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09.23.19

Links 23/9/2019: Ulauncher 5.3, ClonOS 19.09, ReactOS 0.4.12 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Skuba on SUSE CaaS Platform 4

        With SUSE CaaS Platform 4 we heard our customers feedback and decided to change what the lifecycle of the platform looks like.

        Previous versions of SUSE CaaS Platform included an administrator node that despite being useful for managing the whole platform, was another component to take care of, and an extra machine to take into account when deploying the platform.

        This administrator node used Salt to set up and maintain the Kubernetes cluster among the different nodes comprising your cluster.

        During this time, your feedback has been that a little more flexibility on the deployment was appreciated, so you could experiment with slightly different setups, even if they were for proof of concepts while you were fleshing out the details of production clusters.

      • Kubernetes Rolling Update Strategy in our production infra

        Kubernetes rolling update strategy means suppose we are running pod (containers) in our live infra and we want to update new changes into our running pod like build update, confrontational changes etc. While deployment new pod with new changes suppose our containers got stuck or failed due to any reason.

        So, we have to redeploy old pod with old changes again to avoid downtime of our application. This complete process is called rolling update strategy in Kubernetes.

        Kubernetes rolling update strategy

        Before moving to next we should aware about new pod deployment strategy of Kubernetes means how many new pods it will deploy at a time without taking downtime. Because high availability of our website is our first priority. So, while deploying new pod Kubernetes will deploy 25% or you can say one fourth of the total pod. Suppose we are running four pods first it will terminate 25% of total pod means one pod. Then it will launch 25% new pod and so on.

      • Tackle OpenStack networking woes with SUSE OpenStack Cloud Crowbar

        By far, the most difficult aspect of successfully deploying OpenStack is getting the networking right, a challenge that has caused many a well-intentioned IT team to throw up its hands and toss in the towel. Fortunately, SUSE OpenStack Cloud removes much of that pain by automating most of the network deployment and dramatically simplifying custom network set-ups.

      • IBM

        • DevNation Live: Event-driven business automation powered by cloud-native Java

          DevNation Live tech talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions and code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, presented by Red Hat’s Maciej Swiderski, Principal Software Engineer, and Burr Sutter, Chief Developer Evangelist, you’ll learn about event-driven business automation using Kogito, Quarkus, and more.

          Kogito is a new Java toolkit, based on Drools and jBPM, that’s made to bring rules and processes to the Quarkus world. This DevNation Live presentation shows how Kogito can be used to build cloud-ready, event-driven business applications, and it includes a demo of implementing the business logic of a complex domain.

          Kogito itself is defined as a cloud-native business automation toolkit that helps you to build intelligent applications. It’s way more than just a business process or a single business rule—it’s a bunch of business rules, and it’s based on battle-tested capabilities.

        • Grow your virtualization environments without breaking the bank

          An IT director at a large financial services company shares the benefits and cost reductions they’ve experienced by switching to Red Hat Virtualization. In just three years, it’s paved the way for an efficient, stable and cost-effective virtualization environment.

        • How to Handle OpenShift Worker Nodes Resources in Overcommitted State

          One of the benefits in adopting a system like OpenShift is facilitating burstable and scalable workload. Horizontal application scaling involves adding or removing instances of an application to match demand. When OpenShift schedules a Pod, it’s important that the nodes have enough resources to actually run it. If a user schedules a large application (in the form of Pod) on a node with limited resources , it is possible for the node to run out of memory or CPU resources and for things to stop working!

          It’s also possible for applications to take up more resources than they should. This could be caused by a team spinning up more replicas than they need to artificially decrease latency or simply because of a configuration change that causes a program to go out of control and try to use 100% of the available CPU resources. Regardless of whether the issue is caused by a bad developer, bad code, or bad luck, what’s important is how a cluster administrator can manage and maintain control of the resources.

          In this blog, let’s take a look at how you can solve these problems using best practices.

        • How the new Quarkus extension for Visual Studio Code improves the development experience

          Earlier this year, we were introduced to Quarkus, the next-generation, container-first framework for Java applications. As expected, such new frameworks and technologies make way for new developer tools focused on making the development experience even better.

          The recent Quarkus extension for Visual Studio Code release aims to do just that, by bringing features specific to Quarkus project development within VS Code. The new VS Code extension is dependent on a couple of Java extensions for VS Code, so it is recommended that you have the Java Extension Pack installed. This article outlines what the Quarkus extension for VS Code has to offer: convenient features for an already convenient Java framework.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Icelake Thunderbolt Support, Stratix10 Additions & Other Material Hits Linux 5.4

        The “char/misc” changes for the Linux 5.4 are as eventful as ever.

        Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the char/misc changes earlier this week for the Linux 5.4 merge window that’s now half-way through. The since merged material contains a lot of notable hardware support improvements.

        Exciting us the most is that the Intel Icelake Thunderbolt support is now squared away. Intel had most of the Icelake CPU support in good shape going back months including for the Gen11 graphics, but the Thunderbolt support was the last holdout. With Icelake, the Thunderbolt controller has moved onto the CPU package itself sans the power deliver infrastructure. These changes yielded additional work to get Icelake Thunderbolt support going under Linux, but it’s finally there for Linux 5.4 with Icelake laptops beginning to hit retail channels.

      • AMD Navi 10 Firmware Finally Lands In The Linux-Firmware Tree

        While AMD has provided open-source Radeon RX 5700 series (Navi 10) support since launch and that code since worked into the various mainline code-bases from the Linux kernel to Mesa, one kink in their support has been their binary microcode images not being available from the reference linux-firmware.git location as needed to initialize the hardware. That Navi 10 firmware/microcode issue has finally been rectified with the images landing this morning.

        Up until now any Radeon RX 5700 series Linux customers or distribution/third-party driver packagers have had to pull these binary bits from this Navi10 directory on the personal site of AMDGPU lead maintainer Alex Deucher. Via his site is where he normally stages these binary microcode files until landing in linux-firmware.git as the de facto location for all Linux drivers’ firmware files.

      • Linux 5.4 Brings Support For Wacom’s MobileStudio Pro 13, Logitech Lightspeed Receivers

        Jiri Kosina on Sunday sent out the HID subsystem updates for the in-development Linux 5.4 kernel. The HID pull once again features support for several new devices particularly on the Logitech side.

      • Wireless USB + UWB Demotion Goes Ahead For Linux 5.4

        Back in August I noted that Wireless USB and Ultra Wideband would be deprecated within the Linux kernel and that is indeed happening for Linux 5.4.

        The Wireless USB (WUSB) and Ultra Wideband (UWB) subsystems within the Linux kernel were already orphaned for years with having no maintainer while now they are officially deprecated and demoted to the kernel’s staging area. If no one steps up soon to maintain the code, it will be dropped in forthcoming kernel releases.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Lima Gallium3D Picks Up A Buffer Object Cache, Partial Updates

          The Lima Gallium3D driver for supporting Arm Mali 400/450 graphics hardware within Arm SoCs has picked up a few performance optimizations.

          Vasily Khoruzhick has contributed a buffer object cache to this Gallium3D driver to avoid the great overhead costs to allocating buffer objects. The BO cache for Lima is modeled after the Broadcom V3D Gallium3D driver’s BO cache.

    • Benchmarks

      • Building A Linux HTPC / Storage Server With The SilverStone CS381

        SilverStone recently sent over their CS381 chassis that has proven to be quite a versatile micro-ATX enclosure that can accommodate up to twelve hard drives (eight of which are hot-swappable) all while coming in at just 400 x 225 x 316mm. The SilverStone CS381 could work quite well as a Linux HTPC / DIY Steam Linux gaming living room PC or SOHO file server system with its compact size while offering immense storage potential. Here’s more on the SilverStone CS381 and our build with using a Ryzen 5 3400G that is playing well under Linux with an ASUS B450 motherboard.

        It’s been a while since last taking a look at any SilverStone enclosure, but with continuing to be impressed by their high-end cases over the years, it was exciting to look at the CS381 from their Case Storage Series. The key features of this case are offering support for up to twelve HDD/SSDs, up to a microATX motherboard, and other components while occupying just 30 liters of space. The case can be positioned in either a vertical or horizontal position depending upon the environment and eight of the drives being hot-swappable primes the case for interesting storage server options.

    • Applications

      • Geary 3.34 Debuts with Deeper GNOME Contacts Integration, Other Changes

        The Geary email client has issued a brand new release, and in this post I tell you a bit about it.

        Geary 3.34.0 — you may recall that Geary switched to following GNOME numbering last year — is the latest update to this web-mail friendly mail tool, and there’s healthy dose of improvement on offer, as noted in the release notes.

        Among them is deeper integration with GNOME Contacts. Geary’s in-app contacts pop-over now supports adding and editing contacts stored in the GNOME Contacts app, and is able to auto-complete email addresses based on data from contacts too.

        Serial typo-makers like me will appreciate the spell checker now covering the mail composer’s subject line; while the addition of support for Outlook-specific email attachments (TNEF) will please those who regularly run in to issues on that front.

        Other changes in Geary 3.34.0 include “a substantial number” of server compatibility improvements, background syncing tweaks, and other bug fixes.

      • Fast Linux Application Launcher Ulauncher 5.3.0 Stable Released

        Ulauncher is an open source application launcher for Linux that can be extended to perform various other tasks through addons. The application features fuzzy search, custom color themes, and it can browse through system directories. Under the hood, Ulauncher uses Python with GTK for the launcher user interface, and HTML/JS rendered in a Webkit frame for the preferences window.

        Open it using a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Space by default), then type a few letters of your search query, use the Up / Down arrows to navigate through the results, and press the Enter key to launch the selected item. The Ulauncher window will close as soon as you press Enter. You may also launch an item using Alt + 1 for the first item in the Ulauncher list, Alt + 2 for the second, and so on. Don’t worry if you have a typo – thanks to Ulauncher’s fuzzy search, the application will figure out what you meant in most cases. Also, the launcher remembers your previous choices, automatically selecting them in the future.

      • Ulauncher 5.3 Released, Here’s How to Install it on Ubuntu

        A new stable version of the Linux application launcher ULauncher is available to download.

        Ulauncher made our list of the best app launchers for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions thanks to its lightning fast responsiveness and wide range of plugins.

        Ulauncher 5.3.0 is the first stable release in the 5.x series and the first version to fully support Python 3.

        Because of this vital foundational change Ulauncher 5.3.0 is not compatible with plugins built for the 4.x series (and the v1 API) — something you should keep in mind if you plan on upgrading from an older version of the app.

        Thankfully, many of the most popular Ulauncher plugins have been ported over to use the new v2 API and work just as well as before. Do check the list prior to upgrading to make sure any add-ons you rely on for Ultimate Productivity™ are available.

      • How to Install Fast App Launcher ‘Ulauncher’ in Ubuntu 18.04

        Ulauncher is a super fast Linux application launcher written in Python with GTK+. By pressing a keyboard shortcut and then typing a name in search box, you can quickly launch an application or access a file / file directory.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Mystery adventure game Jenny LeClue – Detectivu is officially out now with Linux support

        After a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2014 and some delays, the super stylish adventure game Jenny LeClue – Detectivu is officially out now with same-day Linux support as promised. Disclosure: Key provided by GOG.com.

        The synopsis is a curious one, it’s sort of like playing two games in one. The actual mystery adventure with Jenny LeClue is part of a story being written as you play by Arthur K Finklestein, who is supposed to act as the narrator a guide. It’s another choice-based adventure, giving you lots of times to pick between things and shape both Jenny’s story and Arthur’s.

      • Post-apocalyptic semi open-world RPG ‘Death Trash’ is now being self-published, Early Access next year

        Death Trash is one of those games that you see it and you feel like you absolutely need to play it. Thankfully, a playable release is now not too far away.

      • The current Weekly Sales on GOG have some quality roguelike and RPG experiences for cheap

        The DRM-free store GOG have recently put up another two Weekly Sales, both running until September 30th and there’s some quality Linux gaming to be had for cheap.

      • Race through a dying world as a squirrel in the climbing platformer OSK, out now

        OSK from the single-person studio Diax Game is officially out and it has a really beautiful style to it.

        In OSK the world is dying, some sort of cataclysmic event is happening below and as a squirrel you’re just doing what you know—climbing. To get away from the absolute chaos, the game has you climb an enormous tree while you also solve puzzles and avoid enemies.

      • ATOM RPG had another massive update recently adding in an Isometric mode

        ATOM RPG, the game inspired by the likes of Fallout and Wasteland continues to get some big free updates with an Isometric mode out now giving you a new way to play.

        While the team is currently working on the Trudograd standalone, it was originally a feature meant for that but they decided to give it to everyone free—awesome!

      • Build and run your own Battle Royale park in Battle Royale Tycoon out now

        Not quite the usual Battle Royale, here you’re the one in charge. Battle Royale Tycoon is like a more violent and simple version of Parkitect. Note: Key provided to our Steam Curator.

        After being in Early Access since December last year, Endless Loop Studios (Ninja Tycoon, Blueprint Tycoon, Hyper Knights) decided this month it was time to remove the EA sticker and let everyone jump in.

      • Historical turn-based 4X strategy game ‘BOC’ sounds intriguing and it’s coming to Linux

        Planned to released on Steam and GOG (if GOG approve) after an upcoming Kickstarter campaign, BOC seems like a very interesting turn-based 4X coming to Linux.

        Interesting for more reasons than just style and gameplay, as developer Code::Arts say they’ve worked on their own multi-platform OpenGL/Vulkan game engine they’ve called the Deus Ex Machina engine. Their aim with it, is to have a game engine that focuses on “performance and the efficient use of resources” so that it could “run on a toaster”. Starting development back in 2018, their current aim is to have something playable and ready for Early Access next year.

      • Running DOSBox games from Steam on Linux just got better with a fresh release of Boxtron for Steam Play

        Love your classic games? Have a lot of those classics on Steam? You need to grab Boxtron, the unofficial Steam Play tool that allows you to use a native DOSBox with Steam games even if they don’t have a Linux build up.

        As a quick refresher Boxtron improves the experience by giving lower input lag, better fullscreen support, Steam Overlay and other Steam feature support and so on. Compared to running games through Proton or messing about with a manual DOSBox configuration it makes things nice and simple.

      • Snowtopia: Ski Resort Tycoon is heading to Steam next year, early build to try on itch.io

        Up for playing another building and management tycoon game? Snowtopia: Ski Resort Tycoon is one we talked about briefly back in January and it seems to be progressing along nicely.

        We’ve had standard theme park building sims, we’ve had a Battle Royale building sim, city builders and so much more. A Ski Resort you build up yourself though? That’s something we haven’t really seen before on Linux, not something that’s exactly common on any platform though either.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • TSDgeos’ blog: Akademy 2019

          It’s 10 days already since Akademy 2019 finished and I’m already missing it :/

          Akademy is a week-long action-packed conference, talks, BoFs, daytrip, dinner with old and new friends, it’s all a great combination and shows how amazing KDE (yes, the community, that’s our name) is.

          On the talks side i missed some that i wanted to attend because i had to extend my time at the registration booth helping fellow KDE people that had forgotten to register (yes, our setup could be a bit easier, doesn’t help that you have to register for talks, for travel support and for the actual conference in three different places), but I am not complaining, you get to interact with lots of people in the registration desk, it’s a good way to meet people you may not have met otherwise, so please make sure you volunteer next year ;)

          One of the talks i want to highlight is Dan VrĂĄtil’s talk about C++, I agree with him that we could do much better in making our APIs more expressive using the power of “modern” C++ (when do we stop it calling modern?). It’s a pity that the slides are not up so you’ll have to live with KĂŠvin Ottens sketch of it for now.

        • Akademy Behind!

          The framework-for-that idea lives on, though: today I was looking for something to extract the Exec= line from a .desktop file, and there’s a framework for that (KIO does the job, but that’s a pretty heavy dependency for what I wanted; I’ll need to think about it some).

          Third year running (Almeria, Vienna, Milan), I presented the BoF wrap-up session at the end of the day – that’s mostly acting as MC to get other people to tell their stories. Here’s thursday and friday for instance, via the dot. Videos are on YouTube.

          For next year, I’d like to train some other people to do the presentation – because there are so many other faces in KDE. I have high hopes for Caio (of KPMCore and other things) and Aish (GCompris) who I’d like to see out there fronting for the KDE community.

          For being a loud person I’ve now been appropriately punished, by being voted on to the board of KDE e.V. (that page needs an update). I’ll be doing generally useful things, I hope, which means massaging the community code of conduct and spending money from our donors on events all over the world where people from all corners of the KDE community can participate.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Molly de Blanc: Friends of GNOME Update — September 2019

          Last month we wrote about proposed changes to the bylaws. These changes 1) increase the length of terms of members of the Board of Directors and 2) change the language in the bylaws to be gender neutral. There was a vote at the Annual General Meeting, where both proposals passed.

    • Distributions

      • Best free Linux firewalls of 2019: go beyond Iptables for desktops and servers

        Linux distros will often come with at least a basic firewall bundled with it. Often this won’t be active by default so will need to be activated.

        Additionally this will likely be the standard Iptables supplied, even though less experienced users may struggle with it. UFW – Uncomplicated Firewall is also bundled with some distros, and aims to make the process simpler.

        However, there are distros and applications out there that can cater for the more advanced user and the less experienced one, making it easier to setup and configure a firewall that works for your needs.

        Some, like ClearOS build it directly into the operating system as part of its security focus, but most other options would be applications that aim to block rogue IPs, monitor ports, and prevent otherwise prevent bad packets from interfering with your machine.

        For most home users there are few actual settings that need to be customized, so simple apps can be popular, but for those looking to manage their machine as a server, additional controls and advanced command options will tend to be the more welcome.

      • Reviews

        • Redcore Linux 1908 LXQt

          Redcore is a Gentoo-based project which strives to make it easy to install the distribution and immediately have access to a pre-configured desktop environment. Redcore is available in two editions, KDE Plasma and LXQt, and offers builds for 64-bit (x86_64) machines exclusively. The latest version of Redcore Linux has shifted from using Gentoo’s Stable branch as its upstream source to Gentoo Testing. Software now flows from Gentoo Testing, into Redcore’s Testing repository, and then into Redcore Stable where most Redcore users will access it.

          The Redcore ISO files are relatively large with both editions being 3.4GB downloads. Given the similarities in size, I decided to try the LXQt edition. Booting from the Redcore media brings up a graphical login screen with a mostly-white background. We can sign into the live desktop using the username and password “redcore”. The default wallpaper is mostly white with abstract lines. The combination makes for a bright screen populated with harsh lines that I personally found unpleasant and I soon switch to another background.

          There are two icons on the LXQt desktop. One opens the Calamares installer and the other is labelled “Ask for help”. Clicking the latter icon causes LXQt to pop-up an error saying the selected icon is an invalid desktop entry file. Clicking the installer icon brings up a prompt asking if we would like to open or execute the installer’s desktop file. Along the bottom of the screen we find a panel containing the application menu, task switcher and system tray.

      • New Releases

        • ClonOS 19.09-RELEASE

          FreeBSD 13.0-CURRENT (r352386)
          cloud-init support (see errata)
          fixed fbbuf/vesa video issue with some recent Linux distros ( Kali Linux, Parrot, etc..)
          p9fs support (*)
          CBSD updated to 12.1.1
          fixed known SQL injection vulnerabilities

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • ReactOS 0.4.12 released

        The ReactOS team is pleased to announce the release of version 0.4.12. As always a multitude of improvements have been made to all parts of the OS, though userland components saw special emphasis this time around.

      • ReactOS 0.4.12 Released with Window Snapping, New Themes and Kernel Improvements

        The ReactOS development team announced today the general availability of the ReactOS 0.4.12 open-source computer operating system compatible with Microsoft Windows binaries.
        ReactOS 0.4.12 is here more than six months after version 0.4.11 to introduce window snapping, a feature that lets users snap windows to be aligned to sides, along with the necessary keyboard shortcuts, more robust and correct font rendering for buttons in various apps, two new themes, namely Lunar and Mizu, and support for Intel e1000 NIC.

        “ReactOS now possesses a driver that supports this NIC out of the box instead of requiring end-users to manually find and install a driver, a finicky process if one does not have a working network connection in the first place. Furthermore, the new driver should also be compatible with e1000 NICs in real hardware,” said Colin Finck.

      • Molly de Blanc: Freedoms and Rights

        I want to talk a bit about the relationship between rights and freedoms, and what they are. I think building a mutual understanding around this is important as I dig deeper into conversations around digital rights and software, user, and technology freedom.

        A right is like a privilege in as much is that it’s something you’re allowed to do, however rights are innate and not earned. They are things to which everyone is entitled. A freedom expresses a lack of constraints related to an action. When we have a particular freedom (freedom X), we have an unrestrained ability to do X — we can do whatever we want in relation to X. You can also have the right to a certain kind of freedom (e.g. freedom of speech). I talk about both digital rights and digital freedoms. I view digital rights are the extension of our rights into digital spaces, and digital freedoms as the freedoms we have in those spaces. We have the right to free expression when speaking in a room; we have the right to free expression when speaking on the Internet.

        Typically, we frame rights and freedoms in terms of government restrictions: governments are not allowed to keep you from exercising your freedoms, and they are there to protect and ensure your rights. It is becoming increasingly relevant (and common) to also talk about these in relation to companies and technology. It is important to also shift this discussion to include companies and technologies — especially computing software. As computing becomes more pervasive, we need to make sure that the software we’re writing is freedom protecting and rights respecting. These freedoms include the freedoms we typically associate with free and open source software: the unbridaled ability to use, study, modify, and share. it also includes freedoms like expression (to express ourselves without constraint) and the freedom to assemble (to get together without constraint). All of these freedoms are freedoms we have the right to, in addition to other rights including the right to digital autonomy and the right to consent.

      • Events

        • Will Thompson: Flatpak External Data Checker

          (This post is a slightly longer version of a lightning talk I gave at GUADEC 2019.)

          Many non-free applications’ binaries cannot be redistributed (particularly not in modified form), so they cannot be included directly in a Flatpak. To work around this, Flatpak supports the concept of “extra data”: files which will be downloaded and unpacked from a third-party URI when the app is installed. The URI is accompanied by a checksum and a size, to provide some hope that the data unpacked on the user’s system is the same as what the packager tested. This is used by, for example, the Dropbox Flatpak.

          Of course, the Flatpak needs to be kept up to date when new versions of the app are released. At best, the old URL will still point to the same file, so at least the old version of the app will continue to be installed; in some cases, however, vendors publish new versions of the app at the same URL, which means the Flatpak cannot be installed until it is updated.

        • When I couldn’t make it to Nuremberg Sprint 2019

          Back when I was selected as a Google Summer of Code 2019 student for my project Porting KDE Connect to Windows, it was a sheer stroke of luck when incidentally I got invited by my mentor Simon Redman, to come to the Nuremberg Mega sprint for hacking on KDE Connect with the team!

          It was an awesome opportunity, but to be able to get to the sprint, I had to travel abroad, which needs the most difficult document I had to procure till date- a Schengen VISA. There are multiple kinds of VISA- short term, long term, and some schengen states have more or less categories of short term Visa that you can apply through. You can read more about schengen VISAs here.

        • Texas Cyber Summit | Jupiter Extras 16

          Ell, Wes, and The Blind Hacker discuss Texas Cyber Summit, Ell’s birthday dinner, and the “Bee New” conference track.

        • Ole Aamot: GStreamer Conference 2019

          On September 10, 2019 I released GNOME Radio (gnome-radio) version 0.2.0 and I released GNOME Internet Radio Locator (gnome-internet-radio-locator) version 2.0.6 with support for Middle East Broadcasting Center in Dubai, Saudi Arabia on September 22, 2019.

          On October 29, 2019 I am going via Paris on Air France to the GStreamer Conference 2019 held between October 30, 2019 and November 1, 2019 in Lyon, France to give a 5-minute lightening talk on GNOME Radio as part of my Bachelor thesis in Electrical Engineering at Oslo Metropolitan University in Oslo, Norway with the earliest delivery on June 30, 2020.

        • Videos from LibreOffice Conference 2019: OpenDocument Format

          LibreOffice can open documents in many formats, including Microsoft Office files (.docx, .xlxs, .pptx). But it’s native file format is the fully open and standardised OpenDocument Format (ODF). At the recent LibreOffice Conference 2019 in Spain, community members gave presentations about news and updates for ODF. So, here are the first videos from the presentations (use headphones for best audio quality).

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Introducing ‘Stealing Ur Feelings,’ an Interactive Documentary About Big Tech, AI, and You

            The six-minute documentary explains the science of facial emotion recognition technology and demystifies how the software picks out features like your eyes and mouth to understand if you’re happy, sad, angry, or disgusted. While it is not confirmed whether big tech companies have started using this AI, “Stealing Ur Feelings” explores its potential applications, including a Snapchat patent titled “Determining a mood for a group.” The diagrams from the patent show Snapchat using smartphone cameras to analyze and rate users’ expressions and emotions at concerts, debates, and even a parade.

            The documentary was made possible through a $50,000 Creative Media Award from Mozilla. The Creative Media Awards reflect Mozilla’s commitment to partner with artists to engage the public in exploring and understanding complex technical issues, such as the potential pitfalls of AI in dating apps (Monster Match) and the hiring process (Survival of the Best Fit).

            “Stealing Ur Feelings” is debuting online alongside a petition from Mozilla to Snapchat. Viewers are asked to smile at the camera at the end of the film if they would like to sign a petition demanding Snapchat to publicly disclose whether or not it is already using facial emotion recognition technology in its app. Once the camera detects a smile, the viewer is taken to a Mozilla petition, which they can read and sign.

          • Cameron Kaiser: A quick note for 64-bit PowerPC Firefox builders

            If you build Firefox on 64-bit Linux, *BSD, etc. for your G5, you may want to check out this Talospace article for an upcoming low-level fix especially as we need to ensure big-endian systems work fine with it. The problem never affected OS X Firefox for Power Macs because those builds were only ever 32-bit, and even TenFourFox is 32-bit through and through even on the G5 largely for reasons of Carbon compatibility which we need for some pieces of the widget code. Since this is syndicated on Planet Mozilla let me give a big thanks to Ted Campbell for figuring out the root cause, which turned out to be a long-standing problem I don’t think anyone ever noticed before.

      • BSD

        • DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER2 Gets Basic FSCK Support

          While the Copy-on-Write file-system shouldn’t technically require fsck support, basic file-system consistency checking support has been implemented anyhow. In the initial implementation, the fsck code for HAMMER2 cannot repair any damaged file-system but can only verify that the file-system is intact.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Richard Stallman’s Exit Heralds a New Era in Tech [Ed: Conde Nast, whose staff actually rapes kids, is attacking RMS again, pretending he’s “not inclusive”]
        • Yesterday’s Man: The Fall of Richard Stallman

          I only met Stallman once, when he gave a couple of talks in Vancouver. As I wrote in a blog at the time, I found him an extremely ambiguous character, and had difficulties discussing him fairly. At the time, most of my dealings with the Free Software Foundation (FSF) were with Peter Brown, the executive director, an activist who did his best to ally free software with other social causes. Some months later, Stallman wrote an aggrieved email to me because in an article I had described as sexist his joke about “EMACs virgins” in a keynote at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit in 2009. I refused to apologize and that was the last contact we had.

          What strikes me now is how closely that incident a decade ago resembles this most recent one. In both cases, Stallman’s response was all about him. Nor did he show any awareness of how much his behavior harmed the free software movement he founded.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 20 Best NodeJs Frameworks For Developers in 2019

          Over the past few years, the use of web applications has increased to a vast extent. Developers have been looking for such a platform that is both advanced and provides flexibility to develop a variety of web applications. NodeJs Frameworks have earned the credit to be the top selection by the developers. You wanna know why? It is because of the capability to build smart, scalable server-side network-based applications.

        • GNU Parallel 20190922 (‘Stallman’) released

          GNU Parallel 20190922 (‘Stallman’) has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/
          GNU Parallel is 10 years old next year on 2020-04-22. You are here by invited to a reception on Friday 2020-04-17.

        • Cogito, Ergo Sumana: Futureproofing Your Python Tools

          The people who maintain Python and key Python platforms want to help you protect the code you write and depend on.

          [...]

          Publishing that package is a great way of making it so other people can run and deploy it, even within other parts of your organization.

          But — who actually has the keys to the castle? Who can upload a new version, or delete a version that has a problem?

          You should probably make sure multiple people have either “owner” or “maintainer” privileges on the project on PyPI.

          And you should review your project security history display, which lists sensitive events (such as “file removed from release version 1.0.1″) in your PyPI user account and your PyPI project. We just added this display, so you can look at things that have happened in your user account or project, and check for signs someone’s stolen your credentials.

        • py3status v3.20 – EuroPython 2019 edition

          Shame on me to post this so long after it happened… Still, that’s a funny story to tell and a lot of thank you to give so let’s go!

        • Finding Python Developers for Your Startup

          Recently I stumble across a situation while I was helping out for one of the events for JuniorDev SG.

          There was not a lot of Python developers and some of my other developer’s friend.

          Said that they hardly encounter any developer friends who are using Python for their work.

          It begins during a conversation, where one of the attendees for a JuniorDev SG event.

          Approached me to search for Python developers to work for their startup based in Singapore.

        • NVIDIA Video Codec SDK 9.1 Brings CUDA CUStream Support, Other Encoder Improvements

          Following the February release of Video Codec SDK 9.0, NVIDIA recently did a quiet release of the Video Codec SDK 9.1 update that furthers along this cross-platform video encode/decode library.

        • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Peter Farrell

          This week we welcome Peter Farrell (@hackingmath) as our PyDev of the Week! Peter is the author Math Adventures with Python and two other math related Python books. You can learn more about Peter by visiting his website.

        • Mutation testing by example: How to leverage failure
        • Reuven Lerner: Looking for Python podcast co-hosts

          As you might know, I’m a panelist on the weekly “Freelancers Show” podcast, which talks about the business of freelancing.

          The good news: The same company that’s behind the Freelancers Show, Devchat.tv, is putting together a weekly podcast about Python, and I’m going to be on that, too! We’ll have a combination of discussion, interviews with interesting people in the Python community, and (friendly) debates over the current and future state of the language.

        • Getting started with data science using Python

          Data science is an exciting new field in computing that’s built around analyzing, visualizing, correlating, and interpreting the boundless amounts of information our computers are collecting about the world. Of course, calling it a “new” field is a little disingenuous because the discipline is a derivative of statistics, data analysis, and plain old obsessive scientific observation.

          But data science is a formalized branch of these disciplines, with processes and tools all its own, and it can be broadly applied across disciplines (such as visual effects) that had never produced big dumps of unmanageable data before. Data science is a new opportunity to take a fresh look at data from oceanography, meteorology, geography, cartography, biology, medicine and health, and entertainment industries and gain a better understanding of patterns, influences, and causality.

          Like other big and seemingly all-inclusive fields, it can be intimidating to know where to start exploring data science. There are a lot of resources out there to help data scientists use their favorite programming languages to accomplish their goals, and that includes one of the most popular programming languages out there: Python. Using the Pandas, Matplotlib, and Seaborn libraries, you can learn the basic toolset of data science.

        • HEURISTIC ALGORITHMS FOR THE PROBLEM OF OPTIMIZATION OF THE DRAIN AREA IN UNCONVENTIONAL FIELDS OF HYDROCARBONS

          In a previous work, a linear programming based procedure was presented for this problem, and this procedure allowed to solve real-life instances, albeit -in some cases- producing plans with overlappings among the pads (since a relaxation is solved) and suffering from memory issues.

        • Getting Started With Async Features in Python

          Have you heard of asynchronous programming in Python? Are you curious to know more about Python async features and how you can use them in your work? Perhaps you’ve even tried to write threaded programs and run into some issues. If you’re looking to understand how to use Python async features, then you’ve come to the right place.

        • Anaconda Enterprise Receives Honors in Fourth Annual Datanami Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards

          Anaconda’s enterprise data science platform has been recognized in the fourth annual Datanami Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards, presented during the Strata Data Conference.

        • Exploratory Data Analysis Made Easy At The Command Line

          There are countless tools and libraries in Python for data scientists to perform powerful analyses, but they often have a setup cost that acts as a barrier to ad-hoc exploration of data. Visidata is a command line application that eliminates the friction involved with starting the discovery process. In this episode Saul Pwanson explains his motivation for creating it, why a terminal environment is a useful place for this work, and how you can use Visidata for your own work. If you have ever avoided looking at a data set because you couldn’t be bothered with the boilerplate for a Jupyter notebook, then Visidata is the perfect addition to your toolbox.

          [...]

          There are countless tools and libraries in Python for data scientists to perform powerful analyses, but they often have a setup cost that acts as a barrier to ad-hoc exploration of data. Visidata is a command line application that eliminates the friction involved with starting the discovery process. In this episode Saul Pwanson explains his motivation for creating it, why a terminal environment is a useful place for this work, and how you can use Visidata for your own work. If you have ever avoided looking at a data set because you couldn’t be bothered with the boilerplate for a Jupyter notebook, then Visidata is the perfect addition to your toolbox.

  • Leftovers

    • Thomas Cook enters liquidation, potentially leaving hundreds of thousands stranded on holiday [iophk: affects subsidiaries, too, which are many]

      The Civil Aviation Authority said Thomas Cook has ceased trading, its four airlines will be grounded, and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will be left unemployed.

    • Science

      • Postmodernism’s Dead End

        E.O. Wilson explains why this will not be easy: “Culture conforms to an important principle of evolutionary biology: most change occurs to maintain the organism in its steady state.” Understanding this underlying biological uniformity is the key to valuing our individual stories while still acknowledging and repairing their limitations. The world and what we know about it has changed and deepened, but many of our stories do not reflect this awareness. These accounts are therefore largely irrelevant to all except the individuals and groups who support them, which raises the question of what constitutes useful information. If I believe what social constructionists tell me, useful information is relative to the group that generates and shares it. Fine. But information that ignores biological fact, while meaningful, isn’t useful beyond the parameters of one’s subjective worldview. Only when this subjective information is examined in the context of the evolutionary paradigm does its objective relevance become clear: However unique our stories may seem, they are all expressions of a shared human nature.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Chronically underpaid EMTs are being assaulted at record rates

        Across the nation, emergency medical service professionals, the front-line workforce upon which so much of a patient outcome rests, are grossly underpaid for brutal work schedules that put them at risk of both serious physical injury and burnout.

        The cherry on the top of this abuse sundae is that they are 14 times more likely to be violently assaulted on the job than a firefighter.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (expat, php-pecl-http, and php7.0), Fedora (ImageMagick, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, jackson-databind, and rubygem-rmagick), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, ibus, kernel, samba, and thunderbird), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (dovecot and kernel), Red Hat (dbus, kernel, kernel-alt, and kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (dovecot and kernel), and SUSE (expat, ibus, kernel, kernel-source-rt, nmap, openssl, and webkit2gtk3).

      • Red Hat Working On Optimizing KVM Virtualization Performance Stemming From Spectre

        Red Hat’s Andrea Arcangeli sent out an interesting patch series on Friday to micro-optimize the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to enhance the VMEXIT performance in wake of Spectre mitigations.

        The “KVM monolithic” patch series ends up linking the KVM common code both into kvm-intel and kvm-amd so that the common “kvm” kernel module can be dropped. This occupies more disk space but should yield better run-time performance particularly for systems mitigated against Spectre Variant Two.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Climate change: Impacts ‘accelerating’ as leaders gather for UN talks

        “Sea-level rise has accelerated and we are concerned that an abrupt decline in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, which will exacerbate future rise,” said WMO secretary general Petteri Taalas.

        “As we have seen this year with tragic effect in the Bahamas and Mozambique, sea-level rise and intense tropical storms led to humanitarian and economic catastrophes.”

      • Saving the Planet Means Overthrowing the Ruling Elites

        Friday’s climate strike by students across the globe will have no more impact than the mass mobilizations by women following the election of Donald Trump or the hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets to denounce the Iraq War. This does not mean these protests should not have taken place. They should have. But such demonstrations need to be grounded in the bitter reality that in the corridors of power we do not count. If we lived in a democracy, which we do not, our aspirations, rights and demands, especially the demand that we confront the climate emergency, would have an impact. We would be able to vote representatives into power in government to carry out change. We would be able to demand environmental justice from the courts. We would be able to divert resources to the elimination of carbon emissions.

      • A Real Extinction Rebellion Means the End of Colonialism, Imperialism, and Capitalism

        sIn 2011, as a 20 year old activist new to the environmental movement I joined up with other like-minded people for a retreat in rural Wisconsin to plan and strategize our next steps. As a Black woman, it was painfully obvious that amongst the scores of people in attendance that there were very few people of color present.

      • ‘An Obligation to Make Radical Change’: At Youth Climate Summit, Young Leaders Say Merely Listening to Science Is Not Enough

        “Stop asking world leaders to just listen to science and demand they act on science.”

      • Greta’s Weapon
      • Wildlife/Nature

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Australian universities are accused of trading free speech for cash

        Students police each other as well as their teachers. Officially Chinese Students and Scholars Associations, which are backed by the Chinese state, run social events and help newcomers. But they are also assumed to snitch on dissenters, leaving many Chinese students afraid to speak their minds.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Edward Snowden in His Own Words: Why I Became a Whistle-Blower

        However, once I returned from the Army and rededicated myself to computing, I gradually came to regret my martial fantasies. The more I developed my abilities, the more I matured and realized that the technology of communications had a chance of succeeding where the technology of violence had failed. Democracy could never be imposed at the point of a gun, but perhaps it could be sown by the spread of silicon and fiber.

      • Sydney among top 20 cities for surveillance cameras

        Cities around the world are increasing surveillance of their residents, with the number of cameras that look down on the public growing by leaps and bounds, a survey has found. Sydney is the 15th most surveilled city globally, with 60,000 cameras for 4.85 million people, meaning that there are 12.35 cameras for every 1000 people, the British website Comparitech claims.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Without Sign Language, Deaf People Are Not Equal

        We often take for granted our ability to interact with others in our own language. But significant barriers to communicating in sign language are depriving many deaf people of enjoying even these basic interactions.

      • Google Becomes Evil

        For many years, public perception of Google was that of a friendly giant with its techno-hippie ethos and stated agenda to make the world a better place.

      • Blessed Freedom From Health Care, Because GOPers Always Have the Best Ideas

        Last week, liberty-leaning, gun-loving, socialism-hating, immigrant-maligning conservative Eric Brakey announced he’s running for Congress in Maine’s huge 2nd District on the deeply wonky platform to “defend your freedoms and let you live your life!”

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Pirate Bay is Not Getting Rich From Bitcoin Donations…

          The Pirate Bay has accepted Bitcoin donations for more than six years. More recently, it added other cryptocoins as well. When we add up all the donations since late 2017, the income is relatively modest. But perhaps the site has a long-term strategy in mind?

        • Anti-Piracy Outfit “Works With ISPs” to Monitor Pirate Consumption

          While it’s common knowledge that anti-piracy companies like to spy on the activities of pirates, ISPs aren’t regularly linked with the same kind of activity. However, with help from ISPs, a UK-based anti-piracy company says it operates a system that monitors consumption of pirate content over broadband networks by providing the ISPs with piracy intelligence.

Time to Send a Thank GNU to Richard Stallman

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

His E-mail address is still rms at gnu.org

Update: Richard Stallman has since then stated he wants people to support the FSF.

Richard Stallman youth

Summary: In case Stallman’s resignation marks the beginning of something even better (from Stallman himself) people are encouraged to send messages of solidarity

A lot of people no longer remember this, but there were attempts to oust Richard Stallman almost exactly 10 years ago (mind date of article). Similar people were behind it. Similar distortions of what he said. Then too gender politics played a role. We wrote plenty of articles about it (maybe a dozen at the time).

This time, in 2019, Stallman stepped down (after 33 years in this position).

“As my experience shows,” he wrote 5 days ago in his site, “sometimes a troll storm does not depend on publicity from the victim.”

An associate of ours encouraged sending words of encouragement (or condolences) to Stallman. This won’t be the end of his legacy; hopefully the beginning of something new and potentially greater. Freedom-fighting isn’t limited to software.

Department of War and IBM Among Top Clients of Richard Stallman’s Alleged Ouster

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Department of War (now known as Department of Defense)

Department of War and IBM

Summary: Richard Stallman (RMS) is down but not out; if we pick up the pieces and chronicle the media campaign that led to his resignation we find a leaker to the media who chose a dishonest site funded by a close friend of Bill Gates

WE PROMISED OURSELVES to not touch this topic anymore, instead shelving all updates in Tux Machines, which has an almost-complete list of coverage about the RMS saga, in chronological order. As the names in the comments help show, my wife and I found nearly 100 unique blog posts and articles about it. Sometimes these were official statements, e.g. Stallman’s apology, call for his ousting, then his resignation, then further defamation (deliberate distortion of what he had actually said).

“As the names in the comments help show, my wife and I found nearly 100 unique blog posts and articles about it.”Like we said before, it’s better to move on and not dwell/obsess over it. It’s not going to help. There are minor points, however, that ought to made before we “move on”. These are points we did not make in the past. Our detailed list of coverage helps reveal the ‘anatomy’ of what some dubbed “witch hunt” or “lynch mob”. The whole thing started when a person connected to the Department of War (it renamed to Department of Defense after the Second World War) decided to work with the media to “remove Stallman”; the choice of media in itself was rather curious. We’ve been hearing this whisper/murmur campaign for a while, but it’s better to wait for actual proof. One reader told us that Vice had been sponsored by Rupert Murdoch; a quick fact-check reveals this to be correct. There’s also a link to IBM (days ago we explained why IBM is no friend of Software Freedom). We mentioned IBM in our previous post because of its controversial response — through Red Hat — to Stallman’s departure. It would be better if IBM/Red Hat had said nothing at all. They say Stallman would be wise to say nothing at all (about his deceased friend being accused posthumously), but the same can be said about IBM/Red Hat. The IBM/Red Hat statement has been blasted by a lot of people, especially for the ending sentence about diversity.

“Our detailed list of coverage helps reveal the ‘anatomy’ of what some dubbed “witch hunt” or “lynch mob”.”IBM is, in general, a dangerous company. It works closely with oppressive elements of the public sector, including police and military. It’s hardly a secret. IBM itself is a very aggressive company. IBM has not changed since buying Red Hat. Still a Blue Bully.

Zillow is the latest target of IBM’s patent extortion. It’s software patents again and IAM wrote about it a few days ago (behind paywall). IAM’s status has seemingly collapsed; it’s hardly mentioned by anybody any longer, but this one pick was interesting. Meanwhile we’ve learned that Iancu shows his real face again, just like the USPTO Director before his predecessor (he had come from IBM). Now that James Nurton (the Battistelli ‘softball questions’ guy) works for Watchtroll he’s citing a propaganda piece for Iancu — a piece from his former employer, Managing IP (another patent zealots’ site). It helps show a lot of what’s going wrong — something that IBM has long lobbied for, sometimes in guest articles at Watchtroll. IBM cannot possibly like RMS and his message. We saw high-profile Red Hat employees calling for action against RMS, but they piggybacked someone else’s call.

“Zillow the latest target of IBM’s patent extortion.”Anyway, about the removal of Stallman, we’re trying hard not to mention the person in question or risk being accused of ‘stalking’ (or something similar). Let’s just say that the person who called to “remove Stallman” and leaked correspondence to Murdoch-connected media (Vice is sponsored by Murdoch, Bill Gates’ friend) to achieve this by deliberate distortion of facts works for a weapons company that reportedly makes killer robots, according to some comments. These are no friends of software ethics. Stallman is a threat to their business model and their public image. The image above (source here) shows IBM listed. Marcel Ventosa‏ added: “And the most vociferous twitter detractor claims to be the chief consultant at a company that lists the department of defense as one of its 5 trusted clients. Others can be seen to work for Microsoft or other rival organizations on their profiles. Software ethics or ethics period…”

One can see the screenshot there (we reproduced it above).

The person who demanded removing/removal of Stallman took the personal site offline. But the Internet Archive does not forget the projects. Robotics with connections to the military, IBM, and more…

“Now with RMS removed ‘they’ (the likes of IBM) just want/need to remove Torvalds and put in power ‘fresh blood’ that large corporations hold by the groin.”“I currently work as a mechanical engineer at XYZ Robotics, a robotic sorting and logistics startup that was born out of the MIT MCube Lab,” the person wrote. Apparently for aggressive purposes; these are not toys.

Days ago, for the second time in almost a fortnight, Stallman told me he would publish an article about his trip to Microsoft (or the reason for it). This has not happened yet. Perhaps there are other things preying on his mind at this time.

It’s going to be hard to replace Stallman because when Stallman does seemingly ‘extreme’ things (like always paying with cash) people say, “that’s Stallman being Stallman,” whereas an alternative would either use “smart” crap or be called “extreme” for doing exactly what RMS did. The status of RMS is key here. There’s only one RMS, one project founder of GNU. Now with RMS removed ‘they’ (the likes of IBM) just want/need to remove Torvalds and put in power ‘fresh blood’ that large corporations hold by the groin.

The Unspeakable Problem is Big Proprietary Corporations Taking Over Free Software While Telling Their Opponents They’re Racist and Sexist (Intolerant)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One month ago: Diversity and Inclusion: When Corporations Hijack or Co-opt Social Causes

Open Core Summit
Dual-licensed proprietary software + openwashing = attack on free speech as well as on Software Freedom (source)

Summary: Thin-skinned people are being weaponised against opposition to one’s views, just like blasphemy law is brought up to defend fiction/lies and censor/self-censor one’s critics (because truth is sometimes “offensive”)

The “GNU/Linux community” — a rather loose and somewhat vague term — doesn’t have a sexism problem (not any more than proprietary software have such a problem); it has a traitor problem and it’s typically due to greed. People are lured to betray and to attack their fellow people/developers. They defect; they decide to malign and rob the Commons as that certainly can be profitable (in the short term at least; their reputation soon collapses).

It’s rather troubling to see the rhetoric employed by these defectors; forget about old stigmas like “communists” because now they weaponise more modern types of politics. Rejecting someone/something from a particular company isn’t prejudiced if that company is evil and corrupt. However, if that company can self-identity differently, then that might at least seem (on the surface) as intolerant. Intolerant companies try to portray their critics as the sole source of intolerance or “equally intolerant” (hence hypocrites). This type of political method has long been leveraged against Free software.

“This type of political method has long been leveraged against Free software.”The IBM-owned Red Hat now says that the FSF should have more diversity in its Board; if by that it alludes to gender, then the FSF’s Board and management team is, at present, vastly more diverse than the general GNU development community. Which should make that suspect (and us sceptical of motivations here). The representation seems apt enough already (10 males, 3 females in management; 6 to 1 in the Board of Directors), and this was said in light of Stallman’s pushed/forced resignation. We’ll deal with IBM separately in our next post.

Sorry to say this so bluntly, but the Corporate Linux Foundation has taken this agenda to new extremes. Female readers of ours complain about it, noting that the Corporate Linux Foundation does not care about diversity; it only claims that. They keep up appearances this way. Adding insult to injury, the Corporate Linux Foundation turned diversity itself into a product. It literally sells things like “diversity lunch” for a high fee to large corporations. It tells them (in the brochure) that for a fee it’ll credit these companies, verbally or in tweets, for their ‘support’ towards diversity. When a female reader told this to us we could barely believe it, but then we saw the original brochure/prospectus for ourselves. Here’s one example:

Jono Bacon tweet
From the Corporate Linux Foundation’s sponsor prospectus. “Page 14 shows there are 3 tiers to get a tweet by Jono Bacon,” a reader alerted us.

Yes, that’s Jono Bacon right there. Selling tweets. These are ‘corporate pimps’…

“Yes, that’s Jono Bacon right there. Selling tweets.”We should note that many Corporate Linux Foundation associates are also Microsoft associates. There’s growing overlap that’s beyond disturbing. Take Jono Bacon for example. In his latest blog post Jono Bacon reveals just how well connected he is to Microsoft and the Corporate Linux Foundation (not even hidden; see endorsements).

What Jono Bacon calls “People Powered” is actually “Corporations Powered”; it’s like the old Microsoft slogan (from around 2006 when Microsoft got caught paying/bribing bloggers to say “People-Ready”); “People Powered” is about corporations stealing from people, from the public, to make a profit. Are those inseparable now? Are corporations themselves the ‘communities’? They want us to believe so.

“My wife unsubscribed from Linux.com a few days ago (after 6+ years). She says it’s complete rubbish now; worse than useless.”Speaking of the Corporate Linux Foundation, after it had fired all writers and editors back in April it turned Linux.com into somewhat of a cesspool. My wife unsubscribed from Linux.com a few days ago (after 6+ years). She says it’s complete rubbish now; worse than useless. The Corporate Linux Foundation pulled the trigger on that site and put in charge one of the defectors. This morning he did yet more VMware openwashing in his site. He’s paid for this propaganda campaign with Dirk Hohndel et al (the Corporate Linux Foundation, funded by VMware, pays him to do this).

This person administers/edits Linux.com where similar openwashing lies are being promoted and he blocked me in Twitter as well. Why? Because I politely criticised his openwashing output. I didn’t even mention his Twitter handle! Also see the screenshot above; this is how these people ‘cope’ with polite criticism which in no way breaks any laws or even resorts to strong words (sometimes reality itself can be ‘painful’ or ‘hurtful’).

OSI Did Not Guard the Open Source Brand; Now Its Own Name, Open Source Initiative, is Being ‘Diluted’ and “Open Source” is Almost Meaningless

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OSI at 1:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Openwashing Report part IV

Part I: Openwashing Report: ‘Open Source’ Without Any or Most of the Benefits
Part II: Summits of Open Bear Traps: The Open Core Summit and Other ‘Open’ Events That Actually Attack Software Freedom
Part III: Microsoft is Not an Open Source Authority But an Opponent of Open Source

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The term or the brand “Open Source” is becoming worthless because those who use it typically engage in production of proprietary software falsely marketed as “Open Source” (that’s what openwashing is inherently about)

THIS is the closing part of this weekend’s series, the Openwashing Report. Like we said at the start (part I), at one point we shall classify and likely catalogue some of the openwashing patterns in order to highlight the threats they pose to Software Freedom. It is a growing danger. It needs to be deconstructed and explained. Examples from the news help.

“…the corporations take almost complete control of the narrative.”Several days ago “Open Source Insider” did its usual thing; it covers proprietary software again. We think we know who’s behind it. “Open Source Insider” used to be published with a person’s name, but after spreading lies like “Microsoft loves Linux” and facing scrutiny for it that author threatened us and then “Open Source Insider” became nameless. It’s nowadays published anonymously and it’s a source of openwashing. It almost never covers actual Free software. It’s a corporate blog of Computer Weekly (like Linux.com under the new editorship).

But anyway, this has sadly become the norm; the corporations take almost complete control of the narrative.

“Roughly a week ago we wrote about Microsoft buying more seats, i.e. more influence/control, in Zemlin PAC.”Take for example Linux.com. It’s being managed by the corrupt Corporate Linux Foundation (Zemlin PAC). Zemlin PAC is just “influence for sale”, including articles for sale at Linux.com (puff pieces for corporations are up for sale!); “give us money, then tell us what to write/do” is the business model. Corrupt. Yes, for sure…

Roughly a week ago we wrote about Microsoft buying more seats, i.e. more influence/control, in Zemlin PAC. Days ago this was still mentioned in the media, e.g. in Tech stars on the Academy’s open source red carpet” and Microsoft, Apple Join Open-Source Efforts at Academy Software Foundation” (they don’t frame this correctly; this is classic influence-buying).

Does OSI speak for Open Source? Or does the money speak?

Does Stallman speak for FSF (and GNU)? Not anymore.

Does Torvalds speak for Linux? Or does Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation)?

Those are serious questions. They’re only partly rhetorical, but they oughtn’t be.

The OSI is losing its identity. Out-shimmered? See this new article entitled “Open-source initiative paving way for wearable sensor standards” (OSI name collision?)

“Does Torvalds speak for Linux? Or does Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation)?”Here’s another one, “Shimmer launches ‘Open Source Initiative for Healthcare Wearable Sensor Algorithms’”

From Bio-IT World we have a similar (almost identical) headline because it’s a press release, “Shimmer Announces Launch of Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative for Wearable Sensor Algorithms”

This one looks like a call for things that might turn out to be Free/Open Source later,” one person told us. “Of interest? They’re calling it “Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative” so there is potential brand dilution going on. That’s a pretty interesting inclusion of OSI’s name.”

The press release in question says the “[i]nitiative will enable the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data” and towards the middle it says the “new initiative seeks to develop a curated set of open source algorithms and software tools for analyzing wearable sensor data that will be available to all medical device and pharmaceutical companies in a pre-competitive environment as a service to the industry. It will allow the work conducted by thousands of researchers during the past decade to be leveraged to create commonly-accepted de facto industry standards.”

“They’re calling it “Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative” so there is potential brand dilution going on. That’s a pretty interesting inclusion of OSI’s name.”
      –Anonymous
We mentioned that at one point. From their original page: “Shimmer is collaborating with Nextbridge Exchange and Dr. Vincent van Hees, author of the GGIR software, in an initiative to drive the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data.

“The primary goal of this collaboration is to address the lack of accepted clinical endpoints that is proving to be a major obstruction to the widespread deployment of wearable sensors in clinical trials.”

There’s also this: “Shimmer is collaborating with Nextbridge Exchange and Dr. Vincent van Hees, author of the GGIR software, in an initiative to drive the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data. The primary goal of this collaboration is to address the lack of accepted clinical endpoints that is proving to be a major obstruction to the widespread deployment of wearable sensors in Clinical Trials. [...] Shimmer is reaching out to Clinical Trials sponsors and wearable sensor developers to join us in this initiative.”

It’s like another OSI, but this one managed by a corporation.

Going back to Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation), is there any community role in it? No, none. The Board is nothing but corporate sponsors.

“Did you know the Linux foundation has their own operating system?”
      –Anonymous
Our reader asked: “Did you know the Linux foundation has their own operating system?

“Neither did I…

From this article: “Best known for its stellar work in open source software, most notably its operating system, the Linux Foundation…”

“Open source has taken nearly every sector IT by storm, but it took networking a comparably large amount of time to embrace it,” it says. “But, with the fast adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) and network management products like SD-WAN, open source finally found a place in IP routing and networkers appear to love it as much as everyone else.”

Last week we wrote about the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), which isn’t too far from the Open Networking Summit (ONS) — the subject of the above article.

“This is what they call a cabal of large corporations. Ecosystem…”The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) does openwashing for malicious telecoms such as Comcast (still). Surveillance DCs and routing get spun as “open” because of partial code releases or rather code sharing among the large telecoms. How about these new articles [1, 2] entitled “Comcast rolling out open source network software in multiple markets” and “Comcast Rolls Out ONF’s Trellis Open Source Networking Fabric”?

Now come the Zemlin PAC openwashing services for these spying telecoms: Open Source LF Networking Projects Enter the Commercialization Phase, Supported by a Growing Global Ecosystem

“Ecosystem” is a term that Stallman strongly opposes and has long warned about. This is what they call a cabal of large corporations. Ecosystem…

Conflating standards (or code-sharing or “interoperability”) with “Open Source” isn’t a new thing. But this is what happens here, as this new article makes more apparent. “Worse,” it says, “most vendors are not following the guidelines and specifications developed by the ETSI Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) Industry Specification Group (ISG), or any other standards, she noted.”

So they don’t even stick to the most basic and fundamental baseline!

Here come the networking openwashers (“More Than Just Code: Open Networking Early Adopters Share Lessons Learned”); let’s make “Open Source” not about code; it’s about talking.

“We think that the term “Open Source” is nowadays misapplied and misused (or overused) to the point where it has nothing to do with Software Freedom.”When you cannot even tell the difference (anymore) between standards and actual Software Freedom a situation such as this comes about: “The era of software-defined, cloudified networks has begun and promises a higher degree of automation, more flexibility and time to market improvements. This brings together two traditionally separated worlds – CSPs, who are used to technology alignment within standardisation bodies, and the software business, which is often driven by de-facto vendor standards or open source communities.”

So it’s about standardisation mostly.

We think that the term “Open Source” is nowadays misapplied and misused (or overused) to the point where it has nothing to do with Software Freedom. Nothing. The marketing industry is taking over the term for openwashing (here are examples from last week [1, 2, 3]). To make matters worse, the biggest proprietary software companies nowadays call themselves “open”; here’s a new example of openwashing and cloudwashing of Sage. It’s proprietary software, but the company wants to be seen differently, helped by buzzwords (“Sage gets cloudy, moves towards open source and microservices”). Here’s another new example of a company trying get some openwashing PR value out of proprietary software of SAP. “The operator is taking baby steps,” it says, “using open source to complement rather than replace its existing OSS/BSS.”

“Times aren’t good for Software Freedom; not good for Open Source either unless we start counting fakes.”So it stays proprietary. They all do. They just use the term “Open Source” in headlines as that helps confuse people (the title above is “RJio Takes Baby Steps With Open Source for OSS/BSS”).

OSI failed to enforce and protect the brand. The PAC of Jim Zemlin, a marketing person, has no interest in protecting this brand; instead it’s being sold down the river. All the code is being handed over to Microsoft in its proprietary software platform, GitHub.

Times aren’t good for Software Freedom; not good for Open Source either unless we start counting fakes.

Microsoft is Not an Open Source Authority But an Opponent of Open Source

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Openwashing Report part III

Part I: Openwashing Report: ‘Open Source’ Without Any or Most of the Benefits
Part II: Summits of Open Bear Traps: The Open Core Summit and Other ‘Open’ Events That Actually Attack Software Freedom

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: Various outlets that are closely connected to Microsoft are trying to convince us that Microsoft is now ‘king’ of Open Source; nothing could be further from the truth however

THE corporate media, which is habitually paid/funded by Microsoft and Bill Gates to promote their mythology, would have us believe that Microsoft is an “Open Source company” (never mind if all the key software is proprietary).

“It’s part of a PR campaign whose goal is to subvert and/or hijack Linux. It started around 2015, back when Microsoft made plans to buy GitHub and ‘steal’ the Free software movement.”That’s just as absurd as claiming that BP is an “environmentalist movement” and Donald Trump is a “fighter for women’s rights”. “Microsoft loves Linux” is another lie they habitually throw at us, even in image form (which cannot be trivially edited). It’s part of a PR campaign whose goal is to subvert and/or hijack Linux. It started around 2015, back when Microsoft made plans to buy GitHub and ‘steal’ the Free software movement.

Many people underestimate the dangers posed by GitHub. It’s used in a lot of ways, including propaganda, censorship, surveillance (“business intelligence”) and generally control by Microsoft. In this third part we focus on a few aspects of this takeover.

“GitHub is Microsoft owned; what can be expected from ‘studies’ that are based on Microsoft’s own data and platform? Limiting surveys to just GitHub again?”Days ago came out a press release entitled “Deloitte Launches Open Source Compass, Providing Visualizations of Open Source Software Trends and Insights” [1, 2]. This speaks of an Open Source Compass (OSC). Then came this other press release about OSCI, a “NEW TOOL RANKS TOP COMPANIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO OPEN SOURCE EACH MONTH” (they use all caps).

“I think you’ve written about this,” said a reader, quoting this new nonsense: “The OSCI solution, which is open source itself, is based on an algorithm that calculates the number of monthly employee commits to GitHub, the leading source code repository for the open source community.”

“That was back when Microsoft already knew it would buy GitHub (and had already ‘stuffed’ it with its code).”GitHub is Microsoft owned; what can be expected from ‘studies’ that are based on Microsoft’s own data and platform? Limiting surveys to just GitHub again? We wrote about that many times before. Mac Asay used such bogus numbers to repeatedly publish articles asserting Microsoft is “biggest Open Source company” or something to that effect. That was back when Microsoft already knew it would buy GitHub (and had already ‘stuffed’ it with its code).

As readers could see in our Daily Links (under the “Openwashing” section), several days ago Microsoft bombarded the media with openwashing of proprietary software, MSVS. Apparently “Code” wasn’t enough; so in order to sell (rent actually) more copies of that malicious software with surveillance (they call it ‘telemetry’) they threw C++ STL at GitHub; Microsoft-connected media (funded by Microsoft, e.g. through ads) soon called it “Open-Source Project of the Week”. At around the same time Microsoft also ‘opened’ a VERY VERY VERY major piece of software! HUGE! Yes, a font! Mind the sarcasm. Why did this receive so much press coverage, e.g. [1, 2, 3]?

So a font was “open-sourced”! Big deal… how many such fonts have we already got? But it’s one way to game GitHub numbers; they’re stuffing or stashing their openwashing ‘assets’ there; CodePlex redux.

“Going back to OSCI, the propaganda is in full swing.”Media then focused on the Semmle news [1, 2, 3, 4], which seems to reaffirm GitHub’s status as a proprietary software platform.

But don’t let all those ‘pesky’ facts get in the way.

Going back to OSCI, the propaganda is in full swing.

As our reader put it, citing this page: “So who do they rank?”

Well, they rank Microsoft’s participation in its own Web site. They make Microsoft seem like a leading contributor as if rivals like Red Hat would choose Microsoft to host code, even after the takeover. GitHub is also proprietary software, so there are additional (ethical) reasons to avoid it. From the page:

1 Microsoft: 38827868
2 Google: 34627760
3 Red Hat: 23273850
4 IBM: 16063506
5 Intel: 15843971
6 Facebook: 8102179

“I also dislike the tacit acceptance of GitHub as the dominant free software hosting platform for a decentralised version control protocol, when it is itself centralised, proprietary, for-profit, closed-source, and politically active.”
      –Tom Ryder, October 2017
As our reader noted: “What’s the problem with this? (Apart from being built on Azure)

“These aren’t contributions that will necessarily (ever) help anybody apart from the companies producing them.”

“Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight,” Bill Gates once said.

Tom Ryder, back in October 2017 (less than a year before Microsoft bought GitHub), published “Why not GitHub?”

In his own words: “I also dislike the tacit acceptance of GitHub as the dominant free software hosting platform for a decentralised version control protocol, when it is itself centralised, proprietary, for-profit, closed-source, and politically active.”

“But the propaganda lives on.”Actual Free/Open Source companies would reject GitHub because of its antithetical nature.

But the propaganda lives on. Days ago someone published this press article which said “GitHub is basically the most important code repository for open source code on the web and is bigger than most.”

It may be the biggest one, but it is a proprietary software trap of the foremost opposer of Open Source.

And going back to OSCI again, what does their data actually show? Why are they basing all this on Microsoft data alone? Here they go: “EPAM has always been a strong proponent of open source as an effective way for our enterprise clients to build technology solutions that are flexible, adaptable and robust,” said Jitin Agarwal, VP, Enterprise Products, EPAM. “Our team created the Open Source Contributor Index because we believe it is important to highlight the top contributing organizations who recognize the value of open source as much as we do. We’re proud that EPAM has consistently ranked as a top open source contributor over the past few years, and in fact, is the leading service provider on the index, which is especially impressive given our size and scale.”

“This is what we meant when we repeatedly said (months ago) that GitHub is routinely used for Microsoft propaganda.”“EPAM’s software engineering team experimented with several different algorithms in developing the logic behind OSCI. Built on Microsoft Azure, OSCI uses publicly available GitHub commit event data from the GH Archive and includes contributions from employees of commercial organizations – universities, research institutions and contributors from free email providers are not included. The key measurement utilized in the algorithm is the number of employees who have made over 10 commits, which highlights the number of highly active contributors to open source projects at the company. The secondary measure for OSCI tracks the number of employees who made one commit, indicating the overall size of the open source community at the company. To ensure transparency, OSCI’s source code can be found on GitHub.”

So it’s all Microsoft; hosted by Microsoft, based on Microsoft…

This is what we meant when we repeatedly said (months ago) that GitHub is routinely used for Microsoft propaganda.

“There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises.”

Bill Gates

“Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols anyone can implement is communism; it was set up by that famous communist agent, the US Department of Defense.”

Richard Stallman

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