OSS

Free/Open Source software (FOSS)

An open-source robotics OS is moving from the lab to farms and even into space

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OS
OSS

They’re routine activities for people, but this was a Willow Garage PR2 alpha robot. By navigating through eight doors and using nine outlets, it notched an important milestone—using the Robot Operating System (ROS) to accomplish its complex mission.

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Help Labour Get Its Digital Policy Right This Time

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OSS

Long-time readers of this column may remember the great Digital Economy Bill saga back in 2010, which culminated in one of the most disgusting episodes in recent Parliamentary history, with the Bill being approved by a near-empty House of Commons in the dying hours of the last government, and with no substantive debate whatsoever. The result was an appalling piece of legislation, whose putrefying corpse is still polluting the UK's digital landscape, acting as an ever-present reminder of just how badly the Labour treated the online world when it was in power.

Labour is now out of power, and trying to get back into power. I leave readers to decide for themselves whether it would be better or worse than the present incumbents. Instead, I want to concentrate on two initiatives that the Labour Party is taking to help it come up with some decent policies for the digital world.

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Weatherman’s best friend: How Australia used open source for its supercomputing network

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OSS

How did Australia scale up to cope with all of its public research agencies at the same time? FutureGov spoke with Allan Williams, Associate Director, Australian National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) to find out how they did this.

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Natron 0.92 released with new roto and keying nodes

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OSS

The project is a free (Mozillla Public License v2) node-based compositor that relies on OpenColorIO for color management, OpenImageIO for file formats support, and Qt for user interface. It also works with 32bit float per channel precision and supports OFX plugins, both free and commercial.

Natron was started last year at Inria, a public science and technology institution that unites several research centres in France. Alexandre Gauthier, the lead developer of Natron, got the required funding from the institution, and last December he additionally won a “Boost Your Code” contest at Inria that offered him 12 months of paid development. In May this year, Alexandre presented the project at Libre Graphics Meeting in Leipzig.

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Contributing to OSS

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OSS

Many individuals may want to contribute to Linux or some open-source software project. However, many people may not be sure where to start or how to help. Others may not know computer programming and feel that there is no way they can contribute. Well, guess what? There are many ways anyone can contribute to Linux directly or some open-source software (OSS).

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Join the FSF and allies: strengthen the Tor anti-surveillance network

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OSS
Security

Today we're joining our allies at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in kicking off the Tor Challenge, an effort to strengthen the global Tor network that protects Internet traffic from surveillance.

Tor is a publicly accessible, free software-based system for anonymizing Internet traffic. Tor relies on thousands of computers around the world called relays, which route traffic in tricky ways to dodge spying. The more relays, the stronger and faster the network.

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id Software’s Softdisk games code being released under GPL

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OSS
Gaming

id Software has a long history of making games that stems back as far as 1991. Most gamers will only remember the hugely popular releases in the Doom and Quake series, but there were many more, and much older titles that were released before they hit the big time.

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Has Microsoft really changed its attitude toward open source?

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS

Okay, I hate to be a Negative Ned here, but I'm firmly in the "trust but verify" camp when it comes to Microsoft and open source. Yes, a new CEO and other changes may be helping Microsoft to adjust to living in an open source world. But change never comes easy or fast in such a large organization, so I think the jury is still out on whether or not Microsoft has really changed for the better when it comes to open source software.

Also, I've never forgotten the company's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy that they used in the past to destroy competitive software products. That alone is reason enough to keep a wary eye on Microsoft's involvement with any open source project. Perhaps the company really has changed, but maybe it hasn't. I think it bears watching for at least another few years to see if enduring change has really set in or not.

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OpenSSL Security Advisory [05 Jun 2014]

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OSS
Security

OpenSSL 1.0.0m and OpenSSL 0.9.8za also contain a fix for CVE-2014-0076: Fix for the attack described in the paper "Recovering OpenSSL ECDSA Nonces Using the FLUSH+RELOAD Cache Side-channel Attack" Reported by Yuval Yarom and Naomi Benger. This issue was previously fixed in OpenSSL 1.0.1g.

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More: How I discovered CCS Injection Vulnerability (CVE-2014-0224)

Vienna: on the Open Source Path to Munich

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OSS

Open Enterprise has been charting the continuing rise of open source software for many years. In numerous areas, its dominance is evident, but there's one - local government - where its success has been more limited. The most famous example of a city moving to open source is Munich, but even that has been a huge struggle to complete:

More than ten years ago the city of Munich took a decision that was bound to put its IT administrators in the spotlight. At that time it was clear that Microsoft would soon stop supporting Windows NT 4.0, the operating system that ran most of the more than 10,000 desktop machines in the Bavarian capital. The IT specialists and politicians in Munich had to decide: a migration was inevitable, but to where?

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Australia CTO clarifies plans to release all code to open source community

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OSS

Australia’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), John Sheridan, today clarified the government’s plans to release all code from its proposed new content management system (CMS) to the open source community.

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PlayCanvas takes its WebGL video game engine open source

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Moz/FF
OSS

Video game creators will be pleased to hear that the WebGL PlayCanvas Engine has been open-sourced. Mozilla announced the move today on its developer blog and you can access the entire engine sourcebase right now over on GitHub.

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Mozilla Open-Sources Their PlayCanvas Gaming Engine

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Moz/FF
OSS

For the past three years Mozilla has been developing a JavaScript-based WebGL-using game engine that is like "unlike anything that had gone before" and today they have open-sourced this browser-based game engine.

The PlayCanvas Engine is a JavaScript library for building video games and includes graphics, physics, animation, audio engine, input device support (gamepads included), and an entity-component system. The WebGL-based graphics with this engine supports model loading, per-pixel lighting, shadow mapping, and post effects.

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Why open source development is getting more secure

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OSS
Security

With fewer defects being found in major open source projects than in large proprietary software packages, what are the security strengths and weaknesses of open source development?

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What has open source got to do with open government?

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OSS

Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, highlighted at the conference that an open and transparent government is not enough if it lacks civic participation. “In my view, openness and transparency should stimulate their sense of ownership in open government.”

Dr Alanna Simpson, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank-Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, told me that the Indonesian Government is a leader in making open data and open source available.

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Telcos Pay Lip Service to Open Source

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OSS

Telecom service providers may acknowledge the value of open source technology, particularly as they adopt virtualization, but they are not entirely ready to embrace it warmly, a panel discussion here revealed.

Five large service providers -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), and Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) -- were represented on a single panel as part of a pre-conference NFV workshop, and while they agreed on a lot, open source technology didn't get a consensus vote.

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Out in the Open: The Little-Known Open Source OS That Rules the Internet of Things

Filed under
OS
OSS

Badgers spend a lot of time underground, which make it difficult for biologists and zoologists to track their whereabouts and activities. GPS, for example, doesn’t work well underground or in enclosed areas. But about five years ago, University of Oxford researchers Andrew Markham and Niki Trigoni solved that problem by inventing a wireless tracking system that can work underground. Their system is clever, but they didn’t do it alone. Like many other scientists, they turned to open source to avoid having to rebuild fundamental components from scratch. One building block they used is an open source operating system called Contiki.

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Announcing Rapid Progress on Core Infrastructure Initiative

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OSS
Security

A month ago we announced the Core Infrastructure Initiative, a project to help fund critical open source projects that we all rely upon but that are in need of support. We moved quickly to organize the initiative and the industry reaction was swift and enthusiastic. I am proud to report on significant progress that I believe matches the quality of the reaction to the formation of the project.

First order of business was electing the Advisory Board, which will help the Steering Group (made up of funders and The Linux Foundation) determine which projects to fund. We are fortunate to have assembled many of the brightest minds in open source, web technology and computer security. I am thrilled to work with these individuals.

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South Korean govt open source forum to hear EU cases

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OSS

IT strategists working for the French Gendarmerie and the Dutch municipality of Ede will participate in a conference organised by South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National IT Promotion Agency, to be held on 3 June in the capital Seoul.

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Mark Johnson of OSS Watch opens up about the challenges of open source procurement

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OSS

The OSS Watch blog has been on our radar for a while now as a great resource for open source commentary. We've looked to their team, including development manager Mark Johnson, for thought leadership on how open source software is being used and to gauge the pulse of the open source movement. I wanted to find out more about what Mark does day-to-day to promote better understanding of open source. He's got a knack for communication: concise with impact.

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