Firefox to Block Tracking by Default, ZeroPhone Project Coming Soon, Google Code-in 2018, OpenStack Releases Version 18 "Rocky" and Greg Kroah-Hartman on Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

3 weeks 3 days ago

News briefs for August 31, 2018.

Mozilla yesterday announced a different approach to anti-tracking on the internet. Mozilla's new approach means that "in the near future, Firefox will—by default—protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give our users more choice over what information they share with sites." In order to accomplish this, Mozilla has three key initiatives: improve page load performance, remove cross-site tracking and mitigate harmful practices.

ZeroPhone, an "open-source Linux-powered $50 smartphone, is being launched on Crowd Supply. The project is coming soon, and according to its description, "It has no carrier locks, bloated apps, or data mining, and it doesn't depend on big companies." In addition, it's based on Raspberry Pi Zero, ESP8266 and Arduino.

Google announces its Google Code-in (GCI) 2018 contest. The contest begins October 23, 2018 and ends December 12, 2018, and "students ages 13–17 from around the world can learn about open source development by working on real open source projects, with mentorship from active developers." See the Google Code-in 2018 site for information for both students and mentoring organizations.

OpenStack released Rocky, version 18, of the open-source cloud infrastructure software yesterday. According to the release statement, the two main new features are "refinements to Ironic (the bare metal provisioning service) and fast forward upgrades". In addition, version 18 addresses "new user requirements for hardware accelerators, high availability configurations, serverless capabilities, and edge and internet of things (IoT) use cases".

Greg Kroah-Hartman warned attendees at the Open Source Summit North America about the "the severe impact the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities could have on them, as well as detailed how Linux kernel developers are dealing with the flaws", eWeek reports. He also strongly criticized the way Intel initially handled the disclosure.

News Mozilla Security Firefox Privacy Mobile Raspberry Pi OpenStack Meltdown Spectre Intel
Jill Franklin

FOSS Project Spotlight: Run Remote Tasks on Linux and Windows with Puppet Bolt

3 weeks 3 days ago
by John S. Tonello

Puppet, the company that makes automation software for managing systems and delivering software, has introduced Puppet Bolt, an open-source, agentless multiplatform tool for running commands, scripts, tasks and orchestrated workflows on remote Linux and Windows systems.

The tool, which is freely available as a Linux package, Ruby gem and macOS or Windows installer, is ideal for sysadmins and others who want to perform a wide range of automation tasks on remote bare-metal servers, VMs or cloud instances without the need for any prerequisites. Puppet Bolt doesn't require any previous Puppet know-how. Nor does it require a Puppet agent or Puppet master. It uses only SSH and WinRM (or can piggyback Puppet transports) to communicate and execute tasks on remote nodes.

Despite its simplicity, Puppet Bolt can execute all your existing scripts written in Bash, PowerShell, Python or any other language, stop and start Linux or Windows services, gather information about packages and system facts, or deploy procedural orchestrated workflows, otherwise known as plans. You can do all this right from your workstation or laptop.

For those already using open-source Puppet or Puppet Enterprise, Puppet Bolt enables you to take advantage of the more than 5,700 modules available in the Puppet Forge for everything from deploying database servers to setting up Docker or Kubernetes. You also can query PuppetDB directly with Puppet Bolt.

Install Puppet Bolt and Run Some Tasks

You also can install Puppet Bolt with apt or yum once you add the Puppet repositories:

$ sudo apt install puppet-bolt

You can install Puppet Bolt on Windows with the available .msi, or if you're running Bash on Windows 10, by using the Linux instructions for the flavor you installed. Follow the link in the Resources section to see detailed installation instructions for your favorite platform.

If you're running Ruby (and have gcc and make on your workstation), you can get Puppet Bolt up and running in moments with the simple command:

$ gem install bolt

In just a few minutes, you're now ready to start running one-off commands, tasks, scripts or plans. Puppet Bolt is perfect for troubleshooting or deploying quick changes, distributing scripts to run across your infrastructure, or automating changes that need to happen in a particular order as part of an application deployment. See the built-in Puppet Bolt commands by running:

$ bolt help

Figure 1. Built-in Puppet Bolt Commands

A typical Puppet Bolt command looks like this:

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John S. Tonello

Python Natural Language Processing Tools

3 weeks 3 days ago

LinuxLinks: Natural language processing (NLP) is an exciting field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages.