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DISA looks to open source to squash cyber bugs, reorganizes its data centers

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As part of the response to two massive data breaches involving systems at the Office of Personnel Management, the federal government decided to put the Defense Department in charge of building a new information technology backbone to house and process all of the data involved in security clearance investigations, one that would be safer from foreign attacks.

As one way to achieve that goal, the Defense Information Systems Agency, the lead agency in charge of the IT development, is considering opening up the National Background Investigation System’s underlying source code to the general public as soon as it’s fully baked. The theory is that it’s far better for white-hat hackers to find and help squash security bugs before the new system comes online than for bad-guy hackers to discover and make use of them to steal yet another batch of data.

Maj. Gen. Sarah Zabel, DISA’s vice director, said the idea was first proposed to her agency by the Defense Digital Service.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • Workload reference architectures address requirements for deploying OpenStack clouds
  • OpenStack, HPC and public clouds: What’s on the horizon

    Many outsiders probably think that in the world of science and HPC (high performance computing) there’s only room for supercomputers and the magicians who operate them.

    However, while that’s partially true, this area is much closer to the technology as we all know it than one would expect. And nothing proves this better than the fact that the earliest and most prevalent use cases for OpenStack are research and science. (To learn more about them, check out our OpenStack in Science web page.)

    Bringing together a group of technical specialists and researchers to solve the conundrums of how to efficiently use cloud computing technology for workloads, the RCUK Cloud Working Group recently held its second annual workshop in London. The event is an amazing opportunity to bridge the gap between the magicians of science and the magicians of technology to produce better and more efficient solutions by sharing expertise.

  • Pushing the boundaries of OpenStack – Wait, what are they again?

    As a Production Support engineer for many years, I love providing operational support for front- and back-end systems. That love of operations drives me to share knowledge on how you can push the boundaries of OpenStack. To do that, you must first know the boundaries.

  • 11 benefits to running your containers on OpenStack

    Enterprises today must keep up with increasing internal and external customer demand, or die trying.

  • Running containers, reducing complexity, and more OpenStack news
  • Ushering in a bold new era for open science

    Earlier this year, the Montreal Neurological Institute announced an ambitious – and, in many ways, unprecedented – commitment to the principles of open science.

    The Neuro will be eschewing patents for its discoveries and doing all it can to make its research findings – and all the data associated with that research – widely available. While there have been other large-scale open science initiatives – usually involving several partners collaborating in a specific area – the Neuro is the first major research institute of its kind to make such a wide-ranging commitment to open science.

    That commitment just received a huge boost, thanks to a $20-million gift from the Larry and Judy Tanenbaum family. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (BA’94) was on hand at a press conference on Dec. 16 to announce the launch of the Neuro’s new Tanenbaum Open Science Institute. “This is a catalyst,” says Neuro director Guy Rouleau of the Tanenbaum gift. “This is really going to allow us to get things done.”

  • McGill Neurology will no longer patent researchers' findings, instead everything will be open access

    The Neurological Institute at Montreal's McGill University is host to the "Tanenbaum Open Science Institute," endowed by a $20M contribution; since last spring, the unit has pursued an ambitious open science agenda that includes open access publication of all research data and findings, and an end to the practice of patenting the university's findings. Instead, they will all be patent-free and usable by anyone.

  • Using Blender and Python to 3D print a dress

    The opening ceremony at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio featured snowboarder Amy Purdy wearing a 3D printed dress, wearing prosthetics printed from the same material as the dress, and dancing with a Kuka robotic arm.

    The dance was a statement about the merging of the human spirit and technology. "The backstory, which mainstream media passed over, was the critical role open source software played in the making of the dress: it was created using Blender and Python.

  • RcppArmadillo 0.7.600.1.0
  • The Current State Of OpenMP Offloading In LLVM's Clang, Try It Today With Clang-YKT

    During last month's SuperComputing 2016 conference in Salt Lake City was the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure in HPC workshop being hosted for its third year. The slides from that event were recently made available and one of the talks interesting me the most was about the state of Clang OpenMP offloading, including for GPUs.

5 initiatives that pushed the free software envelope in Europe in 2016

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The public sector tends to lag—some would say drag—behind the private sector when it comes to adopting new technologies. This is also true when it comes to adopting free software: Although companies widely see free technologies as a boon, government organizations often are still locked into proprietary software and work with closed standards.

That said, some countries are making progress moving toward open source technologies.

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Difference Between Linux And BSD | Open Source Operating Systems

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When you start to get out of the Windows ecosystem, the very first thing you see is macOS. But, chances are less that you may go for it, mostly because of the price tag. Moving further, you come across Linux flaunting its open source badge. Most people confuse Linux as an operating system and it has been a topic of controversy for a long time. Thus, some people refer a Linux operating system as GNU/Linux.

Soon, you start realizing how diverse is the Linux ecosystem with numerous Linux distributions and their derivatives. You almost believe that Linux and its family is the representative of the open source community. But there is a lesser-known family of operating systems known as the BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), which also counts as one of the major names in the open source community.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • Haiku OS Makes Progress In Booting With UEFI

    The BeOS-compatible Haiku operating system continues working on a big feature not present during the original BeOS days: UEFI.

    A few weeks back we wrote about Haiku OS working on UEFI support and in the time since they've made steady progress on supporting this standard. Haiku with QEMU can now boot all the way to the desktop using UEFI. But when it comes to using real hardware, such as a MacBook Air, Haiku can boot with UEFI but then freezes when hitting the desktop. But before they can figure out that situation, they need to add serial debugging support to be able to figure out what's happening.

    In addition to serial debugging support, they are also planning to expand the disk system support and other enhancements to its UEFI support. They are optimistic they may have UEFI booting in working shape for their upcoming OS beta release.

  • OpenSource 101 Coming to Raleigh, N.C.

    There’s a new open source conference coming to Silicon Valley East. OpenSource 101 will be a single day event held Saturday February 4, 2017 on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The event is being hosted by All Things Open, the organization behind the four-year-old All Things Open conference that’s held every October in downtown Raleigh.

    While All Things Open is one of the largest open source conferences in the country — this year’s event was attended by 2,400 — OpenSource 101 will be downsized by design, with attendance precapped at 500. That’s probably due to seating limitations at the university’s McKimmon Center where the event will take place. According to an email sent Wednesday, OpenSource 101 grew out of “the incredible demand we’ve seen for 101/Introductory level open source education” at this year’s ATO, where an introductory track was called “101.”

  • Top 7 Videos from ApacheCon and Apache Big Data 2016

    It’s been two years since The Linux Foundation forged a partnership with the Apache Software Foundation to become the producer of their official ASF events. This year, ApacheCon and Apache Big Data continued to grow and gain momentum as the place to share knowledge, ideas, best practices and creativity with the rest of the Apache open source community.

  • Databricks Sparks Growth with $60M Series C

    Apache Spark has become a core element of the modern data analytics stack

    Databricks announced on December 15 that it has raised $60 million in Series C funding to help grow it commercial aspirations in support of the open-source Apache Spark project. To date, Databricks has raised a total of $107.5 million in funding since the company was first created in 2013.

  • watt time is left

    So Apple no longer knows how to make a battery meter. The good news is OpenBSD is still here for all your desktop needs. How does its battery meter work?

    The simplest interface to get battery status info is to run apm. This gives us both percentage and an estimate of time remaining.

  • nanotime 0.0.1: New package for Nanosecond Resolution Time for R
  • OpenID for authentication

    I've just registered on "yet another web site", which meant another scramble for a username that's not already in use, another randomly-generated and highly-unmemorable password, and another email address provided for account recovery in the event that it all goes wrong. Along with my flying car and jetpack, I'd rather hoped the 21st century would bring a better way of managing my identity on the internet; in 2005 it did just that with the release of the OpenID standard for distributed authentication. Sadly, OpenID has remained a fringe player in this field.

Oracle's Ugly Side

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  • Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

    Oracle is massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences – six years after it bought Sun Microsystems.

    A growing number of Oracle customers and partners have been approached by Larry Ellison’s firm, which claims they are out of compliance on Java.

    Oracle bought Java with Sun Microsystems in 2010 but only now is its License Management Services (LMS) division chasing down people for payment, we are told by people familiar with the matter.

    The database giant is understood to have hired 20 individuals globally this year, whose sole job is the pursuit of businesses in breach of their Java licences.

  • MariaDB Releases an Open Source Columnar Storage Engine

    MariaDB Corporation, is launching MariaDB ColumnStore 1.0, an open source columnar storage engine that unites transaction and analytic processing to deliver seamless big data analytics.

    “Providing a single SQL front end for both your OLTP and analytics is valuable and important,” said David Thompson, VP of engineering at MariaDB.

  • MariaDB ColumnStore Adds Simultaneous Analytics, Transactional Processing

    MariaDB has released into general availability ColumnStore 1.0, a storage engine allows users to run analytics and transactional processes simultaneously with a single front end on the MariaDB 10.1 database.

    While the open source community pushed back against the licensing model of MariaDB’s MaxScale database proxy, ColumnStore is open source, licensed under GPLv2.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • RASA NLU gives developers an open source solution for natural language processing

    For better or worse, 2016 was another year of bots. I probably got more pitches for bot startups than anything else. And yet, bots are far from hitting their stride. If we hope to break beyond the rigid functionality of today’s tools, a prerequisite is going to be giving bot developers a bit more open source love.

    RASA NLU, a new open source API from LASTMILE, supports developer’s bot efforts by reducing the barriers to implementing natural language processing. 25 companies have been using RASA NLU in closed beta, but now everyone will be able to access the libraries on Github.

  • An Open Source SDK is About Democratising Viewability: Q&A with Jason Cooper, Integral Ad Science
  • Open source diversity efforts gain momentum in 2016

    If software is pervasive, shouldn't the people building it be from everywhere and represent different voices? The broadly accepted answer is yes, that we need a diverse set of developers and technologists to build the new digital world. Further, when you look at communities that thrive, they are those that evolve and grow and bring in new voices and perspectives. Because much of the software innovation happening today involves open source software, the open source community can be an entry point for new people in technology roles. This means that the open source community must evolve to stay relevant. There has never been a better time for the open source community to welcome new community members from underrepresented groups than now, and the community is rising to the challenge. Efforts to increase diversity in open source are showing results, so let's look at a few examples:


    The Linux Foundation and OpenStack Foundation provide scholarships, travel assistance, training, mentorships, childcare, affinity groups, and more as part of their events and services. (I'm involved in the Linux Foundation-sponsored Women in Open Source events and the Women of OpenStack [WOO] group.) Since the WOO group started in 2014, more women have been attending and speaking at OpenStack-related events and contributing to OpenStack projects. More than 11% of attendees at both LinuxCon North America and OpenStack Summit in Austin in 2016 were women.

  • Docker Delivers Containerd to Open Source Community
  • Docker containerd ups the open source container management ante
  • Julien Nioche on StormCrawler, Open-Source Crawler Pipelines Backed by Apache Storm

    Julien Nioche, director of DigitalPebble, PMC member and committer of the Apache Nutch web crawler project, talks about StormCrawler, a collection of reusable components to build distributed web crawlers based on the streaming framework Apache Storm.

  • OpenStack Education Set to Flourish in 2017

    You've no doubt heard about the shortages in people with deployment and management expertise on the cloud computing and Big Data scenes. There just are not enough skilled workers to go around. The OpenStack Foundation, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and other organizations are now taking some important steps to address the situation.

  • CrateDB 1.0 Delivers New Stable Open-Source Database Option

    The open-source CrateDB database hit a major milestone on December 14 with the debut of its 1.0 release. CrateDB defines itself as a SQL database that enables real-time analytics for machine data applications.

    What is also particularly interesting about CrateDB is that it aims to bring NoSQL type capabilities, including improved performance, to the SQL database model. The structural nature of SQL was originally seen as a hindrance to some, which led to the rise of NoSQL. With CrateDB, there is a distributed SQL query engine as well as columnar field caches that help to provide improved speed.

  • OPNsense 17.1 beta: Images available now !

    With the best wishes for the holiday season attached we hereby humbly present our 17.1-BETA images and thank everyone for their early input, valid questions and generally keeping us on our toes throughout the past months. The next major release features FreeBSD 11.0, the SSH remote installer, new languages Italian and Czech, state-of-the-art HardenedBSD security features, PHP 7.0, native PAM authentication against e.g. 2FA (TOTP), as well a rewritten Nano-style card images that adapt to the media size to name only a few.

  • GDS joins international effort on open source

    The Government signed the Paris Declaration last week at the Open Government Partnership summit, which highlighted the potential for open source to support efforts to reduce corruption by increasing transparency and strengthening governance.

    The agreement involves promoting the transparency and accountability of the relevant code and algorithms “wherever possible and appropriate”.

    The first deliverable of the group is an open source contribution policy template, which is already available in an alpha version on github and will be further developed over the next few months. It has been written by a number of governments and organisations to help those wanting to set up a free/open source software contribution policy, and provides some guidance on best practice and central governance.

  • Dutch political party deploys "remotely controlled Members of Parliament"

    Last week, the Dutch society-driven political movement GeenPeil started its own political party, promising its members direct democracy through what it calls "remotely controlled Members of Parliament". Every week, the party's members will be asked for their opinions in "mini-referenda" on the votes that take place in the Dutch Parliament. Their (anonymous) votes will determine the voting behaviour of the party's Members of Parliament, thereby emulating direct democracy in a representative parliamentary system.

  • Making your own retro keyboard

    We're about a week before Christmas, and I'm going to explain how I created a retro keyboard as a gift to my father, who introduced me to computers when he brought back a Thomson TO7 home, all the way back in 1985.

    The original idea was to use a Thomson computer to fit in a smaller computer, such as a CHIP or Raspberry Pi, but the software update support would have been difficult, the use limited to the builtin programs, and it would have required a separate screen. So I restricted myself to only making a keyboard. It was a big enough task, as we'll see.

FOSS in Telecom

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Cloud Foundry Foundation Gets Google

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Google joins the open source Cloud Foundry Foundation

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Google is joining the Cloud Foundry Foundation as a Gold member. To be fair, this doesn’t necessarily come as a major surprise, especially given that Google recently hired the foundation’s former CEO Sam Ramji.

Other Cloud Foundry Gold-level members include Accenture, Allstate, CenturyLink, Huawai, Phillips and Verizon. It’s worth noting that Google — unlike Cisco, IBM, SAP and others — didn’t opt for the highest level of sponsorship (platinum), though.

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More in Tux Machines

Desktop environments, Cinnamon, and GNOME

  • Desktop environments in my computer
    I started my Linux journey with Gnome, as it was the default desktop environment in RHL. I took some time to find out about KDE. I guess I found out accidentally during re-installation. It used to be fun to have a desktop that looks different, behaves differently than the normal. During the earlier years in college while I was trying to find out more about Linux, using KDE marked me as a Linux expert. I was powered with the right syntax of mount command to mount the windows partitions and the xmms-mp3 rpm. I spent most of my time in the terminal.
  • Revamped Cinnamon Desktop Add-ons Website Is Now Live
    A revamped version of the Cinnamon Spices website is now live, showcasing the latest and most popular add-ons for the Linux Mint desktop.
  • Emoji Picker GNOME Extension
    You folks must think that I’m obsessed with Emoji, but you’d be …No, you’d be absolutely right about that. Actually, I don’t overuse the popular pictorial glyphs that dominate daily communication. But I do appreciate being able to find the one I want to use in a timely manner.

Linux on Servers

  • Who's cashing in on containers? Look to the cloud
    Docker-style containers are so hot they’ve broken the scale ETR uses to measure CIO intent to purchase enterprise technology, registering “the strongest buying intention score ever recorded in [its] six-year history.” While that data is more than a year old, more recent analyses peg Docker adoption up by a factor of 2.6 in 2016 over 2015, yielding a market worth $762 million in 2016, projected to bloat to $2.7 billion by 2020, according to 451 Research.
  • Serverless Computing Is the Stack Reimagined [Ed: Serverless=you have less control over the computer you use. Cloud=you have no ownership of the computer you use. Serverless Cloud=suicide.]
    In Ho's own words, "Serverless computing is the code execution model that the cloud provider abstracts the complexity of managing individual servers." This basically means the provider worries about the servers. You just run your code on them.
  • Docker 1.13 Prunes Containers, Improves Security
    The Docker 1.13 release introduces multiple new commands including prune and squash, which can help containers to use disk space more efficiently. Docker officially announced its 1.13 release on Jan. 19, with new capabilities to help build, manage and secure containers.

Android Leftovers

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