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Openwashing

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OSS Leftovers

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  • Writing an academic paper? Try Fidus Writer

    The Fidus Writer online editor is especially for academics who need to write papers in collaboration with other authors, and it includes special tools for managing citations, formulas, and bibliographies. If you're writing an academic paper by yourself, you have a lot of choices for tools to edit your document. Some of them even take care of making your footnotes and bibliographies come out in the right format. But writing collaboratively is harder, for lots of reasons. You could use Google Docs, ownCloud, or even Dropbox to share the document, but then you lose useful citation-management tools.

    Enter Fidus Writer: Fidus Writer is a web-based collaborative writing tool made specifically for the needs of academic writers who need to use citations or formulas. The rules for citations are complicated, so Fidus Writer takes care of the format for you; you can choose from several citation formats, including APA, Chicago, or MLA. Version 3 of Fidus Writer was just released in June, and it is a clean, well-polished application.

    At my first look, Fidus Writer is impressive. The application is written mostly in Python and Node.js, and is licensed under the AGPL V3. I installed it on a Debian virtual machine running on my Windows PC. The installation instructions are geared toward Debian and its derivative distros, and uses apt to install software. I suspect someone clever who has a real desire to run it on RPM-based distros could make it work, as the list of packages needed is not overlarge.

  • Need a tamper-proof, encrypted PC? The portable, open-source ORWL could be what you're looking for

    There are a number of choices available if you need a small, powerful but affordable mini desktop PC, from the $500 Mac Mini, to the cheaper Google Chromebox, or HP Pavillion Mini Desktop.

    But can more be done to keep these devices secure, not just from software exploits, but scenarios in which the attacker has gained physical access to the device?

    The makers of ORWL, a flying saucer-shaped mini desktop for the security-minded, think it can, providing you're willing to fork out a relatively hefty $699.

  • Nextgov Ebook: Tech Revolutions: Open Source and the Internet of Things

    Nextgov's meetup series Tech + Tequila has been an opportunity for government and private sector technologists to explore hot topics in federal IT together in a casual setting—with cocktails. Aug. 25 marks our sixth event, and we’ll be discussing artificial intelligence. Is there anything more top of mind than a robot uprising?

    In all seriousness, Tech + Tequila has tackled some awesome topics: data, cybersecurity and emerging tech. This ebook features two more recent Tech + Tequila themes: open source and the internet of things.

    On Aug. 8, the White House unveiled the final policy that requires agencies to share 20 percent of their custom-created source code. When the draft framework was announced back in March, some critics said it didn't go far enough and argued for a more sweeping “open source by default” framework. Another dissenting voice said the policy would add "more layers of confusion."

  • Cloud innovator of the Year announced

    AMADEUS, the leading provider of technology solutions for the global travel industry, has won the 2016 Red Hat Innovator of the Year award.

    This is in recognition of its innovative use of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform as part of a new cloud services platform to help companies meet the increasingly complex demands of travelers.

  • SFD Countdown Ready!

    The Software Freedom Day countdown is ready for usage in English. We are therefore informing translators and also people willing to add a new language that translation can start right now. All the instructions are available on the wiki at this page.

  • Omega2, $5 Linux platform computer for IoT projects, exceeds $450k in Kickstarter funding

    The Omega2 set out to produce an extremely cheap, extensible Linux computer designed for Internet of Things (IoT) projects with a Kickstarter campaign asking for only $15,000. Now, with only for days remaining in the campaign, the Omega2 team is set to receive over $450,000 in funding from over 11,000 backers. Developed by the Onion Corporation, the Omega2 promises to be an interesting entry for DIY (do it yourself) and commercial projects.

  • GNU Libreboot, version 20160818 released
  • GNU Libreboot Release Adds New Chromebook & ASUS/Gigabyte/Intel Board Support

    The Libreboot project has done their first official release of this Coreboot binary-free downstream now being under the GNU project label.

    GNU Libreboot 20160818 is the new release. New board support for this de-blobbed version of Coreboot includes supporting the ASUS Chromebook C201, Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L, Intel D510MO, ASUS KCMA-D8, ASUS KFSN4-DRE, and ASUS KGPE-D16. Yep, all rather old motherboards (aside from the Chromebook C201) with sadly not much love these days from AMD and Intel around fully supporting modern chipsets by free software.

  • France’s Vendée shares its eGovernment platform
  • Paris Region unveils officials information system

    Île-de-France - the Paris Region - will publish as open source Babylone, its software solution to aggregate and manage information on elected officials. The region’s administration hopes other regions will reuse the software, and pool resources for updates and future versions.

Beyond Linux: 7 Open-Source Projects the Linux Foundation Is Leading

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Linux
OSS

The Linux Foundation got its start in 2007 as a home for the development of Linux and its creator Linus Torvalds. In the last decade, the mission of the foundation has expanded beyond the confines of the Linux kernel. Although the Linux kernel still remains central, the foundation's model of enabling open, collaborative software development has proven valuable to multiple groups. That's where the Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects effort comes in, enabling groups of developers to bring software projects under the Linux Foundation umbrella. By being part of the foundation, software projects benefit from its infrastructure and expertise at helping to shepherd and grow open-source software development efforts in a vendor-neutral approach. A 2014 slideshow on eWEEK looked at 10 projects beyond Linux that the foundation now manages. So far in 2016, the Linux Foundation has announced at least seven new efforts that are now collaborative projects. eWEEK takes a look at some of the efforts the foundation is leading beyond just Linux.

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Open source uproar as MariaDB goes commercial

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OSS

MariaDB Corp. has announced that release 2.0 of its MaxScale database proxy software is henceforth no longer open source. The organization has made it source-available under a proprietary license that promises each release will eventually become open source once it's out of date.

MaxScale is at the pinnacle of MariaDB Corp.'s monetization strategy -- it's the key to deploying MariaDB databases at scale. The thinking seems to be that making it mandatory to pay for a license will extract top dollar from deep-pocketed corporations that might otherwise try to use it free of charge. This seems odd for a company built on MariaDB, which was originally created to liberate MySQL from the clutches of Oracle.

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Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Building an open medical records system for the developing world

    How do you introduce a woman whose very life is the epitome of humanitarian efficacy? Judy Gichoya is a Kenyan medical doctor specializing in radiology and an experienced programmer who's accelerating the growth of OpenMRS.

    According to its website, "OpenMRS is a software platform and a reference application which enables design of a customized medical records system with no programming knowledge." Judy first got interested in computers in high school, prior to entering medical school she learned to program at a technical college and through online resources on the internet. She enrolled in medical school and earned the extra income she needed to sustain herself by working at a company where she assembled 10 computers a night.

    She continued to upgrade her programming skills, initially focusing on Java but later moving to Python, Angular JS, and HTML5. A chance meeting with a developer working on OpenMRS in the United States who visited Kenya and provided training to local people who were interested resulted in her initial involvement with the project. She found his work very inspiring, so once she graduated medical school she got involved with OpenMRS. I recently had a chance to interview her.

  • Practicing “Open” at Mozilla

    Mozilla works to bring openness and opportunity for all into the Internet and online life. We seek to reflect these values in how we operate. At our founding it was easy to understand what this meant in our workflow — developers worked with open code and project management through bugzilla. This was complemented with an open workflow through the social media of the day — mailing lists and the chat or “messenger” element, known as Internet Relay Chat (“irc”). The tools themselves were also open-source and the classic “virtuous circle” promoting openness was pretty clear.

    Today the setting is different. We were wildly successful with the idea of engineers working in open systems. Today open source code and shared repositories are mainstream, and in many areas the best of practices and expected and default. On the other hand, the newer communication and workflow tools vary in their openness, with some particularly open and some closed proprietary code. Access and access control is a constant variable. In addition, at Mozilla we’ve added a bunch of new types of activities beyond engineering, we’ve increased the number of employees dramatically and we’re a bit behind on figuring out what practicing open in this setting means.

  • Docker and High Security Microservices: A Summary of Aaron Grattafiori's DockerCon 2016 Talk

    At DockerCon 2016, held in Seattle, USA, Aaron Grattafiori presented “The Golden Ticket: Docker and High Security Microservices”. Core recommendations for running secure container-based microservices included enabling User Namespaces, configuring application-specific AppArmor or SELinux, using an application-specific seccomp whitelist, hardening the host system (including running a minimal OS), restricting host access and considering network security.

  • Patterns for managing multi-tenant cloud environments
  • How collaborative should I be during strategic planning?

    The short answer is: very collaborative.

  • Upskill U on Open Source & White Box Networks With LinkedIn

    To boost the bottom line and achieve greater efficiencies, operators and enterprises are shifting from proprietary purpose-built hardware to "white box" solutions, including servers and switches -- some using purpose-built software and others on open source software.

    [...]

    "Like everyone else, telcos are interested in open source because they see that it can help them get higher quality code in a shorter amount of time, they presume it will make it more likely that products from different vendors can interoperate, they also expect that it will lower their software license costs," said Roseboro. "Of course they have some major concerns as well… there are a lot of new terms, techniques and tools that come along with the transformation to the cloud. [Telcos] will need new skills, new models, potentially new vendors and most certainly new processes."

White House Source Code Policy

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OSS
  • EFF: Feds' open source policy comes up short
  • The U.S. Government Goes Open Source

    Back in March, the White House released a draft of a Federal Source Code policy for public comment. The purpose of this policy was to “require new software developed specifically for or by the Federal Government to be made available for sharing and re-use across Federal agencies.” In other words, the government was going to go open source.

WordPress and Automattic

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Open source COM and carriers become 3D-printable computers

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GNU
Linux
OSS

Rhombus Tech’s Allwinner A20 based, “fully libre” EOMA68 COM and carrier boards can be installed in 3D printed mini-PC or laptop cases.

For the past five years, UK-based Rhombus Tech, led by developer Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton, has been developing a fully open source, removable computer-on-module (COM) in a standardized format known as “EOMA68.” Rhombus has now gone to CrowdSupply to help fund an “EOMA68-A20” module based on Allwinner’s A20 SoC, as well as a mini-PC and a 15.6-inch laptop built around the COM.

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Open source, DAQ-enabled hacking platform feels its inner Arduino

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OSS

Agilo’s open source, Arduino Mega compatible “Evive” IoT prototyping and DAQ platform offers a 1.8-inch display, breadboard, analog controls, and more.

Agilo Technologies, a startup formed by students at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), is pitching its flagship Evive prototyping product on Indiegogo. The company has achieved only 39 percent of its $30,000 flexible funding goal, with less than a week remaining, but it is committed to manufacturing the product and fulfilling orders. The company has already lined up other funding, as well as manufacturing and component suppliers, according to an email from CEO and co-founder Dhrupal R Shah.

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Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu Phone, Sep 2016 - Vorsprung durch Touch
    The Ubuntu Phone is getting better, and with every new iteration of the OTA, my little BQ Aquaris E4.5 is gaining more speed and functionality. Like in the air force, with an avionics upgrade, which transforms ancient wings into a powerful and modern bird of prey. Only the pace of advancement is lagging behind the market. See what Android and iOS can do, even Windows Phone, and you realize how late and insufficiently meaningful the Ubuntu Phone really is. This has to change, massively. This latest round does bring some fine goods to the table - more speed and stability, better icons, more overall visual polish, incremental improvements in the applications and the scopes. But that's not enough to win the heart of the average user. A more radical, app-centric effort is required. More focus on delivering the mobile experience, be it as it may. Ubuntu cannot revolutionalize that which is already considered the past. It can only join the club and enjoy the benefits of a well-established reality. And that is a kickass app stack that makes the touch device worth using in the first place. Still, it's not all gloomy. E4.5 is a better product now than it was a year ago, fact. Ubuntu Phone is a better operating system than it was even this spring, fact. So maybe one day we will see Ubuntu become an important if not dominant player in the phone and tablet space. It sure is heading in the right direction, my only fear is the availability of resources to pull off this massive rehaul that is needed to make it stand up to the old and proven giants. And that's it really. If you're keen on Linux (not Android) making it in the mobile world, do not forget to check my Ubuntu tablet review! Especially the convergence piece. On that merry note, you do remember that I'm running a wicked contest this year, too? He/she who reads my books might get a chance to win an M10 tablet. Indeed. Off you go, dear readers. Whereas I will now run the same set of tests we did here on the Aquaris tablet, and see how it likes the OTA-12 upgrade. The end.
  • Ubuntu 16.10 Unity 8 - new window snapping feature
  • Ubuntu Online Summit for Ubuntu 17.04 is Taking Place In Mid-November
  • Ubuntu Online Summit: 15-16 November 2016

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • 10 Top Open Source Artificial Intelligence Tools for Linux
    In this post, we shall cover a few of the top, open-source artificial intelligence (AI) tools for the Linux ecosystem. Currently, AI is one of the ever advancing fields in science and technology, with a major focus geared towards building software and hardware to solve every day life challenges in areas such as health care, education, security, manufacturing, banking and so much more.
  • List of FLOSS International Conferences September 2016 Materials
  • This Week In Servo 78
    Our overall roadmap is available online and now includes the initial Q3 plans. From now on, we plan to include the quarterly plan with a high-level breakdown in the roadmap page.
  • Firefox 49 Release: Find out what is new
    Firefox 49.0 is the next major stable release of the web browser. Firefox 48.0.2 and earlier versions of Firefox can be updated to the new release.
  • Open-Source Climate Change Data From NASA, NOAA, & Others Available For 1st Time
    Climate change has many components — rising sea levels, alterations in rainfall patterns, and an increase in severe storm activity, among others. Communities around the world are faced with the need to plan for climate change but don’t have the information available to do so effectively.
  • Another Setback for 3D Printed Gun Advocate Cody Wilson as Court of Appeals Rules That National Security Concerns Outweigh Free Speech
    It’s been a long, drawn-out battle, beginning in 2013 when Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, published the open source files for his 3D printed handgun, the Liberator, online. The State Department ordered that he take the files down, and Wilson complied, but not before thousands had downloaded them and spread them elsewhere on the Internet. In 2015, with the help of gun rights organization The Second Amendment Foundation, Wilson filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the State Department had violated not only his Second Amendment but his First Amendment rights. By suppressing his right to share information online, Wilson argued, the State Department was violating his right to free speech.
  • In 3D-Printed Gun Case, Federal Court Permits Speech Censorship in the Name of Alleged National Security
  • Oracle tries playing nice with Java EE rebels
    With Oracle now trying to get back on track with advancing enterprise Java, the company is seeking rapprochement with factions that had sought to advance the platform on their own. The two groups involved are mostly amenable to patching up the relationship. Oracle's Anil Gaur, group vice president of engineering, said this week he had already been in touch with some of the concerned parties. The two factions include Java EE Guardians, led by former Oracle Java EE evangelist Reza Rahman, and Microprofile.io, which has included participation from Red Hat and IBM.

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