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OSS

Creating affordable solutions with open source tools

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OSS

Open source is often the heart of many civic technology solutions because using open source leverages the minds of many. Small web solution providers, in particular, often turn to open source as a way to deliver services without having to reinvent the wheel. I recently found out about Digital Deployment, a civic web solution provider in Sacramento, that leverages open source, and so I asked them to share their story with me. I chatted on the phone with Chief Operating Officer Sloane Dell'Orto and Lead Software Engineer Dennis Stevense.

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10 reasons you should use LibreOffice and not Microsoft Word

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LibO
Microsoft
OSS

The Document Foundation just released version 5.2 of its fully open source office suite LibreOffice. This release brings many new features and UI improvements. When I got the press release, I started updating LibreOffice on my MacBook. But here's the thing: I'm also a user of Microsoft Word.

That made me pause and consider why I use LibreOffice when I am forking over $99 a year to Microsoft. The flash of introspection surprised me. I'm an unabashed open source and Linux fan, but I am kind of agnostic when it comes to the tools I use. I use what works for me. So I reached out to my followers on Google+ and Facebook to learn about their reasons for using LibreOffice.

Here are some of the many reasons why people, myself included, love LibreOffice.

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Valve is open-sourcing HTC Vive's room-scale tracking tech

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Google
OSS

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Open source reshaping vendor business models – Wikibon

    A new trend among enterprises to make open source software a priority in their criteria for new infrastructure and application use will impact venture capital investments, startups, established IT vendors and cloud providers, writes Wikibon Lead Cloud Analyst Brian Gracely in “Open Source Software: Reshaping Vendor Business Models” on Wikibon.com. In this second part of Gracely’s examination of the impacts of open source, he looks at all four of these aspects of the vendor ecosystem.

    Open source companies, with the exception of Red Hat Inc., have struggled to achieve profitability, making venture capitalists less willing to invest in them. Open source-centric startups that already have achieved their initial funding now must find a way to monetize the business as they approach new funding rounds. An increasing number of established IT providers are becoming heavily involved in open source, while their proprietary solutions face increasing pricing pressure from open source competition.

  • Broadband Forum backs open source SDN

    There has been a stand-off brewing between the Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) and OpenDaylight – two open source software defined networking (SDN) platforms pushing for network transformation at a massive scale – attracting membership signatures of operators hungry for next generation broadband services.

    Adding to its growing list of supporters, ON.Lab has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Broadband Forum to extend its collaborative work to the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) Project community – an open source reference implementation combining SDN and NFV to bring datacenter economics and cloud agility to the Telco Central Office.

  • Open Source OVN to Offer Solid Virtual Networking For OpenStack

    Open Virtual Networking (OVN) is a new open source project that brings virtual networking to the Open vSwitch user community and aims to develop a single, standard, vendor-neutral protocol for the virtualization of network switching functions. In their upcoming talk at LinuxCon North America in Toronto this month, Kyle Mestery of IBM and Justin Pettit of VMware will cover the current status of the OVN project, including the first software release planned for this fall. Here, Mestery and Pettit discuss the project and its goals and give us a preview of their talk, “OVN: Scalable Virtual Networking for Open vSwitch."

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • FCC Demands TP-Link Support Open Source Third-Party Firmware On Its Routers
  • 10 skills to land your open source dream job

    In 2014, my colleague Jason Hibbets wrote up a great article based on an excellent talk from Mark Atwood on the skills necessary to get a job with open source.

  • Which open source job skill is most in demand?
  • When Slashdot Was the Hub for FOSS News and Discussion

    Starting in the last years of the last century, when Linux and free software were first making their mark on the world, a website called Slashdot was the king-hell news and discussion site for such things, along with a variety of other topics that interested the kind of people you might meet at a LUG meeting or in the CS department of your local university. The original Slashdot tagline (no longer visible on the site) was “News for nerds, stuff that matters.” And one of the people who worked on Slashdot during those heady days was Timothy Lord, who is such a devout Linux person that he has a Tux tattoo (which we forgot to have him show in the video, darn it).

    FOSS was not the only news that interested nerds, and other stuff mattered, too, as the extensive Wikipedia Slashdot page explains. So let us go then, you and I, while FOSS Force is spread out, Prufrock-like, upon the monitor, to a distant land and time, with Timothy — and learn how things were in the days of yore, when Linux was still unknown to the masses and the people who cared about it, and about FOSS in general, were an interesting bunch we shall politely not call weirdos since many of them became our good friends over the years. But normal they were not, which was a large part of their charm — and what gave Slashdot its unique flavor.

Making the switch to open source as a non-programmer

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GNU
Linux
OSS

This was sometime around 2008. I wasn't even 20 years old. I didn't know how to code (apart from basic HTML stuff), nor did I have any particular tech skills. However, I was part of a community radio station that was embedded in an open source culture. After a full year as a member of that community, I decided it was time to fully convert and decided to install a Linux-based OS on my first ever laptop.

My friends (and engineers-in-the-making) at Radio Zero were split between the recommended distributions, with some leaning towards Debian and others towards Ubuntu. After carefully listening to pros and cons and asking many times about whether I'd be able to actually work with any of them, I decided to go with Ubuntu.

I was determined to install an open source OS on my computer regardless of my Dad's* warnings about possible compatibility issues. Despite not being a programmer, or anything even remotely related, I was incredibly excited about what Linux had to offer. The promise of an operating system that was designed and developed with accessibility for all in mind, that you can tweak and improve as you please, and that is developed by and for the community sounded like a dream coming true. On top of all this, it was free. So, what was there not to like?

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Facebook Nurtures Open Source Projects in Incubator [Ed: framing malicious company as "open"]
  • Black Duck creates Center for Open Source Research & Innovation [Ed:“Center for Open Source Research & Innovation” is just somewhat of a think tank/proxy of Microsoft friends]
  • Black Duck Adds HPE Security Fortify to Its Repertoire
  • WebRender2 Lands In The Servo Browser Engine
  • Brendan Eich's Innovative Brave Browser Gets Funding

    Brendan Eich, formerly CEO of Mozilla, has been busy with Brave Software and the new Brave browser, which is getting a lot of notice as an open source browser that blocks online ads and other trackers. As TechCrunch noted: "Unlike traditional web browsers where ad-blocking takes place via a third-party add-on or extension, Brave’s browser has this technology built in, claiming not only to offer users more privacy, but also increased speed and performance – especially when surfing the mobile web."

    It's also significant that the Brave browser is a blockchain-enabled browser with hardened security, enhanced speed and micropayment capabilities. Now, Brave Software has announced that it has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Investors in the round include Founders Fund’s FF Angel, Propel Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital, and Digital Currency Group.

  • Patreon

    I've been funded for two years by the DataLad project to work on git-annex. This has been a super excellent gig; they provided funding and feedback on ways git-annex could be improved, and I had a large amount of flexability to decide what to work on in git-annex. Also plenty of spare time to work on new projects like propellor, concurrent-output, and scroll. It was an awesome way to spend the last two years of my twenty years of free software.

  • Poland to boost sharing and reuse of software

    Poland’s Ministry of Digital Affairs is nudging the country’s public administrations to share and reuse ICT solutions. In July the ministry published draft clauses for contracts and procurement, asking citizens to comment. The clauses do not explicitly stipulate the use of free and open source software licences. However, the ministry emphasises that when developing software, public administrations should own the code and have the right to share and redistribute it.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Why open sourcing your software is a smart business decision

    Proprietary software developers beware: open source has become mainstream with non-tech brands like Nike rushing to prove their open source credentials by publishing open source projects and sharing code on GitHub.

    Meanwhile, Facebook has just open sourced the spec for Surround 360, its 3D-360 hardware and software video capture system. It is therefore a small surprise that the 2016 annual ‘Future of Open Source‘ survey revealed that 65% of respondents have increased their use of open source software compared with 60% in 2015.

  • How-to Video Training: Open Source Component Management and Intelligence

    As a developer I am constantly chasing new tools and enjoy learning new things. I read a lot of blog posts, tutorials, and documentation. And, I listen to podcasts and attend webinars as well. More and more I find that watching videos of conference and webinar presentations is great. But even better are shorter, focused videos that give you a chance to quickly learn something new.

  • ownCloud is hiring!

    After the recent news, we are now back on stage and with this blog we want to point you to our open positions. Yes, we are hiring people to work on ownCloud. ownCloud is an open source project, yes, but ownCloud GmbH, the company behind the project, provides significant people’s power to expand the project to serve the needs for both the community and ownCloud GmbH’s customers. So if you ever dreamed of getting paid for work on open source, read on.

  • Enterprises increasingly joining open source ecosystem – Wikibon

    A new wave of open source participation is growing among large traditional enterprises not normally considered technology developers, writes Wikibon Lead Cloud Analyst Brian Gracely. Companies like Capital One Financial Corp., Nike Inc., Deere & Co. and General Electric Co. are joining open source consortia both as users of and contributors to major initiatives.

    They are doing this for the same basic reason that IT vendors such as IBM, Google and Intel have become major drivers of Apache open source projects – it allows them to participate with outside teams on developing software they need, creating better solutions to their needs faster and at less cost.

  • Comma.ai open-sources the data it used for its first successful driverless trips

    Comma.ai, the startup that George Hotz (aka Geohotz) founded to show that making driverless vehicles could done relatively cheaply using off-the-shelf components and existing vehicles, has open-sourced a dataset of 7.25 hours of highway driving.

    It might not seem like a lot, but in terms of comparative datasets for highway driving out there, it is. And it’s what Hotz used to build the initial successful self-driving demo used to ferry Bloomberg around for comma.ai’s big public debut.

    “When I started this project, I didn’t want to have to put things in cars – I just wanted to play with the machine learning,” explained Hotz in an interview. “But I looked around and there was no good source of data to do that.”

  • comma.ai releases 7 hours of self-driving car data, calls for Tesla, Google and others to do the same

    comma.ai CEO George Hotz recently praised Tesla, Google and Otto for being fairly opened about their self-driving car programs, but he is taking his own company a step further in openness with the release of a dataset of 7.25 hours of comma.ai’s prototype at work.

    We’ve often discussed at Electrek how data will be extremely important in the race to create a fully self-driving car, and also in the race to get such a system approved by regulators, which is why comma.ai’s move here is particularly interesting.

    Back in May, we talked about Tesla adding an impressive ~1 million miles of data every 10 hours due to its important fleet of about 100,000 cars equipped with Autopilot sensors. On the other hand, Google has just over 1 million miles of data since launching its program in 2009 due to its smaller fleet, but it’s arguably collecting more data per mile due to using more sensors than Tesla.

7 Essential Open Source DevOps Projects

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OSS

This is very short list of projects in the DevOps space; many other projects are available, with each one catering to a certain use case. What’s most impressive is that all of these projects are fully open sourced. It’s more or less become a phenomenon. The success of the Linux development model has made even hard-core proprietary companies comfortable with the idea of open sourcing such projects.

When you talk about the DevOps movement, open source is the de facto development model. It has become so commonplace that no one even really mentions it. We have started to take it for granted that “it has to be open source.”

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More in Tux Machines

Salix 14.2 Xfce Edition Officially Released Based on Slackware 14.2, Xfce 4.12

After being in development for the past three months, the Salix 14.2 Xfce Edition operating system has finally hit the stable channels, and it is now available for download. Based on the Slackware 14.2 GNU/Linux distribution and built around the lightweight and highly customizable Xfce 4.12 desktop environment, Salix 14.2 Xfce Edition ships with numerous improvements and new features that some of you who managed to test-drive the Beta and Release Candidate pre-releases are already accustomed with. Of course, many of the core components and default applications have been updated to their latest versions. Read more

Leftovers: Security

  • Tor 0.2.8.7 Addresses Important Bug Related to ReachableAddresses Option
    The Tor Project, through Nick Mathewson, is pleased to inform the Tor community about the release and general availability of yet another maintenance update to the Tor 0.2.8 stable series.
  • Emergency Service Window for Kolab Now
    We’re going to need to free up a hypervisor and put its load on other hypervisors, in order to pull out the one hypervisor and have some of its faulty hardware replaced — but there’s two problems; The hypervisor to free up has asserted required CPU capabilities most of the eligible targets do not have — this prevents a migration that does not involve a shut down, reconfiguration, and restart of the guest.

TheSSS 19.0 Linux Server Out with Kernel 4.4.14, Apache 2.4.23 & MariaDB 10.1.16

TheSSS (The Smallest Server Suite) is one of the lightest Linux kernel-based operating systems designed to be used as an all-around server for home users, as well as small- and medium-sized businesses looking for a quick and painless way of distributing files across networks or to simply test some web-based software. Read more

GNOME Control Center 3.22 to Update the Keyboard Settings, Improve Networking

The upcoming GNOME 3.22 desktop environment is still in the works, and a first Beta build was seeded to public beta testers last week, bringing multiple enhancements and new features to most of its core components and apps. While GNOME 3.22 Beta was announced on August 22, it appears that the maintainers of certain core packages needed a little more time to work on various improvements and polish their applications before they were suitable for public testing. And this is the case of GNOME Control Center, which was recently updated to version 3.21.90, which means 3.22 Beta. Read more