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Links 21/5/2012: Linux 3.4 Released, Dream Studio 12.04

Posted in News Roundup at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • Introducing PuppetDB: Put Your Data to Work

    PuppetDB is the next-generation open source storage service for Puppet-produced data. Today, this includes catalogs and facts, and will be extended in the near future. The initial release provides a drop-in replacement for both storeconfigs and inventory service.

    We’ve designed PuppetDB to empower Puppet deployments, and built it from the ground up with performance in mind. It’s built on technologies known for their performance, and is highly parallel, making full use of available resources. It also stores all of its data asynchronously, freeing up the master to go compile more catalogs. Beyond that, we’ve devoted copious time to benchmarking and optimizing the performance.

  • GlobaLeaks: The Open Source Whistleblower Software
  • Military Explores Expansion of Open Source Technology
  • Miso Project Offers Open Source Tools for Data Visualization
  • Bangalore India slum kids use open-source software to learn computer skills

    The centre, supported by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), has so far taught 40 students basic GNU/Linux skills along with opensource tools to provide image and graphics software. “We use free software to bring home the idea of equality and freedom. Besides teaching computer skills, we also touch upon the issues of caste and gender discrimination. Also, we emphasise that free software does not mean subsidy for the poor. It’s about freedom from copyright. The focus is on freedom and equality offered by the community software as compared to corporate ware,,” says Balaji Kutty, an IT professional and board member of SFLC who also teaches at the centre.

  • NERC, EPRI Release Open-Source Code To Analyze GICs

    The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have developed a simulation tool for the electric industry to analyze geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) on their systems.

  • Open Source Spotlight – Yabi: Bringing drag-and-drop to supercomputers

    Supercomputers are powerful tools for scientists. They are also very expensive, so wasted time can mean a lot of wasted resources. But making the most efficient use of them is not the easiest proposition in the world; it’s not just a case of clicking a button to analyse a protein. However, fitting out the world of supercomputers with a user-friendly, web-based interface is the focus of an open source project based at Western Australia’s Murdoch University.

    Last year Murdoch publicly launched Yabi, a tool equipped with a web interface to make using supercomputers simpler.

    The computational physics community, as an example, may be very proficient in the intricacies of shell scripts and working with a command line, says Professor Matthew Bellgard, Director of Murdoch’s Centre for Comparative Genomics. “They’ve had a lot of experience in the past running their Fortran code using 4000 cores or 10,000 cores,” he says. However, “there are other domains where scientists don’t necessarily have that skill running command line code or porting their code from one supercomputer to another.”

  • Open Source Software Popularity Is Skyrocketing
  • The Morning Download: Open Source Software’s Coming-Out Party

    Good morning. Open source software is enjoying somewhat of a revival in business environments, although the revival is more about perception than reality. IBM‘s decision to swap out Oracle customer-account management software for similar software from SugarCRM was probably motivated at least in part by a desire to inflict some pain on rival Oracle, but also indicates an underlying confidence in the reliability, stability and scalability of open source software.

  • Winners Announced For International Space Apps Challenge

    While budgetary constraints and increasing commercial competition has clearly taken its toll on NASA, one area where the iconic government institution has unquestionably made headway is the implementation of open source.

  • Sigrok: open source framework for logic analysers

    While there are quite a few budget and even open source logic analyser platforms for recording and evaluating digital signals, each of them usually comes with a custom interface protocol and dedicated evaluation software of varying functionality. Usually, the software only works with one analyser family made by a specific company.

  • Open Source Spotlight: iSpy Connect
  • Open Source in the enterprise

    Open source software has come a long way. From the days when it was seen as a curiosity, to today’s scenario where some of the world’s biggest computer setups run atop Linux including Amazon and Google, it has been an interesting journey. According to IDC, Linux accounts for about 18-20% of the server market by revenues in any given quarter. That’s within striking distance of Unix, which had a market share of 20-22% in the second and third quarters of 2011. Of course, Windows ruled the roost with 45-50% in revenue terms.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice mentoring

      In fact it is about the difficulty to get started at the LibreOffice project, which is a quite bad thing, because we need supporters and contributors of any kind. In the past, the decade of OpenOffice.org, one thing what we missed were the developers (I was not involved at that time, but I heard it several times and I think it is true…). Now, at the LibreOffice project we have easyhacks (At least I assume this, because of THIS Google search). Loads of things have been done about that. Now, I would really want to show you 2 month old numbers from Italo Vignoli’s blog. On March the 15th, there were ~360 people contributing to LibreOffice and ~21 at Apache OpenOffice.

  • Education

    • The case for agile pedagogy

      Policy makers, industry and many teachers are eager that pupils should learn more about computing. This includes learning how to write computer programs, but also “computational thinking”, a transferable way of solving problems and exploring situations, which has wide applications across and beyond the curriculum. In short, as pupils learn to program computers and the principles of computer science they start to bring the unique insights of algorithms, abstraction and the like to other fields. The same is true for teachers – ideas from computing can dramatically change the way we think about our work, and one of these, agile development, is what I’d like to explore here.

      According to many A-level specifications, students are taught that software projects follow the “waterfall” methodology, starting with agreeing requirements, designing and implementing the software, testing it and then keeping things ticking over when it’s deployed to clients.

      In other words, the sort of approach that has characterised public sector IT projects like the NHS database. Hmm… This doesn’t sound that far removed from how we’ve designed curricula: a top down list of things “children should be taught”, schemes of work, implementation in the classroom, plenty of testing, and the “service pack” of INSET as and when needed.

    • UK science minister explains move to open source
  • Business

    • The Open Source Challenge in the Channel

      One of the ironies of the channel these days is that many of the data centers and network operations centers (NOCs) built by solution providers are based on open source technologies. Almost invariably, these platforms are being used to support commercial software and systems that have been deployed at any number of customer locations.

      That may sound a bit hypocritical. But in truth it just reflects an economic reality. Many solution providers have plenty of expertise available to them. What they are often short on is funding. When faced with the choice of throwing labor at a solution versus parting with cash to acquire commercial technologies, the decision is almost always to “sweat” the labor investment.

    • Open source Opsview polishes IT monitoring lens

      Opsview has around 19,900 customers using its free open source offering and a further 100 customers paying for all the bells and whistles as well as a support package in the shape of the Enterprise version.

    • The Serious Business of Open Source, Inc.

      Imagine what “Risk Factors” a hypothetical Open Source Incorporated would put into the regulatory filings that corporations file every year. The process could well provide insight into what the communities of Open Source should be prepared for.

    • Nuxeo growth shows increasing demand for open source solutions

      First a look at the numbers: Nuxeo reported global customer growth of 40 percent adding new customers that included Electronic Arts and InterContinental Hotel Group. It was North America where Nuxeo really took off, as North America became the company’s biggest market with revenue doubling there. Meanwhile, the community also grew. Nuxeo reported that the number of downloads tripled.

    • IBM Gets Behind Snort, Expands Anomaly Detection
    • Liferay Announces Strong Sales Growth in Europe
  • Funding

    • Great place to browse around

      Bocoup incubates Web startups, fosters open-source community [...] Web app and open-source consulting company that also provides space and funding for startups.

  • Project Releases

    • Lightspark 0.5.7 released

      A new ver­sion of Lightspark has been released yes­ter­day. You can give it a try by get­ting the source code from launch­pad. Ubuntu pack­ages should be avail­able shortly from our PPA

    • Cassandra 1.1 Brings Cache Tuning, Mixed Storage Support

      Apache has dished out another serving of Cassandra, the open source NoSQL database popular for handling big data. The improvements speak to a maturing NoSQL database that’s well-suited for big data deployments. This time around, Cassandra has improvements to its query language, and tuning improvements that will help companies trying to boost performance with a mixture of magnetic media and solid state drives (SSD). Its continued development helps maintain open-source dominance in the big data/NoSQL market.

    • OpenMAMA Project Delivers First Release of Middleware Messaging API
  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Fighting for Freedom in Slovakia

      FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) is helping a Slovakian business fined for failing to use that other OS and IE for filing taxation information. It will be interesting to see whether or not the courts can order the Slovakian government to do IT the right way, with open standards for communication protocols and file formats.

    • Executive summary of the EURA case
    • OSI Supports Open Standards

      The Open Source Initiative agreed what made a standard open back in 2006 and today collaborated with the Free Software Foundation on a press statement about it.


  • Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8

    Digital media playback in Windows 8 has fallen casualty to the savage economics of the PC industry and changing tastes in consumer viewing.

    We knew Windows Media Center would be sold at extra cost in Windows 8, but Microsoft now says you won’t be able to play DVDs on Windows Media Player in Windows 8.

  • Hardware

    • Can Nvidia’s Kepler processor revolutionize virtual desktop hosting?

      In a BYOD world, this approach is compelling. By hosting the desktop, IT owns a virtualized generic hardware environment yet can supply that environment to a variety of hardware devices-smartphones, tablets, Linux PCs and even smart TVs, which could be used more readily for high-end, off-site conferences in rented facilities or as a cheaper alternative to more expensive conference room solutions.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Why Goldman Is Not a Simple Culprit in the Financial Crisis Report

      The Senate Permanent Investigation Subcommittee’s report on the financial crisis is an important document. It is an exhaustive look at certain main aspects of the financial crisis, a report which heavily criticizes Washington Mutual, the now-defunct Office of Thrift Supervision, the credit ratings agencies, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

    • A Sea of Robin Hoods Tell the G8, “It’s Time to Tax Wall Street!”

      Thousands of nurses from around the world descended upon Daley Plaza, in the heart of Chicago on May 18, to demand that the richest nations in the world put an end to austerity politics and start asking the people who collapsed the global economy to do more to “heal the world.”

  • Censorship

    • UK ISPs ordered to block Pirate Bay website

      The High Court said on Monday that Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media would have to block access to The Pirate Bay (TPB), following an earlier ruling in February over the role of the site in copyright infringement.

    • The Tor Project’s New Tool Aims To Map Out Internet Censorship

      For years, the non-profit Tor Project has offered Internet users the world’s most secure tool for dodging censorship and surveillance, used by tens of millions of people around the world. Now two of the project’s researchers aim to help users to not only bypass what they call the “filternet”–the choked, distorted and censored subset of the Internet–but to understand it and map it out, the better to eradicate its restrictions.

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