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OSS Leftovers: foss-north 2019, LibrePlanet 2019, Public Health, Public Interest and Simon Phipps on 'FRAND'

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OSS
  • foss-north 2019: Training Day

    The 2019 incarnation of foss-north is less than a month away. This year we’re extending the conference in two directions: a training day and a community day. This time, I wanted to write about the training day.

    The training day, April 10, is an additional day for those who want to extend
    the conference with a day of dedicated training. I’m very happy to have two experienced and well known trainers on side: Michael Kerrisk and Chris Simmonds. Both has years of training experience.

    Michael will teach about the details in dynamic linking. The topic may seem trivial, but when you start scratching the surface, there are a lot of details to discover such as how to handle version compatibility, how symbol resolution really works, and so on. You can read more about the Building and Using Shared Libraries on Linux training here.

  • Your guide to LibrePlanet 2019, March 23-24!

    Are you planning on joining us for LibrePlanet 2019, coming up this weekend, March 23-24, at the Stata Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)? If you haven't registered yet, there's still time -- registration is open through Tuesday, March 19 at 10:00 EDT, and we also welcome walk-ins (space permitting)! Remember, students and Free Software Foundation (FSF) associate members get in gratis.

    We also hope you'll join us for the Friday night open house at the FSF office, here in Boston -- you can pick up your badge early to skip the line Saturday morning (more details below).

  • Will this new openness to open source heed past lessons?

     

    We set out to demonstrate how open source could work in the NHS for both vendors and users, and to dispel many of the myths that existed about open source. We created the NHS Open Source Foundation (now The Apperta Foundation), a not-for-profit designed to act as a custodian for quality assured NHS open source software, adapting the model developed by OSERA in the US for VistA.
     

    We identified a number of issues which we worked hard to address.

  • France’s economic council wants a greater European role for free software

     

    The European Union should encourage the use of free software, for example by setting quotas in public procurement and financing its development, says France’s Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Conseil économique, social et environnemental, or CESE). The constitutional consultative assembly sees free software, sharing and reuse as strategic parts of the European digital culture.

  • Release of Opinion Paper on Open Source and FRAND by OFA Fellow Simon Phipps

    The question if Open Source Software can be combined with a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) regime is often at the centre of the debate. Possibly, this question though is not the deciding one, as such a legal compatibility would require that Open Source developers would collaborate under such a regime.

    OpenForum Europe is very excited to publish the Opinion Paper by OFA Fellow and President of the Open Source Initiative, Simon Phipps. In this paper Simon posits that the core issue of Open Source Software and FRAND is not a legal one, but that Open Source developers will not collaborate under a FRAND regime.

Lessons in Vendor Lock-in: 3D Printers

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OSS

One interesting thing about the hobbyist 3D printing market is that it was founded on free software and open hardware ideals starting with the RepRap project. The idea behind that project was to design a 3D printer from off-the-shelf parts that could print as many of its own parts as possible (especially more complex, custom parts like gears). Because of this, the first generation of 3D printers were all homemade using Arduinos, stepper motors, 3D-printed gears and hardware you could find in the local hardware store.

As the movement grew, a few individuals started small businesses selling 3D printer kits that collected all the hardware plus the 3D printed parts and electronics for you to assemble at home. Later, these kits turned into fully assembled and supported printers, and after the successful Printrbot kickstarter campaign, the race was on to create cheaper and more user-friendly printers with each iteration. Sites like Thingiverse and YouMagine allowed people to create and share their designs, so even if you didn't have any design skills yourself, you could download and print everyone else's. These sites even provided the hardware diagrams for some of the more popular 3D printers. The Free Software ethos was everywhere you looked.

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SiFive Rolls Out RISC-V HiFive1 Rev B Development Platform, $49 USD With FE310-G002 SoC

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Hardware
OSS

SiFive has announced an upgraded Freedom Everywhere SoC as well as the HiFive1 Revision B developer board using this FE310-G002 SoC.

The HiFive1 Revision B isn't to be confused with their HiFive Unleashed more that retails for $999 USD and is more akin to the traditional Arm developer boards we see that offer video output and other features. The HiFive1 is a mini development board without video output and can be connected to Arduino-compatible accessories and designed for real-time embedded use-cases. But this small embedded development board is available for $49 USD.

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Open Source Doesn’t Make Money Because It Isn’t Designed To Make Money

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Moz/FF
OSS

We all know the story: you can’t make money on open source. Is it really true?

I’m thinking about this now because Mozilla would like to diversify its revenue in the next few years, and one constraint we have is that everything we do is open source.

There are dozens (hundreds?) of successful open source projects that have tried to become even just modest commercial enterprises, some very seriously. Results aren’t great.

I myself am trying to pitch a commercial endeavor in Mozilla right now (if writing up plans and sending them into the ether can qualify as “pitching”), and this question often comes up in feedback: can we sell something that is open source?

I have no evidence that we can (or can’t), but I will make this assertion: it’s hard to sell something that wasn’t designed to be sold.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • What OpenDSP Means to the Future

    Open source software to standardize grid-edge technology.

  • These Emulators Bring WWII Cipher Machines Like Enigma To Your PC

    Alan Turing, the popular mathematician and computer scientist, developed Bombe, a device used for cracking Enigma codes and played a major role in World War II.

    GCHQ isn’t the first to bring emulators of code-breaking devices. If CodeChef’s emulator looks tedious, you can try this web-based Enigma emulator from Summerside Makerspace or this Enigma Simulator desktop app by Terry Long.

    Do give these online emulators from WWII a try and tell us about your experience in the comments section.

  •  

  • GNU Health installer 3.4.1

    The GNU Health installer (gnuhealth-setup) has been updated to 3.4.1.

  • AWS’ contribution to Elasticsearch may only further entrench the open source vendor and cloud war

    Last week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it was launching an open source value-added distribution for search and analytics engine Elasticsearch. As AWS evangelist Jeff Barr put it, the launch would “help continue to accelerate open source Elasticsearch innovation” with the company “strong believers in and supporters of open source software.”

    Yet for industry-watchers and those sympathetic to the open source space, this has been seen as the latest move in a long-running spat between the developers and software vendors on one side, and the cloud behemoths – in particular AWS – on the other. So who is right?

    Previous moves in the market have seen a lot of heat thrown in AWS’ direction for, as the open source vendors see it, taking open source code to which they have not contributed and selling software as a service around it. MongoDB, Confluent and Redis Labs were the highest profile companies who changed their licensing to counter this threat, with reactions ranging from understanding through gritted teeth to outright hostility.

  • Andes Technology Strengthens the RISC-V EasyStart Alliance to 15 ASIC Design Service Partners

    As the first public CPU IP company in Asia, specializing in low-power, high-performance 32/64-bit processor IP cores and SoC design platform, Andes Technology Corporation (TWSE:6533) created a RISC-V promotion program called the “EasyStart” in July, 2018. The goal of the RISC-V EasyStart program is to help Andes’ design service partners catch the emerging opportunity in RISC-V based SoC design and development. The expanding global alliance now has 15 members and is on the way to its target 20 members in the near future.

    The alliance in alphabetical order includes Alchip, ASIC Land, BaySand, CMSC, EE solution, INVECAS, MooreElite, PGC, SiEn (Qingdao) Semiconductor, Silex Insight, Socle , XtremeEDA and 3 unnamed partners. These companies cover foundry process technologies from 90nm to 10nm and some provide both SoC design and turn-key service. The alliance partners will use Andes qualified V5 RISC-V processor cores to provide their end customers total RISC-V design service solutions.

2019 OSI Board Election Results

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OSS

The OSI recently held our 2019 Board elections to seat six Board Directors, two elected from the affiliate membership, and four from the individual membership. We would like to congratulate, Pamela Chestek (nominated by The Document Foundation), and Molly de Blanc (nominated by the Debian Project) who captured the most votes from OSI Affiliate Members. We would also like to congratulate, Elana Hashman, Hong Phuc Dang and Carol Smith for securing Individual Member seats on the Board. Due to a tie for the fourth Individual Member seat, between Christine Hall and Mariatta Wijaya, a run off election will be required to identify the final OSI Board Director.

[...]

Affiliate Member Election Results (two open seats)

29 Pamela Chestek (The Document Foundation)
28 Molly de Blanc (Debian Project)
18 Bruce Perens (Open Research Institute)
13 Charles-H. Schulz (Open Information Security Foundation)
12 Olawale Fabiyi (American International University West Africa)
12 Kate Stewart (Linux Foundation)
9 Lior Kaplan (Debian Project)
8 Frank Matranga (Rensselaer Center for Open Source)
7 Rowan Hoskyns-Abrahall (Joomla / Open Source Matters, Inc.)
3 Hugh Douglas-Smith (Joomla / Open Source Matters, Inc.)

Individual Member Election Results (four open seats)

199 Carol Smith
172 Elana Hashman
143 Hong Phuc Dang
104 Christine Hall*
104 Mariatta Wijaya*
92 Duane O'Brien
90 Chris Aniszczyk
81 Van Lindberg
77 Justin Colannino
76 Samson Goddy
64 Luke Faraone
55 Marc Jones
44 Ian Skerrett
33 Brendan Hickey
32 Gustavo G Marmol Alioto
23 Tobie Langel
17 Rakesh Ranjan Jena
16 Dave McAllister

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OpenXR 0.90 Released For AR/VR Standard - Monado Is An Open-Source Implementation

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OSS

Last year we were expecting The Khronos Group to introduce OpenXR 1.0 for this standard to address fragmentation and provide interoperability in the VR space followed by AR. That debut last year didn't happen although they did show off the first demonstration at SIGGRAPH. This week though at GDC they are announcing the OpenXR 0.90 provisional specification release.

The OpenXR 0.90 provisional specification is now available today. Yes, v0.90 and not 1.0... This caught me by surprise too when being briefed last week. This provisional specification ended up incorporating not only VR support but also AR (augmented reality) into the design. They are hoping for more feedback from AR/VR developers before officially declaring 1.0 especially with the AR support squeezing in when originally they only anticipated to get that in post-1.0.

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FOSS: On the Road to Nowhere

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OSS

I started using free and open source software 20 years ago. In many ways, I’m delighted in how it has developed and spread. I can use KDE’s Plasma, the most advanced desktop on any platform, and it’s been 15 years since I needed to buy software for my professional work. From being an outlying oddity, FOSS has become the norm — so much so that invitations for bids often specify that the resulting software must be open source.

Yet I can’t help thinking that FOSS as a whole has lost its sense of shared values. Nor do groups that might provide those shared values, like the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Linux Foundation, seem capable of providing the leadership that could provide those shared values.

Oh, I’m aware that projects and foundations continue to provide leadership on a local scale. I am aware, too, of the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Leadership Summit, which helps to promote cooperative development. What is missing, though, is often the sense of everyone working towards the same goals for shared reasons.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Proposing a 'Declaration of Digital Independence'

    THIS MESSAGE IS mainly for the leaders and enthusiasts of the broad-based movement toward decentralizing content, but especially social media. I’m not trying to start a new project or organization—after all, decentralization is what I am encouraging. I’m partly trying to start a conversation among individuals, to get them thinking and talking—but on a massive scale. But I’m also trying to inspire people to action, to come together and go the last mile to achieving robust and extremely widespread decentralization.

  • How To Get Started on Mastodon and Leave Twitter Behind

    Close your Twitter account, delete your old Tweets, pack your bags, and head over to Mastodon's wild world of federated microblogging.

  • [SUSE:] Why the future of IT transformation is open source

    For many organisations, undergoing IT transformation means re-investigating and overhauling existing information technology to support various new technological aspects of the organisation such as digital transformation and changes in IT infrastructure. Today, open source technologies are providing viable, cost efficient and leading-edge solutions, with more organisations and businesses adopting open source to support their IT transformation goals.

    [...]

    Research by SUSE found that 95 percent of IT leaders believe SDI is the future for the data centre. Businesses that are focused on the future of their organisations and transformation strategies
    will need to address a multifaceted IT world which encompasses traditional data centres, SDI and cloud environments.

  • The secret sauce behind smart city efforts

    Why should technology be open source? Why is open source important?

    DP: Open source technology is developed by a community of developers, and benefits from collaborations among highly-skilled talents and professionals to facilitate more, and better ideas. More importantly, open source isn't a company or a product. It's a methodology that ensures greater innovation and collaboration.

    Today, open source is the preferred choice for organizations that want to become more agile and flexible. It offers a wide range of benefits, from improved security to freedom from vendor lock-in. Industries across the spectrum in the region – even those traditionally regarded as being very private and guarded such as the public sector and financial services – are now embracing open source approaches to realize innovation and drive transformation. Beyond its positive impacts on business, open source innovation has also led to greater citizen participation and contribution in government initiatives around the world. Open source methodologies have the potential to fundamentally transform how countries are run, and at the same, enrich the lives of citizens in so many ways, technologically and culturally.

  • How PC/GEOS found a 5th life as an open source DOS shell

    For those who cut their teeth on computers like the Apple II and Commodore 64, GEOS brought a Mac-like GUI to comparatively lower-powered, 8-bit home computers. The team behind GEOS developed GeoWorks for PC in 1990. GeoWorks was also the basis of America Online for DOS. Substantial amounts of GeoWorks were written in fine-tuned x86 Assembly, making it decently more performant on Intel 386-based computers than Windows 3.0, which was released the same year. This high performance in constrained environments gave GeoWorks a protracted lifespan.

  • MyEtherWallet launches an open-source blockchain explorer to promote innovation
  • MyEtherWallet (MEW) Launches Open Source ETH Blockchain Explorer on Testnet

    Popular Ethereum wallet service MyEtherWallet (MEW) has launched an open-source blockchain explorer named EthVM (virtual machine) on the Ropsten testnet. EthVM will compete directly with leading Ethereum block explorer Etherscan.io.

    According to a press release published on Monday, March 11th, MEW seeks to offer a comprehensive solution to Ethereum developers while at the same time designed to provide a seamless and simple interface for blockchain users (especially beginners).

  • Launches Open Source Blockchain Explorer for Ethereum
  • MyEtherWallet Launches New Open Source Ethereum Blockchain Explorer
  • Neha Narkhede: Open Source Isn't A Business Model, It's A Distribution Strategy [Ed: It's neither. It's about the software licence.]
  • A software market prediction: it’s all about open source

    Over the course of 2019, the big battleground in the software market is going to be around open source and specifically around how it’s used.

    “You’re starting to see the battle lines drawn up between the Mongos, the AWSs and Redis,” confirms Jim Rose, CEO at CircleCI.

    At the moment, you have these open source communities/companies that have built very valuable software that is “being taken off the shelf “and implemented for money by all of the cloud vendors.

  • OpenStack Foundation Announces First Open Infrastructure Summit in…

    The 20th Open Infrastructure Summit—formerly known as the OpenStack Summit—is headed to the Shanghai Expo Center the week of November 4, 2019. China is the one of the largest markets for OpenStack based on the number and scale of users—including China Mobile, China UnionPay, China Railway, the State Grid Corporation of China—and developers who contribute to the open source software project. Contributors and users from 30 open infrastructure projects will attend and speak at the event.

  • Couchbase Named a Leader in the Big Data NoSQL Database Evaluation by Independent Research Firm
  • A WordPress safety plan for SEOs and developers

    WordPress powers an astonishing one-third of all websites these days.

  • Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, and S10+ kernel sources are available for the Exynos models
  • Stop Child Abuse Before it Happens with New Open Source Geospatial Machine Learning Tools
  • Orchestra | An Open-Source Robotic Process Automation System

    Orchestra is an open source workflow management system that uses the Robotics Process Automation to support teams and improve how people do analytical and creative work. By having the machines do repetitive parts of a project, developers can spend much more time working on some of the more engaging tasks.

  • Open data needed to address agriculture's problems
  • Exclusive: Meet the UK’s ‘Data Diplomat’

    “It’s not about what data can do for diplomacy. It is how diplomacy can possibly remain relevant unless we embrace data.”

    So says Graham Nelson, the founder of the UK Foreign Office’s Open Source Unit (OSU). He is fresh from delivering a seminar on data-driven policymaking at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    It’s been a long day, but he becomes visibly more animated when talking about his work: helping governments around the world use data to solve their most defining challenges. “I am really excited by the potential for data to do so much good,” says the mathematician-turned-diplomat. He shares how data is an indispensable tool for governments today, and how it can help agencies examine the impact they are really making.

    [...]

    It certainly helps that governments today “have got much better access to commercial satellite data and meteorological data than we would have had before”. “There are some really easy ways that countries thinking about setting up on this journey of using data can start,” Nelson points out.

  • Healthcare Design Studio Releases Repo of Free, Open Source Visualizations

    GoInvo, a digital health design consultancy headquartered in Arlington, Massachusetts, today announced the release of a repo featuring over 20 open source health visualizations and graphics (https://www.goinvo.com/vision/health-visualizations) available to all for use or modification, under a Creative Commons Attribution v3 license or MIT license.

Istio/Tetrate Funding

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Server
OSS
  • Tetrate emerges from stealth to bring service mesh to the enterprise

    The architects of open source *service* mesh technology Istio and Envoy have broken off to set up an enterprise-grade solution aimed at large-scale customers.

  • Tetrate raises $12.5 million to manage microservices with open source software

    San Francisco startup Tetrate, which develops an app management platform for hybrid and multicloud environments, today emerged from stealth with $12.5 million in a funding round led by Dell Technologies Capital, with participation from 8VC, Intel Capital, Rain Capital, and Samsung Next. The startup also attracted individual investments from a number of industry executives, including former Cisco chief development officer Pankaj Patel, Yubico chief product officer Guido Appenzeller, and WeWork’s Shiva Rajaraman.

  • Tetrate Launches Istio Service Mesh Offering

    Tetrate this week emerged from stealth to launch what it describes as an enterprise-class implementation of a service mesh based on the open source Istio project.

    Fresh off raising $12.5 million in funding, Tetrate’s goal is to deliver a service mesh based on Istio that will span both modern containerized applications running on Kubernetes and legacy applications running on virtual machines and bare-metal servers, says CEO Varun Talwar.

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