day reprieve under which U.S. firms can apply for special licenses to sell to Huawei.

          Google is subject to these restrictions. Huawei relies on Google’s Android operating system to power its smartphones. In China, Huawei uses a modified version of Android which is stripped of Google services like Gmail or Maps because those are blocked in the country. Instead, it pre-loads its own apps. But in international markets, those Google services are pre-loaded on Huawei phones.

        • Huawei Mate 30 can’t launch with official Google apps, says Google

          Huawei may face a major roadblock for its next flagship phone, the Mate 30 — it won’t be able to launch with Google apps and services due to the White House banning US companies (like Google) from doing business with the Chinese telecommunications firm, according to a report from Reuters.

          That means that the Mate 30 — and presumably, other upcoming devices like the now-delayed foldable Mate X — could be severely limited at launch. They’ll still run Android, which is at its core open-source software that’s freely available. But Google has confirmed to The Verge that the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro (rumored to launch on September 18th) won’t be able to ship with Google’s apps and services on board, which could put them at a severe disadvantage given how important Google’s apps are.

        • Huawei Seeks Independence From the US With RISC-V and Ascend Chips

          Huawei has launched its 7nm Ascend 910 artificial intelligence chip for data centers together with a new comprehensive AI framework MindSpore. The announcement comes at a time when Huawei is facing pressure from the US government, which Huawei is responding to by considering using the open-source RISC-V.

        • Huawei using Sailfish OS fork on tablets for Russian census project

          Embattled Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei is planning to ship a Russian variant of Jolla’s Sailfish OS on 360,000 tablets intended for use in conducting the Russian population census, according to a Reuters report published Monday.

          This project comes as Huawei is looking for alternatives to Android, following their placement on the “Entity List” by the US government, effectively blacklisting the company from acquiring US-origin technology for use in their own products. This blacklisting does not affect Huawei’s ability to use the public, open-source AOSP repository. It does prevent use of Google Play services, through which vital APIs for Google Maps integration in apps is provided—as well as the Play Store, the default Android app store.

        • Android Q Dessert Name May Have Been Queen Cake, Says Dave Burke, VP Android
        • [Now available globally] OnePlus 7 (Pro) Android 10 Developer Preview 5 update goes live in China
        • Google Maps for Android adds dedicated Street View layer
        • Google-powered OnePlus TV to be an Android Device
        • OnePlus TV, set to launch in September, will run on Android TV
        • Why don’t more manufacturers offer stock Android?
        • How to send a tab from Chrome to any Android phone
        • Tippin brings bitcoin tipping to iOS and Android
        • How to block all incoming calls on Android phones
        • Satellite Android smartphone – Thuraya X5-Touch
        • 24 best new Android games released this week including Pokémon Masters, Stranger Things 3: The Game, and Men in Black: Global Invasion
        • Best mobile gambling apps for iPhones and Android phones
        • Five ways Android is much better than iOS
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • A Guide to Free and Open Source ERP Tools

        For many organizations, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has become an indispensable tool. It helps them integrate their resource distribution processes from every operational silo, including purchasing, inventory, manufacturing, distribution, accounting, and human capital management.

        As a result, ERP software has become an expansive market comprising several paid, proprietary tools. Each product’s capabilities vary, with each standing out in one area. Many of these are used across industries and are backed by strong after-sales support.

        But, in some cases, your needs may not be complex or numerous enough to justify paying for a proprietary ERP tool. Or, your business might need an ERP tool with a level of customization that’s hard to apply on a proprietary product.

      • MongoDB code guru: what even is a ‘good’ developer?

        On the subject of code, you’d be surprised to learn that good and bad code can often look amazingly similar. So it [i.e. code] alone cannot always be easily analysed. This static analysis rarely uncovers the kinds of live problems that really destroy a system’s utility.

        So if we don’t know what’s good, how do we define better?

        Instead of defining good systems, we should try and define good programmers in some abstract way. What mould do they fit into? Do they work well with people? What’s their past experience? This somewhat intangible (dubious even) list goes on.

      • Quality Of Code Doesn’t Matter Much In Open Source Contributions: Study [Ed: This research may be deeply flawed because all the project were picked exclusivity from Microsoft's own platform.]

        One can imagine that contributions to open source projects would be evaluated on the quality of code above anything else. However, researchers have found quite the opposite!

        In a paper titled, “Does Code Quality Affect Pull Request Acceptance?, submitted to “Information and Software Technology” journal; researchers tried to determine whether code quality issues such as — duplicated code, long methods, large class, code style violation, etc. — affect the chances of a pull request getting accepted by a project maintainer.

      • In praise of developers who delete code

        Blessed are the code committers to open source projects. But more blessed are they who delete, for theirs is the kingdom of clean, efficient code.

        No set of scripture contains this wisdom, but that doesn’t make it any less wise. As developer Dj Walker-Morgan has posited, “For me, deleted lines are the final burn down of the ground where tech debt built.” To delete lines of code requires deep familiarity with the code base and, as such, reflects some of the best (un)engineering possible for a project. Similarly, as Charity Majors has stated, “The best senior engineers I’ve worked with are the ones who worked the hardest not to have to write new code.”

        Is there any way to properly celebrate those who delete or who write less in order to deliver more?

        [...]

        I really like Sarah Mei’s description of technical debt as “clutter” (like a messy house). For those that think such clutter/debt is whisked away by moving to a microservices architecture, it doesn’t. Not really. Mei wrote: “[Y]ou end up with an overstuffed smaller house and a bunch of disorganized storage units, and you STILL can’t find anything.” Following Fowler’s advice, perhaps the ideal way to tackle the debt/clutter is to work on those areas that see the most contributions.

      • F-Droid: A security-conscious repository for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) applications for Android

        F-Droid is an app store and repository for verified Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) applications for Android (F-Droid Docs page). I first heard about F-Droid from a CNET article in early August. According to CNET, “… 200 Android apps were found infected with malware [on Google Play] in March, followed by July’s discovery of 1,000-plus Android apps harvesting data even after you deny permissions …”. So, in the interest of security and privacy, perhaps places like F-Droid are a nice alternative to Google Play.

        F-Droid is a non-profit volunteer open-source project (it is developed and run by the community) and was started by Ciaran Gultnieks in 2010 (F-Droid About page). Since the apps on F-Droid are open-source, it allows anyone to comb through an app’s code to see if there is any questionable activity going on. There are only about 2600 apps available through F-Droid according to CNET, so this may not have much of what you’re looking for. However, if you are curious about F-Droid and want to check out its security, you can peruse their Security Model and view their latest Security Audit Results.

      • Mastodon™ Invites Singles to Join an Ad-Free & Open-Source Social Network of Over 2.2 Million People

        The internet started out as a wide open frontier where adventurous souls could wander freely and anonymously until they settled upon a place where they felt at home. Newly minted websites offered a utopia based on free collaboration, and the digital age launched with great promise.

        However, as time went by, large companies built tracks, fences, and billboards to pen people in and create a monopoly on communication. Some major websites began convincing people to trade their personal data for online services, and such transactions have eroded the spirit of online communities.

      • Release Notes: Improved mail handling and refactoring GovLens

        Last week, we pushed out some small improvements in processing mail that we hope to deploy more widely soon. We also started refactoring GovLens, our open source government site monitoring tool. Finally, we’d love your feedback on a few features and tweaks we have in the works.

      • This Company Created An Open Source AI To Identify Mold

        Michael Golubev, CEO of Mold Busters said that they have compiled the most common 50 genera of mold during inspections, testing and remediation services and are training their AI to recognized those first and focus on mold types that present the biggest threat to human health.

        InstaLab scans an image of a mold spore and browses a database for a match based on various criteria like color and cell structure.

        “We’ve identified the Stachybotrys genus (i.e., black mold) and are training our machine learning algorithms on other mold genera such as Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium,” added Golubev.

        InstaLab is currently in phase one of its development, but the company hopes the public will contribute to the data collection process.

      • Life Epigenetics Releases Open Source Software to Advance Epigenetics Research

        Life Epigenetics, LLC a subsidiary of GWG Holdings, Inc. today announced the release of two Python open source software packages to epigenetics researchers worldwide. This software will facilitate scientific breakthroughs by accelerating and simplifying the processing of complex epigenetic data that researchers use to advance their understanding of this rapidly evolving science.

      • AviDemux 2.7.5 (64-bit)

        Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license.

      • PeaZip 6.9.2

        Cross-platform, full-featured but user-friendly alternative to WinRar, WinZip and similar general purpose archive manager applications…

      • Thank The NSA For Their Ghidra Software Now Helping Firmware Reverse Engineering

        Ghidra is the open-source reverse engineering tool published by the US National Security Agency as an alternative to existing decompilers/disassemblers and other reverse engineering utilities. As noted earlier this summer, a Google Summer of Code project has been creating Ghidra plug-ins for helping with firmware reverse engineering.

        It’s been some time since last hearing anything about that effort to boost firmware reverse engineering, but in their final GSoC report, it was a success. With this new Ghidra plug-in there is support for loading into Ghidra of PCI option ROMs, the Intel firmware descriptor, reading the flash map, Coreboot File-System, UEFI Firmware Volumes, and the UEFI Terse Executable format. There is also a helper script for analyzing UEFI binaries.

      • Databases

        • Scylla’s real-time NoSQL database tapped by ‘super app’

          Ships who sailed too close to her (she was thought to have been created from a beautiful nymph) rocks would risk having sailors killed by the razor-sharp shards of Scylla’s darting heads.

          Scylla and ScyllaDB on the other hand are neither mythological, sea-based or dangerous to your health… but this open source-centric real-time big data database does have shards.

          Scylla uses a sharded design on each node, meaning each CPU core handles a different subset of data. It is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra and embraces a shared-nothing approach that increases throughput and storage capacity as much as 10X that of Cassandra.

      • CMS

        • 8 Best Open-Source CMS for Starting a Website

          But it doesn’t have to break the bank, and open-source web content management software can be the first step to an affordable website.

          I know what you’re thinking: Why shouldn’t I just use WordPress?

          WordPress is a very solid, popular web content management (WCM) option, but it isn’t without faults. Before you jump on board the WordPress train, check out some of the other open-source choices and decide if they potentially fit your use case more effectively.

          [...]

          The language a WCM is written in impacts how it handles content, and some systems might be better at creating certain types of websites than others. Businesses might also require in-house developers with proficiency in the language a given CMS is written in to create functions for a website.

      • BSD

        • OPNsense® Partners With Sunny Valley Networks to Provide Next Generation Firewall Features on Its Platform

          Today, Deciso® the founder of OPNsense® and Sunny Valley Networks announced the public availability of Sensei, an easy-to-install plug-in, which empowers open source firewalls with next-generation firewall features. Sensei Free Edition is made available at no cost to OPNsense users, while the Premium Subscription, which offers more advanced features is available for purchase through OPNsense webshop.

          The technology behind Sensei is a very powerful packet analysis engine which can also provide protection against encrypted cyber-attacks that are gaining momentum. Sensei technology enables cyber security tools with utmost visibility, packet classification and fine-grained policy enforcement for any type of traffic. More packet intelligence means better decision making. Better decision making means better success rates in detecting & preventing cyber-attacks. Sensei provides rich packet intelligence so that the industry can enjoy great cyber security tools.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Talend to Share Its Open Source Data Expertise at ApacheCon Las Vegas

            Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), a global leader in cloud data integration and data integrity, today announced that four open source engineers from its research and development team will be speaking at ApacheCon in Las Vegas, taking place at the Flamingo Hotel, September 9-12, 2019.

          • Here’s a look at entrepreneurs’ projects aiming to boost local governments

            Use of digital map and wayfinding platforms like Google Maps have become commonplace. While these digital tools make it easy to get from here to there by car, public transit or walking, there is no equivalent tool for wheelchair accessibility. NC Clear Path holds “mapathons” to build the data sets to support handicap accessibility.

        • Open Access/Content

          • College students find cost of textbooks a barrier

            New car buyers know the feeling of sticker shock, when their interest in a car hits the reality of its price.

          • President underlines need to launch open source knowledge in Pakistani universities

            President Dr. Arif Alvi has underlined the need to launch open source knowledge in Pakistani universities like their international counterparts.

            He was talking to a delegation of University of Health Sciences led by its Vice Chancellor Professor Javed Akram that called on him in Islamabad today.

            The President while pointing out the need for improvement in data education also called for offering free online courses for the benefit of general public.

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Glia Is Making Open Medical Devices, And You Can Help

            The Glia project aims to create a suite of free and open-source medical equipment that can be assembled cheaply and easily when and where it’s needed.

            [...]

            Glia member [Tarek Loubani] has recently written a blog post discussing the team’s latest release: an otoscope that can be built for as little as $5. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve almost certainly seen one of them in use. The otoscope is used to look inside the ear and can be invaluable in diagnosing illnesses, especially in children. Unfortunately, while this iconic piece of equipment is quite simple on a technical level, professional-quality versions can cost hundreds of dollars.

            Now to be fair, you’ll need quite a bit more than just the 3D printed parts to assemble the device. The final product requires some electrical components such as a battery holder, rocker switch, and LED. It also requires a custom lens, though the Glia team has thought ahead here and provided the files for printable jigs that will allow you to cut a larger lens down to the size required by their otoscope. In a situation where you might have to improvise with what you have, that’s a very clever design element.

          • SparkFun® Achieves FCC/IC/CE Mark Approval on First Open-Source, US-Manufactured BLE Module
          • SparkFun® Achieves FCC/IC/CE Mark Approval on First Open-Source, US-Manufactured BLE Module

            SparkFun’s Artemis module has earned Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Industry Canada (IC), and Conformité Européenne (CE) mark approval making it the first open-source, US-manufactured, FCC/IC/CE-certified BLE module on the market. With this certification, the Artemis module enables product designers to use the same module from prototype to production, and significantly increases accessibility of low-power machine learning for any design.

      • Programming/Development

        • ‘Npm install funding’, an experiment to sustain open-source projects with ads on the CLI terminal faces community backlash

          Last week, one of the npm open source authors and maintainers, software developer Feross announced an “npm install funding” experiment. Essentially, this enabled sponsors to “advertise on the Npm package install terminals”. In turn, the money raised from these ads would ensure npm maintainers are paid for their important contributions to the project, ensuring that packages remain up to date, reliable, and secure.

          Feross wrote on the GitHub page, “I think that the current model of sustaining open source is not working and we need more experimentation. This is one such experiment.”

        • Npm Bans Package Which Display Ads via Its Command Line Interface

          npm, Inc., the company behind the popular eponymous JavaScript package manager, will no longer allow packages which display ads. Developers will be able to silence terminal messages which push ads or calls for donations, and which stem from the regular use of the npm command line interface.

          [...]

          The policy changes come after Standard, a JavaScript style guide, linter, and formatter, experimented with funding, a npm package which installs open source software, and displays a message from a supporting company. Feross Aboukhadijeh, the maintainer of both Standard and Funding, together with 100+ packages on npm, shows an example of such messages:

        • JavaScript Library Kicks Open Source Hornet’s Nest With Terminal Ads

          The popular JavaScript library Standard is stress-testing ads in its package… which is also testing the patience of those who use it.

          Standard, a “style guide, linter, and formatter” for JS, claims it can be used without configuration, and will automatically format your code and catch style or programming errors for you. It’s not too-good-to-be-true, either; GitHub says over 78,000 developers use it, while NPM says it has almost 200,000 weekly downloads.

          [...]

          Most who chimed in via GitHub or Reddit note it’s not a perfect solution, but pushes forward the conversation regarding open source maintainers getting paid. Our own survey shows 21 percent of developers disagree that open-source repo managers should be paid, while the majority think they should see some income; the majority (58 percent) feel an open-source project should be able to monetize if a paid app uses the service.

        • StandardJS Ends Controversial Funding Experiment

          Feross Aboukhadijeh, maintainer of StandardJS, has formally ended the funding experiment he started lasted week, which inserted ads in the terminal whenever Standard 14 is installed.

          Although the experiment met widespread aversion, it successfully captured public attention and put a spotlight on the critical need for a viable model of funding open source infrastructure. It also uncovered some intense presuppositions that developers have when it comes to protecting their workflow in the terminal.

        • Developer reconsiders npm command line ad scheme after outcry

          Software developer Feross Aboukhadijeh has decided to discontinue a funding experiment that brought text ads to the command line and criticism from detractors.

          Introduced on August 19, Aboukhadijeh’s JavaScript package called funding represented an attempt to provide open source project maintainers with a way to generate revenue for their work.

          Over the years, many people who maintain open source projects have complained that companies and individuals take advantage of their labor and profit from it without giving something back. Open source doesn’t come with a default revenue model after all.

        • StandardJS Pauses Experiment with Ads in the Terminal after Linode Pulls Sponsorship

          Feross Aboukhadijeh, maintainer of the StandardJS library, a JavaScript style guide, linter, and automatic code fixer, launched an experiment last week that places ads in the terminal in order to fund development. The experiment has since been paused after receiving negative feedback from the developer community, causing Linode, one of the initial sponsors, to remove its advertisement.

          “I think that the current model of sustaining open source is not working and we need more experimentation,” Aboukhadijeh said. “This is one such experiment.” He developed a module that inserts an ad whenever Standard 14 is installed. Sponsorship funds are designated to pay for maintainer time, which he defined as “writing new features, fixing bugs, answering user questions, and improving documentation.”

        • Motor control PLC in Python

          We have different types of devices like sov, motor, analog, digital, control valves etc. Each type of device has 100 items.

          Now our software continuously monitors with the PLC to read some property of each type according to which we need to write some property.

          As an example, if motor on command is high then we need to write on feedback at PLC end high. At the moment, I face the problem that it takes too much time to update.

        • Useful Development Tools For Beginners

          When starting out writing HTML/CSS it is important to use validators, especially when you don’t have someone else to look over your work 24/7. Validators allow you to see where you went wrong (if you did), and help you learn best practices with the most recent releases of your chosen technologies.

        • LLVM 9.0-RC3 Released With The Official Compiler Release Coming Soon

          With LLVM 9.0-RC3, all known blocker bugs have now been resolved clearing its path for the official release. So assuming no serious blockers are uncovered, LLVM 9.0.0 could be officially released in the coming days. Though brought up this weekend was a regression for NetBSD support, but it looks like that may just be a fix that needs back-porting.

        • [llvm-dev] [9.0.0 Release] Release Candidate 3 is here
          Hello everyone,
          
          9.0.0-rc3 was tagged today from the release_90 branch at r370450. In
          the Git monorepo, it's tagged as llvmorg-9.0.0-rc3.
          
          Source code and docs are available at https://prereleases.llvm.org/9.0.0/#rc3
          
          Binaries will be added as they become available.
          
          There are currently no open release blockers, which means if nothing
          new comes up, the final release could ship soon and this is what it
          would look like (except for more release notes, which are still very
          welcome).
          
          Please file bug reports for any issues you find, and mark them
          blocking https://llvm.org/PR42474
          
          Release testers, please run the test script, share your results and
          upload binaries.
          
          Many thanks,
          Hans
          
  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • #OSSummit: Don’t Ignore GitHub Security Alerts

        In a session at the Open Source Summit in San Diego, California on August 22, Gil Yehuda, senior director, open source and technology strategy at Verizon Media, outlined the security challenges and opportunities facing organizations that build open source projects on GitHub.

        GitHub has become the defacto primary place to share code for many organizations engaged in open source, including Verizon Media. Yehuda explained that Verizon Media is a conglomerate, which is effectively made up of what had been Yahoo and AOL and includes many different online media properties. Across all those properties, Verizon Media has started over 330 open source projects, ranging from screwdriver, which is a continuous delivery technology, to Denali design, which is a user interface design language for open source projects.

        [...]

        However, a challenge that Yehuda pointed out, is not for individual projects, but rather for managing many projects at scale. He noted that it’s great that a project maintainer gets an alert and is diligent about fixing the issue, but what happens if the individual maintainer just ignores the alert and doesn’t fix the issue?

      • Binance Funds 40 Developers to Build Open-Source Crypto Software

        Malta-based crypto exchange Binance wants to spur greater research in open-source blockchain development.

      • Money 2.0 Stuff: Open Binance
      • How to Make Your CSO Happy with Your Open Source Components [Ed: Mild FOSS bashing by implying that it's FOSS that has defect whereas proprietary software has none]

        The secret to a CSO’s heart is through a healthy codebase. If you’re interested in introducing OSS into your company’s network, be prepared for a major security challenge. You’ll need to keep track of your OSS, keep an eye out for vulnerabilities, and keep the company codebase as secure as possible.

      • Close Agile open source tools vulnerabilities [Ed: Sonatype still ignoring the elephant in the room: defects and intentional 'defects' (back doors) in proprietary software]
      • Do the benefits of open source software outweigh the risks? [Ed: Let's pretend again that programming the proprietary software away is 100% perfect, has no defects and no secret back doors. Only FOSS is a risk. Every piece of software has some "risk" associated with it. It's not a FOSS thing. Proprietary software comes with a huge risk of EULA enforcement and massive fines, lawsuits. It also has secret back doors, with no liability. No audits. Complicity with spy agencies.]
      • Corelight’s Brian Dye: Data-Driven Approach, Open Source Tools Key to Building Defensive Cyber Program

        Brian Dye, chief product officer at cybersecurity firm Corelight, has said agencies should implement data-driven security approach and open source-based tools to protect their networks from cyber attacks. Dye wrote that some federal agencies have shifted toward that approach with the use of an open-source network analysis framework called Zeek and the Risk Management Framework of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

        “For a high-level, strategic view, agencies need to have all three of those bases covered. If they don’t, it will take significantly longer to find threats, and some won’t be discovered. That puts organizations in the difficult position of not knowing what they don’t know,” Dye said.

        [...]

        “Open source-based tools are crucial for ensuring that agencies have good data to work with when building a defensive program,” he said. “Such tools provide data that is adaptable, extensible and often irreplaceable. If the right information isn’t in the raw data, no amount of post-processing or analytics will ever compensate for that.”

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • James Comey avoids prosecution over leaked memos on Donald Trump meetings

        The US Justice Department has decided not to prosecute former FBI director James Comey despite an internal investigation finding he improperly leaked a memo to the media.

        [...]

        The Inspector General said that while Mr Comey’s memo did not contain classified material, he set a dangerous example when he shared sensitive information to create public pressure for official action.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation

        Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

        The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society.

      • What You Need To Know About U.S. Election Security And Voting Machines [iophk: s/fear/observe/]

        Some experts fear that without a paper record for a person’s ballot, there’s no way to audit an election after the fact and verify the total. But there are other worries about cybervulnerabilities, including the systems used to check voters in on Election Day — called e-pollbooks — and databases of voter data used by officials or vendors that the public doesn’t see.

      • Fix the Electoral College — Or Scrap It

        The decision was the reverse of a ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court in May that upheld that state’s law imposing a fine of $1,000 on three faithless electors, including Mr. Baca’s ally. That court noted that the Constitution gives states near-total authority over electors.

        If the United States Supreme Court steps in to resolve the conflicting rulings, it will of course note that Hamilton’s vision has not been a reality for more than 200 years. After electors unanimously chose the nonpartisan George Washington in the first two elections, national political parties developed and electors became partisan actors who voted for their party’s candidate.

        In other words, electors aren’t distinguished citizens weighing whether the people have made a wise decision on their presidential ballot; they are men and women chosen because of their partisan loyalty. So it’s understandable that after years of tightly contested elections, Americans are aghast that an elector would dare to substitute his judgment for the will of the people.

      • Anti-Islamist Geert Wilders Claims Minister Colluded with Prosecutors in Hate Speech Case

        The document, dated 16 September 2014, speaks of an “intended decision” on the Wilders hate speech case, and therefore not a definite, final decision. That is important, because the Public Prosecution Service always said that the decision to prosecute Wilders was made on September 10th.

        According to RTL, this shows that the Minister and Public Prosecution Service discussed the Wilders case before the decision was made to prosecute him. What was said during this discussions, and whether the Minister actually pressured or influenced the Prosecutor in any way, is not shown in the document. According to the broadcaster, the Ministry also had press releases from the Public Prosecutor adjusted, so that they made a better political impression.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Hong Kong Police Storm Subway With Batons as Protests Rage

        Protesters in Hong Kong threw gasoline bombs at government headquarters and set fires in the streets on Saturday, while police stormed a subway car and hit passengers with batons and pepper spray in scenes that seem certain to inflame tensions further in a city riven by nearly three months of pro-democracy demonstrations.

      • Yaniv’s Other Racket: How a Single Gender Troll Managed to Get ‘Hundreds’ of Women Thrown Off Twitter

        But the saga of JY also carries a lesson for social-media companies, especially Twitter, since JY has weaponized the issue of gender as part of a campaign against other users—typically women—often culminating in (shockingly successful) efforts to de-platform the targeted individuals. Indeed, Lindsay Shepherd, one of the co-authors of this article, had her Twitter account suspended for several days in just such an episode. But for the fact that Ms. Shepherd is a public figure who was able to rally support online, she might still be permanently banned.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Border agents are checking entrants’ Facebook and Twitter profiles — but we still don’t know how closely

        But his case is just one incident in a troubling and well-established trend of expanding social media surveillance at the border. The Obama-era Department of Homeland Security initially suggested an “online presence” field for people requesting visa waivers, and the Trump administration quickly forged ahead with asking for social media data. Some border agents have aggressively pushed visitors to disclose their account handles, even when the practice was optional. Earlier this year, the State Department started requiring most visa applicants to list their social media accounts.

        This week has offered a nightmare scenario for this vetting process. Ajjawi’s account suggests that digital surveillance goes far beyond checking whether a potential immigrant is a criminal threat — and that border officials are treating tenuous social media connections like close, meaningful relationships.

      • Beyond the GDPR: here comes the EU’s ePrivacy regulation – but not yet

        The European Commission published its draft ePrivacy Regulation text, designed to update the old 2002 regulations governing this area, in January 2017. As is customary with the EU legislative process, the European Parliament then set to work to produce its own version of the text, amending the European Commission’s original proposal. The German site Netzpolitik, which has followed the legislation closely, summarized the six main points of the European Parliament’s draft as follows (original in German).

      • How the German Right Wing Dominates Social Media

        The analyst has conducted an extensive study focusing on how active German political parties are on Facebook. And the AfD dominates in a way that Davis finds rather surprising. While political surveys indicate that support for the party is currently between 11 and 15 percent, fully 85 percent of all shared posts originating from German political parties stem from the AfD. The remaining 15 percent of these “shares” are split among the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-environment Greens, the Left Party, the pro-business FDP and the conservatives. The countries big-tent parties — the SPD and the conservative combination of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) — were only responsible for 2 to 3 percent of shares each.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Uber, Lyft bankroll $60million to lobby against California worker classification bill

        Uber and Lyft have stepped up their actions the Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) being tabled in the State Senate of California. According to a new report, the companies are spending a whopping $60 million to throw a wrench in the process and stop the passage of the bill.

        The bill, which will work towards changing worker classification in California and challenges the companies’ business model was bound to have them up in arms. They currently work using “independent contractors,” who actually comprise people working bigger shifts than regular drivers. While they don’t get any benefits that the company would have to give them if they were regular workers, they can be fired easily by ride-sharing companies.

      • Copyrights

        • Petter Reinholdtsen: Norwegian movies that might be legal to share on the Internet

          While working on identifying and counting movies that can be legally shared on the Internet, I also looked at the Norwegian movies listed in IMDb. So far I have identified 54 candidates published before 1940 that might no longer be protected by norwegian copyright law. Of these, only 29 are available at least in part from the Norwegian National Library. It can be assumed that the remaining 25 movies are lost. It seem most useful to identify the copyright status of movies that are not lost. To verify that the movie is really no longer protected, one need to verify the list of copyright holders and figure out if and when they died. I’ve been able to identify some of them, but for some it is hard to figure out when they died.

        • “Legal Options Are a Better Way to Beat Piracy Than Enforcement”

          A new article, published in the American University International Law Review, suggests that affordability and availability are the key drivers to decrease piracy. Focusing on the supply-side is more effective than enforcement options such as lawsuits, infringement notices, and website blocking, the researchers conclude.

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