OSS

Free/Open Source software (FOSS)

City of Vienna increasingly turns to open source

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GNU
Linux
OSS

The administration in the Austrian capital, Vienna, is expanding its use of open source solutions, including on its workstations, because of new requirements, open data, budget constraints and the major shift towards smartphones and tablets.

"Open source helps to solve IT vendor lock-in situations", Norbert Weidinger, ICT-Strategist for the city, said in a presentation on the city's use of free and open source solutions.

Open source is now well-established in the city's main IT operations, according to the presentation which Weidinger delivered at a Major Cities of Europe conference in Dublin on 17 January. The city has 454 Linux servers (from a total of 2,000 servers), 270 Apache instances, uses Postgres to manage 380 databases and MySQL to manage another 90. Open source is used for file and printing services, for e-government services and for external and internal websites.

"We're promoting the use of open source products where possible", Weidinger said.

The IT department's responsibilities include the IT in the city's public healthcare, public schools and the administration of city-owned housing.

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How governments are more collaborative with open source

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OSS

Technology is the easy part in government. The biggest challenges are cultural barriers - it’s a question of thinking in a more collaborative and open way, believes Ben Balter, Government Evangelist for GitHub, a social network for open source communities.

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New UK IT procurement model urges open standards

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OSS

A new model for IT procurement for local governments in the United Kingdom is urging public administrations to use open standards, to create room for agile and innovative software solutions including open source. One of the aims of the National ICT Commercial Category Strategy for Local Government is to reduce IT expenses by 10 to 20 percent over the next five years.

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Novena open laptop project exceeds 280 percent of crowd-funding target

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Hardware
OSS

Novena, an open laptop platform designed for hackers, has surpassed 280 percent of its crowd-funding target, and the open-hardware computing devices will start shipping in November.

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60 Open Source Apps You Can Use in the Cloud

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OSS

The open source community is participating in this race to the cloud in two key ways. First, much open source software, particularly software for enterprises and small businesses, is now available on a SaaS basis. This provides customers with quality, low-cost applications and eliminates the hassles of deploying software on their own servers. At the same time, it gives open source companies a viable business model that allows them to make money from their technology.

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Opportunity

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OSS

In the UK, The National ICT Category Management Programme (NICTMP) is intended to guide local governments towards better IT, including using FLOSS. It’s about time. Many small businesses and governments are scarcely more skilled at IT than consumers and a little help can go a long way towards huge savings greater diversity and better IT. With FLOSS it’s easy to put up a web-server sharing information with the public and using open standards to ensure interoperability with minimal cost. I think savings of 20% are at the lower end of estimates. In my experience, software licences can save 20% of IT costs but ease of maintenance could do that again and getting full performance out of hardware purchases that much again. Local governments in UK spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hardware and software for IT each year. Break-even can be immediate if hardware is re-used by using FLOSS. Governments should be looking at savings of ~50% by using FLOSS. There’s a reason M$ and “partners” do what they do. It doubles the cost of IT making slaves of us all providing free labour. FLOSS works for us the users and not some monopolists.

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The inside story of the open source PC, and how it could stop you being a slave to your hardware

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Hardware
OSS

Huang's diligence paid off and at a time when other kids were focused on getting a high score on Asteroids, he was reading DIY electronics guides in Byte magazine and building add-on cards for the Apple II.

Today Huang, who goes by the nickname 'bunnie', has just drummed up more than $700,000 through the website Crowd Supply for his project to build an open source computer called Novena.

Huang is setting out to create a machine whose inner workings are as transparent as the computer that three decades ago sparked his lifelong interest in creating hardware.

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MIPS Open-Source Group Takes Aim at ARM, Intel

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Hardware
OSS

NHS told: Make patient record systems open source

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OSS

An NHS England leader has told Trusts to look towards open source for electronic patient record (EPR) systems.

During the e-Health Insider (EHI) CCIO open source conference, Richard Jefferson, the Health Service’s head of business systems, claimed such solutions provide “the biggest bang for buck.”

Jefferson also added that the organisation is prioritising the EPR space and encouraging a move to open source because of the greater value for money it offers for Trusts.

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Open source use may rise where proprietary systems cannot lower costs

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OSS

Public sector organisations with proprietary systems that are struggling to provide competitive costs or innovation may provide the spur to overcome reluctance in the adoption of open source technology, according to one London CIO.

Geoff Connell, who is joint ICT head for two London boroughs, Havering and Newham, has said that although open source is already being adopted within the public sector, the technology is present used for more niche tasks rather than total solutions.

Connell's thoughts continue the debate over whether open source technology can better cost efficiencies related to the use of proprietary software in the public sector.

For Connell, total cost of ownership (TCO) remains the key challenge to adopting open source software and technology in the public sector.

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Google Chrome's PDF Rendering Engine Released as Open Source

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OSS

Large companies like Google don't really like open source projects, although their Chrome browser is based on Chromium. Now, the PDF rendering engine that is being used in Google Chrome has been released as open source.

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City of Vienna increasingly turns to open source

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OSS

"Open source helps to solve IT vendor lock-in situations", Norbert Weidinger, ICT-Strategist for the city, said in a presentation on the city's use of free and open source solutions.
Open source is now well-established in the city's main IT operations, according to the presentation which Weidinger delivered at a Major Cities of Europe conference in Dublin on 17 January. The city has 454 Linux servers (from a total of 2,000 servers), 270 Apache instances, uses Postgres to manage 380 databases and MySQL to manage another 90. Open source is used for file and printing services, for e-government services and for external and internal web-sites.

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OpenChrome: There's Apparently Not Much Left

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OSS

While open-source activities around Intel, AMD Radeon, and NVIDIA (Nouveau) hardware continues to flourish, for the unlucky users still dependent upon VIA x86 hardware, the OpenChrome and VIA kernel mode-setting initiatives seem to have come to a standstill.

I was curious about the state of OpenChrome, since it's been several months since hearing any VIA kernel mode-setting update for the independent VIA DRM/KMS driver that was in the works for several years by James Simmons. Sadly though, there doesn't seem to be anything new and the OpenChrome project seems to be in a dire state.

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HP Strengthens Commitment to Open Networking and the Open Cloud

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Server
OSS

As a platinum member of both the Linux Foundation and the OpenStack Foundation, HP hasn't exactly kept its interest in open source a secret. Recently, however, it upped its commitment to open source in two key areas. First, it added the OpenDaylight project -- one it helped found -- to its list of platinum memberships. Second, it launched the Helion portfolio and pledged to invest more than $1 billion in support of new open source cloud products and platforms.

"Our views on open source are captured by our commitment to base HP’s cloud product and services strategy entirely upon the open source OpenStack framework," Mark Pearson, chief technologist for HP Networking, told Linux.com. "We believe openness speeds up innovation."

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Security's future belongs to open source

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OSS
Security

The proof that open source, properly applied, is available. Studies, such as the one recently done by Coverity, have found that open-source programs have fewer errors per thousand lines of code than its proprietary brothers. And, it's hard to ignore the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), the group within the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) that assesses operating systems and software for security issues, when they said that that while no end-user operating system is as secure as they'd like it to be, Ubuntu 12.04 is the most secure desktop.

On the other hand, the mere existence of Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday says everything most of us need to know about how "secure" proprietary software is. I also can't help noticing how every time Microsoft releases a new version of Internet Explorer (IE), they always claim it's the most secure ever. And, then, a new hole is found, and guess what, that same security hole is in every version of IE from IE 6 to IE 11. If IE really were being rewritten to make it secure why are the same holes showing up In Every Version??

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Local government software sharing and reuse site revamped

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OSS

Europe Commons, an online platform for the sharing, exchange and reuse of software solutions for Europe's municipalities and other local government organisations was revamped earlier this month, during which it also received a new name - Civic Exchange. The platform collects and promotes applications and digital services that help improve public services in Europe. The platform's consortium is doubling its efforts to find new solutions, announcing evidence-based case studies to showcase those with the most impact.

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Quick Look: Unity for Arch

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Development
News
OSS
Reviews
Ubuntu
HowTos

A precursory glance at the above screenshot might give the impression that this is yet another Ubuntu Linux review. However, a closer look at the logo in the bottom left corner reveals that nothing could be farther from the truth. Today we’ll be taking a quick look at the Unity desktop environment on Arch Linux.

Open source code helps governments share information with citizens

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OSS

Before open data, there was FOIA. Beginning in 1967, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) empowered the public to request access to government documents. Unfortunately, some branches of government quickly began to push back, and within the decade the infamous phrase "can neither confirm nor deny" had been devised to avoid releasing information.

This came to exemplify the adversarial relationship between the public and government. Yet public records requests (also known as FOIL, Right-to-Know, public information or open records requests, depending on where you are) remain a fundamental way in which the public is able to obtain information from government agencies under FOIA-like laws in all fifty states.

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VirtualBox 4.3.12 Brings Better Performance on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

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OSS

The VirtualBox solution is capable of running a large number of OSes, including Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts, not to mention a lot of other guest additions.

The developers of VirtualBox have been working hard on this latest branch of the software and they’ve already issued a few updates for the applications. This latest one is just a maintenance update, but it comes with numerous fixes that make this a mandatory upgrade for anyone who is using it.

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Updated PostgreSQL targets NoSQL market

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OSS

PostgreSQL is the second most-widely-used open-source database on the market, trailing MySQL. At least some users have migrated from MySQL to PostgreSQL since MySQL was acquired by Oracle in its 2010 purchase of Sun Microsystems.

Like PostgreSQL, MySQL has been retrofitted to handle NoSQL workloads.

EnterpriseDB offers a commercially backed distribution of the open-source database.

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