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OSS

How Linux and Open Source Are Powering Comcast’s Massive Infrastructure

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Linux
OSS

Comcast is a heavy user of Linux, and it touches everything: from back-end servers to customer facing devices like X1 products. Muehl said. “Comcast, like so many others, is a very Linux-heavy operating system company.”

Comcast’s choice of Linux flavors is interesting. “Generally speaking, we're more on the open-source side of those Linux distributions than the commercial side of those Linux distributions,” said Muehl. Comcast is using Ubuntu and CentOS.

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Can you imagine a world without open source?

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Interviews
OSS

I worked as a Linux kernel developer in the areas of scheduler and power management. It was fascinating to gain a deeper understanding and contribute to development in these areas. After a while, I felt the need to gain more breadth in my understanding of computer systems. A holistic view would not only help me better contribute to Linux, but would also enable me to explore other domains in a computer system. Towards this end, I chose to pursue graduate studies in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of Carnegie Mellon University, which offers a wide range of courses in computer systems and is carrying out cutting edge research in this field too.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS

Education and Open Access

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OSS
  • Open access and Brexit

    The UK research community’s response to the recent referendum – in which a majority of 52% voted for the UK to leave the European Union (or “Brexit”) – has been one of horror and disbelief.

    This is no surprise, not least because Brexit would have a serious impact on research funding in the UK. Nature reports that UK universities currently get around 16% of their research funding from the EU, and that the UK currently hosts more EU-funded holders of ERC grants than any other member state. Elsewhere, Digital Science has estimated that the UK could lose £1 billion in science funding if the UK government does not make up the shortfall in EU-linked research funds.

  • Another View: Nonprofit groups offer lesson in cutting college textbook costs

    Using online, open-source materials instead of expensive printed books eases the burden on students. By The Washington Post. Share. facebook · tweet · email. print Comment.

  • Lanier Tech joins group helping community college students succeed
  • Another View: Colleges should go open source to cut textbook costs

    The following editorial appeared in The Washington Post: Every year, college students shell out thousands of dollars for tuition. Then they face an additional cost: textbooks.

Avoiding bad practices in open source project management

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OSS

This whole list has been inspired by many years of open source hacking and free software contributions. Everyone's experiences and feelings might be different, or malpractice may have been seen under different forms. Let me know if there are any other points that you encountered that blocked you from contributing to open source projects!

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Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • GitHub Visualizes the Impact of Open Source

    Code repository GitHub published data visualizations that show the impact of open source development on hosted projects, along with the "shape" of project activity. The visualizations emphasize the effect of teamwork, collaboration and communication that reinforce coding efforts.

  • Meet Codemoji: Mozilla’s New Game for Teaching Encryption Basics with Emoji

    The above message may seem like a random string of emoji. But not so: When decoded, it reads: “Encryption Matters.”

    Today, Mozilla is launching Codemoji, a fun, educational tool that introduces everyday Internet users to ciphers — the basic building blocks of encryption — using emoji.

  • DSS, Inc. Releases New Version of Open Source EHR, vxVistA, to Healthcare IT Community
  • GuixSD system tests
  • Self-driving cars and open source - what about GPLv3 and anti-tivoization?

    Primarily, the car manufacturers say that their dislike of the GPLv3 software is due to security issues. According to them, it should not be possible for the car owners to modify the software of the car because this could lead to exposing the users themselves and other road users to danger.

    In the light of the above, is seems reasonable to question whether security considerations is actually the true reason for the car manufacturers not wanting the users to run their own software on the cars’ hardware.

    For many years, car owners have replaced parts of their cars, e.g. tires, brakes and even software – which is supported by the car industry.

    To give an example, there is a large market for the replacement or modification (“remapping”) of the Engine Control Units (“ECU”) software of cars. The ECU’s are computers that control the car’s engine, including fuel mix, fuel supply and gearing.

    The car industry takes advice and uses data from companies which offer ECU remapping and thereby indirectly supporting the companies although – according to the car industry – changes to the engine allegedly can pose a security risk.

    Another aspect of the matter is that stating that the clause in GPLv3 absolutely prohibits the car fabricants from forbidding the users running their own software on the hardware of the cars is not completely true. Section 7 of GPLv3 makes it possible for the creators of GPL programs to give the car factories an extra license under which it is possible to use the GPLv3 software in their cars without having to comply with the former-mentioned obligation to provide the installation information to the users of the cars.

    The way the system works now, the car industry allows modifications of cars which may cause a loss of security. It is possible to develop GPLv3 software that the car fabricants can use without having to allow the car owners modifications. Furthermore, it is only GPLv3 – and therefore not other FOSS licenses – which on a general level forces the car manufacturers to allow modifications of their software.

    The question of the security level of the cars should hardly be a hindrance to the use of FOSS in self-propelled cars. If the car fabricants could realize this, the many advantages of the freely-available source code could clear the way for the technology generally being adopted faster.

  • Open Source: It’s Not Just About Software Anymore

    Open source is no longer just about the software that sits on your computer. Open methods are being used to develop everything from better automobiles to life altering medical devices.

  • Kickstarting open source steampunk clocks that use meters to tell the time

    Kyle writes, "The Volt is a fully open source, arduino-based, handmade analog clock that tells time with meters. Available in a DIY install kit, 2 pre-made models, and a mix & match hardware option. The clocks are but with solid black walnut and maple, with faceplates produced in brass, copper, and steel. Only on Kickstarter!"

  • Libarchive Security Flaw Discovered

    When it comes to security, everyone knows you shouldn't run executable files from an untrustworthy source. Back in the late 1990s, when web users were a little more naive, it was quite common to receive infected email messages with fake attachments.

OSS in the Back End

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OSS

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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Openwashing

Apache Projects

Leftovers: Ubuntu, Mint, and Debian

  • End of an era: Linux distributions will soon stop supporting 32-bit PCs
    AMD and Intel released the first 64-bit CPUs for consumers back in 2003 and 2004. Now, more than a decade later, Linux distributions are looking at winding down support for 32-bit hardware. Google already took this leap back in 2015, dumping 32-bit versions of Chrome for Linux.
  • Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak Alpha 1 Released
  • Linux Mint 18 Brings Mint-Y Theme to Linux Deskto
    The Linux Mint 18 milestone release is the first major update for the popular desktop Linux distribution in 2016 and follows the Linux Mint 17.3 update that debuted in December 2015. Linux Mint 18 is based on the Ubuntu 16.04 Long Term Support (LTS) Linux distribution released April 21 and, like Ubuntu 16.04, Linux Mint 18 is being supported as an LTS, with support until the year 2021. As was the case with previous Linux Mint distribution updates, there are multiple desktop environment choices. Cinnamon 3.0, which is developed by Linux Mint and typically is the primary deployment choice for users, brings new window tiling capabilities and default effects for window transitions and actions. Additionally, Linux Mint 18 includes a new desktop theme option called Mint-Y that brings newly styled icons to users. In terms of new integrated applications, Linux Mint 18 includes the gufw application, a graphical interface for firewall configuration. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the Linux Mint 18.
  • My Free Software Activities in June 2016
  • Debian: Reproducible builds update

Red Hat and Fedora