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Open Source

Video Meet OpenDaylight Project Executive Director Neela Jacques (Video) 14

The OpenDaylight Project works on Software Defined Networking. Their website says, "Software Defined Networking (SDN) separates the control plane from the data plane within the network, allowing the intelligence and state of the network to be managed centrally while abstracting the complexity of the underlying physical network." Another quote: it's the "largest software-defined networking Open Source project to date." The project started in 2013. It now has an impressive group of corporate networking heavyweights as sponsors and about 460 developers working on it. Their latest release, Lithium, came out earlier this month, and development efforts are accelerating, not slowing down, because as cloud use becomes more prevalent, so does SDN, which is an obvious "hand-in-glove" fit for virtualized computing.

Today's interview is with OpenDaylight Project Executive Director Nicolas "Neela" Jacques, who has held this position since the project was not much more than a gleam in (parent) Linux Foundation's eye. This is one of the more important Linux Foundation collaborative software projects, even if it's not as well known to the public as some of the foundation's other efforts, including -- of course -- GNU/Linux itself.

Video How Will IT Workers' Roles Change in the Next Five Years? (Video) 138

We asked Sarah Lahav this question. She's founder and CEO of service management and help desk software company SysAid, and a staunch supporter of Sysadmin Appreciation Day, so keeping an eye on the future of IT is essential for her company, her clients, and the friends she's made in her years as an IT person and -- later -- IT service company executive. As she says in the interview, "[Some] people say that the IT person will not exist because everything will go to the cloud. And the other half claims that people from the IT [department] will have new skills. It wouldn’t be the same IT person as we know him now, there will be focus more on firewalls than on fixing computers and stuff like that." Is she right? Is she wrong? Or will changes in IT people's roles be so different from company to company that there is no one right answer?

Video Dueling Home Automation Systems at SXSW (Video) 47

Austin has a strong western heritage and more country and western music than you can shake a fiddle bow at. So when Timothy came back from SXSW with video clips from two home automation companies with different approaches to this question: "How can you work with a whole bunch of lights and thermostats and other IoT home automation pieces that all have different OSes and control APIs?" we obviously had to call the resulting video 'Dueling Home Automation Systems.'

The two companies shown in this video are called WigWag and Yonomi. WigWag sells you a "Relay," which they say "is a powerful mini computer that gives you control of your home's smart devices." The minimum pre-order buy-in for WigWag seems to be a $149 WigWag Relay. Their 'products' page his page shows the Relay -- and many other gadgets and kits that could easily run your total tab up to $1000 or more. Yonomi, on the other hand, "resides on your phone and in the Cloud. No need for a hub, controller box or other additional hardware. Yonomi magically finds and enhances your existing connected devices allowing them to interact with one another in ways never before possible."

Yonomi may start with a free Android app (iOS coming soon), but you still need to buy lights, speakers, thermostats, and other things that are Internet-aware, so you're not going to save much (if anything) over buying a WigWag relay and the rest of what you need to create your own, private Internet of Things. And what about good old X10 and other home control systems? They're still out there, still doing their thing in millions of homes even if they aren't getting all the IoT buzz. In any case, it's nice to see new home automation alternatives coming down the pike, even if their cloudness may make them easier to hack than an old-fashioned appliance like this coffeemaker.

Video It's an Internet-Connected Wheelchair (Video) 22

If you're in a wheelchair, wouldn't it be nice to have your chair automatically alert a caregiver if changes in your heart rate or another vital sign showed that you might be having a problem? And how about helping you rate sidewalks and handicapped parking spaces to help fellow wheelchair users get around more comfortably? Steven Hawking endorses the idea, and the Connected Wheelchair Project, in this short video. (You can see our interviewee, David Hughes, at 0:58 and again at 1:38.) This is an Intel project, in conjunction with Wake Forest University, run by student interns. | Besides helping wheelchair-dependent people live a better life, the Connected Wheelchair Project may help prevent Medicare fraud, says Hughes in our video interview with him. Falsified requests for durable medical goods are a huge drain on Medicare's budget. What if a connected wheelchair spent all of its time far from the home of the person to whom it was assigned? That would be a red flag, and investigators could follow up to see if that wheelchair was in legitimate hands or was part of a scam. | The Connected Wheelchair is still proof-of-concept, not a commercial product. Will it see production? Hard to say. This may never be a profitable product, but Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has said that that this project is an example of how “the Internet of Things can help change lives.” (Alternate Video Link)

Video Barry Shein Founded the First Dialup ISP (Video) 116

Back in the dawn of prehistory, only universities, government agencies, and a few big corporations could get on the Internet. The rest of us either had computers connected to nothing (except maybe an electric outlet), Compuserve, Prodigy, AOL or another service or possibly to an online bulletin board service (BBS). And then, one day in 1989, Barry Shein hooked a server and some modems to an Internet node he managed for a corporate/academic wholesale Internet provider -- and started selling dialup accounts for $20 per month to individuals, small companies, and just about anyone else who came along. Barry called his ISP The World, which is still out there with a retro home page ("Page last modified April 27, 2006"), still selling shell accounts. We may run a second interview with Barry next week, so please stay tuned. (Alternate Video Link)

Video A Chat With USENIX Community Manager Rikki Endsley (Video) Screenshot-sm 40

Rikki Endsley has been Community Manager for USENIX since September, 2011. She also edits their magazine, ;login:, writes for publications ranging from to Network World, and is a long-distance runner to boot. But this interview concentrates on USENIX, a worthy organization that does a great job of helping its members (and the entire Unix/Linux community) stay up to date technically and, with its job board, keep USENIX members employed. Toward the end of the conversation, Rikki mentions some of the intangible but valuable benefits people get when they attend USENIX events. (Remember: If you don't have time to watch the video, can't see the video or just don't like video, you can click on the "Show/Hide Transcript" link and read a text version of the video.)

Video Project Byzantium: Zero To Ad-Hoc Mesh Network In 60 Seconds (Video) Screenshot-sm 124

Project Byzantium calls itself Ad-hoc wireless mesh networking for the zombie apocalypse. It's also potentially useful for less-thrilling emergencies, such as floods, earthquakes, and political uprisings (or getting everyone at the office their /. fix when the network goes down). The latest version debuted at the HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference in July, 2012. You can download your very own copy of Byzantium any time you like. Hopefully you will then burn a dozen or so CDs (it's compact enough that it doesn't need a DVD) for friends and neighbors, so that if you suddenly see zombies approaching and your regular ISP has already been overrun and isn't working, you can set up a wireless mesh network and coordinate your anti-zombie efforts. And you won't even need to use the command line. (slides and audio of their presentation)

New Laser Data Transfer Rate Record Set At 26 Tbps 127

MasterPatricko writes "Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany have published a technique to push optical data transfer rates to new levels. The article says, 'The trick is to use what is known as a "fast Fourier transform" to unpick more than 300 separate colours of light in a laser beam, each encoded with its own string of information.'"

Got (Buffer) Bloat? 121

mtaht writes, "After a very intense month of development, the Bufferbloat project has announced the debloat-testing git kernel tree, featuring (via suggestion of Van Jacobson) a wireless network latency smashing algorithm, (called eBDP), the SFB and CHOKe packet schedulers, and a slew of driver level fixes that reduce network latency across the Linux kernel by over 2 orders of magnitude. Got Bloat?"

HP Accuses Cisco of Diverting Data Center Standard 47

alphadogg writes "Networking rivals HP and Cisco have abandoned their common ground in data center switching, with HP accusing Cisco of diverting an IEEE standard and Cisco insisting that customers drove the change. At issue are two as-yet unratified standards in the IEEE for data center switching that were being defined in concert but are now diverging: IEEE 802.1Qbg and 802.1Qbh."

1Gbps Wi-Fi Coming Soon To a Billion Devices 202

MojoKid writes "Not only is 1Gbps technology heading for your Wi-Fi network by next year, it will be instantly über popular. The new 802.11ac 1G Wi-Fi standard hasn't even been ratified by the IEEE yet and In-Stat predicts that by 2015, consumers will have bought nearly 1 billion devices that use it. 1G Wi-Fi, which will use radio spectrum in a range below 6GHz, will be embedded in mobile phones, e-readers and automotive infotainment systems.The study predicts that Mobile devices with embedded Wi-Fi will make up most of the market. In 2015, shipments of mobile phones with embedded Wi-Fi are projected to approach 800 million. Also, by 2015, projections are that 100% of mobile hotspot shipments will be 802.11ac-enabled."

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.