Article: The future of farming could be based on Linux

Food, Open Provisioning

The future of farming could be based on Linux

The Linux Foundation has just launched an open source digital infrastructure project specifically designed to tackle the challenges of the global agriculture sector. The AgStack Foundation looks to promote collaboration among all key stakeholders in the global agriculture ecosystem, including private business, governments, and academia.

It also hopes to build free and open digital infrastructure for data and applications tailored to enhance the efficiency of agriculture across the world. “The global Agriculture ecosystem desperately needs a digital makeover. There is too much loss of productivity and innovation due to the absence of re-usable tools and data…. AgStack will help every stakeholder in global agriculture with free and open digital tools and data,” said Sumer Johal, Executive Director of AgStack.

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Article: HSR.health’s GIS platform helps target COVID-19 resources

Geospatial, Open Data

HSR.health’s GIS platform helps target COVID-19 resources

Resolution of the COVID-19 crisis has come down to how quickly governments can vaccinate individuals before more contagious variants of the virus evolve and spread. One platform playing a critical role in helping health care organizations win that race is a geographic information system (GIS) platform created by Health Solutions Research (HSR.health) and accessed as a cloud service.

The GeoHealth Platform HSR.health developed combines social determinants of health with social media data and estimated health care costs to surface potential hot spots. Created prior to the pandemic, the platform relies on a Health Risk Index model created using geospatial mapping software from Esri and open source Geoserver software for sharing geospatial data, HSR.health CEO Ajay Gupta told VentureBeat. “We wanted to track social determinants of health,” he said.

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Article: How IT leaders stay on the right side of innovation with open cloud (VB Live)

Innovation, Open Source, Open Space, Standards

How IT leaders stay on the right side of innovation with open cloud (VB Live)

“Thinking about openness is the key to being an IT leader in the cloud computing space,” says Michael McNerney, vice president of marketing and network security at Supermicro. “And that means building your cloud to take advantage of performance and innovation not just today, but in 18 months, 36 months, and on and on.”

Cloud infrastructure has become a catch-all for modern datacenter architecture, and the open cloud has been leveraging the innovation in open-source software and industry-standard hardware over the last decade, McNerney says. And that innovation continues at a rapid clip. Moore’s law, that every 18 months hardware will double in performance at the same cost, is not slowing, and is perhaps even accelerating, when you include CPU, memory, storage, and I/O.

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Article: NLP Cloud helps app developers add language processing

Access, Innovation, Language, Open Data

NLP Cloud helps app developers add language processing

NLP tools and services are taking off, but developers often struggle with the hurdle of getting NLP models into production. NLP Cloud is a new AI startup focused on lowering the barriers for developers trying to create apps for sorting support tickets, extracting leads, analyzing social networks, and developing tools for economic intelligence.

NLP has been around for decades, but interest has seen a dramatic uptick with the recent introduction of transformers, a new type of neural network. Google researchers demonstrated in 2017 how transformers dramatically improved the speed, performance, and precision of NLP tools. Transformers made possible the much larger models Google’s BERT and OpenAI’s GPT-3. The capabilities are available through innovative open source libraries Hugging Face and spaCy.

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Article: Microsoft open-sources tool to use AI in simulated attacks

Open Software, Open Source

Microsoft open-sources tool to use AI in simulated attacks

As part of Microsoft’s research into ways to use machine learning and AI to improve security defenses, the company has released an open source attack toolkit to let researchers create simulated network environments and see how they fare against attacks.

Microsoft 365 Defender Research released CyberBattleSim, which creates a network simulation and models how threat actors can move laterally through the network looking for weak points. When building the attack simulation, enterprise defenders and researchers create various nodes on the network and indicate which services are running, which vulnerabilities are present, and what type of security controls are in place. Automated agents, representing threat actors, are deployed in the attack simulation to randomly execute actions as they try to take over the nodes.

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Article: Gitpod nabs $13M for cloud-based open source software development platform

Open Software, Open Source

Gitpod nabs $13M for cloud-based open source software development platform

Gitpod, a cloud-based open source development environment, today revealed it has raised $13 million in a round of funding. The German startup also introduced a handful of new features, including native support for Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code editor.

The raise comes amid a boom in activity in the browser-based coding sphere, as developers move away from local development environments to the collaboration-friendly cloud — particularly important in a world that has rapidly transitioned to remote work. Moreover, local development can cause problems when it comes to testing performance and security because not everyone has the same technological setup as the developer. Moving to the cloud helps circumvent many of these problems.

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