Summary: Photos sent by a reader from Canada
Summary: Photos sent by a reader from Canada
Summary: Conferences and other upcoming events that revolve around Free/Open Source software
From museums to monuments, from parks to shopping boutiques, Brussels is a charming city of contrasts. The place offers enormous amount of diversity when it comes to things to do and places to see. No wonder that Brussels, the capital city of Belgium is quite popular with travellers. While the list of places to see in Brussels is quite exhaustive, we bring you some must see places in Brussels. After all, a tourist has to start somewhere… right…
Sarah Kiden had never used Linux before she landed a job four years ago as a Web and E-learning Administrator at Uganda Christian University in Kampala. There she is in charge of maintaining the university’s information systems on servers that largely run Linux.
Michael Davies, a part of the Linux.conf.au (LCA) conference talk review committee, spent a session at this year’s conference talking about how they review talk submissions and choose which ones to accept for this large Australian open source conference. While he spoke specifically about LCA, his tips are largely applicable to those interested in submitting a talk proposal to any conference.
Pizza and coding go together like pap en sous, and served with a side order of booze only makes the partnership sweeter. Which is why one of the highlights of the Joburg developers calendar is the quarterly Free Beer Sessions organised by programming powerhouse Obsidian.
Partly this is because the beer and the pizza, like the software discussed at such sessions, is free. Also because there’s always a panel of interesting speakers who’ve got unique insights and experience in the world of Free and Open Source Software to chat to and learn from.
Opensource.com will highlight the efforts of women in open source from January 27 through February 7. We will be focusing some of our content specifically on women working in free and open source software fields and collaborating on projects ranging from open knowledge to open hardware.
Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) triumph in the UK and 100 recent news items about FOSS
WE COMPLETELY lost track of the need to post Free/Open Source software news (especially in recent weeks), simply because there had been too much of it piling up and it takes a while to organise, categorise, etc.
Yesterday we posted an opinion about the latest great news and later we saw that it flooding news sites all over the world (not just in the UK). To give some examples, see [1-19]. It’s far from a complete list, but these are just some of the news sites (not blogs) which covered it. It’s high-impact news.
For those who are interested in other recent news about Free/Open Source software, see [20-119] which are more or less chronologically ordered, with more recent articles appearing first. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
HP is sticking to its storage management guns in the face of the Aperi open source consortium IBM launched last week.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company has released Storage Essentials 5.0, the latest version of its storage resource management (SRM) software, as an alternative to Aperi, a group formed to work on a common storage software management platform.
In 2013 we learned in detail how our digital freedoms were violated. That awareness holds promise for a brighter year ahead, and open source plays a crucial role
The solitary genius, closeted in a lab or garage, creating the next big thing is largely a myth. Important innovation almost always builds upon what came before it. The automobile would not exist if the horse-drawn carriage had not been invented first. We would not be using laser pointers now if early humans had not fashioned torches in experiments with fire.
What applications do you use every day? Your operating system and browser are almost definitely on the list. Maybe it also includes office productivity software, a music or video player, photo editor or certain games. Maybe you need accounting, security, POS and server software for your small business. Or maybe you have a larger business that needs ERP, CRM, ecommerce and content management tools.
What does one do when quality, quantity, and complexity collide? For that is the conundrum of large enterprises facing the vast resources available in the world of open source software (OSS). GitHub, the largest online code-hosting site, lists 10.2 million repositories, and Black Duck, the company for which I work, tracks 30 billion lines of open source code.
The biggest impact that open source software offers small business in 2014 takes place in the cloud. Open source software powers the cloud—where you can take advantage of both hosted software and services, and hosted IT infrastructure (e.g., servers). We’re already used to hosted services such as Web and mail hosting. They’re convenient and cheap, and they prevent headaches.
Amazon is one of the most technically influential companies operating today – but you wouldn’t know it, thanks to a dearth of published research papers and negligible code contributions to the open-source projects it relies on.
Companies are beginning to move away from the ‘closed’ or proprietary software model to an enterprise-ready open source model, where they acquire solutions that fulfil specific business needs, according to Linux Warehouse MD Jan-Jan van der Vyver.
OSS has reinvented itself with the Niazi 1.618 Middleware System, which allows organisations to shift to open source IT without losing their proprietary investments
When I founded my first startup in 2008, I was a programming newbie. A degree in economics from Oberlin College hadn’t prepared me for a career writing production-ready code. Despite my best efforts at slapping together crude HTML and CSS Django templates, my ability to contribute to our codebase was limited at best. So I started slowly teaching myself to code with online tutorials and lessons. After many disheartening starts and stops, I realized why I was having problems sticking with it: code lessons and videos felt like school to me, and I had no interest in returning to the classroom.
The creator of NPM has started a company called NPM, Inc. that he said will focus on offering products and services related to the popular package manager for Node.js.
When software is open, its strengths and weaknesses are visible to everyone.
The developers I work with now aren’t so different from the bands I listened to back in my record store days. Linus Torvalds created and shared something catchy, which, with the help of countless other individuals, has grown into a philosophy with ripple effects well beyond the borders of Linux and open source technologies. If Linux is a song, a vast network of musicians, backup singers, producers, promoters, disc jockeys, graphic artists, record store clerks, and listeners help make it a hit.
I also started working on an open source web-based IRC client with some of my friends from IRC. I enjoyed doing that, but I wasn’t as passionate as I am now about open source software although I loved using it. It wasn’t until a few years later, in 2011, when I started being on freenode, an IRC network dedicated to open source, more actively and participating there that I got to really absolutely love open source and want to contribute more. I now contribute to both smaller projects, and bigger projects such as firefox, and to me it’s a lot of fun and I constantly learn new things!
In March 2013, a Japanese student by the name of Daiyuu Nobori set up VPN Gate, a free VPN service that he hoped would be used by Internet users who wish to avoid their country’s online content restrictions but don’t have the necessary funds to use a paid VPN service.
The Apache CloudStack project is pleased to announce the 4.2.1 release of the CloudStack cloud orchestration platform. This is a minor release of the 4.2.0 branch which released on Oct 1, 2013. The 4.2.1 release contains more than 150 bug fixes. As a bug fix release, no new features are included in 4.2.1.
Linux and FOSS have a lot of energy going into great big projects: cloud, mainframe, supercomputing, and large-scale distributed computing. So bigtime projects like OpenShift, OpenStack, Hadoop, Xen, KVM, and enterprise offerings from Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical are getting all the glory.
But there is a lot happening at the other end of the spectrum, in small-scale specialized projects that anyone can play with for cheap. After wading through endless Ubuntu and Backtrack re-spins I found these 7 interesting, useful, and unique projects that were launched in 2013.
Today Light Table is taking a huge step forward – every bit of its code is now on Github and along side of that, we’re releasing Light Table 0.6.0, which includes all the infrastructure to write and use plugins. If you haven’t been following the 0.5.* releases, this latest update also brings a tremendous amount of stability, performance, and clean up to the party. All of this together means that Light Table is now the open source developer tool platform that we’ve been working towards. Go download it and if you’re new give our tutorial a shot!
Twill makes it easier to write programs that can take advantage of YARN. Twill uses a simple thread-based model that Java programmers will find familiar. YARN can be viewed as a compute fabric of a cluster, which means YARN applications like Twill will run on any Hadoop 2 cluster, including Cloudera’s CDH 4, explained Tom White, an engineer at Cloudera.
The developers of the Rygel open source UPnP media server software have announced a new development version, 0.21.2, which adds several new features and fixes many bugs.
These are full-featured open source software products, free as in beer and speech that I started to use recently. Vivek Gite picks his best open source software of 2013.
Open computing has been steadily growing in enterprise acceptance and, in 2013, that trend accelerated sharply. Many factors contributed to the upward trajectory of open computing in the last year. However, there were three notable developments that, in retrospect, were the critical game-changers.
Here’s a look at the three key developments in open source in 2013…
A few weeks ago, we open sourced Flanker, our MIME parsing and email validation library.
Jack Wallen lists 10 reasons why he believes 2014 will be a banner year for Linux and open source.
Jack Wallen highlights 10 of the most disappointing developments for open source in 2013.
In an effort to expand open-source PDF conversion options, the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2006 to encourage greater government openness and transparency, is hosting what it calls the PDF Liberation Hackathon, dedicated to improving open-source tools for PDF extraction. The Hackathon will run from January 17-19, 2014 at Sunlight offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and around the world.
For the fifth year in a row, Datamation is closing out the year with a big, big list of all the software we’ve featured on our monthly open source software guides. This year’s list is the longest ever with 1,180 projects in 143 different categories from Accessibility to Wine and Beer.
Software may be eating the world, as Marc Andreessen posits, but open-source software seems to be eating itself. And at a far faster clip. While the software world has grown used to products and their vendors dominating for long stretches (think: Microsoft in operating systems and Oracle in databases), the new world of open source is moving at an accelerated, Darwinian pace, leaving no project to rest on its laurels.
Open source software (OSS), unlike proprietary software, is software that keeps the code open so IT professionals can alter, improve, and distribute it. Although it has been around since relatively early in the history of computers, in the past several years OSS has truly taken off, in what some might see as a surprising example of a successful communal collaboration.
What is Forked? It’s a site that resurrects abandoned open source projects. And that’s a welcome thing.
In November, we gave you the ultimate open source gift guide for the holidays just in time to start preparing and brainstorming for a great gift for the tech and open source enthusiasts in your life.
Nowadays we see beautiful design everywhere in our daily life. The digital world is no exception. Many of the websites we visit and the desktop and mobile apps that we use started to be so beautifully designed, that user perceptions on design started to change. As a result, everybody is becoming more design savvy. Users who didn’t care about contrast, button color or responsiveness in the past now critique companies whenever they make a user interface or experience update.
Basing your new project on open source comes with a host of benefits, and a few risks. The risks are rarely, if ever, technical, but can often be political. When you choose to start a project based on open source tools, as opposed to proprietary solutions that come with a phone number to call when there is trouble, you are telling the company that you are competent enough to be the only support they need. Of course, with open source, you have the support of thousands behind you, but that can be difficult to convince senior management of. You will run into some road blocks, here’s how to avoid them and keep the project moving.
Software development is a huge and growing industry, and there are likely to be far more jobs in the future than there are folks to do them. But today, there’s a paucity of blacks and Latinos in software development positions.
Open source is different things to different people: software licensing scheme, business model, development model or community model. However we choose to think about it, though, across the board clever people are using open source to disrupt or change how markets behave.
INDUSTRY STALWART and Skype co-founder David Gurle has told The INQUIRER that his new venture Perzo will be released as open source software.
Gurle explained that is the only way to prove his software product’s secure credentials.
Security Innovation, a company that specializes in application and crypto security, has announced availability of its NTRU public key cryptography system for free use in the open-source software community.
No, as I see it, open source led to more innovation and took over the data center because of the basic ground rules that were laid down from the beginning with the intent of creating an ecosystem that espoused the four freedoms as enumerated by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation.
One sometimes unrealistic expectation is that software should be free. All of it.
Epic Systems Corp. will build two laboratory installations of its EpicCare electronic health record at Oregon Health & Science University for medical informatics education and research purposes. On the research side, the school will have access to Epic’s source code.
This is Epic’s first partnership with an academic informatics program and possibly an important turning point for the company. While Epic does release its source code to commercial customers, it historically has conducted research and development almost exclusively on its sprawling campus in Verona, Wis., where all of its employees are based.
Petition to save Winamp or its source code initiated by software developers.
MenuetOS – the open source, GUI-equipped operating system written entirely in assembly language – may be as little as a year away from hitting 1.0. And while 12 months may still seem like a long time, it’s taken some 13 years of work by the Menuet team to get to this point.
Open-source software can be an effective technology solution for the intrepid IT professional in search of a customizable product. This type of software, which allows users to modify its source code free of charge, can be used to manage websites, email, desktop productivity—you name it. And because it’s less structured than many proprietary or commercial software programs, open source provides IT professionals with a chance to play and experiment. “It’s very much an adventure,” says Moira Edwards, CAE, president, Ellipsis Partners.
Capital market institutions are stepping up their adoption of open-source software, as cost pressures force an increasingly collaborative approach to IT operations.
As an alternative to the standard Java API the Cascading open source project has been steadily gaining momentum among developers of Big Data applications largely because Cascading makes it easier to isolate the data processing and data integration elements of an application.
How often have you thought of a way to improve a piece of software or hardware? How many times have you wondered why companies invest millions of dollars to produce a product that is obviously lacking from the moment it launches? Have you ever wished you were in a position, or had the skills, to change that?
Chances are if you’ve typed ‘open source’ into your search engine then you’ve heard about SourceForge and OpenHatch. If you’re not familiar with these sites, I’d absolutely recommend checking them out. They present an amazing platform where you can get involved with a variety of high-quality, open source projects.
First, I must say how honored, humbled and excited I am to join the OSI community in our mission, to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source, and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community. While the OSI is recognized around the globe as the stewards of the Open Source Definition and the authority on open source licenses, it is the open source community—all of you—that truly drives development, promotes adoption and encourages participation. It is my sincere desire, and my highest priority, to meaningfully contribute to and promote your efforts in my new role as GM.
What started as an uphill battle in Burlington, Vermont on the National Day of Civic Hacking in June 2013, transversed into an understanding between local government, non-profits, the media, and the community four months later. What they came to understand was that we can grow stronger when we work together. When we partner. When we work on stuff that matters.
This year, the Libresoft research group encourages anyone involved in a FLOSS project (not only developers) to participate in the survey. As open source and free software communities have changed and grown to to be more diverse—in project types as well as to include people of various skillsets and backgrounds—a survey to reflect today’s community must include all of these unique responsibilities and contributions to open source and free software projects.
After many years of using traditional desktop environments like Gnome 2 and KDE and XFCE, I recently spent a few months with Ubuntu 13.04. Overall, my experience with the Unity desktop was fairly positive after I tweaked and configured it to my liking. Since then, I’m using a different non-Ubuntu based distribution, so I’m currently using Mate 1.6. Probably the feature that I most miss from Unity is the launcher. Frankly, I’m surprised that the Unity launcher was so useful and intuitive for me, since I have never been particularly fond of keyboard navigation. Although I still don’t use the keyboard much for window management or within the applications, now that I’m back on Mate I find myself really missing the convenience of searching and launching both apps and files from one unified interface with just a few keywords. With the online results all disabled, Unity’s launcher learns from the user’s habits and quickly becomes uncannily accurate at suggesting relevant local files and applications based on a few letters of input. It really did significantly add to my productivity. The only problem is that the Unity desktop environment, apart from its launcher, is not what everyone wants in a desktop. Additionally, despite a few efforts to port it to other distributions with varying degrees of success, Unity continues to be an option almost exclusively for Ubuntu based systems. So, what other options are available for users who want a launcher like Unity’s, but in a different desktop environment and/or distribution? That’s what I set to find out.
Summary: British politicians finally decide that by throwing away Microsoft spyware (in favour of FOSS and ‘cloud’ spyware like Google Docs) savings can be passed to the British public
AS ONE who works with the British public sector, I have heard some truly disturbing stories about FOSS projects being derailed by outside intervention (Microsoft partners, lobbyists, etc.) and seen some for myself. This is not a gentlemen’s club; it’s a fierce, manipulative race for domination. Those who are enjoying overpriced contracts with the government would never let go.
Earlier today there was this report in the British press  about something that requires looking at the date stamp. The headline says “UK government plans switch from Microsoft Office to open source” and it seems like a blast from the past. On many occasions before the government said it would transition to FOSS and ODF (on which there were workshops), but it hardly ever happened. Is this time different from the previous times? Let’s wait and see. Microsoft sure is lobbying and probably setting up “task forces” or “response teams” (Microsoft’s terminology) with the sole goal is derailing this policy by all means necessary (ousting those involved has been a common strategy).
Meanwhile, suggests this piece of news from Belgium , the “Dutch city of Ede spends 92 percent less (!) than its peers on software licenses” and owing to FOSS use a “Dutch town lowers IT cost 24% vs peers” . Fantastic, but it’s consistent with what Dutch researchers showed more than half a decade ago (Microsoft partners demonised them and criticised/ridiculed their reports). In other news from the same source [4,5], “Finnish schools using open source reap savings” (no surprise here either). Remember what BECTA did in the UK? As we’ve argued many times over the years, the UK is likely to be the last country in Europe to migrate to FOSS, but it would be pleasing to be proven wrong. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Ministers are looking at saving tens of millions of pounds a year by abandoning expensive software produced by firms such as Microsoft.
Some £200m has been spent by the public sector on the computer giant’s Office suite alone since 2010.
But the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude believes a significant proportion of that outlay could be cut by switching to software which can produce open-source files in the “open document format” (ODF), such as OpenOffice and Google Docs.
The city of Ede, the Netherlands, currently has an annual total ICT budget of six million euros. According to the Dutch Berenschot benchmark for municipal ICT costs, that is 24 percent less than other municipalities of comparable size are spending. Drilling down shows that most of this reduction can be explained by Ede’s extremely low spend on software licenses: only 56 euros per full-time equivalent employee (FTE) instead of 731 euros. That’s a very impressive 92 percent less than average. Such a large reduction was achieved by moving from proprietary to open source software.
Public administrations that switch to free and open source software can expect a large reduction of their ICT costs, a study published on Joinup shows. The annual ICT costs for the Dutch municipality of Ede are now 24% lower than its peers. “Most of this reduction can be explained by Ede’s extremely low spend on software licenses: only 56 euros per full-time equivalent employee instead of 731 euros. Such a large reduction was achieved by moving from proprietary to open source software.”
Municipalities in Finland that have switched their schools to Linux and other open source solutions are saving millions of euro, says Jouni Lintu, CIO of Opinsys. “Typically, our centrally managed open source computers are at least 40 percent cheaper than the proprietary alternative. The total savings could be 10 million.”
I’ve seen it repeatedly. New systems cost half as much and migrating old systems costs a fraction of that. The saving in money is important but so is the saving in time. In a typical school the effort could drop from many hours per week to minutes.
Summary: How Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) gets discredited over “security”, based on something which has nothing to do with FOSS and more to with human error or social engineering
Yesterday we took note of the trend and two days ago we gave some examples of security-flavoured FUD against Android, of which there is plenty these days (and even today). Some of it is correctly being characterised as platform-agnostic . This sometimes requires user intervention  or social engineering , so there’s a lot more to be taken into account. When the OpenSSL project got compromised some weeks ago it was actually the fault of a weak password [7,8], but some of the media spread FUD about OpenSSL itself. Weak passwords are a common human error  and those who don’t encrypt E-mails that contain passwords (they should!) only have themselves to blame [10,11]. To get an example of real vulnerability, consider Apple’s Safari storing passwords in plain text !!! GNU/Linux, by contrast, facilitates strong encryption and has protection against all sorts of attacks [13-14].
Blaming FOSS for issues that relate to social engineering is a common FUD pattern these days (like blaming Android for users installing malware they download outside repositories), but the real security issues are back doors like Microsoft’s, security flukes like Apple’s, and data leakage through so-called ‘clouds’ (which are typically promoted by proprietary software players, tightly connected to the crack-leaning NSA). █
Related/contextual items from the news:
A basic tenant of open-source software security has long been the idea that since the code is open, anyone can look inside to see if there is something that shouldn’t be there.
The cross-platform HEUR:Backdoor.Java.Agent.a, as reported in a blog post published Tuesday by Kaspersky Lab, takes hold of computers by exploiting CVE-2013-2465, a critical Java vulnerability that Oracle patched in June. The security bug is present on Java 7 u21 and earlier. Once the bot has infected a computer, it copies itself to the autostart directory of its respective platform to ensure it runs whenever the machine is turned on. Compromised computers then report to an Internet relay chat channel that acts as a command and control server.
Users clicking on some ads are redirected to sites armed with code that exploits vulnerabilities in Java and installs a variety of different malware.
The gist of the story is that “123456″ is now the most commonly used weak password—surpassing the use of the word “password.”
The OpenSSL Project confirmed that weak passwords used on the hosting infrastructure led to the compromise of its website, dispelling concerns…
Code repositories remained untouched in the December 29 hack, and the only outward sign of a breach was a defacement left on the OpenSSL.org home page. The compromise is nonetheless rattling some nerves. In a brief advisory last updated on New Year’s Day, officials said “the attack was made via hypervisor through the hosting provider and not via any vulnerability in the OS configuration.” The lack of additional details raised the question of whether the same weakness may have been exploited to target other sites that use the same service. After all, saying a compromise was achieved through a hypervisor vulnerability in the Web host of one of the Internet’s most important sites isn’t necessarily comforting news if the service or hypervisor platform is widely used by others.
Back when I wrote Perfect Passwords, I generated a list of the top 500 worst (aka most common) passwords which seems to have propagated quite a bit across the internet, including being mentioned on Gizomodo, Boing Boing, Symantec, Laughing Squid and many other sites. Since then I have collected a large number of new passwords bringing my current list to about 6,000,000 unique username/password combos, including many of those that have been recently made public*.
All that being said, and given that the Luddite solution of forsaking the Internet may not be terribly practical, this is another reason to encrypt technical data that you are sending by email even if the recipient is a U.S. person firmly planted on U.S. soil. No, the encryption isn’t a defense to the violation, but it is at least a mitigating factor. Remember, as I posted last May, that the U.S. military thinks it can put ITAR-controlled technical data on a Chinese satellite if it’s encrypted; so if you don’t have anything else to say in your defense when an email with export controlled data accidentally wanders through Lithuania, you will at least have that. And maybe one day in the distant future, BIS and DDTC will admit that the Internet exists and that encryption works.
Older versions of Safari for Mac store unencrypted user login credentials in a plain text file, according to security firm Kaspersky (via ZDNet). Safari saves the information in order to restore a previous browsing session, reopening all sites, even those that require authentication using the browser’s “Reopen All Windows from Last Session” functionality.
Nothing spooky about the CBS logo
Summary: GNU/Linux FUD (with concurrent promotion of spyware like Windows and Apple systems) still being reinforced by technology-focused sites that are owned by CBS
ENOUGH has been said here about ZDNet, where writers (supposed “journalists”) are Microsoft staff like Perlow and full-time Microsoft boosters like Ed Bott and Mary-Jo Foley. Then there are rookies like David Gewirtz, who habitually bash (out of ignorance) GNU/Linux [1, 2] and now receive a rebuttal . In a perfect world all this provocation would not enter news feeds or Web sites that pretend to be news sites, but when you are part of CBS you get access to a bigger audience that’s not deserved.
CBS is not just doing propaganda for the NSA (a close partner of Microsoft) but also for Microsoft, which is paying CBS in all sorts of ways (including advertisements). Be careful of CNET too. It is owned by CBS (with the motto “America’s Most Watched Network”) and it has roots in Microsoft’s co-founder. These are generally poor sources of information because of veiled bias/agenda. Writers are not being selected at random, they are selected to fit the desired agenda. Many more (not named above) have roots in Microsoft (full or partial employment) and a Microsoft whistleblower once revealed how the company was gaming the site. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Trashing Linux seems to be a very nasty trend though I can’t understand why people bother to keep doing it. It’s as if they can’t think of anything else to write about, so they crank out yet another lame “Linux sucks!” article in a pathetic attempt to generate some page views.
Summary: New examples of sharing and freedom (data and programs) benefiting education
Catherine Dumas is a PhD student in the College of Computing and Information (CCI) at the University at Albany at the State University of New York (SUNY). She teaches two undergraduate courses, one in the Computer Science department and one in the Informatics Department.
“It is a miracle that curiosity escapes formal education.” These words by Albert Einstein reflect a lot about the current state of education. It also captures the need for overhauling the fabric of our school system. Society needs technology solutions that extract the best out of all the stakeholders in education—students, teachers, and parents. And we need enterprises that revolutionize the learning ecosystem. inBloom is one such company that utilizes and integrates massive amounts of data to change the landscape of the education sector.
Imagine being a high school freshman walking down the halls of your new school on the very first day. You somehow make it to first period without becoming epically lost in the unfamiliar halls. Finally, the bell rings, signaling that you’ve officially made it through your first high school class. Taking a look at your schedule, you see your next class is Exploring Computer Science. You think: “Wow, computers! This should be fun!”
Last year was a big year of open source learning for me. I had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of awesome people in the open source field, attending my first OSCon, and being a Community Moderator here on Opensource.com. I learned more than I can say last year, especially in education. Here, I’ll share with you some my favorite (and super interesting) open source educational tools for teachers, students, parents, and others to use in 2014.
The University of Washington (UW) has deployed Kuali Student, a student information system built on Kuali open source platform. The SIS includes modules for student academic planning as well as course and program development.
The institution selected rSmart to lead the implementation of the new SIS. The company develops enterprise-level open source software for colleges and universities.
I never realized how much I rely on open source and public libraries until I started homeschooling last year. When I started to write for Opensource.com, my son was in school. He’s nearly eight years old, but he’s already been in both public and private schools and in both special needs and gifted programs. I’ve thus been on both sides of the educational spectrum. As a librarian, former teacher, and homeschooling mother, I am familiar with what formal schools can offer and what homeschooling and open source resources (programs, tools, etc.) can offer.
As an educator, you don’t expect violence in school or prepare yourself for the inevitability of it. Even violence like suicide is far from your mind. Teachers are not prepared for that. Neither are they trained to handle behaviors that can lead to horrific violence: murder as well as fighting, bullying, sexual assualt and harassment, and alcohol and drug use. Despite the heartbreak of violence among youth in school, there is something educators, teachers and administrators alike can do.
My first memories of the idea that Americans actually needed education (and weren’t born winners) were scenes of armed troops blocking students from school – or escorting them, it wasn’t clear. Newsreels of Arkansas (it’s pronounced what?) Governor Orval Faubus (seriously?) hit the screens in my little town about the same time as Blackboard Jungle (which I certainly wasn’t allowed to see) and Jerry Lewis’ Delicate Delinquent, which terrified me: Why would kids fight with knives? Somebody might get hurt. Years later, when I saw James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and black children being bused across town, my overwhelming feeling was: Why are these people so awful to each other? A good question, we’ll come back to it later after we have a look at the scene in Australia.
Gregg Ferrie, the Director of Information Technology for a school in British Columbia, posted a behind the scenes look at deploying open source at his school on opensource.com. Gregg describes how his school uses Ubuntu on the server and desktops, and that 90% of his school has transitioned to open source. Importantly, Gregg explains how using open source software is fostering a new generation of innovators, ready for the workforce with a real technical education.
At the school district where I am the director of information technology, over 90% of our information systems have been transitioned to open source software. Ubuntu is the server operating systems at the district office and schools, while the Ubuntu desktop is deployed for students, teachers, and administration through the use of diskless clients.
Summary: Microsoft is losing money, paying its CFOs a lot of money to shut up after they depart, and now a guy from Microsoft becomes the CFO of Puppet
A COUPLE of years ago Puppet invited me to interview their executives and even sent a signed book. The company also sent many E-mails, hoping to receive some positive coverage from us (we declined because we never do this). I personally work a lot with Puppet and I am thankful for what it does (even at no cost), so the news in  troubles me greatly. It basically says that the CFO will be a guy from Microsoft, the company which engaged in serious financial fraud, got caught after an insider blew the whistle, and then paid the Feds to walk away (so basically another Enron, but one that got away with it). According to this new article, “revisiting the SEC filing from late October makes it clear the company [Microsoft] also spent more than it made then.”
Well, the company is said to have lost 18 billion dollars in 1998 alone. It’s seemingly some kind of Ponzi scheme, relying on government protectionism and collusion (e.g. with the NSA, whose secret/black budget may somehow subsidised the acquisition of Skype through familiar proxies). Citing the above article, iophk said, “hence the current noise about revenue… a distraction from the losses.” █
Related/contextual items from the news:
New Puppet CFO Bill Koefoed is leaving the executive suites of the world’s largest software company, where he ran Microsoft’s investor relations department for four years before taking over in 2012 as CFO of its Skype subsidiary.
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