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What a Linux Desktop Does Better
February 23, 2017
After I resolved to adopt Linux, my confidence grew slowly but surely. Security-oriented considerations were compelling enough to convince me to switch, but I soon discovered many more advantages to the Linux desktop. For those still unsure about making the transition, or those who have done so but may not know everything their system can do, I'll showcase here some of the Linux desktop's advantages.
Microsoft Makes VR Drone Fight Simulator Available on GitHub
February 21, 2017
Microsoft has introduced an open source virtual reality toolkit for the training of autonomous drones. The beta software became available on GitHub last week. The toolkit is designed to allow developers to "teach" drones how to navigate the real world by recreating conditions such as shadows, reflections and even objects that might confuse a device's on-board sensors.
LibreOffice Update Offers Fresh Experience
February 2, 2017
The Document Foundation on Wednesday announced the general availability of LibreOffice 5.3, one of the office suite's most feature-rich upgrades since 2010, when it forked from OpenOffice at version 3.3. Dubbed "5.3 Fresh," this latest release takes the development of LibreOffice in a new direction with a focus on updating the user experience, according to Italo Vignoli of the Document Foundation.
Wine 2.0's New Delights Uncorked
January 27, 2017
Wine developers have announced the release of stable version Wine 2.0. The release brings many fixes and some new functionality, along with a major change in future release schedules. The devs have tweaked Wine's ability to run Windows programs within the Linux operating system in this release, which is the culmination of more than a year of effort. It includes some 6,600 individual changes.
Asus Tinker Board Joins Raspberry Pi on the Bargain Table
January 25, 2017
Just when you thought Raspberry Pi couldn't be knocked from its market-leading perch, along comes Asus with a rival device that may give the Pi a run for its relatively little money. Asus just launched its own low-cost computer, the Tinker Board, which is being sold in the UK and Europe for about $57. Its features could interest open source enthusiasts in doing a little comparison shopping.
FastComputer: Fussy but Fixable
January 20, 2017
FastComputer Linux is a disappointing experience that almost fails. It is poorly designed, has little community support, and lacks its own home base and identity, all of which contribute to an identity crisis. Its home -- on Sourceforge.com -- lacks much in attractiveness, as does the distro. The Linux OS offers developers and users choice among desktop options and OS standards.
Red Hat's OpenShift Container Platform Expands Cloud Options
January 18, 2017
Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4. This latest version helps organizations better embrace new Linux container technologies that can deliver innovative business applications and services without sacrificing existing IT investments. It offers dynamic storage provisioning and multitenancy for both traditional and cloud-native applications.
New Raspberry Pi Release Targets Industry, IoT
January 17, 2017
The Raspberry Pi Foundation on Monday launched its long-awaited industrial strength Compute Module 3. The latest version of the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer, it is designed for more robust manufacturing and technical demand uses than prior versions, which target consumer and basic business needs. The idea behind the new module is to provide a cost-effective way to produce customized products.
Google, FCA Test-Drive New Open Source Infotainment System
January 5, 2017
Google and FCA this week showcased a new in-auto infotainment platform at CES in Las Vegas. The open source system combines Uconnect with Android Auto. The companies demonstrated their concept design inside a Chrysler 300 sedan at the show. The integration of Android and Uconnect enables a system built for connectivity and compatibility with the universe of popular Android applications.
Docker Delivers Containerd to Open Source Community
December 16, 2016
Docker on Wednesday announced that it will spin out containerd, a key component of its Docker Engine, for open source use. Containerd will provide an open, stable and extensible base for building non-Docker products and container solutions, the company said. Some of the top cloud providers have committed to making contributions to the project, giving it instant credibility within the community.
CrateDB Launches Machine Data Innovations
December 14, 2016
Crate.io has announced the general availability of the first non-beta release of CrateDB 1.0, an open source SQL database that enables real-time analytics for machine data applications. CrateDB is an SQL database alternative to NOSQL machine data management solutions. It gives mainstream SQL developers access to machine data applications that previously were available only using NoSQL solutions.
Torvalds Releases Hefty Linux Kernel Update
December 13, 2016
Linus Torvalds this weekend announced Linux 4.9, which offers a number of significant upgrades to the kernel. "I'm pretty sure this is the biggest release we've ever had, at least in terms of commits," Torvalds wrote. "If you look at the number of lines changed, we've had bigger releases in the past but they've tended to be due to specific issues."
New Smartwatch OS Debuts on GitHub
December 9, 2016
Can a new smartwatch operating system based on Linux breathe some new life into the smart wearables market? Florent Revest hopes so. Revest, a French computer science student, on Wednesday announced the alpha release of AsteroidOS, an open source operating system that will run on several Android smartwatch models. Revest has been working on his OS for two years.
AI Platforms Welcome Devs With Open Arms
December 6, 2016
Two leaders in the field of artificial intelligence have announced that they're open-sourcing their AI platforms. After investing in building rich simulated environments to serve as laboratories for AI research, Google's DeepMind Lab said it would open the platform for the broader research community's use. DeepMind has "only barely scratched the surface of what is possible," the team said.
Docker, Canonical Team on Enterprise Support
December 1, 2016
Docker and Canonical on Wednesday announced a commercial agreement to integrate support for Docker Engine. The partnership gives Canonical customers a single path for support of the Ubuntu operating system and CS Docker Engine in enterprise Docker operations. It provides a streamlined operations and support experience for joint customers by splitting the service obligations in four ways.
Microsoft Goes All In for Linux
November 18, 2016
While not quite at the level of a parting of the waters, the news that Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation may seem miraculous to those aware of the past enmity between the company and the open source community. Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation as a platinum member, it announced Wednesday at its Microsoft Connect conference in New York.
Juju Offers Speedy Model-Driven Software Approach
November 17, 2016
The Juju cloud platform developed by Canonical integrates a wide variety of cloud services and servers on both public and private clouds using an innovative model-driven software approach. That success has changed fundamentally the nature of software operations as organizations move to cloud-scale services, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical.
AWS Gives Customers On-Premises Linux Option
November 10, 2016
Amazon Web Services recently expanded its menu of cloud services to give customers the option of using the Amazon Linux AMI on premises. Customers can use the Amazon Container Image on premises for the purpose of developing and testing workloads, AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr explained. The AMI provides a stable, secure and high-performance application environment.
Ubuntu Releases IoT Core Platform
November 7, 2016
Canonical has released Ubuntu Core 16 for the Internet of Things to provide enhanced security and app store support for connected devices. The platform provides regular security updates and gives independent software vendors, manufacturers and enterprises control of system updates. Ubuntu Core 16 uses Ubuntu's snap packages technology to ensure that IoT applications access only necessary data.
Microsoft Open Sources AI Toolkit
October 28, 2016
Microsoft has released an updated version of its Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit as an open source Beta. The deep learning system is used to speed advances in areas such as speech and image recognition and search relevance on CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. It also works with Microsoft's Azure GPU offering. The toolkit's developers initially were looking for a tool to speed up and improve their own research.
Antique Kernel Flaw Opens Door to New Dirty Cow Exploit
October 25, 2016
A Linux security vulnerability first discovered more than a decade ago once again poses a threat, Red Hat warned last week, as an exploit that could allow attackers to gain enhanced privileges on affected computers has turned up in the wild. Users need to take steps to patch their systems to prevent the exploit, known as "Dirty Cow," from granting access to unprivileged attackers.
Linux Foundation Spurs JavaScript Development
October 21, 2016
The Linux Foundation earlier this week announced the addition of the JS Foundation as a Linux Foundation project. The move is an effort to inject new energy into the JavaScript developer community. By rebranding the former JQuery foundation as the JS Foundation and bringing it under the Linux umbrella, officials hope to create some stability and build critical mass.
Cyanogen's Android Alternative Goes Modular
October 12, 2016
Cyanogen on Tuesday announced that it was going modular. Future releases of its open source Android alternative will not support a full stack of the Android OS. The new modular setup will bring a slew of benefits to phone makers and developers, according to Cyanogen. "The new partnership program offers smartphone manufacturers greater freedom and opportunity," noted Cyanogen CEO Lior Tal.
Google's New Fonts Chip Away at Written Language Barriers
October 10, 2016
Project Noto, one of Google's most ambitious undertakings ever, has reached a milestone: Noto now supports 800 languages and 100 writing scripts. Google and Monotype launched the open source initiative to create a typeface family that supports all the languages in the world, even rarely used languages. Both serif and sans serif letters with up to eight weights are supported.
Torvalds Blows Stack Over Buggy New Kernel
October 7, 2016
Linux creator Linus Torvalds this week apologized for including in the just-released Linux 4.8 kernel a bug fix that crashed it. The bug the dev was trying to fix has existed since Linux 3.15, "but the fix is clearly worse than the bug ... since that original bug has never killed my machine," Torvalds wrote. Kernel work, like brain surgery, is not foolproof, noted tech analyst Al Hilwa.
GE, Bosch Combine Resources to Bolster IoT
September 30, 2016
GE and Bosch Software Innovations have partnered to jump-start the development of an open source Internet of Things platform. Open source will encourage greater interoperability and application development, the companies said. Both firms have sought help from the Eclipse Foundation to speed up the process. The companies will create a core IoT stack comprised of open source software.
Lenovo Courts Devs WIth Moto Z Source Code Release
September 26, 2016
Lenovo, which owns Motorola, last week released the kernel source code for the Moto Z Droid smartphone. The move follows this summer's posting of the Moto Z Droid Moto Mods Development Kit and Moto Mods on Github. This is the first kernel source code made available for the Moto Z device family. Its release seems to be another step in Lenovo's attempt to get devs to build an ecosystem around it.
Udacity Fuels Autonomous Vehicle Engineering Dreams
September 15, 2016
Online education company Udacity on Tuesday introduced a new "nanodegree" program in self-driving auto engineering. President Sebastian Thrun made the announcement. The goal is to build a crowdsourced, open source self-driving car, he said. Students will learn the skills and techniques used by self-driving car teams at the most innovative companies in the world, Udacity has promised.
Arya.ai's Braid Aims to Weave Together Neural Network Components
September 13, 2016
Startup Arya.ai on Monday introduced Braid, an open source tool available for free to companies developing neural networks. Braid is a flexible, customizable, modular meta-framework that works with operating systems for deep learning, according to the company. It is designed for rapid development and to support arbitrary network designs. It is simple and scalable, Arya.ai said.
25 Years of Linux: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been
August 25, 2016
Happy Birthday Linux! You're 25! When Linux was born on Aug. 25, 1991, it was little more than a hobby for 21-year old Linus Torvald. Today the Linux community is estimated to be upwards of 86 million users strong. It has become the backbone of large enterprises, and it is installed in government systems and embedded in devices worldwide. It has grown into a major mainstream computing platform.
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How worried are you about a global cyberwar?
Extremely -- it could cost as many lives as conventional warfare.
Very -- We're already engaged, and we're losing.
Somewhat -- but I have confidence that the U.S. ultimately would prevail.
Not very -- it could cause mass confusion but it wouldn't last long.
Not at all -- if it helps us to avoid nuclear warfare, I'd welcome it.