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FOSS/Sharing in Government

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  • US federal source code repository about to be launched

    The portal will serve as a software repository, i.e. a catalogue of all software the US government is procuring or building, and as a central place from which to disseminate a collection of tools, best practices, and schemas to help government agencies implement the policy. That makes this initiative closely related to the objectives of the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) project of the European Commission, of which the publication of this news article is a part too.

    The source code for the portal itself has been made available under a Creative Commons Zero licence, thereby donating the code to the public domain. The public is invited to contribute to its (further) development.

  • "Netherlands lagging in transition to open government"

    The Dutch government is not doing enough to further its transition to an open government. It should step up its ambition in this area and start working on implementation. This was the main message from a meeting that the Standing Parliamentary Committee of the Interior had last month with the substitute Minister of the Interior Stef Blok on the National Action Plan Open Government 2016-2017 and the National Open Data Agenda (NODA).

  • Digital Republic Bill Uses Crowdsourcing To Promote Data Protection, Net Neutrality And Openness In France

    As the population of Internet users ages, this is likely to become a major issue. It's good to see France tackling it head-on with the Digital Republic Bill -- one of the few countries to do so. The proposed law now passes to the French Senate, but is unlikely to undergo any major modifications there, not least because it has already been subject to unusually wide consultation thanks to the innovative approach used in drawing it up.

Leftovers: OSS

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  • Begin Broadcasting with a Powerful Open Source Media Platform

    But what a lot of people don't realize is that that it's definitely not just a media player. You can use it to stream and broadcast video, podcasts and other media content, and that includes streaming content to mobile devices of all kinds. Some organizations are integrating these streaming features with their networks and cloud deployments, embracing shared multimedia content. Here is our collection of guides for streaming with VLC, including guides for integrating it with your organization's publishing strategy. This newly updated collection has been expanded to include some very valuable new, free documentation.

  • AT&T (T) to Unveil ECOMP in Open Source Industry in 1Q17

    U.S. telecom giant AT&T Inc. T is moving ahead with plans to introduce its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) virtualization platform in the open source industry in the first quarter of 2017. In relation to this, the company announced that it will release all 8.5 million lines of code for ECOMP. AT&T further claims that it has plans to standardize ECOMP as one of the best automated platforms for managing virtual network functions and other software-centric network operations in the telecom industry.

    Earlier in Sep 2016, AT&T and French telecom Orange S.A. ORAN had teamed up on open source initiatives in order to accelerate the standardization of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). In relation to this, AT&T declared Orange as its first telecom partner to test its open-source Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy (ECOMP) platform.

  • OpenWrt Summit 2016 Happened Today, Here Are The Videos/Slides

    The OpenWrt Summit took place today in Berlin. For those that weren't able to make the event or unaware of it but interested in Linux networking, the slides and videos are now available.

    OpenWrt Summit 2016 featured talks on speeding up WiFi, commercial efforts around OpenWrt, OpenWrt in the IoT space, FCC compliance in open-source, GPL enforcement, and more.

  • Veritas to Showcase Software-Defined Storage at OpenStack Summit

    With the OpenStack Summit event in Barcelona rapidly approaching, news is already arriving on some important new technologies in the OpenStack ecosystem. Veritas Technologies announced that it will showcase two of its software-defined storage solutions—HyperScale for OpenStack and Veritas Access—at the summit.

    With OpenStack quickly gaining traction as an open source software platform of choice for public and private clouds, storage management and support for enterprise production workloads is becoming critical for many enterprises.

  • How to Find Funding for an Open Source Project

    Ask people how to find funding for a technology project, and many of them will point to crowdsourcing sites. After all, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, the Pebble smartwatch, and even the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer were launched after their inventors collectively raised millions of dollars from contributors. If you happen to have an open source project that you want to get funded, what are some of your options?

  • vmm enabled

    With a small commit, OpenBSD now has a hypervisor and virtualization in-tree. This has been a lot of hard work by Mike Larkin, Reyk Flöter, and many others.

    VMM requires certain hardware features (Intel Nehalem or later, and virtualization enabled in the BIOS) in order to provide VM services, and currently only supports OpenBSD guests.

  • 50 tips for improving your software development game

    How do you keep improving as a software engineer? Some pieces of advice are valid no matter your experience level, but often the advice will depend on where you are in your career.

    If you're a beginner, the best advice is to simply learn your language, frameworks, and tools top to bottom and gain more experience with a variety of different projects.

    If you're an experienced software developer, you should constantly try to find new ways to optimize your code for readability, performance, and maintainability, and then practice making well-reasoned decisions about where to focus time and resources in your code—whether it's testing, performance optimization, or other technical debt.

  • Why You Should Seriously Care About SSH User Keys

    A recent film chronicled the downfall of the US subprime home loan market, and its parallels to the current state of Secure Shell (SSH) protocol and SSH user keys were astonishing.

  • 5900 online stores found skimming [analysis]

    Online card skimming is up 69% since Nov 2015


    In short: hackers gain access to a store’s source code using various unpatched software flaws. Once a store is under control of a perpetrator, a (Javascript) wiretap is installed that funnels live payment data to an off-shore collection server (mostly in Russia). This wiretap operates transparently for customers and the merchant. Skimmed credit cards are then sold on the dark web for the going rate of $30 per card .

Red Hat launches open source low-code workforce management modules

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Red Hat

“Modern applications are complex, multi-tiered and omnichannel,” wrote Forrester Research’s Jeffrey Hammond and Michael Facemire in an August report on mobile experience development. “They arrive faster, scale up and down as necessary, and create value quicker than traditional applications – and developers often compose, rather than code, them.

“Development leaders must embrace modern application development techniques to achieve long-term success building mobile experiences.”

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Linksys unveils open source WRT3200ACM Gigabit MU-MIMO Tri-Stream 160 Wi-Fi router

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The blue 'WRT' routers from Linksys are iconic. These open source-friendly devices have been very popular with in-the-know consumers that enjoy flashing alternative firmware, such as OpenWrt or DD-WRT. This can sometimes provide added features and functionality.

Today, Linksys unveils its latest such offering, the AC3200 WRT Gigabit MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router (WRT3200ACM). The 802.11AC device features Tri-Stream 160 technology, 512MB DDR3, and a 1.8 GHz Dual Core processor. Despite all of these amazing specifications, it is surprisingly affordable.

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Study: ‘Open source coders more aware of security’

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Developers of open source software are generally more aware of code security issues than developers working for the European institutions, according to a study for the European Commission and European Parliament. Developers working for the European institutions have more tools available for management and testing of code security, but using them is not yet a standard practice.

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Midi-Pyrenees French Region remains committed to Free Software

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“Free software is one of three pillars of our digital strategy”, has confirmed Nadia Pellefigue, the vice-president of the regional council of the Midi-Pyrenees (South-West of France).

“Free software and open source will help the regional industry and employment, because it can mobilise people”, Nadia Pellefigue said. “Public procurement has been spurred but there is still room for improvements”, she added. Cost savings, meaningful local jobs and lower dependencies on foreign firms are the three advantages of free software she listed.

Ms Pellefigue was one of the officials at the Rencontres Régionales du Logiciel Libre (RRLL), which took place in Toulouse in October.

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Linux/FOSS Events

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OpenStack: Newton, OpenStack Day, and Contributors

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  • OpenStack Newton promises better resiliency, scalability and security

    OpenStack has released the latest edition of its popular open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud: Newton. With broad industry support from more than 200 vendors — including Cisco, Dell, HP Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware — this version should quickly see wide deployment.

    This release features numerous new features. Perhaps the most important is simply making OpenStack easier to use. OpenStack is powerful, but it’s notoriously hard to master. While OpenStack classes are becoming more common, even with help, mastering OpenStack isn’t easy.

  • Lessons learned as an OpenStack Day organizer
  • Recognizing OpenStack Cloud Contributors--Including Those Who Don't Code

    Although it is still a very young cloud computing platform, each week there is more evidence of how entrenched OpenStack has become in enterprises and even in smaller companies. In fact, just this week, we reported on findings that show OpenStack adoption in the telecom industry to be widespread.

    Contributors are a big part of what has driven OpenStack's success, and as the OpenStack Summit approaches, there are several new initiatives being put in place to serve up recognition for meaningful contributors. Notably, the recognition is going to partially go to those who actually contribute code, but there will also be recognition of other forms of giving to OpenStack.

Authorities Opening Up

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  • NL Parliament makes open standards mandatory

    The use of open standards will be made mandatory for public administrations. A law proposal by MP Astrid Oosenbrug was adopted by the Parliament’s lower house yesterday. According to the MP, the open standards requirement will be one of several changes to the country’s administrative law, introduced next year. “The minister has earlier agreed to make open standards mandatory”, she said. “The parliament is making sure this actually happens.”

    The first public administration that should improve its use of open standards, is the Parliament’s lower house itself, MP Oosenbrug said. “Ironically, lower house published the adopted law on its website by providing a download link to a document in a proprietary format.”

  • France adds source code to list of documents covered by freedom of information laws

    French freedom of information law now treats source code as disclosable in the same way as other government records.

    The new "Digital Republic" law took effect Saturday, with its publication in France's Official Journal.

    It adds source code to the long list of government document types that must be released in certain circumstances: dossiers, reports, studies, minutes, transcripts, statistics, instructions, memoranda, ministerial replies, correspondence, opinions, forecasts and decisions.

    But it also adds a new exception to existing rules on access to administrative documents and reuse of public information, giving officials plenty of reasons to refuse to release code on demand.

    These rules already allow officials to block the publication of documents they believe threaten national security, foreign policy, personal safety, or matters before court or under police investigation, among things.

    Now they can oppose publication if they believe it threatens the security of government information systems.

  • CMPD launches 'Open Source Data' page to share police info with public

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police announced Wednesday the launch of its “Open Source Data” page on the department’s website.

    Police say the information source is a step forward in how they share information with the public and is an “opportunity for even greater accountability and transparency” with the Charlotte community. The department faced criticism in the wake of the Keith Scott shooting as protesters said CMPD should have been more transparent during their investigation of the incident.

StormCrawler: An Open Source SDK for Building Web Crawlers with ApacheStorm

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StormCrawler (SC) is an open source SDK for building distributed web crawlers with Apache Storm. The project is under Apache license v2 and consists of a collection of reusable resources and components, written mostly in Java. It is used for scraping data from web pages, indexing with search engines or archiving, and can run on a single machine or an entire Storm cluster with exactly the same code and a minimal number of resources to implement.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Google’s Open Source Report Card Highlights Game-Changing Contributions
    Ask people about Google’s relationship to open source, and many of them will point to Android and Chrome OS — both very successful operating systems and both based on Linux. Android, in particular, remains one of the biggest home runs in open source history. But, as Josh Simmons from Google’s Open Source Programs Office will tell you, Google also contributes a slew of useful open source tools and programs to the community each year. Now, Google has issued its very first “Open Source Report Card,” as announced by Simmons on the Google Open Source Blog. "We're sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we've released in 2016. We've open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website," said Simmons.
  • Nino Vranešič: Open Source Advocate and Mozilla Rep in Slovenia
    “My name is Nino Vranešič and I am connecting IT and Society,” is what Nino says about himself on LinkedIn. The video is a little hard to understand in places due to language differences and (we think) a slow or low-bandwidth connection between the U.S.-based Zoom servers and Eastern Europe, a problem that crops up now and then in video conversation and VOIP phone calls with people in that part of the world, no matter what service you choose. But Vranešič is worth a little extra effort to hear, because it’s great to learn that open source is being used in lots of government agencies, not only in Slovenia but all over Europe. And aside from this, Vranešič himself is a tres cool dude who is an ardent open source volunteer (“Mozilla Rep” is an unpaid volunteer position), and I hope I have a chance to meet him F2F next time he comes to a conference in Florida — and maybe you’ll have a chance to meet him if he comes to a conference near you.
  • MySQL and database programming for beginners
    Dave Stokes has been using MySQL for more than 15 years and has served as its community manager since 2010. At All Things Open this year, he'll give a talk about database programming for newbies with MySQL. In this interview, he previews his talk and shares a few helpful resources, required skills, and common problems MySQL beginners run into.
  • Nadella's trust talk is just so much hot air
    Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella appears to have an incredibly short memory. Else he would be the last person who talks about trust being the most pressing issue in tech in our times. Over the last year, we have been treated to a variety of cheap tricks by Microsoft, attempting to hoodwink Windows users left, right and centre in order to get them to upgrade to Windows 10. After that, talking about trust sounds odd. Very odd. Microsoft does not have the best reputation among tech companies. It is known for predatory practices, for being convicted as a monopolist, and in recent times has been trying to cultivate a softer image as a company that is not as rapacious as it once was. That has, in large measure, come about as its influence and rank in the world of computing have both slipped, with other companies like Apple, Facebook and Google coming to dominate.
  • If you wish, you may rebuild all dports to use non-base SSL library of your choice
  • DragonFlyBSD Continues LibreSSL Push, OpenSSL To Be Dropped
    DragonFlyBSD is now defaulting to LibreSSL throughout its operating system stack and is planning to completely remove OpenSSL in the near future. Last month DragonFlyBSD began using LibreSSL by default while that effort has continued. OpenSSL is no longer being built by default and in about one month's time the OpenSSL support will be completely stripped from the DragonFly tree.
  • Ranking the Web With Radical Transparency
    Ranking every URL on the web in a transparent and reproducible way is a core concept of the Common Search project, says Sylvain Zimmer, who will be speaking at the upcoming Apache: Big Data Europe conference in Seville, Spain. The web has become a critical resource for humanity, and search engines are its arbiters, Zimmer says. However, the only search engines currently available are for-profit entities, so the Common Search project is creating a nonprofit engine that is open, transparent, and independent. We spoke with Zimmer, who founded Jamendo, dotConferences, and Common Search, to learn more about why nonprofit search engines are important, why Apache Spark is such a great match for the job, and some of the challenges the project faces.
  • A look inside the 'blinky flashy' world of wearables and open hardware
    While looking at the this year's All Things Open event schedule, a talk on wearables and open hardware caught my eye: The world of the blinky flashy. Naturally, I dug deeper to learn what it was all about.
  • Why Perl is not use for new development , most of time use for maintenance and support projects ?
    There has been a tendency amongst some companies to play a “wait and see” attitude towards Perl, but the Perl market appears to have stabilized in the past couple of years and more companies appear to be returning to Perl. As one of our clients explained to me when I asked why they chose Perl “We’re tired of being bitten by hype.”

And More Security Leftovers

  • The NyaDrop Trojan for Linux-running IoT Devices
  • Flaw resides in BTB helps bypass ASLR
  • Thoughts on the BTB Paper
    Though the attack might have some merits with regards to KASLR, the attack on ASLR is completely debunked. The authors of the paper didn't release any supporting code or steps for independent analysis and verification. The results, therefore, cannot be trusted until the authors fully open source their work and the work is validated by trusted and independent third parties.
  • Spreading the DDoS Disease and Selling the Cure
    Earlier this month a hacker released the source code for Mirai, a malware strain that was used to launch a historically large 620 Gbps denial-of-service attack against this site in September. That attack came in apparent retribution for a story here which directly preceded the arrest of two Israeli men for allegedly running an online attack for hire service called vDOS. Turns out, the site where the Mirai source code was leaked had some very interesting things in common with the place vDOS called home.

Blockchain and FOSS

Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Celebrating 12 years of Ubuntu
    Founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the first public release of Ubuntu – version 4.10, or “Warty Warthog” – on Oct. 20, 2004. The idea behind what would become the most recognizable and widely used Linux distributions ever was simple – create a Linux operating system that anybody could use. Here’s a look back at Ubuntu’s history.
  • Happy 12th Birthday, Ubuntu!
    Yup, it’s twelve years to the day since Mark Shuttleworth sat down to tap out the first Ubuntu release announcement and herald in an era of “Linux for human beings”.
  • A Slice of Ubuntu
    The de facto standard for Raspberry Pi operating systems is Raspbian–a Debian based distribution specifically for the diminutive computer. Of course, you have multiple choices and there might not be one best choice for every situation. It did catch our eye, however, that the RaspEX project released a workable Ubunutu 16.10 release for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. RaspEX is a full Linux Desktop system with LXDE (a lightweight desktop environment) and many other useful programs. Firefox, Samba, and VNC4Server are present. You can use the Ubuntu repositories to install anything else you want. The system uses kernel 4.4.21. You can see a review of a much older version of RaspEX in the video below.
  • Download Ubuntu Yakkety Yak 16.10 wallpaper
    The Yakkety Yak 16.10 is released and now you can download the new wallpaper by clicking here. It’s the latest part of the set for the Ubuntu 2016 releases following Xenial Xerus. You can read about our wallpaper visual design process here.
  • Live kernel patching from Canonical now available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    We are delighted to announce the availability of a new service for Ubuntu which any user can enable on their current installations – the Canonical Livepatch Service. This new live kernel patching service can be used on any Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system (using the generic Linux 4.4 kernel) to minimise unplanned downtime and maintain the highest levels of security.
  • How to enable free 'Canonical Livepatch Service' for Linux kernel live-patching on Ubuntu
    Linux 4.0 introduced a wonderful feature for those that need insane up-time -- the ability to patch the kernel without rebooting the machine. While this is vital for servers, it can be beneficial to workstation users too. Believe it or not, some home users covet long up-time simply for fun -- bragging rights, and such. If you are an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS user (with generic Linux kernel 4.4) and you want to take advantage of this exciting feature, I have good news -- it is now conveniently available for free! Unfortunately, this all-new Canonical Livepatch Service does have a catch -- it is limited to three machines per user. Of course, home users can register as many email addresses as they want, so it is easy to get more if needed. Businesses can pay for additional machines through Ubuntu Advantage. Want to give it a go? Read on. "Since the release of the Linux 4.0 kernel about 18 months ago, users have been able to patch and update their kernel packages without rebooting. However, until now, no other Linux distribution has offered this feature for free to their users. That changes today with the release of the Canonical Livepatch Service", says Tom Callway, Director of Cloud Marketing, Canonical.
  • KernelCare Is Another Alternative To Canonical's Ubuntu Live Kernel Patching
    Earlier this week Canonical announced their Kernel Livepatching Service for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users. Canonical's service is free for under three systems while another alternative for Ubuntu Linux users interested in a commercial service is CloudLinux's KernelCare. The folks from CloudLinux wrote in to remind us of their kernel patching solution, which they've been offering since 2014 and believe is a superior solution to Canonical's service. KernelCare isn't limited to just Ubuntu 16.04 but also works with Ubuntu 14.04 and other distributions such as CentOS/RHEL, Debian, and other enterprise Linux distributions.