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OSS

World's largest open source health information technology project tackles Ebola

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An accurate, up to the minute, accessible medical record system is fundamental to effective treatment and tracking of the Ebola virus. But how to create this type of system in the rudimentary, overwhelmed Ebola care centers of West Africa where paper records or computers—even if they were available—couldn't be carried in and out of treatment areas?
As Ebola surged in resource-constrained Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in the fall of 2014, the ingenious concept of a tablet computer usable by individuals in bulky protective gear and encased in polycarbonate enabling simple and repeated disinfection was developed and implemented by Google and Doctors Without Borders teams, solving the hardware part of the problem.
But what software to use on the specialized tablets and on the server where critical information is stored? Enter the OpenMRS community, who drives the world's largest open source project to develop health information technology for resource-constrained environments.

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Bazel, Google’s Open Source Build System

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One of the most important, yet unsung, applications in a software developer’s life is the Make utility, or its equivalent. Make first appeared in 1977 and has been with us ever since. There are a very large number of build utilities, some based on Make, others completely different. The principle remains the same. The build system has a set of rules that tell it how to build an application from source files, usually fetched from a version control system. The Make utility reads the rules, then runs the compilers and linkers to do the build. The really good ones will run tests, as well.

Google has been using their own system, called Blaze, and open-sourced part of it as the anagrammatically named Bazel — recently released at alpha status. In this article I’ll give a general overview of Bazel.

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An open source, e-commerce friendly CMS

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Developers Peter Ivanov, Alex Raikov, and I came up with the idea for Microweber about five years ago, when we were all having problems building sites with the existing solutions.

Microweber aims to take the complexity out of building a website, online shop, or blog, through a combination of drag-and-drop UI and real-time, WYSIWYG site edits.

From the beginning, it's been an open source project. The earliest versions were licensed under GPL, but we switched to Apache License version 2.0 to allow the developers to protect their work and have commercial merits.

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What is open source? Licensing, history, and more

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Another example of open source: You wouldn’t buy a car with the hood welded shut, so why do we buy proprietary software? If you can’t see what’s going on and see what’s happening under the hood then you’re stuck with the car exactly the way it is and that might not be so great. While some people are fine with that, computer geeks shouldn’t be. We should want to get in there and tinker with it.

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Stellarium Is the Best Free Astronomic Observatory on Linux

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Stellarium, a free, open source planetarium software that displays a realistic and accurate sky in 3D, has been upgraded once more and is now available for download.

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The Open Source Community Support System

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Whether you’re a novice Web developer or seasoned CIO, at some point you will require technical support with either a new IT development, task or project. What type of support will you want? With open source software, the flexibility and choice is yours.

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LibreOffice 4.3.7 Open Source Office Suite Released with Over 100 Bug Fixes

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OSS

The Document Foundation announced today the immediate availability for download of the LibreOffice 4.3.7 open source office suite for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

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Enterprises still miss the real point of open source

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Enterprises, however, are stuck on "open source = free software," to the extent they know it's running within their firewalls at all. To attract developers and simultaneously boost innovation, enterprises need to go from mere users of open source to serious contributors of open source code.

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Intel's Lama Nachman on taking Stephen Hawking's speech system open-source

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In December 2014, Intel revealed that it had been working with Professor Stephen Hawking to create a new system to help him communicate and interact with the world around him. In an unprecedented move, the company also announced that it would be opening up the platform to the international research community so that it could be adapted for the three million people suffering from motor neurone disease and quadriplegia.

"As we started to work on this, we realised that we could also impact a larger group of people," says Lama Nachman, speaking at WIRED Health in London about developing the platform.

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European Union Should Finance Key Open Source Projects, Says "Mass Surveillance" Study

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Security

According to a new study that was discussed today, April 23, in a committee meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels, a group of IT security experts think that the European Union should finance key open source projects that strengthen privacy and security, and configure certification schemes for fundamental open source tools.

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More in Tux Machines

Networking and Security

  • FAQ: What's so special about 802.11ad Wi-Fi?
    Here are the broad strokes about 802.11ad, the wireless technology that’s just starting to hit the market.
  • 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet Now Official Standards
    In 2014, multiple groups started efforts to create new mid-tier Ethernet speeds with the NBASE-T Alliance starting in October 2014 and MGBASE-T Alliance getting started a few months later in December 2014. While those groups started out on different paths, the final 802.3bz standard represents a unified protocol that is interoperable across multiple vendors. The promise of 2.5 and 5 Gbps Ethernet is that they can work over existing Cat5 cabling, which to date has only been able to support 1 Gbps. Now with the 802.3bz standard, organizations do not need to rip and replace cabling to get Ethernet that is up to five times faster. "Now, the 1000BASE-T uplink from the wireless to wired network is no longer sufficient, and users are searching for ways to tap into higher data rates without having to overhaul the 70 billion meters of Cat5e / Cat6 wiring already sold," David Chalupsky, board of directors of the Ethernet Alliance and Intel principal engineer, said in a statement. "IEEE 802.3bz is an elegant solution that not only addresses the demand for faster access to rapidly rising data volumes, but also capitalizes on previous infrastructure investments, thereby extending their life and maximizing value."
  • A quick fix for stupid password reset questions
    It didn’t take 500 million hacked Yahoo accounts to make me hate, hate, hate password reset questions (otherwise known as knowledge-based authentication or KBA). It didn't help when I heard that password reset questions and answers -- which are often identical, required, and reused on other websites -- were compromised in that massive hack, too. Is there any security person or respected security guidance that likes them? They are so last century. What is your mother’s maiden name? What is your favorite color? What was your first pet’s name?
  • French hosting provider hit by DDoS close to 1TBps
    A hosting provider in France has been hit by a distributed denial of service attack that went close to one terabyte per second. Concurrent attacks against OVH clocked in at 990GBps. The attack vector is said to be the same Internet-of-Things botnet of 152,464 devices that brought down the website of security expert Brian Krebs. OVH chief technology officer Octave Klaba tweeted that the network was capable of attacks up to 1.5TBps.
  • Latest IoT DDoS Attack Dwarfs Krebs Takedown At Nearly 1Tbps Driven By 150K Devices
    If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs’ security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack that was carried via network of over 152,000 IoT devices. According to OVH founder and CTO Octave Klaba, the DDoS attack reached nearly 1 Tbps at its peak. Of those IoT devices participating in the DDoS attack, they were primarily comprised of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Many of these types devices' network settings are improperly configured, which leaves them ripe for the picking for hackers that would love to use them to carry our destructive attacks.

Android Leftovers

  • Goodbye QWERTY: BlackBerry stops making hardware
    BlackBerry CEO John Chen has been hinting at this move for almost a year now: today BlackBerry announced it will no longer design hardware. Say goodbye to all the crazy hardware QWERTY devices, ultra-wide phones, and unique slider designs. Speaking to investors, BlackBerry CEO John Chen described the move as a "pivot to software," saying, "The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital." The "Outsourcing to partners" plan is something we've already seen with the "BlackBerry" DTEK50, which was just a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4. Chen is now betting the future of the company on software, saying, "In Q2, we more than doubled our software revenue year over year and delivered the highest gross margin in the company's history. We also completed initial shipments of BlackBerry Radar, an end-to-end asset tracking system, and signed a strategic licensing agreement to drive global growth in our BBM consumer business." BlackBerry never effectively responded to the 2007 launch of the iPhone and the resulting transition to modern touchscreen smartphones. BlackBerry took swings with devices like the BlackBerry Storm in 2008, its first touchscreen phone; and the BlackBerry Z10 in 2013, the first BlackBerry phone with an OS designed for touch, but neither caught on. BlackBerry's first viable competitor to the iPhone didn't arrive until it finally switched to Android in 2015 with the BlackBerry Priv. It was the first decent BlackBerry phone in some time, but the high price and subpar hardware led to poor sales.
  • Oracle's 'Gamechanger' Evidence Really Just Evidence Of Oracle Lawyers Failing To Read
    Then on to the main show: Oracle's claim that Google hid the plans to make Android apps work on Chrome OS. Google had revealed to Oracle its "App Runtime for Chrome" (ARC) setup, and it was discussed by Oracle's experts, but at Google I/O, Google revealed new plans for apps to run in Chrome OS that were not using ARC, but rather a brand new setup, which Google internally referred to as ARC++. Oracle argued that Google only revealed to them ARC, but not ARC++ and that was super relevant to the fair use argument, because it showed that Android was replacing more than just the mobile device market for Java. But, here's Oracle's big problem: Google had actually revealed to Oracle the plans for ARC++. It appears that Oracle's lawyers just missed that fact. Ouch.
  • Understanding Android's balance between openness and security
    At the 2016 Structure Security conference, Google's Adrian Ludwig talked about the balance between keeping Android as open as possible, while also keeping it secure.
  • Google's Nougat Android update hits the sweet spot: Software 'isn't flashy, but still pretty handy'
    Nougat, Google's latest update of its Android smartphone software, isn't particularly flashy; you might not even notice what's different about it at first. But it offers a number of practical time-saving features, plus a few that could save money — and perhaps even your life. Nougat is starting to appear on phones, including new ones expected from Google next week.
  • How to change the home screen launcher on Android
  • Andromeda: Chrome OS and Android will merge
  • Sale of Kodi 'fully-loaded' streaming boxes faces legal test
  • Android boxes: Middlesbrough man to be first to be prosecuted for selling streaming kits

Endless OS 3.0 is out!

So our latest and greatest Endless OS is out with the new 3.0 version series! The shiny new things include the use of Flatpak to manage the applications; a new app center (GNOME Software); a new icon set; a new Windows installer that gives you the possibility of installing Endless OS in dual-boot; and many bug fixes. Read more

Expandable, outdoor IoT gateway runs Android on i.MX6

VIA’s “Artigo A830” IoT gateway runs Android on an i.MX6 DualLite SoC and offers HDMI, GbE, microSD, numerous serial and USB ports, plus -20 to 60° operation. As the name suggests, the VIA Technologies Artigo A830 Streetwise IoT Platform is designed for outdoor Internet of Things gateway applications. These are said to include smart lockers, vending machines, information kiosks, and signage devices that run “intensive multimedia shopping, entertainment, and navigation applications.” The outdoors focus is supported with an extended -20 to 60°C operating range, as well as surge and ESD protection for surviving challenges such as a nearby lightning strike. Read more