U.S. government releases open source gamification software
The United States' National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made some of its internally-developed gamification software available for free on GitHub under the MIT free software license.
Developers may find it useful as a tool for configuring a server to track "gamification" systems like points or badges against user accounts on apps or websites; at the very least, it offers interesting insight into how the NGA is using game design tenets in its training programs.
Let's Pay for Open Source with a Closed-Source Software Levy
This column has often explored ways in which some of the key ideas underlying free software and open source are being applied in other fields. But that equivalence can flow in both directions: developments in fields outside the digital world may well have useful lessons for computing. A case in point is a fascinating post by James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a non-governmental organisation concerned with public health and other important issues.
It is called "The value of an open source dividend", and is a discussion of the problems the world of pharma faces because of the distorting effect of patents - problems it shares with the world of computing...
Features Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel
With Linux 3.18-rc1 arriving one week early I didn't have a chance to write a feature overview of Linux 3.18 prior to this first development release that marked the close of the merge window. For those that didn't stay up to date with our dozens of Linux 3.18 kernel articles about changes and new features, here's a concise overview.
Norway closes its open source resource centre
The government of Norway will no longer fund its open source resource centre, Friprog. Activities are wound down and the centre will be closed at the end of the year, Friprog reports. The GoOpen conference, planned for last September but postponed to May 2015, is now cancelled.
If You Are Sick of Surveillance, Safeguard Your Systems
Linux is a great alternative to Windows for those seeking a more secure and liberty-friendly "Operating System." Because it is open-source, there are many different “flavors” (called distributions) available. Two of the most popular distributions are Ubuntu and Fedora. They can be downloaded for free from www.ubuntu.com and www.fedoraproject.org. A fairly complete list of Linux distributions can be found at www.distrowatch.com.
NSA recommends several Samsung smartphones
The list of allowed smartphones, which US officials may share confidential information has become a bit longer. The National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) - a product tester under the supervision of the NSA - announced Tuesday the green light for the S5 Galaxy, Galaxy Note 4 and the tablet Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition).
Ubuntu 14.10 Linux 32-bit vs. 64-bit Performance
Given yesterday's story about Ubuntu 16.04 LTS potentially being the last 32-bit release if that proposal goes through, and given the number of people still running 32-bit Linux distributions on Intel/AMD hardware that is 64-bit capable, here's some fresh x86 vs. x86_64 benchmarks using Ubuntu 14.10.
Using Ubuntu 14.10 with the latest daily development ISOs today -- just ahead of this week's official Utopic Unicorn debut -- I did clean installs of both x86 and x86_64 flavors and carried out the same benchmarks with the same settings. Using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite automated benchmark framework made all testing easy and effortless.