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EFF Launches Open Source Code Security Program to Improve User Privacy

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a new security initiative aimed at identifying vulnerabilities in open source code. The move is another sign of the open source world's increasing interest in leveraging the the community to shore up software security in the wake of embarrassments like Heartbleed, the bug found in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library that led to so much trouble last year.

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Gradle Grabs $4.2 Million To Expand Commercial Company Around Open Source Build System

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Surely by now we know that every company is a software company, and as more companies focus on software development, it is increasingly difficult for them to manage the complexity around coordinating builds and creating executables. That’s where the open source Gradle tool comes in — and it got $4.2 million today to continue to expand the commercial company behind the open source project.

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Dutch government to shore up open source security

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The Dutch Parliament on Tuesday approved a EUR 0.5 million budget to develop and improve existing open source encryption solutions that are a crucial part of the Internet. The plan is to enhance projects such as OpenSSL, LibreSSL or PolarSSL (mbed TLS).

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Structure this: Open-source containers project unboxed

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An open-source project for vendor-neutral containers has come to life.

The Open Container Initiative (OCI) has been ushered into existence with the creation of a technical governance structure.

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Leftovers: OSS

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  • World’s Fastest Password Cracking Tool Hashcat Is Now Open Source

    The world’s fastest cracking tool Hashcat is now open source. The company has called it a very important step and listed out the reasons that inspired them to take this step.

  • Hashcat advanced password recovery now open source

    Steube said that many of these researchers can't reveal the exact changes they would need to make due to non-disclosure agreements (NDA) so making the software open source allows them to make the changes themselves.

  • Apache Advances Open Source Kylin for OLAP-on-Hadoop

    Just over a year after being open sourced by creator eBay Inc., the Kylin project -- a Big Data distributed analytics engine -- has been advanced by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to top-level status.

    Apache Kylin is designed to provide a SQL interface and multi-dimensional analysis (OLAP) on Apache Hadoop, with support for extremely large datasets.

  • Act now to rebuild trust in the code controlling everyday stuff

    AMID the ongoing fallout over the software in some Volkswagen cars that was able to cheat emissions tests, the public may well be pondering a wider question: can we trust the software in the gadgets we use every day? If a car’s software can deceive, what might our devices be programmed to do that is not in our interests?

    Some TVs and fridges already stand accused of manipulating energy efficiency tests. But software can’t just be used to make beating such tests easier. It also makes it easier to lock consumers into proprietary systems and raises suspicions of planned obsolescence.

    Whenever devices go online, manufacturers (and others) gain the ability to invade privacy: recall Samsung’s TVs with voice recognition that also happened to gather private conversations.

  • The Firefox OS smartphone is dead

    The Firefox OS smartphone has been discontinued by Mozilla. This comes as no real surprise, given the intense competition in the smartphone market and the domination of Apple's iOS and Google's Android phones.

  • Mozilla Launches Free Ad Blocker for iOS 9
  • ZeroDB, End-to-End Encryption Database Engine, Goes Open Source

    The makers of ZeroDB, an end-to-end encrypted database, have open-sourced their application, making the code available on GitHub.

  • My SSH talk now on YouTube

    My November 11, 2015 talk about SSH is now on YouTube. This is one way to lose 90 minutes.

  • Silly questions about telephony

    Question two. From a GNU/Linux PC, I want the capability to connect to a USA cell phone network and make a voice call to an old-school 9600 bps landline audio modem, and have serial comms with this landline audio modem.

  • Parallels Between Code of Conducts and Copyleft (and their objectors)

    The question is, is this an objection to copyleft, or is it an objection to code of conducts? I've seen objections raised to both that go along these lines. I think there's little coincidence, since both of them are objections to added process which define (and provide enforcement mechanisms for) doing the right thing.

  • bq Witbox 2 Open Source 3D Printer Launches For €1,690

    Being open source all the design files for the Witbox 2 3D Printer can be found over on GitHub via the link below, if you are interested. For more details and specifications on the Witbox 2 Jumbo to the official website via the link below where it is also now available to purchase priced at €1,690.


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5 open source tools for making music

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Do you think music software is only the domain of expensive proprietary software? Think again. There are literally hundreds of applications out there designed by, and for, those with a musical bent. Music projects, including many projects specifically for the Linux operating system, flourish in the open source community as musicians take to coding to produce tools to make their lives easier.

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Leftovers: OSS

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  • A Popular European Cable Modem Is Now Open-Source

    A popular European cable modem has seen its software open-sourced by Technicolor in order to comply with the GPL.

  • The very different economics of running open-source software
  • Hashcat Is Now Open-Source
  • Marist College Latest to Join Open Source Initiative Affiliate Program

    In the Summer of 2015 the Open Source Initiative® (OSI) announced the extension of its Affiliate Member Program to include institutions of higher education, and shortly after announced admission of our first member from the higher education community, the University of Southern Queensland. Today the OSI announces Marist College has joined as well. Marist College is an important supporter and contributor to not only the advancement of open source software within colleges and universities, but also as a community member of another OSI Affiliate, the Apereo Foundation. Marist College's experiences in open source software adoption, community development and policy advocacy within the higher education landscape will inform the OSI's work throughout the education sector and help shape the Affiliate Member Program to best serve institutions of higher education exploring, using and producing open source software.

  • FOSDEM 2016 Distro Devroom: Call for Participation

    The FOSDEM Distro Devroom will take place 30 & 31 January, 2016 at FOSDEM, in room K.4.201 at Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Brussels, Belgium.

    As Linux distributions converge on similar tools, the problem space overlapping different distributions is growing. This standardization across the distributions presents an opportunity to develop generic solutions to the problems of aggregating, building, and maintaining the pieces that go into a distribution.

  • Google Code-in 2015 has started!

    In this year’s edition of Google Code-in, students can choose from tasks provided by the following organizations / projects: Apertium, Copyleft Games, Drupal, FOSSASIA, Haiku, KDE, MetaBrainz, OpenMRS, RTEMS, SCoRe, Sugar Labs, Systers, Ubuntu, and Wikimedia.

  • Poll: You Think Mozilla Should Keep Thunderbird — Maybe

    The results of our latest poll have been tallied and FOSS Force readers evidently think that Mozilla should keep Thunderbird instead of helping the project find a new home. Mozilla executive chairperson, Mitchell Baker, announced on November 30 that the foundation intended to eventually separate itself from the popular desktop email client it first released in 2004.

  • MapR's John Schroeder on Big Data Trends for 2016
  • Asking Me Questions about Keystone

    As many of you have found out, I am relatively willing to help people out with Keystone related questions. Here are a couple guidelines.

    Don’t ask me support questions here on the blog. I’ll lie or make something up and you will never know it. Instead, ask in #openstack-keystone if you can find me on IRC or on the #openstack or #oepnstack-dev mailing list with [keystone] in the title. I might not answer, but someone that knows will. Or someone that doesn’t know, will answer, and I’ll correct the answer, and then someone else will correct my correction.

  • FOSS & Education: It’s Deeper than Ones and Zeros

    I stared at a blinking cursor when confronted with the question, “Your profession and position?”

    It can be difficult to define the entire spectrum of my role at Reglue. Yeah, I am founder and executive director, but outside of that, in the real world where people are identified by their professional roles, how do I answer such a question?

  • FSF Events: Flyering - Ethical-tech advocacy and socializing (Somerville, MA)

    We've put together a gorgeous 2015 Giving Guide to encourage people to shop ethically for tech gifts, just as they might for other kinds of gifts. Now it's time to get it into the hands of holiday shoppers! In what is now an FSF tradition, we'll be in elf and gnu costumes at Davis Square, handing out print copies of the Giving Guide to people buying their loved ones presents for Christmas, Hanukkah, and everything else.

  • Dutch National Open Data Agenda to facilitate open data publication

    Last week, the Dutch Minister of the Interior, Ronald Plasterk sent the government's National Open Data Agenda (NODA) in a letter to the Dutch parliament. The agenda aims to make as many high-value datasets as possible available for re-use. It will provide tools to keep track of progress and quality, and support for data managers in opening up their datasets.

  • Open source HomeBridge links 3rd-party smart home devices like Nest to Apple's HomeKit

    Users looking to connect their existing smart home setup to Apple's HomeKit ecosystem can turn to Homebridge, an open-source tool that brings voice control to popular devices from Nest, Sonos and others.

  • Django Girls Brno

    It was a 1 day workshop the day before PyCon and it took place in Fit Vut (Faculty of Information Technology). There were several reasons I applied for it:

    it’s free;
    it’s for women;
    you don’t have to be an experienced programmer. In fact the only requirement was to have a laptop;
    it’s an amazing opportunity to learn some code and get guidance;
    you can meet many great people from open source community.

  • Italy works to increase interoperability of public services and data in EU

    The Italian government agency Agenzia per Italia Digital (agID) has been asked by the European Commission to preside over a working group to address the interoperability of public data and public services, the agency said on its blog. The work of the agency was presented during a Share-PSI workshop in Berlin on November 25 and 26. The main topic of this workshop was “maximising interoperability — core vocabularies, location-aware data and more”.


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5 essential skills for open source development jobs

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Whatever part of open source you want to work in, a grasp of some dynamic programming languages is important to getting on, and Python is the basis for more complex programming. Mark Atwood, Director of Open Source Engagement at HP recommended learning it and JavaScript when he spoke at the Great Wide Open conference in 2014, while Perl is another language to have a strong handle on.

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Leftovers: Software

Linux and FOSS Events

  • Debian SunCamp 2017 Is Taking Place May 18-21 in the Province of Girona, Spain
    It looks like last year's Debian SunCamp event for Debian developers was a total success and Martín Ferrari is back with a new proposal that should take place later this spring during four days full of hacking, socializing, and fun. That's right, we're talking about Debian SunCamp 2017, an event any Debian developer, contributor, or user can attend to meet his or hers Debian buddies, hack together on new projects or improve existing ones by sharing their knowledge, plan upcoming features and discuss ideas for the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.
  • Pieter Hintjens In Memoriam
    Pieter Hintjens was a writer, programmer and thinker who has spent decades building large software systems and on-line communities, which he describes as "Living Systems". He was an expert in distributed computing, having written over 30 protocols and distributed software systems. He designed AMQP in 2004, and founded the ZeroMQ free software project in 2007. He was the author of the O'Reilly ZeroMQ book, "Culture and Empire", "The Psychopath Code", "Social Architecture", and "Confessions of a Necromancer". He was the president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), and fought the software patent directive and the standardisation of the Microsoft OOXML Office format. He also organized the Internet of Things (IOT) Devroom here at FOSDEM for the last 3 years. In April 2016 he was diagnosed with terminal metastasis of a previous cancer.
  • foss-gbg on Wednesday
    The topics are Yocto Linux on FPGA-based hardware, risk and license management in open source projects and a product release by the local start-up Zifra (an encryptable SD-card). More information and free tickets are available at the foss-gbg site.

Leftovers: OSS

  • When Open Source Meets the Enterprise
    Open source solutions have long been an option for the enterprise, but lately it seems they are becoming more of a necessity for advanced data operations than merely a luxury for IT techs who like to play with code. While it’s true that open platforms tend to provide a broader feature set compared to their proprietary brethren, due to their larger and more diverse development communities, this often comes at the cost of increased operational complexity. At a time when most enterprises are looking to shed their responsibilities for infrastructure and architecture to focus instead on core money-making services, open source requires a fairly high level of in-house technical skill. But as data environments become more distributed and reliant upon increasingly complex compilations of third-party systems, open source can provide at least a base layer of commonality for resources that support a given distribution.
  • EngineerBetter CTO: the logical truth about software 'packaging'
    Technologies such as Docker have blended these responsibilities, causing developers to need to care about what operating system and native libraries are available to their applications – after years of the industry striving for more abstraction and increased decoupling!
  • What will we do when everything is automated?
    Just translate the term "productivity of American factories" into the word "automation" and you get the picture. Other workers are not taking jobs away from the gainfully employed, machines are. This is not a new trend. It's been going on since before Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Industry creates machines that do the work of humans faster, cheaper, with more accuracy and with less failure. That's the nature of industry—nothing new here. However, what is new is the rate by which the displacement of human beings from the workforce in happening.
  • Want OpenStack benefits? Put your private cloud plan in place first
    The open source software promises hard-to-come-by cloud standards and no vendor lock-in, says Forrester's Lauren Nelson. But there's more to consider -- including containers.
  • Set the Agenda at OpenStack Summit Boston
    The next OpenStack Summit is just three months away now, and as is their custom, the organizers have once again invited you–the OpenStack Community–to vote on which presentations will and will not be featured at the event.
  • What’s new in the world of OpenStack Ambassadors
    Ambassadors act as liaisons between multiple User Groups, the Foundation and the community in their regions. Launched in 2013, the OpenStack Ambassador program aims to create a framework of community leaders to sustainably expand the reach of OpenStack around the world.
  • Boston summit preview, Ambassador program updates, and more OpenStack news

Proprietary Traps and Openwashing

  • Integrate ONLYOFFICE Online Editors with ownCloud [Ed: Proprietary software latches onto FOSS]
    ONLYOFFICE editors and ownCloud is the match made in heaven, wrote once one of our users. Inspired by this idea, we developed an integration app for you to use our online editors in ownCloud web interface.
  • Microsoft India projects itself as open source champion, says AI is the next step [Ed: Microsoft bribes to sabotage FOSS and blackmails it with patents; calls itself "open source"]
  • Open Source WSO2 IoT Server Advances Integration and Analytic Capabilities
    WSO2 has announced a new, fully-open-source WSO2 Internet of Things Server edition that "lowers the barriers to delivering enterprise-grad IoT and mobile solutions."
  • SAP license fees are due even for indirect users, court says
    SAP's named-user licensing fees apply even to related applications that only offer users indirect visibility of SAP data, a U.K. judge ruled Thursday in a case pitting SAP against Diageo, the alcoholic beverage giant behind Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer. The consequences could be far-reaching for businesses that have integrated their customer-facing systems with an SAP database, potentially leaving them liable for license fees for every customer that accesses their online store. "If any SAP systems are being indirectly triggered, even if incidentally, and from anywhere in the world, then there are uncategorized and unpriced costs stacking up in the background," warned Robin Fry, a director at software licensing consultancy Cerno Professional Services, who has been following the case.
  • “Active Hours” in Windows 10 emphasizes how you are not in control of your own devices
    No edition of Windows 10, except Professional and Enterprise, is expected to function for more than 12 hours of the day. Microsoft most generously lets you set a block of 12 hours where you’re in control of the system, and will reserve the remaining 12 hours for it’s own purposes. How come we’re all fine with this? Windows 10 introduced the concept of “Active Hours”, a period of up to 12 hours when you expect to use the device, meant to reflect your work hours. The settings for changing the device’s active hours is hidden away among Windows Update settings, and it poorly fits with today’s lifestyles. Say you use your PC in the afternoon and into the late evening during the work week, but use it from morning to early afternoon in the weekends. You can’t fit all those hours nor accommodate home office hours in a period of just 12 hours. We’re always connected, and expect our devices to always be there for us when we need them.
  • Chrome 57 Will Permanently Enable DRM
    The next stable version of Chrome (Chrome 57) will not allow users to disable the Widevine DRM plugin anymore, therefore making it an always-on, permanent feature of Chrome. The new version of Chrome will also eliminate the “chrome://plugins” internal URL, which means if you want to disable Flash, you’ll have to do it from the Settings page.