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Openwashing and FUD

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Librem 5 Leads New Wave of Open Source Mobile Linux Contenders

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Just when it seemed that the dream for an open source Linux phone had run its course, several new hardware and software projects have emerged, and some older projects have sought new life as aftermarket replacements. The biggest news in recent weeks was the endorsement by the KDE project and GNOME Foundation for Purism’s new open source Librem 5 phone. Also, Raspberry Pi lovers are anticipating the upcoming Crowd Supply campaign for RPi Zero based ZeroPhone project.

Projects focusing primarily on open source Linux firmware replacements for older Android phones include the Halium OS project, which is setting itself up as sort of a Yocto-style project for standardizing mobile Linux components. There’s also an early-stage PostmarketOS project focused on long lifecycle updates (see farther below).

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Stealth Lobbying Campaign Blamed Elizabeth Warren For 'Socialist Plot' She Had Nothing To Do With

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Oracle, the California-based software company, appears to be behind the lobbying campaign using Warren as its foil. The campaign targeted Warren as the supposed source of a provision added to the National Defense Authorization Act that would encourage the Department of Defense to use open-source software for non-battlefield purposes.

“Open-source software” refers to computer programs for which the source code is both transparent and available for use and reuse by anyone, for any purpose, under the conditions defined by a given license. This is different from the proprietary software often purchased by government agencies, where the agency does not have access to the source code.

For proprietary software, the agency must go back to the company that sold the software and pay for any upgrade, update, patch or fix needed to maintain continued operations. The proprietary model often means that one company has a monopoly on knowledge of military and government systems.

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OSS: NSF, Oath, Vespa and More

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  • Faculty Receive National Science Foundation Grant for Software Research

    “Open source software builds upon itself,” says Randy Bradley, an assistant professor of information systems and supply chain management.

  • Open Sourcing Vespa, Yahoo’s Big Data Processing and Serving Engine

    Ever since we open sourced Hadoop in 2006, Yahoo – and now, Oath – has been committed to opening up its big data infrastructure to the larger developer community. Today, we are taking another major step in this direction by making Vespa, Yahoo's big data processing and serving engine, available as open source on GitHub.

  • Yahoo search secrets unveiled as Vespa tool becomes open source

    Oath, the company born of the Yahoo-AOL merger, releases Vespa data processing engine’s source code.

    Vespa, the tool used to power search on the Yahoo network of sites, was yesterday released on GitHub by Oath for any curious developers or companies to take a look.

    Although Yahoo web search has mostly been powered by Bing in recent years, Vespa technology is used within the network of Oath sites itself, such as Flickr,, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Gemini.

  • Transitions in Leadership

    Serving as president of the Open Source Initiative over the past few years has been a joy and an honor, and if I write a memoir someday I'm sure these will stand out as some of the best and brightest years in a long and happy open source career. It has been a delight to collaborate closely with so many people I admire greatly, including Deb Bryant, Molly de Blanc, Richard Fontana, Leslie Hawthorne, Mike Milinkovich, Simon Phipps, Josh Simmons, Carol Smith, Paul Tagliamonte, Italo Vignoli, and Stefano Zacchiroli.

    I'm incredibly proud of what the organization has accomplished in that time, continuing stewardship of the open source license list, and growing our individual membership and affiliate programs which provide a path for the entire open source community to have a say in the governance of the OSI.


    It gives me great pleasure to share the news that the OSI board has elected Simon Phipps as the next president. Having Simon at the helm will help make the transition particularly easy, since he served as OSI president before me. I've known Simon for many years, long before either of us was involved in the OSI, and one thing that has always impressed me is the way he consistently engages with new ideas, championing the relevance of open source in the ever-changing modern world. He also gave the best talk that I've ever seen explaining the four software freedoms and advocating for software freedom (at a conference in Oslo in 2011).

  • Open source is quietly powering a virtual revolution in some countries

    Sacatepéquez, Guatemala. You won’t find the village of El Rosario and its corrugated iron and breeze-block houses on any printed map. Ironically, you can find El Rosario on Google Maps but the village itself doesn’t have internet access. Such a luxury is a number of bus rides away and not a journey you’d want a child to take alone.

    Reducing the educational limitations for kids who grow up in places like El Rosario requires breaking vicious cycles that are generations-old: “The kids that don’t finish primary school end up working in the fields with their fathers,” says Sandra Castro, a teacher at the local school, Escuela Nacional El Rosario. “Our desire is to change that.”

    One non-profit educational technology organisation that’s helping to effect that change in El Rosario and all over the world is Learning Equality. It’s an organisation that uses open source software and low-cost hardware to bring quality education to offline communities in the remotest parts of the world – and it’s gearing up to release its second-generation educational platform, called Kolibri.

  • Nokia first to contribute open source software to accelerate adoption of software-defined fixed access networks [Ed: start by ending patent aggression]
  • FSF Blogs: Friday Free Software "New Friends" Directory IRC meetup: September 29th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC

    Tens of thousands of people visit each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers. When a user comes to the Directory, they know that everything in it is free software, has only free dependencies, and runs on a free OS. With almost 16,000 entries, it is a massive repository of information about free software.

  • New Joinup version removes complexities

    Making it easier for users to find what they are looking for, that is a key feature of next weeks’ update of Joinup, the European Commission’s collaboration platform for digital government professionals.

  • Open Source Plan for a Modular Urban Gardening Structure Offers a Flexible Design for Locally Grown Food

    As a response to the fast-paced city life, GrowMore is an urban gardening modular design with endless configurations to suit even the most unexpected of spaces. Designed by Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum, the modular building kit provides an opportunity for social interaction and locally grown vegetation, reminding people to pause and connect with nature.

  • How Open Source is Transforming the Automotive Industry

    One key benefit of open source is its ability to enable rapid innovation. One key benefit of open source is its ability to enable rapid innovation. 

    Collaborating on non-competitive pieces of technology frees up resources, enabling companies to focus more on developing new products and services.

  • A 3-step process for making more transparent decisions

Learning from Scratch: Kids Day at Open Source Summit

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At this year’s Kids Day workshop at Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, The Linux Foundation collaborated with LA to provide kids with an introduction to coding ideas and approaches. The LA MakerSpace is heavily influenced by the maker culture, so they have a very hands-on approach when it comes to teaching coding.

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OSS: Big Data, Yahoo, GZOSP, OpenDaylight, US Government, Facebook's New GraphQL License and Theo de Raadt's Talk

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  • Open-source community pushing big data into AI realm

    What’s the surest way to advance a technology in a short time? Give it away — to an open-source community. Seminal big data software library Apache Hadoop gained momentum in open source, and today, most disruptive big data development is springing from open source as well.

  • Yahoo! search! results!, recommendations!, ad! flinging! code! is! now! open! source!

    Oath, the Verizon-owned parent of Yahoo!, has forsworn control of Yahoo!'s search code, known as Vespa, and turned it into an open-source project.

    Having nothing at all to do with scooters, the software provides a way to query structured and unstructured data, to organize and rank results, and to write data at scale. It's a system for running computations on large data sets in real-time.

  • The Ground Zero Open Source Project (GZOSP): an Android Oreo Base for Custom ROM Development

    Ground Zero ROMs, the ROM development team that brought us the popular custom ROMs Tesla, Tipsy, and Validus, has provided a central Android Oreo repository from which custom ROMs can be built without having to start from scratch (meaning straight from AOSP). The idea of the Ground Zero Open Source Project (GZOSP) is to give custom ROM builders a better starting point with both the necessary AOSP code and the CAF (Code Aurora Forum, Qualcomm’s own repository which is useful for non-Nexus devices with Snapdragon SoCs) code to build for a wide variety of devices.


  • OpenDaylight Nitrogen Released Providing SDN Modularity

    Nitrogen is the seventh major release from OpenDaylight and follows the Carbon release that debutedin June 2017. OpenDaylight first started in April 2013 as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, with the goal of building an open SDN platform.

    OpenDaylight Nitrogen had the shortest release cycle of any OpenDaylight release, as part of an effort to better synchronize with OpenStack, OPNFV and ONAP networking efforts.

  • Open source and the public sector

    The U.S. government continues to devote resources to advancing the country’s technology by utilizing a mixture of “proprietary, open source, and mixed source code” when building out federal solutions, according to the Federal Source Code Policy.

    In 2016, the government launched and with it, a pilot program that required agencies to release at least 20 percent of new custom-developed code as open-source software. The website is a platform built to “support reuse and public access to custom-developed Federal source code” and houses code from 25 separate agencies.

    This strategic move originally began in 2014, when the White House launched the U.S. Digital Service as part of its mission to improve public sector technology. The group's Digital Services Playbook outlined how to manage and improve all publicly facing digital services and stressed the importance of adhering to these guidelines if contributing to the public sector.

  • Open Source Pioneer Bruce Perens: Facebook's New GraphQL License Too Restrictive

    Less than a week ago, I published an opinion that the uncertainty around Facebook's plans for licensing the GraphQL API specfication meant it was time to halt all GraphQL API development until Facebook was more forthcoming about its intentions. That analysis was published in the wake of some significant controversy surrounding Facebook's choice to license its React framework using a license called BSD+Patents. There is a BSD+Patents license listed as one of the official open source licenses that's endorsed by the Open Source Initiative. However, Facebook's patent grant that went with the license was deemed to be too restrictive such that two influenctial members of the open source community -- the Apache Software Foundation and Wordpress founer Matt Mullengweg -- openly rejected it.


    However not everyone agrees and one person who says that the OWFa 1.0 license is still too restrictive when it comes to adopting GraphQL is Bruce Perens, one of the co-founders of the open source software movement and the original author of the official open source definition. In my interview of Perens, he points out that there's a proviso in section 8.6 that deems implementations of GraphQL as compliant "so long as all required portions of the Specification are implemented." In other words, if you find something in the specification that you don't need for your implementation and you leave it out, you've also lost your license to use the spec. According to Perens, there's a "middle ground" that Facebook should try instead. I've reached out to Facebook and am still awaiting comment. In the mean time, watch the interview, or, if you prefer, you can listen to or download the audio version as well.

  • Theo de Raadt on pledge(2) at EuroBSDCon 2017

9 open source license management rules for startups

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Open source software can be a double-edged sword for startups. It can be a startup's lifeblood, because it helps you innovate rapidly without starting from scratch. But, as they say, open source software is free like a puppy is free: The true cost of open source software is obeying open source licenses.

Misuse of open source software can delay or derail investment and corporate exit opportunities. But you can easily comply with open source licenses if you follow these simple rules.

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FOSS in Government: Europe and the US

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  • Italy organises digital transformation hackathon

    On 7 and 8 October, Italy’s governmental Digital Transformation Team is organising a country-wide hackathon, inviting software developers, IT experts and students to help make public-sector software more accessible and easier to use. The developer meetings are scheduled to take place in 25 cities across Italy.

  • PostgreSQL, open source software bringing security, innovation, performance and savings

    Federal agencies continue to be caught between the need to innovate and reduce costs, all while maintaining performance and strong security. This conundrum has driven the adoption of open source software in government, which not only saves money for the government, but also offers more reliability and agility – and better security.

  • EC to launch new Joinup version next week

    Joinup, developed under the Commission’s ISA² Programme, offers access to more than 2800 interoperability solutions for public administrations. This includes solutions available in the collections of more than 40 standardisation bodies, public administrations and open source software repositories. The platform makes it possible for public services and the private sector to work together on IT solutions. In addition, the Joinup portal helps eGovernment professionals exchange best practices, and aggregates news, studies and benchmarks on government digitisation in the 28 EU Member States and 4 EFTA countries.

OSS: Oath, TODO, Free and Open Source Software History, Bossies 2017, Seahorse and APIStrat

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  • Verizon's Oath Open Sources Yahoo's Vespa Search Technology

    Oath, the Verizon division that combines AOL and Yahoo, has released source code from Vespa, a tool acquired by Yahoo with the acquisition of the search engine AlltheWeb. The technology crunches data and is used to power Yahoo search services. The idea is to build out a network of developers to use the technology.

  • Yahoo open-sources Vespa, its most important software release since Hadoop

    Oath, the subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc. that was created when the company acquired Yahoo Inc. earlier this year, said today it’s open-sourcing some of its most important internal software for executing web searches and generating recommendations and targeted advertisements.

    The software is called Vespa, and Oath said it’s used to tackle the tricky problem of deciding what to show users in response to input such as text typed into a search box. Oath said it actually uses Vespa to power more than 150 applications, including its popular photography website, Yahoo Mail and some aspects of the Yahoo search engine, such as local results, answers to questions and image searches. Vespa also powers Yahoo’s advertising, handling more than 3 billion native ad requests every day.

  • Don’t Miss These Free Guides to Running a Successful Open Source Program

    At organizations of all types, launching and maintaining successful open source programs has become a business priority. A strong open source program office helps to ensure that open source is supported, nurtured, shared, explained, and leveraged. With such an office, organizations can establish and execute on their open source strategies in clear terms.

    With all this in mind, The Linux Foundation and The TODO Group (Talk Openly Develop Openly) have published a free collection of detailed open source guides to aid companies developing open source programs. The guides are available to you now, and this is the first in a series of articles that can introduce you to the value of the guides.

  • 7 Heated Debates from Free and Open Source Software History

    Unix was born in 1969 as an operating system that its owner, AT&T, could not sell for profit. That changed in the early 1980s, when AT&T received permission to commercialize Unix.

  • Bossies 2017: The Best of Open Source Software Awards

    Open source software isn’t what it used to be. The term used to conjure images of the lone developer, working into the night and through weekends, banging out line after line of code to scratch a personal itch or realize a personal vision. But with each passing year—and every new survey of the open source landscape we call our Best of Open Source Software Awards, or Bossies—those images of the lone visionary get a little hazier.

  • Seahorse Goes Open Source! Data Analysts Can Get More from the Free BI Tool Powered by Apache Spark

    Piotr Niedźwiedź,'s CTO and co-founder, explains, "Seahorse hit 10,000 users this year and the number is still growing. From the beginning, we made the tool highly accessible for everyone, offering it at no cost and easy to download in two versions. Now we're ready to make it fully open."

  • APIStrat Conference Workshops Cover API Integration, Security, Testing, and More

    The API Strategy & Practice conference (APIStrat) – taking place Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in Portland – features three days of technical sessions, keynotes, and more, including several workshops providing hands-on learning opportunities. These sessions cover topics such as RESTful API integration, OpenID Connect, API security, and REST API testing.

FUD and Openwashing

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Ubuntu 17.10 Launches Tomorrow with GNOME 3.26, but You Can Still Use Unity

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Trying Out System76's Pop!_OS Ubuntu-Based Operating System

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