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OpenStack: Newton, OpenStack Day, and Contributors

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  • OpenStack Newton promises better resiliency, scalability and security

    OpenStack has released the latest edition of its popular open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud: Newton. With broad industry support from more than 200 vendors — including Cisco, Dell, HP Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware — this version should quickly see wide deployment.

    This release features numerous new features. Perhaps the most important is simply making OpenStack easier to use. OpenStack is powerful, but it’s notoriously hard to master. While OpenStack classes are becoming more common, even with help, mastering OpenStack isn’t easy.

  • Lessons learned as an OpenStack Day organizer
  • Recognizing OpenStack Cloud Contributors--Including Those Who Don't Code

    Although it is still a very young cloud computing platform, each week there is more evidence of how entrenched OpenStack has become in enterprises and even in smaller companies. In fact, just this week, we reported on findings that show OpenStack adoption in the telecom industry to be widespread.

    Contributors are a big part of what has driven OpenStack's success, and as the OpenStack Summit approaches, there are several new initiatives being put in place to serve up recognition for meaningful contributors. Notably, the recognition is going to partially go to those who actually contribute code, but there will also be recognition of other forms of giving to OpenStack.

Authorities Opening Up

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  • NL Parliament makes open standards mandatory

    The use of open standards will be made mandatory for public administrations. A law proposal by MP Astrid Oosenbrug was adopted by the Parliament’s lower house yesterday. According to the MP, the open standards requirement will be one of several changes to the country’s administrative law, introduced next year. “The minister has earlier agreed to make open standards mandatory”, she said. “The parliament is making sure this actually happens.”

    The first public administration that should improve its use of open standards, is the Parliament’s lower house itself, MP Oosenbrug said. “Ironically, lower house published the adopted law on its website by providing a download link to a document in a proprietary format.”

  • France adds source code to list of documents covered by freedom of information laws

    French freedom of information law now treats source code as disclosable in the same way as other government records.

    The new "Digital Republic" law took effect Saturday, with its publication in France's Official Journal.

    It adds source code to the long list of government document types that must be released in certain circumstances: dossiers, reports, studies, minutes, transcripts, statistics, instructions, memoranda, ministerial replies, correspondence, opinions, forecasts and decisions.

    But it also adds a new exception to existing rules on access to administrative documents and reuse of public information, giving officials plenty of reasons to refuse to release code on demand.

    These rules already allow officials to block the publication of documents they believe threaten national security, foreign policy, personal safety, or matters before court or under police investigation, among things.

    Now they can oppose publication if they believe it threatens the security of government information systems.

  • CMPD launches 'Open Source Data' page to share police info with public

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police announced Wednesday the launch of its “Open Source Data” page on the department’s website.

    Police say the information source is a step forward in how they share information with the public and is an “opportunity for even greater accountability and transparency” with the Charlotte community. The department faced criticism in the wake of the Keith Scott shooting as protesters said CMPD should have been more transparent during their investigation of the incident.

StormCrawler: An Open Source SDK for Building Web Crawlers with ApacheStorm

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StormCrawler (SC) is an open source SDK for building distributed web crawlers with Apache Storm. The project is under Apache license v2 and consists of a collection of reusable resources and components, written mostly in Java. It is used for scraping data from web pages, indexing with search engines or archiving, and can run on a single machine or an entire Storm cluster with exactly the same code and a minimal number of resources to implement.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • Software AG Launches Open Source Internet of Things Analytics Kit

    Software AG (Frankfurt TecDAX: SOW) has significantly expanded the capabilities of its Apama Community Edition with a new Internet of Things (IoT) Analytics Kit, provided free of charge as Open Source Software under the Apache License, v2.0, along with the ability to run on Raspberry Pi. A different version of Apama Community Edition is also now available as a re-distributable runtime.

  • PhatWare Releases WritePad Handwriting Recognition Engine as Open Source

    PhatWare Corporation, a leading professional software and application developer, is pleased to announce that the entire source code of its award-winning, multilingual WritePad handwriting recognition engine is now available under GPL v.3 license.

  • Facebook Yarn's for your JavaScript package

    Facebook, working with Exponent, Google, and Tilde, has released software to improve the JavaScript development experience, which can use all the help it can get.

    Yarn, introduced on Tuesday under a BSD license and without the patent clause that terminates Facebook's React license for those involved in patent litigation against the company, is an alternative npm client. It's not to be confused with Apache Hadoop YARN (Yet Another Resource Negotiator), which is cluster management software.

  • Paediatric Cancer Drug Being Developed Entirely In The Open

    The Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has posted a Malaria Box, containing over 400 compounds that might be effective against malaria to almost 200 research groups in two years. It’s an open science project, because the only stipulation is that information is deposited in the public domain (and therefore cannot be patented).

    GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s Open Lab project, the Tres Cantos Medicines Development Campus near Madrid, Spain, enables visiting scientists to use GSK’s high-tech facilities to research neglected diseases such as malaria and TB.

    Even Bill Gates has tweeted that open-source collaboration between scientists could become a drug discovery catalyst.

    Now, one scientist is embarking upon a virtual pharmaceutical company that will develop a paediatric cancer drug in the open.

  • Shendy: A Low Cost Arsenic Detector for Drinking Water

    If you are designing life-saving tech to help refugees living in refugee camps, you’re probably not going to design a proprietary product, because doing so would be tantamount to signing the death warrant of a percentage of the refugee camp residents. Open source is how the most number of refugees can be helped. In that vein, learn about an initiative to design a low-cost. open source arsenic detector for use in ensuring safe drinking water in refugee camps.

Russia's Preference for Open-Source to Hurt U.S. Tech Stocks

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Amid rising political tensions with the U.S., Russia is planning to further lower its usage of licensed software from IT giants like International Business Machines Corp IBM , Microsoft Corporation MSFT , SAP AG SAP and Oracle Corporation ORCL .

Per Bloomberg, "The State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, is drafting a bill to restrict government agencies from buying licensed software, giving preference to open-source software."

The proposed law is an addition to an already existing federal law that came into effect on Jan 1, 2016, which restricts the use of foreign software in the public sector, if there is a domestic version available.

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Linux/FOSS Events

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  • Maker Party 2016: Stand Up for a Better Internet

    Each year, Mozilla hosts a global celebration to inspire learning and making online. Individuals from around the world are invited. It’s an opportunity for artists to connect with educators; for activists to trade ideas with coders; and for entrepreneurs to chat with makers.

    This year, we’re coming together with that same spirit, and also with a mission: To challenge outdated copyright laws in the European Union. EU copyright laws are at odds with learning and making online. Their restrictive nature undermines creativity, imagination, and free expression across the continent. Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon-Thayer wrote about the details in her recent blog post.

  • Recognizing active user contributors to OpenStack

    Within the OpenStack community, there are countless people conducting tests, maintaining infrastructure, writing documentation, organizing community events, providing feedback, helping with project promotion, and countless other roles that may or may not show up under the traditional list of contributors. Since a fundamental tenant of OpenStack is that much of the project's governance comes from its active contributors, finding a way to expand the types of contributions that are "officially" recognized is an important step in bringing everyone's voice to the table.

  • How to succeed as a remote documentation contributor in OpenStack

    Alexandra Settle, an information developer at Rackspace, will be speaking at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona. Alexandra is a core reviewer for OpenStack manuals, also working on the OpenStack Ansible and Swift project documentation, and serves as a mentor in documentation for the Outreachy project. She's been interested in information technology since high school and is a fan of Fedora Linux. She began her career as an intern at Red Hat and after spending years using Windows machines, and love the ease of use and functionality that came with using Linux.

OSS Leftovers

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  • Apache Milagro: A New Security System for the Future of the Web

    With 25 billion new devices set to hit the Internet by 2025, the need for a better worldwide cryptosystem for securing information is paramount. That’s why the Apache Milagro project is currently incubating at the Apache Software Foundation. It’s a collaboration between MIRACL and Nippon Telegram and Telegraph (NTT), and Brian Spector, MIRACL CEO and Co-Founder, discussed the project in his keynote at ApacheCon in May.

    Spector said the project was born in a bar on the back of a napkin after a brainstorm about how one would rebuild Internet security from the ground up. That sounds like a lot of work, but Spector believes it's absolutely necessary: the future of the Web is going to be very different from the past.

  • Flanders to publish soil erosion monitoring tool

    The new method, now used by 5 soil erosion specialists, is based on well-known open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools, including the data viewing tool QGis and the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. "QGis is the perfect platform for building GIS applications", Huybrechts said at the FOSS4G 2016 conference in Bonn last August. "It’s open source, it is supported by a great community and it comes with a collection of tools and toolkits."

  • DE radiation protection agency overcomes lock-in

    Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS) is taking steps to rid itself of IT vendor lock-in. Within the next few years, it plans to have replaced its legacy proprietary analysis and reporting tools by modern, open source-based tools. Moreover, the new system, which is being tested, will improve the geographic information capabilities, and will lower costs significantly.

    The radiation protection agency was in set up in 1989, three years after the catastrophic nuclear accident in Chernobyl. Its main task is to protect population and environment from damages due to radiation.

    To help with decision-making and with generating of reports, the BfS’ crisis unit has for years been using a customised, proprietary software solution. This ‘Integrated Measuring and Information System’ (IMIS) lets BfS make sense of the data generated by some 1800 radiation measuring stations across the country. IMIS continuously monitors the environment and is able to detect small changes in radioactivity. Its results are merged, evaluated, refined and presented in well-arranged documents.

  • Announcing Google Code-in 2016 and Google Summer of Code 2017

    The Google Open Source Programs Office has announced Google Code-in 2016 and Google Summer of Code 2017. Google Code-in is for students from 13-17 years of age who would like to explore open source. "Students will find opportunities to learn and get hands on experience with tasks from a range of categories. This structure allows students to stretch themselves as they take on increasingly more challenging tasks." Students will begin on November 28.

  • Cloudera Accelerates Portfolio of Self-Paced Big Data Training Courses
  • Survey Finds OpenStack Deeply Entrenched in the Telecom Space

    What percentage of players in the telecom industry now consider the OpenStack cloud platform to be essential or important to their success? According to a survey commissioned by the OpenStack Foundation, a whopping 85.8 percent of them do. That is more hard evidence that we are seeing actual deployments take the place of evaluation when it comes to OpenStack in the enterprise.

    The survey was executed by Heavy Reading and received 113 responses from representatives of telecom companies around the world: 54 percent from the US, 14.2 percent from Europe, 11.5 percent from the Asia Pacific region, 8.9 percent each from Central/South America and Canada; and 2.7 percent from the Middle East. Here are more of the key findings.

Couchbase and the future of NoSQL databases

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Well, I've built and led developer communities for 10+ years at Sun, Oracle, and Red Hat, so I have experience in leading crossfunctional teams to develop and execute strategy, planning, and execution of content, and marketing campaigns and programs. I've also led engineering teams at Sun, and I’m a founding member of the Java EE team.

At Couchbase, a developer advocate helps developers become effective users of a technology, product, API, or platform. This can be done by sharing knowledge about the product using the medium where developers typically hangout. Some of the more common channels include blogs, articles, webinars, and presentations at conferences and meetups. Answering questions on forums and Stack Overflow, conversations on social media, and seeking contributors for open source projects are some other typical activities that a developer advocate performs on a regular basis.

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27 Open Source DevOps Tools In 7 Easy Bites

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I recently wrote an article featuring 25 DevOps vendors worth watching. However, in the world of DevOps, there are an awful lot of good tools that don't really have a vendor attached, and I thought it was time to give the open source tools their due.

While I wrote that there are tools that don't have vendors, there are vendors that are attached to some of these open source tools. Those vendors provide development support, along with, in some cases, customer support and even proprietary versions of some of the tools that exist alongside their open source cousins. As long as there was an open source version that wasn't "crippleware," it was eligible for the cut.

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Atom 1.11 Hackable Text Editor Released with Image View Improvements, Fixes

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Today, October 11, 2016, GitHub officially announced the release of Atom 1.11, their popular, open-source, and cross-platform hackable text editor that you can use for programming and whatnot.

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  • Flock Stories 2016, Episode 1: Redon Skikuli
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New KNOPPIX Release, LibreOffice 5.1.6, Rosa Down

In Linux news today KNOPPIX 7.7.1 was released to the public based on Debian with GNOME 3.22, KDE 5.7.2, and "Everything 3D." The Rosa project is experiencing network issues and folks may experience problems trying to connect to their services the next few days. LibreOffice 5.1.6 was announced today by The Document Foundation, the sixth update to the Still branch for stable users, and a new vulnerability was disclosed in GNU Tar. Read more