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OSS: National Guard, Testing Frameworks, Taking Open Source for Granted

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  • National Guard team builds open-source cyber toolkit

    When the Missouri National Guard Cyber Team was called in to respond to security incidents, it used to take two days to collect information from compromised servers.

    To get better insight into attempted breaches and overall network health faster, the team built the Response Operation Collect Kit for Network Service Monitoring, a scalable and secure open source sensor platform that makes network monitoring more automated and easier to navigate.

    RockNSM combines several open source tools in a single platform. The combination of tools allows the Missouri National Guard Cyber Team to set up their data collection for security monitoring and incident response in 20 minutes.

    Part of the appeal of RockNSM is the ability to collect information on networks without needing administrative access to sensitive networks.

  • Maximizing Value from Open Source Testing Frameworks

    Even well-known companies like Google that have built home-grown systems to run UI and API testing against all their applications are now releasing their own open source systems into the market. Recently, Google and Netflix announced Kayenta, an open source automated canary analysis service to enable continuous delivery for software teams. However, if you are not a company with the resources of a Google and Netflix, building your own open source tool or complementing an open source framework with a home-grown system is not always a viable open. In fact, it’s a common misconception that software teams have or should choose between purchasing a commercial tool or leverage free open source framework. Growing companies should maximize their value from open source assets along with commercial tools.

  • Taking Open Source for Granted

    But just as many in the United States have had a wakeup call about taking the stability of our civic institutions for granted, those with an interest in seeing open source remain a vital and robust model moving forward should remember that the price of freedom is high. It always has been.

Brazilian federal government leads in open source adoption

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Open source is more common at federal level, seen in 93 percent of organizations, while 78 percent of state-level bodies use it, according to the findings of the E-Government ICT edition carried out by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (

The study has also found that in 2017, new open source development has taken place in 85 percent of federal government organizations to cater for their specific requirements, while 57 percent of state organizations also developed new open systems.

Of the federal organizations that have carried out open source development in Brazil, some 52 percent have also shared these platforms with other public sector bodies.

For the study, some 1686 federal and state-level organizations were surveyed by the between July and October 2017.

Read more

OSS Leftovers

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  • Why it's important to get kids into public speaking

    Although she's only 16 years old, Keila Banks is already a veteran presenter at technology conferences. Her courage to get on stage in front of adults, beginning at the very young age of 11, to talk about open source technology has opened a world of opportunities for her.

    In her Lightning Talk at the 16th annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE), Keila shares some of her amazing experiences, from the television studio to the White House, resulting from her conference presentations about open source, coding, and involving youth in technology.

    Watch Keila's Lightning Talk to learn more about how to leverage conference presentations to advance your career.

  • Firefox 60 and JAWS 2018 back in good browsing conditions together

    When Firefox Quantum was first released in November of 2017, it temporarily regressed users of the JAWS screen reader. I’m happy to report that both Firefox and JAWS once again deliver a first class browsing experience together!

  • These Weeks in Dev-Tools, issue 4

    Welcome to the 4th issue of these weeks in dev-tools! We've re-organised the
    teams a little bit and have been working hard towards the 2018 edition release.

    These Weeks in Dev-Tools will keep you up to date with all the exciting dev
    tools news. We plan to have a new issue every few weeks. If you have any news
    you'd like us to report, please comment on the tracking issue.

    If you're interested in Rust's developer tools and want to contribute or ask
    questions, come chat to us on Gitter.

  • How citizens become scientists with open hardware

    "Every person's piece of individual information put together gives you a cloud of real knowledge."

    Eymund Diegel, a research coordinator for Gowanus Canal Conservancy, shares this tidbit during the first clip of the new Open Source Stories documentary, "The Science of Collective Discovery." He's setting out in a canoe on an inner-city canal that is polluted and struggling to get the help it needs.

    That's the theme of citizen science it seems: people and places in need who are not getting the help and resources they deserve taking matters into their own hands. Why are they not getting the help they need in the first place? The reason is shockingly simple yet a typical problem: Where's the evidence?

Open source SDN project could let network admins duplicate production environments

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Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an increasingly attractive option for organizations looking to automate more of their data center operations. However, SDN deployments typically accompany vendor lock-in, as hardware manufacturers such as Cisco provide proprietary software solutions to go with bundles of network hardware. Similarly, turn-key software defined data center (SDDC) solutions often rely on top-down vendor integration, or have similar limitations for using products from qualified vendors.

One team is working to change that. Japanese software firm axsh is developing an open-\ source software stack—code named LiquidMetal—that combines their existing OpenVNet SDN software, with OpenVDC VM orchestration software.

With the two, the developers have made it possible to take an off-the-shelf dedicated switch, and configure it for any desired network topology, in effect making it possible to create complete identical copies of a given production network, including copying the IP and MAC addresses of each connected device. The LiquidMetal project also incorporates Terraform, Expect, and Ansible in their software stack.

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Education tech and battling stubborn Open Source myths

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When open source first hit the market, for many it was indistinguishable from The Free Software Movement. The key appeal was, indeed, that open source software was free – primarily because of the unchecked redistribution rights, where licences didn’t restrict any party from selling or giving away the software.

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A look at open source image recognition technology

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At the Supercomputing Conference in Denver last year, I discovered an interesting project as I walked the expo floor. A PhD student from Louisiana State University, Shayan Shams, had set up a large monitor displaying a webcam image. Overlaid on the image were colored boxes with labels. As I looked closer, I realized the labels identified objects on a table.

Of course, I had to play with it. As I moved each object on the table, its label followed. I moved some objects that were off-camera into the field of view, and the system identified them too.

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Changing the world, one line of code at a time

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It's hard to beat the business case for open source: teams of motivated individuals working with intent to solve problems with software. But how do organisations attract and retain open source talent?

Increasingly, these engineers are turning up for the gig, and a good salary is no longer their only consideration.

They're also building their CVs on GitHub, which is more meaningful than their formal work experience, said Werner Knoblich, Red Hat's senior vice president and general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, at the company's summit in San Francisco this week.

Read more

OSS Leftovers

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  • Open Source AI For Everyone: Three Projects to Know

    At the intersection of open source and artificial intelligence, innovation is flourishing, and companies ranging from Google to Facebook to IBM are open sourcing AI and machine learning tools.

  • DNAtix releases an open source DNA Compression Tool

    Digital DNAtix Ltd., the genetics blockchain company, released its first open-source DNA Compression tool to GitHub today. It is almost impossible to transfer genetic data with current blockchain technologies due to size constrains. With this new tool, users can compress a DNA Sequence in FASTA format to 25% of its size. DNAtix is making the compression tool open source to advance cutting-edge personalized and preventive medicine.

  • Amadeus Flies With Open Source

    Amadeus uses open source to deliver the technology solutions that keep its airline and large hotel customers from going off the rails.

    Amadeus principally provides reservation systems and scheduling for travel agencies, as well as inventory management and pricing solutions. It's a time-sensitive business -- you can't sell a hotel room for last night, and you can't sell a seat on an airplane after take-off.

  • LISA wants you: submit your proposal today

    I have the great honor of being on the organizing committee for the LISA conference this year. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know how much I enjoy LISA. It’s a great conference for anyone with a professional interest in sysadmin/DevOps/SRE. This year’s LISA is being held in Nashville, Tennessee, and the committee wants your submission.

  • Rust 1.26 Continues With Speed Improvements, Adds Support For 128-Bit Integers

    Rust 1.26 is out today as the newest version of this popular systems programming language.

  • Announcing Rust 1.26

Events: KubeCon, PyCon, OpenStack, PostgreSQL at LSFMM, Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW)

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  • KubeCon's Europe 2018 Event Highlights Kubernetes' Progress, Expansion
  • SecureDrop development sprint in PyCon 2018

    SecureDrop will take part in PyCon US development sprints (from 14th to 17th May). This will be first time for the SecureDrop project to present in the sprints.

    If you never heard of the project before, SecureDrop is an open source whistleblower submission system that media organizations can install to securely accept documents from anonymous sources. Currently, dozens of news organizations including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, USA Today, and more, use SecureDrop to preserve the anonymous tipline in an era of mass surveillance. SecureDrop is installed on-premises in the news organizations, and journalists and source both use a web application to interact with the system. It was originally coded by the late Aaron Swartz and is now managed by Freedom of the Press Foundation.

  • Highlights from the OpenStack project teams gathering

    A few weeks back in Dublin, Ireland, OpenStack engineers gathered from dozens of countries and companies to discuss the next release of OpenStack. This is always my favorite OpenStack event, because I get to do interviews with the various teams, to talk about what they did in the just-released version (Queens, in this case) and what they have planned for the next one (Rocky).

  • PostgreSQL visits LSFMM

    The recent fsync() woes experienced by PostgreSQL led to a session on the first day (April 23) of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM). Those problems also led to a second-day session with PostgreSQL developer Andres Freund who gave an overview of how PostgreSQL does I/O and where that ran aground on some assumptions that had been made. The session led to a fair amount of discussion with the filesystem-track developers; real solutions seem to be in the offing.

    PostgreSQL is process-based; there are no threads used, Freund said. It does write-ahead logging (WAL) for durability and replication. That means it logs data before it is marked dirty and the log is flushed before the dirty data is written. Checkpointing is done in the background with writes that are throttled as needed. In general, all data I/O is buffered, though the WAL can use direct I/O.

  • Containers and license compliance

    Containers are, of course, all the rage these days; in fact, during his 2018 Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) talk, Dirk Hohndel said with a grin that he hears "containers may take off". But, while containers are easy to set up and use, license compliance for containers is "incredibly hard". He has been spending "way too much time" thinking about container compliance recently and, beyond the standard "let's go shopping" solution to hard problems, has come up with some ideas. Hohndel is a longtime member of the FOSS community who is now the chief open source officer at VMware—a company that ships some container images.

    He said that he would be using Docker in his examples, but he is not picking on Docker, it is just a well-known container management system. His talk is targeting those that want to ship an actual container image, rather than simply a Dockerfile that a customer would build into an image. He has heard of some trying to avoid "distributing" free and open-source software that way, but is rather skeptical of that approach.

OSS Leftovers

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  • Looking for old game source Conquer (FOUND)

    Years later I met someone who had helped write a similar game called Dominion which is also very similar.  The game has been kept up and is under a GPL license which is probably why it is still findable.

  • Summer of Code: Small steps

    As a first step towards working encryption and decryption, I obviously needed to create some PGP keys for testing purposes. As a regular user of OpenPGP I knew how to create keys using the command line tool GnuPG, so I started up the key creation by typing “gpg –generate-key”. I chose the key type to be RSA with a length of 2048 bits, as those settings are also the defaults recommended by GnuPG itself. When it came to entering user id information though, things got a little more complicated. GnuPG asks for the name of the user, their email address and a comment. XEP-0373 states, that the user id packet of a PGP key MUST be of the format “xmpp:juliet@capulet.lit”. My first thing to figure out was, if I should enter that String as the name, email or as a comment. I first tried with the name, upon which GnuPG complained, that neither name, nor comment is allowed to contain an email address. Logically my next step was to enter the String as the users email address. Again, GnuPG complained, this time it stated, that “xmpp:juliet@capulet.lit” was not a valid Email address. So I got stuck.

  • At The Source, Exploring the Blockchain Realm of GitHub

    Blockchain/cryptocurrency projects & the ever-mysterious open-source. If you come from a nontechnical background, you’ve probably wondered just exactly what open-source means; if you’ve hung around developers, in particular, you might’ve even heard about the powerful GitHub & the world of repositories. If you aren’t familiar with a terminal console, you likely aren’t familiar with previous terms.

    Yet understanding how open-source repositories work, as well as exploring the very basics of the GitHub platform, is probably one of the most effective ways to understand cryptocurrencies & their respective communities at a deeper level.

    Code talks. And learning how to view the source code for cryptocurrencies projects by yourself, regardless of your programming proficiency (or lack of), is an indispensable tool.

  • QElectroTech: An Open Source Wiring Diagram Tool

    There’s a few open source options out there for creating electrical schematics. KiCad and Fritzing are two that will take you from schematic capture to PCB layout. However, there’s been limited options for creating wiring diagrams. Often these are created in Microsoft’s Visio, which is neither open source nor well suited for the task.

  • 3 Ways to Use ART – IBM’S Open Source AI Security Library

    IBM’s Adversarial Robustness Toolbox, an open AI library, was released in April. Since then, developers have found some interesting uses for the tool. 

    IBM launched an open library to help secure artificial intelligence systems in April.

    They call it the Adversarial Robustness Toolbox (ART) to help developers better protect AI systems and neural network. It contains benchmarks, defenses, and attacks in a framework-agnostic library.

  • Google Open Sources Seurat To Bring PC-Level VR To Mobile

    This year’s Google I/O developer conference might not have had much to share about VR, but one of the biggest reveals of last year’s event is now available to all.

  • Hade Pay B2C Platform to be Open Source and Combine Verifie [Ed: Just pure openwashing and riding the blockchain hype]
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