Open source news this week: June 14 - June 20, 2014

New Relic's Centurion Docker deployment tool, DIY brain scanners, and more

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June 14 - 20, 2014

In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we check out New Relic's Docker deployment tool, a DIY brain recording rig from Open Ephys, and more.

New Relic open sources Docker deployment tool

The software analytics firm released the code for Centurion, a tool used internally to deploy Docker containers. Available as a Ruby gem and released under the MIT license, it includes options for defining the image to deploy, the servers to deploy to, environment variables, volumes and ports for the containers, and support for multiple environments. For more information, check out Centurion on GitHub.

MIT grads release open source brain recording

When graduate students Josh Siegle and Jakob Voigts needed to record brain signals in their lab, they could have spent $240,000 to get four recording devices. But instead, they built their own. Now, through their Open Ephys project, they're giving away their designs to the neuroscience community at large. The story of how the two went about hacking together their recording systems is fascinating and is yet another example of how the open hardware and maker movements are changing science, production, manufacturing, and, well, pretty much everything.

Interview with Australian Government CTO John Sheridan

Australia is pushing boundaries with its efforts in open government and open data. In a interview with FutureGov, Australia's CTO John Sheridan talks about the country's new e-government portal, which saw over three million visitors last month. Sheridan wants to keep pushing forward, improving the site and focusing on user requirements. "Improving user experience is largely the answer here," he said. "Basically we want to make it easier for people to find the information they’re looking for, faster, and give them a more uniform experience."

Raspberry Pi-based private cloud storage on Kickstarter

The Sherlybox, a private cloud-based network-attached-storage device, launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, and has reached nearly double its goal with two weeks left in the campaign. Polish start-up developed the VPN and file-sharing software, but recognized the demand for an out-of-the-box hardware solution that would give users a private way to store files in the cloud. Based on the Raspberry Pi Model B single-board computer, the Sherlybox comes with or without onboard storage, and is available in four colors.

Governments save with open source, says Red Hat

Harish Pillay, Global Head for Community Architecture and Leadership at Red Hat, says that public sector agencies using closed source software are realizing that "their investments were locked-in to the offering of that vendor. When things have to change and move on, the turnover was a lot harder to manage." Acquisitions, vendor transitions, and format rot are all big concerns when it comes to closed software. Switching to open source, Pillay says, means that the users can shift between supplies more easily and "include other companies and startups to add to the technology that they are using".

As always, thanks to moderators Robin Muilwijk and Scott Nesbitt, as well as summer intern Bryan Behrenshausen, for their help in sniffing out news stories this week.

About the author

Michael Harrison - Michael an unrepentant geek with a love for games, the social web, and open source projects to share with his kids. He writes about raising geek children at GeekDad and records a podcast about games called The Dice Section. You can follow him on Twitter at @oldbie.