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Updated: 57 min 5 sec ago

7 open source tools to make literature reviews easy

Tue, 2018-06-12 10:20

A good literature review is critical for academic research in any field, whether it is for a research article, a critical review for coursework, or a dissertation. In a recent article, I presented detailed steps for doing a literature review using open source software.

The following is a brief summary of seven free and open source software tools described in that article that will make your next literature review much easier.

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Core i7 8700K vs. Ryzen 7 2700X For Vulkan Gaming With Thrones of Britannia

Tue, 2018-06-12 10:18

Published this weekend was a 25-way Linux graphics card comparison for the newest major Linux game release, A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, that was released natively for Linux days ago by Feral Interactive and ported from Direct3D to Vulkan in the process. As a result of premium requests, here are some additional tests for this Linux game when comparing the performance on Intel Core i7 8700K and Ryzen 7 2700X processors.

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SparkyLinux 5.4 "Nibiru" Operating System Released Based on Debian 10 "Buster"

Tue, 2018-06-12 10:13

Based on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system, which should see the light of day in mid-2019, the SparkyLinux 5.4 update is here three months after the SparkyLinux 5.3 release announced in mid-March 2018 to continue the SparkyLinux 5 "Nibiru" rolling series, and it's available only as LXQt, MinimalGUI, and MinimalCLI editions.

"Sparky 5.4 offers a fully featured operating system with a lightweight LXQt desktop environment; and minimal images of MinimalGUI (Openbox) and MinimalCLI (text mode) which lets you install the base system with a desktop of your choice with a minimal set of applications, via the Sparky Advanced Installer," reads today's announcement.

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CentOS-Based NethServer 7.5 Linux OS Launches with New Mail Server, NextCloud 13

Tue, 2018-06-12 10:11

Based on the underlying mechanisms of the CentOS Linux 7.5 operating system, which in turn is based on Red Had Enterprise Linux 7.5 operating system, NethServer 7.5 is here more than six months after version 7.4 released last October and introduces numerous new features and enhancements.

Highlights of the NethServer 7.5 release include a new NethServer Subscription by Nethesis that promises to give users access to both the Stable Updates repository and professional support services they might need for NethServer deployments, as well as an all-new mail server and spam filtering system based on Rspamd.

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Latest ReSpeaker voice board moves to Rockchip RK3229

Tue, 2018-06-12 10:05

Seeed’s v.2.0 version of its ReSpeaker Core mic array board advances to a Debian-driven, quad- A7 Rockchip RK3229 and offers a 6x mic array with a 16-meter wake-word range.

Seeed’s $99 ReSpeaker Core v2.0 is a major upgrade to its ReSpeaker far-field voice control SBC, replacing the MIPS-based Mediatek MT7688 SoC running OpenWrt Linux with an up to 1.5GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A7 Rockchip RK3229. The RK3229 is implemented via an Axol Core module while the underlying baseboard provides I/O including HDMI 2.0 and a six-mic array, down from the 7-mic array on the original ReSpeaker. The board supports voice control features including smart speakers, voice assistants, voice conferencing, and talking robots.

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systemd-free Debian-based Devuan 2.0 ASCII has been released

Tue, 2018-06-12 09:32

Debian based Devuan 2.0 has been released. Devuan doesn’t use systemd and the new release allows you to choose between SysVinit and OpenRC init systems.

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today's leftovers

Mon, 2018-06-11 23:04

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OSS Leftovers

Mon, 2018-06-11 23:03
  • Open source serverless: Fission, Fn, Kubeless, and OpenWhisk

    The word “serverless” is a beguiling buzzword if there ever was one because servers are kind of pain. All of those patches for those security holes that are described in a bazillion words in a million emails sitting in your inbox? If you could get rid of a server, you could forget about those patches. All of those ports on the firewalls that you’ve got to remember to keep closed? They won’t be your worry anymore either. The serverless world will set you free. At least that’s what the word seems to promise.

    The serverless world looks relaxed and full of time to devote to your one true mission: whatever your suits tell you it should be. But don’t be fooled. You’ll pay for this freedom from worry by sacrificing your freedom to wander or change. The serverless platforms in the Amazon, Microsoft, and Google clouds deliver their magic through a proprietary interface and every time you offload some of your worries into their waiting arms, you become addicted. Absorbed by the Borg. “Owned” is much too strong a word, but you may find it just as hard to escape.

  • Databricks Releases Open Source Machine Learning Platform MLflow Aimed To Standardize ML Workflows

    San Francisco headquartered Databricks that provides a unified analytics platform released MLflow, a new open source project that strives to provide some standardization to the complex processes that machine learning engineers face during the course of building, testing, and deploying machine learning models. Announcing the release of the open source platform, CTO Matei Zaharia, also the creator of Apache Spark noted that even though there are a number of open source tools that cover each and every phase of the machine learning ifecycle, such as data preparation and model training, it is hard to track experiments and reproduce the results.

  • Linux Audio Conference videos available

    The 2018 Linux Audio Conference has just concluded in Berlin. A substantial set of videos of talks from the event has already been published, with the rest slated to appear in the near future.

  • Our past work with Facebook

    Over the last three months, Mozilla has been a vocal critic of Facebook’s practices with respect to its lack of user transparency. Throughout this time we’ve engaged with Facebook directly about this and have continued to comment publicly as the story about Facebook’s data practices evolves.

    Mozilla Corporation recently received two termination notices from Facebook about work that we did with them in the past. These appear to be part of Facebook’s broader effort to clean up its third-party developer ecosystem. This is good – we suspect that we weren’t the only ones receiving these notices. Still, the notices, and recent reporting of Facebook data sharing with device makers, prompted us to take a closer look at our past relationships with the company and we think it is important to talk about what we found.

  • Mozilla All Hands

    Today, from across the world, Mozillians are gathering in San Francisco for our six-monthly All Hands.

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More Links on GNU/Linux-Powered Summit Supercomputer

Mon, 2018-06-11 23:00
  • ORNL Launches Summit Supercomputer

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory today unveiled Summit as the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer.

    With a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second—or 200 petaflops, Summit will be eight times more powerful than ORNL’s previous top-ranked system, Titan. For certain scientific applications, Summit will also be capable of more than three billion billion mixed precision calculations per second, or 3.3 exaops. Summit will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, advanced materials and artificial intelligence (AI), among other domains, enabling scientific discoveries that were previously impractical or impossible.

  • America Unveils the World’s Fastest Supercomputer (And Yes: It Runs Linux)

    The United States has taken the shrink-wrap off Summit, its all-new $200 million supercomputer.

    And boy is it quick.

    Summit is now the fastest supercomputer in the America and the fastest supercomputer in the world, toppling¹ China’s ‘Sunway TaihuLight‘ system from the apex of petaflop achievement.

    But it gets even better.

  • Andrew Hutton of the OLS Needs Your Help, US Debuts World's Fastest Supercomputer, FCC's Repeal of Net Neutrality Goes into Effect Today and More

    The US now has the world's fastest supercomputer, named Summit, reclaiming its "speediest computer on earth" title from China and its Sunway TaihuLight system, OMG Ubuntu reports. And of course, the Summit, which boasts 200 petaflops at peak performance, runs Linux—RHEL to be exact. See the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory's post for more details.

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ADB Exploit

Mon, 2018-06-11 22:57
  • ADB Exploit Leaves Thousands Of Android Devices Exposed To Attackers

    A network worm has surfaced on Android devices that exploits Android Debug Bridge (ADB) feature of the mobile OS – a feature that is enabled by default by phone manufacturers.

    Security researcher Kevin Beaumont revealed this issue in a blog post stating that ADB is completely unauthenticated and thousands of Android devices connected to the internet are currently being exploited through this vulnerability.

  • Root Bridge — how thousands of internet connected Android devices now have no security, and are being exploited by criminals.

    Android has a feature called Android Debug Bridge (ADB for short) which allows developers to communicate with a device remotely, to execute commands and fully control the device.

  • Tens of Thousands of Android Devices Are Exposing Their Debug Port

    The security community raised the alarm regarding a serious issue last week —that of Android devices shipping with their debug port open to remote connections.

    The issue is not new, being first spotted by the team at Qihoo 360 Netlab in February, this year, when they detected an Android worm that was spreading from Android device to Android device, infecting them with a cryptocurrency miner named ADB.Miner.

    The ADB.Miner worm exploited the Android Debug Bridge (ADB), a feature of the Android OS used for troubleshooting faulty devices.

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Programming Leftovers

Mon, 2018-06-11 22:55
  • This Week in Numbers: Managing JavaScript Packages with NPM and Yarn

    This week we analyze more data from the Node.js Foundation‘s user survey. Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of survey respondents said they use a package manager. NPM was used by 60 percent and Yarn cited by 13 percent. Since Yarn sits on top of NPM, in reality these respondents are referring to an interface or tool they actually use day-to-day. Yarn’s use rose 44 percent compared to last year’s study.

  • RcppZiggurat 0.1.5

    A maintenance release 0.1.5 of RcppZiggurat is now on the CRAN network for R.

  • RcppGSL 0.3.6

    A maintenance update 0.3.6 of RcppGSL is now on CRAN. The RcppGSL package provides an interface from R to the GNU GSL using the Rcpp package.

  • A Gentle Intro to PLT

    Programming Language Theory (PLT) is an extremely rich subject with a relatively high bar to entry. Most of the literature is written for a reader already well versed in the subject; it’s hard to find a tractable introduction. This post will take you through the construction of a simplistic toy programming language (and an interpreter for it) from first principles. I assume no knowledge on your part, aside from general programming experience.

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Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

Mon, 2018-06-11 22:06

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Phoronix on Graphics, Benchmarks

Mon, 2018-06-11 22:04
  • VirGL Now Capable Of OpenGL 4.1 With Latest Mesa

    The VirGL stack for offering OpenGL hardware acceleration to guest virtual machines with KVM is now capable of utilizing OpenGL 4.1.

    David Airlie who has been leading the VirGL cause the past few years for OpenGL support within VMs has got the code to the stage of OpenGL 4.1 support. The last big ticket item was supporting ARB_gpu_shader_fp64.

  • Vulkan 1.1.77 Released With Clarifications & Fixes

    Kicking off a new week is the Vulkan 1.1.77 specification update.

  • A Look At How The AMD EPYC Linux Performance Has Evolved Over The Past Year

    This month marks one year since AMD returned to delivering high-performance server CPUs with the debut of their EPYC 7000 series processor line-up. It's been a triumphant period for AMD with the successes over the past year of their EPYC family. Over the past year, the Linux support has continued to improve with several EPYC/Zen CPU optimizations, ongoing Zen compiler tuning, CPU temperature monitoring support within the k10temp driver, and general improvements to the Linux kernel that have also helped out EPYC. In this article is a comparison of a "2017" Linux software stack as was common last year to the performance now possible if using the bleeding-edge software components. These Linux benchmarks were done with the EPYC 7351P, 7401P, and 7601 processors.

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Software: Screen, OnionShare, Cryptomator, Weblate, DesignEvo

Mon, 2018-06-11 22:00
  • How To Use Linux Screen

    Have you ever faced the situation where you perform a long-running task on a remote machine and suddenly your connection drops, the SSH session is terminated and your work is lost. Well it has happened to all of us at some point, hasn’t it? Luckily, there is a utility called screen that allows us to the resume our sessions.

  • OnionShare – Share Files Of Any Size Securely And Anonymously

    OnionShare is a free, open source file sharing application that can used to share files or folders of any size securely and anonymously over Internet. It works along with Tor browser which is used to securely and anonymously browse Internet. OnionShare will generate an unguessable and random-looking URL for the files or folders you want to share with others. It doesn’t need any centralized web server or any third party services. All operations will be done within TOR network and nobody can track what you’re going to share or download, except the recipient of course.


  • Cryptomator Secures Your Cloud Storage Data (Open Source, Multi-Platform Client-Side Encryption Tool)

    Cryptomator is a free and open source software tool that provides client-side encryption for your cloud storage files, available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.

    The tool, which is very easy to use, supports any cloud storage provider that synchronizes with a local directory, so it works with Dropbox, Google Drive (Google Backup and Sync or whatever Google calls it nowadays), OneDrive, ownCloud, and so on.

  • Weblate 3.0.1

    Weblate 3.0 has been released today. It contains several bug fixes, most importantly possible migration issue on users when migrating from 2.20. There was no data corruption, just some of the foreign keys were possibly not properly migrated. Upgrading from 3.0 to 3.0.1 will fix this as well as going directly from 2.20 to 3.0.1.

  • DesignEvo online logo maker - Art up your brand

    DesignEvo logo maker is an okay piece of software. It's easy and fun to use, although you need a bit of artistic flair to achieve good results. The app combines simplicity with power features in a good way, and the available catalog of shapes and fonts is quite impressive. A great starting pointing for online logo creation.

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GNU: GCC and Unifont Updates

Mon, 2018-06-11 21:00
  • MIPS Finally Posts GCC Compiler Patch For P6600 Series, But Might Be Rejected

    The MIPS P6600 processor was announced in 2015 as one of the Warrior Processors based upon MIPS64 Release 6. The P6600 is based on a 28nm process, clock speeds up to 2.0GHz, and is the fastest performing of the MIPS Warrior cores. Only now has MIPS posted an enablement patch for the MIPS P6600 with GCC.

    At the start of June a MIPS Technologies engineer posted the GCC patch for bringing up the P6600 and allowing -march=p6600. But even though this patch is here three years later, at this point it's not going to be accepted.

  • Unifont 11.0.01 Released - Upgrade Recommende

    Unifont 11.0.01 was released on 5 June 2018, coinciding with the formal release of Unicode 11.0.0 by The Unicode Consortium.

    I wanted to check over this release before recommending that GNU/Linux distributions incorporate it. So far there only appears to be one new bug added: U+1C90 has an extra vertical line added to it, making the character double-width instead of single-width. This will be fixed in the next release. Unifont 10.0.x went through 7 updates in about half a year. I felt that was not stable enough for those trying to maintain GNU/Linux distributions, so I did not keep recommending that each update, with minor changes from one to the next, be propagated. I plan to have more stability in Unifont 11.0.x.

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Wear OS running Samsung watches on the wrist of Samsung employees weren’t made by Samsung

Mon, 2018-06-11 20:59

The rumors revolving around Samsung’s next smartwatch, the Gear S4 (which may not be its final name after all) don’t seem to be slowing down at the moment. The main agenda here is whether the watch would run Samsung’s Tizen OS, or will Samsung turn to Wear OS now.

Late in May, popular leakster, Evan Blass, claimed of seeing Wear OS-powered Samsung smartwatches on the wrists of its employees. Considering Blass’ track record with leaks, we’re bound to believe that Samsung indeed has turned to Wear OS for its next smartwatch. Samsung trademarking the Galaxy Watch moniker also added to the excitement.

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Openwashing: Ericsson, Microsoft, Intel and AchieveDE

Mon, 2018-06-11 20:56
  • Ericsson's Chris Price on the need for collaboration between open source communities and projects

    The open source community is a huge collection of often inter-related projects and initiatives, so how can telcos and their vendor partners best engage and benefit? In addition to his Ericsson role, Chris Price is also a Board Member of both the Linux Foundation and the OpenStack Foundation, so is ideally placed to offer advice.

  • What Is GitLab & Why Do So Many People Flee To It After The Purchase Of GitHub By Microsoft?

    After the bombing in the media about the sounded purchase, in GitLab they began to receive more than 10 times the normal amount of repositories that they usually receive. From their Twitter account, they commented how they work to try to deal with the new traffic and invite to monitor the progress of the work.

  • Linux Foundation: Microsoft's GitHub buy is a win for open source [Ed: LF bought by Microsoft, too]

    Some open-source adherents weren't happy about Microsoft snapping up GitHub, the world's most popular code-hosting repository, but the Linux Foundation reckons it's a win for open source.

    "This is pretty good news for the world of open source, and we should celebrate Microsoft's smart move," wrote Jim Zemlin, the executive director at the Linux Foundation.

    Zemlin has taken potshots at Microsoft over the years for its past attacks on Linux and the open-source community. He acknowledged that there are still "small pockets of deep mistrust" of Microsoft but encouraged the community to get with the times.

  • Crack Open ACRN – A Device Hypervisor Designed for IoT [Ed: LF now being used for pure marketing for OSDL founding member Intel; remember that the marketing manager at LF (McPherson) gets higher salary than Torvalds!]

    As the Internet of Things has grown in scale, IoT developers are increasingly expected to support a range of hardware resources, operating systems, and software tools/applications. This is a challenge given many connected devices are size-constrained. Virtualization can help meet these broad needs, but existing options don’t offer the right mix of size, flexibility, and functionality for IoT development.

  • Linux: Microsoft Gives in and Becomes a Believer with Introduction of a Custom Linux-Powered Chip [Ed: It's not a "Linux-Powered Chip" and Dick Weisinger should know better. It's a chip they can run Linux on for Linuxwashing and openwashing purposes
  • Open-source PLC and HMI library makes headway

    AchieveDE, an integrator and software distributor in Houston, created all of the SiVArc rules, tested them and then added them to the library for others to utilize this powerful feature. Now an engineer can start with the Siemens Open Library, utilize tested function blocks for control of many standard objects in industry, as well as automatically generate HMI icons and faceplates that have been properly mapped to the PLC code.

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The sad state of KDE Discover and GNOME Software on openSUSE Leap 15

Mon, 2018-06-11 19:38

Software centers have become very important. Linux was the first place where you could install and update all software in one place, by using package managers. In openSUSE that central place is the YaST Software Manager. Other distributions, such as Ubuntu, used applications like the Synaptic package manager. The user experience of these package managers is not very user friendly, as they show many technical packages / details, which most users will not understand.

In 2008, Apple introduced the iOS App Store. This changed the public perception on how software centers should work. Everything was now in one place, neatly organized into categories. The screenshots, descriptions and ratings made it easy to learn about new software. And installation was a breeze. Google followed this trend by announcing Android Market later in 2008. Apple introduced the App Store for Mac OSX in 2010. Google re-branded the Android Market in 2012 to Google Play store. And in the same year, Microsoft introduced the Windows Store for Windows 8. This store was re-branded in 2017 to the Microsoft Store.

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