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OSS Leftovers

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  • npm is moving back to its developer roots, founder says

    Everyone has an opinion on what NPM should do next, both as a company (npm, Inc.) and as the package manager (npm) made essential by Node.js. That's not surprising: More than 11 million JavaScript developers use npm (and associated npm registry) to build their applications, whether they use Node.js or not. It's also not a particularly easy question to resolve, given the turmoil npm Inc. has experienced over the past year, what with the introduction (and eventual departure) of CEO Bryan Bogensberger and employee unrest in his wake.

    Talking to npm founder and Chief Open Technologies officer Isaac Schlueter, however, the right strategy for "building a sustainable engine behind an open source labor of love" might well be a return to npm's roots.

  • Open source community should help fight fake news

    That’s the view of Aroma Rodrigues, a full-time Python developer at a major bank in India and a part-time software activist. She told delegates at last week’s PyConZA 2019, part of SA’s Open Source Week, that they can and should be doing more to use their skills for social good.

    [...]

    For example, the US-based Knight Foundation, which was established to promote excellence in journalism, examined more than 10 million tweets from 700 000 Twitter accounts before, during and after the 2016 US presidential election. The study found that identified clusters of Twitter accounts linked back to more than 600 fake and conspiracy news sites repeatedly, often in ways that seemed to be co-ordinated, or even automated, in order to sway public opinion one way or another.

  • Open source community should embrace the spirit of ubuntu

    In an interview with ITWeb at the conference, Nkosi pointed out that although open source was about community, “we are not using it as community”.

    [...]

    The word 'ubuntu' loosely translates to “I am because we are”. This, Nkosi asserted, was essentially the premise of open source software, which was about harnessing the collective power of the community.

  • How the top open source AI software drives innovation

    Open source software and tools have long been a mainstay of the computing ecosystem, especially over the past two decades. From the popularity of Linux in the enterprise server environment to the Firefox browser, open source has found a successful place in the computing hierarchy. It should come as little surprise that open source AI software is finding significant popularity and use within the machine learning and deep learning ecosystem, as well.

    In fact, much of the technology that powers AI is open source. This comes as a contrast to other enterprise technology, such as operating systems and databases that had their initial roots in closed, licensed software.

  • Catalan separatists have tooled up with a decentralized app for civil disobedience

    One of the first protest actions programmed by a new online activist group, calling itself Tsunami Democràtic, saw thousands of protestors coalescing on Barcelona airport Monday, in an attempt to shut it down. The protest didn’t quite do that but it did lead to major disruption, with roads blocked by human traffic as protestors walked down the highway and the cancelation of more than 100 flights, plus hours of delays for travellers arriving into El Prat.

    For months leading up to a major Supreme Court verdict on the fate of imprisoned Catalan political leaders a ‘technical elite‘ — as one local political science academic described them this week — has been preparing to reboot Catalonia’s independence movement by developing bespoke, decentralized high-tech protest tools.

    A source with knowledge of Tsunami Democràtic, speaking to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity, told us that “high level developers” located all around the world are involved in the effort, divvying up coding tasks as per any large scale IT project and leveraging open source resources (such as the RetroShare node-based networking platform) to channel grassroots support for independence into a resilient campaign network that can’t be stopped by the arrest of a few leaders.

  • To Go Green, the Energy Industry Goes Open Source

    The European Union aims to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050. Former California Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order last year calling for the state, the fifth-largest economy in the world, to go carbon neutral by 2045. Meeting these goals, or even the less ambitious goals set by other governments, will require utilities to buy more energy from sustainable sources like wind and solar power. That shift is already creating logistical challenges for utilities. Unlike more predictable sources of energy, the energy produced by a wind farm can vary from day to day, forcing utilities to offload excess supplies and make up for shortages. The solar panels on residential rooftops that feed into the grid pose their own challenges because the grid wasn't designed to facilitate a two-way flow of energy.

    To meet those technological challenges, the energy sector is turning to open source software. Open source, which anyone can modify or share, helped power the rise of internet giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Ostensible competitors worked together to develop software like the data-crunching platform Hadoop because it enabled them to solve difficult computing problems. Now all sorts of companies, ranging from Microsoft to Walmart to JP Morgan Chase use and make open source software.

    But the energy industry has lagged behind others in using and creating open source software, says Loek Bakker, head of information management at Dutch energy distribution company TenneT. "The energy industry isn't known for being innovative," he says. "I think we're quite a traditional industry."

  • Open FinTech Forum Brings Together Technologists and Business Executives to Accelerate Development in Finance Sector

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the speakers and program for Open FinTech Forum taking place December 9, 2019 at the Convene Conference Center in New York.

  • LF Energy Brings Power System Leaders Together with Open Source Experts at Paris Summit to Implement the Grid of the Future

    LF Energy, a nonprofit, vendor-neutral initiative from The Linux Foundation, whose mission is to accelerate the energy and electricity sectors’ worldwide decarbonization goals through open-source technology, announced the full agenda for its first global summit, NOW TO NEXT - The Power of Together, as well as the addition of Alliander, EDP, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and Unicorn as new LF Energy members.

    NOW TO NEXT, which will be hosted in La Défense, Paris, on Nov. 4-5, will bring together leaders and innovators in the power and technology industries to discuss the global transition to clean energy. Industry leaders have realized that no one can meet decarbonization goals alone. Instead, we must work together to transition the 150-year-old power grid infrastructure to smarter and more efficient digital technologies that enable decentralized energy resources.

  • Percona Open Source Software Database Survey Reveals Shift Toward Diversity

    Percona, a leader in open source database software and services, today announced the results of its Open Source Software Database Survey. More than 830 members of the Percona community and customer base, representing small, medium and large companies from around the world, responded to questions regarding open source database usage and growth. The survey revealed that diverse tools and environments, including multiple databases and multi-cloud and hybrid environments, are transforming today’s datacenters.

  • Public Health England - open source and containerisation key to tech agenda
  • Moodle Announces the Integration of H5P
  • SDSC Launches Open-Source ‘SeedMeLab’

    Researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego have launched an open-source software called SeedMeLab, which provides a host of features for researchers across all disciplines to manage and disseminate their data products internally and externally from a personalized and branded data cloud with full ownership and control.

    Under development and rigorous testing for past five years, SeedMeLab is a result of $1.3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) award to create a set of web-based building blocks that lets scientists seamlessly share and access preliminary results and transient data from research on a variety of platforms, including mobile devices. SeedMe is short for ‘Swiftly Encode, Explore and Disseminate My Experiments.’

    “Offered as an open-source software or a managed service from SDSC, SeedMeLab eliminates content fragmentation—that is data, its context, and its discussion—and enables quick reference of data/research context that’s critical during research phase and very useful for long tail use of data products” said SDSC Visualization Group leader Amit Chourasia, principal investigator for the project. “SeedMeLab also boosts team productivity by facilitating knowledge transfer between lab members in a sustained way, and it is now available for researchers to overcome data management gaps that have been an issue in the past. SeedMeLab is an important stepping stone for researchers to realize FAIR data management in practice.”

  • Senate Bill Would Open Some Weather Agency Models to the Public

    A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate Tuesday would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which collects and models scientific data for weather forecasting purposes, to make certain operational weather models publicly available.

    Under the Learning Excellence and Good Examples from New Developers, or LEGEND Act, NOAA would also “periodically review innovations and improvements” to operational models made by third parties and the public. The bill would give NOAA’s administrator authority to utilize certain outside innovations.

  • Former Catalyst CEO Launches New Open Source Push for Legal Tech

    John Tredennick, founder and former CEO of e-discovery company Catalyst Repository Systems, has accepted the challenge of bringing free, open source legal tech to an industry notoriously known as a slow tech adopter.

More in Tux Machines

Bringing PostgreSQL to Government

  • Crunchy Data, ORock Technologies Form Open Source Cloud Partnership for Federal Clients

    Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies have partnered to offer a database-as-a-service platform by integrating the former's open source database with the latter's managed offering designed to support deployment of containers in multicloud or hybrid computing environments. The partnership aims to implement a PostgreSQL as a service within ORock's Secure Containers as a Service, which is certified for government use under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, Crunchy Data said Tuesday.

  • Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies Partnership Brings Trusted Open Source Cloud Native PostgreSQL to Federal Government

    Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies, Inc. announced a partnership to bring Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes to ORock’s FedRAMP authorized container application Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. Through this collaboration, Crunchy Data and ORock will offer PostgreSQL-as-a-Service within ORock’s Secure Containers as a Service with Red Hat OpenShift environment. The combined offering provides a fully managed Database as a Service (DBaaS) solution that enables the deployment of containerized PostgreSQL in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes has achieved Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification and provides Red Hat OpenShift users with the ability to provision trusted open source PostgreSQL clusters, elastic workloads, high availability, disaster recovery, and enterprise authentication systems. By integrating with the Red Hat OpenShift platform within ORock’s cloud environments, Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes leverages the ability of the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform to unite developers and IT operations on a single FedRAMP-compliant platform to build, deploy, and manage applications consistently across hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Hardware, Science and History

  • An Open Source Toolbox For Studying The Earth

    Fully understanding the planet’s complex ecosystem takes data, and lots of it. Unfortunately, the ability to collect detailed environmental data on a large scale with any sort of accuracy has traditionally been something that only the government or well-funded institutions have been capable of. Building and deploying the sensors necessary to cover large areas or remote locations simply wasn’t something the individual could realistically do. But by leveraging modular hardware and open source software, the FieldKit from [Conservify] hopes to even the scales a bit. With an array of standardized sensors and easy to use software tools for collating and visualizing collected data, the project aims to empower independent environmental monitoring systems that can scale from a handful of nodes up to several hundred.

  • The Early History of Usenet, Part II: Hardware and Economics

    There was a planning meeting for what became Usenet at Duke CS. We knew three things, and three things only: we wanted something that could be used locally for administrative messages, we wanted a networked system, and we would use uucp for intersite communication. This last decision was more or less by default: there were no other possibilities available to us or to most other sites that ran standard Unix. Furthermore, all you needed to run uucp was a single dial-up modem port. (I do not remember who had the initial idea for a networked system, but I think it was Tom Truscott and the late Jim Ellis, both grad students at Duke.) There was a problem with this last option, though: who would do the dialing? The problems were both economic and technical-economic. The latter issue was rooted in the regulatory climate of the time: hardwired modems were quite unusual, and ones that could automatically dial were all but non-existent. (The famous Hayes Smartmodem was still a few years in the future.) The official solution was a leased Bell 801 autodialer and a DEC DN11 peripheral as the interface between the computer and the Bell 801. This was a non-starter for a skunkworks project; it was hard enough to manage one-time purchases like a modem or a DN11, but getting faculty to pay monthly lease costs for the autodialer just wasn't going to happen. Fortunately, Tom and Jim had already solved that problem.

  • UNIX Version 0, Running On A PDP-7, In 2019

    WIth the 50th birthday of the UNIX operating system being in the news of late, there has been a bit of a spotlight shone upon its earliest origins. At the Living Computers museum in Seattle though they’ve gone well beyond a bit of historical inquiry though, because they’ve had UNIX (or should we in this context say unix instead?) version 0 running on a DEC PDP-7 minicomputer. This primordial version on the original hardware is all the more remarkable because unlike its younger siblings very few PDP-7s have survived. The machine running UNIX version 0 belongs to [Fred Yearian], a former Boeing engineer who bought his machine from the company’s surplus channel at the end of the 1970s. He restored it to working order and it sat in his basement for decades, while the vintage computing world labored under the impression that including the museum’s existing machine only four had survived — of which only one worked. [Fred’s] unexpected appearance with a potentially working fifth machine, therefore, came as something of a surprise.

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News and Open Source Security Podcast

Red Hat and Containers

  • Queensland government looks to open source for single sign-on project

    Red Hat Single Sign-On, which is based on the open source Keycloak project, and the Apollo GraphQL API Gateway platform will be the two key software components underpinning a Queensland effort to deliver a single login for access to online government services. Queensland is implementing single sign-on capabilities for state government services, including ‘tell us once’ capabilities that will allow basic personal details of individuals to be, where consent is given by an individual, shared between departments and agencies.

  • Red Hat Releases Open Source Project Quay Container Registry
  • Red Hat open sources Project Quay container registry

    Yesterday, Red Hat introduced the open source Project Quay container registry, which is the upstream project representing the code that powers Red Hat Quay and Quay.io. Open-sourced as a Red Hat commitment, Project Quay “represents the culmination of years of work around the Quay container registry since 2013 by CoreOS, and now Red Hat,” the official post reads. Red Hat Quay container image registry provides storage and enables users to build, distribute, and deploy containers. It will also help users to gain more security over their image repositories with automation, authentication, and authorization systems. It is compatible with most container environments and orchestration platforms and is also available as a hosted service or on-premises.

  • Red Hat declares Quay code open

    Red Hat has open sourced the code behind Project Quay, the six year old container registry it inherited through its purchase of CoreOS. The code in question powers both Red Hat Quay and Quay.IO, and also includes the Clair open source security project which was developed by the Quay team, and integrated with the registry back in 2015. In the blog post announcing the move, Red Hat principal software engineer – and CoreOS alumnus – Joey Schorr, wrote, “We believe together the projects will benefit the cloud-native community to lower the barrier to innovation around containers, helping to make containers more secure and accessible.”

  • New Open Source Offerings Simplify Securing Kubernetes

    In advance of the upcoming KubeCon 2019 (CyberArk booth S55), the flagship event for all things Kubernetes and Cloud Native Computing Foundation, CyberArk is adding several new Kubernetes offerings to its open source portfolio to improve the security of application containers within Kubernetes clusters running enterprise workloads.

  • Java Applications Go Cloud-Native with Open-Source Quarkus Framework

    "With Quarkus, Java developers are able to continue to work in Java, the language they are proficient in, even when they are working with new, cloud-native technologies," John Clingan, senior principal product manager of middleware at Red Hat, told IT Pro Today. "With memory utilization measured in 10s of MB and startup time measured in 10s of milliseconds, Quarkus enables organizations to continue with their significant Java investments for both microservices and serverless." Many organizations have been considering alternative runtimes to Java, like Node.js and Go, due to high memory utilization of Java applications, according to Clingan. In addition, Java’s startup times are generally too slow to be an effective solution for serverless environments. As such, Clingan said that even if an organization decided to stick with Java for microservices, it would be forced to switch to an alternative runtime for serverless, or functions-as-a-service (FaaS), deployment.

  • Styra Secures $14M in Funding Led by Accel to Expand Open Source and Commercial Solutions for Kubernetes/Cloud-native Security

    New technology—like Kubernetes, Containers, ServiceMesh, and CICD Automation—speed application delivery and development. However, they lack a common framework for authorization to determine where access should be allowed, and where it should be denied. Styra’s commercial and open source solutions—purpose-built for the scale of cloud-native development—provide this authorization layer to mitigate risk across cloud application components, as well as the infrastructure they are built upon.