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OSS Leftovers

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  • A look at how Jitsi became a ‘secure’ open-source alternative to Zoom

    Apart from being open-sourced, Jitsi benefited from endorsements by a few highly-regarded names in the security community. In March, a privacy-focused browser Tor tweeted about the product as an alternative to Zoom.

  • Why the entire open source movement is under threat right now

    To date, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected over 170 technology events worldwide. Some of them have been postponed and others have moved online, but the majority have been cancelled outright.

    This has had a significant impact on the open source community, placing high-profile organizations and projects under mounting financial pressure.

  • dav1d 0.7.0: mobile focus

    The VideoLAN, VLC and FFmpeg communities have been working on a new AV1 decoder, dav1d, in order to create the best and fastest decoder.

  • Dav1d 0.7 Released With More Performance Optimizations

    The VideoLAN team responsible for the dav1d AV1 video decoder have just released dav1d 0.7 as the newest feature release and it comes with more performance optimizations.

    Dav1d 0.7 is bringing around 10% faster decode performance on x86_64 systems while seeing memory usage reduced as much as 25%. Additionally, dav1d 0.7 completes its Assembly code for 8-bit bit-depth content as well as introducing more AVX-512 Assembly.

  • Chromium 83 – packages for Slackware, news about Widevine plugin

    The COVID-19 crisis caused Google to change its release calendar for the Chromium browser sources, and they decided to skip the 82 release altogether, in order to focus on keeping the 81.x versions as safe as possible while working on their upcoming 83 release.

    And so this week, Chromium 83.0.4103.61 was introduced to the “Stable Channel” with lots of bugs fixed, of which 38 are security fixes. There’s also a lot of new and improved features which are introduced in this release but it seems that many of those are only available in Google’s official Chrome binaries.
    One of the notable changes for Chromium users (as opposed to Google Chrome users for which it has always worked this way) is that the Widevine content decryption module is now an official component of the browser. Like with Mozilla Firefox, the Chromium browser will now automatically download the Widevine library into your personal profile and enable access to DRM-protected content. In the URL “chrome://components/” you’ll see Widevine listed as a component, displaying its current version and a “Check for update” button.

  • TenFourFox FPR23b1 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 23 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). This version brings various oddiments of image tags up to spec, fixing issues with broken or misdimensioned images on some sites, and also has a semantic upgrade to Content Security Policy which should fix other sites but is most important to me personally because now TenFourFox can directly talk to the web BMC interface on Raptor Talos II and Blackbird systems -- like the one sitting next to the G5. There is also a minor performance tweak to JavaScript strings and the usual security updates. Assuming no major issues, FPR23 should go live on or about June 2nd.

  • 6 ways to optimize your innovation spend

    “Innovation happens at the intersection of functions; it organically comes from people closest to a problem,” says Red Hat CIO Mike Kelly. That’s one reason why he co-locates some of his technology staff with the business units they support.

More in Tux Machines

Screencasts and Audiocasts: Neptune OS 6.5, GNU World Order, Python

  • Neptune OS 6.5 Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Neptune OS 6.5. Enjoy!

  • GNU World Order 362

    **Gutenprint**, **HPLIP**, and **htop** from Slackware software set AP.

  • Talk Python to Me: #272 No IoT things in hand? Simulate them with Device Simulator Express [Roy: "Talk Python to Me" appears to be boosting Microsoft monopolists and proprietary software again]

    Python is one of the primary languages for IoT devices. With runtimes such as CircuitPython and MicroPython, they are ideal for the really small IoT chips. Maybe you've heard of the Circuit Playground Express, BBC micro:bit, or the fancy Adafruit CLUE. They aren't too expensive (ranging from $25 to $50 each). But for large groups such as classrooms, this can be a lot of money. Moreover, getting your hands on these devices can sometimes be tricky as well.

today's howtos

Olimex Tukhla High-End Open Source Hardware NXP i.MX 8QuadMax SBC in the Works

Most open-source hardware Arm Linux SBCs are optimized for cost, and there are few higher-end boards with extensive connectivity designed for professionals. Beagleboard X15 would be one of the rare examples currently available on the market, but it was launched five years ago. One European company noticed the void in this market and asked Olimex to develop a high-end open-source Linux board with a well-documented processor. They ruled out RK3399, and instead went Olimex Tukhla SBC will be powered by NXP i.MX 8QuadMax, the top processor of i.MX 8 family with two Cortex-A72 cores, four Cortex-A53 cores, and two real-time Cortex-M4F cores. Read more

Robotics Recap: Learning, Programming & Snapping ROS 2

Robotics@Canonical puts a strong focus on the migration from ROS to ROS 2. ROS 2 benefits from many improvements, especially robot security. Our goal is to make it easy for you to transition to ROS 2, whether you’re completely new to ROS or a seasoned engineer retooling for a new environment. Your new platform should be secure-by-default, and we expect you’ll need to pivot between different environments as you migrate from ROS to ROS 2. Along the way we’ve encountered some friction points, some mild surprises, and some opportunities to better leverage existing tools. Whenever that happened we tried to fix them and share our experiences so you didn’t run into the same problems! This has resulted in blog posts and videos in three key focus areas: getting started with ROS 2, software development in ROS 2, and building snaps for ROS. Let’s recap some of our recent output. Read more