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Former CIA Director for FOSS in Voting, eLife Commits to FOSS, Bitnami Offers FOSS

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  • To Protect Voting, Use Open-Source Software [Ed: no more Microsoft, at long last?]

    Although Russian hackers are reported to have tried to disrupt the November election with attacks on the voting systems of 39 states, the consensus of the intelligence community is that they were probably unsuccessful in their efforts to delete and alter voter data. But another national election is just 15 months away, and the risk that those working on behalf of President Vladimir Putin of Russia could do real damage — and even manage to mark your ballot for you or altering your vote — remains.

    Since the debacle of the 2000 election (remember hanging chads?) American election machinery has been improved to reduce the chances of mis-tallying votes, outright fraud and attacks by hackers. These improvements brought with them a new concern: lack of software security. Most voting machines’ software can now be easily hacked. This is in large part because the current voting systems use proprietary software based on Microsoft’s operating system.

    One post-2000 change — a useful one — was to move away from all-electronic touch-screen balloting, with no paper record indicating how someone voted. Nearly half of voters are registered in jurisdictions that use optical-scan systems that read marked paper ballots and tally the results. But one-quarter of voters still use direct-recording electronic voting machines, which produce no paper trail.

    At polling places where voting machines don’t provide this backup record, there’s no way for election officials to run an effective recount if the electronics are hacked.

  • eLife Commits to Open Source Content Editing Project

    eLife joined the Substance Consortium, which provides support for Substance, a JavaScript library for web-based content editing. This open source project supplies custom text editors and other systems that enable knowledge creation and dissemination.


  • Bitnami Releases Cabin Mobile Kubernetes Dashboard as Open Source

    Bitnami announced on August 1 that it is open sourcing the first mobile app for managing Kubernetes, with the public release of Cabin.

    Bitnami originally acquired the Cabin technology through the acquisition of privately-held Kubernetes startup Skippbox Ltd in March of this year.

Opposing net neutrality threatens the viability of open source communities

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Such things could change the open source landscape drastically. Although open source software powers much of the modern world, with 78% of companies running open source software in 2015, that doesn't mean projects won't feel the effects of a more restricted internet. While larger organizations such as the Apache Foundation or Mozilla might fare okay in a world without net neutrality, smaller projects could be drowned out by ISP restrictions.

Even those larger open source communities might find themselves becoming niche if they're overshadowed by larger companies that can afford to sponsor data or exist in faster tiers. This could cause companies or individuals that would be otherwise willing to support free and open source software (FOSS) to choose a proprietary option due to better access.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • Leveraging open source tools to power your Core Insurance Business

    It is no secret that insurance and insurers, as we traditionally know them, have been facing many challenges. This is due to the emergence of the new-age disruptive technologies that are altering the landscape.

    Given the age-old philosophy of survival of the fittest, it is companies that manage to adapt themselves in the face emerging technology, which will be frontrunners. The ever-changing Initiatives such as Omni-channel customer experience and digital capabilities need to be at the forefront. However, the basic underlying question is - how can legacy systems and internal IT Architecture respond to the new business models.

  • Choosing open source for your IoT platform is smart strategy

    You have a great idea for an IoT initiative. Maybe improving your insight into your business operations. Maybe increasing the productivity and satisfaction of your workforce. Maybe building customer loyalty with exceptional experiences. Maybe getting a leg up on the competition with a new digital business model. In any case, selecting your IoT platform is an important choice with long-term ramifications.

  • Open source is powering the digital enterprise [Ed: IDG (now Chinese-owned, no longer the same owners) is doing "SPONSORED" openwashing ads for Dell while citing Black Duck, which is a Microsoft parasite inside the competition.]
  • The Roadmap for Successfully Managing Open Source Software Vulnerabilities and Licensing [Ed: Proprietary software is an even greater risk, both licensing- and security-wise]
  • MATRIX Voice Open-Source Voice Platform (video)

    Makers, electronics enthusiasts and developers searching for an open source voice platform may be interested in a new piece of hardware which has been created by MATRIX Labs based in San Francisco, California.

  • OSConnect Open Source Mini PC (video)

    A new open source minicomputer has been launched by Kickstarter this week looking to raise $500,000 over the next 28 days to help take the OSConnect mini PC and to manufacture.

    The OSConnect mini PC is fitted with an open sourced motherboard complete with expandable Micro SD on board and solid-state hard drive. Together with connectivity via Bluetooth 4.0, wi-fi b/g/n/ac and Windows 10 with Linux and Android dual boot support. Unfortunately no specific hardware specifications have been listed as yet.

  • How to get the next generation coding early

    You've probably heard the claim that coding, or computer programming, is as crucial a skill in the 21st century as reading and math were in the previous century. I'll go one step further: Teaching a young person to code could be the single most life-changing skill you can give them. And it's not just a career-enhancer. Coding is about problem-solving, it's about creativity, and more importantly, it's about empowerment.

  • If you love your email standards, SMTP your feet: 35 years later

    This month marks the 35th anniversary of the sign-off of RFC 821, the first definition of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, that everyday staple of email comms.

    Although the original spec has long been superseded, with the latest version of SMTP being contained in RFC 5321, RFC 821 laid the foundations for the billions of messages that zip through the intertubes every day.

    An American consultancy estimated (PDF) that there are around 2.7 billion users of email today, and reckons that half the planet will be using email by the year 2020.

Events: SHA 2017, SIGGRAPH 2017, and the Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit Europe 2017

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The Case for Open Source Software at Work

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Open source has entered the limelight at work. Not only is it frequently being used in businesses – but it’s helping people build their professional reputations, according to the recently released 2017 GitHub Open Source Survey.

Notably, half of the 5,500 survey GitHub contributors say that their open source work was somewhat or very important in getting their current role.

The survey found nearly all (94 percent) employed respondents use open source at least sometimes professionally (81 percent use it frequently), and 65 percent of those who contribute back do so as part of their work duties.

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7 mistakes you're probably making

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It can be tough to start a new open source project. You have an awesome idea in your head, but it takes work to turn it into a productive, healthy, engaging community. Sadly (as seems to be the case in practically anything), the same mistakes are made over and over again by new projects.

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OSS: Heroic Labs, ONAP, Leveraging the Best of Open Source, Kite, Nasdaq, Bitnami and More

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  • Heroic Labs launches open-source backend game servers to help small studios with online services

    Game developers are turning to outside vendors for backend services, but there is always a danger they could get locked into one with bad results. So Heroic Labs is announcing the formal launch of its Nakama 1.0 open-source real-time game servers to help with this.

    The San Francisco-based company has developed server that provides typical backend services such as live events, leaderboards, and other features that game developers would rather not have to code themselves, said Heroic Labs vice president of product Alim Jaffer in an interview with GamesBeat.

  • Comcast Joins ONAP

    The news was announced today by the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) , which also welcomed four more vendors -- Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), Infosys Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFY), Netcracker Technology Corp. and Samsung Corp. -- to the fold for a total of 50 members. The organization, sponsored by the Linux Foundation , has only been in formal operation since March.

  • Who's doing what with NFV orchestration platforms?

    The deployment of network functions virtualization, or NFV, can bring significant benefits to service providers. These benefits include agility, lower costs and promises of operational efficiency. But service providers must choose from leading open source options and a variety of vendor-supplied offerings for their NFV orchestration platforms.

  • Leveraging the Best of Open Source [Ed: He says we are now "treating open source solutions as fundamentally the same as commercial offerings," but it's ill-posed because "commercial" does not or should not mean proprietary.]

    Open source technologies are everywhere and in almost everything we leverage today across the IT enterprise. That is not a new observation, but something we just accept. My experience in leveraging open source technologies reaches back to the mid 90's where I spent the better part of a year setting up both a rural phone company's ISP and a university’s computing lab leveraging Linux 0.99. In those days, the cost of commercial enterprise operating systems was too high for lean startup activities. Therefore, we were willing to trade time for money. Getting a Linux kernel working with a specific network card was not fun in the early days and often required a bit of trial and error cycled over many kernel builds. However, these types of projects gave us a real appreciation for what the open source community was contributing and what was expected from the user community to benefit. Unfortunately, this support gap kept open source technologies on the fringe for many years. Eventually this provided an opportunity for the creation of new vendor ecosystems that work closely with the technical innovators while delivering the functionality and support required of enterprise customers. Companies like RedHat have been filling some of these gaps for more than a decade.

  • Kite Dev Tool Drops Atom Bomb

    There's trouble in open source land, revolving around a text editor that's popular with developers and a proprietary toolset, Kite, that wants some of that open source business. Their way of getting it, however, seems to have backfired.

    Atom is a text editor developed by GitHub and released under the MIT license. It's been around for about three-and-a-half years, during which time it's built a sizable user base. Developers like it because it runs on most operating systems -- Linux, Windows and Mac -- and comes with a lot of dev-friendly features built-in. They also like its modular design, which has spawned a community of devs creating plugins that further expand its capabilities.

  • Nasdaq Corporate Solutions' open-source webhosting ensures innovation and best practice

    Innovation in the open-source community allows Nasdaq to rapidly embrace new features that benefit the exchange’s 3,000 webhosting clients around the globe, Ball notes, pointing to a new media library component that allows streamlined management of different media as one example. Drupal’s modular architecture translates into great flexibility for adding new functionality. For IROs, that means that critical must-have characteristics are an integral part of the Nasdaq Corporate Solutions platform. For example, ‘mobile is a first-class citizen,’ Ball says, pointing out that there is no separate process for administering content for mobile environments, so any new IR content is automatically promulgated across a multi-platform architecture.

  • Bitnami to Open Source its Mobile Kubernetes Dashboard

    Bitnami announced plans to open source its Cabin platform, which is billed as a mobile application for controlling Kubernetes.

    Cabin is a mobile dashboard, allowing for the remote management of Kubernetes clusters. Users can scale deployments, execute commands in containers, access logs, manage labels, and integrate with Google Container Engine for cluster provisioning.

  • Study: ‘Dutch education system needs thoughtful ICT vision’

    The Dutch education system, together with teachers and school authorities, needs to develop a vision on the relationship between ICT and education, the Education Council of the Netherlands writes in a report published in May. Recommendations include emphasising sharing and reuse of ICT solutions.

    An ICT vision should encompass digital educational goals, the use of digital educational resources, and the use of digital applications in the organisation of education, the Council writes.

  • A Field Guide to Open Source Software Licensing [Ed: More like a FUD guide, not "A Field Guide"; selling services by FUDing FOSS.]

NSA, Openwashing, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation, Petition to Adobe

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OSS: "The Faces of Open Source", NFV, LunchBadger, Bitrise, Apache Cassandra, Kafka

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  • Sharing "The Faces of Open Source"

    A few weeks ago we learned about some great work underway by Shane Martin Coughlan: putting a face to the vibrant open source community, and the fascinating discussions happening within it, through a series of interviews—we thought we'd share them here in a new series.

  • Who's doing what with NFV orchestration platforms?

    It might come as little surprise, but the two primary options for NFV orchestration platforms are open source or vendor-supplied options. See who's doing what in these areas.

  • LunchBadger Announces Open Source Express.js API Gateway

    LunchBadger; API lifecycle, orchestration and optimization solution provider; has announced its new open source API gateway: Express Gateway. Express Gateway is one of the first open source gateways to utilize Express.js. The gateway delivers a solution to developers and businesses who desire to build their own Express.js-based micro services instead of utilizing an out-of-the-box solution.

  • Bitrise raises $3.2M A led by OpenOcean to attack the complexity of building apps

    Bitrise is the most open platform in the space. It’s completely extensible and lets developers use all the third party services they know and love in one beautiful interface.”

  • Turning to Open Source Apache Cassandra Gave Our Data a Highly-Available Home

    A growing cross-network advertising platform, we continue to be drawn to solutions that free up our internal resources from being bogged down by infrastructure management. While it’s a strategy that has been critical to our success, it hasn’t come without key infrastructure changes to make it work. Our challenge from day one has been balancing the fact that the strength of our database capabilities is absolutely essential to our product, but devoting all possible resources toward product development would give us the competitive differentiators we need to be successful.

  • All your streaming data are belong to Kafka

    Apache Kafka is on a roll. Last year it registered a 260 percent jump in developer popularity, as Redmonk’s Fintan Ryan highlights, a number that has only ballooned since then as IoT and other enterprise demands for real-time, streaming data become common. Hatched at LinkedIn, Kafka’s founding engineering team spun out to form Confluent, which has been a primary developer of the Apache project ever since.

    But not the only one. Indeed, given the rising importance of Kafka, more companies than ever are committing code, including Eventador, started by Kenny Gorman and Erik Beebe, both co-founders of ObjectRocket (acquired by Rackspace). Whereas ObjectRocket provides the MongoDB database as a service, Eventador offers a fully managed Kafka service, further lowering the barriers to streaming data.

  • Support Driven Development: Listen now so you don’t hear it later

    As you can see, none of these support requests were true bugs. But they were stumbling blocks for many users, and added up to a major source of customer dissatisfaction – and a major contributor to support time. By resolving them we’ve made our existing customers happier, and made our new customers blissfully unaware of their predecessors’ struggles.

Open source mapping project preserves cultural heritage

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I am from the Philippines. I've been an advocate of free and open culture since college, and I occasionally also contribute to the Wikimedia projects, particularly Wikimedia Commons.

In 2014, I worked on a government project where I digitally documented some of the largest heritage artworks in the country, like the ceiling paintings of some of the colonial Catholic churches in central Philippines. You can see them at Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licenses.

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OpenSUSE fonts – The sleeping beauty guide

Pandora’s box of fonts is one of the many ailments of the distro world. As long as we do not have standards, and some rather strict ones at that, we will continue to suffer from bad fonts, bad contrast, bad ergonomics, and in general, settings that are not designed for sustained, prolonged use. It’s a shame, because humans actually use computers to interface with information, to READ text and interpret knowledge using the power of language. It’s the most critical element of the whole thing. OpenSUSE under-delivers on two fonts – anti-aliasing and hinting options that are less than ideal, and then it lacks the necessary font libraries to make a relevant, modern and pleasing desktop for general use. All of this can be easily solved if there’s more attention, love and passion for the end product. After all, don’t you want people to be spending a lot of time interacting, using and enjoying the distro? Hopefully, one day, all this will be ancient history. We will be able to choose any which system and never worry or wonder how our experience is going to be impacted by the choice of drivers, monitors, software frameworks, or even where we live. For the time being, if you intend on using openSUSE, this little guide should help you achieve a better, smoother, higher-quality rendering of fonts on the screen, allowing you to enjoy the truly neat Plasma desktop to the fullest. Oh, in the openSUSE review, I promised we would handle this, and handle it we did! Take care. Read more

Today in Techrights

Direct Rendering Manager and VR HMDs Under Linux

  • Intel Prepping Support For Huge GTT Pages
    Intel OTC developers are working on support for huge GTT pages for their Direct Rendering Manager driver.
  • Keith Packard's Work On Better Supporting VR HMDs Under Linux With X.Org/DRM
    Earlier this year Keith Packard started a contract gig for Valve working to improve Linux's support for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs). In particular, working on Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) and X.Org changes needed so VR HMDs will work well under Linux with the non-NVIDIA drivers. A big part of this work is the concept of DRM leases, a new Vulkan extension, and other changes to the stack.

Software: Security Tools, cmus, Atom-IDE, Skimmer Scanner

  • Security Tools to Check for Viruses and Malware on Linux
    First and foremost, no operating system is 100 percent immune to attack. Whether a machine is online or offline, it can fall victim to malicious code. Although Linux is less prone to such attacks than, say, Windows, there is no absolute when it comes to security. I have witnessed, first hand, Linux servers hit by rootkits that were so nasty, the only solution was to reinstall and hope the data backup was current. I’ve been a victim of a (very brief) hacker getting onto my desktop, because I accidentally left desktop sharing running (that was certainly an eye opener). The lesson? Even Linux can be vulnerable. So why does Linux need tools to prevent viruses, malware, and rootkits? It should be obvious why every server needs protection from rootkits — because once you are hit with a rootkit, all bets are off as to whether you can recover without reinstalling the platform. It’s antivirus and anti-malware where admins start getting a bit confused. Let me put it simply — if your server (or desktop for that matter) makes use of Samba or sshfs (or any other sharing means), those files will be opened by users running operating systems that are vulnerable. Do you really want to take the chance that your Samba share directory could be dishing out files that contain malicious code? If that should happen, your job becomes exponentially more difficult. Similarly, if that Linux machine performs as a mail server, you would be remiss to not include AV scanning (lest your users be forwarding malicious mail).
  • cmus – A Small, Fast And Powerful Console Music Player For Linux
    You may ask a question yourself when you see this article. Is it possible to listen music in Linux terminal? Yes because nothing is impossible in Linux. We have covered many popular GUI-based media players in our previous articles but we didn’t cover any CLI based media players as of now, so today we are going to cover about cmus, is one of the famous console-based media players among others (For CLI, very few applications is available in Linux).
  • You Can Now Transform the Atom Hackable Text Editor into an IDE with Atom-IDE
    GitHub and Facebook recently launched a set of tools that promise to allow you to transform your Atom hackable text editor into a veritable IDE (Integrated Development Environment). They call the project Atom-IDE. With the release of Atom 1.21 Beta last week, GitHub introduced Language Server Protocol support to integrate its brand-new Atom-IDE project, which comes with built-in support for five popular language servers, including JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, Java, C#, and Flow. But many others will come with future Atom updates.
  • This open-source Android app is designed to detect nearby credit card skimmers
    Protecting our data is a constant battle, especially as technology continues to advance. A recent trend that has popped up is the installation of credit card skimmers, especially at locations such as gas pumps. With a simple piece of hardware and 30 seconds to install it, a hacker can easily steal credit card numbers from a gas pump without anyone knowing. Now, an open-source app for Android is attempting to help users avoid these skimmers.