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OSS

Open Source Eye for the Android Guy

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OSS

Do you ever look at your Android phone and wonder how much of the software on it is open source? I just did, and I was surprised at how little FOSS I had on it. Could I change that? After a bunch of searching, I did. But only a little.

Android itself is an open source project. Google controls the main branch and can keep you from using the “Android” trademark if you fork the project, but otherwise you can do anything you like with the code.

Now let’s talk about Android applications. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this in public, but until the idea for this essay came up last week in a conversation with FOSS Force editor Christine Hall, I hadn’t thought much about Android app licenses, not even when choosing apps for my own use.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS

Linux/FOSS Events

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Linux
OSS
  • Three Upcoming Open Source Conferences

    With Open Source 101, a single day, entry level conference, almost sold-out for its inaugural run at NC State University on Saturday, I thought now would be as good a time as any to take a look at some of the open source conferences coming up this spring.

    For tech workers, whether in the trenches or in the front office, these conferences offer a unique opportunity that's not always found at other tech events. While many tech conferences focus on a single product or vendor, open source conferences offer a wide smorgasbord of subjects, with sessions on subjects that range from highly technical to strictly business. In addition, they're great for networking.

  • Code for Pakistan hosts Open Source Day for Women in Karachi

    Code for Pakistan (CfP) hosted ‘Open Source Day for Women’ (OSDW) in Karachi in collaboration with Habib University.

    About 40 young women and guests participated in the workshop where they learned about open source coding, honing their technical skills and contributing to civic innovation space. Huda Baig, Code for Pakistan’s Karachi rep, co-organized the event with Syed ObaidUllah, Founding Partner, MarketLytics, a software and data analytics studio, who volunteered with CfP to launch OSDW. Talking about Open Source, Huda said,

  • UniK: Isolating Processes and Reducing Complexity

    Unikernels aren’t a new concept; the stripped-down, library-specific application machine images have been around for decades. But unikernels are enjoying a renaissance thanks to cloud computing; they offer major efficiencies in resource use and provide a tiny attack service for nefarious online activities. At CloudNativeCon in Seattle in November, Idit Levine presented the open source project UniK (pronounced “unique”) and announced new features to make unikernel creation more attractive and viable, both for cloud computing and Internet of Things devices.

  • NCSU Hosts One-Day Introduction to Open Source

    It’s something of a grand experiment and it’s being being hosted this weekend on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. What it is might be called a miniconference, but let’s not call it that. “Mini” indicates smallness, and there’s nothing small about this event, even if it is only a single day affair.

    Let’s call it a full fledged conference. The students attending will like that. It’ll make them feel important and so grown-up — which they are, actually. They’ll be able to feign weariness as they roll their eyes and tell friends they can’t meetup at the pizza pallor on Saturday because “I”m attending a conference.” Their friends will be secretly impressed, but won’t let on and will act like that’s the most natural thing in the world.

    The event is called Open Source 101.

FOSS From Google

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Google
OSS

OpenStack News

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Server
OSS
  • OpenStack cited as open source example for telecom

    One open source model referenced by many in the telecommunications space is that of OpenStack, which is a cloud-based platform initially begun in 2010 as a project between NASA and Rackspace Hosting aimed at creating an open source cloud platform that could be operated on standard, legacy hardware.

  • Harmonic and Mirantis Create Cloud Media Processor
  • Harmonic and Mirantis Bring Cloud-Native Media Processing to OpenStack

    Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT), the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure, and Mirantis, a pure-play open cloud company, today announced a new partnership that is providing media content and service providers with access to the industry's first media processing solution for live and VOD production on OpenStack. Mirantis and Harmonic have ensured interoperability of Harmonic's VOS(TM) Cloud media processing solution and Mirantis' cloud platform, allowing customers to manage the entire media production and delivery workflow for broadcast and over-the-top (OTT) applications on standard IT hardware in a scalable cloud environment. The joint solution has successfully been deployed by a leading North American service provider, and is in numerous trials with other service providers worldwide.

  • OpenContrail: An Essential Tool in the OpenStack Ecosystem

    Throughout 2016, software-defined networking (SDN) rapidly evolved, and numerous players in the open source and cloud computing arenas are now helping it gain momentum. In conjunction with that trend, OpenContrail, a popular SDN platform used with the OpenStack cloud computing platform, is emerging as an essential tool around which many administrators will have to develop skillsets.

  • Mirantis and Harmonic Team on Video Delivery Solutions for OpenStack

    Mirantis, known for its focus on OpenStack, has been steadily forming partnerships that can take OpenStack deployments in new directions. For example, last year the company announced a collaboration with Google and Intel to evolve the architecture of the leading purpose-built lifecycle management tool for OpenStack, Fuel, and related OpenStack projects, to enable for use of Kubernetes as its underlying orchestration engine.

Attack on Free Software (Kodi) With Copyrigth Pretext

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OSS
Legal
  • Kodi Is Not a Piracy Application

    There’s a piracy app that lets users find any TV show, movie, or song you can imagine. Streams and downloads are both easy to find, and the software is already used by hundreds of millions of people.

    The name of this dastardly program? Google Chrome.

    That’s a crazy thing to report, right? Sure, it’s strictly true that you can use Chrome to pirate movies and TV shows: just search for any movie’s name followed by the words “streaming,” “torrent,” or “download.” You’ll find a pirated option on the front page basically every time. But if a mainstream media outlet called Chrome a piracy tool, you’d ridicule them for it, and deservedly so.

    But that’s pretty much how Kodi, the open source media player, is being reported on lately, particularly in the UK. The BBC called Kodi a piracy epidemic in a headline. The Mirror pointed out that Kodi offers a “way to find illegal streams of movies and sports presented with a friendly Netflix-style user interface.” The Birmingham Mail helpfully informed readers that downloading Kodi will result in you getting a scary letter.

    Reading these headlines, you’d think Kodi is the second coming of Popcorn Time. It’s not. Kodi is merely a (very good) media player and organizer. If Kodi is a piracy app, so is Google Chrome (and, for that matter, QuickTime or VLC).

  • Linux: Is the Kodi media player a piracy app?

    They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and nowhere is that more clear than in the controversy over the open source Kodi media player. Kodi has been characterized as a “piracy app” by some in the media, but the Kodi developers beg to differ with them.

  • The best add-ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them
  • [Older] The Best Kodi Boxes of 2016
  • MythTV 0.28.1 Released

    MythTV 0.28 was released nearly one year ago while today we have the first point release for this once very active open-source DVR/PVR software for HTPCs.

Olimex spins open source Allwinner A64 based laptop kit

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Linux
OSS

Olimex unveiled an open source, Linux-driven “Teres I” laptop with an 11.6-inch display, an Allwinner A64, 1GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, WiFi, and modular I/O boards.

Olimex, which is known for its open spec, Allwinner A20 and A33 based OlinuXino hacker boards, has now taken on the quad-core, Cortex-A53 Allwinner A64 SoC. Yet, instead of releasing another SBC, it is delivering an entire open source laptop built around the SoC. The Teres I laptop, which will soon be available in kit form for 225 Euros ($242), is the first of several developer-oriented open source Linux laptops from Olimex based on a variety of SoCs.

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Dedicated engineering team in South Africa deploys open source tools, save lives

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OSS

In 2006, a groundbreaking TED talk used statistics to reveal surprising insights about the developing world, including how many people in South Africa have HIV despite free and available anti-retroviral drugs.

Gustav Praekelt, founder of Praekelt.org, heard this TED talk and began tenaciously calling a local hospital to convince them to start an SMS program that would promote anti-retrovirals. The program that resulted from those calls became txtAlert—a successful and widely recognized mobile health program that dramatically improves medical appointment adherence and creates a free channel for patients to communicate with the hospital.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Google will soon open-source Google Earth Enterprise
  • Google Steers Android Things Toward IoT Implementations

    Google is quickly ramping up its efforts to put the Internet of Things (IoT) and Android on converging paths. In December, Google released the developer preview of Android Things, which is a trimmed down version of Android for smart devices.

  • Chrome on iOS is now open source

    Google’s Chromium project lets developers poke around, test, and modify Google’s open-source browser code. But up until today, Chrome for iOS’s code wasn’t included in the open-source repository. Now, however, the company is making it public. The code wasn’t kept with the rest of the Chromium Project because of how complicated it is to actually get Chrome to run on a mobile Apple device.

  • Open source cloud community condemns President Trump immigration ban

    Tech leaders from several major open source cloud initiatives condemn President Donald Trump's travel ban, and claim it could harm diversity and hinder the tech industry's wider innovation potential

  • Open Source and the Frozen Middle

    If you're like me, a term of art called the "Frozen Middle" meant nothing to you, except perhaps as a substance found inside a Klondike bar. It happens to be a business school term referring to middle management, specifically middle management that is "frozen" or not performing well. I first heard about it through a recent Twitter discussion and then looked up its source. The earliest reference I can find is from a 2005 HBS blog post, and that post references case studies from the automobile industry. I found the term intriguing because I am, in fact, middle management. And I have, as a matter of course, dealt with many many middle managers in the past. Some of those middle managers were exceptional, some were competent, and some were... hey, is that a Klondike bar??? "Great," I can hear you say. "But what does this have to do with Open Source?"

  • Vendors find opportunities, challenges in adopting open source platforms

    The move towards open source has had a somewhat divisive impact on the vendor community, with established telecom suppliers now having to share the attention – and budgets – of operators with new entrants.

    This new rivalry has not gone unnoticed by operators, who have been somewhat critical of the vendor community in terms of providing interoperable platforms that can tie together management of VNFs from various providers.

  • Netflix’s Open Source Orchestrator, Conductor, May Prove the Limits of Ordinary Scalability

    How many times has this happened to you? You’re minding your own business one day, running your international delivery system for high-definition dramatic and comedic video with 16-channel stereo sound on tens of thousands of concurrent channels. Your content suppliers in Tokyo or Copenhagen or wherever, just like every other day, are flooding you with raw or semi-edited video, and are seeking your input on possible edits and scene changes. They’re using an international standard video delivery format created just for this purpose, and maybe you’re the only customer for this format, but that’s never bothered you before.

  • IPv6 for Server Admins and Client Developers by Thiago Macieira, Intel
  • IPv6 for Server Admins and Client Developers

    IPv6 has been around for a long time. The first IPv6 RFC was released more than 20 years ago, and we began exhausting the IPv4 address space in 2011. Thiago Macieira from the Intel Open Source Technology Center began his talk at LinuxCon Europe by saying that he didn’t think he would still need to be talking about this today, and he wished we had already solved this problem. But, many people have not yet made the switch to IPv6, so his talk contained a brief introduction to IPv6 and some of the differences compared to IPv4.

  • Latvia open technology group to announce award

    One of the potential winners is the Latvian National Archive, which was nominated because of its use of open technologies for its online audiovisual archive. Another nominee is the municipality of Ventspils, for its use of open source software on workstations and server hosts, across the administration and in the town’s schools.

    The award ceremony is part of LATA’s Open Technology for Growth conference at the Latvian University of Natural Sciences in Riga.

  • Book review: Ours to Hack and to Own

    Where open source fits in

    At or near the core of any platform cooperative lies open source; not necessarily open source technologies, but the principles and the ethos that underlie open source—openness, transparency, cooperation, collaboration, and sharing.

  • Supporting children in doing data science

    As children use digital media to learn and socialize, others are collecting and analyzing data about these activities. In school and at play, these children find that they are the subjects of data science. As believers in the power of data analysis, we believe that this approach falls short of data science’s potential to promote innovation, learning, and power.

    Motivated by this fact, we have been working over the last three years as part of a team at the MIT Media Lab and the University of Washington to design and build a system that attempts to support an alternative vision: children as data scientists. The system we have built is described in a new paper—Scratch Community Blocks: Supporting Children as Data Scientists—that will be published in the proceedings of CHI 2017.

  • Supporting children in doing data science

    Motivated by this fact, we have been working over the last three years as part of a team at the MIT Media Lab and the University of Washington to design and build a system that attempts to support an alternative vision: children as data scientists. The system we have built is described in a new paper—Scratch Community Blocks: Supporting Children as Data Scientists—that will be published in the proceedings of CHI 2017.

  • Building a Sustainable, Open-Source Platform for Language Learning

    Learning a language is a challenging endeavor. Digital technologies have been developed over the last several decades to aid the process, ranging from (probably) familiar platforms like Rosetta Stone to immersive virtual environments.

    In recent years, the web and mobile app Duolingo has risen to prominence by developing a novel learning model that focuses on maximizing user engagement. While Duolingo is free to use, it is not “open” in the sense that it can broadly invite users to collaborate and contribute. Duolingo learning features come and go, as the company determines what works best for the majority of users and supports financial growth.

Open source GIS in Italian public administration

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OSS

The Italian Association for Free Software Geographic Information Systems (GFOSS.it) is conducting a survey to collect information about the use of this kind of software in Italy’s public sector. The results will be made public at the GFOSS.it meeting, in Genoa from 8 to 11 February.

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Red Hat News

Leftovers: Ubuntu

Linux Devices

  • AsteroidOS 1.0 Alpha on the Asus Zenwatch 3
    In a previous article, I published a small userspace image and Linux kernel for the Zenwatch 3 that enables root access with SSH over USB on the watch. By now, I reached my initial goal to get AsteroidOS, the alternative Android Wear operating system, running on the Zenwatch 3. Similar to SailfishOS and Ubuntu Touch, AsteroidOS uses the original Android kernel - a patched Linux kernel - with a GNU/Linux userspace that, in turn, also uses some of the original, closed-source Android libraries to access certain hardware like the GPU. As the Android libraries expect a different software ecosystem, e.g., a different C library called bionic, we cannot simply call the Android libraries from within a common GNU/Linux application. Instead, we need an additional software layer that translates between the Android and the common GNU/Linux world. This layer is called libhybris.
  • How Ironic: Harman Kardon’s Microsoft Cortana Speaker Is Powered by Linux
    Harman Kardon, the company recently acquired by Samsung, has developed its very own Cortana speaker, which is very similar to the Amazon Echo but featuring Microsoft’s famous digital assistant. And since Cortana is the key feature of this little device, it only makes sense for Harman Kardon to turn to Windows 10 to power the device. And yet, it looks like the so-called Harman Kardon is actually running Linux.
  • MontaVista® Launches Carrier Grade eXpress®(CGX) 2.2 Linux® for 5G and IoT at MWC 2017
  • The Numbers Article for Mobile in 2017 - All the Statistics You Could Ask For
    Mobile is the hottest industry. Banking and payments are rushing to mobile. Governments doing healthcare and education with mobile. Travel from airlines to taxis to trains and busses to hotel bookings is going mobile. Your driver's licence is migrating to the mobile phone as are your keys to your home. And all the other big tech stories from Internet of Things (IoT) to 'Big Data' analytics to Cloud computing - are all dependent on mobile. And next week we have the massive industry event in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress. My brand new TomiAhonen Almanac 2017 is now finished and is released today. So this is the perfect time to do my annual 'State of Mobile' blog of the major statistics. What are the big numbers. Lets start with reach. Yes, mobile is by far the most widely-spread communication technology humankind has ever witnessed.
  • Tizen Store Expands Its Service Coverage to 222 Countries
    The Tizen Store, as the name suggests, is the Tizen Application Store for developers to publish their free and paid for Tizen apps. In April 2015, we saw the store expand it’s coverage to include 182 countries, which was mainly for FREE apps, but we saw this as setting the foundation for providing paid for apps further down the road.

Android Leftovers