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OSS

MediPi open source telehealth kit piloted in NHS

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Linux
OSS

An open source telehealth kit built using a Raspberry Pi will be piloted with heart patients at a southern NHS trust this financial year.

Richard Robinson, a technical integration specialist at HSCIC, developed the telehealth prototype called MediPi to prove that “telehealth is affordable at scale”.

He said eight months ago his wife, who works for a charity helping socially isolated older people, was asked to find volunteers for a telehealth pilot.

“She came home with the kit and it was all high-end tablets, 3G and Bluetooth enabled devices and I was really shocked by what I thought would cost,” explained Robinson.

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What's new in MySQL?

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OSS

This year at the Percona Live Data Performance Conference I'll be talking about MySQL. MySQL is the world's most popular open source database, enabling the cost-effective delivery of reliable, high-performance and scalable web-based and embedded database applications, including all five of the top five websites.

My interest in databases grew while working in banking in the late nineties. Back then I implemented back-end ATM servers using HP-UX and Sybase as the development platform. I remember we had an allowed maintenance window from 2am-5am, and struggled with finishing a blocking create index operation on our main table with 30 million rows. I remember thinking "Why can't this be done while the database is online?"

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Signal desktop app with end-to-end encryption now open to all
  • Signal, the open-source encrypted messaging app, is now available for desktop
  • Open-source software provides new opportunities

    Crashes happen. Open-source software can remedy that. It’s known for higher security and fewer code errors. The numbers speak for themselves: Linux, a major developer of open-source software has an average of 0.17 bugs per 1000 lines. Proprietary software has an average of 20 to 30 bugs per 1000 lines.

  • Guest Post: NoSQL vs SQL - Battle or Brave New World?
  • LibreOffice Receives Better OpenGL Rendering Support
  • OpenTraffic for Manila, US agencies to release 20% code as open source, and more news
  • FABrics: Open Source Furniture

    FABrics are open source chairs designed to be manufactured locally by the user. The chairs consist of CNC routed plywood and laser-cut leather. They are assembled together using 3D printed connectors.

    The aim of this project was to create a collection of lounge furniture that can be made anywhere in the world using universal materials and technologies. These digital processing technologies can be found in local facilities and in Fab Labs or Maker Spaces around the world. The manufacturing process is designed to be simple and straightforward in order to accommodate a large variety of users.

  • A letter to Carlos Moedas on open science

    “I’m offering to come to Brussels and demonstrate on my (or your) laptop the value of text and data mining for open science,” says Peter Murray-Rust of Cambridge University, as he presses the EU to go further on copyright reform

  • Happy Hardware Freedom Day!

    Today is the new selected date for Hardware Freedom Day. We did a community survey a few months back and that was by far the most popular time. While our website is back up the wiki and registration are still down though. Considering the status we’re hoping to get things back up and encourage people who missed the date to celebrate a HFD on their schedule. Following up our mail list you may know there are events in Barcelona and India or can simply ping us there.

  • An Open Source Two Stroke Diesel

    With a welder and a bunch of scrap, you can build just about anything that moves. Want a dune buggy? That’s just some tube and a pipe bender. Need a water pump? You might need a grinder. A small tractor? Just find some big knobby tires in a junkyard. Of course, the one thing left out of all these builds is a small motor, preferably one that can run on everything from kerosene to used cooking oil. This is the problem [Shane] is tackling for his entry to the 2016 Hackaday Prize. It’s an Open Source Two-Stroke Diesel Engine that’s easy for anyone to build and has minimal moving parts.

FOSS in the Public Sector

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OSS
  • GSA’s 18F Assembles Open Source Code Repositories on GitHub

    The General Services Administration‘s 18F organization has assembled repositories that contain open source code on its GitHub account in an effort to help federal government employees reuse the code for their work and personal use.

    Britta Gustafson, content designer at 18F, wrote in a blog post published Wednesday that the code repositories include client projects, guides, prototypes and open source tools 18F plans to adapt.

  • 18F surfaces code for 35 useful projects

    Although the General Services Administration’s 18F digital services shop publicly shares code from its projects as a matter or course, finding useful code among the hundreds of entries in the 18F GitHub repository can be time consuming.

  • Talend latest firm to back open source training network in France

    Talend, a specialist in Big Data integration software, has joined Acquia, Open Wide, OW2 and Red Hat as a Founding Partner of France’s national Open Source School, an institution dedicated to higher education training and continuing education for open source solutions (OSS).

  • Make your voice heard: take part in an open public consultation on Interoperability in Europe

    As of this week, through this public consultation, administrations, businesses and private organisations, research centres, academic institutions, standardisation organisations and others can all have their say in setting up an interoperability framework and strategy in Europe.

Calamares 2.2.1 Distribution-Independent Installer Released for GNU/Linux OSes

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OSS

Last week we told you everything there was to know about the major Calamares 2.2 release, an open-source project whose main design goal is to become the best distribution-independent installer out there.

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Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Qubole releases SQL optimizer as open source

    Big data-as-a-service provider Qubole Inc. has open-sourced its Quark cost-based SQL optimizer that simplifies and optimize access to data across multiple hosts.

    Quark essentially chooses between popular big data open source query systems such as Hive, RedShift and Presto/Impala to select that which will deliver the best query results. “All of these query engines are good at some things and bad at others,” said Ashish Thusoo, co-founder and CEO of the 90-employee Qubole. “Subsuming that intelligence allows the machine to decide what engine is best used for that query.”

  • Building Bonobo, the Guardian's open source API key management tool

    We built the application using the Play Framework and Scala - the programming language that the Guardian widely uses for backend development. This required a lot of patience as the community for these technologies is still quite small and the documentation can be rather limited. However, having very talented Scala developers in our team allowed us to make mistakes and guided us in the right direction. They made a big difference.

  • FOSDEM 2016 notes

    While being on the committee for the FOSDEM MySQL & friends devroom, I didn’t speak at that devroom (instead I spoke at the distributions devroom). But when I had time to pop in, I did take some notes on sessions that were interesting to me, so here are the notes. I really did enjoy Yoshinori Matsunobu’s session (out of the devroom) on RocksDB and MyRocks and I highly recommend you to watch the video as the notes can’t be very complete without the great explanation available in the slide deck. Anyway there are videos from the MySQL and friends devroom.

  • Introducing Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map, Our New Blueprint for Teaching People About the Web

    Within the next decade, the number of individuals with access to the Internet will rise to five billion. These billions of new users, many from emerging markets, have the potential to experience unprecedented personal, civic and economic opportunity online — but only if they have the necessary skills to meaningfully wield the Internet.

    To this end, Mozilla is dedicated to empowering people with the knowledge they need to read, write and participate online. We define this knowledge as “web literacy” — a collection of core skills and competencies like search engine know-how, design basics, online privacy fundamentals, and a working understanding of sharing, open source licensing and remixing.

  • LibreOffice 5.1.2 available for download

    Berlin, April 7, 2016 – The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.1.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 5.1 family.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: April 8th

Linux and OpenStack

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Server
OSS

Teaching teachers to teach open source

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Interviews
OSS

This seems obvious, but the ability to learn independently is very important to successful student participation in HFOSS projects. Students have to be able to learn in a variety of manners from a range of different sources, and they need to take ownership of their learning in order to flourish in an open source community.

Communication, teamwork and the ability to problem solve are also critical skills. While understanding technologies such as version control is emphasized by most open source communities, students who don't understand how to navigate a professional environment by communicating clearly or who can't work on a team won't even get to the point of using those technologies. These process skills can sometimes be more difficult to teach than teaching a student Java.

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Open source geeks in a world of silos

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OSS

Bryan Lunduke is well known in free software circles. He's a writer of books and Network World articles. He co-founded the Linux Action Show and is a co-host of the Bad Voltage podcast. In between hobbies, he has a day job doing marketing for SUSE and serving on the openSUSE board. Perhaps his longest-lasting contribution, though, is the Linux distro building simulator game Linux Tycoon.

At LinuxFest Northwest, Bryan will be debating James Mason on the subject of Open source geeks in a world of silos. We asked him some questions and turned him loose.

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OpenStack News

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More in Tux Machines

Software: DNS Checkers, Alternatives to Adobe Software, Fake Hollywood Hacker Terminal and More

KDE and GNOME: Kubuntu Site, Marble Maps, Kube in Randa, and UX in GNOME

  • Call for design: Artful Banner for Kubuntu.org website
    Kubuntu 17.10 — code-named Artful Aardvark — will be released on October 19th, 2017. We need a new banner for the website, and invite artists and designers to submit designs to us based on the Plasma wallpaper and perhaps the mascot design.
  • Randa 2017 Report – Marble Maps
    Just came back home yesterday from Randa Meetings 2017. This year, even though my major motive for the sprint was to use Qt 5.8’s Qt Speech module instead of custom Java for text-to-speech during navigation, that could not be achieved because of a bug which made the routes not appear in the app in the first place. And this bug is reproducible both by using latest code, and old-enough code, and is even there in the prod app in the Google Play Store itself. So, although most of my time had gone in deep-diving on the issue, unfortunately I was not able to find the root-cause to it eventually. I will need to pick up on that in the coming weeks again when I get time, to get it fixed.
  • Kube in Randa
    I’ve spent the last few days with fellow KDE hackers in beautiful Randa in the Swiss Mountains. It’s an annual event that focuses on a specific topic every year, and this time accessibility was up, so Michael and me made our way up here to improve Kube in that direction (and to enjoy the scenic surroundings of course).
  • Usability testing for early-stage software prototypes
    In this article, Ciarrai Cunneen and I describe how to do a paper-based usability test, using an early redesign of the GNOME Settings app as an example. The updated Settings features in GNOME 3.26, released on September 13. When writing open source software, we often obsess about making our logic elegant and concise, coming up with clever ways to execute tasks and demonstrate ideas. But we sometimes forget a key fact: Software is not useful if it is not easy to use. To make sure our programs can be used by our intended audience, we need usability testing. Usability is basically asking the question, "Can people easily use this thing?" or "Can real people use the software to do real tasks in a reasonable amount of time?" Usability is crucial to the creative process of building anything user-based. If real people can't use our software, then all the hard work of creating it is pointless. [...] In early 2016, GNOME decided to make a major UI update to its Settings application. This visual refresh shifts from an icon-based menu to drop-down lists and adds important changes to several individual Settings panels. The GNOME design team wanted to test these early-stage design changes to see how easily real people could navigate the new GNOME Settings application. Previously, GNOME relied on traditional usability tests, where users explore the software's UI directly. But this wouldn't work, since the software updates hadn't been completed.

FSF, GNU and FSFE

  • LibrePlanet 2018: Let's talk about Freedom. Embedded.
    The call for sessions is open now, until November 2nd, 2017. General registration and exhibitor and sponsor registration are also open. Pre-order a LibrePlanet 10th anniversary t-shirt when you register to attend! Do you want to discuss or teach others about a topic relevant to the free software community? You've got until Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 at 10:00 EDT (14:00 UTC) to submit your session proposals. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software enthusiasts and everyone who cares about the intersection of technology and social justice. For the past nine years, LibrePlanet has brought together free software developers, policy experts, activists, hackers, students, and people who are at the beginning of their free software journeys. LibrePlanet 2018 will feature programming for all ages and experience levels.
  • LibrePlanet free software conference celebrates 10th anniversary, CFP and registration open now
    The call for proposals is open now, until November 2, 2017. General registration and exhibitor and sponsor registration are also open. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software enthusiasts and anyone who cares about the intersection of technology and social justice. For the past nine years, LibrePlanet has brought together free software developers, policy experts, activists, hackers, students, and people who are at the beginning of their free software journeys. LibrePlanet 2018 will feature programming for all ages and experience levels.
  • dot-zed extractor
  • FSFE Newsletter - September 2017

    To push our demand, the FSFE launched a new campaign last week: "Public Money Public Code". The campaign explains the benefits of releasing publicly funded Software under free licences with a short inspiring video and an open letter to sign. Furthermore, the campaign and the open letter will be used in the coming months until the European Parliament election in 2019 to highlight good and bad examples of publicly funded software development and its potential reuse.

  • Free Software Foundation Europe Leads Call For Taxpayer-Funded Software To Be Licensed For Free Re-use
    Considered objectively, it's hard to think of any good reasons why code that is paid for by the public should not be released publicly as a matter of course. The good news is that this "public money, public code" argument is precisely the approach that open access advocates have used with considerable success in the field of academic publishing, so there's hope it might gain some traction in the world of software too.

Security: WordPress 4.8.2, CCleaner 5.33, Apache Patch and Cryptocurrencies

  • WordPress 4.8.2 Security and Maintenance Release
    WordPress 4.8.2 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.
  • Attack on CCleaner Highlights the Importance of Securing Downloads and Maintaining User Trust
    Some of the most worrying kinds of attacks are ones that exploit users’ trust in the systems and softwares they use every day. Yesterday, Cisco’s Talos security team uncovered just that kind of attack in the computer cleanup software CCleaner. Download servers at Avast, the company that owns CCleaner, had been compromised to distribute malware inside CCleaner 5.33 updates for at least a month. Avast estimates that over 2 million users downloaded the affected update. Even worse, CCleaner’s popularity with journalists and human rights activists means that particularly vulnerable users are almost certainly among that number. Avast has advised CCleaner Windows users to update their software immediately. This is often called a “supply chain” attack, referring to all the steps software takes to get from its developers to its users. As more and more users get better at bread-and-butter personal security like enabling two-factor authentication and detecting phishing, malicious hackers are forced to stop targeting users and move “up” the supply chain to the companies and developers that make software. This means that developers need to get in the practice of “distrusting” their own infrastructure to ensure safer software releases with reproducible builds, allowing third parties to double-check whether released binary and source packages correspond. The goal should be to secure internal development and release infrastructure to that point that no hijacking, even from a malicious actor inside the company, can slip through unnoticed.
  • Apache bug leaks contents of server memory for all to see—Patch now
    There's a bug in the widely used Apache Web Server that causes servers to leak pieces of arbitrary memory in a way that could expose passwords or other secrets, a freelance journalist has disclosed. The vulnerability can be triggered by querying a server with what's known as an OPTIONS request. Like the better-known GET and POST requests, OPTIONS is a type of HTTP method that allows users to determine which HTTP requests are supported by the server. Normally, a server will respond with GET, POST, OPTIONS, and any other supported methods. Under certain conditions, however, responses from Apache Web Server include the data stored in computer memory. Patches are available here and here.
  • The Pirate Bay Takes Heat for Testing Monero Mining
    Cryptocurrencies usually are mined with CPU power initially, she told LinuxInsider. Users then find ways to speed up the hashing before going to GPU. They build specialized hardware and field programmable gate array (FPGA) chips to carry out the hashing function in order to mine much faster. [...] The notion that The Pirate Bay effectively would borrow resources from its own users is not the problem, suggested Jessica Groopman, principal analyst at Tractica.