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By t.harikrishnan ·
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Future is Open

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

As MS Windows prepares to take a back seat and perhaps fade away into
the mist of computing history, tech enthusiasts all over are gearing up
to increase the penetration of various Open Source OSes. Linux leads
the brigade followed by BSD, Solaris and the likes. Some may have no
other option but to go Open (e.g. AIX, HP-UX, etc).<br />
<br />
As things stand today, MS is feeling the heat so much that many of
their projects are being re-drawn. They are now busy going to various
countries and offering bags of charity on AIDS research, opening up
free(?) education centres and donating the old manuals to university
libraries.<br />
<br />
Linux adoption has taken off on dizzying speeds. We have achieved a 10%
mark on our servers and desktops and have already thinking of a 50%
target. I am alreay feeling the heat from both Linux haters and lovers.
Already palns are on to start a 30 min Linux Workshop every Friday.
Looking for some ideas.<br />

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Simply Change

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

That is what a Linux distibution catch word for our times.<br /><br /><br>We are now in the midst of a great change. Form propritory, closed systems to Open Source Software, with Linux holding the flag. <br /><br>The reasons are:<br /><br /><li>It is free (as in freedom)<br /><li>You are not at the mercy of one or two business houses<br /><li>It is more safe - No Virus, Spywares, Adwares, and Dialers<br /><li>More stable - so more productivity, and lost business<br /><li>You will be different - Like Yahoo!, Google, Amazon etc<br /><li>You will never be on the wrong side of law<br /><li>Your harware will have more half-life<br /><br />Now it is up to you to make the change.<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://opensourcenow.blogspot.com/2005/06/simply-change.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Simply Change

by jmgarvin In reply to Simply Change

<p>What distro are you using?  What kernel?  What packages?  Just curious...</p>

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RAdiation Detection and Analysis System

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

<a href="All
<br />the above processes generate electric charge within the active volume
<br />of the detector. A suitable bias voltage is applied to collect this
<br />charge. When the rate of radiation is not very high the charge
<br />generated by individual events can be collected and <span lang="en-US">analyzed.</span>
<br />The following paragraphs explain the experimental setup, developed at
<br />Nuclear Science Centre, for generating the energy spectra of incident
<br />radiation.">http://www.nsc.res.in/~elab/das/ppdas/ppdas.html</a>: "All
<br />the above processes generate electric charge within the active volume
<br />of the detector. A suitable bias voltage is applied to collect this
<br />charge. When the rate of radiation is not very high the charge
<br />generated by individual events can be collected and <span lang='en-US'>analyzed.</span>
<br />The following paragraphs explain the experimental setup, developed at
<br />Nuclear Science Centre, for generating the energy spectra of incident
<br />radiation."<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://opensourcenow.blogspot.com/2005/08/radiation-detection-and-analysis.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Data Openness

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

Data Openness is all about opening the vast data gathered by various govenment agencies by different methods (land survey, aerial survey, satellite remote sensing, space shuttle remote sensing etc)to all public. Freely, without any restrictions in use. <br /><br />These data are usually not at all available for common public for any price, due to security reasons. Or at an atrocious, unaccepable price. <br /><br />These data enables us to know about our sorroundings, out environment, in dealing with natural disasters, and many other things.<br /><br />This data should be opened up.<br /><br /><BlogItemURL><br /> <a href="<$BlogItemURL$>">Link</a><br /></BlogItemURL><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://opensourcenow.blogspot.com/2005/12/data-openness.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Open Source Stem Cell Research

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

U.S. BioDefense, Inc. is developing an Open Source Stem Cell Research Platform to leverage the distributed power of open source development. The Open Source Stem Cell Research Platform will allow researchers at Universities, Government Agencies, and Fortune 500 companies to read, distribute, modify and contribute to stem cell and biotechnology research in an efficient and streamlined method. The platform which can be used as an Intranet or online will provide access to bioinformatic tools and serve as a robust utility for the rapid evolution of Stem Cell technology research, development, and commercialization. <br /><br />U.S. BioDefense CEO David Chin stated, ?We intend to quickly scale up revenues by focusing on selling Open Source collaborative technology research and transfer tools as well as commercializing leading edge technology. The proliferation of open source development to industries beyond software has prompted U.S. BioDefense to aggressively lead the drive in implementing the philosophy and benefits to the emerging stem cell industry. We are positioning ourselves at the nucleus of Stem Cell research and development tools in order to leverage the potential of California's $3 Billion Stem Cell Research Fund and our Department of Defense SBIR Grant response related to Embryonic Stem Cell technology for Bioengineered skin commercialization.? <br /><br /><BlogItemURL><br /> <a href="<$BlogItemURL$>">Read more.....</a><br /></BlogItemURL><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://opensourcenow.blogspot.com/2005/12/open-source-stem-cell-research.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Novell Revolutionizes Identity Management to Enhance Security and Compliance Across the Enterprise

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<p class="mobile-post">FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br />Dec. 5, 2005</p>
<p class="mobile-post">Novell Revolutionizes Identity Management to Enhance Security and Compliance Across the Enterprise</p>
<p class="mobile-post">- Novell Identity Manager 3 delivers unprecedented ease of use to help customers rapidly deploy and manage automated, policy-driven user provisioning solutions</p>
<p class="mobile-post">WALTHAM, Mass. -- Dec. 5, 2005 -- Novell today announced the upcoming worldwide availability of Novell(R) Identity Manager 3, the company's flagship cross-platform provisioning and identity management solution for security and compliance. Novell Identity Manager 3 delivers advanced visual modeling, workflow and self-service capabilities, giving companies flexible, yet powerful, new tools for meeting their security and compliance needs. As a result, customers will be better positioned to simplify and control user access, protect sensitive data, reduce administrative costs, and comply with corporate and regulatory mandates. </p>
<p class="mobile-post">"Manually provisioning user accounts is time consuming and expensive, but more importantly a lack of automation results in inconsistently applied policy. A provisioning system introduces stronger auditability and reduces security and compliance risks," said Mike Neuenschwander, vice president and research director at Burton Group. "With Identity Manager 3, Novell significantly enhances the product's workflow and approval routing features."</p>
<p class="mobile-post">Meeting Compliance Needs<br />Available Dec. 13, Novell Identity Manager 3 is the only solution to offer an intuitive, visual framework for mapping complex identity management infrastructures, helping customers meet compliance needs by automatically documenting an entire project. Unlike other offerings that require manual coding and configuration, customers can use Novell Identity Manager 3 to visually model implementations and easily reuse configurations to reduce deployment times and test "what if" scenarios before deployment. </p>
<p class="mobile-post">Improving Security<br />Novell Identity Manager 3 makes it easier than ever before for users to interface with critical corporate identity management processes. Employee access to network resources can be based either on corporate roles or on distinct approval processes. The new add-on Provisioning Module for Novell Identity Manager 3 delivers advanced workflow capabilities to help customers streamline user administration by automating approval requests and designating role, group or individual assignments that help define approval processes. </p>
<p class="mobile-post">Advancing Self Service<br />As users become more involved in managing and requesting resources, self-service capabilities are increasingly important both for employee productivity and to reduce demands on IT staff. Novell Identity Manager 3 makes it easier for users to request resources, delegate approvals and administration, and use proxies to manage their own access needs. </p>
<p class="mobile-post">"Our user community is constantly changing, and it can be tough to keep pace with evolving roles and requirements," said Brian Hobbs, IT director, Hunter Douglas. "With Novell Identity Manager, we can quickly create and adapt new, complex approval workflows. Novell makes it easy for us to establish an authoritative source of identity information that lets users manage basic tasks without compromising security." </p>
<p class="mobile-post">Kent Erickson, vice president of identity and resource management at Novell, said, "Security and compliance are at the top of every CIO's list. Novell's identity management solutions deliver on all fronts: reducing costs, improving compliance and enhancing security. It's a 'must have' for every IT department in the world today."</p>
<p class="mobile-post">About Novell<br />Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise(TM). With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at http://www.novell.com. <br />###</p>
<p class="mobile-post">Novell is a registered trademark and Software for the Open Enterprise is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. </p>
<p class="mobile-post">Press Contacts:<br />Susan Morton<br />Novell<br />(781) 464-8239<br />smorton@novell.com</p>
<p class="mobile-post">Sarah Murray<br />Horn Group<br />(781) 356-7135<br />smurray@horngroup.com</p>
<p class="mobile-post">---<br />You are currently subscribed to press_releases as: [t.harikrishnan@gmail.com]<br />To unsubscribe, please visit http://www.novell.com/info/list/index.html or forward this message to leave-press_releases-38429881Y@list.novell.com</p>
</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://opensourcenow.blogspot.com/2005/12/novell-revolutionizes-identity.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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The Battle for Bangalore

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

A nasty catfight has been going on in Washington and the American press. The essence of the battle calls into question the patriotism of CEOs who would sell out their countrymen for a quick buck by taking advantage of offshoring - a word guaranteed to cause an American software engineer to choke on his high-caffeine Jolt. <br /><br />American companies, being squeezed by low-cost, high-work-ethic competition from Asia, are looking to cut overheads by outsourcing their IT jobs. The destination of much of this exodus is the booming tech sector of India, as the world's second most populous country leverages the widespread knowledge of English, a legacy of its colonial past. The nexus of this growth is Bangalore, which boasts more than 200 technology companies and the highest number of engineering colleges of any city in the world.<br /><br /> <br />And now a different fight has begun in earnest. In terms of the global IT landscape, it is perhaps more significant. It is the battle for the hearts and minds of those tens of thousands of Indian software developers. <br /><br />On one side is Microsoft, hoping to tempt them with visions of a smoothly-integrated development system from a single vendor. On the other side is the free software movement, talking about the importance of liberty, unrestrictive licensing and control of your own computing environment. At stake is the ability to harness the brainpower of an entire subcontinent of hackers.<br /><br />In the most recent exchange of fire, Microsoft's shot made the loudest bang. Buoyed by a no doubt sincere but also profile-raising series of visits by Bill Gates to Delhi slums and AIDS counselling centres, there was extensive international coverage of Microsoft's "Ready Launch 2005" event at the Bangalore Palace. There, Gates announced a $1.7 billion investment in India over the next four years, split between "donations" of software to schools, job creation and building, and developer evangelism.<br /><br />However, reading the reports, one can't help but see a slightly patronising tone in their approach. One announcement which typified this was "Code4Bill" - a recruiting exercise dressed up as a competition, involving a series of online tests and real-world interviews. These whittle down the entrants to a final 20 who win internships at Microsoft India, and maybe even (gasp!) a job. The lucky grand prize winner gets to work in the "Bill Gates Technical Assistants Team" in Redmond for a year.<br /><br />By contrast, the FOSS.IN (FOSS stands for "free and open source software; .IN is the country code for India) conference, a week beforehand in the very same venue, received comparatively little publicity. There were 2,700 attendees gathered to hear big names in the Linux world such as Alan Cox, the impressively-bearded Welsh kernel hacker, who gave "brutally technical" programming talks. The event's sponsor list reads like a roll call in the ABM ("Anyone But Microsoft") army - Intel, Google, Sun, HP.<br /><br />At first glance, despite the Microsoft marketing muscle and donated dollars, free software should be a shoo-in. In a country which wants to encourage entrepreneurship and expand its economy, why pay more for less control? However, the free software community has its own, rather unexpected hurdle to overcome - a cultural one. Despite India being "the world's largest consumer of free software", not much code is making its way back to the major projects. It seems that Indian developers often have a difficult time engaging with the community. <br /><br />There have been several reasons suggested for this. One is that the Indian university system is more oriented to creating large numbers of employable graduates who pass tests, assembly-line style, than encouraging creativity and risk-taking. In a country where an engineering degree is the ticket to a reasonably comfortable life, no one wants to rock the boat. Another factor is that Indian developers are often most comfortable with a structured work plan and clearly-defined boundaries. This style of working is not a good fit for the self-motivated, somewhat chaotic style of the free software bazaar.<br /><br />So at the moment, the scales are evenly balanced. India is there for the taking. In five years' time, will India be Coding 4 Bill, or Coding 2 Share?<br /><br />[Gervase Markham works for the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting choice and innovation on the internet.]<br /><br /><BlogItemURL><br /> <a href="<$BlogItemURL$>">Orginal Post</a><br /></BlogItemURL><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://opensourcenow.blogspot.com/2005/12/battle-for-bangalore.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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FOSS.IN: A report

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

FOSS.IN 2005 has run its course. Your editor, having returned (sans luggage and with a seriously confused body clock) to a Colorado cold snap, will now set out to summarize this impressive event. This article is a companion to the first-day report already published. <br /><br />FOSS.IN attracted something over 2700 attendees to a set of steel-and-canvas temporary buildings set up on the grounds of the Bangalore Palace. Speakers - mostly from India, but also coming from Australia, Brazil, Germany, Malaysia, the US, and beyond - led sessions on a wide variety of topics. The audience was interested and engaged in a way not often seen at other events. FOSS.IN was a fun place to be. <br /><br />This report will not attempt to summarize the individual sessions. Those who are interested in further information should have a look at the numerous reports being posted on planet.foss.in. There are also quite a few photos available. <br /><br />On the last day of the conference, your editor delivered a brutally technical kernel programming talk to a crowd which nearly filled the 750-seat "Intel Hall." That is several times the number of people which normally turn up for that sort of session. These people were not just filling the seats; they asked no end of detailed questions during the session and after as well. Alan Cox's technical device driver talk drew an even larger crowd. An immediate conclusion which might be drawn is that Bangalore contains hundreds of programmers who are interested in - and capable of - hacking on the kernel. <br /><br />Even if only 10% of those attendees were truly active in kernel development, one would expect to see a significant amount of code from Bangalore working its way into the mainline kernel. And there are some Bangalore-based kernel hackers who are active on the mailing lists and who are contributing code. But their numbers are far smaller than one would expect after seeing how many people are interested and knowledgeable in this area. India is, as one developer put it, "the world's biggest consumer of free software," but it is not a huge contributor. Trying to reconcile this difference became one of your editor's primary objectives at FOSS.IN. <br /><br />It is not possible to claim that this objective was realized in any complete way. It has become clear, however, that a few forces are at play here. One of them become evident early on: of the numerous questions asked privately by attendees, quite a few had to do with binary-only kernel modules. It seems that the challenges involved in maintaining proprietary modules - the changing kernel API, GPL-only exports, etc. - are proving frustrating to deal with. But more to the point: it seems that a significant percentage of these kernel developers are engaged in the writing of proprietary code. Your editor was far from the only speaker to sermonize about the problems inherent in proprietary code and the importance of contributing back to the community, but, if Indian companies are demanding the creation of proprietary code, that's what their employees will write. <br /><br />Another important factor was revealed in a talk given by Neetibodh Agarwal, and in various discussions which followed. Neeti was called upon to set up a development team for Novell in Bangalore, and he was struck by just how difficult that was to do. There are, it seems, a number of reasons why Indian developers have a difficult time engaging with the free software development community. <br /><br />By several accounts, the problem starts with the university system. The Indian universities are strongly oriented toward the creation of employable graduates in large numbers; a number of FOSS.IN attendees described them as "assembly line" operations. There is a strong emphasis on passing tests and getting through the system on schedule, and, it seems, little interest in encouraging creativity and curiosity in the students. The universities were described as a conformist environment with little love of those who have their own ideas of how things should be done. The end result, as expressed to your editor, is that most students have had any love of hacking beaten out of them by the time they graduate. <br /><br />The fact that the universities are, for the most part, hostile to Linux and free software does not help either. <br /><br />Neeti's talk described Indian developers as needing to have their jobs laid out to them in great detail. They want to know where their boundaries are, and are uncomfortable if left to determine their own priorities and approaches. Your editor's initial reaction was that this claim sounded like classic talk from a pointy-haired boss who does not trust his employees to make decisions. Subsequent discussions backed up Neeti's claims, however. A few Indians told me that Indian employees require a high degree of supervision; perhaps that is why the pizza stand at the site required two-levels of necktie-wearing bosses who apparently did little to actually get pizza into the hands of conference attendees. It is not that Indians lack the intelligence to function without a boss breathing down their neck - that is clearly not the case - but all of their training tells them to work in that way. <br /><br />So if one were to construct a stereotypical picture of an Indian software developer, it would depict a person who sees programming very much as a job, and not as an activity which can be interesting or rewarding in its own right. This developer is most interested in getting - and keeping - a stable job in a country where an engineering career can be a ticket to a relatively comfortable middle-class existence. Keeping that job requires keeping management - and coworkers - happy, and not rocking the boat. <br /><br />For such a developer, the free software community is not a particularly attractive or welcoming place. A developer who contributes to a free software project may earn a strong reputation in the community, but that reputation is not appreciated by that developer's employer or co-workers, and is not helpful for his or her career. Criticism from the community - even routine criticism of a patch by people who appreciate the developer's contributions in general - can be hurtful to a career in a culture where open criticism is not the normal way of doing things. Developers who expect to have their job parameters laid out to them in detail may feel lost in a project where they are expected to find something useful to do, and push it forward themselves. And these developers, while being possibly quite skilled in what they do, often have no real passion for programming, and leave it all behind when they leave the office each day. <br /><br />It also does not help that, at this point, would-be contributors have few role models in India. <br /><br />In the long term, many of these problems may go away. For now, however, getting Indian programmers into the community will require some extra care. Often, it will be necessary to engage (respectfully) with their supervisors: in most cases, if an Indian is working with the community, it is because his or her boss is making it happen. Being careful with criticism and avoiding creating trouble for Indian developers in their work hierarchies can only help. <br /><br />And, obviously, an important step will be the creation of a vibrant free software community in India. This community can provide inspiration, mentoring, and support for <br />aspiring contributors; it could also provide a pool of free software programmers from which employers could hire. The seeds of this community were clearly visible at FOSS.IN - in fact, many FOSS.IN attendees are poorly described by (and probably somewhat offended by) the caricature presented above (please accept your editor's apologies). Dozens of Indian free software hackers got up on stage and presented their work at this event. Interestingly, the distribution most in evidence at FOSS.IN was Gentoo, rather than one of the products of the commercial distributors who are steadily employing more developers in Bangalore. The Ruby hackers - unlikely to be working at the behest of their employer at this stage - essentially had their own one-day track at the event. Harald Welte's session on hacking the Linux-based Motorola a780 phone attracted a very high level of interest. There is, clearly, a lot going on in India even now; it will be most interesting to watch the level of activity explode as the local community develops. <br /><br />Events like FOSS.IN are crucial for the development of this community. So it is unfortunate that this event is currently dealing with some serious financial problems. A sponsorship shortfall led to a reduction in the conference program, and it leaves the organizers with a financial gap that they are struggling to close. Given this situation, it is worth noting that the list of conference sponsors (which includes Intel, Google, Sun, and HP) is missing the names of a few companies which work with free software, and which have a presence in Bangalore. In particular, IBM, Novell, and Red Hat all declined to sponsor FOSS.IN this year, even though many of their employees were using their vacation time to attend. Local companies, such as Wipro and InfoSys, were represented in the audience and among the speakers, but did not sponsor the event. If these companies see any benefit in having a thriving community to support their developers, sponsoring an event like FOSS.IN should look like an inexpensive way to help bring that community about.<br /><br /><BlogItemURL><br /> <a href="<$BlogItemURL$>">Read Orginal Post</a><br /></BlogItemURL><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://opensourcenow.blogspot.com/2005/12/fossin-report.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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openSUSE

by t.harikrishnan In reply to Tech Trivia

The openSUSE project is a community program sponsored by Novell. Promoting the use of Linux everywhere, openSUSE.org provides free, easy access to the world's most usable Linux distribution, SUSE Linux. The openSUSE project gives Linux developers and enthusiasts everything they need to get started with Linux. <br /><br />The goals of the openSUSE project are: <br /><br /><li>Make SUSE Linux the easiest Linux distribution for anyone to obtain and the most widely used open source platform. <br /><br /><li>Provide an environment for open source collaboration that makes SUSE Linux the world's best Linux distribution for new and experienced Linux users. <br /><br /><li>Dramatically simplify and open the development and packaging processes to make SUSE Linux the platform of choice for Linux hackers and application developers. <br /><br />With the launch of the openSUSE project, SUSE Linux is now developed in an open model?public development builds, releases, and sources will be posted frequently here and you will have access to Bugzilla database for defect reporting. You can also sign up on special interest mailing lists to make sure that you are always getting the most recent news on the openSUSE project and the SUSE Linux distribution.<br /><br /><BlogItemURL><br /> <a href="<$BlogItemURL$>">Go to openSUSE page</a><br /></BlogItemURL><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://opensourcenow.blogspot.com/2005/12/opensuse.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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