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Five Ways Open Source Software Can Benefit MSPs

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Linux
OSS

You know open source software, like Linux, is popular with geeks and enterprises. But do you know how it can help your managed services business? Here are five ways open source benefits MSPs.

For the uninitiated, here's a quick definition of open source: Open source software means programs whose source code is freely shared and can be viewed by anyone. Access to source code facilitates modification of the programs and provides users with other freedoms not available from closed-source software.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Ford and Toyota release open source tools for in-car apps
  • Ford, Toyota back open-source platform for in-car apps
  • A consortium forms for “open source” vehicle software
  • What storytellers can teach open leaders
  • 5 Ways to Be Successful with Open-Source Software: Hadoop Creator Doug Cutting’s Advice for 2017

    Because of my long-standing association with the Apache Software Foundation, I’m often asked the question, “What’s next for open source technology?” My typical response is variations of “I don’t know” to “the possibilities are endless.”

    Over the past year, we’ve seen open source technology make strong inroads into the mainstream of enterprise technology. Who would have thought that my work on Hadoop ten years ago would impact so many industries – from manufacturing to telecom to finance. They have all taken hold of the powers of the open source ecosystem not only to improve the customer experience, become more innovative and grow the bottom line, but also to support work toward the greater good of society through genomic research, precision medicine and programs to stop human trafficking, as just a few examples.

    Below I’ve listed five tips for folks who are curious about how to begin working with open source and what to expect from the ever-changing ecosystem.

  • 10 steps to innersource in your organization in 2017

    In recent years, an increasing number of organizations, often non-technology companies, have kept a keen eye on open source. Although they may be unable to use open source to the fullest extent in their products and services, they are interested in bringing the principles of open source within the walls of their organization. This "innersource" concept can provide a number of organizational benefits.

    As a consultant who helps build both internal and external communities in companies, I find the major challenge facing organizations is how to put an innersource program in place, deploy resources effectively, and build growth in the program.

  • The 10 Coolest Open Source Products Of 2016

    In 2016, open source products were front-and-center. A number of new offerings in containers, networking, storage and other major areas were among those that debuted during the year.

    During the Red Hat Summit in June – where the theme was "The Power of Participation" – Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst described the open source movement this way: "Our ability to harness and distill the best ideas will determine human progress for the next century … Our future depends on participation."

    Here are the 10 coolest open-source products we've tracked in 2016.

  • Open Source is Helping to Drive the Artificial Intelligence Renaissance

    We're only a few days into 2017, and it's already clear that one of the biggest tech categories of this year will be artificial intelligence. The good news is that open source AI tools are proliferating and making it easy for organizations to leverage them. AI is also driving acquisitions. As Computerworld is reporting, in the past year, at least 20 artificial intelligence companies have been acquired, according to CB Insights, a market analysis firm.

    MIT Technology Review is out with its five big predictions for AI this year. Here is a bit on what they expect, and some of the open source AI tools that you should know about.

  • Is Blockchain the Ultimate Open Source Disruptive Technology?

    Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures has been talking a lot about the blockchain recently, so I decided to learn more about it. I read the Marketing the Blockchain e-book, watched The Grand Vision of a Crypto-Tech Economy video and the video keynote of Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne at the Bitcoin 2014 conference, and did some more research on my own. While far from an expert, I do see some interesting similarities to the adoption of open source software. Here’s what I’ve learned — please comment and tell me if I’m wrong:

  • Embracing Failure and Learning from Our Mistakes with Effective Post Mortems by Ilan Rabinovitch
  • Converting Failure to Success Should Be Part of Your Core Process

    Your reviews are definitely not about blame and punishments, but rather "We need to go back and see why was I able to do that, why did I make that mistake, why did I think that was the right actions to take. Put away the pitchforks, it should never be about the blame." Rabinovitch reminds us that "Culture is this idea that we're working together, we're seeing the problem as the enemy, not each other... Sharing this idea that we're going to take our learnings back and help each other be more successful in the future".

  • The FreeBSD 64-bit Base System Can Now Be Linked Using LLD

    LLVM's LLD linker has been making a lot of progress over the past year and now it's hit the milestone of being able to link the entire FreeBSD/amd64 base system.

  • 9 reasons to certify your products as open source hardware

    The Open Source Hardware Association Certification was created in response to an overwhelming demand for a clearer and more transparent method of identifying and marketing open source hardware products. The purpose of this certification is to provide an easy and straightforward way for producers to indicate that their products meet a uniform and well-defined standard for open source compliance, benefiting both creators and users of these products.

  • HDMI 2.1 Announced: Looking Ahead To Dynamic HDR, 8K@60Hz, Variable Refresh Rate

MAME 0.181 Open-Source Arcade Machine Emulator to Support Sega's Altered Beast

Filed under
OSS
Gaming

A new maintenance update of the open-source and multiplatform MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) computer emulator tool landed to kick off 2017, with even more improvements and support for lots of arcade games.

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Toyota and Ford Create Automaker Group to Promote Open Source Smartphone Interfaces

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OSS

Ford and Toyota have formed a four-automaker consortium to speed up the deployment of open source software for connected in-car systems, according to a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday.

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Also: Strange Appfellows: Ford and Toyota Form Open-Source Software Consortium

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Filed under
OSS
  • Open Source: 2017's impetus

    Contrary to popular belief, open source is neither a company nor a product. It is a way of innovating and collaborating to create ground breaking ideas. Today’s most innovative technologies, from the Internet of Things (IoT) to machine learning, are all being driven by open source. All across Asia Pacific, we’re seeing exceptionally strong growth in the open source movement, as the open source ecosystem increasingly plays a key role in offering customers broader choice.

    Open source has the potential to impact people from all strata of society, and significantly enrich the way we live. Growing from just a coding method to a value philosophy, open source is currently being used to drive innovation and solve big national questions in emerging economies across the region. For example, open source has greatly benefited the development of smart city initiatives, such as Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. Without open source, these projects will become beholden to proprietary technology which can potentially hold back progress.

    Aside from that, we have also witnessed many organizations in Singapore being receptive to the idea of embarking on a digital transformation journey by using new ways of developing, delivering and integrating applications as a response to digital disruptions we are seeing across industries.

  • Can Automation Simplify Open Source for the Enterprise?

    An open source environment has long been enticing in theory to the enterprise but rather difficult to implement in practice.

    The idea of compiling your own data environment from legions of low-cost, interoperable components is indeed compelling, particularly when support is lacking from a proprietary vendor. But integration issues and the fairly substantial in-house expertise required to support an open environment are not to be dismissed.

    But that might not be the case for much longer. Along with the increased prevalence of open source solutions in the IT market today, there is also an accelerated trend toward greater automation and intelligent management that just might remove many of the headaches that accompany open architectures.

  • DronePan: An app that captures panorama views with your aircraft

    DronePan is a mobile-based autopilot app for DJI drones that automates the process of shooting aerial imagery for spherical panoramas. Users fly their aircraft to the desired panorama location and then launch DronePan, which temporarily takes control of the aircraft heading and camera angle. After a simple tap or two, DronePan begins shooting 15 to 25 photos automatically with the proper overlap required for an aerial spherical panorama. When the panorama is complete, users resume manual control and can fly to other locations to shoot more panoramas.

    DronePan started as an experiment in early 2015, and it has since gone through countless iterations based on constant testing by the now 30,000-strong user base. It is compatible with most DJI drones, and the most recent project added support for the newly released and ultra-portable drone known as the DJI Mavic.

  • OpenAi and Alphabet Open Up New Artificial Intelligence Tools

    DeepMind, Alphabet's artificial intelligence group, announced announced recently that it is open sourcing DeepMind Lab, its 3D gameified platform for agent-based AI research.

  • What You’ll Learn at Cloud Native/Kubernetes 101 Roadshow: Pacific Northwest!
  • ForgeRock to Demo Identity Management and Automotive Grade Linux Connected Car Implementation During CES 2017
  • Microsoft’s browsers may have hit rock bottom

    Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge browsers may be near the bottom of their unprecedented crash in user share, measurements published Sunday show.

    Analytics vendor Net Applications reported that the user share of IE and Edge -- an estimate of the proportion of the world's personal computer owners who ran those browsers -- dropped by seven-tenths of a percentage point in December, falling to a combined 26.2%.

    That seven-tenths of a point decline was notable because it was less than half that of the browsers' average monthly reductions over the last 12, six and three months, which were 1.9, 1.8 and 1.5 points, respectively. The slowly-shrinking averages over the three different spans supported the idea that IE and Edge may be reaching rock bottom.

  • Jamey Sharp On Whether You Should Translate Your Code To Rust

    Often times whenever mentioning a new security vulnerability in any piece of open-source/Linux software, it generally gets brought up in our forums "they should write that software in Rust" or similar comments about how XYZ project should see a rewrite in Rust for its memory-safety features. But is it really worthwhile porting your codebase to Rust?

    Jamey Sharp, the long-time open-source developer known for his X.Org contributions and recently developing Corrode as a way to translate C code into Rust code, has written a lengthy blog post about the subject of whether it's worth it to translate -- and hopefully with somewhat automated assistance of Corrode -- push your project into Rustlang.

  • GDS pushes open source code to software stage

    Programme will involve selecting code to develop to software in effort to promote reusability

    The Government Digital Service (GDS) has begun to shift its work on open source towards producing more software rather than simply releasing code.

    [...]

    The Government recently stepped up its involvement in the international open source community in signing up to the Paris Declaration as part of the Open Government Partnership. This commits it to promoting the transparency and accountability of the relevant code and algorithms “wherever possible and appropriate”.

  • Are 'open source' seeds necessary for a resilient food system?

    Frank Morton has been breeding lettuce since the 1980s. His company offers 114 varieties, among them Outredgeous, which last year became the first plant that NASA astronauts grew and ate in space.

    For nearly 20 years, Morton’s work was limited only by his imagination and by how many kinds of lettuce he could get his hands on.

    But in the early 2000s, he started noticing more lettuces were patented, meaning he would not be able to use them for breeding. The patents weren’t just for types of lettuce, but specific traits such as resistance to a disease, a particular shade of red or green, or curliness of the leaf.

  • RooBee One Open Source SLA/DLP 3D Printer

    Aldric Negrier, a Portuguese Maker and owner of RepRap Algarve, has unveiled a new SLA/DLP 3D printer he has created in the form of the RooBee One.

    Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the new 3D printer which has been constructed using an aluminium frame that offers an adjustable build volume from 80 x 60 x 200 mm up to a maximum 150 x 105 x 200mm

  • ZigBee's Dotdot language is the latest bid for IoT harmony

    As consumers watch another wave of home IoT devices emerge from CES this week, they’ll still be waiting for one technology that can make all those products work together.

    The ZigBee Alliance, a group of more than 400 companies that make things with the ZigBee wireless protocol, made a bid to provide that unifying technology right before the annual consumer electronics gathering kicks off.

    On Tuesday, ZigBee announced Dotdot, which it calls a universal language for IoT. Even though ZigBee is best known as an open wireless communications protocol used in many home IoT products, Dotdot is intended for use with any wireless technology. It defines things like how devices tell each other what they are and what they can do, which is important for making different objects around a home do things together.

Open Source Software's Top Five Challenges for 2017

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OSS

It's a new year, and open source software is more popular than ever. But the open source community is also confronting a new set of challenges. Here's what open source programmers and companies will need to do to keep thriving in 2017.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Filed under
OSS
  • Tapitoo OpenCart: An open source e-commerce mobile app

    Tapitoo OpenCart is an open source online store app designed to help online stores increase their visibility and make a greater impact in their most competitive markets. We decided to develop and app that can make the integration with the biggest e-commerce backend solutions, as well as with custom stores, as seamless as possible.

    CyberMonday and CyberWeek aside, millions rely on the mobile purchasing channel, a preference that has revolutionized online commerce. Currently, mobile accounts for 40% of all e-commerce revenue and industry experts expect it to grow to 70% in just a few years. Today mobile apps are not just recommended for any e-commerce effort, but they are required for a retailer's survival. According to Google, "Not having a mobile optimized site is like closing your store one day each week."

  • Open Source Enterprise Trends for 2017

    Nothing ever goes completely according to plan. That being said, it's both tempting and necessary at the beginning of the year to look ahead to where things are going. Here's a short list of things to consider as we look at the road ahead for Linux, open source and the enterprise.

  • Circo loco 2017

    Due to popular demand I'm sharing my plans for the upcoming conference season. Here is a list of events I plan to visit and speak at (hopefully). The list will be updated throughout the year so please subscribe to the comments section to receive a notification when that happens! I'm open to meeting new people so ping me for a beer if you are attending some of these events!

  • Firefox's "Delete Node" eliminates pesky content-hiding banners

    It's trendy among web designers today -- the kind who care more about showing ads than about the people reading their pages -- to use fixed banner elements that hide part of the page. In other words, you have a header, some content, and maybe a footer; and when you scroll the content to get to the next page, the header and footer stay in place, meaning that you can only read the few lines sandwiched in between them. But at least you can see the name of the site no matter how far you scroll down in the article! Wouldn't want to forget the site name!

    Worse, many of these sites don't scroll properly. If you Page Down, the content moves a full page up, which means that the top of the new page is now hidden under that fixed banner and you have to scroll back up a few lines to continue reading where you left off. David Pogue wrote about that problem recently and it got a lot of play when Slashdot picked it up: These 18 big websites fail the space-bar scrolling test.

  • Facebook Open Sources Tool to Aid Developers

Ringing in 2017 with 90 hacker-friendly single board computers

Filed under
Android
Linux
OSS

Our New Year’s guide to hacker-friendly single board computers turned up 90 boards, ranging from powerful media playing rigs to power-sipping IoT platforms.

Community backed, open spec single board computers running Linux and Android sit at the intersection between the commercial embedded market and the open source maker community. Hacker boards also play a key role in developing the Internet of Things devices that will increasingly dominate our technology economy in the coming years, from home automation devices to industrial equipment to drones.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Filed under
OSS
  • 3 tips for effectively using wikis for documentation

    Using a wiki for documentation isn't a new idea. Countless open source projects do. If you're looking for a way to write and publish documentation quickly, a wiki can be a viable alternative to the many technical writing tools out there.

  • What is your open source New Year's resolution?
  • Hungary government withdrawing from OGP

    This month, the government of Hungary has sent the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) a letter announcing its immediate withdrawal from the partnership. The move was a response to an invitation by the OGP Criteria and Standards Subcommittee to discuss concerns regarding the deterioration of civil space in Hungary at the OGP Global Summit that took place earlier this month in Paris.

  • Survey: open data already a reality for scientific researchers

    Open data is already a reality for scientific researchers, especially for those in Social Sciences. Researchers are making data openly available and — in turn — are re-using open data from others in their research. For a lot of researchers, a data citation has a much value as an article citation. These are some of the conclusions of a survey of over 2,000 researchers about their attitude and experiences in working with data, sharing it and making it open. The results were published this fall in the Figshare Digital Science Report 'The State of Open Data'.

  • RooBee One, an open-source SLA/DLP 3D printer

    [Aldric Negrier] is no stranger to the 3D printing world. Having built a few already, he designed and built an SLA/DLP 3D printer, named RooBee One, sharing the plans on Instructables. He also published tons of other stuff, like a 3D Printed Syringe Pump Rack and a 3D Scanning Rig And DIY Turntable. It’s really worth while going through his whole Instructables repository.

7 notable legal developments in open source in 2016

Filed under
OSS
Legal

A number of interesting and notable legal developments in open source took place in 2016.

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More in Tux Machines

Canonical Patches Nvidia Graphics Drivers Vulnerability in All Ubuntu Releases

It's time to update your Ubuntu Linux operating system if you have a Nvidia graphics card running the Nvidia Legacy 340 or 304 binary X.Org drivers provided on the official software repositories. Read more

Long-term Embedded Linux Maintenance andd New Device From CompuLab

  • Long-term Embedded Linux Maintenance Made Easier
    The good old days when security breaches only happened to Windows folk are fading fast. Malware hackers and denial of service specialists are increasingly targeting out of date embedded Linux devices, and fixing Linux security vulnerabilities was the topic of several presentations at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) in October. One of the best attended was “Long-Term Maintenance, or How to (Mis-)Manage Embedded Systems for 10+ Years” by Pengutronix kernel hacker Jan Lübbe. After summarizing the growing security threats in embedded Linux, Lübbe laid out a plan to keep long-life devices secure and fully functional. “We need to move to newer, more stable kernels and do continuous maintenance to fix critical vulnerabilities,” said Lübbe. “We need to do the upstreaming and automate processes, and put in place a sustainable workflow. We don’t have any more excuses for leaving systems in the field with outdated software.”
  • CompuLab Has Upgraded Their Small Form Factor "IPC" Line To Kabylake
    HARDWARE -- Our friends and Linux-friendly PC vendor, CompuLab, have announced a new "IPC" line-up of their small form factor computers now with Intel Kabylake processors. In the past on Phoronix we tested CompuLab's Intense-PC (IPC) and then the IPC2 with Haswell processors, among other innovative PCs from CompuLab. Now they are rolling out the IPC3 with Intel's latest Kabylake processors.
  • Fanless mini-PC runs Linux Mint on Kaby Lake
    Compulab launched a rugged “IPC3” mini-PC that runs Linux on dual-core, 7th Gen Core i7/i5 CPUs, and also debuted three GbE-equipped FACE expansion modules. Compulab has opened pre-orders starting at $693 for the first mini-PCs we’ve seen to offer the latest, 14nm-fabricated 7th Generation Intel Core “Kaby Lake” processors. The passively cooled, 190 x 160 x 40mm IPC3 (Intense PC 3), which is available in up to industrial temperature ranges, follows two generations of similarly sized IPC2 mini-PCs. There’s the still available, 4th Gen “Haswell” based IPC2 from 2014 and the apparently discontinued 5th Gen “Broadwell” equipped IPC2 from 2015.
  • Compulab IPC3 is a tiny, fanless PC with Intel Kaby Lake CPU
    Compulab is an Israeli company that makes small, fanless computers for home or commercial use. The company’s latest mini PC aimed at enterprise/industrial usage is called the IPC3, and it has a die-cast aluminum case with built-in heat sinks for passive cooling and measures about 7.4″ x 6.3″ x 1.6″.

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Imperium Galactica II: Alliances released for Linux & SteamOS, seems native too
    Imperium Galactica II: Alliances [GOG, Steam] just released for Linux & SteamOS and it looks like it's a native version. Note: My friends at GOG sent over a copy, so big thanks to them. There's no sign of DOSBox or Wine and I had no idea this game had ever been ported to Linux. Pretty awesome really for a game like this to get a proper Linux build when it gets a new release.
  • Nearly five years after the Kickstarter, Carmageddon still isn’t on Linux despite the stretch goal being reached
    The problem here, for me, is that they later did a revamp of the title called Carmageddon: Max Damage. This was to fix some problems, boost sales again and port it to consoles. Carmageddon: Max Damage also never made it to Linux. Fun fact, they actually released a trailer where they just run over a ton of penguins, make from that what you will: Not saying this was trolling the entire Linux gaming community, but it sure felt like it after their previous trolling attempts directed at our official Twitter account.
  • Valve Rolls Out New Steam Client Stable Update with Promised Linux Changes, More
    Today Valve announced the availability of a new stable update of the Steam Client for all supported platforms, including the company's SteamOS operating system for Steam Machines, as well as GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. Bringing all the new features during the Beta stages of development, the new Steam Client update improves the interaction between the Steam runtime and your GNU/Linux distribution's libraries. This is a huge and long-anticipated milestone for the Steam Client, which, unfortunately, did not work out-of-the-box on all Linux-based operating systems.

Robolinux 8.7.1 Linux OS Is Out and It's Based on Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 "Jessie"

The developers of the Robolinux GNU/Linux distribution have announced today, January 18, 2017, the release and immediate availability of a new stable update based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" operating system series. Still offering a free installer, the Robolinux 8.7.1 "Raptor" edition is now available for download with the usual Cinnamon, MATE 3D, Xfce 3D, and LXDE flavors. It's based on the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 8.7.1 "Jessie" operating system, which means that it ships with its newest Linux 3.16 kernel and over 170 bug fixes and security patches. The GRUB bootloader and login screens have been refreshed too. Read more