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Choosing Your Open-Source Licenses

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Open-source development covers a lot of bases. There's everything from documentation to development that is freely available on the web. It’s rather magical to know that you’ve got access to the code that drives some of the industry’s most widely used platforms like OpenStack, Kubernetes, Docker, and much more.

As a purveyor of some open-source goodness myself, I’ve started to become more aware of the nuances of each of the various open-source licenses. There is much more to these licenses than many of us may realize. It is a legal contract, so it is important to be aware of the differences in each license.

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Open source AI voice interface mounts on dashboards

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The Next Thing’s “Dashbot” is an automotive gizmo that offers voice control of a phone’s music, nav, and texts. Inside is a CHIP Pro COM running Linux.

A little over a month after announcing a computer-on-module version of the CHIP (Computer Hardware in Products) SBC called the CHIP Pro, The Next Thing went to Kickstarter to launch a hands-free automotive/mobile interface called the Dashbot, based on the COM. At publication time, the open source device was more than halfway to its $100K goal, with the funding round open until Dec. 17. Don’t expect to see your Dashbot under the Christmas tree, however. The $49 device won’t ship until July 2017.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • Privacy made simple with Firefox Focus

    Today we launched Firefox Focus, a brand new iOS browser that puts user privacy first. More than ever before, we believe that everyone on the Internet has a right to protect their privacy. By launching Firefox Focus, we are putting that belief into practice in a big way.

    How big? If you download Firefox Focus and start to browse, you will notice a prominent “Erase” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If you tap that button, the Firefox Focus app erases all browsing information including cookies, website history or passwords. Of course, you can erase this on any other browser but we are making it simple here – just one tap away.

    Out of sight too often means out of mind. Burying the tools to clear browsing history and data behind clicks or taps means that fewer people will do it. By putting the “Erase” button front and center, we offer users a simple path to healthy online behaviors — protecting their online freedom and taking greater control of their personal data. To further enhance user privacy, Firefox Focus also by default blocks advertising, social and analytics tracking. So, on Firefox Focus, “private” browsing is actually automatic, and erasing your history is incredibly simple.

  • LibreOffice Conference 2016: First videos online

    Here at The Document Foundation we’ve been really busy since the LibreOffice Conference in September, running our Community Weeks and the Month of LibreOffice. But finally we’ve started putting videos online from presentations at the conference.

    Don’t miss this opening presentation, the State of the Project, and then scroll down for more talks and demos.

  • Kubernetes founders launch Heptio with $8.5M in funding to help bring containers to the enterprise

    For years, the public face of Kubernetes was one of the project’s founders: Google group product manager Craig McLuckie. He started the open-source container-management project together with Joe Beda, Brendan Burns and a few other engineers inside of Google, which has since brought it under the guidance of the newly formed Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

    Beda became an entrepreneur-in-residence at Accel Partners in late 2015, Burns left Google for Microsoft earlier this year and McLuckie quietly left Google to start a new venture a few weeks ago. McLuckie and Beda have now teamed up again to launch Heptio, a new pure-play Kubernetes company.

  • openbsd changes of note

    mcl2k2 pools and the em conversion. The details are in the commits, but the short story is that due to hardware limitations, a number of tradeoffs need to be made between performance and memory usage. The em chip can (mostly) only be programmed to write to 2k buffers. However, ethernet payloads are not nicely aligned. They’re two bytes off. Leading to a costly choice. Provide a 2k buffer, and then copy all the data after the fact, which is slow. Or allocate a larger than 2k buffer, and provide em with a pointer that’s 2 bytes offset. Previously, the next size up from 2k was 4k, which is quite wasteful. The new 2k2 buffer size still wastes a bit of memory, but much less.

  • Faster unified capabilities and open source code on DISA’s plate for 2017

    The Defense Information Systems Agency is trying to speed up the delivery of its voice, video and data services to Defense Department and military employees.

    DISA currently has its Unified Capabilities (UC) contract award date set for the fourth quarter of 2018, but the IT agency thinks it can push the award to the left and have it finished by the first quarter. The contract, called Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS), would integrate things like voice, video, email, content management and other communication devices into one seamless, unified client.

    However, DISA’s Enterprise-wide Services Division Chief Brian Hermann, thinks DISA can award and set up UC faster.

The Linux Foundation changes its events' branding

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If you've been paying close attention to how The Linux Foundation has been expanding from just Linux to all of open-source software you could see this coming. The Foundation has just announced that LinuxCon, CloudOpen and ContainerCon are being combined under one umbrella event: The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit.

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4 Notable Trends in Open Source Cloud Computing

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Some of the most successful public companies today are built around cloud-native applications -- a fashionable term that simply means they’re designed to run in the cloud. Netflix, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Amazon have all leveraged open source components within a distributed, microservices-based architecture to quickly deliver new products and services that are cost-effective and responsive to market demands and changes.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • Open Source Development at the UK Government

    New code developed for the UK government is open by default. Coding in the open enables reuse and increases transparency, which results in better digital services, said Anna Shipman, technical architect at Government Digital Service (GDS). She spoke about open sourcing government at GOTO Berlin 2016.

    Our job is to change the way the government works, said Shipman. The UK government wants to provide digital services which are so good that people want to use them; services which are leading to better interaction between the government and citizen.

    Software development at the UK government used to be done with yearly big bang releases. Over the years this has changed with many teams doing several code updates every day.

  • 'Podling' Apache projects are spending longer in the incubator

    Stewards of the Apache Software Foundation are mildly concerned that many nascent projects are spending longer in the incubator, putting pressure on limited mentoring resources.

    In the 12 months up to November 2016, ASF oversaw 30 new "podling" incubator projects, of which four were retired and just seven graduated. Jim Jagielski, director and co-founder at ASF, said the graduation rate has fallen compared to previous years, causing him to ponder why so many projects were apparently stuck.

  • Apache: 17 years on in the open source community

    Apache is a public charity based in the US that facilitates the development of open source projects for the public good in a vendor neutral environment.

    This week the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) hosted ApacheCon in Seville, Spain to celebrate not only it’s 17 year old ‘birthday’ but to further instill this open source community’s core principles that have been with it since the beginning: the ‘Apache Way’.

  • AT&T's Chris Rice Upskills on SDN & Open Source

    One key advantage SDN provides is the ability to directly program the network by rapidly adding on-demand applications on top of the SDN controller. Service providers are increasingly turning to open source software as a viable alternative to proprietary automation tools, but concerns such as cost, security, standards and whether the software is "carrier-grade" remain front of mind.

  • Transforming scientific research with OpenStack

    A cloud-based approach is often heralded as the natural way forward when it comes to improving agility. And whilst many traditional enterprises have turned to the technology, other types of organizations are seeing the benefits too.

  • Open Source vs Proprietary Cloud: Choose Wisely
  • Introducing Firefox Focus – a free, fast and easy to use private browser for iOS
  • Firefox 51 To Enable WebGL 2 By Default, FLAC Audio, Skia Content Rendering On Linux
  • AtScale Takes its BI Platform Beyond Hadoop

    As it began to develop, the Big Data trend--sorting and sifting large data sets with new tools in pursuit of surfacing meaningful angles on stored information--remained an enterprise-only story, but now businesses of all sizes are evaluating tools that can help them glean meaningful insights from the data they store. As we've noted, the open source Hadoop project has been one of the big drivers of this trend, and has given rise to commercial companies that offer custom Hadoop distributions, support, training and more.

Open Source AMDGPU and Radeon Linux Drivers Bring TearFree, DRI3 by Default

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Michel Dänzer announced today, November 17, 2016, the release of new stable versions of the open-source Radeon (xf86-video-ati) and AMDGPU (xf86-video-amdgpu) drivers for GNU/Linux distributions.

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Jim Zemlin: Why Open Source is Professionalizing, and How to Stay Ahead

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If it is true that software is eating the world then it is also true that open source is eating software. The very fabric of our digital society increasingly runs on software built and supported collectively by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. And not just traditional technology companies. As we move towards a world defined by digital experiences carmakers, retailers, banks, hospitals, movie studios and so many more are becoming involved in building and underwriting this work—in reality they are becoming software companies themselves.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • How to Choose Between Closed-Source and Open-Source Software

    When it comes to commercial and open source tools (i.e., paid and free software) the debate as to which category of software is better continues, leaving egos, careers, and forums in ruins. I personally think that it’s impossible to definitively prove that one class of software is the best for every situation. The best source code scanning tool in the world may not do a thing for you if it doesn’t run against your code.

  • Blender enthusiasts gather for the 15th annual conference

    This year marks the 15th Blender Conference, held in Amsterdam around the last weekend of October every year. I've attended quite a few of these conferences, and each year feels better than the one before. If you've never attended the Blender Conference, allow me to set things up for you: By open source conference standards, it's a pretty small event. But for events focused on a single open source program, the Blender Conference is pretty impressive. I think attendance this year clocked in right around 300 people, and tickets were sold out more than a month in advance.

  • There's Work Going On To Bring Vulkan To Chromium/Chrome OS

    While Android already supports Vulkan, Chrome/Chromium OS currently does not support this newest graphics API from The Khronos Group. However, there is work underway in supporting Vulkan on Chromium OS.

    Chad Versace, a former Intel OTC graphics driver developer who joined Google earlier this year, is working on bringing Vulkan to the open-source Chromium OS and likely from there into Chrome OS officially.

  • NVIDIA GCC Backend Gets Ready For OpenMP Offloading

    While GCC 7 feature development is officially over, one of the late patches to land for GCC 7.1 in trunk are improvements to the NVIDIA NVPTX back-end.

    The big code that landed today in GCC are all of the prerequisites for supporting OpenMP offloading with the NVPTX back-end. PTX is the IR used in NVIDIA's CUDA that is then consumed by the proprietary graphics driver for converting this representation into the actual GPU machine code. The NVPTX back-end has been part of GCC for a while now as part of OpenACC offloading and now the recent focus on OpenMP offloading.

  • The Linux Foundation Releases Free Open Compliance Handbook to Improve Knowledge of Compliance Best Practices
  • EFSA models transparency with open source ‘Knowledge Junction’

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has made all its models from the last 15 years available on an open source platform called the Knowledge Junction, which also encourages external submissions of data, images and videos that could go on to be used by EFSA in its risk assessments.

  • Cypress Has Begun Publishing Broadcom Datasheets

    Earlier this summer Cypress semiconductor acquired Broadcom's wireless "Internet of Things" business. With that associated IP, Cypress has begun making public NDA-free data-sheets on associated chipsets.

Open source in government IT: It is about savings but that's not the whole story

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The mood in governments around the world has swung behind open source and open standards, but the shift is not being driven by cost cutting alone.

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Eight great Linux gifts for the holiday season

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Ubuntu-Based ExTiX OS Updated for Intel Compute Sticks with Improved Installer

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton announced this past weekend the release of an updated build of his Ubuntu-based ExTiX Linux distribution for Intel Compute Stick devices. Last month, we reported on the initial availability of a port of the ExTiX operating system for Intel Compute Sticks, boasting the lightweight and modern LXQt 0.10.0 desktop environment and powered by the latest Linux 4.8 kernel, tweaked by Arne Exton for Intel Atom processors. And now, ExTiX Build 161203 is out as a drop-in replacement for Build 161119, bringing a much-improved Ubiquity graphics installer that should no longer crash, as several users who attempted to install the Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux distro on their Intel Compute Stick devices reported. Read more Also: Debian-Based SparkyLinux 4.5 Brings Support for exFAT Filesystems, systemd 232 4MLinux 20.1 Linux Distro Released with Kernel 4.4.34 LTS to Restore PAE Support

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Canonical Releases Snapcraft 2.23 Snap Creator for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 16.10

Canonical's Snappy development team have released a new maintenance version of the Snapcraft 2.x tool that lets applications developers package their apps as Snap packages for Ubuntu and other GNU/Linux distributions that support Snaps. Read more