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Wednesday - January 31, 2018
Mycroft AI earlier this week announced that its Mark II smart speaker achieved full funding on Kickstarter in just 6.5 hours. As of Wednesday, pledges reached more than three times its $50K goal -- with 23 days remaining in the campaign. The Mark II is positioned as an open source alternative to the dominant Amazon Echo line of smart speakers and its main challenger, the Google Home device. [More...]

Saturday - January 27, 2018
SentinelOne has released Blacksmith, a free Linux tool that can detect Meltdown vulnerability exploitation attempts. The company has been working on a similar tool to detect Spectre vulnerability attacks. Though free, Blacksmith is not open source. SentinelOne decided to expedite its development in-house to save time, said Raj Rajamani, vice president of product management. [More...]

Thursday - January 25, 2018
SolydXK is a Debian-based Linux distribution that comes with a choice of the Xfce or KDE desktop. The latest edition of SolydXK, released this month, provides a state-of-the-art Linux platform. Since I first reviewed the SoldXK distro back in 2013, it has grown into a reputable Linux offering built around two popular computing options. Those two desktop options drew me to the Linux OS years ago. [More...]

Tuesday - January 23, 2018
Quest Software on Monday announced a series of updates to its Toad open source database software applications, including new versions of its Toad Edge, Toad Data Point and Toad Intelligence Central products. After launching the first version of Toad Edge last summer, the company began seeing an uptick in downloads of freeware that supported MySQL on its Toad World community site. [More...]

Saturday - January 20, 2018
Barcelona city officials have voted to shut the door on Microsoft Windows in favor of the Linux operating system and open source technology. The city hopes to save money from proprietary software license fees and to build a specialized library of open source applications targeting the needs of government workers. Its goal is to encourage specialized open source solutions throughout governmental agencies in Spain. [More...]

Thursday - January 18, 2018
IBM and Maersk have announced a joint venture to create a platform based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, with the goal of creating huge efficiencies in the global supply chain. The goal is to use blockchain tech provide a more efficient method of standardizing shipping logistics. The partnership "has the potential to remake the shipping sector landscape," said Brian Behlendorf of The Linux Foundation. [More...]

Saturday - January 13, 2018
Many in the open source community worked feverishly this week to respond to heightened fears that software updates to fix the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities would put millions of computers at risk of slowdowns or even total disability. Updated kernels were released for mitigation of Meltdown variant 3, or CVE-2017-5754, for X86-64 architecture, said Canonical VP Dean Henrichsmeyer. [More...]

Thursday - January 11, 2018
GeckoLinux offers both seasoned users and new distro adopters an easy way to try an openSuse-based spin that is loaded with features and an ample inventory of the leading Linux desktops. The developer released a major update of GeckoLinux earlier this week. I enjoyed testing the beta version last fall, and I was even more pleased with the added embellishments packed into this final version. [More...]

Tuesday - January 9, 2018
As much as I love to poke at the inner workings of my computer, I'll admit that until recently, I didn't give much thought to which version of the Linux kernel my desktop system was running. For most desktop users, this isn't all that odd. Compatibility of kernel modules is often critical for servers and production systems, but day-to-day desktop usage doesn't change much from update to update. [More...]

Friday - January 5, 2018
A renowned Linux innovator has developed a new mobile operating system, called "Project eelo," in an effort to provide a level of data privacy that traditional Android and iOS devices fail to offer. The new eelo system will allow mobile phone users to regain control over their personal information at a price they can afford, said Gael Duval, who created Mandrake Linux back in 1998. [More...]

Wednesday - January 3, 2018
A design flaw in all Intel chips produced in the last decade is responsible for a vulnerability that puts Linux, Windows and macOS-powered computers at risk, according to multiple press reports. The flaw reportedly is in the kernel that controls the chip performance, allowing commonly used programs to access the contents and layout of a computer's protected kernel memory areas. [More...]

Wednesday - December 27, 2017
SoftMaker Office could be a first-class professional-strength replacement for Microsoft Office on the Linux desktop. The Linux OS has its share of lightweight word processors and a few nearly worthy standalone spreadsheet apps, but very few high-end integrated office suites exist for Linux users. Generally, Linux office suites lack a really solid slide presentation creation tool. [More...]

Friday - December 22, 2017
A new Apache Struts campaign that researchers named "Zealot" has come to light in recent weeks. Zealot loads Windows or Linux-based machines by installing a miner for Monero, which has become one of the hottest cryptocurrencies used in recent malware attacks. Zealot uses NSA-linked EternalBlue and EternalSynergy exploits, according to the F5 Labs researchers who discovered the campaign. [More...]

Wednesday - December 20, 2017
Open Garden has announced the launch of a new P2P service that allows users to share Internet connections and unused plan data for free, with compensation in a new cryptocurrency as an extra incentive. The company is offering the service through an app that can be downloaded from Google Play. The system requires no hardware other than an Android phone to participate in the Internet access sharing. [More...]

Wednesday - December 13, 2017
ExpressVPN on Tuesday launched a suite of open source tools that let users test for vulnerabilities that can compromise privacy and security in virtual private networks. Released under an open source MIT License, they are the first-ever public tools to allow automated testing for leaks on VPNs, the company said. The tools are written primarily in Python, and available for download on Github. [More...]

Tuesday - December 12, 2017
Newcomer ArchMerge Linux offers a big change for the better to those switching from the Debian Linux lineage to the Arch Linux infrastructure. ArchMerge Linux is a recent spinoff of ArchLabs Linux, which is a step up from most Arch Linux offerings in terms of installation and usability. Arch Linux distros are notorious for their challenging installation and software management processes. [More...]

Saturday - December 9, 2017
Microsoft has launched a raft of new Kubernetes-related projects, demonstrating its growing commitment to the technology. Among them are a new version of its experimental Azure Container Instances for Kubernetes, the Virtual Kubelet. Microsoft also entered a collaboration with Heptio on a new disaster recovery solution. The Virtual Kubelet builds on Microsoft's earlier ACI announcement. [More...]

Wednesday - December 6, 2017
CoreOS on Tuesday announced the release of Tectonic 1.8, a Kubernetes container management platform. Tectonic enables enterprises to deploy key automation infrastructure components that function like managed cloud services without cloud vendor lock-in. The CoreOS Open Cloud Services Catalog offers an alternative to cloud vendors' proprietary services and APIs. [More...]

Thursday - November 30, 2017
Four big tech players this week moved to improve their handling of open source software licensing violations. Red Hat, Google, Facebook and IBM said they would apply error standards in GNU GPLv3 to all of their open source licensing, even licenses granted under older GPL agreements. "This will make everything consistent with GPLv3," said IP attorney Lawrence Rosen. [More...]

Saturday - November 25, 2017
AWS has become the latest tech firm to join the deep learning community's collaboration on the Open Neural Network Exchange, recently launched to advance AI in a frictionless and interoperable environment. Facebook and Microsoft led the effort. AWS made its open source Python package, ONNX-MxNet, available as a deep learning framework that offers APIs across multiple languages. [More...]

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How do you feel about accidents that occur when self-driving vehicles are being tested?
Self-driving vehicles should be banned -- one death is one too many.
Autonomous vehicles could save thousands of lives -- the tests should continue.
Companies with bad safety records should have to stop testing.
Accidents happen -- we should investigate and learn from them.
The tests are pointless -- most people will never trust software and sensors.
Most injuries and fatalities in self-driving auto tests are due to human error.