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Four Linux distros for kids

I can see the brightness of curiosity in my 6 years old niece Shuchi's eyes when she explores a mobile phone or manipulates the idiot box with its remote control or becomes creatively destructive with any other electronic device. She, like a lot of kids her age, love experimenting. This curiosity reaches its peak when she sits in front of my laptop or her father's laptop. A lot of times, however, I observe that she is lost in complicated applications that are suitable only to adults. An operating system that an adult uses and the system running it can look like a beast to a lot of kids. These  applications are beyond the comprehension of very young kids and do not provide an ideal (and playful) introduction to computers. Futher, adults' laptops and tablets do not serve as a good learning environment for any kid (younger or older) who is just onboarding into the world of computing. Besides, letting a kid run wild on a computer with an online connection can be daunting for the parents.

Home control hub offers Siri-like voice assistant

  • LinuxGizmos (Posted by bob on Jan 14, 2014 12:58 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
Ivee has begun shipping a $200, Linux-based “Ivee Sleek” home automation hub, offering voice control of WiFi-enabled devices and a Siri-like voice assistant. Linux-based home automation hubs were everywhere at CES, including Belkin’s updated WeMo devices. Ivee has an interesting twist, however. Like most of these systems, it offers smartphone access to adjusting selected WiFi-enabled […]

Trust your students with open source

  • (Posted by bob on Jan 14, 2014 11:03 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
In Zen Buddhism the concept of Shoshin, or "Beginner’s Mind," teaches us to approach learning with openness and a lack of preconceptions. Zen Monk and teacher, Shunryu Suzuki famously wrote: "In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few." When we cast aside that which we think we know, or that which we believe to be true, we can embrace new insights and ideas. As we climb to levels of expertise in our careers and work, we sometimes disconnect from the intense experiences of unknowing and the creative discovery inherent in being a novice. Children wholly embody a beginner’s mind and naturally exhibit an inquisitiveness and passion to explore the world around them.

Create Linux and Windows images for OpenStack private clouds

This article proposes a new way to construct Linux and Windows images for private clouds built with the OpenStack cloud operating system. Current image-creation methods for OpenStack environments are cumbersome and time-consuming. The authors present an online, self-service method that makes image construction faster and easier for operators and end users of private clouds.

A timely call for a secure yet open cloud

In mid-November, the open source/open standards advocacy group, Open Forum Europe (OFE), released an "Open Cloud Declaration," which identifies ten principles to help policy makers, industry, and other stakeholders find "a global and open approach to Cloud technologies and solutions." It is not a coincidence, of course, that the Open Cloud Declaration was released during the same week that officials from the European Commission were meeting at a summit in Berlin to discuss data protection and cloud computing policy. These leaders (as well as policy makers in other countries, such as Brazil) are weighing their reactions in response to the ongoing revelations regarding data collection by the U.S. National Security Administration (NSA).

Android eyewear offers virtual, augmented reality

Epson demonstrated Android-based Moverio BT-200 eyewear featuring a stereoscopic 3D VR display, a camera for augmented reality applications, and head tracking. Epson unveiled its Epson Moverio BT-100 eyewear computer concept back in February of last year to rather unsparing reviews, but at CES it demonstrated a lighter new BT-200 model that moves from Android 2.2 […]

Linux powers smart LED bulbs, crockpot, maker kit

  • LinuxGizmos (Posted by bob on Jan 11, 2014 12:30 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
Belkin is expanding its line of WeMo home automation products with smart LED bulbs, an automated crockpot, and a Maker kit for WeMo-izing your own devices. What is it about home automation gizmos that inspires vendors to get so cute with their product names? Before there was the WigWag, the Piper, or the Ninja Blocks, […]

Android is coming to cars, Mozilla is coming to TVs, and more

Open source news for your reading pleasure. January 6-10, 2014 In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, you'll learn about some new partnerships that could lead to some new open source tech. Here's what we found:

Full-featured Android smartwatches debut at CES

At CES, two full-featured Android smartwatches with 3G telephony strutted their stuff: the $335 Neptune Pine and the $249 to $299 Omate TrueSmart. None of the high profile smartwatch launches expected in 2014 appeared at CES this year, but as we await rumored wristwear from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others, there were plenty of […]

Rogue Android: We show you how BlackBerry's pain can be your gain

Google Play store comes to BB10. Here's how... Hands On BlackBerry's comeback with a new operating system, BB10, turned into one of the greatest tech flops of all time. Almost one year after the launch, BlackBerry still sells far more of its ancient BB7 devices than it does BB10 devices. But could you turn BlackBerry’s misfortune to your advantage?…

OpenSaaS and the future of government IT innovation

  • (Posted by bob on Jan 10, 2014 4:18 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Cloud; Story Type: News Story
In recent years, open source software projects, and, separately, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) products have begun to significantly disrupt traditional technology vendor business models in government, making it easier and cheaper for governments to procure and implement the software solutions they need. Now, OpenSaaS—SaaS based on open source code—is poised to accelerate this trend.

Announcing Youth in Open Source Week: January 13 - 17

  • (Posted by bob on Jan 10, 2014 12:29 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Next week is the first-ever Youth in Open Source Week at! We are excited to offer you a solid week of content focused on how kids and teens are using open source today. Youth in Open Source Week will run from January 13 - 17. This page will be populated daily with each new article, so check back here for updates and to see the full list of articles. 

Using KVM virtualization

Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization has largely replaced Xen as the default open source mechanism for creating and supporting virtual machines (VMs) on most Linux systems. Though the motivation for this change is primarily build and support related rather than technical, the reality is that many enterprise IT groups that are interested in virtualization will need to learn the administrative command-and-control tools that KVM uses. Similarly, IT shops with an existing investment in Xen virtualization that are moving to KVM will probably want to convert existing VMs to the formats that KVM supports whenever possible, rather than having to re-create them.

How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet

The Snowden leaks called into question the Internet’s role as a symbol of free speech and empowerment. If the net were seen as a means of widespread surveillance, the resulting paranoia might affect the way people used it.

Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Windows bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

  • The Register (Posted by bob on Jan 9, 2014 1:05 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
Grab a patch today if you share your Unix-flavoured desktop with other people The X Windows System, which today underpins Linux desktops the world over, has been around for more than two decades – and so have its bugs.…

Using OpenStreetMap to respond to disasters before they happen

  • (Posted by bob on Jan 9, 2014 12:08 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
Kate Chapman, executive director of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, gave Tuesday's keynote at about preparing and responding for disasters with the help of communities.

New Harman IVI system runs HTML5 apps on Linux

  • LinuxGizmos (Posted by bob on Jan 9, 2014 12:56 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
Harman announced a Linux-based IVI platform featuring an HTML5 development environment, a type 1 hypervisor, and integration with driver assist functions. CES 2014 is beginning to look more and more like a car show. Among other announcements related to in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), Harman unveiled an unnamed “next-generation infotainment platform.” The OEM-focused product runs Linux on […]

Video interview with GitHub co-founder Scott Chacon on a future beyond code

GitHub has become the de facto repository for open source projects. So, we were excited for the opportunity to sit down with GitHub's co-founder and CIO Scott Chacon during the All Things Open Conference in Raleigh, NC. In this interview, Community Manager Jason Hibbets asks Scott about how he got started at GitHub and what's important about the culture there. Scott also talks about how the staff at GitHub finds out about cool projects on the site and where he sees GitHub going beyond code in the future. Here's the complete interview:

The Rise And Fall of Languages in 2013

  • Dr. Dobb's Open Source Articles (Posted by bob on Jan 8, 2014 7:24 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Much happened in languages during a year that appeared static.

The Canopy Initiative compells open source technologies to integrate

  • (Posted by bob on Jan 8, 2014 5:50 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Mobile; Story Type: News Story
Appnovation Technologies began as a Vancouver-based Drupal development shop and has since expanded to provide solutions for mobile, enterprise content management, middleware, and big data, using other open source technologies like: HTML5, Alfresco, MuleSoft, and Hadoop. 

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