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OSS

Kerala Legislature moves to open source software; LibreOffice

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LibO
OSS

The Kerala Legislative Assembly (Niyamsabha) has shifted to free and open software, following the expiry of support period to Windows XP.

It has also started producing all its documentation, both digital and printed materials, using the free and open source office suite LibreOffice from yesterday (July 17, 2014).

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FOSS & the IRS: Now We're Talking

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OSS
Legal

We've been watching with great interest this week as the travails of FOSS organizations with the US Internal Revenue Service have become a hot topic. When our client, Jim Nelson of Yorba, discussed blogging about the IRS rejection of Yorba's application for 501c3 status with us, we hoped but did not expect that the situation, to which we had discreetly called community and company attention for years, would finally receive some. We're very glad that's now happening. Unfortunately, it's really too late. Because of the long delays in determination imposed by the IRS in its increasingly anti-FOSS positioning, neither the full consequences of the IRS's present position nor the state of our legal technology in response can be seen from the materials currently under discussion.

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Kerala Legislature announces smooth transition to free software

Filed under
GNU
OSS

The Kerala Legislative Assembly has made a significant transition to the free software platform for recording its voluminous business.

The Speaker’s announcement to this effect a couple of days ago represented a milestone not just for the IT Department of the Niyama Sabha, but also for the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (Icfoss) based here, the larger free software community, and free software enterprises in Kerala.

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PredictionIO’s $2.5M money bag suggests open-source is right for machine learning

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OSS

PredictionIO, a startup that has crafted an open-source program to let developers add machine-learning smarts to their applications, might just be setting the tone for the next wave in data technology.

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A juggernaut like the NHS won’t find it easy to drop Windows for open source - but it should

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
OSS

Microsoft is a commercial venture so it is reasonable for them to sell their products, which they do via licensing per unit. The NHS has about 100,000 computers, so it pays a considerable amount and also has a lot of work to do each time there’s a required update for any of their server technologies or desktop computers. While it needs some technical tweaking, Windows is sold as something that comes out of the box and should work. Designed to work with a wide range of different types of systems, the one size that fits (almost) all computers is a bonus for many technical managers.

But it hasn’t been problem-free. Most hospitals still have thousands of PCs running Windows XP which stopped being supported earlier this year.

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The state of accessibility in Linux and open source software

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Linux
Interviews
OSS

Spencer Hunley is an autistic professional, former Vice Chair of the Kansas City Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities, and current board member of the Autism Society of the Heartland & ASAN's Kansas City chapter. In August, Spencer will be giving a talk, Universal Tux: Accessibility For Our Future Selves, at LinuxCon in Chicago. He also gave a talk, Maximizing Accessibility: Engaging People with Disabilities In The Linux Community, at LinuxCon North America 2013.

In this interview, Spencer provides an update on the state of accessibility in Linux and open source software.

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OFE: 'Continued discrimination in IT procurement'

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Microsoft
OSS

Public administrations across Europe continue to discriminate in their IT calls for tender by asking for specific brands and products, concludes OpenForum Europe, and organisation advocating for an open, competitive ICT market. "Thousands of small IT firms are excluded from competing in the public procurement process by restrictions such as the naming of trademarks in calls for tender", said Graham Taylor, OFE's CEO, in a press statement.

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25 Best Open Source Android Apps for Small Business

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Android
OSS

It's not easy to wade through the Google Play store to find open source apps, so we put together a quick guide to some nifty productivity, Internet, and game apps. Some are free, some cost a few bucks, and it's always a good practice to slip a few dollars into the tip jars, because nothing says "thank you" better than cash money.

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How open source can solve Silicon Valley's engineering crisis

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OSS

Silicon Valley may think itself the center of the universe, but when it comes to open source, it can only muster a third-place finish. According to an analysis of top GitHub contributors, both Europe and the rest of the United States develop more open-source software than Silicon Valley. While this may not be surprising given Europe's long-standing affection for open source, it is a reminder that much of the best development talent doesn't live along Highway 101 and probably never will.

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Crowdfunding for open source software

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OSS

Nowadays when people say “crowdfunding,” most people know exactly it is, but just a few short years ago, the term was not commonly used. Bountysource is easy to explain now: it is a crowdfunding site aimed at open source software developers, but a decade ago, people just were not sure what it was or how it worked. Even the founders said the project died quickly because people were unsure of its intentions.

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Black Hat 2014: Open Source Could Solve Medical Device Security

On the topic of source code liability, Greer suggests that eventually software developers, including medical device development companies, will be responsible for the trouble their software causes (or fails to prevent). I think it’s fair to say that it is impossible to guarantee a totally secure system. You cannot prove a negative statement after all. Given enough time, most systems can be breached. So where does this potential liability end? What if my company has sloppy coding standards, no code reviews, or I use a third-party software library that has a vulnerability? Should hacking be considered foreseeable misuse? Read more

Does government finally grok open source?

Yes, the government -- one U.S. federal government employee told me that government IT tends to be "stove-piped," with people "even working within the same building" not having much of a clue what their peers are doing, which is not exactly the open source way. That's changing. One way to see this shift is in government policies. For the U.S. federal government, there is now a "default to open," a dramatic reversal on long-standing practices of spending heavily with a core of proprietary technology vendors. Read more

The OS LinuX Desktop

Reader Oliver wanted to make his Linux Mint desktop look as much like a Mac as possible so others would find it easy to use. Given some of our previous Linux featured desktops, we know it wasn't tough, but the end-result still looks great. Here's how it's all set up. Read more

A Linux Desktop Designed for You

Desktop environments for Linux are not released ready-made. Behind each is a set of assumptions about what a desktop should be, and how users should interact with them. Increasingly, too, each environment has a history -- some of which are many years old. As you shop around for a desktop, these assumptions are worth taking note of. Often, they can reveal tendencies that you might not discover without several days of probing and working with the desktop. Read more