This update is about being in Shenzhen for the past few days, during their October National Holiday. In summary, I know now why it’s been so damn difficult to get anything done from outside of China: it’s the incredibly poor internet access.
Much of what I write is off-the-cuff, I don’t know what’s going to be on the page until it’s written. So it’s often interesting, even for me, to re-read things my writing. As I was going back over my previous update on my visit to Shenzhen, it suddenly hit me: everything I’ve done over the past five years - the entire EOMA68 design ethos - is vindicated by this one visit to Huaqiang Road. The process of developing electronics products is not greatly improved by coming over here: it’s something that you have to be very, very careful about in advance. You cannot just pick random parts off of Digi-Key and expect them to be available everywhere. Products are successful, in large part, if they are designed around the most commonly-made components.
Online I found a lot of resources that helped me out but it still took a little tweaking. I thought I’d share the steps I used in case any other sad people out there want to try out the same. I’m not sure how universal these steps are or in what ways they might change depending on your particular device or version of tools you use. But let’s get to it, shall we?
The Internet of Things is set to get a big boost with the recent announcement of a merger between Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) which sponsors the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance provider of the AllJoyn open source IoT framework. Both bigwigs would now exist under the sole OCF name and bye-laws in working towards creating solutions that would enable devices, phones, computers and sensors communicate with one another regardless of manufacturer, operating system, chipset or physical transport.
A new addition to the Tizen Store is the Mad O Ball 3D game which is available to download for FREE only for the next 2 months. This is an exciting arcade action game in which you race ball against time. Awesome 3D graphics, excellent music and sound effects and superb physics are the winning combination for this title.
The Open Source Initiative works with a variety of organizations to promote the adoption of open source software throughout government. San Francisco Elections Commissioner Chris Jerdonek provides the OSI with a breakdown of the latest happening with San Francisco's efforts to develop and certify the country's first open source voting system!
One of the goals of the Open Source Programs Office is to encourage more people to contribute to open source software. One way we achieve that goal is through our student programs, Google Summer of Code (for university students) and Google Code-in (for pre-university students).
Over 15,000 students from more than 100 countries have worked with 23,000 mentors and contributed to 560+ open source projects, so we're excited to announce the next round of these programs.
This blog discusses the gradual end of MyISAM in MySQL.
The story that started 20 years ago is coming to its end. I’m talking about the old MyISAM storage engine that was the only storage provided by MySQL in 1995, and was available in MySQL for 20+ years. Actually, part of my job as a MySQL consultant for 10+ years was to discover MyISAM tables and advise customers how to convert those to InnoDB.
With the company behind the RethinkDB project having failed and its engineering team scooped up by Stripe, Big Data developers are awaiting further word on plans to continue it as fully open source.
Although failing to achieve commercial success, the RethinkDB database was lauded by many developers for its different approach and solid technology on developer-oriented social sites such as Hacker News and Reddit.
LibreOffice is approaching the 5.3 release season with the first bug hunting session, on Friday, October 21, 2016. Tests will be performed on the Alpha version of LibreOffice 5.3, which will be available on the pre-releases server (http://dev-builds.libreoffice.org/pre-releases/) a few days before the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), MacOS and Windows, and will run in parallel with the actual installation.
Datamation is out with an extensive evaluation of which open source content management systems (CMS) really stand out, which is a topic near and dear to us here at OStatic. Our site runs on Drupal, which powers many sites around the web, but there are key differences between CMS offerings, and if you're looking for the right solution, we have some good resources for you.
The Datamation story provides a nice overview of the open CMS space, but here are some of out favorite ways to go about evaluating which is the right CMS for you.
Marking a true renaissance for tools that can help anyone run a top-notch website or manage content in the cloud, open source content management systems (CMS) have come of age. You're probably familiar with some of the big names in this arena, including Drupal (which Ostatic is based on) and Joomla. As we noted in this post, selecting a CMS to build around can be a complicated process, since the publishing tools provided are hardly the only issue.
The ASWSU Senate passed a resolution to support the Office of the Provost’s open education initiatives at its meeting on Wednesday. The resolution supports the use of the OpenStax program to provide textbooks created with open-source material.
This does not force professors to use a book that does not perfectly line up with their curriculum because they can freely edit and update the source material, said Sen. Matthew Morrow, author of the resolution.
Researchers and professors collaborate to create open-source textbooks for students at other universities to use. Morrow said they are targeting UCORE courses because open-source textbooks are currently less suitable for upper-level classes.
For years now, governments throughout Europe have been enthusiastically adopting open source software. Their main reasons for doing so have been to lower costs and to be able to modify the software to suit their needs. Governments in Russia and the Netherlands are following that trend, but for divergent reasons.
The Russian Duma announced earlier this month that it's drafting a law to give preference to open source over proprietary software. Specifically, "the law will require local agencies to give preference to open source software and justify any purchases of proprietary software." In an interview with Bloomberg News, Duma official Andrey Chernogorov cites security as a major driver behind this shift. Much of the government's IT infrastructure is based on proprietary, foreign-made platforms, and Chernogorov said that the Russian government is "seeking to close this loophole for state purchases, as it causes security risks."
There are lots of efforts underway to get students (young and old) to learn to write code. There are far-reaching efforts, like the Hour of Code, and plenty of smaller, more focused projects, such as the Design and Technology Academy (part of Northeast ISD here in San Antonio, Texas). These are excellent programs that enrich the education of many students.
We decided to replace openssl with libressl because we believe it is a better library. While OpenSSL is trying to fix the broken code, libressl has simply removed it.
A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the internet, the station’s operator said on Monday.
The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE.
The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualisation software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.
Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at security firm F-Secure, has answered a range of your questions. Read on to find his insight on the kind of security awareness training we need, whether anti-virus products are relevant anymore, and whether we have already lost the battle to bad guys. Bonus: his take on whether or not you should take backups of your data.
The state of tech security is currently so dire that it feels like anything you have ever stored on a computer, or a company or government has ever stored about you, has already been hacked into by somebody.
Researchers with at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) and the University of Pennsylvania have called for security standards-setters to publish the seeds for the prime numbers on which their standards rely.
The boffins also demonstrated again that 1,024-bit primes can no longer be considered secure, by publishing an attack using “special number field sieve” (SNFS) mathematics to show that an attacker could create a prime that looks secure, but isn't.
Since the research is bound to get conspiracists over-excited, it's worth noting: their paper doesn't claim that any of the cryptographic primes it mentions have been back-doored, only that they can no longer be considered secure.
“There are opaque, standardised 1024-bit and 2048-bit primes in wide use today that cannot be properly verified”, the paper states.
Joshua Fried and Nadia Heninger (University of Pennsylvania) worked with Pierrick Gaudry and Emmanuel Thomé (INRIA at the University of Lorraine on the paper, here.
They call for 2,048-bit keys to be based on “standardised primes” using published seeds, because too many crypto schemes don't provide any way to verify that the seeds aren't somehow back-doored.
By the time you read this, Let’s Encrypt will have issued its 12 millionth certificate, of which 6 million are active and unexpired. With these milestones, Let’s Encrypt now appears to us to be the the Internet’s largest certificate authority—but a recent analysis by W3Techs said we were only the third largest. So in this post we investigate: how big is Let’s Encrypt, really?
To celebrate KDE’s 20th birthday today, the great KDE developer Helio Castro has launched KDE 1, the ultimate in long term support software with a 20 year support period.
KDE neon has now, using the latest containerised continuous integration technologies released KDE1 neon Docker images for your friendly local devop to deploy.
KDE is 20 years old, a community working on beautiful software to free the world and spread privacy, all while having a lot of fun which we do it.
In cities across the world there are parties being held this weekend to celebrate. As we write the KDE Korea party in Seoul is setting up for some talks and drinks.
The new project quickly attracted a group of enthusiastic developers and they pushed out code with a frentic pace. kdelibs-0.0.1 was released in November, containing the first classes KConfig and KApplication. In May 1997 the young project presented at the Linux-Kongress in Würzburg. In August Kalle Dalheimer published the famous article about KDE in the German computer magazine c't which attracted a whole generation of KDE developers to the project. On Jul 12th 1998 KDE 1.0 was done and released. The community had not only implemented a friendly face for Linux but also a bunch of applications while going, including a full web browser.
No use in beating around the bush: Yakuake is currently not in great shape. While the codebase made the jump to KDE Frameworks 5 quite early, it took a long time to get releases out, and the latest still suffers from some annoying, if minor, regressions and bugs. The same is also true for outside code Yakuake heavily relies on - namely Konsole, which unfortunately broke some APIs used by Yakuake, including the one used to invoke the "Manage Profiles" dialog. Meh.
Alongside this there's a more fundamental problem, which is that Yakuake's basic UI code has not aged well. There's some nice things to say about Yakuake's theming system, including a stable file format with unbroken backwards compatibility for more than a decade. But that also hints at the fact that it was designed for systems of that era, and for example can't handle scaling to hi-dpi displays at all.
Kube is a next generation communication and collaboration client, built with QtQuick on top of a high performance, low resource usage core called Sink.
It provides online and offline access to all your mail, contacts, calendars, notes, todo’s etc.
Kube has a strong focus on usability and the team works with designers and Ux experts from the ground up, to build a product that is not only visually appealing but also a joy to use.
This year for Halloween, we decided to construct a witch's workbench out on the front porch. A trip to the local op shop produced an attractive candlestick, mortar (no pestle), and a small collection of bottles. Witches are nothing if not tidy, so we figured that bottles found near a serious witch's workshop would surely be carefully labeled. After all, one wouldn't want to accidentally use an eye of a frog when the potion calls for an eye of newt, would one?
So I printed some stuff, but the 3dprinter had some issues, I tried to print 3 times an Arduino mega case, but I wasn’t able to finish them.
It is elementary, dear readers. The formula for creating the perfect distro. If only so. But people are trying, and among the many who are striving to transform Linux is the bunch behind elementary. Prettiness be their middle name, and they even have a rad (not) .io domain for their website. Silly stuff aside, you can even buy the distro if you want.
In the past, elementary OS seems to have charmed my readers more than it did me. You kept on asking, and again, we have a recurring pattern of emails hitting my inbox. Well, let us test again, then, shall we. G50 machine, Loki release.
Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak desktop version is released today October 13th 2016. It is a regular release, supported for 9 months (until July 2017), bringing dual desktop environments, Unity 7 and Unity 8. This review covers 9 points, mainly about Ubuntu Yakkety bringing the new desktop environment Unity 8 on top of the new Mir Display Server plus many information you may find useful. Yakkety includes Unity 8 as a testing purpose, so every user can feel how Unity 8 is at a glance. Overall, this new Ubuntu release is already suitable for desktop use (Unity 7 only) but really not suitable for low-RAM computers.
I'm pretty sad about this, as I thought Killing Room [Steam, Official Site] actually looked really fun. I noticed the Steam page now only lists Windows, so I asked the developer about it and the Linux version is now delayed.
Signs of Life [Steam, Official Site], an indie Early Access sci-fi survival sandbox platformer that looks pretty good has switched from XNA to MonoGame, and the developer has put up a Linux version for people to test.
KURSK [Official Site] looks pretty damn fine, and a rather interesting setting too. An adventure and survival game about a destroyed submarine. It will support Linux!
It does list a Linux icon proudly on the official site, and a GOL follower emailed in a tweet from the CEO of the developer confirming it again. The tweet is in Polish, but essentially he says Linux is planned.
Topware Interactive are continuing to bring over their older games to Linux using Wine, and that's okay. The latest is Jagged Alliance 2 - Wildfire [Steam].
The Wine development release 1.9.21 is now available.
The Wine team released today another development release of their software. Version 1.9.21 has many small changes including 18 bugfixes.
I usually do the releases on a Sunday afternoon, but occasionally cut
the merge window short by a day just to keep people on their toes, and
make sure people learn not to send in last-minute pull requests. No
gaming the merge window to the last day. This is one such release.
To be fair, the reason I did it a day early this time around is less
to stop people from trying to time their pull requests, and mostly
because this has been a pretty big merge window, and not hugely
enjoyable. I ended up stopping doing pulls twice during the merge
window just because I was chasing down some random problem. That tends
to turn my busy merge window time from "busy" to "somewhat stressful".
Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak Released early today and there is no major change/update over Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, released back in April but still have few minor improvements. Ubuntu 16.10 will be supported for 9 months until July 2017.
If you preferring Long Term Support, i would advise you to stay back in current LTS version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
I don't review Xubuntu that often and it isn't because I don't like Xubuntu. In fact I am a big fan of Xubuntu and I have a heavily customised version on one of my other computers.
I use that computer when I want to get things done because lets face it there is nothing more annoying than seeing this:
Here's the first post-8.0 "current" ISO. Along with many packages updates from upstream and Zenwalk, you'll get the MPV media player out of the box, some improvements in the setup (new disk partitioning dialog) and the ZenENCFS privacy folder encrypting tool (so that you won't have to put your hardware into the microwave oven any more to remain anonymous).
This is not a new phenomenon. Social media snap-posts have killed off celebrities hundreds of times before their actual deaths (to the point where some have required websites to constantly fact-check their mortality). Facebook is full of years-late "RIP" posts. The Internet may never forget, but the humans who use it have become increasingly absent-minded.
It wasn't even just my story that went viral—a similar Guardian story also resurfaced, probably because of the same "memories" feature on Facebook or some other social media feature that dredges up old content. Still, there was something personally unsettling about having words I had written in tribute of "dmr"—a man whom I credited personally for making my early exposure to computing and its potential possible—suddenly resurface five years later.
The first few times I spotted Twitter acting up, I thanked people for resurfacing the story after so much time. But reading the post again—partially to make sure I hadn't somehow written another tribute subconsciously from my perch at my dad's bedside—was affecting in ways I didn't expect. Maybe I got emotional because I was in a hospital room with my father, who was recovering from an other-than-routine knee replacement surgery, and I had spent the day before sitting in a surgical waiting room.
As mentioned previously I am working toward getting Gitano into Stretch. A colleague and friend of mine (Richard Maw) did a large pile of work on Lace to support what we are calling sub-defines. These let us simplify Gitano's ACL files, particularly for individual projects.
anytime arrived on CRAN with releases 0.0.1 and 0.0.2 about a month ago. anytime aims to convert anything in integer, numeric, character, factor, ordered, ... format to POSIXct (or Date) objects.
Yesterday, the motranslator 2.0 has been released. As the version change suggests there are some important changes under the hood.
Open source continues to gain momentum and is said to remain central to ongoing development and deployment of NFV and SDN for telecommunication operators
The open source community remains active in bolstering support for the telecommunication market’s move towards network virtualization platforms using software-defined networking and network functions virtualization.
In the past month alone, new platform iterations from the Open Platform for NFV project with its Colorado release; fellow Linux Foundation organization OpenDaylight with its Boron SDN platform; and the Open Networking Laboratory’s Open Network Operating System Project with its SDN-focused Hummingbird platform.
The future of computing is open source. While there is still room for closed source software, more and more companies are going the open route. Major players such as Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook are all contributing to the open source community. Google in particular is a huge proponent of open source. Heck, two of the company's operating systems -- Chrome OS and Android -- are Linux distributions.
Today, the search giant announces the 'Open Source Report Card'. This is essentially a report that explains the details of its open source projects. Google is undoubtedly a major open source contributor, but the question is, what grade should the company get?
"Today we're sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we've released in 2016. We've open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website", says Josh Simmons, Open Source Programs Office.
When I graduated from my high school in India, our class had an almost 50-50 ratio of boys-to-girls. My graduating class in one of India’s premier engineering institutions had less than 10%. It was even more interesting to see that there were more than 20% girls enrolled in Bachelors in Design (which offered courses like Product Design, Human Computer Interaction and User Experience Research) while there were none in Mechanical Engineering since the last three graduating classes. Was it that Design was considered a relatively non-technical course ? While I have never been openly discouraged from pursuing a career in technology – a predominantly male-populated field – there has always been an unconscious bias even from within my family. When I wanted to apply for a degree course in Mechanical Engineering, I was asked to take some more time to think about my future – was gently nudged towards more female-friendly engineering fields like Computer Science which wouldn’t involve as much strenuous physical effort. Was it even sublte experiences like this which had contributed towards the gender gap ? This feeling of being an ‘outsider’ in a predominantly male field never left till I started contributing to Open Source.
I first learnt about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) via Outreachy, a program designed to increase participation of minorities in FOSS. I liked the fact that the program had no knowledge prerequisites so that anyone interested in contributing to FOSS could be a part of it.
The White House today shared open source code for President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot to help other governments build their own bots.
The White House says it’s sharing the code “with the hope that other governments and developers can build similar services — and foster similar connections with their citizens — with significantly less upfront investment,” according to a post published today by chief digital officer for the White House Jason Goldman.
In August, the White House launched a Facebook Messenger bot to receive messages from American citizens. The messages are read alongside letters and other communique sent to the president.
The open source Drupal module for the president’s bot is available to download on Github.
“While Drupal may not be the platform others would immediately consider for building a bot, this new White House module will allow non-developers to create bot interactions (with customized language and workflows), and empower other governments and agencies who already use Drupal to power their digital experiences,” Goldman said on the White House website today.
Open Source Hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. Open hardware is paving the way for recent technological developments, especially in the field of Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D Printing. Here is all you need to know to about Open Source Hardware.
OK, it’s no longer called an S Pen, but the Samsung Chromebook Pro has a PEN. All all caps pen, so you know it’s a big deal, even if it does look exactly like an S Pen pulled from the cold dead fingers of the Galaxy Note 7 (too soon?). All jokes aside, this new Chromebook from Samsung actually looks really nice, and it can be picked up right now on Samsung Korea’s website.
Does Linux hold a chance to compete with Windows as a gaming operating system? Well, not exactly. Despite Steam’s work on SteamOS, it doesn’t seem like Linux is about to become a major gaming operating system any time soon. But it’s definitely growing, and Steam users understand its benefits. Perhaps by this time next year, Mac will be going head-to-head with Linux players in the Steam Hardware Survey.