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Twitter wants to fund an open source social media standard

Twitter has a new madcap scheme to try and deal with its growing population of propagandists, bots and common-or-garden jerks. The company is set to fund researchers looking to decentralise social media standards for a shared open-source alternative. The team name: Bluesky, which sounds a bit like a perpetual runner-up on The Apprentice to us.

“Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralised standard for social media,” wrote CEO Jack Dorsey on Twitter. “The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard.”

[Source: The Inquirer]

WireGuard to be merged with Linux net-next tree and will be available by default in Linux

On December 9, WireGuard announced that its secure VPN tunnel kernel code will soon be included in Linux net-next tree. This indicates, “WireGuard will finally reach the mainline kernel with the Linux 5.6 cycle kicking off in late January or early February!”, reports Phoronix. WireGuard is a layer 3 secure networking tunnel made specifically for the kernel, that aims to be much simpler and easier to audit than IPsec.

On December 8, Jason Donenfeld, WireGuard’s lead developer sent out patches for the net-next v2 WireGuard. “David Miller has already pulled in WireGuard as the first new feature in net-next that is destined for Linux 5.6 now that the 5.5 merge window is over,” the email thread mentions.

[Source: Packt Hub]

Nvidia Linux/BSD Graphics Driver Adds Support for Quadro T2000 with Max-Q Design

Nvidia released a new version of its long-lived proprietary graphics drivers for Linux, BSD, and Solaris-based operating systems that fixes various bugs from previous releases and adds support for a new GPU. Coming just three weeks after the Nvidia 440.36 driver, which introduced support for the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER graphics card, the Nvidia 440.44 graphics driver is here to add support for the Nvidia Quadro T2000 with Max-Q Design graphics card on Linux, BSD, and Solaris systems, as well as support for the __GL_SYNC_DISPLAY_DEVICE environment variable for Vulkan apps on GNU/Linux systems.

[Source: Softpedia]

7 ways to remember Linux commands

Some Linux commands are very easy to remember. The names may have only a couple letters and they often relate directly to what you want to do – like cd for changing directories or pwd for displaying the present working directory. Others can be very difficult to remember, especially if what you want to do relies on using a series of options.

So, let’s look at some commands and tricks that can help you remember commands that do just what you need them to do and that make issuing those commands so much easier.

[Source: Network World]

VirtualBox 6.1 Officially Released with Linux Kernel 5.4 Support, Improvements

Oracle released today the final version of the VirtualBox 6.1 open-source and cross-platform virtualization software for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems. VirtualBox 6.1 is the first major release in the VirtualBox 6 series of the popular virtualization platform and promises some exciting new features, such as support for the latest and greatest Linux 5.4 kernel series, the ability to import virtual machines from the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, as well as enhanced support for nested virtualization.

[Source: Softpedia]

Google Cloud gets a new family of cheaper general-purpose compute instances

Google Cloud today announced the launch of its new E2 family of compute instances. These new instances, which are meant for general-purpose workloads, offer a significant cost benefit, with saving of around 31% compared to the current N1 general-purpose instances. The E2 family runs on standard Intel and AMD chips, but as Google notes, they also use a custom CPU scheduler “that dynamically maps virtual CPU and memory to physical CPU and memory to maximize utilization.”

[Source: TechCrunch]

Companies Prefer Hybrid Cloud to Escape Public Cloud Data Grabbity

As the cloud native space is maturing, customers have started to discern the pros and cons of public cloud. They can see not just the facade of convenience and promised cost savings, but also the bills piling up and having to hand over critical business data to public cloud companies.

Red Hat recently conducted a global customer survey about this and results indicate that customers prefer hybrid cloud over public cloud. More than 31% respondents actually used the term hybrid cloud as their cloud strategy.

Rob Hirschfeld, founder and CEO of RackN and attendee of the recent Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference, noticed a similar tone. “Discussions and data from the Gartner IO Summit support that hybrid is preferred. There’s just so much existing infrastructure that it’s not practical to be ‘pure’ anything! It’s not so much that they want hybrid but that it’s the reality they are facing.”

There are many reasons why customers prefer hybrid over public cloud or pure private cloud. Red Hat says it boils down to three factors: data security, cost benefits, and data integration.

“Everyone accepts that cloud is secure; however, operators are starting to question how well they can control their data in cloud. Also, some of them don’t trust the cloud vendors, especially with some of the new analytics services,” said Hirschfeld.

Hybrid cloud enables customers to balance all three factors highlighted in the Red Hat survey. They can move pieces of their infrastructure between public and private cloud depending on the need. It lets them reap the benefits of public cloud without having to compromise their data.

Although 31% might seem like a small number, it doesn’t mean that the remaining 69% is running their workloads on public cloud. In fact, only 12% described themselves as having either a public cloud first strategy or a strategy to standardize on a single public cloud. Red Hat says 6% described their strategy as multi-cloud based on multiple public clouds, while 21% have a private cloud first strategy.

In particular, EMEA respondents described themselves as having a private cloud strategy, not hybrid. This region is concerned about handing over their data to US-based cloud companies, given its current political landscape. A simple embargo on your country will cut your entire business out of the public cloud run by Google, AWS, and Azure. Some of the biggest use cases in this region involve companies building their own private and public cloud using OpenStack.

Perhaps the most worrisome finding is that there are still companies without any concrete cloud strategy. Around 17% of the respondents were still working on a plan, while 12% respondents didn’t have any plan at all. Unfortunately, these companies are so far behind the curve that their future hangs in the balance. Hirschfeld warns that there is an urgency to cut their technical debt and embrace cloud now or they will find it hard to survive in the modern world.

In fact, Hirschfeld states that you need to have a cloud strategy even if you don’t use cloud. “The reality is that cloud is the default deployment choice for everything — from demos and proof-of-concept to training — because it’s predictable and accessible.” Teams must adapt to the patterns, even if they are not adopting.

The Red Hat survey found that companies do recognize the importance of building up technical skills. When asked to choose their top non-IT funding priorities, respondents chose both technical skills training (16%) and a digital transformation strategy (16%).

However, new technologies and jargon are emerging at such a fast pace that it’s virtually impossible to find experts (or even skilled professionals) in technologies that were open-sourced at CNCF just a month ago. The hype/adoption curve is so accelerated that it has gotten silly. Therefore, porting to the latest shiny requires evaluation.

“The reality is that new projects, even Kubernetes, still need baking time for scale operations. If there are not enough people with knowledge, then it’s OK (really, it’s required) to pick your battles or slow your adoption,” said Hirschfeld.

Devs: Open Source Is Growing Despite Challenges

Optimism about the future of open source is high among software developers worldwide. However, a growing number of devs worry that a lack of funding and corporate support threatens its sustainability. That is one of the key takeaways from DigitalOcean’s second annual open source survey, published in its “Currents, Open Source 2019,” seasonal report last week.

The online survey provides a snapshot of the state of open source, as well as a gauge of the inclusivity and friendliness of contributors. More than 5,800 developers from around the world participated. Overall, developers were optimistic about the state of the open source community.

[Source: LinuxInsider]

Canonical to Sponsor Microsoft’s First Windows Subsystem for Linux Conference

Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, announced that they will be an official sponsor of Microsoft’s first-ever Linux Conference for WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux).

Announced earlier this fall, WSLconf, the first Microsoft Linux Conference for WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), a Windows 10 feature that allows users to run various GNU/Linux distributions on top of their Windows installations, will take place next spring from March 10th to 11th, and it looks like Canonical will be there to give presentations and also sponsor the event.

[Source: Softpedia]

Meet The New Linux Desktop That Offers A Unique Twist On Ubuntu 19.10

Are you a fan of the Cinnamon Desktop used in Linux Mint, but prefer more recent software and the familiarity of the Ubuntu ecosystem? If so, there’s a brand new spin of Ubuntu 19.10 that may interest you. Say hello to Ubuntu Cinnamon (or, as Michael Tunnell from This Week in Linux cleverly dubbed it, “CinnaBuntu”).

Ubuntu Cinnamon is a brand new “remix” project that incorporates the Cinnamon Desktop Environment into Ubuntu. It’s not an official “flavor” of Ubuntu, but the developers are hoping that — like Ubuntu Budgie and Ubuntu MATE before it — it’s welcomed by both the community and Canonical to eventually join the ranks of the official Ubuntu family.

[Source: Forbes]