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Dan Allen and Sarah White: Documentation Dearth Dooms Open Source Projects
September 24, 2014
One of the essential draws to open source software should be superior product documentation. Well-written user guidelines are a key strategy that software developers should use to increase an open source project's growth and user adoption. All too often, programmers finish their last line of code and shove the open source software out the door. Documentation is often an afterthought, if that.
PredictionIO's Simon Chan on Machine Learning by Devs for Devs
September 16, 2014
PredictionIO is building the MySQL of prediction. The young company recently released version 0.7.3 of its open source machine-learning server. Unlike typical prediction algorithms and open source libraries, PredictionIO is based on making machine learning more available. Cofounder Simon Chan sees a gaping hole in open source tools to connect database programmers and software developers.
Matthew Miller: The Remaking of Fedora 1, 2, 3
September 03, 2014
Fedora is perhaps one of the hallmark Linux distributions. It is sponsored by Red Hat, the commercial developer of RHEL. Red Hat's investment in the Fedora community is collaborative. Fedora Linux releases often provide RHEL developers with a field test environment that incubates innovative open source software technologies. Red Hat Linux 1.0 was released in late 1994 as Red Hat Commercial Linux.
Kano's Alejandro Simon: If This, Then Do That
August 27, 2014
Imagine a world where playing Pong and Minecraft gives people the power to program their computers. That world is Kano. A crowdfunded startup, it took the idea behind Lego to teach computer programming by playing first-generation computer games. Kano launched on Kickstarter in November 2013. More than 13,000 people from some 50 countries raised $1.5 million in 30 days.
Scott Sanchez on OpenStack: Shifting a Mindset
August 15, 2014
OpenStack, which turned 4 years old this summer, began as a twinkle in Scott Sanchez's eyes. He was determined to turn the fledgling Infrastructure as a Service platform he helped create into a thriving resource for public and private clouds. OpenStack is an open source project. Its technology consists of a series of interrelated projects for managing public and private cloud operations.
Gaming Guru Jane Jensen: There's a Yen for Adventure
June 11, 2014
Adventure games, which play out much like an interactive story, have had an adventure in their own right. These games peaked in popularity during the late 1980s to the mid-1990s but in recent years have been in decline. When action and online role-playing games gained mass market appeal, story became secondary in many cases. However, story-driven adventures could be making a comeback.
Brian Warner: Tizen Has Good Bones
April 29, 2014
The consumer electronics industry has a secret ingredient: the Tizen OS. It is alive and well and may control a device you now use or the next one you buy. That might surprise some early adopters who watch eagerly for the next bleeding-edge electronics device. Many of those who have heard of Tizen are under the impression that it has no consumer or developer-ready devices in the marketplace.
SDF Cofounder Chris Davis: Bad Guys Will Need a New M.O.
April 09, 2014
In the war against malware, a new strategy is taking shape. The good guys are preparing to demolish the bad guys' most effective weapons: rogue websites. The Secure Domain Foundation will tackle the identification and prevention of Internet cybercrime through a series of steps designed to interfere with the way cybergangs operate online. SDF made its debut last month at ICANN 49 in Singapore.
Would You Like Your Open Source All the Way?
April 01, 2014
The enterprise software industry today can be compared to the menus offered at fast-food eateries. Some offer their star item only one way. Others let you have it your way. How much choice you have often determines where you do your eating. The same option -- or lack of it -- is the driving principal behind attracting and keeping enterprise customers paying for open source product support.
Bruce Momjian: PostgreSQL Prefers the Scenic Route
February 26, 2014
Bruce Momjian years ago salvaged a nearly abandoned open source database project: PostgreSQL. Now he heads an international group helping to keep its community growing. He also is a key architect for a commercial database company that supports his advisory group and the Postgres open source community. PostreSQL, or "Postgres," is a popular open source object-relational database management system.
CDT's New Global Civil Liberty Aspirations
February 18, 2014
This is the best of times and the worst of times for privacy and civil liberties. Almost every day, new revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance activities make headlines. Meanwhile, some U.S. intelligence chiefs have called for the execution of whistleblower Edward Snowden and have painted journalists who run stories based on his material as his accomplices.
LexisNexis' Flavio Villanustre: Insurance and the Big Data Bonanza
December 10, 2013
Insurance companies have always been adamant about spotting and controlling risks. That, after all, is the basis for accepting policyholders and placing them into rate categories. Before the Big Data explosion, insurance companies crunched numbers like everybody else. Today, however, the insurance industry is fast becoming one of the biggest consumers of Big Data services.
Metacloud's Steve Curry: We Need a Better Cloud Storage Model
November 12, 2013
The popularity of cloud storage is growing rapidly, and few would deny that open source technology is driving individual and business users to the clouds in droves. Yet enterprise adoption decisions are often hindered by competing technologies for public and private clouds. Often, it is less a question of open or closed source and more an issue of service and cost.
E-Booksellers Take a Walk on the Vile Side
November 09, 2013
Last month, British retailer WH Smith temporarily shuttered its site after people realized it was selling particularly objectionable sexual content. Meanwhile, Kobo.com, the Toronto-based e-reading company from which WH Smith got its material, announced that it was suspending distribution of all self-published e-books. Amazon also got into the act by removing numerous titles from its online shelves.
When Film Distribution Fails, Piracy Wins
November 02, 2013
Last month, researchers at George Mason University's Mercatus Center launched a website, PiracyData.org, to determine whether or not there are legal alternatives for viewing the world's most pirated movies. The researchers will quantify the validity -- or invalidity -- of copyright holders' claims that pirates are thieving material that is indeed available elsewhere.
JFrog's Fred Simon: It's All About Developer Freedom and Faster Build Time
October 29, 2013
For software developers, success is being able to maximize their chosen programming language to speed up build time. Almost as important is being able to speed up product distribution. In order to accomplish those goals, software developers need a better distribution system and access to other developers' code to build in compatibility and integration.
MediaFire's Derek Labian: Cloud Storage Is an Everyday Need
October 15, 2013
Security and privacy concerns may be far outweighed for many users by the convenience and appeal of the cloud, but users need to view cloud access as more than just another storage utility on the desktop. That's according to Derek Labian, CEO of cloud storage service MediaFire. Instead, cloud users need to focus on cloud performance and application functionality, Labian suggests.
MongoDB's Eliot Horowitz: The Database Renaissance Has Begun
October 08, 2013
NoSQL technologies are giving the database landscape a new look as they steadily push a shift from the relational database model. Young entrants to the alternative technology, such as MongoDB, have been gaining traction despite an admitted need to mature with more needed features. "For MongoDB as a part of the NoSQL space, it is a matter of maturity," said Eliot Horowitz, CTO of MongoDB.
Coverity's Zack Samocha: Software Quality and the Open Source Advantage
October 01, 2013
Software quality is a topic close to most developers' hearts, whether they work with open source or proprietary code. Assessing quality, however, isn't always a simple matter. As a result, several efforts have sprung up to tackle the challenge, including the Coverity Scan project. Coverity began work in 2006 on the open source project, which is a joint endeavor with the Department of Homeland Security.
The Secrets of GTA's Massive Mainstream Success
September 28, 2013
It's not every day that a video game becomes a mainstream tech story. Then again, it's not every day that a video game promptly records $1 billion in sales. Grand Theft Auto V did just that, however, eclipsing the 10-figure mark three days after its Sept. 17 release. The game's success is an emphatic declaration that the GTA brand -- first introduced in 1997 -- is still going strong.
AlienVault's Barmak Meftah: Time to Put Hackers on the Defensive
September 24, 2013
As CEO of AlienVault, Barmak Meftah faces enemies every day who play out their attacks from faraway lands using seemingly unbeatable weapons. One of the weapons AlienVault uses with the support of the open source community is a global report called the Open Threat Exchange that tracks threats to computer networks. The results make it possible to identify trouble spots and take corrective action.
Treasure Data's Hiro Yoshikawa: Taking the Open Road With Big Data
September 10, 2013
Businesses and government agencies are in a race to gather, quantify and clarify an ever-increasing stream of data. Housing the bits and pieces of their digital treasures can be just as much of a problem as deciding whether to trust traditional relational platforms or adopt more flexible databases designed to handle unstructured data.
Someone to Watch Over You: London's Recycling-Bin Spies
August 31, 2013
In June, Renew London equipped a dozen recycling bins in England's capital city with technology to track people's smartphones as they milled about the city. The devices went largely unnoticed until the appearance of an August article entitled, "This recycling bin is following you." The piece set off a bit of a media storm as people realized their every move was suddenly capable of being scrutinized and stored away.
Nexenta's Lockareff and Powell: Software-Only Storage for Everyone
August 27, 2013
In the cloud storage competition for customers, a battle is raging over innovative software-only storage systems and wannabe innovators still hawking yesteryear's legacy hardware solutions. Dollars and performance are the battlefield stakes. Nexenta, an open source provider of software-defined storage solutions, is waging the fight with its flagship software-only platform, NexentaStor.

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