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Ten challenges and priorities for free and open source in 2008

Last week I started a series of blog entries about my personal view of challenges and priorities for this year. That first entry was about open standards and today I’m going to look at free and open source (FOSS). Incidentally, the first item on this list was on the previous list as well. Needless to say, this is a big topic and one that encompasses a broad range of opinions. My list will be different from someone who runs a FOSS project, someone whose primary and perhaps sole business is FOSS, someone in academia, and someone who is strictly a user of software.

VirtueMart: A virtual ecommerce solution

If you run an ecommerce site, you may want a content management system (CMS) to help manage your online product line. VirtueMart, available under the GNU GPL and fully integrated with Joomla!, does that and more. It provides a full ecommerce solution in a LAMP environment.

Mozilla announces new chief executive

The Mozilla Coporation, the non-profit open source organisation behind the ever-popular Firefox and Thunderbird, has announced a change in its upper ranks. Chief executive Mitchell Baker has stepped down and has been replaced by chief operating officer John Lilly. Baker will remain as chairman of the organisation.

PHP, Perl and Python pass Homeland Security test

Coverity, which creates automated source-code analysis tools, announced late Monday its first list of open-source projects that have been certified as free of security defects. Eleven projects made the list: Amanda, NTP, OpenPAM, OpenVPN, Overdose, Perl, PHP, Postfix, Python, Samba, and TCL.

[As Slashdot points out, compare this article to Information Week's sensationalist gutter reporting posted earlier. - Sander]

Open Source Code Contains Security Holes

Open source code, much like its commercial counterpart, tends to contain one security exposure for every 1,000 lines of code, according to a program launched by the Department of Homeland Security to review and tighten up open source code's security. Popular open source projects, such as Samba, the PHP, Perl, and Tcl dynamic languages used to bind together elements of Web sites, and Amanda, the popular open source backup and recovery software running on half a million servers, were all found to have dozens or hundreds of security exposures and quality defects.

Wiki-based search engine launched

Wikia Search, an open source community edited search engine, was released in its first alpha version this week. Conceptualised by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, it came as a response to concerns over the lack of transparency in the way that Google ranks its searches.

New book on Service Oriented Architecture and its Approach to Integration Published by Packt

Packt is pleased to announce a new book “SOA Approach to Integration” which shows how to define SOA integration architecture, what technologies to use, and how to best integrate existing applications with modern e-business solutions

2008 Security Forecast: 'Least Privilege' Engineering Will Gain Momentum

Human error and evolving phishing attacks will compel organizations to tighten control over application access, not just user access. Guardian Digital, the open source security pioneer, forecasts an increased need for comprehensive control over Internet and employee resources with 'least privilege' engineering in 2008. "Most vendors don't stress least privilege enough in their development architecture, especially with the increasing threats from human error and employee liability" says CEO Dave Wreski. "Security in 2007 has shown just how effective attackers can be at gaining authorized access to corporate resources. One of the best ways to protect against this is to lock down application access, not just user access."

gOS 2.0 Screenshots

gOS 2.0 is released into the wild. gOS 2.0 is built on top of Ubuntu Linux 7.10. Instead of the more popular KDE or Gnome desktops, gOS uses the lightweight Enlightenment E17 interface. Rocket comes with Google Gears. This is Google's beta online/offline synchronization technology. GOS 2.0 also includes a new browser-based Web-cam application, gBooth, that was written specifically for gOS. It's designed to work with Facebook. gOS comes with dedicated shortcuts to Google Reader, Talk and Finance and Google search integration into the desktop itself. It also provides access to online storage via Box.net. Screenshots at The Coding Studio.

Freedomware Marketing < Apple Marketing

"Marketing. Marketing. Marketing. For Freedomware. I have a feeling I'll be repeating this for quite a while to come. And then... there will be an organization founded to do just that.. Oops.. not telling any more. ;) - Keeping you in suspense, another great way to market!"

Torvalds Still Will Not License Linux Under GPL v3

The Linux creator said copyright owners would have to agree to licensing changes, and those who didn't would have to rewrite code. Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux operating system, still has no plans to license the Linux kernel under version three of the GNU General Public License anytime soon.

Old-School SUSE Executives Take Over Open-Xchange

Open-Xchange, a German open-source groupware company with long ties to SUSE Linux, is changing its top management team. Rafael Laguna, who played a major role in merging SUSE with Novell, is now Open-Xchange’s president and CEO. And former SUSE CEO Richard Seibt is now OX's chairman of the board. While at SUSE, Laguna and Seibt worked closely together and are widely credited for helping SUSE's transformation into one of the world's major Linux distributors.

Saving Power on Intel Hardware Using Powertop

Saving Power on Intel Hardware Using Powertop

FUDCon comes home to Raleigh

From Friday, Jan. 11 through Sunday, Jan. 13, the Fedora Project will be holding its annual FUDCon at Red Hat’s headquarters in Raleigh, NC. FUDCon is the Fedora Users and Developers Conference–a time when members of the Fedora community who usually only communicate via email or IRC have a chance to meet in person. FUDCon includes two full days of hackfests, in which specific technical problems are worked on in small group code sprints, as well as one day of talks, sessions, and presentations that are of interest to all variety of users and developers.

FOSS Blogging Has its Perils

FOSS blogging can be quite fun. Sharing the excitement of having tested another distribution of *nix (or sharing disappointment of wasting said time… depends on the experience) or sharing an opinion on the happenings of FOSS today can be an interesting experience to say the least. However, blogging is not always without peril.

OLPC having bad start to 2008

The calendar has switched over to 2008 and so far it has been anything but a happy new year for the One Laptop Per Child Project. First, OLPC Chief Technology Officer (and the first employee of the OLPC) Mary Lou Jepsen announced that she was stepping down as CTO in order to start a new company. Then we found out that a Nigerian company was suing the OLPC over a claimed patent violation. And then at the end of the week it was announced that Intel was stepping down from the board of the OLPC.

Picasa 2.7 a slick upgrade on Linux

Google has released a public beta of its Picasa photo organizer for Linux. The new release adds some important features for image browsing, image searching, and creative image export. If you haven't tried it before, now is the time. This beta release is a preview of Picasa 2.7, which will bring the Linux version of the application up to speed with the Windows edition. Picasa remains the only Google app which is unavailable for Mac OS X, a fact you can brag about to your Apple-loving friends.

Using LimeSurvey

The path to opening aGeek Ranch is not exactly straight. That is, each week there is one more strange thing that needs to be done. This week, it happens to be surveys. Not the measure the ground kind—we already did that—but the on-line ask questions kind.

The Tide Shifts at CES

So I'm sitting in the rather vast"press" corner of a CES keynote audience, waiting to see Paul Otellini, President& CEO of Intel, give a keynote. Two years ago I sat at an Otellini keynote here. As I reported inWhat's Intel up to with VIIV?, it was disappointing. Will this be different? Sure hope so.read more

2008 CES: Bug Labs Introduces BUG, BUGbase. So Cool!

Bug Labs, a company I never heard of before, is releasing something very cool for all the hardcore geeks out there. Is it a computer, a GPS device, or a camera? What if I told you that it is all that and a whole lot more. BUG is a modular computer system that will appeal to those who like to tinker around with things. It is a GPL device that has modular components to enhance functionality, and it is fully programmable.

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