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05.17.20

Links 18/5/2020: Enlightenment 0.24, Sqitch 1.1.0 and Lots of Openwashing

Posted in News Roundup at 10:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • MNT Reform open source modular laptop

        A new modular laptop has launched via the Crowd Supply website designed to run free and open source software but also use open hardware. Enabling owners to easily swap out parts replace batteries, hack and tweak the laptop to suit their needs and requirements. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the open source DIY laptop specifically created for customisation and user privacy.

        The MNT Reform laptop is now available to purchase with prices starting from $1,300, with worldwide shipping included and expected to take place during December 2020. If you would prefer your laptop fully assembled then pledges start from $1,500.

      • ExTiX Deepin 20.5 Live based on Deepin 20 Beta (latest) with Skype, Spotify, Refracta Snapshot and kernel 5.7.0-rc5 :: Build 200517

        I’ve released a new version of ExTiX Deepin today (200517). This ExTiX Build is based on Deepin 20 Beta released by Deepin Technology 200415.

      • Help me choose a new laptop

        I’ve been doing all my development work on a late 2016 HP Spectre x360 for the past few years. Though a fantastic machine overall, it’s starting to fall apart: the screen backlight has partially burned out, the battery barely holds a charge anymore, and the trackpad sends a double or triple click when I press down on it. This thing has been worked hard and dragged all over the country and the world, so it feels like the time is coming for a replacement.

        So I did what a typical OCD nerd does for a major purchase: I made a spreadsheet with all reasonable options and gave myself terrible analysis paralysis!

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel CET Support Still Getting Squared Away For Linux In 2020

        Various open-source patches have gone back to at least 2017 for enabling Intel’s Control-Flow Enforcement Technology (CET) for the Linux kernel and related components. This is the Intel feature for helping prevent ROP and COP/JOP style attacks via indirect branch tracking and a shadow stack. Recently there has been a fair amount of CET improvements to the various open-source components.

        [...]

        That though could hopefully change soon as a few weeks ago the v10 patches for control-flow enforcement with enabling the shadow stack was sent out. Those kernel patches though are still in flux so might not be mainlined even for the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel.

        Outside of the kernel though, over in GCC space for GCC 11 is now defaulting the CET run-time support to auto for the compiler-side bits. So that’s important for seeing CET support available by default on more systems.

    • Applications

      • HomeBank 5.4.2

        HomeBank is a free software (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) that will assist you to manage your personal accounting. It is designed to easy to use and be able to analyse your personal finance and budget in detail using powerful filtering tools and beautiful charts. If you are looking for a completely free and easy application to manage your personal accounting, budget, finance then HomeBank should be the software of choice.

        HomeBank also benefits of more than 19 years of user experience and feedback, and is translated by its users in around 56 languages.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • X-Plane 11.50 Beta 9 and a Development Roadmap Update

        A week or two ago we had a very dead beta, and posed the question of how to incrementally test betas in the future. We got a variety of responses, ranging from “private test it first” to “roll it out in a wave” to “full speed ahead, we know betas are bumpy.”
        Since then, we’ve been doing one of the easiest and probably most useful things we can: posting the betas early to third-party developers who are in our developer Slack channel.
        Beta 7/8 had a ton of changes, and our third-party developers found multiple problems, some of which we wouldn’t see in our internal tests. So we held off on releasing betas 7 and 8 to the public while we fixed those issues. Until today.

      • X-Plane’s Vulkan Renderer Maturing, More Performance Optimizations Still Coming

        The folks at Laminar Research published a new blog post this week detailing their latest development work on their Vulkan (and Apple Metal) renderers for the realistic X-Plane flight simulator.

        Since the X-Plane 11.50 beta release in early April they have made public their Vulkan/Metal renderers as alternatives to their long-standing OpenGL rendering setup. In the weeks since they have continued advancing the new rendering code and while still in beta has shown much progress since the original beta.

      • Come tell us about what you’ve been gaming on Linux lately

        Another week down, plenty of new games have released or been updated and we’re about to begin another cycle. Let’s have a chat.

        With the recent huge Stellaris 2.7 update, we were going to be diving into a fresh multiplayer game with excitement to look at all the new visuals. Sadly though, it appears the latest update has numerous problems that caused all sorts of lag and sync issues. Thankfully, Paradox keep around older versions on Steam you can opt into with the 2.6.x series still working well. Issues aside, Stellaris is such a fantastic RTS overall to sink a great many hours into.

        Into the Breach has also been sucking up more time lately, as a small and focused strategy game it’s pretty close to perfection. I’m really not surprised it has reviewed so well. Subset Games also continue to tweak the Linux build to ensure it’s running smoothly.

        Across today though I’ve been quite sick, so thanks to Stadia I’ve been able to just sit back and relax with a flawless Assassin’s Creed Odyssey experience to just zone-out with. It’s nice to have another option if your net is good enough. The developer of firefighting game Embr also sent over a pre-release Stadia key to us, and it’s quite amusing. Something to look forward to when it arrives in Early Access next week (no Linux desktop release for now).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Enlightenment 0.24 Released

        Hilights:

        New and improved shot module with editor and cropper
        Reduced number of setuid tools (merged many into single system tool)
        External monitor backlight and brightness controls via (lib)ddctil
        Improved resolution of EFM thumbnails to 256×256 by default
        New and improved crash handling guru meditation
        Restarts are now seamless with fade in and out and zero glitches
        Wallpaper import generates multiple resolutions for better efficiency
        Regularly malloc_trim if available to keep mem down
        All restarts are now handled by enlightenment_start, not e itself
        Enforce pointer lock to screen in X to stop pointer out-of-bounds
        Pager plain is gone – use the regular “miniature preview” pager
        Music control auto-runs your selected media player if not there
        Handle exception for steam games to find the right desktop file
        Polkit auth agent support as new core module – no extra daemons
        Drop comp fast effects – Should be edje transition factor + theme tags
        Easier config of specific desktop wallpaper straight from pager
        Startup should be smoother with IO prefetch thread
        New special blanking timeout for when locked that can be shorter
        Bluez4 gone now as Bluez5 is done and working fine
        Down to zero outstanding coverity issues
        The usual batches of bug fixes and minor improvements

      • Enlightenment 0.24 Released

        Carsten Haitzler has released Enlightenment 0.24 as the latest significant update to this X11 window manager and Wayland compositor.

        Enlightenment 0.24 comes with a better screenshot module, new monitor backlight/brightness controls support, a more polished restart experience, better X11 pointer lock handling, various configuration improvements, addressing Coverity-detected coding issues, and various other bug fixes and optimizations.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • An Elevator Pitch for digiKam, the Free RAW Processor and Photo Manager

          Whenever a discussion touches on the subject of RAW processing and photo management applications, digiKam rarely comes up. Even when talking about open source photography software, RawTherapee and darktable are often the only names that are thrown around. So let me give you an elevator pitch that makes a case for digiKam.

          1. digiKam is available for all mainstream platforms, including Linux, macOS, and Windows. For Linux users, there is even an AppImage package that you can run without any installation.

        • kdesrc-build updated for Gitlab Migration

          This weekend the KDE Sysadmins completed the migration of KDE git modules to our Gitlab-based source code management stack as discussed for months now, and recently posted to kde-cvs-announce as a final reminder.

          While we did some work in kdesrc-build to set the stage for support for the migration, there were a few changes still necessary to adapt to the new KDE project directory scheme.

          kdesrc-build has made those changes this weekend and should be able to handle the Gitlab-based KDE git modules.

          However you will likely need to manually update kdesrc-build and then kdesrc-build will be able to handle the rest.

          The easiest way to do this is to navigate to the kdesrc-build source directory (where you initially cloned it from git) and ensure that the kdesrc-build origin is properly configured.

    • Distributions

      • In Free Software, the Community is the Most Important Ingredient: Jerry Bezencon of Linux Lite [Interview]

        Linux Lite was started in 2012 for 3 important reasons. One, I wanted to dispel myths that a Linux based operating system was hard to use. Two, at that time, there was a shortage of simple, intuitive desktop experiences on Linux that offered long-term support. Three, I had used Linux for over 10 years before starting Linux Lite.

        I felt I needed to give back to a community that had given so much to me. A community that taught me that by sharing code and knowledge, one could have a dramatically positive impact over peoples computing experiences.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Petition for the re-election of the openSUSE Board

          The openSUSE Election Committee was tasked to find our whether 20% of the community are actually calling for the re-election.

          We have at our disposal the Helios voting platform which we can use to register an “answer” from community members. Instead of running a vote with several answer options, we consulted among Election Officials, and agreed that there will be only one answer to select, which will represent a virtual signature, similar to like signing an electronic petition. That will allow us to effectively measure whether 20% of the community are petitioning for a re-election of the openSUSE Board.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Can you say HUGE?

          I just installed Ultimate Edition 6.6 Developer on my main rig. As an ISO is only 4.3 GB (4,314,519,552 bytes to be exact), however sucked up close to 50 GB once installed & is downloading 1.7 GB of updates & I just built it. It took me about 1/2 an hour to install on high end hardware. I fired up Pithos (Pandora Client) to listen to tunes as it installed. I am forewarning you it takes a long time to install. I just upgraded to an X570 Asus Hero VIII 2 or 3 days ago. Still on water 360mm cooling.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • What Raspberry PI OS (Operating System) to use?

        In this article I’ll list a number of Raspberry PI OS you can try, with their installation guide, depending on your needs. Instead, if you want to compare RPI models, you can refer Comparing main features of latest Raspberry PI models.

        [...]

        Raspberry PI, with monitor, keyboard and mouse, can be used as a complete and powerful Personal Computer. The best OS, working out-of-the-box, for this purpose is Raspbian with Desktop. Raspbian is based on Debian.

        Like all other linux distros, you can also use a lite version and install your favourite desktop environments. Raspbian is the default choice for all RPI users, because maintained by Raspberry PI foundation. Its Desktop environment is Pixel.

        [...]

        Raspberry PI can be also a fantastic micro linux server able to support tons of linux projects. It can run web servers, print servers, proxy servers and so on (browse peppe8o.com pages for tutorials). Many big distros are starting to support Raspberry PI and have recently released their RPI images.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Cambridge researchers design an open-source ventilator for low-income countries

          In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a team at the University of Cambridge has designed an open-source ventilator in partnership with local clinicians, engineers and manufacturers across Africa that is focused to address the specific needs for treating COVID-19 patients and is a fully functioning system for use after the pandemic.

          Built primarily for use in low- and middle-income countries, the OVSI ventilator can be cheaply and quickly manufactured from readily available components. Current ventilators are expensive and difficult to fix, but an open-source design will allow users to adapt and fix the ventilators according to their needs and, by using readily available components, the machines can be built quickly across Africa in large numbers. The cost per device is estimated to be around one-tenth of currently available commercial systems.

          The first ventilators will be delivered in May by a team of South Africa-based companies led by Defy, a leading southern African manufacturer of domestic appliances, and Denel, a major state-owned company.

        • Electronics News Byte: New Open-Source Camera Stack for Raspberry Pi, Semico Start-Up Funding Increases, and More

          Creativity continues to drive innovation in the electronics industry, even during these difficult times. This week we are reporting on key developments from around the electronics industry: Raspberry Pi news, semiconductor start-up funding, semiconductor sales, and electrical engineering graduate school enrollment. Here is your regular Electronics News Byte.

          Open-Source Camera Stack for Raspberry Pi: Want better access to Raspberry Pi camera system? Want to customize a camera system? Well, now it is possible. Just days after announcing the new Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera, Raspberry Pi released an open-source camera stack RPi using libcamera. “We provide all the pieces for Raspberry Pi-based libcamera systems to work simply ‘out of the box,’” David Plowman reports on the Raspberry Pi blog.

        • COVID-19 and 3D Printing: Go Open Source to Save Lives

          As the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., fears of ventilator shortages spread across states, who requested far higher numbers of the breathing machines than the national stockpile maintained. According to the Trump administration, the country is now at a point where there are a sufficient number to treat patients with severe respiratory issues resulting from COVID-19, and the U.S. is now shipping ventilators to other countries that are running on short supply.

          However, if the administration’s reporting is inaccurate or the situation worsens, we have seen that there may be ways around the shortage. For instance, states could share ventilators based on supply and need and there may be a number of viable, low-cost alternatives waiting in the wing, including simple methods for converting existing equipment into ventilator systems to completely novel and untested, but easy-to-assemble machines. Putting aside the question of whether or not ventilators are the safest method for treating severe respiratory problems, the crisis has raised the question of why these systems, as complicated as they are, are so hard to manufacture.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • MUSC, HPE make innovative drug discovery software open source

        Peterson explained that AI in the biomedical field takes on many forms, much of it focused on improving human interactions with expansive data like medical records, scientific abstracts or medical diagnostic imaging. PharML, however, takes a chemistry-oriented approach.

        “We set out to test if we could use machine learning and neural nets to predict accurately all of the characterized drug-protein interactions that can happen in a human body,” Peterson said. Our testing indicates that it is very feasible to process with high accuracy millions of distinct and complex interactions while being light on computing resources,” he said.

        The team recognized that this provides the kernel of a much bigger project in which open therapeutics could serve to remove roadblocks in drug development and open the door to more complex problems like emerging pathogens and personalized precision medicine.

        The software, an innovative drug and mechanism-of-action (MOA) evaluation graph-based deep neural network (NN) architecture, began in early 2017 as a learning and discovery project. The team is now doing hands-on testing of the feasibility, utility and accuracy of artificial intelligence in the drug development process. A preprint of the work was posted to arXiv in October of 2019).

        The team initially mapped out a strategy to consolidate more collaborators, test real-world predictions in a preclinical setting and publish in an academic journal. However, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this timeline, and the urgency of releasing the code and training files under an open- license became apparent.

      • Open Source: Rocket Fuel for Business Scalability

        A few years ago, an industry leader and wise man said the following words: “Certainly there’s a phenomenon around open source. You know free software will be a vibrant area. There will be a lot of neat things that get done there.” This man was none other than Bill Gates himself, and boy was he right!

        For a tremendously evolving industry like IT and computing, the most amount of change has come in the last decade, especially after the digital transformation movement started peaking. The open-source software that was once not considered viable for businesses to use has almost taken over the world today, and across industries at that! The POS you shop at? Open-source. Your favorite web browser? Open-source. Social media sites like Twitter? Open source! The examples talk for themselves. It’s not a stretch to say that open source has effectively transformed the entire IT landscape!

      • Inspur’s Open AI, Computing and Networking Innovations Driving Adoption of Total Open Solutions
      • M3DB: Open Source, Metrics Platform for Prometheus

        As the data load increases, a need to detect fraud out of that data also increases. This problem can be solved by tracking or analyzing that data in real time. For this problem, real-time databases are being developed at a very large scale and many companies are partying in by making them open-source. Real-time data is the need and Real-time query engines are the solutions. M3DB is developed by uber for their internal use and later they open sourced it under Apache. M3DB is Distributed Time series database inspired by Gorilla and Cassandra (tools by Facebook) that handles a large amount of data and obtain incremental results for different Matrics and written in Go Lang. As data at Uber is not particular to the same location and the same amount, so M3DB handles that with ease for solving Uber Use case. That uber case was not properly solved by other tools they were using before at Uber such as Graphite, Prometheus, etc. M3DB brings that handling of multi-million matrics per second with the persistence of some million aggregated matrics also. Learn more about GPU accelerated Analytics in this insight.

      • GSA Unveils Open-Source Code for USDA Food Assistance App Prototype

        The General Services Administration (GSA) has developed a code for assessing citizens’ eligibility for the Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to allow immediate open-source modifications and system interoperability.

        Alex Soble, consulting engineer at GSA’s 18F unit, and Mike Gintz, a strategist at 18F, wrote in a blog post published Tuesday that the SNAP prototype was developed with federal policy experts to simplify food-stamp eligibility processing and standardize operations across states while incorporating regulatory changes.

      • Businesses choose open source for digital transformation

        While many elements go into selecting the perfect database administration system, flexibility and interoperability must be non-negotiable.

        In agile initiatives, particularly firstly of the undertaking, not every part is thought – not even the cloud infrastructure. Being locked right into a platform or vendor inhibits builders from contemplating particular database capabilities, resembling saved procedures, knowledge sorts and superior operators.

        To overcome this situation, many builders now restrict themselves to plain ANSI SQL and Object Request Brokers, and recreate many database capabilities within the software logic, resembling transactional consistency, knowledge administration and queries.

        This strategy, nevertheless, might result in giant parts of customized code, considerably decreasing efficiency and introducing transactional inconsistencies.

        [...]

        According to a current report, greater than 50 % of enterprises surveyed in Asia Pacific stated that they use open-source databases.

      • Embracing Open-Source to Fill the IT Skills Gap

        It’s not difficult to conclude that, in the world that places the greatest importance on speed, efficiency and user-friendliness, IT has become the backbone of business in the 21st century. Despite the vast benefits and reliance on technology in today’s business, both employees and leaders in the field are familiar with the skills gap in the industry, and need to address it.

        IT staff must be able to implement, operate and manage new technologies effectively to procure business benefits, yet a recent study found that 65% of CIOs report IT skills shortages in their organisation. As well as this, the World Economic Forum estimates that technological disruptions in Asia in its growing digital economy will see 53 million workers having to be reskilled in ASEAN alone in 2020.

      • Altitude Angel releases Scout, an open-source remote ID platform
      • Altitude Angel release ‘Scout’ Open Source Hardware and Software platform for remote ID

        Altitude Angel, the world’s leading UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) technology provider, is releasing an open-sourced project, Scout, consisting of hardware and firmware to enable drone manufacturers, software developers and commercial drone pilots to quickly connect to its global UTM.

      • Rav1e Sees New Pre-Release With More Speed-Ups, Monochrome Support

        In the time since February this Rust-written AV1 video encoder has seen more functionality get wired up. There is now monochrome support and other functionality implemented, including various speed-ups at different encoding levels. Additionally there are more filters enabled for 4:2:2, more Arm NEON usage, and other optimizations. In addition, crash fixes and test failures have also been addressed with this newest “weekly” pre-release.

      • Web Browsers

      • CMS

      • Programming/Development

        • 24 open source tools for the serverless developer: Part 1

          The mindset of a serverless developer is one of a minimalist: Don’t take on undifferentiated heavy-lifting, and leverage services as much as possible so we can focus on the things that actually differentiate our product and deliver value to our customers. In the same vein, we want to leverage open source tools that are battle-tested rather than building our own.

          In this two-part article series, we will review open source tools you should consider adding to your toolbox. The tools include deployment frameworks, CLIs, libraries, and AWS Serverless Application Repository applications.

        • Mike Milinkovich Explains Eclipse Foundation’s Move To Belgium

          The Eclipse Foundation is moving its headquarters to Belgium, the organization has just revealed. One of the world’s leading open-source software foundations, steward of the Eclipse IDE, enterprise Java, and the Eclipse MicroProfile, and the heart of a global ecosystem of developers, companies, and public sector entities, is pulling up stakes and heading for Brussels.

          Well, figuratively speaking.

          This “move” is more about establishing an official identity in a region poised to embrace open source in a big way than physically relocating. The Foundation offices in Ottawa, Canada, will still be there when the new legal entity in Europe is established later this summer; it should be finalized by July 2020. The Foundation will then be legally “domiciled” in Belgium as an AISBL (Association internationale sans but lucratif), which is the international version of the country’s two forms of non-profits.

        • Eclipse Foundation Transitioning to Europe as Part of Continued Global Expansion

          The Eclipse Foundation, one of the world’s largest open source software foundations, announced it is cementing its commitment to global expansion by establishing itself as a European-based organization. Through the creation of Eclipse Foundation AISBL based in Brussels, the international non-profit association will be uniquely positioned to leverage its recent international growth and foster global industry collaboration on open source projects in strategic technologies, such as the cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence, connected vehicles, telecommunications, and the Internet of Things. With this move, the Eclipse Foundation, which is already an open source organization in Europe, aims to build on its existing international membership base to accelerate the growth of its open ecosystem of developers, companies, and public sector entities collaborating to advance technologies that are expected to have a major impact on global economies.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: #2 T^4: Customizing The Shell Prompt

          The second video (following the announcement and last week’s shell colors) is up in the stil new T^4 series of video lightning talks with tips, tricks, tools, and toys. Today we cover customizing shell prompts.

        • RcppArmadillo 0.9.880.1.0

          Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 719 other packages on CRAN.

          Conrad released a new upstream version 9.880.1 of Armadillo on Friday which I packaged and tested as usual (result log here in the usual repo). The R package also sports a new OpenMP detection facility once again motivated by macOS which changed its setup yet again.

        • Sebastian Pölsterl: Survival Analysis for Deep Learning Tutorial for TensorFlow 2

          A while back, I posted the Survival Analysis for Deep Learning tutorial. This tutorial was written for TensorFlow 1 using the tf.estimators API. The changes between version 1 and the current TensorFlow 2 are quite significant, which is why the code does not run when using a recent TensorFlow version. Therefore, I created a new version of the tutorial that is compatible with TensorFlow 2. The text is basically identical, but the training and evaluation procedure changed.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Anvil Open-Sources its App Server to Speed Embedded Web App Creation
          • Anvil’s open source server enables Python developers to create and run web apps anywhere

            The company, based at Eagle Labs on Chesterton Road, has made its app server open source, meaning developers only need knowledge of Python to get full stack web apps up and running.

            Traditional web app development requires knowledge of multiple languages and frameworks. This complexity slows down work and proves prohibitive for many programmers.

            Anvil’s integrated development environment aims to remove the bottlenecks and the enhancement means apps can run anywhere, including on Raspberry Pi or on Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

          • Python Caches Integers

            An integer in Python is not a traditional 2, 4, or 8-byte implementation but rather it is implemented as an array of digits in base 2^30 which enables Python to support super long integers. Since there is no explicit limit on the size, working with integers in Python is extremely convenient as we can carry out operations on very long numbers without worrying about integer overflows. This convenience comes at a cost of allocation being expensive and trivial operations like addition, multiplication, division being inefficient.

          • ActiveState Launches Early Access Program to the ActiveState Platform for Open Source Projects

            Today ActiveState announced a free early access program for qualifying open source projects to the ActiveState Platform. The early access program is a prelude to offering free access to the Platform for all qualified open source projects. The program lets Python-based projects easily create and share smaller and more secure Python distributions for multiple operating systems using the ActiveState Platform.

          • Python 3.8.3 : Simple example to fix maximum recursion depth exceeded.

            This short tutorial try to solve simple and easy the stack limit for recursion without using advanced programming techniques.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Designing tasteful CLIs: a case study

            Yesterday evening my apprentice, Ian Bruene, tossed a design question at me.

            Ian is working on a utility he calls “igor” intended to script interactions with GitLab, a major public forge site. Like many such sites, it has a sort of remote-procedure-call interface that allows you, as an alternative to clicky-dancing on the visible Web interface, to pass it JSON datagrams and get back responses that do useful things like – for example – publishing a release tarball of a project where GitLab users can easily find it.

            Igor is going to have (actually, already has) one mode that looks like a command interpreter for a little minilanguage, with each command being an action verb like “upload” or “release”. The idea is not so much for users to drive this manually as for them to be able to write scripts in the minilanguage which become part of a project’s canned release procedure. (This is why GUIs are irrelevant to this whole discussion; you can’t script a GUI.)

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • COVID-19: Collaboration is the engine of global science – especially for developing countries

        In recent weeks, doctors, researchers, engineers and scientists from all fields of knowledge around the world have worked together tirelessly to confront the coronavirus outbreak with an unprecedented spirit of collaboration.

        In January, a team of Chinese and Australian researchers published the first genome of the new virus, and the genetic map was made freely available for access by researchers worldwide. The virus has since been sequenced in excess of 3,000 times, charting both the original genome and its mutations. The much-needed vaccine would not be possible without this research.

        There is strength in numbers. We learn more, and faster, together – and the pandemic is underscoring the critical role of international collaboration on the frontiers of science and technology.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Micron Unveils World’s First Open-Source Storage Engine Designed for SSDs and Storage Class Memory

              Micron Technology, Inc., announced the first open-source, heterogeneous-memory storage engine (HSE), designed specifically for solid-state drives (SSDs) and storage-class memory (SCM). Legacy storage engines born in the era of hard disk drives (HDDs) failed to architecturally provide for the increased performance and reduced latency of next-generation nonvolatile media. HSE, originally developed by Micron and now available to the open-source community, is ideal for developers using all-flash infrastructure who require the benefits of open-source software, including the ability to customize or enhance code for their unique use cases.

            • He Left His High-Paying Job At LinkedIn And Then Built A $4.5 Billion Business In A Niche You’ve Never Heard Of

              When Jay Kreps was at LinkedIn, he had several mission-critical responsibilities. He was the technical lead on the platform’s search systems, recommendation engine, and social graph. But perhaps most impressively, he was one of the co-creators of Apache Kafka, an open-source software now used by over 100,000 organizations globally, that helps companies efficiently handle real-time data feeds like LinkedIn’s own.

              [...]

              To Kreps and his co-founders Neha Narkhede and Jun Rao (who also left LinkedIn and co-created Kafka), that was okay. From day zero, he was determined to build a successful business in the event streaming niche, one he predicted six years ago “could serve as a kind of ‘central nervous system’” to some of the world’s most complex systems and applications.

            • Inria releases some source code of French contact-tracing app [Ed: INRIA contributes to the #openwashing of mass surveillance]
            • COVIDSafe code released, but developers unhappy [Ed: This was outsourced to GitHub]

              The source code for Australia’s COVID-19 contact tracing app has finally been publicly released, but a group of developers scrutinising the service say it has not been properly open sourced and feedback has been blocked.

            • Ferrari reveal open-source ‘F15’ ventilator
            • AWS open sources cloud development kit to make Kubernetes easier to use [Ed: AWS or Amazon outsources its code to proprietary software prison of Microsoft]
            • AWS Offers Open-Source App Scaling Service for GovCloud (US) [Ed: This misleading 'report' (ad) makes it seem like there's something "open" about AWS]
            • AMD’s Radeon Rays 4.0 Announced as Closed Source, Then Mostly Opened Again After Backlash [Ed: AMD has just tested the limits of openwashing]

              The ray intersection acceleration library (formerly known as FireRays) is part of the AMD ProRender software suite. However, it could previously only run on the CPU, which was quite the limitation. Now, with the first RDNA2 AMD GPUs already confirmed to introduce hardware support for ray tracing, Radeon Rays 4.0 finally introduces BVH optimization specifically for GPU access alongside requiring one of the major low-level APIs: Microsoft’s DirectX 12, Khronos’ Vulkan, and Apple’s Metal. It also supports Heterogeneous-Compute Interface for Portability (HIP), which is AMD’s C++ parallel computing platform (the equivalent of NVIDIA’s CUDA).

            • HW News – AMD Closes, then Opens “Open Source” Code, 6.5GB/s SSD, & Unpatchable Vulnerability

              It’s been another interesting week in the realm of hardware and technology. The week started off slowly, but ended with a deluge of interesting stories, mostly as it relates to US semiconductor manufacturing. In addition to Intel and Samsung in talks with the Department of Defense, it looks as if TSMC will be adding a second fab to its US roster.

              We also have news on AMD’s open-source GPUOpen, and its apparently not so open-source Radeon Rays solution. Sometimes. There’s also news on the recently unveiled Unreal Engine 5 and how Epic CEO Tim Sweeney feels about the SSD storage solutions in the PlayStation 5.

              Elsewhere at GN, we recently covered Nvidia’s GTC 2020 keynote where Ampere was formally announced — check out both the article and video. We’ve also been extensively overclocking the Ryzen 3 3100, as well as the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 Infinity Fabric clock (FCLK).

            • Ex-Agency Directors launch an open-source consultancy [Ed: Clear misuse of the term "open source"]

              The founders, who have all held leadership roles in some of the world’s most successful agencies, have now opened the new strategy shop which aims to take the science big brands use to succeed and give businesses big and small the practical ways to win.

              Along with the consultancy, untangld offers products designed to enable client organisations to do more research and strategy themselves.

              Co-founder James Needham, who was responsible for growing the strategy and research division at CHE Proximity said “what’s exciting about the untangld model is that we’ve already been able to create research products we know strategists find useful. Twenty-four hour national polls and self-service research products that you don’t need big budgets or years of research experience to use”.

              Chan, one of the most awarded strategists in the world, talks about why they are different from other consultancies out in the market.

              Danish Chan co-founder of untangld said, “We started untangld to help businesses navigate their most defining moments. Whether that’s scale-ups looking to grow rapidly or big brands looking to re-position. But unlike other consultancies, we offer businesses a range of capability building tools so they rely on consultancies for less”.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Debian Developer Erich Schubert: Contact Tracing Apps are Useless

              Some people believe that automatic contact tracing apps will help contain the Coronavirus epidemic. They won’t.

              Sorry to bring the bad news, but IT and mobile phones and artificial intelligence will not solve every problem.

              In my opinion, those that promise to solve these things with artificial intelligence / mobile phones / apps / your-favorite-buzzword are at least overly optimistic and “blinder Aktionismus” (*), if not naive, detachted from reality, or fraudsters that just want to get some funding.

              [...]

              Low adoption rates. Apparently even in technology affine Singapore, fewer than 20% of people installed the app. That does not even mean they use it regularly. In Austria, the number is apparently below 5%, and people complain that it does not detect contact… But in order for this approach to work, you will need Chinese-style mass surveillance that literally puts you in prison if you do not install the app.

              [...]

              Trust. In Germany, the app will be operated by T-Systems and SAP. Not exactly two companies that have a lot of fans… SAP seems to be one of the most hated software around. Neither company is known for caring about privacy much, but they are prototypical for “business first”. Its trust the cat to keep the cream. Yes, I know they want to make it open-source. But likely only the client, and you will still have to trust that the binary in the app stores is actually built from this source code, and not from a modified copy. As long as the name T-Systems and SAP are associated to the app, people will not trust it. Plus, we all know that the app will be bad, given the reputation of these companies at making horrible software systems…

              [...]

              Infighting. You may remember that there was the discussion before that there should be a pan-european effort. Except that in the end, everybody fought everybody else, countries went into different directions and they all broke up. France wanted a centralized systems, while in Germany people pointed out that the users will not accept this and only a distributed system will have a chance. That failed effort was known as “Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT)” vs. “Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (DP-3T)”, and it turned out to have become a big “clusterfuck”. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

              Iceleand, probably the country that handled the Corona crisis best (they issued a travel advisory against Austria, when they were still happily spreading the virus at apres-ski; they massively tested, and got the infections down to almost zero within 6 weeks), has been experimenting with such an app. Iceland as a fairly close community managed to have almost 40% of people install their app. So did it help? No: “The technology is more or less … I wouldn’t say useless […] it wasn’t a game changer for us.”

            • Corporate Foundations

        • Security

          • ERNW Reviews Source Code for Huawei 5G Core Network UDG, Finds It Is of Good Quality
          • ERNW reviews source code for Huawei 5G core network UDG, finds it is of good quality
          • krb5-strength 3.2

            krb5-strength provides password strength checking for Kerberos KDCs (either MIT or Heimdal), and also provides a password history implementation for Heimdal.

            This release adds a check-only mode to the heimdal-history command to interrogate history without modifying it and increases the default hash iterations used when storing old passwords. explicit_bzero is now used, where available, to clear the memory used for passwords after processing. krb5-strength can now optionally be built without CrackLib support at all, if you only want to use the word list, edit distance, or length and character class rules.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google Analytics trackers in contact-tracing app code ‘risks re-identification’

              Users of the NHS contact-tracing app could be re-identified due to the code including Google Analytics tracking, a coder has said.

              The app’s code was made available on GitHub on 7 May, four days after its trial on the Isle of Wight was announced.

              NHSX has always maintained the code would be made publicly available, but currently only the front-end code has been published.

              The team behind the app have done a “really good job” within a short space of time “particularly given some of the technology constraints”, but there were some issues with the code, open source advocate Rob Dyke told Digital Health News.

    • Finance

    • Monopolies

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