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Open Source Won. So, Now What?

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The government is now a little more open. This week, the White House released its first official federal source code policy, detailing a pilot program that requires government agencies to release 20 percent of any new code they commission as open source software, meaning the code will be available for anyone to examine, modify, and reuse in their own projects. The government agencies will also share more code with each other, essentially adopting open source practices within their own governmental universe.

It’s the latest in a long line of high-profile victories for the open source movement. As recently as a decade ago, the worlds of both government and business worried that using open source software would open them up to bugs, security holes, and countless lawsuits. But despite these early fears, open source came to dominate the digital landscape. Today, practically every major piece of technology you interact with on a day-to-day basis—from the web to your phone to your car—was built using at least some form of freely available code.

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Professional media production with Linux and free, open source software

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Building a professional media production toolkit on Linux is a viable course of action whether you want to create digital or physical products. More importantly, there are a number of excellent project management and team collaboration tools available to keep your production organized and on track. Are you using Linux and FOSS applications for professional media production? We'd love to hear about your projects:

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Leftovers: OSS

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  • Development Democracy: How IoT Innovation Grows from Open Source

    The history of the Internet is a story of innovative development coming from the bottom and working its way into the commercial and then consumer spaces along a pretty clear upward trajectory. Not so, it seems with the IoT. It seems like all the development news we hear these days comes from the enterprise players and the vendors that service them.

  • XtraLife unveiled as a rebranded Gaming Back End, now gives Devs Open Source access
  • Clan of the Cloud rebrands as XtraLife, goes open source

    Formerly known as Back End as a Service (BaaS) Clan of the Cloud, XtraLife gives developers access to an Open Source Back End in response to developer frustration over insufficient transparency and sustainable back end technology in the market.

  • USENIX Test of Time Awards
  • Help Mozilla build out their Location Service while walking about with your phone

    You can help build a free geolocation service while you’re out wandering around your neighborhood with your Android device. Install the Mozilla Stumbler app and let it run continuously in the background to help improve the Mozilla Location Service. The app registers the Wi-Fi signals around you and their estimated GPS coordinates, and then sends this off to Mozilla.

    Psst: There is also an optional competitive element to the app for those who’ve gotten hooked on augmented reality games like Pokémon GO and Ingress.

  • Couchbase: data shapes in the new digital economy [Ed: is it a paid-for marketing piece?]

    This is a guest post for the Computer Weekly Open Source Insider blog written by Luke Whitehead in his capacity as head of EMEA marketing for Couchbase — the firm is am an open source, distributed (shared-nothing architecture) multi-model NoSQL document-oriented database specialist.

  • LinkedIn: Open-Sourcing Under the Microsoft Regime [Ed: Microsoft booster Darryl K. Taft is openwashing the proprietary NSA buddies Microsoft and LinkedIn. Propaganda as "Q&A"]
  • LinkedIn’s focus on open source will continue after Microsoft acquisition [Ed: Microsoft cheerleading site citing the above]
  • GhostBSD 10.3 RC1 is ready for testing

    This first RC release is ready for testing new feature in GhostBSD 10.3, MATE and XFCE is available on SourceForge for the i386, amd64, and amd64-uefi architectures.

  • GhostBSD 10.3 RC1 Is Out, but ZFS Disk Encryption Was Pushed Back to GhostBSD 11

    The GhostBSD developers are announcing on August 10, 2016, the general availability of the first RC (Release Candidate) development milestone towards the upcoming GhostBSD 10.3 operating system.

    GhostBSD 10.3 has been in development for quite some time now, since Spring 2016, and it looks like the final release gets closer and closer now that the Release Candidate 1 build is available for public testing. This time, both the MATE and Xfce editions have been made available for download to early adopters.

  • App dev silos are DevOps killers: Start by tearing them down

    The road to DevOps can be rocky. Larger enterprises often cite cultural barriers such as the "developers vs. operations" mentality as the biggest obstacles to achieving DevOps, and much has been written about how to break down those barriers.

  • After debate, ABA House calls for publication of privately drafted standards used in legislation

    A resolution calling on Congress to make privately drafted parts of the law freely available attracted accusations in the House of Delegates that the ABA was trying to give away other people’s intellectual property.

    When federal agencies incorporate privately drafted standards into their rules by reference, Resolution 112, passed by the ABA House on Tuesday, asks Congress to make the relevant portion of those privately drafted standards available to the public online. The measure, sponsored by the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, was intended to advance the idea that the American public should have access to laws that regulate things like food additives, windshield safety standards and toy safety. (This was the subject of an ABA Journal feature in 2014.)

More on SUSE, Mirantis, Red Hat, and OpenStack

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Red Hat

Open Source Tool ‘Rethinks’ Databases

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An open source tool for writing queries and modeling data designed for use with the RethinkDB query language is being positioned as an alternative to developing applications using the ReQL query language.

Compose, a provider of hosted databases founded in 2010, acquired by IBM (NYSE: IBM) last year and incorporated into its Cloud Data Services unit, is pitching the ReQL alternative dubbed “Thinky.” The tool is described as an open source object relational mapper (ORM) designed for RethinkDB. IBM is offering RethinkDB and a batch of other hosted database services through its Compose Enterprise platform.

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Also: Where the Database Market Goes From Here

Mattermost — The Open Source Slack Alternative You’ll Love

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Slack has exploded in popularity among a wide variety of teams for coordination and planning. It has especially become notable in infrastructure and information technology on both the development and operations sides. One of the biggest and most crucial aspects of working in a team is communication, and this is where Slack, and now Mattermost, shine.

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Also: If you build it, they won't come: Why your project needs better marketing

Blender and GIMP

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  • Blender for Visual Effects

    Video editing and visual effects are two closely related fields. They're also dominated by expensive proprietary software. There are open-source alternatives to some of these packages, and some of them stand up very well by comparison. Blender and Natron are two outstanding examples of FOSS software that give the big names a run for their money.

  • GIMP Can Now Finally Handle WebP Image Files

    The latest feature to land in the GIMP 2.9 development code for the much anticipated GIMP 2.10 milestone is support for WebP image files.

Here’s why Andreessen Horowitz is looking to invest in open source

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If you look strictly at declining information technology budgets, it might look like tech’s traditional mainstay “infrastructure” market — computing hardware, software and networking gear — is spiraling into insignificance.

Indeed, it even looked that way to Martin Casado (pictured above), who cofounded the networking software startup Nicira Networks in 2009 before selling to VMware in 2012 for $1.3 billion and becoming general manager of its networking and security portfolio. “I was caught in this malaise for awhile,” said Casado, now a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

No more. Speaking at the OpenStack Days conference today in Mountain View, CA, Casado declared, “We’re at the cusp of one of the biggest renaissances in infrastructure.”

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • Google Launches a Slew of Open Source Parsers, to Work with 40 Languages

    Artificial intelligence and machine learning are going through a mini-renaissance right now, and some of the biggest tech companies are helping to drive the trend. Recently, I covered Google's decistion to open source a program called TensorFlow. It’s based on the same internal toolset that Google has spent years developing to support its AI software and other predictive and analytics programs.

  • Upskill U on Open Source With OpenDaylight

    On Friday, Jim Fagan, director of cloud practice at Telstra, will continue the series by addressing the impact of open source on NFV platforms in the course "The Role of Open Source in NFV." Next week, speakers from Heavy Reading and LinkedIn will round out the Open Source series with a look into how open source can be used in data centers and cloud services, and how open source is impacting the white box transformation.

  • Open Source .NET: Machiavellian, Altruistic, or Darwinistic? [Ed: The latest Microsoft propaganda needs us to believe that .NET is Open Source (it's not). It's Open Core at best.]
  • MapR Closes $50 Million in Funding, Looks Ahead to an IPO

    MapR Technologies, one of the fastest moving players in the Big Data arena, is marking new milestones and may be headed for an IPO very soon. The company announced an equity financing of $50 million. The additional funding accompanies yet another consecutive record quarter, according to the company, which reported more than a 100 percent increase in bookings over the prior year. MapR is particularly well-known for its focus on Hadoop.

    Here are more details on where this company is headed.

    MapR's $50 million equity financing was led by Future Fund, with participation from all existing investors, including: Google Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, New Enterprise Associates, Qualcomm Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures. With this financing, MapR has raised a total of $194 million in equity to date. And, the company is being direct about its intent to go public.

  • Hellwig To Appeal VMware Ruling After Evidentiary Set Back in Lower Court [Phipps (OSI): "VMWare gets away with it on a technicality without even having to defend their alleged abuse"]

    Christoph Hellwig announces today that he will appeal the ruling of the Hamburg District Court, which dismissed his case against VMware. The ruling concerned German evidence law; the Court did not rule on the merits of the case, i.e. the question whether or not VMware has to license the kernel of its product vSphere ESXi 5.5.0 under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2.

  • POSM, OSM without the Internet

    The Portable OpenStreetMap, or POSM, device is a small server that hosts all the tools needed to compile, edit, and publish collected mapping data without Internet connectivity. The project was discussed at the US State of the Map (2016) and the video is a must-watch.

  • Stand Up for Open Access. Stand Up for Diego.

    Diego Gomez is a recent biology graduate from the University of Quindío, a small university in Colombia. His research interests are reptiles and amphibians. Since the university where he studied didn’t have a large budget for access to academic databases, he did what any other science grad student would do: he found the resources he needed online. Sometimes he shared the research he discovered, so that others could benefit as well.

    In 2011, Diego shared another student’s Master’s thesis with colleagues over the Internet. That simple act—something that many people all over the world do every day—put Diego at risk of spending years in prison. In Colombia, copying and distribution of copyrighted works without permission can lead to criminal charges of up to eight years if the prosecution can show it hurt the commercial rights of the author (derechos patrimoniales).

  • Top 5 Highest Paying Programming Languages of 2016

    The most popular programming languages are:



    Bash – $100,000
    Perl – $95,000
    Scala – $90,000
    SQL – $62,000
    Delphi – $60,000

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More in Tux Machines

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

With last week's initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I've been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers. Read more

GNU: The GNU C Library 2.28 and Guix on Android

  • Glibc 2.28 Upstream Will Build/Run Cleanly On GNU Hurd
    While Linux distributions are still migrating to Glibc 2.27, in the two months since the release changes have continued building up for what will eventually become the GNU C Library 2.28. The Glibc 2.28 work queued thus far isn't nearly as exciting as all the performance optimizations and more introduced with Glibc 2.27, but it's a start. Most notable at this point for Glibc 2.28 is that it will now build and run cleanly on GNU/Hurd without requiring any out-of-tree patches. There has been a ton of Hurd-related commits to Glibc over the past month.
  • Guix on Android!
    Last year I thought to myself: since my phone is just a computer running an operating system called Android (or Replicant!), and that Android is based on a Linux kernel, it's just another foreign distribution I could install GNU Guix on, right? It turned out it was absolutely the case. Today I was reminded on IRC of my attempt last year at installing GNU Guix on my phone. Hence this blog post. I'll try to give you all the knowledge and commands required to install it on your own Android device.
  • GNU Guix Wrangled To Run On Android
    The GNU Guix transactional package manager can be made to run on Android smartphones/tablets, but not without lots of hoops to jump through first.

Node.js 10.9 and npm milestone

  • Open Source Node.js Hits v10, with Better Security, Performance, More
    Speaking of which, the brand-new Node.js 10.0 is expected to soon support npm version 6 (currently Node.js ships with npm 5.7.x). The company npm Inc., which maintains the npm software package management application, today announced that major update, called npm@6. The npm company said its JavaScript software installer tool includes new security features for developers working with open source code.
  • Announcing npm@6
    In coordination with today’s announcement of Node.js v10, we’re excited to announce npm@6. This major update to npm includes powerful new security features for every developer who works with open source code. Read on to understand why this matters.

Openwashing: Sony, Scality and Ericsson