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blockchain

While some companies are looking at blockchain’s future impact, the technology is changing our world right now.

Influencers from around the world will gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland next week, where leaders are encouraged “to develop a shared perspective on political, economic, and social topics to embrace positive change globally.” Talks will explore free and open source tools and practices as well as the underlying technologies, and one of the hotly debated subjects will certainly be blockchain.

Blockchain technology, which encompasses smart contracts and distributed ledgers, can be used to record promises, trades, and transactions. It allows everyone in an ecosystem to keep a copy of the common system of record, and nothing can ever be erased or edited. When transactions are processed in blocks according to the ordering of a blockchain, the result is a distributed ledger.

Open source collaboration

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. Member organizations from within finance, banking, manufacturing, and technology are helping steer the project, which aims to provide the modular components that will allow enterprises to build the solutions they need.

Headlines frequently herald how blockchain technology will revolutionize financial services markets, but blockchain will also have a transformative impact on everything from the food industry to healthcare. While some companies are looking at blockchain’s future impact, the technology is changing our world right now. According to a Forbes article, blockchain is revolutionizing contracts, payment processing, asset protection, and supply chain management. And, a market intelligence report by BIS Research reports that blockchain-driven cost savings of $30 to $40 billion per year will be achieved in trade finance.

“Blockchain has the potential to be highly transformative to any company that processes payments,” Forbes noted. “It can eliminate the need for intermediaries that are common in payment processing today.

The future is now

Meanwhile, blockchain technology is already impacting various industries. In the area of global food supply chain management, for example, Intel is collaborating with the Hyperledger community to implement a modern approach to seafood traceability. Using the Hyperledger Sawtooth framework, the seafood journey can now be recorded from ocean to table.

Dot Blockchain Media (dotBC) is using Hyperledger Sawtooth to build a music content rights registry that will help musicians express their rights  and commercialize their art in an interoperable file format. And, as reported by HealthCareITNews, Change Healthcare just launched an enterprise-scale blockchain network using distributed ledger technology. This Intelligent Healthcare Network, built on Hyperledger Fabric, allows hospitals, physicians, and payers to track the real-time status of healthcare claims, thereby providing greater transparency and efficiency.

Given the potential impact of these and other efforts, Hyperledger is likely to feature prominently in talks at Davos. According to a recent Hyperledger post: “Companies large and small, IT vendors and end-user organizations, consortiums and NGOs — everyone took notice of Hyperledger in 2017 and made moves to get involved. This was evident in the ever increasing Hyperledger membership, which nearly doubled in size.” Hyperledger now has support from 197 organizations, which will allow the project to double the resources they can apply toward building and supporting the community in 2018.

Now is a great time to find out more about blockchain and Hyperledger. Case studies, a webinar, and training resources are available from Hyperledger.org. Additionally, Hyperledger incubates and promotes a range of business blockchain technologies, including distributed ledger frameworks, smart contract engines, client libraries, utility libraries, graphical interfaces, and sample applications. You can find out more about these projects here.

blockchain

While some companies are looking at blockchain’s future impact, the technology is changing our world right now.

Influencers from around the world will gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland next week, where leaders are encouraged “to develop a shared perspective on political, economic, and social topics to embrace positive change globally.” Talks will explore free and open source tools and practices as well as the underlying technologies, and one of the hotly debated subjects will certainly be blockchain.

Blockchain technology, which encompasses smart contracts and distributed ledgers, can be used to record promises, trades, and transactions. It allows everyone in an ecosystem to keep a copy of the common system of record, and nothing can ever be erased or edited. When transactions are processed in blocks according to the ordering of a blockchain, the result is a distributed ledger.

Open source collaboration

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. Member organizations from within finance, banking, manufacturing, and technology are helping steer the project, which aims to provide the modular components that will allow enterprises to build the solutions they need.

Headlines frequently herald how blockchain technology will revolutionize financial services markets, but blockchain will also have a transformative impact on everything from the food industry to healthcare. While some companies are looking at blockchain’s future impact, the technology is changing our world right now. According to a Forbes article, blockchain is revolutionizing contracts, payment processing, asset protection, and supply chain management. And, a market intelligence report by BIS Research reports that blockchain-driven cost savings of $30 to $40 billion per year will be achieved in trade finance.

“Blockchain has the potential to be highly transformative to any company that processes payments,” Forbes noted. “It can eliminate the need for intermediaries that are common in payment processing today.

The future is now

Meanwhile, blockchain technology is already impacting various industries. In the area of global food supply chain management, for example, Intel is collaborating with the Hyperledger community to implement a modern approach to seafood traceability. Using the Hyperledger Sawtooth framework, the seafood journey can now be recorded from ocean to table.

Dot Blockchain Media (dotBC) is using Hyperledger Sawtooth to build a music content rights registry that will help musicians express their rights  and commercialize their art in an interoperable file format. And, as reported by HealthCareITNews, Change Healthcare just launched an enterprise-scale blockchain network using distributed ledger technology. This Intelligent Healthcare Network, built on Hyperledger Fabric, allows hospitals, physicians, and payers to track the real-time status of healthcare claims, thereby providing greater transparency and efficiency.

Given the potential impact of these and other efforts, Hyperledger is likely to feature prominently in talks at Davos. According to a recent Hyperledger post: “Companies large and small, IT vendors and end-user organizations, consortiums and NGOs — everyone took notice of Hyperledger in 2017 and made moves to get involved. This was evident in the ever increasing Hyperledger membership, which nearly doubled in size.” Hyperledger now has support from 197 organizations, which will allow the project to double the resources they can apply toward building and supporting the community in 2018.

Now is a great time to find out more about blockchain and Hyperledger. Case studies, a webinar, and training resources are available from Hyperledger.org. Additionally, Hyperledger incubates and promotes a range of business blockchain technologies, including distributed ledger frameworks, smart contract engines, client libraries, utility libraries, graphical interfaces, and sample applications. You can find out more about these projects here.

1. LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China
Developers, architects, sysadmins, DevOps experts, business leaders, and other professionals gathered in June to discuss open source technology and trends at the first-ever LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen (LC3) event in China. At the event, Linus Torvalds spoke about how Linux still surprises and motivates him.

2. Toyota Camry Will Feature Automotive Grade Linux
At Automotive Linux Summit in Japan, Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), announced that Toyota has adopted the AGL platform for their next-generation infotainment system.The 2018 Camry will be the first Toyota vehicle on the market with the AGL-based system in the United States.

3. Open Source Summit Debuts
As announced at last year’s LinuxCon in Toronto, this annual event hosted by The Linux Foundation is now called Open Source Summit. It combines LinuxCon, ContainerCon, and CloudOpen conferences along with two new conferences: Open Community Conference and Diversity Empowerment Summit.

4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt at OS Summit North America
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, founder and director of the online production company HITRECORD, spoke at Open Source Summit in Los Angeles about his experiences with collaborative technologies. Gordon-Levitt shared lessons learned along with a video created through the company.

5. Diversity Empowerment Summit
Tameika Reed, founder of Women in Linux, spoke at the Diversity Empowerment Summit in Los Angeles about the need for diversity in all facets of tech, including education, training, conferences, and mentoring. The new event aims to help promote and facilitate an increase in diversity, inclusion, empowerment, and social innovation in the open source community.

6. Hyperledger Growth
Hyperledger — the largest open blockchain consortium — now includes 180 diverse organizations and has recently partnered with edX to launch an online MOOC. At Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, Executive Director Brian Behlendorf spoke with theCUBE about the project’s growth and potential to solve important problems.

7. Lyft and Uber on Stage at Open Source Summit
At Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, ride-sharing rivals Lyft and Uber appeared on stage to introduce two new projects donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Chris Lambert, CTO of Lyft (on left), and Yuri Shkuro, Staff Engineer at Uber, introduced the projects, which help CNCF fill some gaps in the landscape of technologies used to adopt a cloud-native computing model.

8. Attendee Reception at Paramount Studios
The Open Source Summit North America evening reception for all attendees was held at iconic Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Attendees enjoyed a behind-the-scenes studio tour featuring authentic Paramount movie props and costumes.

9. 2017 Linux Kernel Summit and Kernel Development Report
Open source technologists gathered in the city of Prague, Czech Republic in October for Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference Europe. Co-located events included MesosCon Europe, KVM Forum, and Linux Kernel Summit, where The Linux Foundation released the latest Linux Kernel Development Report highlighting some of the dedicated kernel contributors.

10. The Next Generation of Open Source Technologists
The Linux Foundation 2017 events aimed to inspire the younger generation with an interest in open source technologies through activities like Kids Day and special keynotes, such as those from 13-year-old algorithmist and cognitive developer Tanmay Bakshi, 11-year-old hacker and cybersecurity ambassador Reuben Paul (pictured here), and 15-year-old programmer and technologist Keila Banks.

You can look forward to more exciting events in 2018. Check out the newly released 2018 Events calendar and make plans now to attend or to speak at an upcoming conference.

Speaking proposals are now being accepted for the following 2018 events:

Submit a Proposal

The Linux operating system was created some 26 years ago by a young Finnish engineer, and it now powers the global economy. Not only has Linux survived for more than quarter of a century, it continues to grow its influence and dominance.

Not all open source software projects thrive, however; many promising projects die untimely deaths. So, what’s unique about projects like Linux that thrive where others fail? What’s the secret sauce that sustains one project over others? Is it the community? The license? The code? The organizations backing it?

We talked to open source veteran Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and current Executive Director of the Hyperledger project, for some answers to these questions. Here is an edited version of the interview conducted at Open Source Summit North America in Los Angeles.

What are the core components of sustainable open source projects?

Brian Behlendorf: By definition, any open source project that is still alive needs some critical mass of developers contributing to it.  The Linux kernel is 25+ years old, and it still sees 5,000 new lines of code every day. It’s still such an incredibly active project.

In my book, that means you need this body of maintainers and contributors who are willing to continue to nurture the project even as it goes into adolescence and later life.

For me, the only way to more or less guarantee that happens is to see that there are companies out there who are making money off of open source software. They have embedded it at the core of their business. And even if it’s not what they do as a business, it’s still something that they need. So they’ll provide feedback, contribute, and continue to invest in shepherding it forward.

So, having companies use and contribute to your project and in return inject resources does help. What role do non-profit organizations like The Linux Foundation and ASF play?

Behlendorf: What The Linux Foundation, I think, has figured out, is how to identify these technology spaces, bring companies together around them, and then help them make money from it and profit from it.

But it’s not the only viable model. The Apache Software Foundation model is entirely volunteer driven, with developers even doing things like running the books or doing marketing.

There’s an incredibly empowering side to that, but it doesn’t always work. There weren’t enough developers who showed up around OpenOffice, for example, for that to work for the Apache OpenOffice community.

It’s almost hard to say if any model is better than the others. They’re all very unique for the kind of software being built and the developers who are attracted to that software.

You talked about commercialization of open source, yet we have seen that some open source communities are averse to the idea of any commercial or corporate links.

Behlendorf: I don’t think there was really ever a truly long tradition of a battle between open source developers and commercial interests. I think many of the people I know who were contributing to open source even before me were building businesses on top of it. Michael Tiemann built Cygnus on top of the GNU compiler suite. So this template, and every ISP, every web business is building on top of open source web components.

I think the real battle might have been between proprietary software and free software. And the real question was, did we need to vanquish proprietary software in order for free software to flourish?

Do licenses play any role in sustainability of open source projects?

Behlendorf: I tend to think of companies that have played games with licensing. There’s not a lot of successful examples out there. Why don’t we just put these kind of games to the side? Let’s build the software we need together, and go out and build great applications and great websites and great other things on top of that.

And this is what we carried forward in the Hyperledger project as well. All the Hyperledger code is under an Apache license. All of it is designed to be embedded inside of other people’s products and services.

We want to see lots of cloud hosts running Hyperledger technology. We want to see a lot of application developers embedding this inside and, say, putting it inside of cars or IoT sensors or those sorts of things. The less time that we have to spend with lawyers and with MBAs explaining to them how and why they can make money with this code, the better off we all are.

Diversity is necessary for the survival of organisms, can the same be said for open source projects?

Behlendorf: If your community doesn’t look like the global community, then something’s wrong. 

The blockchain movement is a great example of diversity. India and China and Europe have been running as fast with this technology as anybody in the United States. We are constantly looking at what countries are we visiting. Where are our companies based? How do we go and empower those companies in a country like China or a country like India, to go and be champions of what they’re doing, of the technology that they’re building?

What about culture?

Behlendorf: I’d say the final thing I’d throw out about sustainability is if your project isn’t comprised of people who are nice to each other, it’s not going to be very sustainable. Even the smartest people, even the most enthusiastic people will burn out if the dynamic in the community is very harsh, or if every time a good idea is brought up you hear crickets or somebody talks it down. You need to be nice to each other on an open source project in order to have any hope of being sustainable.

This week in Linux and open source, Microsoft’s new CNCF membership represents the company’s ongoing love for open source, Adobe Flash is the subject of enthusiast rescue mission, and much more

1) Microsoft continues its Linux lovefest with new CNCF membership.

Microsoft Further Pledges Linux Loyalty by Joining Cloud Native Computing Foundation– Beta News

2) While Adobe is “mercy killing” Flash, enthusiasts are hoping for an open source lifeboat.

Adobe Flash Fans Want a Chance to Fix Its One Million Bugs Under an Open Source License– Gizmodo

3) A project intended to “develop open source technology and standards for “computational contracting” for the legal world that deploys blockchain technology” is getting ready for liftoff

Accord Project’s Consortium Launching First Legal ‘Smart Contracts’ With Hyperledger– Forbes

4) Version 60 of Google Chrome has been released for Linux and features security fixes, developer-related changes, and more

Google Chrome 60 Released for Linux, Mac, and Windows– Bleeping Computer

5) SambaCry doesn’t just favor Linux…

Creators Of SambaCry Linux Malware Also Have A Windows Backdoor Program– Forbes

This week in Linux and open source, the ‘Big 4″ accounting firms are becoming power players in blockchain, Oracle expands open source container efforts, and more in this weekly digest!

1) The four largest accounting firms in the world are active members of the blockchain revolution– Including Deloitte, which joined the Hyperledger Project.

‘Big 4’ Accounting Firms Are Experimenting With Blockchain And Bitcoin– Nasdaq

2) Oracle to expand container efforts with three new open-source utilities to help improve container security.

Oracle Debuts Three New Open-Source Container Tools– eWeek

3) Hyperledger’s Indy “is all about giving identity owners independent control of their personal data and relationships.” Explains Doc Searls in his op-ed about the availability of Linux for all users.

Linux for Everyone–All 7.5 Billion of Us– LinuxJournal

4) Regarding commits is “probably, it’s the second biggest kernel release.”

Linux Kernel 4.12 Released — These Are The 5 Biggest Features– Fossbytes

5) WatchGuard CTO Corey Nachreiner explains that Linux attacks and malware are on the rise.

IoT Fuels Growth of Linux Malware– IoTInside

This week in open source, blockchain technology, like that of Hyperledger, is being adopted by the insurance market, Cloud Foundry continues its steady incline of adoption, and more!

1) Blockchain tech like Hyperledger “is making inroads into the insurance sector.”

Insurance Industry Making the Leap to Blockchain– Business Insurance

2) Half of the Fortune 500 now use Cloud Foundry.

Cloud Foundry Makes its Mark on the Enterprise– TechCrunch

3) “Proprietary will have to either get on board or be left in the dust.”

Why Open Source will Overtake Proprietary Software by 2020– Computer Business Review

4) Google’s new Tensor2Tensor library aims to remove hurdles around customizing an environment to enable deep-learning models.

‘One Machine Learning Model to Rule Them All’: Google Open-Sources Tools for Simpler AI– ZDNet

5) As 5G changes the carrier landscape, technologies like OPNFV will bolster the shift

China Is Driving To 5G And IoT Through Global Collaboration– Forbes

This week in Linux and OSS news, Edward Snowden explains why he thinks proprietary software is very risky, SNAS.io Project joins The Linux Foundation, & more! Read on to stay in the open source know!

1) The infamous United States NSA hacker, Edward Snowden, was interviewed via remote video at OpenStack Summit Boston. He spoke on his personal use of technology and why that doesn’t include proprietary software.

Why Edward Snowden Loves Open Source– NetworkWorld

2) A new Linux Foundation project provides network routing topologies for software-defined applications.

Snas.io Joins The Linux Foundation’s Open-Source Project– FierceTelecom

3) Google’s “mysterious” third OS is based on a Google-developed microkernel called “Magenta”– not Linux.

Google’s “Fuchsia” Smartphone OS Dumps Linux, Has a Wild New UI– Ars Technica

4) A new software project under Hyperledger is “aimed at creating a collaboration tool for building blockchain business networks — or smart contracts — and their deployment across a distributed ledger.”

Linux Foundation to Develop Tool for Building Blockchain Business Networks– ComputerWorld

5) Speakers at NFV World Congress explain that open source is crucial to their NFV plans.

Telcos Digging In on Open Source NFV– Light Reading

This week in open source and Linux news, Cloud Foundry releases its new certification program for developers, Google creates a new home-base for its open source initiatives, and more! Read on to stay in the open source loop!

1) Cloud Foundry launches “the world’s largest cloud-native developer certification initiative.”

Cloud Foundry Launches its Developer Certification Program– TechCrunch

2) Google has launched opensource.google.com

Google Builds New Home For Everything Open Source– CIO Dive

3) Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf talks about the “possibilities blockchain offers for transparent, efficient and quickly executed transactions” in this interview.

Hyperledger Chief: Live Blockchain Solutions in Trade Finance This Year– Global Trade Review

4) AT&T continues long history of open source involvement with new Linux Foundation membership.

AT&T Takes Up Membership in The Linux Foundation, Furthers Open Source Efforts– Fierce Telecom

5) Attackers have been targeting developers present on GitHub since January.

Open-Source Developers Targeted in Sophisticated Malware Attack– PCWorld

The breadth of the The Linux Foundation (affectionately known as The LF) is often overlooked due to its eponymous name. However, what may not be apparent to the layman is that The LF is providing a true foundation for the next generation of Internet infrastructure by cultivating the biggest shared technology investment in history. The LF is so much more than Linux. Our work encompasses projects from security and IoT, to networking and cloud computing, and beyond.

One blockbuster example, Hyperledger, celebrates its one-year anniversary this month. This is the open source blockchain project on which a new ecosystem of projects and products will be built that reinvents commercial transactions on the Internet. Hyperledger is helping redefine the financial industry to reduce fraud and improve security through a blockchain shared ledger.

Let’s Encrypt is another LF project that’s bringing a level of security to the Internet that was previously out of reach by offering a free and open automated certificate authority. Furthermore, our Core Infrastructure Initiative provides a collaborative effort for key infrastructure that’s used throughout the network but needed more resources to be developed and maintained effectively. CII helps provide support for OpenSSH, OpenSSL and NTP (the Network Time Protocol that is used for updating virtually every server on the Internet).

With Cloud Foundry and Node.js, we are working to help enable digital transformation of IT infrastructure by providing frameworks for delivering cloud applications that scale and thrive under an open source development model. Increasingly, Linux Foundation projects are addressing needs throughout the application stack. Cloud Foundry, a container-based application platform, provides a way for developers to deploy applications while abstracting away some of the complexities of the underlying infrastructure. In essence they help application developers deploy cloud-native applications. Node.js is providing a massively scalable Javascript framework that makes it much easier to build server-side applications for the cloud.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), an LF project that supports the key projects needed to build and scale modern distributed systems, has just acquired the rights to the Rethink DB source code. The project was licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License, Version 3 (AGPLv3), a strong copyleft license, which limited the willingness of some companies to use and contribute to the software. CNCF paid $25,000 to purchase the RethinkDB copyright and assets and has re-licensed the software under the ASLv2, one of the most popular permissive software licenses, which enables anyone to use the software for any purpose without complicated requirements. (See related blog post “Why CNCF Recommends ASLv2”.) RethinkDB joins CNCF’s solid stable of software built for the cloud including fluentd (data collection), Prometheus (monitoring), Kubernetes (container orchestration), and others.

And with the massive adoption of container technology (e.g. Docker, rkt) The Linux Foundation is providing an open governance structure for containers under the Open Container Initiative (OCI.) The OCI currently offers two specifications: the Runtime Specification (runtime-spec) and the Image Specification (image-spec). Such specs make it possible for companies to safely stake their products and services on container technologies by providing certainty that their applications can run across platforms. This is the foundation of a new container ecosystem.

Open Source Foundations Beyond Code

It wasn’t so long ago that we declared Linux to be the operating system of the cloud. Now a whole host of new cloud technologies are being built on that model of open source development (and run on top of Linux.) The Linux Foundation is not only providing the foundations for developing the code base of these technologies, but also the other mechanisms needed to foster collaboration, learning, and development.

We have launched a number of training courses, both free and paid, for those operators and developers learning to sharpen their skills. For example, we provide a free Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies course through edX. We have also created a Kubernetes Fundamentals course to help users validate and gain the skills needed to take advantage of what is becoming the most widely deployed container orchestration tool. We also fill the needs for skills training in open source software that we aren’t directly involved in, such as our OpenStack course that helps users prepare for the OpenStack certification.

Finally, our commitment to open source provides users the tools they need to appropriately consume, develop, and learn about open source. Our Open Source Summit events have multiple technology tracks, including cloud computing. And our CloudNativeCon and Kubecon series of events are the de facto place to learn about Kubernetes and how to build and use cloud native applications. We produce the events where users, developers and solution providers can come together to learn and collaborate on open cloud technologies.

In the end, what we are seeing is that technology is increasingly becoming open source and companies that originally develop software to scratch their own itch are finding much broader applications of those efforts. Savvy companies are taking their open source projects and mustering industry support around them. Pivotal did so with Cloud Foundry, Google’s done this with Kubernetes, and Joyent with Node.js.

The LF is a shepherd for valuable technologies that may need extra help to find success, such as RethinkDB, and we have stepped in to provide support around a project that was not prospering under a single entity. That support has to encompass a diverse ecosystem of users, developers, and solution providers which all collaborate to solve problems and improve the usability of these projects.

Through open collaboration we are creating a new generation of Internet infrastructure that will itself provide the foundation for companies and ecosystems to thrive well into the future.

Learn more about The Linux Foundation projects. Watch Jim Zemlin’s keynote talk at Open Source Leadership Summit 2017. Watch now!