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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.