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For Open-Source Software, the Developers Are All of Us

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OSS

This problem goes back decades and has multiple root causes that culminate in the mess we have today. Hardware and software makers lack liability for flaws, which leads to sub-par rigor in verifying that systems are hardened against known vulnerabilities. A rise in advertising revenue from "big data" encourages firms to hoard information, looking for the right time to cash out their users' information. Privacy violations go largely unpunished in courts, and firms regularly get away with enormous data breaches without paying any real price other than pride.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Open software development has been a resounding success for businesses, in the form of Linux, BSD and the hundreds of interconnected projects for their platforms. These open platforms now account for the lion's share of the market for servers, and businesses are increasingly looking to open software for their client structure as well as for being a low-cost and high-security alternative to Windows and OS X.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • SUNY math professor makes the case for free and open educational resources
    The open educational resources (OER) movement has been gaining momentum over the past few years, as educators—from kindergarten classes to graduate schools—turn to free and open source educational content to counter the high cost of textbooks. Over the past year, the pace has accelerated. In 2017, OERs were a featured topic at the high-profile SXSW EDU Conference and Festival. Also last year, New York State generated a lot of excitement when it made an $8 million investment in developing OERs, with the goal of lowering the costs of college education in the state. David Usinski, a math and computer science professor and assistant chair of developmental education at the State University of New York's Erie Community College, is an advocate of OER content in the classroom. Before he joined SUNY Erie's staff in 2007, he spent a few years working for the Erie County public school system as a technology staff developer, training teachers how to infuse technology into the classroom.

Mozilla: Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society, New AirMozilla Audience Demo, Firefox Telemetry

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    The National Science Foundation and Mozilla recently announced the first round of winners from their Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (WINS) challenges—$2 million in prizes for "big ideas to connect the unconnected across the US". According to the press release, the winners "are building mesh networks, solar-powered Wi-Fi, and network infrastructure that fits inside a single backpack" and that the common denominator for all of them is "they're affordable, scalable, open-source and secure."
  • New AirMozilla Audience Demo
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  • Perplexing Graphs: The Case of the 0KB Virtual Memory Allocations
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Games: All Walls Must Fall, Tales of Maj'Eyal

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KDE and GNOME: KDE Discover, Okular, Librsvg, and Phone's UI Shell

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  • Design report #3: designing the UI Shell, part 2
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