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Monday, 14 Oct 19 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and a half and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Python 3.8 Released Roy Schestowitz 14/10/2019 - 6:13pm
Story Linux Fu: Python GUIs For Command Line Programs (Almost) Instantly Roy Schestowitz 14/10/2019 - 5:48pm
Story PineBook Pro Arm Linux Laptop now up for pre-order for $199.99 Rianne Schestowitz 8 14/10/2019 - 5:33pm
Story Games: Tangle Tower, Lawgivers, Fertile Crescent and More Roy Schestowitz 1 14/10/2019 - 5:32pm
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 14/10/2019 - 5:28pm
Story Compilers Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 14/10/2019 - 5:13pm
Story starship – elegant cross-shell prompt at your fingertips Roy Schestowitz 14/10/2019 - 5:02pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 1 14/10/2019 - 4:54pm
Story Tired of Windows and Mac OS? Switch to Elementary OS! Rianne Schestowitz 14/10/2019 - 4:54pm
Story Django 3.0 beta 1 released Roy Schestowitz 14/10/2019 - 4:52pm

4 Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Filed under
OSS

Adobe Photoshop is a premium image editing and design tool available for Windows and macOS. Undoubtedly, almost everyone knows about it. It’s that popular. Well, you can use Photoshop on Linux using Windows in a virtual machine or by using Wine – but that is not an ideal experience.

In general, we don’t have a lot of options available as a replacement for Adobe Photoshop. However, in this article, we shall mention some of the best open-source Photoshop alternatives available for Linux (with cross-platform support as well).

Do note that Photoshop is not just a photo editor. It’s used by photographers, digital artists, professional editors for various usage. The alternative software here may not have all the features of Photoshop but you can use them for various task that you do in Photoshop.

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Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Use sshuttle to build a poor man’s VPN

    Nowadays, business networks often use a VPN (virtual private network) for secure communications with workers. However, the protocols used can sometimes make performance slow. If you can reach reach a host on the remote network with SSH, you could set up port forwarding. But this can be painful, especially if you need to work with many hosts on that network. Enter sshuttle — which lets you set up a quick and dirty VPN with just SSH access. Read on for more information on how to use it.

    The sshuttle application was designed for exactly the kind of scenario described above. The only requirement on the remote side is that the host must have Python available. This is because sshuttle constructs and runs some Python source code to help transmit data.

    [...]

    Depending on the capabilities of your system and the remote system, you can use sshuttle for an IPv6 based VPN. You can also set up configuration files and integrate it with your system startup if desired. If you want to read even more about sshuttle and how it works, check out the official documentation.

  • Hardening Firefox against Injection Attacks

    Firefox not only renders web pages on the internet but also ships with a variety of built-in pages, commonly referred to as about:pages. Such about: pages provide an interface to reveal internal state of the browser. Most prominently, about:config, which exposes an API to inspect and update preferences and settings which allows Firefox users to tailor their Firefox instance to their specific needs.

    Since such about: pages are also implemented using HTML and JavaScript they are subject to the same security model as regular web pages and therefore not immune against code injection attacks. More figuratively, if an attacker manages to inject code into such an about: page, it potentially allows an attacker to execute the injected script code in the security context of the browser itself, hence allowing the attacker to perform arbitrary actions on the behalf of the user.

    To better protect our users and to add an additional layer of security to Firefox, we rewrote all inline event handlers and moved all inline JavaScript code to packaged files for all 45 about: pages. This allowed us to apply a strong Content Security Policy (CSP) such as ‘default-src chrome:’ which ensures that injected JavaScript code does not execute. Instead JavaScript code only executes when loaded from a packaged resource using the internal chrome: protocol. Not allowing any inline script in any of the about: pages limits the attack surface of arbitrary code execution and hence provides a strong first line of defense against code injection attacks.

  • IPFire on AWS: Update to IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 136

    Today, we have updated IPFire on AWS to IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 136 - the latest official release of IPFire.

    This update includes security fixes for OpenSSL and the Linux kernel, an updated Perl, and of course many other fixes throughout the whole system.

  • Pros and cons of event-driven security

    Great news, everyone! Forrester Research says that 95% of all recorded breaches in 2016 came from only three industries: government, technology, and retail. Everyone else is safe... ish, right?

    Hold on for a moment. Tech? Retail? What kind of industry diversification is this? We are, after all, living in 2019, where every business is a tech business. And all of us are continuously selling something, whether it’s an innovative product or an amazing service.

    So what the report should have said is that 95% of all recorded breaches came from attacks on 95% of all businesses both online and offline. And some of the attackers went for the .gov.

    More on the matter, 43% of attackers target small businesses—and that’s a lot considering that, on average, a hack attempt takes place every 39 seconds.

    To top things off, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 is expected to exceed $150 million. These stats sound a bit more terrifying out of context, but the threat is still very much real. Ouch.

Programming: Elana Hashman, Red Hat Pushing Microsoft (.NET) and More

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Development
  • PyDev of the Week: Elana Hashman

    This week we welcome Elana Hashman (@ehashdn) as our PyDev of the Week! Elana is a director of the Open Source Initiative and a fellow of the Python Software Foundation. She is also the Clojure Packaging Team lead and a Java Packaging Team member. You can see some of her work over on Github. You can also learn more about Elana on her website. Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

  • Eclipse Che 7 and the .NET developer

    Eclipse Che 7, an open source in-the-browser development environment, allows you to define custom workspaces for your software development. Think of a workspace as you would think of a development PC: You have an operating system, programming language support, and all the tools necessary to write code. In this article, I’ll introduce the .NET developer to this new world and highlight ways you can use Eclipse Che to your advantage.

  • How to Convert String to Lowercase in Python

    Some times you may require to convert any string to lower case (all letters). This tutorial will help to convert a string (any case) to lower case as showing in the below image.

  • How to fuck up software releases

    I manage releases for a bunch of free & open-source software. Just about every time I ship a release, I find a novel way to fuck it up. Enough of these fuck-ups have accumulated now that I wanted to share some of my mistakes and how I (try to) prevent them from happening twice.

today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos

Games: Tangle Tower, Lawgivers, Fertile Crescent and More

Filed under
Gaming
  • Odds and ends, the Linux and gaming Sunday Section

    Almost time to begin another week full of news, before we do let's run over a few interesting happenings recently.

    Let's start with two bits of recent news about Godot Engine, the free and open source game engine. The 3.2 release cycle is going strong, with a second alpha release now available. A massive list of new features and improvements coming to Godot 3.2 can be found here. What's even more exciting though is the Vulkan work coming with Godot Engine 4.0, with another short progress report post up for it. The new visual frame profiler coming certainly looks useful to help developers squeeze out some more performance.

    More AMD news for you, as it has been reported by Wccftech that AMD now command around 30%+ market share of the CPU market. That's some very impressive growth, pushed forward by the Zen microarchitecture from 2017. As seen in the graph below from cpubenchmark.net, this is the highest they've seen it since 2007.

  • SFB Games to bring Tangle Tower to Linux post-launch if there's enough demand

    British indie studio SFB Games, developer of the highly rated Detective Grimoire are working on a new game called Tangle Tower and with a little push they could bring it to Linux.

    Tangle Tower is a fully voiced point and click murder mystery adventure, set in a strange and twisted mansion. You will need to interrogate suspects and solve unique puzzles as you progress. Looks and sounds like a great game. Sadly though it's currently scheduled to release later this month only for Windows and macOS on October 22nd, so no Linux support at launch.

  • Turn-based political simulation game 'Lawgivers' adds Linux support with the latest update

    Today I came across Lawgivers, a turn-based political simulation game which recently added Linux support and it looks like it could be a lot of fun.

    Since it's a political sim, you will be tasked with leading your party into elections. If you manage to get voted in, you will be responsible for approving laws and shaping your country’s destiny.

  • The completely silly fighting game Foreskin Fury is out in Early Access

    After a short delay, you can now jump into Foreskin Fury and have a cock fight. Yes this is a very real game.

    Made in Unreal Engine, the aptly named Stupid Industries said it started off as a joke and they ended up actually learning Blender and Unreal Engine to turn the joke into something a little more real. Here we are, Foreskin Fury was accepted onto Steam and it supports Linux.

  • The currently free indie RTS 'The Fertile Crescent' should now work better at different resolutions

    The Fertile Crescent is an upcoming in-development indie RTS that feels like a retro Age of Empires and it's really quite good. A new update is out (and it's still free) fixing up the UI for different resolutions.

    I think more of you need to try this one, it's a wonderful little RTS game that I honestly can't wait to see expand. Hopefully now more of you actually will be able to try it, as they've made it so the interface properly scales with your resolution. Previously, there were problems if you had anything other than 1080p. Not only that, most of the interface was actually redesigned and it gives you more information.

  • Chiaki, the open source and cross-platform PS4 Remote Play client now supports the PS4 7.0 update

    Sony recently upgraded the system software on the PlayStation 4 which broke compatibility with the open source Remote Play client Chiaki. The developer acted quickly and a new release is up.

    This is the software we tested out recently and came away pretty impressed with it. Allowing you to stream games from a PlayStation 4 to a Linux desktop, seriously handy stuff since Sony don't support it on Linux officially.

My Linux story: I grew up on PC Magazine not candy

Filed under
Linux

In 1998, the movie Titanic was released, mobile phones were just a luxury, and pagers were still in use. This was also the year I got my first computer. I can remember the details as if it were yesterday: Pentium 133MHz and just 16MB of memory. Back in that time (while running nothing less than Windows 95), this was a good machine. I can still hear in my mind the old spinning hard drive noise when I powered that computer on, and see the Windows 95 flag. It never crossed my mind, though (especially as an 8-year-old kid), that I would dedicate every minute of my life to Linux and open source.

Being just a kid, I always asked my mom to buy me every issue of PC Magazine instead of candies. I never skipped a single issue, and all of those dusty old magazines are still there in Costa Rica. It was in these magazines that I discovered the essential technology that changed my life. An issue in the year 2000 talked extensively about Linux and the advantages of free and open-source software. That issue also included a review of one of the most popular Linux distributions back then: Corel Linux. Unfortunately, the disc was not included. Without internet at home, I was out of luck, but that issue still lit a spark within me.

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How to Create Persistent Fedora LIVE USB From Ubuntu

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Linux

This quick tutorial explains how to create persistent LIVE USB using Fedora Operating system in Ubuntu.

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Python Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • How to Read SAS Files in Python with Pandas

    In this post, we are going to learn how to read SAS (.sas7dbat) files in Python.

    As previously described (in the read .sav files in Python post) Python is a general-purpose language that also can be used for doing data analysis and data visualization.

  • Daudin – a Python shell

    A few nights ago I wrote daudin, a command-line shell based on Python. It allows you to easily mix UNIX and Python on the command line.

  • How to Convert Python String to Int and Back to String

    This tutorial describes various ways to convert Python string to int and from an integer to string. You may often need to perform such operations in day to day programming. Hence, you should know them to write better programs.

    Also, an integer can be represented in different bases, so we’ll explain that too in this post. And there happen to be scenarios where conversion fails. Hence, you should consider such cases as well and can find a full reference given here with examples.

  • Thousands of Scientific Papers May be Invalid Due to Misunderstanding Python

    It was recently discovered that several thousand scientific articles could be invalid in their conclusions because scientists did not understand that Python’s glob.glob() does not return sorted results.

    This is being reported on by Vice, Slashdot and there’s an interesting discussion going on over on Reddit as well.

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Open Source Security Podcast, Linux Action News and Manjaro 19.09.28 KDE-DEV Run Through

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 165 - Grab Bag of Microsoft Security News

    Josh and Kurt about a number of Microsoft security news items. They've changed how they are handling encrypted disks and are now forcing cloud logins on Windows users.

  • Linux Action News 127

    Richard Stallman's GNU leadership is challenged by an influential group of maintainers, SUSE drops OpenStack "for the customer," and Google claims Stadia will be faster than a gaming PC.

    Plus OpenLibra aims to save us from Facebook but already has a miss, lousy news for Telegram, and enormous changes for AMP.

  • GNU World Order 13x42

    On the road during the **All Things Open** conference, Klaatu talks about how to make ebooks from various sources, with custom CSS, using the Pandoc command.

  • Manjaro 19.09.28 KDE-DEV Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Manjaro 19.09.28 KDE-DEV.

Apple of 2019 is the Linux of 2000

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

Last week the laptop I use for macOS development said that there is an XCode update available. I tried to install it but it said that there is not enough free space available to run the installer. So I deleted a bunch of files and tried again. Still the same complaint. Then I deleted some unused VM images. Those would free a few dozen gigabytes, so it should make things work. I even emptied the trash can to make sure nothing lingered around. But even this did not help, I still got the same complaint.

At this point it was time to get serious and launch the terminal. And, true enough, according to df the disk had only 8 gigabytes of free space even though I had just deleted over 40 gigabytes of files from it (using rm, not the GUI, so things really should have been gone). A lot of googling and poking later I discovered that all the deleted files had gone to "reserved space" on the file system. There was no way to access those files or delete them. According to documentation the operating system would delete those files "on demand as more space is needed". This was not very comforting because the system most definitely was not doing that and you'd think that Apple's own software would get this right.

After a ton more googling I managed to find a chat buried somewhere deep in Reddit which listed the magical indentation that purges reserved space. It consisted of running tmutil from the command line and giving it a bunch of command line arguments that did not seem to make sense or have any correlation to the thing that I wanted to do. But it did work and eventually I got XCode updated.

After my blood pressure dropped to healthier levels I got the strangest feeling of déjà vu. This felt exactly like using Linux in the early 2000s. Things break at random for reasons you can't understand and the only way to fix it is to find terminal commands from discussion forums, type them in and hope for the best. Then it hit me.

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Contributor License Agreement and Developer Certificate of Origin references

Filed under
OSS
Legal

In the last few years I have come across the CLA topic several times. It is and will be a popular topic in automotive the coming years, like in any industry that moves from being an Open Source Producer towards becoming an Open Source Contributor.

In my experience, many organizations take the CLA as a given by looking at the google, microsoft or intels of the world and replicate their model. But more and more organizations are learning about alternatives, even if they do not adopt them.

What I find interesting about discussing the alternatives is that it brings to the discussion the contributor perspective and not just the company one. This enrichs the debate and, in some cases, leads to a more balanced framework between any organization behind a project and the contriibutor base, which benefits both.

Throughout these years I have read a lot about it but I have never written anything. It is one of those topics I do not feel comfortable enough to write about in public probably because I know lots of people more qualified than I am to do so. What I can do is to provide some articles and links that I like or that have been recommended to me in the past.

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Linux 5.4-rc3

Filed under
Linux
Things continue to look fairly normal, with rc3 being larger than rc2,
as people are starting to find more regressions, but 5.4 so far
remains on the smaller side of recent releases.

The diffstat looks fairly flat too, although we had a couple of
staging drivers being removed here that show up as spikes. Drivers in
general account for about two thirds of the diff, and it's not just
those staging drivers, it's other small noise all over the place: usb,
drm, iio, rdma..

Outside of drivers, filesystems pop up more than perhaps usual, but
it's again mostly low-grade noise all over: btrfs, cifs, nfs, ocfs,
xfs and some core vfs fixes.

The rest is arch updates (mainly arm64, x86, mips), tooling (mostly
perf tooling updates, but also some selftest fixlets), documentation,
and misc core kernel and mm stuff.

There really isn't anything huge that stands out. You can scan the
appended shortlog for a flavor of the details, it's not too long to
just scroll through.

Linus

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Also: Linux 5.4-rc3 Released Ahead Of Official Kernel Debut In November

Archman GNU/Linux Xfce 2019-09

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews

Archman is an Arch Linux-based distribution developed in Turkey. The project's website is available in both Turkish and English, which makes the distribution approachable to non-Turkish audiences. Archman has various releases with different desktop environments and release dates. In this review, I will be reviewing Archman's Xfce 2019-09 release, which is codenamed Lake With Fish.

To begin, I downloaded the 1.6GB ISO and copied it to a flash drive. I rebooted my computer, turned off Secure Boot, and started Archman from the flash drive. The boot process was quick, but I ended up at a graphical login screen instead of a working desktop environment. I pressed the Enter key and I logged in without needing a password.

The live desktop looked very nice. It is an interesting blend of classic and modern. The live desktop has icons for the user's home folder and Trash. There is also a shortcut for Hexchat and the Calamares Archman Installer. The panel at the bottom of the screen holds the application menu, shortcuts for showing the desktop/quickly minimizing all running applications, Firefox, the user's home folder, sections for the currently running applications, switching desktops, a clock, Bluetooth and wireless controls, a battery meter, update notifications, volume control, and a log out/reboot/shutdown shortcut. The panel is 70% the width of the screen and set to automatically hide.

I looked around the live desktop for a little while. I tested to make sure that everything was working okay with my hardware, and once I was certain that all my hardware worked, I moved on to installing Archman.

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today's howtos and hardware news

Filed under
Hardware
HowTos
  • Blue Mail now available for Linux
  • How to Enable EPEL Repository on CentOS 8 and RHEL 8 Server
  • How to set up Cairo dock on the Linux desktop
  • Open source Raspberry Pi microscope project

    Micropalaeontologist Martin Tetard has been developing a Raspberry Pi microscope aptly named the microscoPI. The Raspberry Pi based microscope can capture, process, and store images and image analysis results. Watch the video embedded below to learn more about the unique Raspberry Pi microscope, which features a rechargeable battery secured under the base of the microscope, making the system completely portable and measuring less than 30 cm in height.

  • Open Source Hardware Trends, Arm Takes a Different Tack

    The open-source movement that has driven software innovation is now creating a buzz in the microprocessor realm, thanks to the growing popularity of open-source microprocessor instruction set architecture RISC-V. Although the term “open source” conveys sentiments such as research sharing and community building, leading semiconductor IP provider Arm, which supports 95 percent of smartphone embedded processors, is not a fan.

    Synced recently sat down with Rhonda Dirvin, who is Arm’s senior director of Embedded, IoT and Automotive Marketing. Dirvin believes today’s open source hardware landscape is not as simple and straightforward as it may seem: “We’re starting to see some people say free is not free. Because at the end of the day they have to look at what it takes to verify that and what it takes to implement the instruction or architecture. You don’t have the whole ecosystem out there that supports it the way that you do with Arm or some of the other more established vendors.”

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • New Vector to scale open-source alternative to WhatsApp and Slack, where users own their data

    New Vector has announced $8.5 million in funding to scale its open-source, secure communication network, a bid to revolutionise data privacy and ownership in the messaging app space. The investments come from European VCs who specialize in enterprise tech: Notion Capital, Dawn and firstminute capital.

    Necessary for understanding New Vector’s business is to first understand Matrix. Matrix is an open-source project, building a global network for decentralised communication. Users can collaborate securely via end-to-end encryption, and notably, they retain all ownership and control over their data.

  • New Vector raises $8.5 million to develop an open source Slack and WhatsApp

    Tech giants like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft needn’t be gatekeepers to communication. That’s the idea upon which Matrix, an open standard and decentralized protocol for real-time communication, was formulated. It’s designed to allow users of one service provider to communicate with users of different providers via online chat, voice over IP, and videotelephony, ideally as seamlessly as SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) facilitates email exchanges across clients and services.

    Implementing the Matrix protocol at scale requires infrastructure and technical expertise, however — and that’s where startups like New Vector have carved out a niche for themselves. In a little over two years, the startup has helped to grow the Matrix network 400% to 11 million users across 40,000 deployments, including French and U.S. government agencies, Wikipedia parent Wikimedia, KDE, RedHat, and more.

  • Paris uses open source to get closer to the citizen

    Around 35 per cent of Paris’ 1,000 IT applications are Lutece-driven and 15 per cent are based on other open-source software, with the remaining 50 per cent using proprietary systems. As applications are upgraded or new ones added, Lutece and open-source tools will be deployed as much as possible, Lanouar said, noting that this approach enables greater autonomy and agility for the City, as well as the ability to be more transparent and create a better user experience for the citizen.

  • After Dallas County's TechShare software failure, the future must be open source

    There has been plenty of coverage of the very expensive failures of TechShare, Dallas County's attempt to create case-tracking software that could be used in any Texas criminal court. Like many battles over operations-level issues, it is easy to miss the forest for the trees.

    One basic principle of good governing was flagrantly violated in this instance: Government shouldn't be involved in a for-profit operation. TechShare's leadership sought profit, rather than to merely recoup costs. I hope members of both parties can agree this is a principle we should consciously adopt. A public discussion will help avoid future misadventures that cost the county $30 million for a hot plate of nothing.

    The term "crony capitalism" gets tossed around a lot, and it sometimes unfairly tarnishes good models of public-private partnerships. Crony capitalism usually means the government gives preference to certain favored private firms without seeking the best price (or quality) for a service or good. That preference is odious because it denies taxpayers the best price. Crony capitalism props up firms that would otherwise fail, using taxpayer money as insurance.

  • AI Researchers' Open-Source Model Explanation Toolkit AllenNLP Interpret

    Although the techniques are generic, AllenNLP Interpret is intended for use in NLP. Inputs to NLP systems are strings of text, usually sentences or whole documents, and the text is parsed into its constituent words or tokens. AllenNLP Interpret includes saliency maps that show each token's contribution to the model prediction; a use case for this might be explaining which words in a sentence caused its sentiment to be classified as positive or negative. The toolkit also includes two adversarial methods that show how changing the tokens in the input could affect the output. The first, HotFlip, replaces the input word that has the highest gradient with other words until the model output changes. The other attack, input reduction, iteratively removes the word with the smallest gradient without changing the output; this results in input texts that are "usually nonsensical but cause high confidence predictions."

  • The best open source software of 2019
  • InfoWorld Identifies the Most Innovative Products Available to Developers, Data Analysts, and IT Organizations

    InfoWorld — the technology media brand committed to keeping IT decision-makers ahead of the technology curve — announces the winners of its 2019 Best of Open Source Software Awards, better known as the Bossies. The annual Bossie awards recognize the most important and innovative open source projects for businesses and the IT professionals who serve them. The 26 winners in this year’s Bossie Awards are the next-generation tools and technologies that are enabling digital transformation, allowing businesses to succeed and IT organizations to excel at a time when the technology is more complex than ever.

  • Open Source Rules the World

    Not too long ago I attended Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit in San Diego, and this declaration of world dominance (tongue in cheek) was a fairly prominent refrain throughout. From best practices in OS development to emerging technologies to getting started—how to create an open source strategy, sustain it, and the right path to developing an Open Source Program Office (OSPO).

    All open source all the time.

    What became abundantly clear to me through the cacophony of voices representing developers, technologists and enthusiasts is that at the center of all that is open source are three key components critical to ultimate success (however you define it): people, processes, and technology.

    [...]

    The entire tech space is being redesigned by a digital transformation and the emergence of new open source technology platforms. It’s a revolution of sorts, led by groundbreaking innovations in machine learning, open source IoT, cyber security, virtual reality, big data analytics, blockchain and open source development tools. Additionally, there’s technology to help you know what’s in your code and automate the detection and remediation of license compliance and security issues in your DevOps life cycle.

  • Extreme Networks Transitions StackStorm to the Linux Foundation

    Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR) today announced it has turned governance of StackStorm™ platform, its popular open-source workflow automation platform, over to The Linux Foundation. In making this transition, Extreme expects the Foundation's open source community to accelerate development and adoption of the platform so enterprises everywhere can reap the benefits of new applications and use cases.

  • ExpressionEngine Under New Ownership, Will Remain Open Source for Now

    EllisLab founder Rick Ellis announced yesterday that ExpressionEngine has been acquired by Packet Tide, the parent company of EEHarbor, one of the most successful EE add-on providers and development agencies in the community. A year ago EllisLab, the developers of EE core, was acquired by Digital Locations but Ellis said the company ended up not being a good fit for the future of the CMS...

  • Open Source Seed, a Hoax or a Wake-Up Call?

    “Open source” is a trend in various industries. It started to take root in the software industry (Mozilla), followed by biotechnology (CAMBIA) and publishing, where the creative commons concepts have taken root. Several of these trends are based in an opposition against corporate power generated by exclusive rights provided by patents and copyright. Others have a positive goal, i.e. to enhance participation by a much wider population to generate, validate and share information (e.g. Wikipedia).

    The seed sector has a very good story to tell with regard to its contributions to societal goals, but in parts of society, the corporate image and the use of patents create questions, so we could expect that also our sector would be challenged. It is there now. The University of Wisconsin developed an Open Source Seed Initiative several years ago, which was followed in Germany more recently. Access to “freed” plant genetic resources is made conditional to users making them available under the same “open source” conditions – that no IP is vested. The system should thus go “viral” and “force” breeders to join and thus stop protecting their products through IP.

  • Satellite images and open-source programs for mapping during disasters

    A few weeks ago, the states of Assam and Bihar were reeling under floods. Over 200 people were reported dead, with at least 10 million (one crore) of the states’ residents estimated to have been displaced. To save more lives and prevent further infrastructural damage, search and rescue missions during such disasters need to be effective, and more importantly, need to be rapid.

    The answer to this may lie in space.

    Open-source access to satellite images and new technologies to process these images have been a significant breakthrough to help document the true extent of flooding. Getting this information in time is key to plan and conduct evacuation missions, response operations and damage assessments.

    The European Space Agency (ESA)’s Sentinel-1 mission and the web-based Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform are two recent developments that have helped timely capture and analysis of satellite information.

    A research team from the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) used this combination (Sentinel and GEE) to come up with an illustrative example of how such mapping can be used in the future to help in rescue missions, through accurate mapping of flood extents.

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics and Standards

  • SHADERed 1.2.3 Released With Support For 3D Textures & Audio Shaders

    SHADERed is the open-source, cross-platform project for creating and testing HLSL/GLSL shaders. While a version number of 1.2.3 may not seem like a big update, some notable additions can be found within this new SHADERed release.

  • Vulkan 1.1.125 Released With SPIR-V 1.4 Support

    Succeeding Vulkan 1.1.124 one week later is now Vulkan 1.1.125 with a lone new extension. Vulkan 1.1.125 has its usual clarifications and corrections to this graphics API specification. Meanwhile the new extension introduced in the overnight v1.1.125 release is VK_KHR_spirv_1_4.

  • Making Movies Accessible for Everyone

    For the first time, people who are deaf or hard of hearing will be able to enjoy the Nairobi leg of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, opening on October 15.

New Videos: A Look at Xubuntu 19.10 and Crunchbang++ 10

Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Ritesh Raj Sarraf: Bpfcc New Release

    bpfcc version 0.11.0 has been uploaded to Debian Unstable and should be accessible in the repositories by now. After the 0.8.0 release, this has been the next one uploaded to Debian.

  • Utkarsh Gupta: Joining Debian LTS!

    Back during the good days of DebConf19, I finally got a chance to meet Holger! As amazing and inspiring a person he is, it was an absolute pleasure meeting him and also, I got a chance to talk about Debian LTS in more detail. [...] I had almost no idea what to do next, so the next month I stayed silent, observing the workflow as people kept committing and announcing updates. And finally in September, I started triaging and fixing the CVEs for Jessie and Stretch (mostly the former). Thanks to Abhijith who explained the basics of what DLA is and how do we go about fixing bugs and then announcing them. With that, I could fix a couple of CVEs and thanks to Holger (again) for reviewing and sponsoring the uploads! :D

  • Ubucon Europe 2019 in local media

    News from the new Ubuntu distribution, the exploration of the several platforms and many “how to”, rule the 4-days agenda where the open source and open technologies are in the air. The Olga Cadaval Cultural centre in Sintra, is the main stage of a busy agenda filled with several talks and more technical sessions, but at Ubucon Europe there’s also room for networking and cultural visits, a curious fusion between spaces full of history, like the Pena Palace or the Quinta da Regaleira, and one of the youngest “players” in the world of software. For 4 days, the international Ubuntu Community gathers in Sintra for an event open to everyone, where the open source principles and open technology are dominating. The Ubucon Europe Conference begun Thursday, October 10th, and extends until Sunday, October 13th, keeping an open doors policy to everyone who wants to Afterall, what is the importance of Ubucon? The number of participants, which should be around 150, doesn’t tell the whole story of what you can learn during these days, as the SAPO TEK had the opportunity to check this morning. Organised by the Ubuntu Portugal Community, with the National Association for Open Software, the Ubuntu Europe Federation and the Sintra Municipality, the conference brings to Portugal some of the biggest open source specialists and shows that Ubuntu is indeed alive, even if not yet known by most people, and still far from the “world domain” aspired by some.

Devices/Embedded: Win Enterprises and Raspberry Pi 4

  • Win Enterprises unveils Atom-based LAN gateway and compact SBC

    Win Enterprises unveiled a fanless “PL-82000” networking gateway with 6x GbE and 2x SFP ports based on an Atom C3000. It also launched a Raspberry Pi sized “MB-5000” SBC that runs Ubuntu or Win 10 on Intel Apollo Lake. We tend to forget Win Enterprises because as its name suggests, the company typically sticks to Windows-supported products. Yet, they have increasingly produced barebones products without listed OS support, such as the new PL-82000 networking appliance, as well as Linux supported systems such as the MB-5000 SBC announced back in June. (In 2017, we covered an Intel Bay Trail based MB-80580 SBC and Win IoT-380 Gateway with Linux support.)

  • Raspberry Pi 4 PCI Express: It actually works! USB3, SATA… GPUs?

    Recently, Tomasz Mloduchowski posted a popular article on his blog detailing the steps he undertook to get access to the hidden PCIe interface of Raspberry Pi 4: the first Raspberry Pi to include PCIe in its design. After seeing his post, and realizing I was meaning to go buy a Raspberry Pi 4, it just seemed natural to try and replicate his results in the hope of taking it a bit further. I am known for Raspberry Pi Butchery, after all.

  • Raspberry Pi 4 B+ - PCI Express

    Why did I do it? Because I wanted to see if it can be done. Because Raspberry Pi 4 might be the cheapest device that is PCIe capable after a relatively minor modification (if I didn't lift the capacitors when desoldering the VL805, this is literally 12 soldering points). That, in turn, can be quite handy for developing own PCIe cores for various FPGA based experiments.

    I'm sharing it to allow people to learn from this - and to dispel the myth that PCIe is somehow out of reach of hobbyists due to some concerns over signal integrity or complexities. Stay tuned for more Pi4/PCIe experimentation!