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11.10.19

Links 10/11/2019: digiKam 6.4.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha and OpenZFS Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • EXT4 File-System Picking Up New Direct I/O Read Implementation

        Among other EXT4 file-system changes en route for the upcoming Linux 5.5 kernel is a new direct I/O read implementation.

        EXT4 has ready a new direct I/O read that makes use of the kernel’s iomap infrastructure. This new IOmap-based direct I/O read replaces the existing direct I/O read code within this file-system driver.

      • HMEM Device Driver Coming For Linux 5.5

        Intel’s HMEM DAX driver is being added to Linux 5.5 for use-cases like their Optane DC Persistent Memory.

        With devices like Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory and others coming to market that offer different tiers of performance compared to conventional system memory, the HMEM driver is used for interfacing with EFI/ACPI platform firmware for reading these different memory ranges and their performance classes to handle these different memory pools appropriately.

      • Linux Sees Fix For “Critical” Scheduler Bug Introduced A Few Months Ago

        Intel’s Peter Zijlstra sent out a patch series with what he describes as a critical scheduler fix along with a set of optimizations/improvements stemming from the change amount to seven patches in total.

        The main fix is for addressing a race condition from a previously unexplored dependency within the kernel’s scheduler code in the pick_next_task() function. The race condition was introduced in the upstream kernel back in early August. The full severity of the impact wasn’t disclosed in the patch series but were tipped off to the patch-set as being important.

      • Thunderbolt 3 Software Connection Manager Support Coming In Linux 5.5 For Apple Hardware

        The Thunderbolt changes have been merged to char-misc ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.5 merge window.

        The principal Thunderbolt changes for this next version of the Linux kernel is introducing software connection manager support for Thunderbolt 3 hardware — initially just Apple systems. Up to now the Thunderbolt 3 controllers on Apple systems have just relied upon the firmware connection manager but now Linux’s in-kernel connection manager can be used in place of the firmware implementation. The Thunderbolt connection manager is responsible for creating PCIe tunnels and other operations when Thunderbolt devices are connected.

      • AMD

        • AMD Volleys Another Batch Of Graphics Driver Changes For Linux 5.5

          While the Linux 5.4 cycle is quickly winding down and with DRM-Next’s cut-off crossing, AMD has sent in a last minute batch of changes it’s targeting for the upcoming Linux 5.5 merge window.

          AMD in prior weeks submitted a lot of new GPU driver code for Linux 5.5. Friday’s pull request is primarily fixes but one notable addition is enabling dynamic power gating for GCN with Raven Ridge APUs.

        • Radeon Software For Linux Updated With Radeon RX 5500 Series Support

          Radeon Software for Linux 19.30 has been the driver release branch since July for the AMD Linux packaged driver stack. That 19.30 driver was introduced with the AMD Radeon RX 5700 “Navi” support while now a slightly updated stack was released.

          Released on Friday was the AMDGPU-PRO 19.30-934563 driver stack as the newest revision to the Radeon Software for Linux 19.30 driver.

        • Benchmarks Of 10 Higher-End Intel/AMD CPUs On Ubuntu 19.10

          With Ubuntu 19.10 bringing some CPU/system performance changes compared to earlier Ubuntu releases as a result of compiler/toolchain upgrades, the newer kernel, and more, here is a quick weekend look at how the Ubuntu 19.10 performance compares across ten different AMD Ryzen and Intel Core systems.

          This is a reference look at the Intel/AMD performance on ten different higher-end desktop/workstation systems with a variety of workloads on Ubuntu 19.10 given the package upgrades found in this recent Linux distribution release.

        • Rodrigo Siqueira: Status Update and XDC 2019, October 2019

          It has been a while since my last post, but there is a simple reason for that: on August 5th, I had to move from Brazil to Canada. Why did I move? Thanks to Harry Wentland recommendation, I got an interview for a software engineering position at AMD (Markham), and I got hired to work on the display team. From now on, I suppose that I’ll be around the DRM subsystem for a long time :). Even though I’m now employed by AMD this post reflect my personal thoughts only and should not be construed to represent AMD in any way.

          [...]

          I was not working in VKMS due to my change of country; however, now I am reworking part of the IGT test related to writeback, and as soon as I finish it, I will try to upstream it again. I hope that I can also have the VKMS writeback merged into the drm-misc-next by the end of this month. Finally, I merged the prime supported implemented by Oleg Vasilev (huge thanks!).

    • Applications

      • The 10 Best Disk Analyzer Tools for Linux System in 2019

        If you are here in search of a disk analyzer software, then I am sure that you already know about it. But for those who don’t know yet, it is generally a computer program or tool which you can use for analyzing the storage space of an electro-mechanical drive. Here the term “analyze” stands for different purposes like exploring documents, cleaning up space, or even optimizing the disk when needed. Disk analyzers are very important tools to save and optimize disk usage on your Linux system.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • X-Plane 11.40 is Final

        X-Plane 11.40 is now final! You will be prompted to update to X-Plane 11.40 when you start X-Plane; Steam users will receive the update automatically via Steam. Here’s what’s next in the pipeline:
        We are working on a bug-fix update (11.41) to catch one or two bugs that didn’t make the RC, as well as the inevitable bug that will be reported after go final. I expect to cut an 11.41 release candidate some time next week, and it should be a pretty quick release.
        In the meantime, we are pushing hard to get Vulkan/Metal ready so that we can do an X-Plane 11.50 beta. We may start private testing of Vulkan and Metal before 11.41 is done, depending on what gets fixed first.

      • Longtime Linux-Friendly X-Plane Flight Simulator Sees v11.40 Released

        Besides X-Plane being one of the most realistic PC-based flight simulators, this flight simulator from Laminar Research has long supported Linux. Out this weekend is X-Plane 11.40 as the latest update and the last major release before they roll-out their long-awaited Vulkan graphics API support.

        X-Plane has long been using an OpenGL-based render while with the next major release, X-Plane 11.50, is where they will finally ship their big renderer rework where Apple’s Metal API is used on macOS and Vulkan for other platforms.

      • Testing 4 Raspberry Pi Gaming Platforms

        I’ve been looking to update my home media center recently and decided to survey the landscape of Raspberry Pi gaming/media platforms. This video compares the four best ones I’ve been able to find which are: RetroPie, Recalbox, Lakka, and Steamlink.

      • Unique first-person shooter Shotgun Farmers adds an amusing Horde Mode

        In Shotgun Farmers when you shoot and miss, your bullets sink into the ground and grow new guns. It’s a brilliant idea and it just got a huge update.

        With this big update, it introduces a co-op Horde Mode for you and a few others to face off against 50 waves of increasingly difficult zombie farmers and infected animals on a brand new map. That’s in addition to the existing team deathmatch, free for all, capture the pig, tournament and other game modes.

      • Korean survival horror The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters enters Early Access with Linux support

        Devespresso Games and Headup continue their great Linux support, with a same-day released of The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters.

        After launching their story-driven roguelike Vambrace: Cold Soul earlier this year, Devespresso went back to their scarier roots with a sequel to their debut title The Coma: Cutting Class which was given a revamp and Linux support with The Coma: Recut back in 2017. This latest game in the series takes you back to Sehwa High, with a new protagonist and a very angry psychotic killer out to get you.

      • Comedy adventure game 3 Minutes to Midnight funded and coming to Linux

        Scarecrow Studio have raised enough funding to have a successful Kickstarter campaign for 3 Minutes to Midnight, a comedy adventure game due out next year.

        They seem to be pulling out all the stops on this one. Fully voiced, high quality art with locations having both night and day with different things going on, a huge script, tons of people to meet and speak to, two playable characters, multiple solutions to different puzzles plus lots of accessibility features you would expect out of a properly modern point and click adventure.

      • Ghost Grab 3000 is a very satisfying arcade game where you chain ghosts together

        Ghost Grab 3000 just recently released after a delay due to the Halloween sales and it’s a huge amount of fun.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • digiKam 6.4.0 is released

          We received a lot of excellent user feedback after publishing the 4th digiKam 6 release in September 2019. We are now proud to briefly announce the new digiKam 6.4.0, a maintenance version which consolidates this feedback and acts as an important phase of this 3-year-old project.

          With 6.1.0, digiKam project has introduced the new DPlugins interface to customize and extend the application. This powerful interface, available in digiKam and Showfoto, already manage all Generic tools to import/export items or edit metadata, Image Editor re-touch tools (colors editing, Transforms, Decorate, Effects, etc.), Batch Queue Manager tools to process many files at once.

          With 6.2.0 and 6.3.0, we increase the plugins list ready for production, to finaly provide more than 120 native tools. With this new release, 14 new plugins have been introduced again and available in digiKam and Showfoto…

        • [KDE] 119.12 releases branches created

          The branch naming has changed to try to accommodate for the stopping of the “KDE Applications” brand, it’s now called release/19.12

          Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the 19.12 releases to them

        • [KDE] Apps Update for November

          The big release this month has been LabPlot 2.7. LabPlot is fast becoming one of KDE’s highest profile apps. It is an application for interactive graphing and analysis of scientific data. LabPlot provides an easy way to create, manage and edit plots. It allows you to produce plots based on data from a spreadsheet or on data imported from external files. Plots can be exported to several pixmap and vector graphic formats.

          In this release we made the user experience while working with LabPlot easier and more fun. Entering and working with data in spreadsheets is slicker and when reading live data from file sources you can now use a relative path to find a live data source. This allows you to, for example, copy the folder containing the project file together with the data file or files across different folders on your computer without losing the connection to the file or files. In the Project Explorer you can now move top-level objects to different folders via drag & drop.

        • Fail! No Linux App Summit for me.

          I was going to attend the Linux App Summit, and even going to speak, about Krita and what happens to a an open source project when it starts growing a lot. And what that would mean for the Linux desktop ecosystem and so on. But that’s not going to happen.

          There was really bad flooding in the south of France, which damaged the TGV track between Montpellier and Barcelona. When we went home after the 2018 Libre Graphics Meeting, we took the train from Barcelona to Paris, and noticed how close the water was.

          Well, I guess it was too close. And this is relevant, because I had planned to come to Barcelona by train. It’s a relatively easy one-day trip if everything is well, and gives ten hours of undisturbed coding time, too. Besides, I have kind of promised myself that I’m not going to force myself to take planes anymore. Flying terrifies me. So I didn’t consider flying from Amsterdam for a moment — I was only afraid that other people would try to force me to fly.

        • This week in KDE: 5.17 and beyond

          We’re mid-cycle in Plasma 5.17 and still working hard to fix bugs and regressions, while planning for Plasma 5.18, our next LTS release! There’s also been continued work on our apps.

        • KDE Packs Away New Screensaver Setting, Other Changes For First Full Week Of November

          Some of the fixes / changes over the past week include:

          - Dolphin can now show condensed dates.

          - The clock on the lock-screen can now be hidden until the password prompt appears, so it’s a “100% faithful representation of an old-school screensaver.”

          - Konsole tabs now visually indicate activity (again).

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha available for testing

          The first OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 release cycle milestone is available for download and testing.

          Testing is a critical step during development as all bug fixing will take place during this lapse of time. Therefore we exhort all OpenMandriva users to test our system and report any issue you may find at our forum or at our bug tracking system.

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha Released With Toolchain Upgrade, Clang-ed Kernel Option

          The first alpha release of the forthcoming OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 is now available for testing with this Clang-built Linux distribution that originates back to the days of Mandrake.

          With OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 the compiler toolchain is being upgraded against LLVM Clang 9.0 and Glibc 2.30 along with a wealth of other package updates. OpenMandriva for a while now has been built with the LLVM Clang compiler rather than the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). With OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 there is now the option of having a Linux kernel image build also composed via Clang rather than GCC.

      • Debian Family

        • Python dataclasses and typing

          I’m going to preach the wonders of Python dataclasses, but for reasons of interested to those who have already gone down the delightful rabbit-hole of typed Python. So let me start with a quick plug for mypy if you haven’t heard about it.

          (Warning: this is going to be a bit long.)

        • Hideki Yamane: fontforge package update

          I’ve uploaded fontforge package into experimental. It needs huge changes in debian packaging.

        • Utkarsh Gupta: Debian Activities for October 2019

          Here’s my (first) monthly update about the activities I’ve done in Debian this October.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • What’s New in Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

          Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine has been released announced officially by canonical, this release introduces numerous new features, updated apps and components, and much more.

          Ubuntu 19.10 release includes embedded Nvidia proprietary drivers in the ISO image to improve the performance, smoothness, and frame rates in games and experimental ZFS file system for root, which is implemented in the installer.

          as well as all the latest Open Source software, including GNOME 3.34 as default desktop environment with new light and dark variants of the Yaru theme, the ability to run Xwayland apps as root/sudo , LibreOffice 6.3 office suite, Mozilla Firefox 69 web browser, and many others.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Musikcube is a terminal music player for Windows, macOS and Linux

        Musikcube is a cross platform terminal based music player, music management application and a music server; it is open source and available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and as an Android app that acts as a client which connects to the desktop server.

        Despite being a terminal based program, musikcube is very user friendly. And like most, it is heavily keyboard focused. Fortunately, the command bar at the bottom of the screen displays the keyboard shortcuts that you can use in the current view. The mouse is mostly used for selecting options.

      • Google’s trusted hardware initiative is open source, pixel-precise postal codes, and more open source news

        In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Google’s trusted hardware initiative, Australia’s open source notification service, pixel-precise postal codes, and more!

      • NUS team’s AI system first from South-east Asia to enter ranks of world’s top open-source software
      • NUS team’s AI system first from South-east Asia to enter ranks of world’s top open-source software

        An artificial intelligence (AI) engine built by a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has become the first software tool from South-east Asia to be ranked in the top 300 projects by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the largest open-source software community in the world.

        The software, called Apache Singa, joined the ranks of other Apache Top-Level Projects in October.

        It is a platform for deep learning, the branch of AI that attempts to most closely approach the workings of a human brain. This means the software can learn on its own and does not need to be fed all the answers by a human.

      • PulseAudio Adds GStreamer-Powered RTP Implementation

        As an alternative to PulseAudio’s existing RTP implementation, a new GStreamer-based Real-Time Transport Protocol has been introduced.

        PulseAudio already had its own RTP implementation but now a new GStreamer-based implementation has been added that is better than their own. By making use of the GStreamer code, PulseAudio’s RTP support can now support more advanced features like RTCP, non-PCM audio, and opening up the door to synchronized playback.

      • Rav1e 0.1 Marks This Rust-Written AV1 Encoder’s First Official Release

        Rav1e has been in development for more than one year now as the “safest and fastest AV1 encoder” thanks to being written in Rust while now their first official release is available.

        There have been weekly snapshots that have brought interesting features recently like SSSE3 support and AArch64 NEON along with SSE4.1 support and other x86 optimizations while now they feel this AV1 open-source encoder is mature enough for the first official release. This rav1e 0.1 release was made on Friday during the Video Developer Days 2019 event in Tokyo.

      • The value of open source in next generation networks

        Where is the value of open source in next generation networks, where are the locations that open source can be leveraged to deliver functional value in 5G and MEC networks, and what are the main deployment challenges that CSPs need to consider? Doing open source well is challenging, so what have CSPs learned from early deployments? Beyond technological changes to the network, the service provider internal culture also plays a crucial role for successful implementation of open source.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Cancel culture taints The Linux Foundation, developer publicly disinvited from event over political opinions

          If you were asked to name two things that make Linux different from any closed-source, proprietary solution out in the world today, those two surely would have to be: for one, Linux has won – as the internet’s and therefore, the world’s tech infrastructure, used by operating systems based on this free and open-source kernel.

          And, two – however carefully the custodians of the Linux kernel, the Linux Foundation – that has some of the biggest tech companies among its platinum sponsors, anything from Google, Microsoft, Huawei, to Cisco and IMB – might work to “moderate” the Linux development space – it’s still a system by and large developed by free people expressing their thoughts and opinions freely.

          There are, from time to time, controversies and soul-searching issues, but thankfully, they always take place not in some obscure conference room or secret internal communication channel. Free and open source is not only used, but also developed, and discussed, out in the open, for anyone to see.

          However, should that hold true even when real-world politics wade in, and when the issue concerns the organization’s own code of conduct? That’s an exceedingly interesting dilemma for anyone invested in the Linux ecosystem, and one now posed by programmer Robert Martin, one of the Agile Manifesto authors, who published a letter on his blog addressed to Linux Foundation’s figurehead Jim Zemlin, and other high-ranking representatives of the organization.

          In it, Martin asks why the Foundation decided to act on a tweet denouncing KubeCon – a conference dedicated to a leading open-source containers system – for allowing programmer Charles Max Wood (@cmaxw) to participate. The complaint had not to do with Wood’s professional history, but with his political persuasion.

          [...]

          Could this possibly be enough to exclude a software engineer from an industry event? According to the Linux Foundation, the answer is yes. A tweet confirming this mentions such things as “code of conduct” and “safe spaces.”

        • Propaganda & Other Lies We Tell

          Following Mr. Dowden’s lead — many other leaders, who were mainly white male leaders in the space, publicly disavowed John and also endorsed that he had violated every single Code of Conduct in the tech space and that consequences were necessary.
          And yet, Chuck very specifically only uses her name in a false narrative that paints her as an aggressor leading an angry mob of other black women he references (not by name) that attacked his friend Aimee and unfairly destroyed his friend John. When you’ve only focused on the black women in a negative way, in a situation which was mainly highly visible because of white men, you are being discriminatory. This entire narrative Chuck has created is inherently racist.
          Racism is a huge part of our tech community. No, it isn’t always the blatant obvious kind of racism like we saw in John’s facebook post about indigenous folks. It isn’t always like my father whose first question when I told him I was pregnant was “it better not come out black”.
          Racism is engrained in our society. It’s the ways we show up for a white woman being verbally abused, but not nearly with as much vigor or conviction for the black women. And it’s not just because we notice the white woman and want to stand up for her, it’s also the algorithms we write. Tech is not neutral, and neither are we. What we see because of our brains and what we see because of our computer algorithms are intrinsically intertwined.

          [...]

          In this video, Chuck states once again that he was attacked, that Aimee was attacked, and that John was attacked. He also states after watching John’s video, where John specifically states that he’s sick of “SJW mobs,” that John reveals that his fatal character flaw is that he gets angry.
          Chuck states in this video that he was acting with his moral compass in defending John, and that nothing John said was racist or sexist. I responded specifically to that in this tweet. He mentions that if someone comes to him with information that can convince him that he is wrong, he will change his stance, because his morals would no longer be in alignment with his actions. After I tweeted exact quotes from John that were racist and sexist, Chuck blocked me. I find it difficult to believe that Chuck is willing to see that he has been wrongly defending someone who has done zero work to be the redeemable person that he wants him to be.
          16 minutes in, and Chuck uses black people who support him as props. It’s not necessary. Some black folks supporting you and disbelieving you’ve done anything wrong does not cancel out the black people who feel silenced, dismissed, and a part of a false narrative you’re creating and inserting yourself into.
          After this, Chuck posted that he got travel to go to KubeCon sponsored. This made many attendees feel very uncomfortable. Kevin Stewart was among those who spoke up about their discomfort.

          [...]

          Specific people also specifically contacted KubeCon about feeling that Chuck had violated their code of conduct in his actions. The Linux Foundation consumed all of the tweets regarding the entirety of the situation, and watched all four of Chuck’s videos and determined that they agreed he had violated to the code of conduct. That tweet is here.

          [...]

          As you can see by all of the collected content, it was not one tweet. It was not one statement. It was not one innocent question.
          While yes, there was mention of the inappropriate MAGA hat post, along with his responses to his followers that shared they were upset about his post, it’s not related to Linux Foundation’s decision.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • ScyllaDB set to improve NoSQL database performance

          Database performance is one of the reasons some large organizations choose the open source ScyllaDB database platform. The startup database vendor introduced new features to accelerate performance and optimize the open source database platform.

          While ScyllaDB develops its own technology, one of its primary use cases is as a drop-in replacement for the open source Apache Cassandra NoSQL database, which is used in large scale data deployments.

          [...]

          Philip Zimich, senior director of development and engineering at Comcast, said his group went from having about 1,000 Cassandra servers to only 78 ScyllaDB servers, while improving overall availability and performance.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • When Legacy Justifies Errors

          What StarBasic did was auto-closing the expression in the end when compiling. It would only complain if the result of such auto-closing would be ill-formed; sometimes (as in the example above), the result would be syntactically correct – but not necessarily semantically correct: the example above compiled with StarBasic did not what author expected (a text with first character capitalized, and the rest of the text in lowercase), but returned text in all caps instead. For some similar cases, such errors could be not easy to find in the absence of compiler check, especially in a large project.

          This has been reported to LibreOffice bug tracker as tdf#80731 back in 2014; and it was addressed in 5.4 development cycle, with the fix backported into 5.3.1. A nice and correct fix, isn’t it?

          Well, not actually. It turned out, that over the years, the amount of existing and actually used legacy code having the error has become so big, that it was unrealistic to make sure that all of it is checked and fixed. Of course, some errors were found in the code bundled with LibreOffice itself – and naturally, it was fixed. Some third-party extensions – quite a number of them – also happened to have it; and all authors who could be contacted, had released updated releases with the mistake corrected; thank you! But it wasn’t possible to test any extension out there; and besides publicly available and supported extensions, there were also unsupported (but still used, and useful) ones; and private ones (used by those who developed/paid for their development); and also uncountable macros outside of any extensions, and all of them having the error, that happily worked before, suddenly stopped working for their users … so after some time, the fix was reverted both from 5.3.3, and from still developing 5.4 (tdf#106529). By the way, I was enjoying reading “AltSearch extension put a bugfix release 1.4.2 to work around this bug” there, as if pointing to syntax error was actually a LibreOffice’s bug, not a mistake in the extension’s code.

        • Four more videos from the auditorium at LibreOffice Conference 2019

          We’ve uploaded some more videos from our recent LibreOffice Conference 2019 in Almeria, Spain! First up, “Databases in LibreOffice” with Tamás Bunth…

        • The best LibreOffice Extensions. Remove Duplicates Fast

          There are many good extensions for LibreOffice. You can find it all on site https://extensions.libreoffice.org/. I want to tell you about the best from it.
          So, there is an enhancement 85976 about adding of Remove Duplicates feature to LibreOffice Calc. That is really useful function and LibreOffice Calc isn’t having it now.
          However, there is Remove Duplicates Fast extension that adds need feature to Calc. It’s a fork of another extension Remove Duplicates.

      • CMS

        • A cure for unfair competition in open source

          In many ways, open source has won. Most people know that open source provides better quality software, at a lower cost, without vendor lock-in. But despite open source being widely adopted and more than 30 years old, scaling and sustaining open source projects remain challenging.

          Not a week goes by that I don’t get asked a question about open source sustainability. How do you get others to contribute? How do you get funding for open source work? But also, how do you protect against others monetizing your open source work without contributing back? And what do you think of MongoDB, Cockroach Labs, or Elastic changing their license away from open source?

          This article (in five parts) talks about how we can make it easier to scale and sustain open source projects, open source companies, and open source ecosystems.

        • How takers hurt makers in open source

          In part 1 of this article, I introduced the concept of open source Makers and Takers, and explained why it is important to find new ways to scale and sustain open source communities. Here in part 2, I’ll dive into why Takers hurt Makers, as well as how the “prisoner’s dilemma” affects the behavior of takers.

          To be financially successful, many Makers mix open source contributions with commercial offerings. Their commercial offerings usually take the form of proprietary or closed source IP, which may include a combination of premium features and hosted services that offer performance, scalability, availability, productivity, and security assurances. This is known as the open core business model. Some Makers offer professional services, including maintenance and support assurances.

          When Makers start to grow and demonstrate financial success, the open source project that they are associated with begins to attract Takers. Takers will usually enter the ecosystem with a commercial offering comparable to the Makers’ but without making a similar investment in open source contribution. Because Takers don’t contribute back meaningfully to the open source project that they take from, they can focus disproportionately on their own commercial growth.

        • 3 suggestions for stronger open source projects

          If, like most economic theorists, you believe that organizations act in their own self-interest, we should appeal to that self-interest and better explain the benefits of contributing to open source.

          Despite the fact that hundreds of articles have been written about the benefits of contributing to open source—highlighting speed of innovation, recruiting advantages, market credibility, and more—many organizations still miss these larger points.
          It’s important to keep sharing open source success stories. One thing that we have not done enough is appeal to organizations’ fairness principles.

          While a lot of economic theories correctly assume that most organizations are self-interested, I believe some organizations are also driven by fairness considerations.

          Despite the term Takers having a negative connotation, it does not assume malice. For many organizations, it is not apparent if an open source project needs help with maintenance, or how one’s actions, or inactions, might negatively affect an open source project.

          As mentioned, Acquia is a heavy user of Varnish Cache. But as Acquia’s chief technology officer, I don’t know if Varnish needs maintenance help, or how our lack of contribution negatively affects Makers in the Varnish community.

      • Education

        • How universities are using open source to attract students

          The publication also says that “the open source hardware movement is roughly 15 years behind its software counterpart,” but it appears to be catching up quickly. Given their mandate to “attract students that are excited about technical freedom and open source,” many universities have started a new front in the battle for educational supremacy.

          Unlike conventional warfare, this is a battle that benefits the public. The more universities share using the open source paradigm, the faster technology moves forward with all of its concomitant benefits. The resources available through opensource.mtu.edu include…

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • BSD

        • OpenZFS Developer Summit 2019 Videos + Slides For The Latest On Open-Source ZFS

          Taking place 4 and 5 November in San Francisco was the OpenZFS Developer Summit. This two-day open-source ZFS developer summit made possible by Intel, Delphix, Datto, and OSNexus had a lot of interesting presentations from the state of ZFS TRIM/Discard to debugging topics.

          It was at this event where the plans for OpenZFS 2.0 in 2020 were brought up as well as OpenZFS 3.0 in 2021 with possible macOS support. The trajectory of open-source ZFS seems to be as promising as ever, at least for the past decade since the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle and the subsequent shift of upstream. OpenZFS/ZFSOnLinux is as featureful as ever, ZFS on Linux continues seeing increasing adoption (including the root desktop install option with Ubuntu 19.10), FreeBSD is shifting to the newer ZoL code, and more.

        • OpenZFS 2.0 Out In 2020 With Unified Linux/FreeBSD Support, OpenZFS 3.0 With macOS

          Taking place this past week in San Francisco was the annual OpenZFS Developer Summit. As usual, Matthew Ahrens as the co-founder of Sun ZFS and current OpenZFS contributor at Delphix talked about the state of the open-source ZFS efforts in his keynote.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp 1.0.3: More Spit and Polish

          The third maintenance release 1.0.3 of Rcpp, following up on the 10th anniversary and the 1.0.0. release both pretty much exactly one year ago, arrived on CRAN yesterday. This deserves a special shoutout to Uwe Ligges who was even more proactive and helpful than usual. Rcpp is a somewhat complex package with many reverse dependencies, and both the initial check tickles one (grandfathered) NOTE, and the reverse dependencies typically invoke a few false positives too. And in both cases did he move the process along before I even got around to replying to the auto-generated emails. So just a few hours passed between my upload, and the Thanks, on its way to CRAN email—truly excellent work of the CRAN team. Windows and macOS binaries are presumably being built now. The corresponding Debian package was also uploaded as a source package, and binaries have since been built.

        • Clang precompiled headers and improving C++ compile times, take #2

          It’s been almost half a year since I mentioned how precompiled headers do (not) improve C++ compile times. Quite a long time, filled with doing other things, life, occassionally working on getting my patch production-ready and, last but definitely not least, abandoning that patch and starting from scratch again.
          It turns out, the problems I mentioned last time had already been more or less solved in Clang. But only for C++ modules, not for precompiled headers. *sigh* I had really mixed feelings when I finally realized that. First of all, not knowing Clang internals that well, it took me quite a long time to get to this point figuring it all out, probably longer than it could have. Second, I’ve been using C++ modules when building Clang itself and while it’s usable, I don’t consider it ready (for example, sometimes it actually makes the build slower), not to mention that it’s non-trivial to setup, not standardized yet and other compilers (AFAIK) do not yet support C++ modules. And finally, WTH has nobody else yet noticed and done the work for precompiled headers too? After all the trouble with finding out how the relevant Clang parts work, the necessary patches mostly border on being trivial. Which, on the other hand, is at least the good news.

        • Mutable objects vs Python functions.

          We know every thing in python is an object and can be classed into mutable and immutable, where mutable object are object whose state can change after construction while the latter are object whose state cannot be change after construction.

        • Managing Class Attributes In Python

          Hello guys, in this blog post we are going to dig down into some python programming trick , or do i say features we can leverage on as python developers, we all know every thing in python is an object, class is an object , instance is an object , function is an object etc.

        • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccii) stackoverflow python report
        • Google throws new version of Dart at the desktop, will be hoping it sticks with app devs

          Google software engineers have delivered Dart 2.6, an update to the open source programming language that provides the ability to create self-contained, native executables for the major desktop operating systems.

          That capability comes from an extension to the Dart compiler set called dart2native, which makes it possible to turn Dart files into self-contained executables holding ahead-of-time (AOT) compiled machine code. In other words, these executables will run on machines that don’t have the Dart SDK installed.

          “With dart2native, you can create tools for the command line on macOS, Windows, or Linux using Dart,” said Michael Thomsen, a Google product manager, in a blog post.

        • Open-source software giants Tor and Python establish first New York City offices on NYU Tandon campus

          The New York University Tandon School of Engineering announced today that pioneering open-source software nonprofits the Tor Project and Python Software Foundation (PSF) are the newest tenants at 370 Jay Street, a recently renovated addition to the University’s engineering and applied sciences programs in Downtown Brooklyn. NYU Tandon is donating work space to both organizations for their first offices in New York City.

          “We are proud to welcome staffers and contributors from two organizations whose work symbolizes some of the most important virtues of scientific discovery and development — access, collaboration, and community,” said NYU Tandon Dean Jelena Kovačević. “Both the Tor Project and Python Software Foundation are stewards of open-source technologies that have profoundly changed the digital landscape, and giving their researchers a home on our campus supports their work and encourages ongoing collaborations with our students and faculty.”

        • Maesh launches as a new lightweight and open source service mesh

          Created specifically to alleviate these challenges, Maesh is a brand-new open source service mesh designed to deliver the advantages of a service mesh while eliminating the complexity inherent to similar infrastructure layers. Maesh is designed to install easily and can be put into use within minutes. It’s built with a lightweight simplicity that lets developers connect, secure, and monitor traffic within their microservices-based application environments, without the need to overcome a daunting learning curve and steep overheads.

        • GitLab mulls suspension of new hires in China, Russia amid geopolitics
        • uarray: Attempting to move the ecosystem forward

          There comes a time in every project where most technological hurdles have been surpassed, and its adoption is a social problem. I believe uarray and unumpy had reached such a state, a month ago.

          I then proceeded, along with Ralf Gommers and Peter Bell to write NumPy Enhancement Proposal 31 or NEP-31. This generated a lot of excellent feedback on the structure and the nuances of the proposal, which you can read both on the pull request and on the mailing list discussion, which led to a lot of restructuring in the contents and the structure of the NEP, but very little in the actual proposal. I take full responsibility for this: I have a bad tendency to assume everyone knows what I’m thinking. Thankfully, I’m not alone in this: It’s a known psychological phenomenon.

          Of course, social problems can take a long time to resolve one way or another, regardless of the proponents. And I consider this a good thing: it’s better not to be stuck with an API decision that may bite you a few years down the line, especially with a project with API compatibility guarantees and number of dependents as NumPy.

        • PyGotham 2019′s ASL and Live Captioning Playbook

          At PyGotham 2019 we provided live captioning and, for the first time, we offered American Sign Language interpretation and did targeted outreach to groups of Deaf programmers. As a result, we had a half-dozen Deaf attendees, and they reported they were able to fully participate in the conference in a way they hadn’t experienced before. I led our effort to provide ASL and captioning; I hope this recap can serve as a playbook for other conferences.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Open source tool predicts which security vulnerabilities are most likely to be exploited [Ed: When the source is visible at least you know what you are dealing with]

        With thousands of vulnerabilities being discovered and filed every year, one of the greatest challenges security teams face is knowing which threats to deal with first. And untimely responses can result in irreversible security incidents.

        A new open source utility released by Kenna Security last week aims to help security teams decide which vulnerabilities will cause a greater threat to their organization and need urgent attention.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • World Exclusive: Post Testimony Interview with Randy Credico

        Following his appearance as the main witness for the prosecution against former Trump aide Roger Stone, my good friend Randy Credico has had the entire American mainstream media chasing him for an interview. He has however decided to give only this single interview to me, which is put out here and which is free for everybody to use, with acknowledgement.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • How Big Corporations Spy on Their Workers to Keep Their Wages Down

        Google’s computers are spying on its workers.Anytime a Google employee uses an online calendar to schedule a meeting involving more than 100 co-workers, management gets an alert—a great way for the anti-union corporation to sniff out union organizing efforts.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders Draw Largest Iowa Crowd of Democratic Primary So Far with Call for ‘Solidarity’ Over Unity

        “We need to stitch this movement together, bit by bit, stitch by stitch… That’s how we’re going to win it all.”

      • The Neoliberal Assault on Warren’s Plan to Pay for Medicare for All

        Both Sanders and Warren have come up with viable plans for funding Medicare for all. The neoliberal establishment and the conservatives have been going after Sanders’ approach by raising the specter of-middle class tax increases.

      • Impeachment Must Be More Than Impeachment

        If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?If an avalanche felled the tree, does it make sense to focus only on the fallen tree and to ignore the broader and more terrifying cataclysm that caused it?

      • Our Point Remains: PBS Should Broadcast Impeachment Hearings in Primetime

        Okay, let’s be clear. The ad we took in this past Friday’s edition of The New York Times and an accompanying essay asked that PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, do the right thing for the American people, the people PBS was created to serve.

      • Can Bloomberg Buy the Election for $12 Billion? If So, He Can Write the Check Today

        Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire who bought himself a mayoralty, now has his sights set on higher office. He became mayor of New York City in 2001, after outspending his opponent five to one from his personal bank account. Could the same arithmetic apply to the presidential race?

      • Jeff Bezos reportedly called Michael Bloomberg and asked him if he would run for president earlier this year

        According to Recode, the former NYC mayor said he was not considering entering the presidential race at that time.

      • The Billionaires Are Getting Nervous

        When Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975, the top marginal tax rate on personal income was 70 percent, tax rates on capital gains and corporate income were significantly higher than at present, and the estate tax was a much more formidable levy. None of that dissuaded Mr. Gates from pouring himself into his business, nor discouraged his investors from pouring in their money.

        Yet he is now the latest affluent American to warn that Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plan for much higher taxes on the rich would be bad not just for the wealthy but for the rest of America, too.

      • Elections & Propaganda in Mauritius

        I recall rumours about the so-called “Macarena” VHS that contributed to the fall of the Labour Party in 2000. I don’t know whether the VHS existed or not but it’s mere mention was enough to get people murmur.

        During the 2014 General Elections, the “Viré Mam” video clip made people not just laugh but also changed a lot minds in favour of the then Lepep Alliance. The video clip was made from short edits from various political meetings featuring P. R. Bérenger, Leader of the MMM Party and Dr. N. C. Ramgoolam, Leader of the Labour Party, who back then formed the PTR/MMM alliance. The video was edited in such a way that it appeared both party leaders were slurring at each other in a synchronous manner and the groovy background music only made it funnier.

        This year, two days after the General Elections, one which many thought to be a tough battle among three major political parties in Mauritius, a friend sent me a video clip of Dr. N.C. Ramgoolam speaking at a political meeting. The clip appears to have been carefully edited to give the impression that the Labour Party leader is saying that Hindus living in the rural area adore money and that when they’re dying, a bank note needs to put in a “katori” (i.e copper, brass or stainless steel cup) of water and the same given to drink to the dying person for the soul to be able to leave the body. This propaganda video worked. A day before the elections and on the election day I heard about the circulation of this “Katori” clip that is supposedly offending Hindus.

        [...]

        The Labour Party for the past few weeks appeared to have led a successful campaign on the Internet through Google, YouTube and Facebook ads. Most of them were messages of Dr. N.C. Ramgoolam while some of the ads were interesting facts explaining about the economy, national debt and our gross domestic product.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Those People We Tried to Cancel? They’re All Hanging Out Together

        Katie Herzog was a largely unknown freelance journalist living in Seattle. Then she published an article in The Stranger about trans people who halt or reverse transitions. Two days later she started getting hate mail.

        “It is, by far, the most-read thing I’ve ever written,” Ms. Herzog said. It also made her “wildly reviled.” Seattle residents burned stacks of The Stranger and posted stickers calling Ms. Herzog a transphobe.

        Ms. Herzog lost “dozens” of friends over the article, she said. She soon felt unwelcome at lesbian bars. She began to hesitate to give strangers her name. She felt like a “pariah” in her hometown, she said, and eventually moved out of Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.

        Her main social contacts now are her live-in girlfriend and a small group of older female friends. “I’m not invited to brunch anymore,” Ms. Herzog said.
        The term for people who have been thrust out of social or professional circles in this way — either online or in the real world or sometimes both — is “canceled.”

        This week, even Barack Obama spoke about online denunciation, personal purity and being “politically woke,” saying, “If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.”

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • DNS-over-HTTPS will eventually roll out in all major browsers, despite ISP opposition

        All six major browser vendors have plans to support DNS-over-HTTPS (or DoH), a protocol that encrypts DNS traffic and helps improve a user’s privacy on the web.

        The DoH protocol has been one of the year’s hot topics. It’s a protocol that, when deployed inside a browser, it allows the browser to hide DNS requests and responses inside regular-looking HTTPS traffic.

      • Automated Sensitive Data Leak Detection

        Let’s start by understanding Data and Behavior — What the Application Knows and What It Can Do.
        In all programming paradigms there are two primary components: the data (what an application knows) and behavior (what the application can do with that data, such as create, read, update, delete, transform, etc.). Object oriented programming says that combining data and behavior in a single location (called an “object”) makes it easier to understand how a program works. Functional programming says that data and behavior are distinctively different and should be kept separate for clarity.

        we model communication with the outside world via interfaces. An interface is an abstraction that describes a device that is used to exchange data with a communication partner. Interfaces may be network connections, files or other programs reachable via IPC/RPC mechanisms. In this regard an interface is similar to the UNIX concept of a file. We assume that each interface is represented as an object in the code, for example, a file-descriptor variable or a variable representing an input/output stream. We refer to this variable as the interface descriptor (analogous to the UNIX file descriptor).

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Feilin v. Baidu: Beijing Internet Court tackles protection of AI/software-generated work and holds that copyright only vests in works by human authors

          Whether an AI-generated work can be protected by copyright is currently one of the most heatedly discussed issues almost everywhere in the world. Although the discussion in academia and practice is prevalent, to the best knowledge of this InternKat, there are still very few cases decided by courts on this matter as of today.

          Just a few months ago, the Beijing Internet Court in China issued its decision (here in Chinese) in Feilin v Baidu, ruling on whether a (partly) AI-generated work could be protected by copyright.

          This post only discusses the part of the judgment devoted to the issue of copyright protection, though there were also other issues addressed therein.

          [...]

          The Beijing Internet Court held that the disputed report had not been generated by the ‘visualisation’ function of the software because of the difference between the software-generated and the disputed content. Besides, the disputed report was created by the plaintiff’s team and sufficiently original. Thus, the disputed report was found to be a work protected by copyright under Chinese law.

        • RIAA Delists YouTube Rippers From Google Using Rare Anti-Circumvention Notices

          The homepages of five major YouTube-ripping platforms have been delisted from Google search in response to relatively rare notices citing the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. The complaints, which are reported by Google as being sent by the RIAA, target FLVTO, 2Conv, Y2Mate, and Yout.

        • Cox and Music Companies Battle Over Piracy Evidence Ahead of Trial

          Last year, several major music companies sued Internet provider Cox Communications for failing to take proper action against pirating subscribers. The case will soon head to trial where Cox plans to present evidence showing that its anti-piracy measures were effective. However, the music labels want to exclude the evidence, describing it as a confusing mess of misleading calculations.

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