Article: Improving Open-source Software Security for Java Developers

Open Source, Software

Improving Open-source Software Security for Java Developers

Whether it be next-generation supply chain attacks like the Codecov incident or social engineering attempts to deliberately introduce vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel code, threats against developers are consistently evolving and come from least expected places.

The introduction of vulnerable code in an upstream repository or a published release – whether intentional or not, can threaten the security of the wider software supply chain, especially for open-source components that are trusted and consumed by thousands.

Therefore, introducing automatic pre-flight security checks before a component enters the distribution stage can help spread awareness among software publishers and highlight insights that might have otherwise been missed.

Bringing awareness to security issues lurking in applications in this way safeguards the wider software supply chain from known bugs and vulnerable dependencies.

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Article: European Processor Initiative Tapes Out Their First RISC-V Test Chip

Hardware, Open Source, Software

European Processor Initiative Tapes Out Their First RISC-V Test Chip

The EPI recently announced that it has developed its first RISC-V device, the EPAC1.0, a RISC vector processor using the RISC-V ISA. Using the RISC-V architecture, the device can work with software libraries and other developments in the RISC-V environment. Furthermore, RISC-V removes the need for royalties and licenses when manufacturing processors that free the EPI from any outside commercial interest.

While RISC-V is nowhere near as popular as x86 or ARM, it is starting to gain traction and will undoubtedly become a major competitor. In addition, the use of an open-source ISA enables any manufacturer to create their own code-compatible CPU without worrying about licenses or royalties, which supports the development of lower-priced processors and encourages the use of open-source hardware.

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Article: A revival at the intersection of open source and open standards

Open Source, Software

A revival at the intersection of open source and open standards

I served as a volunteer firefighter in California for 10 years and witnessed firsthand the critical importance of technology in helping firefighters communicate efficiently and deliver safety-critical information quickly. Typically, multiple agencies show up to fight these fires, bringing with them radios made by different manufacturers that each use proprietary software to set radio frequencies. As a result, reprogramming these radios so that teams could communicate with one another is an unnecessarily slow — and potentially life-threatening — process.

If the radio manufacturers had instead all contributed to an open-source implementation conforming to a standard, the radios could have been quickly aligned to the same frequencies. Radio manufacturers could have provided a valuable, life-saving tool rather than a time-wasting obstacle, and they could have shared the cost of developing such software. In this situation, like so many others, there is no competitive advantage to be gained from proprietary radio-programming software and many priceless benefits to gain by standardizing.

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Article: The Enterprise Future is Open Source

Innovation, Open Source, Software

A quick look at the global open-source community is enough to see the development power that lies within the community’s pool of knowledge. While proprietary closed-source providers are bound by their own interests, the open-source community can react quickly and efficiently to emerging developments, potential threats, and market changes. Not only this, but open-source developers are also able to serve as readily available modernization partners and can offer constructive assistance in the development of innovative software solutions.

In addition, an existing pool of developers means that there is already a wealth of open-source solutions and platforms for companies to pick and choose from, allowing them to select exactly which solutions best meet their needs. While closed-source options may offer top-to-bottom development of brand-new software, this may turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing. Instead of spending time developing an innovative software stack from scratch, companies can instead build upon proven, widely used and constantly optimized basis solutions.

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Article: Mythbusting The Stigma Around Open Source Technology

Open Source, Software

Mythbusting The Stigma Around Open Source Technology

The most common myth is that changes and edits can be made to an open-source tool by any and all contributors at any time, similar to how one would make corrections and changes to Wikipedia. This is not true. With open-source projects, coders and developers can make enhancements, changes and additions to the code, but what is not as well-known is that those code contributions have to be submitted to the proprietary tool owners via pull request. These pull requests are then reviewed, critiqued and sent back to the contributor for edits and corrections.

Acting as the gatekeepers of their open-source tool, the main developers have the right to control what is and is not added to their tool. They can deny contributions if they feel they are unnecessary, they can return the request with corrections for various reasons such as sloppy code or incomplete additions and they also make suggestions for the contribution to make it more useful when and if it is added to the tool.

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Article: Democratising chip design

Design, Hardware, Open Source, Software

Democratising chip design

A potentially important initiative is US research agency DARPA’s OpenRoad initiative, with aims to build a more comprehensive set of open-source design tools. Professor Andrew Kahng of the University of California at San Diego and principal investigator on the project envisages an environment that can lay out and tune a range of chip designs automatically through a combination of machine learning and what he calls “extreme partitioning”, which divides the chip into many small independently optimised modules.

Though verification engineers have embraced various forms of open source, the stumbling blocks for its adoption get bigger the closer you get to tape-out. The biggest issue lies in the process design kits (PDKs) provided by foundries that are jealously protected by non-disclosure agreements and which forbid any sharing.

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Article: The business benefits of using an open-source cloud

Cloud, Data, Open Source, Software

The business benefits of using an open-source cloud

Even before the pandemic led to increased remote work migration, many organisations were becoming increasingly reliant on cloud solutions to streamline systems and workflow. But as with any enterprise technology, implementing cloud solutions comes with questions about the best way for individual businesses to harness their benefits.

By now, we’re realising that using a single cloud vendor can lead to limitation and that a flexible, multi-vendor strategy is better for innovation. Although using a variety of cloud environments gives businesses the ability to adapt to changing business requirements, it also requires integration. Open source gives organisations an answer to this: It offers unmatched flexibility while also cutting the costs of software acquisition.

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Article: Open-source software as a force for good in local government

Governance, Open Source, Software

Open-source software as a force for good in local government

The benefits of open-source software are well known and understood – large communities of developers creating, refining and improving code to create robust platforms that can be downloaded and used, free from commercial licence costs. It is a tantalising proposition that promises a practical solution to the problems of digital transformation. So why is it so difficult? The answer lies in the word community. A community of developers can build great software, but it needs a community of end-users to turn that software into turnkey solutions for a specific purpose.

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Article: Web 3.0: Can Blockchain Technology Introduce A New Era of Gambling?

Blockchain, Innovation, Web 3.0

Web 3.0: Can Blockchain Technology Introduce A New Era of Gambling?

Today, the gambling sector demands facilities that go beyond staking and rewards. The aspects of leisure, comfort, and security are preferable, and web 3.0 seems to be the real-world solution.

Modern technologies such as VR and Blockchain are part of web 3.0, and they seem to deliver unimaginable experiences in the gambling industry despite being in their infancy.

The beginnings have already taken shape and generated impressive experiences and revenues among users, and it’s inarguable the gambling industry is in a whole new era.

For the better part of its existence, Blockchain technology faced challenges ranging from scalability, interoperability, governance, adoption, and sustainability. However, the rise of Blockchain 3.0 as part of web 3.0 proves to be an innovative solution that will make Blockchain and web 3.0, in general, the futuristic technology for all industries and especially the gambling sector.

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Article: The Value—and Potential—of Enterprise Open Source

Open Source, Software

The Value—and Potential—of Enterprise Open Source

When the best of the world comes together, rapid advancements happen, and herein lies the open-source advantage. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation for many enterprises as they worked to maintain innovation while meeting a customer demand that was dynamically different from that of a pre-COVID-19 world. Thus, it is no surprise that 53 percent of respondents cited digital transformation as a top use of open-source software, propelling it to third on this year’s survey.

Just as with application development, open source for digital transformation saw an increase by 11 points over the last two years. This shift of both together demonstrates that the strategic use of open source is the lifeblood of business services.

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