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07.31.14

Links 31/7/2014: Zorin OS Educational 9, Android Nearing 90% Share

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Looking for a technology job? Learn as much as you can about open source

    The Friday afternoon I received an offer for an internship at Red Hat was hands down one of the most important days of my career. Every time people asked me where I was working and I saw their reactions when I told them, I knew I was in a fortunate position.

    Just look at all the headlines surrounding open source today: Facebook is opening its hardware, Tesla is opening its patents, even Apple has a page on its website dedicated to the open source projects it implements and contributes to.

  • Google release source code for the 2014 I/O app as a learning tool

    Google have today released the source code for their I/O app as a means of providing a glimpse into what Google expect from their open-source developers.

  • Open Source provides compelling benefits to business

    Executives have traditionally viewed proprietary systems as safer, lower-risk options. However in recent times increased scrutiny of capital expenditure has forced corporations to consider alternative technologies in an effort to extract maximum value from their IT budgets.

  • NICTA unveils seL4 open source operating system
  • Secure Microkernel seL4 Code Goes Open-Source

    General Dynamics C4 Systems and Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre (NICTA) today open sourced the code-base of a secure microkernel project known as seL4. Touted as “the most trustworthy general purpose microkernel in the world,” seL4 has previously been adapted by organizations like DARPA as high-assurance systems used onboard military unmanned aerial vehicles and for similar defense and commercial uses.

  • Fresh attacks on open source miss the mark

    Critics are laying siege to open source, but their arguments both mistake what open source is and how companies benefit from it

  • Futures Lab Update #69: Open Source Commenting System; the Verification Handbook

    This week we learn about a collaboration to build an open-source commenting and discussion platform for news organizations, and we explore how the Verification Handbook can help inform the use of citizen-generated materials.

  • Apache Spark Gets Billed as the Next Big Data Thing

    People in the Big Data and Hadoop communities are becoming increasingly interested in Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley. According to Apache, Spark can run programs up to 100 times faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, and ten times faster on disk. When crunching large data sets, those are big performance differences.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor on a $25 smartphone

        Mobile privacy concerns are at a fever pitch right now with all the NSA spying, tracking by advertisers and other privacy violations happening on the Internet. I came across an interesting video that demos a new mobile operating system called OrFoxOS. OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor to help protect your privacy.

      • My Life with Firefox OS

        It is not the best smartphone in the market, I know. In fact, I read lots of reviews before buying this phone. The most interesting point was that it was labeled a “developer” device, not an end-user phone. Even with its many “flaws,” I made up my mind and bought this smart thingie because it has everything I want on a cellphone: Firefox OS ;-)

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Coding all summer long in OpenStack

      The end of Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is near, so I wanted to share with you how things worked out for me as an intern with OpenStack. Precisely, I wanted to let you know my perception about what it takes to participate in GSoC,

      the blockers you may encounter and how to overcome them, what to expect after the internship, and a brief description of what I have been doing during my internship.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

      Every so often, people who don’t really understand the importance of anonymity or how it enables free speech (especially among marginalized people), think they have a brilliant idea: “just end real anonymity online.” They don’t seem to understand just how shortsighted such an idea is. It’s one that stems from the privilege of being in power. And who knows that particular privilege better than members of the House of Lords in the UK — a group that is more or less defined by excess privilege? The Communications Committee of the House of Lords has now issued a report concerning “social media and criminal offenses” in which they basically recommend scrapping anonymity online. It’s not a true “real names” proposal — as the idea is that web services would be required to collect real names at signup, but then could allow those users to do things pseudonymously or anonymously. But, still, their actions could then easily be traced back to a real person if the “powers that be” deemed it necessary.

    • Govt.nz, built on open source code, goes live

      A new website making it easier for government in New Zealand to deliver information and services was designed and developed in-house by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), using the Common Web Platform. The templates are written in PHP, which DIA runs on the Silverstripe CMS.

      Govt.nz is based on the open source code available through Gov.UK. Its design and content was tested with users on a publicly available beta site, and content fact checking was undertaken in collaboration with more than 40 government agencies.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GDB 7.8 Betters Python Scripting, Adds Guile Support

      Version 7.8 of the GNU Debugger is now available with a variety of enhancements.

      GDB 7.8 notably brings Guile scripting support, improvements to Python scripting, a variety of new options, PowerPC64 litt-endian target configuration, BTrace enhancements, ISO C99 variable length automatic arrays support, and a variety of other new features.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Company Offering Open-Source Biological Reagents Hopes To Recapitulate Free Software’s Success

      I have synthesized, manufactured, tested, and fully validated a collection of open source plasmids [small circular DNA strands] coding for some of the very basic building blocks of biotechnology. I do charge an initial purchase price to pay for storage, ongoing quality control, and the provision of a reliable source of these molecules. But there is no proprietary barrier of any type on their use. You may grow them on your own, modify them, give them to others, sell them, sell products derived from them, and do whatever you (legally) want to do with them.

      What’s fascinating here is to see the application of the business model commonly found in the world of open-source software — whereby the code is freely available, and customers effectively pay for a service that provides quality control — in the world of DNA. Given the easy profits that will be put at risk by this new offering, we can probably expect the same kind of scaremongering and lobbying from the incumbents that free software experienced when it became clear that it posed a serious threat to the traditional, high-margin world of closed-source code.

    • Open Source iPipet System Created as an Alternative to Costly Liquid-Handling Robots

      A team of Whitehead Institute researchers is bringing new levels of efficiency and accuracy to one of the most essential albeit tedious tasks of bench science: pipetting. And, in an effort to aid the scientific community at large, the group has established an open source system that enables anyone to benefit from this development free of charge.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

Leftovers

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