Open source news for your reading pleasure.
June 7 - 13, 2014
In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Tesla's patent release, Docker 1.0, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, and more.
Tesla Motors releases patents
Stating that patents "serve merely to stifle progress," CEO Elon Musk revealed yesterday the company's plans to release the patents for their electric cars "in the spirit of the open source movement." Musk indicated that the whole reason Tesla created those patents was out of a fear that big car companies might steal their innovative technology. In the years since, electric car programs at major auto manufacturers are minuscule or even non-existent, and that the industry needs all the help it can get. Musk added in the announcement, "We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard."
Docker goes 1.0
After 15 months, the Linux container platform that simplifies and streamlines application packaging has hit the big 1.0 milestone. Paul Venezia at InfoWorld outlines some of the big enhancements for this version of Docker, including direct connections to host network interfaces, SELinux support, time-stamped logs for individual containers, and improved redundancy. This is not to mention what Docker 1.0 means for OpenStack and for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 leaves beta
With Docker integration, a move to the systemd process manager, and XFS as the default file system, there's a lot of talk about RHEL 7's new features. After a year and a half in beta, the new operating system boasts stability and performance improvements and more versatility and flexibility across a variety of platforms: bare metal servers, virtual machines, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS) clouds. Another focus was on interoperability with Windows: "We want people to be able to just drop their server into a Windows environment and have it seamlessly integrate," says Denise Dumas, senior director of Platform Engineering at Red Hat.
Lytro cameras introduce open source WebGL player
The developers of the popular light-field cameras, which allow photographers to choose a point of focus after taking shots, are opening up the format of those photos with a new embeddable WebGL player. The photo portfolio site 500px will be the first to offer the player, which will allow people viewing the photos the ability to change focus and perspective on the fly.
Open data and reddit save New Yorkers over $55,000 a year
In an example of how open data can inspire local change, Ben Wellington ran some New York parking ticket data to find the most "profitable" fire hydrants in the city. He found two hydrants that were costing citizens $55,000 a year. Turns out, the Department of Transportation had painted parking spots in the areas in front of the hydrants. More than a little confusing. When Wellington's post on reddit went viral, the DOT moved fast, and within weeks the two spots were repainted.
Google Kubernetes tool released as open source
The tool, whose name means "shipmaster" or "pilot" in ancient Greek, offers a streamlined method for running online software across an array of servers. Google's sharing it with everyone because they're in the cloud computing service business now, and they want to attract as many people as possible to the world of cloud computing. One way they're making it work so well is by integrating it with—you guessed it—Docker. Kubernetes manages multiple Docker containers, helping them run as efficiently as possible on a single machine.