Weekly wrap-up: New Zealand bans software patents, open source is for lovers, and more

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open source news and highlights


Open source news this week: August 25 - 29, 2013

What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.

  • New Zealand bans software patents. Chances are you’ve already heard that New Zealand passed a new Patents Bill this week making software patents illegal. So rather than summarize this news story, let me just pass along some links to articles that take a look at various angles on this exciting news:

* Quartz explains how NZ banned software patents without violating international law.

* Washington Post writer Timothy B. Lee outlines why the United States should follow in NZ's footsteps.

* Want to know what others like you think about the ban? Scroll through the zillions of Slashdot and Reddit comments.

* Finally, I smiled at Jolie O'Dell's brief post in VentureBeat, in which she writes, "Time to bust out the champagne*, neckbeards!" She later clarifies at the bottom of the post: "*Just kidding. We know you drink craft brews, not champagne."

  • Track sharks in real-time. It is now possible to track the paths of sharks in real-time thanks to the OCEARCH global shark tracking project. The OCEARCH website offers a variety of tracking data for sharks that have been tagged by researchers. Computer World does a nice job explaining how the technology works and what researchers are already learning. OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer touts the research as open source because anyone can access the data at the same time and nothing is proprietary. If you're worried about whether sharks are swimming close to your favorite beach, you may want to avoid this website. After all, ignorance is bliss.
  • Now Hiring: Open source support. If you're Drupal savvy and you're seeking a job, you may want to consider heading to Australia, where the government reports the need for more open source support. Australian government CTO John Sheridan says Drupal is so popular with the country's government agencies, that government's vendors are having troubles staffing qualified employees to meet the demand, reports ZDNet's Josh Taylor. Of course, depending on where you live, flying to Australia isn't cheap. So you may want to find a job there before you pack your bags.
  • I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22. Linux celebrated its 22nd birthday this week with founder Linus Torvalds riffing off the famous email he sent 22 years ago by writing on Google+ it’s "just a hobby, even if it's big and professional." There was no shortage of news coverage of this anniversary, but I enjoyed the ReadWrite post, which includes interviews with Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos and Clouder Chief Strategy Officer Mike Olson. In their interviews, the pair reflect on how far open source has come and where it may go from here.

open source is for lovers

  • Open source is for lovers. The matchmaking site eHarmony has found a match in open source software. eHarmony CTO Thod Nguyen tells V3.co.uk that after a long search, his department chose MongoDB to help improve the speed of its matching systems, a move that ultimately reduced matching times by 95%. The company also uses Hadoop, Hive, and Hibernate, reports V3.co.uk. eHarmony has also released its "seeking" library on GitHub. So if you’re an eHarmony user, should you bring up your newfound knowledge about eHarmony using open source software on your next date? I say why not. If the site paired you with someone you’re compatible with, they’ll probably be interested in your passion for open source.


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Ginny Hamilton was a community manager for EnterprisersProject.com, an online publication and community focused on how CIOs and IT leaders create business value through information technology. A former journalist, Ginny is passionate about local politics, journalism, technology, and social media.


Go Aotearoa! (Not that this makes up for the recent GCSB related shenanigans.) <a href="http://www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz/food/recipes/anzac-biscuits/">ANZAC Biscuits</a> for everyone! You'll have to 'compile' your own though. ;-)

Hurray for New Zealand.

Steve Stites

It's good to know that the New Zealand government cannot be bribed by big companies with lots of money, like they are in the USA. Let's hope this sets the bar for other countries to follow.

Big thumbs up to new zealand

Bravo New Zealand! Here's to showing the World that there's "another" way to get things DONE!


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