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What Could Open Government Learn from Us Open Technology folks?

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Despite open government's best intentions to prioritise collaboration, government bodies consistently duplicate each other's effort. Collaborating as effectively as open communities is much harder than you'd think.

A number of us "open technologists" have drafted a paper describing the challenges government faces, along with our vision for how to address these. It is being presented as part of Australia's updated Open Government National Action Plan.

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Also: Evolving government policies on the procurement and production of free software

What NASA Has Been Doing About Open Science

eelo is more than tech, it’s a societal project for Freedom and Democracy

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Computer systems, and more specifically software and data networks, have been driving the way the world has evolved recently. Software is now everywhere: in cars, trains and planes, in your house, in businesses and in industry….Smartphones are taking over our lives

Since 2007, software has also taken control in our personal lives: smartphones have become our companions of life. They empower us with new abilities. They help us find information quickly, they help us with directions, they help us to communicate quickly and at a low cost with other people anywhere in the world.

The digital age we’re presently living in is a “far west quest”. The few who understand how things work are releasing products which often gain quick and massive adoption: people who were born before 1998 can remember a world where Facebook and Google didn’t exist.

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Open Source as Channel Opportunity, CenturyLink to Open Source NFVi Orchestrator

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  • Open source: What's the channel opportunity?

    Paul Lipton, VP, industry standards and open source at CA Technologies, says open-source utilization and contribution has become "far more acceptable" as part of the overall planning and design of customer solutions.

    "When open source is properly managed as enterprise microservices at the API level - and properly secured and monitored - it can reduce costs and increase the business' flexibility in building digital assets," he tells Channelnomics.

    "This enables the organization to focus more software-development resources on the agile development of innovative enterprise services, enabling the business to differentiate from competitors and compete with maximum effectiveness."

    'Agile' and DevOps are an essential foundation for digital transformation, he notes. "Open source communities frequently embrace agile methodologies and innovation, making properly vetted open-source projects a good fit as part of the enterprise's overall commitment to agile and DevOps."

    Alex Pujols, senior systems engineering manager within Cisco's Global Partner Organization, says nearly 80 percent of companies today are using open-source software in their environments, meaning there is "an unprecedented opportunity" for the channel around coupling open-source software with the vendor's technology solutions.

  • CenturyLink to Open Source NFVi Orchestrator

    CenturyLink is preparing to contribute part of its NFVi orchestration process to the open source community, even though the operator isn't yet ready to join ONAP, which is the largest orchestration open source project.

    Adam Dunstan, vice president of SDN/NFV Engineering for CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), explained in a presentation here and in an interview that his team has taken a bit of service logic out of an Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) module and repackaged it as part of its NFV orchestration process, calling it Victor, and now intends to release that into open source. Once the legal details are sorted, the contribution will likely go into ONAP -- which CenturyLink has contributed to before. (See ONAP Adds Verizon, Claims De Facto Title.)

    Because CenturyLink is charting its own path and develop its own tooling, however, the company likely won't be plunking down the dollars required to formally join ONAP anytime soon, Dunstan says. (See CenturyLink Touting New MVP.)

Mozilla's radical open-source move helped rewrite rules of tech

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Twenty years ago, Netscape Communications was desperate. It was the darling of the first wave of internet companies for its ability to let you surf the web, but Microsoft had crushed its business prospects by giving away a web browser for free.

So Netscape did something that was radical for the time: On March 31, 1998, it gave away the source code behind its Netscape Communicator browser, the once-secret programming instructions that developers used to build the software. The project, called Mozilla, amounted to surrendering the crown jewels.

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Kaspersky Lab researchers puts KLara into open source domain

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Further technical and API details can be found on Securelist. The software is open-sourced under GNU General Public License v3.0 and available with no warranty from the developers.

Kaspersky Lab's GitHub account also includes another tool, created and shared by Kaspersky Lab researchers in 2017. Named BitScout, it was created by principal security researcher, Vitaly Kamluk, and can remotely collect vital forensic data such as malware samples without risk of contamination or loss. Further information on BitScout can be found here.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • Red Hat Earnings Foretell Good Times for Open Source Businesses
  • Open Source Codec AV1 Specification Available Now, Delivering Far More Efficient Compression Than HEVC & VP9

    Today, AOMedia announced the public release of the AV1 codec’s specification, the first step to introducing AV1 into commercial products.

  • Two perspectives on the maintainer relationship

    Developers and maintainers of free-software projects are drawn from the same pool of people, and maintainers in one project are often developers in another, but there is still a certain amount of friction between the two groups. Maintainers depend on developers to contribute changes, but the two groups have a different set of incentives when it comes to reviewing and accepting those changes. Two talks at the 2018 Embedded Linux Conference shed some light on this relationship and how it can be made to work more smoothly.

  • What can you do with Kubernetes?

    Need to get up to speed with Kubernetes? This webinar will give you the primer to the Kubernetes platform that you need. You’ve probably heard that Kubernetes is great technology, but have you considered how you can use it in the enterprise? We’ll give a comprehensive overview, demos, and even ideas into how it can be used in your business!

  • Google Makes It Easier for Chrome Users to Stream Local Video and Audio Files

    Chrome users who usually cast audio and video files to Chromecast or similar Cast devices will soon experience a much more straightforward and accessible streaming method.

    Chromium evangelist at Google François Beaufort has shared today details about the Chrome team working on an easier method for streaming local audio and video files to Cast devices, such as Chromecast, which is currently available for public testing in the Chrome OS Beta channel.

  • What Is The Difference Between Google Chrome And Chromium Browser?

    What is Chromium browser? It is an open-source web browser developed and maintained by The Chromium Project. The git rolling release web browser was first introduced in 2008, and its different parts are released under different free software licenses which include BSD License (for the portion written by Google) and MIT License, LGPL, etc. for other portions.

  • Annoying Graphs: Did the Facebook Container Add-on Result in More New Firefox Profiles?

    Yesterday, Mozilla was in the news again for releasing a Firefox add-on called Facebook Container. The work of (amongst others) :groovecoder, :pdol, :pdehaan, :rfeeley, :tanvi, and :jkt, Facebook Container puts Facebook in a little box and doesn’t let it see what else you do on the web.

  • Firefox Launches Facebook Container Add-On that Makes Facebook Tracking Harder

    Mozilla launched a new Firefox add-on Facebook container that makes tracking harder by isolating your Facebook identity from the rest of web activities.

    Facebook network trackers embedded in various websites identify your hobbies, location and political persuasion based on the pages you visit.

  • Try your hand at celestial navigation with an open-source, Glowforge-ready astrolabe!

  • Carnegie Mellon Researchers Release Files for Open Source DIY 3D Bioprinter

    While fully 3D printed hearts are not a reality yet for the roughly 4,000 people in the US waiting for a transplant each year, 3D printing human tissue for regeneration and repair is a big step in the right direction.

    The innovative researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have long been working with 3D bioprinting to fabricate tissue, and a team from the university’s Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Biomedical Engineering (BME) departments recently developed their own low-cost 3D bioprinter, publishing the designs as open source so anyone can build it.

Linux Foundation: Tungsten Fabric, Hyperledger, "Our Civilization’s Infrastructure Already Runs on Linux”

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  • ​Juniper's OpenContrail SDN rebranded as Tungsten Fabric

    Sometimes, rebranding is a good thing. Juniper Networks' OpenContrail was an excellent open-source software-defined network (SDN) program. But, it was perceived as being too much under Juniper's thumb to draw many outside developers. Realizing this, Juniper spun OpenContrail out into a community-controlled project under the The Linux Foundation. That left the name, so Juniper and the community decided to rebrand it: Tungsten Fabric.

  • Greenstream Technology Accepted as Silver Member of The Linux Foundation and Hyperledger
  • Hyperledger Sawtooth: A Milestone for Blockchain Technology

    Blockchain technology — which encompasses smart contracts and distributed ledgers — can be used to record promises, trades, and transactions of many types. Countless organizations, ranging from IBM to Wells Fargo and the London Stock Exchange Group are partnering to drive the technology forward, and The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project is an open source collaborative effort aimed at advancing cross-industry blockchain technologies. Recently, the project announced the arrival of Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0, a major milestone for the Hyperledger community, which represents the second blockchain framework that has reached production-ready status.

    In conjunction with the release, Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger, and Dan Middleton, Intel’s Head of Technology, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Program, hosted a webinar, titled “Hyperledger Sawtooth v1.0: Market Significance & Technical Overview.” The webinar is now available as a video replay (registration required).

  • Civil Infrastructure Platform Sets Out to Save Civilization

    “The Civil Infrastructure Platform is the most conservative of The Linux Foundation projects,” began Yoshitake Kobayashi at the recent Embedded Linux Conference in Portland. Yet, if any eyelids started fluttering shut in anticipation of an afternoon nap, they quickly opened when he added: “It may also be the most important to the future of civilization.”

    The Linux Foundation launched the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project in April 2016 to develop base layer, open source industrial-grade software for civil infrastructure projects, starting with a 10-year Super Long-Term Support (SLTS) Linux kernel built around the LTS kernel. CIP expects to add other similarly reusable software building blocks that meet the safety and reliability requirements of industrial and civil infrastructure. CIP supports electrical and power grids, water and sewage facilities, oil and gas plants, and rail, shipping and transportation systems, among other applications.

    “Our civilization’s infrastructure already runs on Linux,” said Kobayashi, a CIP contributor and Senior Manager of Open Source Technology at Toshiba’s Software Development and Engineering Center. “Our power plants run on Linux. If they stop working, it’s serious.”

EU Project Delivers Open-Source Simulator for Cyber-Physical Systems

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A European funded project has released an open-source framework which seamlessly simulates, in an integrated way, both the networking and the processing parts of cyber-physical systems (CPS), as well as cloud and high-performance computing systems.

Cyber-physical systems are supersets of embedded systems, integrating sensing, computation, control, and networking into physical objects and infrastructure. While IoT refers mainly to uniquely identifiable internet-connected devices and embedded systems, CPS refers to the combination of the multiple hardware devices and software (including computational) aspects of a system, together with its relationship with the physical world.

The European project, a three-year program which began in February 2015 and received 2.88 million euros (about $3.5 million) in funding from the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 program, addresses the lack of simulation tools and models for full system design and analysis. This is mainly because most existing simulation tools for complex CPS only efficiently handle parts of a system while mainly focusing on performance.

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Open Source Zeroes In on the Edge

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Open Networking Summit -- The important role that open source will play in distributing compute power to the edge is coming into clearer focus here this week, with multiple initiatives and some significant contributions from major industry players.

The Open Networking Foundation kicked things off with its announcement of a strategic shift that will put major operators in charge of developing reference designs for edge SDN platforms for network operators, with the intent of moving open source technologies forward faster on that front. The Linux Foundation Tuesday announced broader support for its Akraino Edge Stack open source community, including 13 new members and a major open source contribution from one of those Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). (See ONF Operators Take Charge of Edge SDN and ONF Operators Take Charge of Edge SDN.)

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OSS: AOMedia Video Codec 1.0 (AV1), SRT Open Source Project, Engineering Group in OSI

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  • AOMedia Announces Public Release Of AV1 Video Format

    Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, NVIDIA, and others making up the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) have today announced the public release of the AV1 royalty-free video format!

  • Netflix and YouTube streaming video is about to get a lot faster

    Tech's biggest companies -- including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Cisco and Netflix -- have finished the first version of video compression technology called AV1, and now they're ready to use it to speed up your streaming video.

  • The Alliance for Open Media Kickstarts Video Innovation Era with "AV1" Release

    Consumers’ video expectations are being shaped by the brilliant images promised by 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video and beyond. However, the technical-based hurdles and data demands of higher quality video mean that the majority of users only have access to full HD or lower video technology. For nearly three years, the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) has been working in lock-step with its members, the world’s best-known leaders in video, to develop a better quality internet video technology that benefits all consumers. Today, the Alliance is proud to announce the public release of the AOMedia Video Codec 1.0 (AV1) specification, which delivers cross-platform, 4K UHD or higher online video, royalty-free – all while lowering data usage.

  • Open Source Community Widely Adopts SRT Video Streaming Protocol with VLC, GStreamer and Wireshark Support

    The SRT Open Source Project, the fastest growing open source video streaming movement, announced wide adoption of the SRT open source video transport protocol and technology stack with VLC, GStreamer and Wireshark support, as well as a new Mozilla Public License.

  • Engineering Group and Open Source Initiative Partner for Enhanced Leadership in Open Source: Engineering Group continues its support of global open source software communities.

    Engineering Group, the global IT player and Italian leader in digital transformation, announced their continued sponsorship of the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The OSI is internationally recognized as the stewards of open source software, working to promote and protect open source projects, development and communities. For 20 years the organization has served as the reference point for individuals, non-profit organizations, international enterprises, and governments that recognize the critical role of open source in enabling flexibility, transparency, innovation, and added-value in technology-based products and services.

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Collaboration Events: Pakistan Open Source Summit, GNOME+Rust Hackfest, DataworksSummit Berlin

  • Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018 concludes [Ed: Not about software]
    A large number of attendees from industry, academia, government, and students participated in the summit. Portuguese Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony while former Naval Chief Admiral (r) Asif Sandila graced the occasion as the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
  • ‘Open Summit key to create industry-academy linkages’
    Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa has said that events such as the Open Source Summit are excellent for spreading awareness and for creating industry-academia linkages and enhancement of the information technology. He stated this while addressing a concluding ceremony of the two-day informative ‘Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018’ attended by large number of people from industry, academia, government and students. Former naval chief Admiral (R) Asif Sandila co-chaired the concluding session. Dr Joao Sabido Costa said that the organisations should utilise open source platforms to build their IT infrastructures in future. To build open source culture in Pakistan, he recommended roadmap with future activities and timelines for spreading open source.
  • Madrid GNOME+Rust Hackfest, part 2
    Yesterday we went to the Madrid Rust Meetup, a regular meeting of rustaceans here. Martin talked about WebRender; I talked about refactoring C to port it to Rust, and then Alex talked about Rust's plans for 2018. Fun times.
  • DataworksSummit Berlin - Wednesday morning
    Data strategy - cloud strategy - business strategy: Aligning the three was one of the main themes (initially put forward in his opening keynote by CTO of Hortonworks Scott Gnau) thoughout this weeks Dataworks Summit Berlin kindly organised and hosted by Hortonworks. The event was attended by over 1000 attendees joining from 51 countries. The inspiration hat was put forward in the first keynote by Scott was to take a closer look at the data lifecycle - including the fact that a lot of data is being created (and made available) outside the control of those using it: Smart farming users are using a combination of weather data, information on soil conditions gathered through sensors out in the field in order to inform daily decisions. Manufacturing is moving towards closer monitoring of production lines to spot inefficiencies. Cities are starting to deploy systems that allow for better integration of public services. UX is being optimized through extensive automation.

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10 Great Linux GTK Themes For 2018

Customization is a big part of the Linux experience, and your desktop theme is no exception. The world of Linux desktop themes is an ever-evolving one, with new ones replacing old favorites all the time. Of course, the desktop environments and GTK itself are always changing, so that adds another dynamic element to consider. That said, some of the best desktop customization happens on the simplest desktop environments, like XFCE. As of now, in early 2018, there are some really excellent GTK themes available. These themes aren’t ranked in any particular order. That comes down to a matter or preference. Any one of them can add a whole new look to your GTK-based desktop. Read more