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Highlights and editor's picks: March 2015 report

Monday 9th of March 2015 08:00:00 AM

February was a solid month for with 547,663 page views and 322,326 unique visits. We had our best month in terms of page views per day, with an average of 19,538 views/day, and we were on pace to break a new monthly record if we had had a full 31-day month.

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A new home for OpenStack user groups, DBaaS as a stack of pancakes, and more

Monday 9th of March 2015 07:00:00 AM

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

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Top 5: Google shares gRPC, better UX in open source, and more

Friday 6th of March 2015 03:22:00 PM

Welcome to the Weekly Top 5!

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Cyanogen teams with Qualcomm, Thunderbird lives, and more

Friday 6th of March 2015 12:00:00 PM

In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Cyanogen partnering with Qualcomm, Thunderbird's resurrection, GitLab buying Gitorius, and more!

Open source news for your reading pleasure. February 28 - March 6, 2015

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WhiteBikes gets start in Slovakia, dreams of a city near you

Friday 6th of March 2015 10:00:00 AM

For the past few months I've been working on an open source software project aimed at improving life in a city called Bratislava in Slovakia. It's an Open Source Bike Share system that I, along with creator Michal Maly and a few others, have been developing for Bratislava's Cyklokuchyna (Bike Kitchen). It's community bike share system we call WhiteBikes.

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What can we do to improve computer education?

Friday 6th of March 2015 08:00:00 AM

SIGCSE 2015 for Computer Science educators kicks off this year from March 4 - 7 in Kansas City, Missouri.

The SIGCSE Technical Symposium addresses problems common among educators working to develop, implement and/or evaluate computing programs, curricula, and courses. The symposium provides a forum for sharing new ideas for syllabi, laboratories, and other elements of teaching and pedagogy, at all levels of instruction.

Last year Pamela Fox, Computing Curriculum Engineer at Khan Academy, was part of a panel on called "Disruptive Innovation in CS Education." I spoke with her afterwards to get her thoughts on how open source fits into education and the future of computer education.

This is a partial transcript.

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Who's leading the charge for transparency in democratic elections?

Thursday 5th of March 2015 12:00:00 PM

The pernicious effects of closed proprietary software reaches its peak of damaging the general public when it obscures the voting process in democratic elections.

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Make a Twitter-controlled desk lamp with open source tools

Thursday 5th of March 2015 10:00:00 AM

Think about the Internet today. Websites and web services are in deep conversation with each other through the so-called API (Application Program Interface) economy. Websites such as Facebook,, and ESPN all offer APIs that the rest of the cloud can leverage and interact with. Through this API economy, the exchange of data is free-flowing and massive.

However, the only things that are taking part in this conversation are typically computers, laptops, and smartphones. What happens when other electronic devices can start to take part in this data exchange?

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8 guides for cloud building with OpenStack

Thursday 5th of March 2015 08:00:00 AM

OpenStack is a huge project with lots of constituent parts and fast development cycles. It can be hard to keep up and keep your mental toolkit fresh. We're here to help.

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The three open source projects that transformed Hadoop

Wednesday 4th of March 2015 12:00:00 PM

Hadoop, an open source software framework with the funny sounding name, has been a game-changer for organizations by allowing them to store, manage, and analyze massive amounts of data for actionable insights and competitive advantage.

But this wasn't always the case.

Initially, Hadoop implementation required skilled teams of engineers and data scientists, making Hadoop too costly and cumbersome for many organizations. Now, thanks to a number of open source projects, big data analytics with Hadoop has become much more affordable and mainstream.

Here's a look at how three open source projects—Hive, Spark, and Presto—have transformed the Hadoop ecosystem.

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Play with gravitational fields and pretty colors

Wednesday 4th of March 2015 10:00:00 AM

You’re on a city block. It's windy, and a light rain is falling. People scamper to and fro, carrying armloads of chalk and tarps. Many are crouched in the street, suffering over their chalk art and cursing the rain. The street extends to the south. A dingy concrete stairwell leads down, beneath street-level.

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When the United Nations calls, MicroMappers acts

Wednesday 4th of March 2015 08:00:00 AM

Open source and crowdsourcing—uttering these words at a meeting of the United Nations before the year 2010 would have made you persona non grata. In fact, the fastest way to discredit yourself at any humanitarian meeting just five years ago was to suggest the use of open source software and crowdsourcing in disaster response. Then, a tragic earthquake occured in Haiti in 2010, and OpenStreetMap and Ushahidi were deployed in the aftermath.

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Has the Supreme Court made patent reform legislation unnecessary?

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015 03:26:00 PM

As Congress gears up again to seriously consider patent litigation abuse—starting with the introduction of H.R. 9 (the "Innovation Act") last month—opponents of reform are arguing that recent Supreme Court cases have addressed concerns. Give the decisions time to work their way through the system, they assert.

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Google shares gRPC as alternative to REST for microservices

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015 12:00:00 PM

Google recently released gRPC as open source, an efficient framework for remote procedure calls (RPC) that uses a variety of programming languages.

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Be a responsible open source user

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015 10:00:00 AM

Too many of us who work with open source software in our daily lives think of ourselves as users, people who merely take advantage of open source tools without considering ourselves as an integral part of the development process. That's right. By working with an open source tool, you're automatically part of that tool's development process. You are not a user. You are a contributor. Whether you're a good contributor or a bad contributor is up to you—you still have a responsibility.

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Open source and humanities in the digital age

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015 08:00:00 AM

Welcome to the first installment of a monthly feature where I explore how open source software and the open source way are used in the digital humanities. Every month I will take a look at open source tools you can use in your digital humanities research and some humanities research projects that are using open source tools today. I'll also cover news about how transparency and open exchange, and the other principles of the open source way, being applied to the humanities.

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The future of open source is a better user experience

Monday 2nd of March 2015 12:00:00 PM

Each year, my favorite open source software survey asks "Where is the future of open source taking us?" I like to try to think far into the future. Not next year or the next five, but where can the horizon of open source and its unique mix of collaborative ideals and communal practices take us?

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Why large companies use open source ERP

Monday 2nd of March 2015 10:00:00 AM

The main reason larger companies use open source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems is because they are cheaper and easier to customize.

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