Wikipedia) calls his new operation at CIA headquarters in Langley, the Open Source Center. What he means in this case is making better use of information that's already on the public record. It's upgrading an existing operation called the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, designed to monitor press reports in other countries. As with many corporations, open source in this case is just a cute name for doing what should have been done already, making use of what people are actually telling you before trying to ferret out what they may be thinking. In many cases they're the same thing. It would be nice if The Agency were making better use of open source tools in all its work, but if they were they wouldn't say, and I wouldn't want them to. Still, it's nice when they give a shout out to you as a buzzword. Now if they could just find that Osama guy. … [Read more...] about Open source intelligence?
Open source center
Here's a story that makes so much sense it's sort of sad. In an article called "Probing Galaxies of Data for Nuggets," the Post reports: The CIA now has its own bloggers. In a bow to the rise of Internet-era secrets hidden in plain view, the agency has started hosting Web logs with the latest information on topics including North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il's public visit to a military installation (his 38th this year) and the Burmese media's silence on a ministry reshuffling. It even has a blog on blogs, dedicated to cracking the code of what useful information can be gleaned from the rapidly expanding milieu of online journals and weird electronic memorabilia warehoused on the Net. Well, it only makes sense, doesn't it, in an age where terrorists are supposedly using the net to communicate in chat rooms and Arabic websites, for our spooks to datamine through that haystack. Unfortunately, it also makes perfect sense that agents turn their nose up at the initiative, … [Read more...] about CIA goes open source
John Mark Walker has produced a lovely history of the open source movement, one it's hard to take issue with, and which I encourage anyone not familiar with software history to read right away. But his headline is deliberately provocative, and slightly misleading. The headline reads, There Is No Open Source Community. By this he means there is no single group or cabal driving open source. Bruce Perens, Linus Torvalds, and Richard Stallman don't hover over some kettle casting magic spells. The open source movement has no central point of direction at all. It's an economic movement, driven mainly by the Internet, which has pushed the value of programming down toward zero, and which continues to transform the world around us. In some ways that's not exactly true. Portland, Oregon has become a major open source center, partly by design, thanks to the Open Source Development Labs (that's their headquarters above, courtesy of Google Earth), and some other investments. The process of … [Read more...] about Is there an open source community?
SourceFORGE. SourceFORGE not only hosted all the big open source projects. It gave them a common set of metrics with which to measure success. We have X thousand downloads. We have X hundred people in our community. But now this center is disappearing. Many big enterprises run their own open source centers, on their Intranets. Other open source enterprises have moved their communities to different .org sites, many of which I've written about here. And now Google has joined the trend. Google Code Service Hosting is, like many of the .orgs and Intranets, based on Subversion from CollabNet. So the real father of this trend is is CollabNet CTO Brian Behlendorf. He's making no apologies. "I personally feel that the big community Sourceforge created didn't build identity or culture amongst those projects. What you see at Apache.org or Java.net is a community feeling you don't see on Sourceforge. "It will be interesting if Google creates a mainline identity for developers. A belief in the … [Read more...] about Is open source losing its center?
Let's start the second half of the baseball season with an important statement. For open source to push further into enterprises, enterprises need to change their procurement policies. Mulesoft CEO Greg Schott (right, from Mulesoft) chatted with me about this over the weekend, and he's got an excellent point. "Companies are interested in open source but when they try to consume it with the same model as commercial software things break down," he explained. "They're looking for busloads of consultants and engineers to download the product, install it, go through Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and open source companies are not set up to do that. We're set up for companies to do that on the front end and benefit on the back end." This is important. A lot of enterprises think services like that are "free" because no bill comes, and if another vendor is chosen nothing is paid for them. But they do cost. They are folded into your cost when you sign on the line which is dotted. By … [Read more...] about Open source needs to change enterprise buying patterns
A team of open source evangelists is working within the General Services Administration as part of a federal initiative for more transparent government use of technology.18F, a development unit within the GSA, was established a year ago to tap into the success of the United Kingdom's Government Digital Services unit by pursuing a similar strategy.The unit is tasked with getting developers from Silicon Valley and the ranks of civic developers all over the country to change how federal technology gets done. The hub of this push for open source consolidation for government agencies is 18F's GitHub account.This open source team, however, is only focused on establishing an open source model for software projects developed within federal agencies. It has a hands-off attitude toward integrating free and open source software as a replacement for proprietary licensed commercial software."There is no focus yet on integrating front-end open source products to replace proprietary software in … [Read more...] about The Open Source Squad at the GSA
Government agencies looking for low-cost, or no-cost, software solutions can hear the open-source community make its pitch during a conference in Washington, D.C., next week -- and meet some protesters in Revolutionary War garb.The conference, "Open Standards/Open Source for National and Local eGovernment Programs in the U.S. and EU," will include about 125 presentations on a variety of open-source projects and topics between Monday and Wednesday. It will also include a speaker from Microsoft on the company's shared-source initiative, which has led to threats of protests by some free software activists, who see shared source as a watered-down version of free software ideals.The conference, at George Washington University and sponsored by the Center of Open Source and Government, is important because government agencies are looking for new ways to save money in their IT budgets, said organizer Tony Stanco. This conference will focus on government agencies in the U.S. and Europe, while … [Read more...] about Conference pushes for open source in govt
WASHINGTON -- A think tank advocating the use of open source software in government has launched a source-code escrow program that would allow vendors to make money on proprietary software while eventually releasing their products to the open-source community. At least one software company said it might be open to the idea.The Open Source Threshold Escrow Program would create goodwill for software vendors trying to sell products to government agencies and large companies afraid of proprietary vendor lock-in, said Tony Stanco, creator of the program, known as O-STEP.Corel, which Stanco used as an example of a perfect fit for the program, said Monday it might consider such an idea for its WordPerfect Office suite. "It's certainly an interesting proposal," a company spokeswoman said after being told of the program.Stanco explained O-STEP Monday at a conference in Washington, D.C., called Open Standards/Open Source for National and Local eGovernment Programs in the U.S. and EU.Here's how … [Read more...] about Program encourages vendors to go open source
Indian outsourcer Wipro is to develop open-source business software and offer system integration services around the open-source database from software vendor Ingres, which will be marketed jointly by the two companies.The tie-up with Wipro is one of a number of systems-integration partnerships that Ingres plans with Indian outsourcers, said Vivek Bhatnagar, Ingres' country director for India, on Wednesday.Last month, the company struck a deal with Satyam Computer Services, an outsourcer in Hyderabad, India, to meet the systems integration needs of government, retail, and pharmaceutical customers around the world. It also has partnerships with outsourcers in the U.S. that have operations in India, like Cognizant Technology Solutions, an IT services company in Teaneck, New Jersey.Indian outsourcers can influence their customers worldwide to use Ingres' open-source software, said Bhatnagar. Ingres can also refer some of its clients to Indian outsourcers that have a practice … [Read more...] about Ingres, Wipro team on open source enterprise software
Open-source software plays an increasingly prominent role in many areas of modern business IT – it’s in servers, databases and even the cloud. Vendors like Red Hat, Canonical and others have managed to graft open-source principles onto a profitable business model. The former company became the first open-source-centered business with $1 billion in annual revenue in 2012.So what about the network? Why isn’t there an open-source alternative there?Plenty of reasons, according to experts, including the difficulty of challenging established incumbents, the dangers of getting eaten alive by a large customer and the sheer scale and complexity of managing a heterodox network in an orthodox way.THE HEAVYWEIGHTSObviously, the incumbents in most fields of enterprise technology are formidable enough, but networking hopefuls have to contend with a bona-fide giant of the realm in the form of Cisco – which sells between 65% and 70% of the world’s enterprise switches, 80% … [Read more...] about Why there’s no open-source standard-bearer for the network