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10.17.12

Links 18/10/2012: Wine 1.5.15, Mageia 3 Alpha 2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is an Atom D520 ‘good enough’ for Linux

    While the Atom processor does not have a good reputation here at PC Perspective as far as its ability to provide enough power for most peoples usage, Phoronix might have a different take on a tiny Atom powered computer. After all, Linux has a reputation of needing less system resources than a Windows box, so perhaps the benefits of a tiny 190 x 135 x 25 mm system outweigh any possible performance issues on a customized Ubuntu installation, called ALUSA 12.04 OS. You may not be surprised to find out that while the system did boot properly out of the box and all the hardware was properly supported, the lack of power especially the maximum resolution limit of 1366×768 was enough to turn Phoronix off of this device. There is a newer model they hope to test in the future.

  • Lightworks for Linux: The developer’s story

    Lightworks for Linux is approaching its public testing phase. Lead Developer Rob Fearnside answers questions from Red Shark News about how it got to this stage.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Tarsnap: On-line Backups for the Truly Paranoid

      Enter Tarsnap—”on-line backups for the truly paranoid”. Tarsnap is the brainchild of Dr Colin Percival, a former FreeBSD Security Officer. In 2006, he began research and development on a new solution for “encrypted, snapshotted remote backups”, culminating in the release of Tarsnap in 2008.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Main development phase of Linux 3.7 completed

      Linus Torvalds has issued the first release candidate of Linux 3.7. With this release, Torvalds has, as usual, closed the development cycle’s “merge window”, the phase in which the majority of a new version’s important new features are added to the main development branch. Until the final release of Linux 3.7, which is expected to arrive in December, the developers will now focus on bug fixes, discounting a few potential stragglers as well as smaller, harmless improvements.

    • Can ‘Open Source’ Solve Car-Tech Problems?

      Horsepower used to be the measuring stick among new cars, but now, increasingly, it’s fuel efficiency. Even safety and styling, which have long been important selling points, are not as powerful among buyers as they once were.

      If you consider modern society’s infatuations with 24/7 connectivity — or just watch car ads on TV — it’s clear that technology is one of the most significant factors affecting car-buying decisions today. And although the latest slick touch-screen infotainment systems get all the attention, one of the most important components of a car is something consumers rarely see or think about: software.

    • Zenwalk Continues Banging The BFS Scheduler

      Zenwalk 7.2 was released last week as the latest release of the interesting Slackware-based distribution. This latest Zenwalk release continues to patch its Linux kernel to drop in the BFS scheduler for providing better interactivity on the Linux desktop.

      Zenwalk has been shipping the Brain Fuck Scheduler since 2010 as its default kernel scheduler beginning with the 6.4 release and they’re still relying upon it to this day rather than the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) or O(1).

    • Signed Kernel Modules Support For Linux 3.7
    • AMD Piledriver/Trinity A10-5800K Compiler Tuning
    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Five reasons to try the new Razor-qt Linux desktop

      Those in the homogeneous Windows world may be bracing themselves anxiously for the impending arrival of Windows 8 with its controversial Metro interface, but for Linux users, the array of desktop choices just keeps on expanding.

    • New functionality for nimble Linux desktop, Razor-qt

      Version 0.5.0 of the Razor-qt desktop environment is now available and brings with it changes to the configuration of themes, new plugins and a new notification daemon. The relatively young, lean desktop is based on the Qt framework, but in contrast to KDE, is able to run on low-spec hardware. While development of Razor-qt is still at an early stage, the desktop already includes all the key components: a desktop with a panel, application launcher, a settings centre and session management.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma Active 3 : First Look

        The KDE Project have released Plasma Active 3, which is KDE desktop implementation of tablet and other mobile devices. The desktop has been rigorously tested on ARM and Intel based devices and runs well on both. KDE developer, Aaron J. Seigo has released a video which shows the working of Plasma Active on a tablet:

      • Calligra 2.6 alpha previews professional writing program

        The developers at the Calligra project, part of the KDE community, have released an alpha for version 2.6 of their set of open source productivity applications. In addition to improving and adding new features to existing programs in the KDE-oriented office suite, this preview release is the first to include a new writing program called “Author”.

      • KDE Plasma Active 3 open source tablet software improves performance, adds new apps
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Initial Setup and Welcome Tour

        Gnome Initial Setup might arrive in Gnome 3.8 and Fedora 19, but we will not -for sure- see it in Ubuntu.

        It is separated in two steps; first is the account creation in an empty system and secondly comes an optional welcome tour that introduces some basic functionality of Gnome Shell.

      • 11.6-inch Asus laptop runs Ubuntu, costs $314

        Here I was, thinking netbooks—especially Linux-powered ones—had long since been relegated to the history books. Maybe that was a little hasty of me. As Liliputing reports, two U.S. e-tailers have started carrying an 11.6″ Asus laptop that’s awfully similar to the netbooks and consumer ultraportables of old—and has a price tag to match.

      • Gnome 3 has a non-fallback mode, too!

        I like Gnome 3, but, I’ve always used it in fallback mode. On every box I’ve ever had, Gnome Shell dumps into fallback mode, which, if I understand correctly, is due to Clutter being unable to run because of a lack of 3D graphics power. I’ve always tried to use free graphics drivers, and they don’t always work well in 3D.

      • Some statistics about GNOME.org
      • Mutter 3.6.1 Fixes a Few Bugs

        Mutter, a window and compositing manager that displays and manages your desktop via OpenGL, has reached version 3.6.1.

      • Gnome 3.6 is now ended ..Looking forward to Gnome 3.8

        Today Gnome released the 3.6.[1] version that is a major bug fixing release, typically in every Gnome 3.[x%2 == 0] series.

        From today Gnome is looking forward to the next release, which from an early quick look, 3.8 seems to be another massive developing cycle that will follow the excessive work done in 3.6. New Apps, a better notification system, a re-designed Gnome Shell, better (and more) Cloud support and much more things will land in 3.8.

  • Distributions

    • Zenwalk 7.2 Screenshots
    • Slackel 14.0: Slackware 14 further simplified!

      I tried using Slackware, 5 years back, when my Linux experience was still at infancy. I remember looking for a Linux distro to install and downloaded Slackware – but had a nightmare installing it and making it work! However, one of the oldest Linux distros, Slackware (now nearly 20 years old, I guess), has come a long way with the latest release, 14.0. It is definitely much easier to use than its predecessors! Definitely not a Ubuntu or Fedora, but still user-friendly and newbies can actually now get their hands dirty with Slackware 14.0.

    • Slackel 14.0 Screenshots
    • New Releases

      • BlankOn 8.0 (Sajadah)
      • Rescatux 0.30 Screenshots
      • Zenwalk Linux 7.2 aims for “100% Slackware compatibility”

        The latest release of Zenwalk Linux, version 7.2, is now available and focuses on further improving the Slackware-based distribution’s overall performance, as well as updating its underlying components. Project founder Jean-Philippe Guillemin says that the goal of the new version was to “achieve 100% Slackware Linux compatibility,” while also keeping and improving upon most of the optimisations throughout all levels of the OS, including the kernel, applications and desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Evaluating Sabayon Linux Xfce

        The last time I installed SL (Sabayon Linux) on one of my own machines was 18 months ago, and that was my media centre. I haven’t touched that installation since: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” My most recent desktop SL installation was on a relative’s Acer Aspire 5738 laptop just over a year ago, but it was disappointing. In the end I did get SL working with the laptop’s NVIDIA GPU but, amongst other things, ALSA didn’t work correctly and even I couldn’t fix it. The owner was understandably unimpressed with SL and ended up installing Ubuntu over it, which worked perfectly out of the box.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Solus OS: Debian on steroids

        Are you tired of all the new interfaces being pushed to you by Unity, GNOME Shell and, soon, Windows Metro? Do you want to stick to “good old” GNOME 2? Do you want to have a rock solid base for your operating system?

      • Bug Reporting Rate in Debian
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Growing Our Design Community

            As part of these plans I have been having some wonderful discussions with Ivo Weevers who is the head of the Canonical design team and who reports directly to Mark Shuttleworth. Ivo is passionate about helping the design team at Canonical and the community to work closely together, and we have been discussing what problems we need to solve, and how to resolve them. In the past there have been concerns in the community that it is difficult for our community to actively participate in design and Ivo and I are keen to solve these challenges.

          • Thesaurus Scope For Unity Ready For Testing
          • Canonical’s Plan for Fixing Unity Search

            Hoping to put to rest the swirling controversy around Ubuntu 12.10′s integration of Amazon.com search results into the Unity desktop interface, Canonical has published an official summary of its efforts to resolve user complaints. Has the company finally set things right in the eyes of Ubuntu users? That remains to be seen, but it’s sure trying hard.

          • Inktank In Two Partnerships

            In two separate announcements, the firm said that it has linked with Canonical, the developer of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, and also partnered with Pasadena-based Metacloud, the startup developing a fully managed, private cloud service. In the Ubuntu link, Inktank said that the deal will expand integration of Ceph into Ubuntu.

          • Shuttleworth: Ubuntu 12.10 available with OpenStack “Folsom” today

            Noting that Cisco and HP are running CloudStack-enabled Ubuntu Linux on their cloud platforms, Ubuntu and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said today at OpenStack Summit that Ubuntu 12.10 with the latest incarnation of OpenStack called ‘Folsom” is now available and that the “‘Folsom” upgrade path for Ubuntu 12.04 is also ready

          • Amazuntu: Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

            Deviant Artist albaux has taken another approach with freedom of speech and has made a clever wallpaper that pokes fun at the partnership. If it unknown at this point whether or not this wallpaper is designed in protest of the partnership or just good old fashioned fun with the Gimp. Either way, we think it’s mighty clever and good for a laugh.

          • Benchmarking The Ubuntu “Low-Jitter” Linux Kernel

            There’s an independently maintained “low-jitter” version of the Linux kernel targeting Ubuntu, which claims to be faster, but is that really the case?

          • The problems with Ubuntu’s Amazon results legal notice

            Every Ubuntu release seems to have its own controversy. For Ubuntu 12.10, codenamed Quantal Quetzal, that controversy is the inclusion of results from Amazon when you use the dash for searching. Thanks to the controversy, this feature has been heavily modified. However the legal notice that has been add as one of those modifications is as much cause for concern as the feature itself.

          • Why Ubuntu’s Donation Model is Brilliant

            I believe most people are quite content using something for free, especially if they think there’s no obligation to pay for it.

            This certainly rings true when it comes to various Linux distributions. The mindset appears to be: if it’s open source, there is no need to worry about sustaining it financially.

            For some open source projects, perhaps there is a pass to be given here. After all, many projects in the open source space are merely done as student projects or created by hobbyists.
            I believe most people are quite content using something for free, especially if they think there’s no obligation to pay for it.

            This certainly rings true when it comes to various Linux distributions. The mindset appears to be: if it’s open source, there is no need to worry about sustaining it financially.

            For some open source projects, perhaps there is a pass to be given here. After all, many projects in the open source space are merely done as student projects or created by hobbyists.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 287
          • Ubuntu Needs a “Project Butter” like Android

            I’m a fairly satisfied Ubuntu 12.04 LTS user and I’m quite optimistic about the forthcoming changes to Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal. But that doesn’t mean they both are somehow “perfect” or something. Unity, which was a huge departure from the traditional GNOME 2.0 desktop, has been around just for an year or two. Though I generally like the idea, one gets easily frustrated because of bugs like these, Compiz crashes, slow loading launcher etc. To put it bluntly, when compared to rock-solid GNOME 2.0, Unity and the underlying GNOME 3.0 is not yet there in terms of performance or reliability. Ubuntu desperately needs the kind of attention-to-detail Android received with 4.1 Jelly Bean release.

          • Ubuntu 12.10: The Controversies Continue

            Watching Ubuntu has become a hobby for thousands of people in the free software community — a hobby that sometimes resembles a circus and sometimes a lynch mob. For some, Ubuntu and its commercial arm can do no wrong; for others, it can do no right.

          • Upgrading Ubuntu 12.04 to 12.10
          • How to Keep Your Ubuntu System Secure
          • New Unity 4.0 Beta Build Improves Linux Support
          • Ubuntu Helps Accelerate OpenStack Deployments

            Mark Shuttleworth is a man with vision. He had the vision to create the Ubuntu Linux project and he had the vision to be the first commercial Linux distro to embrace OpenStack fully.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Disc Artwork
          • Ubuntu Helps Accelerate OpenStack Deployments
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Chipmaker takes to Kickstarter to become the Raspberry Pi of parallel computing
    • Ready for Teeny Tiny Colo? Meet Raspberry Pi

      A closeup of the Raspberry Pi, a small ARM-powered computer that runs Linux. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

    • New Boxee box: media streaming + live TV + DVR

      Boxee has announced a second-generation media streaming device. In contrast with the company’s pioneering Boxee Box, the new “Boxee TV” product features a limited set of apps for streaming from the most popular Internet-based sources and local network shares, integrates dual digital TV tuners, and provides a DVR function backed by cloud-based storage and watch-anywhere services.

    • Raspberry Pi Foundation Starts Shipping Gertboard

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation has started shipping Gertboard, which is a extension of Raspberry Pi that can be used to control several real life devices. According to the official announcement, people can hack it and use it to control lights, use it to run motors or sense lights, heat etc.

    • Raspberry Pi Gertboard deliveries begin
    • Raspberry Pi delivery delays leave buyers hungry (and angry)

      Customers eager to get their first taste of the Raspberry Pi have been left angry and disappointed by distributor RS Components, which is failing to cope with demand.

      The Oxford-based company has admitted to falling behind in sending out orders for the £25 Linux mini-computer, leading buyers on Raspberry Pi forums and elsewhere to complain of delays of up to six months.

    • Phones

      • Video: Introducing webOS – the Android app
      • Give Open WebOS A Try Through A Live CD

        HP is developing its own mobile OS for tablets, as known as Open webOS. The operating system is under high development for several months and community membership is on a rise. It will be the right time to download the images and give yourself a try.

      • First generation Nook Color successfully booted with Open webOS

        Open webOS, the open source tablet OS, has been successful booted onto a Nook Color, which normally runs Android. Ping-Hsun Chen of Taiwan managed to get webOS up and running on a Barnes and Noble Nook Color recently. This is a great first step for users looking to mod their old first generation Nook Colors, but it’s just that, a first step.

      • Android

        • Built-in malware scanner for Android on the way?

          Mobile malware is increasingly “popular” as people’s lives are more and more entwined with the contents of their smartphones. There’s a lot of valuable data on the average smartphone. Google’s Android OS has had its fair share of malware attacks, actually you could say more than its fair share. This is partly due to the openness of the Android app downloading/installing system and the huge number of Android devices out there. On top of that there are accusations that Google hasn’t done enough to stem the flow of malware into the Android ecosystem. Now Sophos and Android Police have discovered a new Google initiative; it is planning on implementing a built-in malware scanner in the Play Store APK.

        • Understanding the Difference Between AOSP and the Open Handset Alliance [Opinion]
        • Google to Developers: You Have the Con

          The new console will help developers navigate the Android app ecosystem with a bit more clarity, said Al Hilwa, program director, applications development software at IDC. “The Android platform is known for being chaotic and not intimately supported by Google,” he said. “Clearly Google’s a believer in self-service for developers, and they’re improving workflows, expanding language and enhancing the analytics.”

        • Waffle 1.1 Gets EGL + GBM, Android Toppings

          Chad Versace of Intel released Waffle 1.1.0 on Monday, which is a cross-platform library for deferring selection of the OpenGL API and windowing system until run-time. Waffle makes it easy to switch between X11 with GLX or EGL, Wayland with OpenGL ES 2.0, and other windowing / GL API options.

        • Android malware, FUD, and the FBI

          The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a U.S. government task force made up of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, recently issued an Android malware warning. This has been taken by some to be yet more proof of how insecure Android is compared to Apple’s iOS. Please. Give me a break.

        • Casio Unveils Rugged G’z One Type L Android Phone

          Casio has unveiled it’s latest smartphone in the G’z One range, it’s the Type-L, and it’s a rugged, waterproof, shock resistant, outdoorsy device powered by Android 4.0 with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 4.0-inch IPS LCD panel, 8-megapixel camera, LTE and a 1,800mAh battery capable of 10.5 hours on a single charge.

        • ASUS intros quad-core PadFone 2
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Sony Nexus X Captured On-Camera?

        LG’s Optimus-G-based Nexus 4 has been leaking like a rusty sieve, but we’ve heard it won’t be alone in the Nexus spotlight this fall. The other potential Nexus candidates have been playing things a lot more low key than the LG; the HTC Droid Incredible X has shown up a couple times, but not in any way directly tied to the Nexus family, and the all the others we’ve really only heard alluded to by name only. Today we get what might be some new photographic evidence of another of these new Nexus models, upon a couple shots of the so-called Sony Nexus X surfacing.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Open Sources Supersonic Query Engine

    Google announced today that it is open sourcing a query engine library called Supersonic, which the company says is “extremely useful for creating a column oriented database back-end.”

    “Supersonic’s main strength lies in its speed,” says Google’s Supersonic Team in a post to Google’s Open Source blog. “It is a cache-aware engine which exploits several low-level optimization techniques to ensure second-to-none execution times and high throughput. By making use of SIMD instructions and efficient pipelining we make columnar data processing very fast.”

  • Twitter open sources Clutch.io mobile A/B testing tool
  • 60 OS Replacements for Storage Software

    According to IDC, the amount of digital data in our universe is doubling every two years. They say that in 2011 our world generated 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes) of data. The research firm also reports that enterprises store 80 percent of that data at some point during its lifecycle.

    The problem: while the amount of storage capacity needed is growing incredibly rapidly, enterprise budgets are not increasing at the same rate.

    As a result, enterprises are increasingly looking to open source solutions to help them manage their huge data stores while keeping costs down. And the open source community also has many storage-related projects that can help small businesses and consumers with their storage needs as well.

  • RIM: reaping the benefits of open source

    Since we spoke to RIM about an open source strategy we called pragmatic back in February, BlackBerry 10 hasn’t materialised but RIM’s promised open source commitments have. The company has stuck to the open source approach it promised even when there have been setbacks, and Mary Branscombe finds that it seems to be paying dividends – like contributions from the open source community and high browser compatibility scores.

  • Kicking Out Comic Sans

    There’s only one valid excuse, and that’s making notices and text readable for dyslexics. According to some authorities, using a clear font that incorporates asymmetries in the letter designs helps people with dyslexia keep track of the text they are reading and understand more clearly.

  • Open Source Takes Center Stage, Decades Later

    It may come as a surprise to today’s digital natives, but the concept of open systems dates back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, where the first steps were taken to link different computer systems together across communications networks.

  • Open Sankoré: Open source whiteboard software

    Interactive whiteboards are something you find in pretty much every school, college and university these days. Mostly these come from one of two companies, Smart and Promethean, both of which also supply the main software application that typically teachers and students interact with. This application is closed source and runs on Windows and does some basic things like allowing the teacher or student to draw on the board using drawing tools, import presentations and documents, and include some interactive content.

  • Can we upgrade democracy with open source version control?

    As Luis Ibanez pointed out on Friday, Clay Shirky’s latest TED Talk—exploring what open source version control systems may mean for democracy—is great food for thought. Shirky says tools like Git will one day transform democracy, because they will make it easier than ever for citizens to participate in lawmaking and other formerly hierarchical civic processes. Imagine, for example, if anyone could propose a “patch” to the legal code, as easily as they can for computer code. It might be feasible for many more people to be directly involved, and the code might get much better.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Delivers Advice on Updating Specific Extensions

        As we’ve recently covered, and as our readers have confirmed, not everyone is thrilled with Mozilla’s rapid release cycle for the Firefox browser. Even as Mozilla has maintained that its new rapid release cycle for Firefox will proceed, the company has also made steady adjustments to the way Firefox extensions are tested, in an effort to avoid the kinds of extension-related performance problems that have occasionally cropped up in the past year. And now, in one blog post, Mozilla is encouraging users to update specific extensions, and in another, is showing off a new Developer Toolbar that can help with both extension and web app development.

  • SaaS

    • CloudStack strikes back in the battle of open-source clouds
    • The Open Source Cloud is Ready for Hadoop, Projects Say
    • Spring Data gets a release train

      The Spring Data developers have decided to coordinate the publication of the various Spring Data modules with a regularly scheduled release train. The first release train of modules has just arrived, synchronising the GA (general availability) releases of six Spring Data modules: Spring Data Commons 1.4, Spring Data JPA 1.2, Spring Data MongoDB 1.1, Spring Data Neo4j 2.1, Sprint Data Gemfire 1.2 and Spring Data REST Exporters 1.0.

    • A truly open cloud has to be open source, says OpenNebula

      There are many cloud providers who call themselves open or say that they are open-source, but most of them are dependent on a single large vendor or series of vendors, Open Nebula co-founder and CEO Ignacio Llorente told attendees at GigaOM’s Structure Europe conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday. Unlike these other competitors — such as OpenStack, which was started by Rackspace — Llorente said that OpenNebula is truly open, and relies on a community of users to develop and contribute to the codebase, which is used to run data centers.

    • Salesforce Hires to Go Open Source

      On Friday, Salesforce started looking for engineers skilled in an open source database called PostgreSQL. In a job posting, Salesforce says it needs five engineers now, and 40 to 50 more people next year, for “a huge PostgreSQL project” that would involve “implementing core technology that runs Salesforce.com.”

    • DreamHost Debuts Open Source Cloud IaaS

      The open source channel gained a new stronghold in the cloud today with the introduction of DreamCloud, an Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) cloud platform from DreamHost based on OpenStack, Ceph and other major open source technologies. Read on for details.

    • OwnCloud 4.5 Mounts Open Source Storage Alongside Amazon, Dropbox
    • Metacloud Gives OpenStack Some Spine

      What do Ticketmaster and the open source OpenStack cloud platform have in common? Thanks to startup Metacloud, they now both have some ‘spine.’

      Spine is an open source technology for provisioning and scaling that was originally built by Ticketmaster and then released as open source. Steve Curry, CEO of Metacloud, was formerly a Senior VP at Ticketmaster before leaving along with some members of his cloud engineering team to create the OpenStack-based startup.

    • OpenStack Gets Integrated Into Red Hat

      Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution isn’t just about the upstream project, though; it’s also about integration with Red Hat’s existing Linux platform tools.

    • Rackspace launches open PHP, Java SDKs for OpenStack
    • Why OpenStack Works
    • Cisco announces its own OpenStack-powered distribution

      Networking specialist Cisco has announced the release of its own distribution of the open source OpenStack cloud management platform. The Cisco Edition of OpenStack is designed for automated deployment, high availability and monitoring. Cisco is one of the contributors to OpenStack’s Quantum virtual networking component and the company has included its own Quantum Plugin; this works with Open vSwitch and Cisco Nexus subplugins, and offers L2 VLAN segmentation.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Healthcare

    • Filipinos urged to use open-source technology in medical records

      THE National Telehealth Center (NTHC) has urged Filipinos to become more active members of the OpenMRS (Medical Records System) to enhance the country’s health capacity.

      To promote the system, the NTHC recently organized a gathering of developers and users of free and open-source software for use in health centers around the world for the sixth annual OpenMRS Implementers Meeting held at the Y.C. James Yen Center at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR).

    • DSS donates open source search tool to OSEHRA

      Document Storage Systems has released to the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent an open source tool that enables clinicians who use the VistA EHR to search a patient’s record for free text data that might otherwise be scattered throughout the chart.

  • Business

    • Open Sourcing May Be Worth the Risk

      Everyone wants a little something for free. But allowing others access to a piece of your business could open you up to criticism. Is it worth it?

      In early 2012, my company made the decision to open source a key piece of our technology platform. We open sourced Mobify.js, our core framework that enables web developers and designers to create a mobile-friendly version of their website. “Open sourcing” means to make software’s source code publicly available, so that anybody can recreate the software or modify it to make their own version. The popular web browser Mozilla Firefox, the image format PNG, and Apache, the world’s most popular web server, are all examples of open-source technology in common use.

    • DSS hands open source search tool over to OSEHRA
    • Medsphere Contributes Enhanced Database Management System to VistA Open Source Community

      OSEHRA community agrees on Medsphere’s MSC FileMan as initial collaborative development project; VA to adopt enhanced DBMS in agency health facilities

    • VA contest seeks VistA appointment scheduling tools
    • Semi-Open Source

      • Always ask about the business model

        But “don’t ask about the business model” is beginning to sound like a Freudian slip: Don’t ask, because if you examine the business models too closely, what you find might make you uneasy. We’re far enough into the second dot-boom to see the business models that time and over-reliance on venture funding produce, and there’s plenty of reason for discomfort.

      • AppDirect Acquires Open Source Billing Company jBilling

        Today cloud app store company AppDirect announced its acquisition of open source billing company jBilling. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. AppDirect co-CEO Daniel Saks says existing jBilling won’t be affected and AppDirect will continue to sell and support jBilling products.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF Opens Up Nominations For 15th Annual Free Software Awards

      The first award is given to an individual who has made great achievement in the field of free software and has striven to make free software useful and accessible to all. The second is given to a person or organization who, with the help of free software, have worked for benefit of the society.

    • Happy Ada Lovelace Day!
    • Free Software Foundation, the irony phone is ringing

      This kind of behavior runs completely counter to the goals of the Respect Your Freedom certification program, which is designed to give hardware manufacturers the RYF badge if their equipment meets certain standards, such as not including digital rights management (DRM) restrictions, as well as the inclusion of source code and hardware designs under a free license.

  • Project Releases

    • Open Source Search Engine Apache Lucene/Solr Gets Big Update

      Today the Apache Foundation released a major update to the open source search engine building tools Lucene and Solr. Version 4.0 adds several new features aimed at making Solr easier to use, more scalable and more customizable.

      Although they’re jointly developed, Lucene and Solr are actually two different things. Lucene is just a Java library, not a stand alone search engine. Solr is a search engine server built with Lucene as its core.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Timeline of open source in U.S. government

      I’ve written a few times about FLOSS and GNU/Linux in US government. A clearer picture than snapshots or particular events is revealed in this video from RedHat. It shows first the DoE and years later DoD accepting FLOSS as COTS (Consumer Of The Shelf) software. DoE began using FLOSS rather freely but DoD anguished over the matter for years before publicly stating the obvious, FLOSS is good software.

    • GOV.UK “Open” for Business; More to Follow

      Back in February I wrote about an exciting project from the Cabinet Office: a complete overhaul of the UK government’s “citizen-facing” Web sites. It was exciting in part because it was rather good, which made a nice change for a government computing project, but more particularly because it was open source through and through.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Crowd-sourcing a cure for cancer through the internet

      It is only natural that someone with a cancer diagnosis would turn to the web for help, even though the results are likely to terrify and reassure in equal measure.

      But on getting his diagnosis, Italian robotic engineer and open-source artist Salvatore Iaconesi took things one step further.

    • Open Source Robot wants to Win Fifa World Cup

      That’s a big goal to achieve, but those behind Robocup want to work towards that goal. And their objective involves helping hundreds of young scientists every year by challenging them to create the best robot they can.

    • Are leaders in your organization practicing openness?

      Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat, Inc., recently shared his thoughts on leadership in business at the Marbles annual Big Idea Forum. He said, “For leaders to be truly effective, they’re going to have to operate as catalysts. When you get into the details, it’s subtle but it’s incredibly important.”

    • Six ways to improve meetings using open source principles
    • Crowd-Sourcing a Cure for Cancer

      Looking for medical advice on the web is a common activity, even if the results are not always accurate or reassuring. Salvatore Iaconesi has gone considerably further. When the Italian was diagnosed with cancer he put his medical records online to get as many opinions as possible and to try and find a cure.

    • Cisco announces its own OpenStack-powered distribution

      Networking specialist Cisco has announced the release of its own distribution of the open source OpenStack cloud management platform. The Cisco Edition of OpenStack is designed for automated deployment, high availability and monitoring. Cisco is one of the contributors to OpenStack’s Quantum virtual networking component and the company has included its own Quantum Plugin; this works with Open vSwitch and Cisco Nexus subplugins, and offers L2 VLAN segmentation.

    • Cisco Launches Own Version Of OpenStack Cloud Software
    • IFT president: Open innovation will do for the food industry what open source computing has done for the IT industry
    • Open Access/Content

      • Open-source textbooks provide student benefit

        In late September, California Gov. Jerry Brown approved a proposal for the state to fund 50 open-source textbooks for use in lower-level public postsecondary classes. The bill will ultimately allow for the creation of a California Digital Open Source Library that legislators hope to expand during the coming years.

      • B.C. to offer free textbooks online

        The B.C. government is offering free online textbooks for post-secondary students who are taking the 40 most popular courses.

        Advanced Education Minister John Yap says up to 200,000 students could save money next year.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open-Source Kits Put Robots in Many Hands

        I recently received an interesting press release about Multiplo, a four-person startup seeking venture funds in small amounts to create and manufacture kits for anyone interested in robotics.

        The company has used Kickstarter, a Web-based business that helps connect sponsors with small groups that want to pursue a specific project. The Kickstarter approach lets people involved with a project — which must have a specific goal — solicit funds and offer “rewards” to people who contribute funds.

  • Programming

    • The Git Revolution Is Here

      The movement from centralized to distributed VCS is accelerating. Enterprises and tool vendors are catching on and catching up with what open-source developers have been doing for a while. And at the front of the parade is Git.

    • GNU Unified Parallel C Still Aiming For GCC 4.8

      Developers behind GUPC, the GNU Unified Parallel C implementation, are still hoping to see their several year old project merged into the GCC 4.8 compiler release.

Leftovers

  • Convenience, Features, Disaster

    I have no idea how the situation in New Zealand evolved. Probably someone added the kiosks without realizing they could access files all over (sad that was not checked…) or someone relaxed security not realizing the kiosks were around. Bad things happen when systems become more complex than one person knows. The right combination leads to disaster major or minor. One cannot regulate stupidity or ignorance but one can choose to use an OS like GNU/Linux where security is a higher priority than convenience.

  • Obama-Romney debate number two: Another stage-managed charade
  • Congressman warns FTC: Leave Google alone

    A Democratic congressman who played a leading role in the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act earlier this year has taken up a new cause: shielding Google from antitrust scrutiny. In a strongly worded letter to Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) praised Google’s contribution to the nation’s economy. He warned Leibowitz that if the FTC does choose to initiate an antitrust case against Google, Congress might react by curtailing its regulatory authority.

  • Congressman to FTC: Mess With Google, You Mess With Us

    Google is not a monopoly and does not deserve to have antitrust charges brought against it, at least that is the opinion of Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) who warned the Federal Trade Commission that if it took on Google, it would also be taking on Congress.

  • Britain will not extradite hacker with Asperger’s
  • Security

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • EU Watchdogs To Outlaw Google Privacy Policy

      CNIL was heading the investigation designed to look at whether the changes violated EU law. Earlier, Google had been warned by both EU and US regulators to stop the introduction of the policy until it was approved, but went ahead and implemented the policy, which lets Google combine user data between all of its products, including Search, Gmail and Youtube, and gives users one opportunity to opt out.

      The case is expected to have important consequences for Internet companies across Europe, and result in heavy financial losses for the Silicon Valley company.

    • ORG congratulates CNIL

      “It’s good to see European data protection authorities take action so that users gain control of their data…”

    • Congressman Warns FTC: Suing Google Will Be A Woefully Misguided Step

      As you are aware FTC is preparing an anti-trust case against Google (a similar case is being negotiated in Europe). Now a Colarado Democrat Rep. Jared Polis is warning FTC to not take such step against Google. The focus of this investigation is “whether Google manipulates its search results to ensure that its own services, such as YouTube, Google Maps and Google Plus, appear above those of its rivals.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Moves to The Cloud, Becomes Raid-Proof

        The Pirate Bay has made an important change to its infrastructure. The world’s most famous BitTorrent site has switched its entire operation to the cloud. From now on The Pirate Bay will serve its users from several cloud hosting providers scattered around the world. The move will cut costs, ensure better uptime, and make the site virtually invulnerable to police raids — all while keeping user data secure.

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