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Databases adopt open licenses, JavaScript gets faster on Android, governments use more OSS, and more news

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 15:04

In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at database vendors going all in with open source, Facebook and Uber's latest open source releases, City of London's homebuilding app, and more!


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Buying a Linux-ready laptop

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 20:22

Recently, I bought and started using a Tuxedo Book BC1507, a Linux laptop computer. Ten years ago, if someone had told me that, by the end of the decade, I could buy top-quality, "penguin-ready" laptops from companies such as System76, Slimbook, and Tuxedo, I probably would have laughed. Well, now I'm laughing, but with joy!


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Use HackMD to collaborate on open source projects

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 20:20

HackMD.io is an open source, collaborative Markdown editor. It allows people to share, comment, and collaborate on documents. As open source software, users can choose between using the online platform or installing it as a local service using the upstream project CodiMD.


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What you need to know to be a sysadmin

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 15:02

The system administrator of yesteryear jockeyed users and wrangled servers all day, in between mornings and evenings spent running hundreds of meters of hundreds of cables. This is still true today, with the added complexity of cloud computing, containers, and virtual machines.


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Redirect a GitHub Pages site with this HTTP hack

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 15:01

I run a few static websites for my private projects on GitHub Pages. I'm absolutely happy with the service, as it supports custom domains, automatically redirects to HTTPS, and transparently installs SSL certificates (with automatic issuing via Let's Encrypt). It is very fast (thanks to Fastly's content delivery network) and is extremely reliable (I haven't had any issues for years).


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How to apply 'release early, release often' to build a better brand

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 15:00

The importance of open source—and specifically the maxim "release early, release often" (RERO)—can hardly be overstated. 

This approach born at the command line has impacted the world as organizations of every shape and size discover what open, collaborative processes can do. Look around. The evidence is everywhere: on our phones, in our cars, in schools and hospitals.

If we still built software the way we used to, innovations across these and countless other areas may never have seen the light of day.


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Start tinkering with the Circuit Playground Express

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 15:02

I've been a gadget person as long as I can remember, so I was delighted when I discovered an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express (CPX) in the swag bag I got at PyConUS in May. I became fascinated with these little devices last year, when Nina Zakharenko highlighted them in her All Things Open presentation, Five Things You Didn't Know Python Could Do, with Python-powered earrings.


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Get going with EtherCalc, a web-based alternative to Google Sheets

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 15:01

Spreadsheets can be very useful—and not just for managing your finances. That said, desktop spreadsheets have their limitations. The biggest is that you need to be at your computer to use one. On top of that, collaborating on a spreadsheet can quickly become a messy affair.

Enter EtherCalc, an open source, web-based spreadsheet. While not as fully featured as a desktop spreadsheet, EtherCalc packs enough features for most people.


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How to install Kibana on MacOS

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 15:00

In my previous post, I walked Mac users through the steps they’ll take to install Elasticsearch, the world’s most popular enterprise search engine. (Here's a separate article for Linux users.) Its natural language processing power makes Elasticsearch excel at finding details within datasets.


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Security scanning your DevOps pipeline

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:03

Security is one of the most important considerations for running in any environment, and using open source software is a great way to handle security without going over budget in your corporate environment or for your home setup. It is easy to talk about the concepts of security, but it's another thing to understand the tools that will get you there. This tutorial explains how to set up security using Jenkins with Anchore.


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An Ansible reference guide, CI/CD with Ansible Tower and GitHub, and more news

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:02

We’re always amazed to find and hear what people are achieving with Ansible. Naturally, we get lots of feedback from customers, but more often we find it is the community who pushes Ansible even further.


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Save and load Python data with JSON

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:01

JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. This format is a popular method of storing data in key-value arrangements so it can be parsed easily later. Don’t let the name fool you, though: You can use JSON in Python—not just JavaScript—as an easy way to store data, and this article demonstrates how to get started.

First, take a look at this simple JSON snippet:


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Become a lifelong learner and succeed at work

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:00

Continuous learning refers to the ongoing, career-driven, intentional learning process people undertake to develop themselves. For people who consider themselves continuous learners, learning never stops—and these people see learning opportunities in everyday experiences. Engaging with one's colleagues in debate, reflecting on feedback, scouring the internet for a solution to a frustrating problem, trying something new, or taking a risk are all examples of the informal learning activities one can perform on the job.


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What is POSIX? Richard Stallman explains

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 15:02

What is POSIX, and why does it matter? It's a term you've likely seen in technical writing, but it often gets lost in a sea of techno-initialisms and jargon-that-ends-in-X. I emailed Dr. Richard Stallman (better known in hacker circles as RMS) to find out more about the term's origin and the concept behind it.


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Understanding software design patterns

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 15:01

If you are a programmer or a student pursuing computer science or a similar discipline, sooner or later, you will encounter the term "software design pattern." According to Wikipedia, "a software design pattern is a general, reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem within a given context in software design." Here is my take on the definition: When you have been working on a coding project for a while, you often begin to think, "Huh, this seems redundant.


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What movie genre does your typical day most resemble?

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 15:00

Have you ever daydreamed about what type of movie "A Day in the Life of [Your Name Here]" would be? As a sysadmin or other IT professional, your day can vary depending on what issues arise. Does your workday typically play out as planned, or does it tend to go off script? Which movie genre best describes your typical day?

Superhero blockbuster: When you save the day after Thanos deletes the world's DNS records, you might feel like one of the Avengers.


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MTTR is dead, long live CIRT

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 15:02

The game is changing for the IT ops community, which means the rules of the past make less and less sense. Organizations need accurate, understandable, and actionable metrics in the right context to measure operations performance and drive critical business transformation.

The more customers use modern tools and the more variation in the types of incidents they manage, the less sense it makes to smash all those different incidents into one bucket to compute an average resolution time that will represent ops performance, which is what IT has been doing for a long time.


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Make an RGB cube with Python and Scribus

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 15:01

When I decided I wanted to play with color this summer, I thought about the fact that colors are usually depicted on a color wheel. This is usually with pigment colors rather than light, and you lose any sense of the variation in color brightness or luminosity.


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Certifications for DevOps engineers

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 15:00

DevOps teams appreciate using DevOps processes, especially in multi- and hybrid cloud infrastructures, for many reasons. For one thing, DevOps breaks down barriers and enables agile software development and continuous delivery of IT operations.


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What is a golden image?

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 15:02

If you’re in quality assurance, system administration, or (believe it or not) media production, you might have heard some variation of the term gold master, golden image, or master image, and so on. It’s a term that has made its way into the collective consciousness of anyone involved in creating one perfect model and then producing many duplicates from that mold. That’s what a gold master, or golden image, is: The virtual mold from which you cast your distributable models.


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