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Commentary: Red Hat has been in hot water about changing the way CentOS operates, but that model looks like the exact right way for open source entrepreneurs to operate.

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Red Hat switched up CentOS to make it less of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone and more of a feeder project into RHEL (as Fedora was always supposed to be, yet wasn’t). Some people are mad, as Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has written on sister site ZDNet. Some people, like former Disney employee Justin Garrison, think it sounds perfect (the hipper, slightly edgier version of RHEL). If you’re a billion-dollar company upset that Red Hat appears to be trying to charge for something you value, the founder of CentOS has a new way for you to get something for nothing: Rocky Linux.

But if you’re an open source entrepreneur wondering what this means for you, well, Chef cofounder and System Initiative CEO Adam Jacob has you covered. In a series of tweets, he walks through how Red Hat’s CentOS strategy can play out for you. (He should know, as the company he co-founded, Chef, last year open sourced everything.)

Let’s observe.

Open source all the things

Jacob’s first rule? Open it up. Completely. “If I do an open source strategy for a company ever again, I will own the upstream, it will be fully open source, and I’ll happily collaborate with anyone downstream.” But not just an open upstream–it’s also important to, “Produce a commercial distribution [and c]ollaborate on downstream non-commercial ones, in the open,” he argued

SEE: Top 6 Linux server distributions for your data center (TechRepublic Premium)

What does he mean by “upstream” and “downstream”? In open source, think of the upstream as the parent, the head, the initial open source project. Downstream might be forks or distributions (packaging up of a particular build of the upstream code) of the upstream.

What Red Hat announced was basically that CentOS would move from being downstream to upstream. It becomes a place, as Jacob noted, that others like Facebook can collaborate with Red Hat in a way they simply couldn’t before (as Fedora wasn’t closely enough aligned with RHEL). CentOS as a downstream RHEL community was mostly one of users, of consumers, not of collaborators. It was somewhere to get RHEL, but rebranded CentOS, for free. 

As such, Jacob pointed out, “They weren’t invested in it beyond using it.” And when someone removes the downstream they get mad “because it’s like someone threatened the water supply,” he argued. It’s therefore far better to condition people to participate as collaborators with an open source project, and through the commercial distribution to also condition users to become customers, if they want the certified distribution. 

SEE: Clearing up the CentOS Stream confusion (TechRepublic)

Open source + cloud

One way that open source companies are doing this model to fantastic effect is by open sourcing their upstream and creating a cloud distribution (read: managed service). A variety of companies have embraced this model to greater or lesser extents. 

Yugabyte, for example, ditched its Open Core model a year ago and open sourced 100% of its database code. A year later, CTO Karthik Ranganathan told me in an interview, “It increased our adoption like crazy,” growing the number of Yugabyte clusters 10x, but it also has dramatically accelerated their business without them losing any known pipeline. Could someone take that upstream and create a competitive downstream competitor? Of course. But no one should be able to out-Yugabyte on their home turf.

SEE: Meet the hackers who earn millions for saving the web, one bug at a time (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)

Or take Redis Labs. The company has fiddled with licensing over the last few years, but has kept core Redis completely open while encouraging a growing community (which includes downstream competitors) to lend a hand to improving the code. While Redis Labs doesn’t publish results, its business is booming, even as 10 or so other companies have created competitive downstream managed service offerings. 

Which brings us back to Jacob: “Run an open upstream from the jump. Produce a commercial distribution. Collaborate on downstream non-commercial ones, in the open.”

That’s the strategy. That’s the magic. You don’t need to go Open Core or any other permutation of kind-of, sort-of open source. You can open source everything and just ensure you have a rock-solid managed cloud service. This reliance on cloud is what’s driving MongoDB, Confluent, DataStax, Redis Labs, and others to great success. It can be your model, too.

Disclosure: I work for AWS, but the views expressed herein are mine.

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How to Browse Vi Recharge Packs by Pack Type

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Wondering how to browse Vi (Vodafone Idea) recharge packs by pack type? Vi offers a host of recharge options for both prepaid and postpaid users. It offers easy ways for its customers to get their recharge done from its official website as well as its Android and iOS mobile apps. Vi is one of the largest telecom operators in the country and has been offering better voice call quality compared to the competition, according to data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

To get a Vi number reacharge, customers can head to the official MyVi website or download the Vi app that is available for free on Google Play and App Store. You can go through the various plans that Vi offers. And to help you do so, we have put together a step-by-step guide to browse the website and app to recharge your Vi number.

Vi prepaid plans on MyVi website

  1. On the homepage, you should see a space where you can enter you mobile number to quickly get a recharge.

  2. To browse the Vi recharge plans, you can enter your number here and select whether your connection type is prepaid or postpaid.

  3. On the next page, scroll down to see the list of plans that Vi offers.

  4. Alternatively, on the homepage, you can hover over the Recharge tab on the top of the page and select Prepaid Plans.

  5. First thing to do here is make sure that your circle or area is selected on the right as packs can vary for different regions.

  6. You will then see Vi prepaid plans for your circle categorised as unlimited, combo, and others.

Unlimited plans, as the name suggests, include a list of plans with unlimited calling. Combo plans offer a mix of talktime and data. There are others packs that offer just data or just talktime, as well as SMS, vouchers, or entertainment pack offers.

Vi postpaid plans on MyVi website:  

  1. Hover over the Pay Bill tab right next to the Recharge tab on the top of the page  
  2. Select Postpaid Plans  
  3. There are no categories for postpaid plans so all four should be presented 

Vi prepaid and postpaid plans on app:  

  1. First, if you don’t already have the app, download the Vi app from App Store or Google Play.  
  2. Enter your Vi mobile number to register.  
  3. On the homepage, you will see a Recharge option at the bottom, tap on it.  
  4. On this page, you will see all the Vi recharge plans categories into recommended, unlimited, combo, talktime, data, plan voucher, SMS, caller tunes, and roaming.

What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.


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Linux 101: Renaming files and folders

In your quest to migrate to the Linux operating system, you’ve found the command line interface a must-know skill. Fortunately, Jack Wallen is here to help you with the basics.

I’m going to help you learn a bit more about Linux. If you’re new to the operating system, there are quite a few fundamental tasks you’re going to need to know how to do. One such task is renaming files and folders. 

You might think there’s a handy rename command built into the system. There is, but it’s not what you assume. Instead of renaming a file or folder, you move it from one name to another, with the mv command. This task couldn’t be any easier. 

SEE: Linux: The 7 best distributions for new users (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

For instance, if you have a file named and you want to rename it For that you’d issue the command: 


The first file name is the original and the second is the new name–simple. For folders, it’s the same thing. If you have a folder named “project” and you want to rename it “python_projects.” For that, you’d issue the command: 

mv projects python_projects

One nice thing about the mv command (besides its simplicity) is that it does retain the original directory attributes, so you don’t have to worry about reassigning things like permissions and ownership. Even if you issue the command with sudo privileges, it won’t shift the directory ownership to root. 

Another handy feature is that you don’t have to leave the file in the same directory. If you have in your home directory and you want to rename it to “” and move it to /usr/local/bin/ at the same time. Once again, that’s as simple as:

 sudo mv /usr/local/bin/

The reason why you have to use sudo is because the /usr/local/bin directory is owned by root, so your standard user won’t have permission to move the file into the directory. 

And that’s all there is to renaming files and folders from the Linux command line. Enjoy that new skill.

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Improving Makeup Face Verification by Exploring Part-Based Representations

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Facial recognition has been more and more widely used recently; however, there are some issues in this field. One of them is facial makeup because it can change the facial appearance and compromise a biometric system. A recent study suggests a technique to improve facial recognition with makeup.

Improving Makeup Face Verification by Exploring Part Based Representations

Image credit: kaboompics via Pixabay, free licence

It explores part-based representations. Different parts of a face are affected by cosmetics differently; therefore, this approach can increase the accuracy of face recognition. Two strategies of cropping the face are analyzed.

Firstly, splitting into four components: left periocular, including the eye and eyebrow, right periocular, nose, and mouth. Secondly, dividing the face into three facial thirds. After cropping, features are extracted using convolutional neural networks (CNN) and fused with the holistic score. The results show that this approach let to achieve improvements even without fine-tuning or retraining CNN models.

Recently, we have seen an increase in the global facial recognition market size. Despite significant advances in face recognition technology with the adoption of convolutional neural networks, there are still open challenges, as when there is makeup in the face. To address this challenge, we propose and evaluate the adoption of facial parts to fuse with current holistic representations. We propose two strategies of facial parts: one with four regions (left periocular, right periocular, nose and mouth) and another with three facial thirds (upper, middle and lower). Experimental results obtained in four public makeup face datasets and in a challenging cross-dataset protocol show that the fusion of deep features extracted of facial parts with holistic representation increases the accuracy of face verification systems and decreases the error rates, even without any retraining of the CNN models. Our proposed pipeline achieved state-of-the-art performance for the YMU dataset and competitive results for other three datasets (EMFD, FAM and M501).

Research paper: de Assis Angeloni, M. and Pedrini, H., “Improving Makeup Face Verification by Exploring Part-Based Representations”, arXiv:2101.07338. Link:

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