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Top 5 articles of the week: Open source tasks, open data apps, and open source in education

Sunday 21st of September 2014 12:00:00 PM

Every week, we tally the numbers and listen to the buzz to bring you the best of last week's open source news and stories on Here are last week's top five.

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Starbound's open source game development, SteamOS at DebConf, and more

Saturday 20th of September 2014 12:00:00 PM
Open source games roundup Week of September 14 - September 20, 2014

In this week's edition of our open source games news roundup, we go Starbound for open source development tools and end up on Another World. All that, and more!

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Facebook's TODO project, Coursera in Brazil, Drupal, and more

Friday 19th of September 2014 11:00:00 AM

In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Facebook's TODO project, Coursera's Brazil launch, governments moving to Drupal, and more!

Open source news for your reading pleasure. September 13 - 19, 2014

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Workload deployment tools for OpenStack

Friday 19th of September 2014 09:00:00 AM

This is the second part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. Next week, in the final article, I will cover automating "day 2 management"—tools to keep the cloud and workloads up and running.

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Going behind the scenes at

Friday 19th of September 2014 07:00:00 AM wants to be the fuel that helps power the organizations and people that will change the world.

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Teaching open source changed my life

Thursday 18th of September 2014 11:00:00 AM

For most students and teachers, our lives revolve around tests. For students, the tests determine whether they’re a success or a failure. The same is increasingly true of teachers. Take my career as an example.

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Back to school with GRASS GIS

Thursday 18th of September 2014 09:00:00 AM

When we started talking about hosting a 'back to school' week at, I decided to take that quite literally, and went back to NC State University earlier this month to attend the inaugural Geospatial Forum at the Center for Geospatial Anaytics. Geospatial analytics and GIS (geospatial information science) is a huge field, with a number of open source tools for research and teaching available, and I wanted to learn more about how these tools are being used in the real world.

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12 open education videos for China

Thursday 18th of September 2014 07:00:00 AM

Last summer was special for the Creative Commons China Mainland team, Wenzhou Medical University, and These three parties co-hosted an Open Education Resources (OER) summer camp on Luxi Island off the coast of China. For Wenzhou Medical University, the summer camp had been a part of their routine volunteering activities for five consecutive years, but it was the first time they partnered with the CC China Mainland Project; a team that brought a need in rural China to the camp's participants.

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A guide to creating easy, online learning materials with Xerte

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 11:00:00 AM

Online learning is becoming more prevalent, which means educators need easy to use tools for creating online learning materials. There are several closed source, commercial programs available (e.g., Adobe's Captivate), but these programs are expensive (even at academic discount prices) and are sometimes too complex for educators who just want to quickly and easily create a learning object. An excellent, easy to use, open source alternative is Xerte, a learning object creation tool developed by the University of Nottingham.

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Seneca College realizes value of open source

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 09:00:00 AM

If you read’s recent series of articles by young professionals about their exposure to the open source way, you’ll have noticed a common thread: open source is an essential part of IT education. But not enough schools are incorporating open source into their curricula.

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Open source works best with different personality types

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 07:00:00 AM

In my nearly 20 years of engineering, I have found there are two types of creative people you must have in your groups if you want to be innovative while making awesome things. I call them "the Tool-igans" and the "Product Jocks." Both are passionate about technology and both love to build, but there are some key differences between them.

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3 million users and hiring at edX

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 11:00:00 AM

There is a long list of sites powered by Open edX, a platform hoping to be powerful and extensible enough that education experts can use it not only to run courses, but to try out new ideas for how to educate online. See the full list on GitHub.

In this interview, I spoke with Ned Batchelder of Open edX about his team (photo below, Ned is in blue) who he says are working to make the platform "the best place to experiment with new ideas, and then share those ideas with other educators who can build on them and make their own improvements."

Let's see how they're looking to reach that goal today.

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10 ways The Nature of Code is open

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 09:00:00 AM

I recently came across a fascinating book, The Nature of Code by Daniel Shiffman. It is an introduction to using software tools to better understand the way things interact in nature. Shiffman employs animations and visualizations to create this joyful understanding of simulation and the world around us. From a simple oscilating pendulum, to a group of many interacting particles, to the general patterns of a flock of birds.

Here are 10 reasons why you will love this book after reading the first few pages:

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Open source all the tasks

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 07:00:00 AM

I am very proud to belong to a generation of professionals who has seen the emergence of free and open software and the revolution it is today.

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5 great apps backed with open data

Monday 15th of September 2014 03:46:00 PM has taken open source to heart. Beyond just providing open data and open source code, the entire process involves open civic engagement. All team ideas, public interactions, and new ideas (from any interaction) are cross-posted and entered in Github. These are tracked openly and completed to milestones for full transparency. We also recently redesigned the website at through usability testing and open engagement on Github.

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New features for OpenStack networking, web dashboard improvements, and more

Monday 15th of September 2014 03:00:00 PM

Interested in keeping track of what's happening in the open source cloud? is your source for what's happening right now in OpenStack, the open source cloud infrastructure project.

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Open source datacenter computing with Apache Mesos

Monday 15th of September 2014 09:00:00 AM

Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications or frameworks. Mesos is a open source software originally developed at the University of California at Berkeley. It sits between the application layer and the operating system and makes it easier to deploy and manage applications in large-scale clustered environments more efficiently. It can run many applications on a dynamically shared pool of nodes. Prominent users of Mesos include Twitter, Airbnb, MediaCrossing, Xogito and Categorize.

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Lobbying for open source and Linux in schools

Monday 15th of September 2014 09:00:00 AM

About eight years ago, I started lobbying to bring more Linux and open source software to high schools and higher IT vocational institutions in the Netherlands and Belgium. Here's how I did it and what you can learn from it to do the same where you live.

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Top 5 articles of the week: Learning Linux, cloud courses, and Drupal distros

Sunday 14th of September 2014 12:00:00 PM

Every week, I tally the numbers and listen to the buzz to bring you the best of last week's open source news and stories on

Top 5 articles of the week

#5. Three Drupal education distros reviewed

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Minecraft up for sale, GOG from the command line, and more

Saturday 13th of September 2014 12:00:00 PM
Open source games roundup Week of September 7 - September 13, 2014

In this week's edition of our open source games news roundup, we take a look at the big Minecraft news, download some GOG games from the command line, and Hack 'n' Slash.

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More in Tux Machines

Uselessd: A Stripped Down Version Of Systemd

The boycotting of systemd has led to the creation of uselessd, a new init daemon based off systemd that tries to strip out the "unnecessary" features. Uselessd in its early stages of development is systemd reduced to being a basic init daemon process with "the superfluous stuff cut out". Among the items removed are removing of journald, libudev, udevd, and superfluous unit types. Read more

Open source is not dead

I don’t think you can compare Red Hat to other Linux distributions because we are not a distribution company. We have a business model on Enterprise Linux. But I would compare the other distributions to Fedora because it’s a community-driven distribution. The commercially-driven distribution for Red Hat which is Enterprise Linux has paid staff behind it and unlike Microsoft we have a Security Response Team. So for example, even if we have the smallest security issue, we have a guaranteed resolution pattern which nobody else can give because everybody has volunteers, which is fine. I am not saying that the volunteers are not good people, they are often the best people in the industry but they have no hard commitments to fixing certain things within certain timeframes. They will fix it when they can. Most of those people are committed and will immediately get onto it. But as a company that uses open source you have no guarantee about the resolution time. So in terms of this, it is much better using Red Hat in that sense. It’s really what our business model is designed around; to give securities and certainties to the customers who want to use open source. Read more

10 Reasons to use open source software defined networking

Software-defined networking (SDN) is emerging as one of the fastest growing segments of open source software (OSS), which in itself is now firmly entrenched in the enterprise IT world. SDN simplifies IT network configuration and management by decoupling control from the physical network infrastructure. Read more

Only FOSSers ‘Get’ FOSS

Back on the first of September I wrote an article about Android, in which I pointed out that Google’s mobile operating system seems to be primarily designed to help sell things. This eventually led to a discussion thread on a subreddit devoted to Android. Needless to say, the fanbois and fangrrls over on Reddit didn’t cotton to my criticism and they devoted a lot of space complaining about how the article was poorly written. Read more