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Google, Facebook Wouldn’t Have Been Possible Without Open Source

15 Feb

Red Hat is one of the leading companies operating on what is called the open source business model, where the source codes of software are open, enabling more programmers to make adaptations and improvements.

So, unlike proprietary software companies that do not open up the source codes and make money by selling expensive software licenses, Red Hat makes money by selling subscriptions for the support, training, and integration services that help customers in using open-source software.

Open source software has had significant success in many areas, and Red Hat itself has almost touched $1-billion in revenue. The company’s CEO Jim Whitehurst was recently in Bangalore and spoke to TOI.

What excites you right now in the open source world?
User-driven innovation. The Googles, the Yahoos, the Facebooks, who have significant IT challenges, are not looking to pay a vendor for intellectual property, they hire thousands of engineers to do it themselves, and they do it all on open source. They had ‘big data’ problems to solve, but did not have the dollars to solve them when they started off. That is why all the bigdata innovations, such as Hadoop and Cassandra (frameworks for running applications on large clusters built of commodity hardware), have happened on open source.

And now IBM, EMC, Oracle have all announced support around those open source projects. Why didn’t these things come out of the labs at IBM or Oracle? The simple reason is innovation is starting to move to user-driven innovation. It’s the explosion of Web 2.0 companies that’s driving open source.

Also, the pace of innovation at Web 2.0 companies is very rapid. The CEO of one of the big Web 2.0 companies I was talking to said he needed to launch a product in two weeks, so he had engineers working round the clock to ensure he met the deadline. Because it’s happening on open source, it opens up this huge, huge opportunity for Red Hat.

How cost effective is it?
One of the major banks in the US takes every single interaction they have with their customer and analyses it all in real time to take decisions. When they originally priced that system, it was going to be over a $100 million.

But eventually they built it with Hadoop, using Red Hat and commodity X86 servers for less than $2 million. So you are not talking about 20% savings, you are talking about radical savings.

The cost of building even the beginnings of Google, if you were doing that in the traditional IT stack way, would have been prohibitive. Our estimate is that if they had paid traditional license fees, even discounted, they would have paid $10 billion every year in such fees.

How is the cloud impacting you?
All major clouds are built on open source, other than (Microsoft) Azure. They either use ours (Red Hat) or free open source, and they use it right from the hypervisor to the operating system.

To build something on the scale of Amazon on a proprietary platform would be extremely expensive. So it does represent a huge opportunity. But the dollars are still in applications. Cloud as a multi-tenanted, off-premise set up is still a tiny, tiny part of IT infrastructure.

Software-as-a-service vendors are also building on our stack. is built on Red Hat software. So we are in the cloud through that way too.

Do you believe everything will eventually move to open source?
This might be provocative for some people in open source, but no, not everything is moving to open source. Open source works well where there are broad communities of users, where there aren’t clear standards, or there is value in developing clear standards.

I’m willing to bet that IBM has profited a lot more from Linux than Red Hat has — by embracing it early on, offering it across their platforms. Sun Microsystems went the other way, and they almost died before they were acquired by Oracle. Open source is a very powerful developer model, very powerful economic model, but you have to figure out where to work with it.

Microsoft Windows still has the dominant share of server operating systems.

They are still about 60%. That’s because a lot of the applications still used are older ones. If you want to run Microsoft Exchange, you would use Windows. For customers to migrate applications is expensive.

But if it is a new application, we have a disproportionately high share. If you are doing only Web apps, or Java development or any new development, that is disproportionately Linux. In countries like India, where it’s significant new IT infrastructure, we have great opportunity.

You recently acquired Gluster (it has almost its entire engineering team in Bangalore). Where does it fit in?
There’s today an explosion of data, especially of unstructured data. How do you store and manage it? The people working on this problem are primarily the storage companies like EMC,NetApp. These are hardware companies, so for them the solution is a box that sits on the floor in a data centre. The thing that’s great about Gluster is that it’s a software solution to the problem.

You can plug up commodity disk drives to this thing, and you are ready for the application. It looks like one big disk drive. More importantly, because it’s software, you can spool it right up into the cloud. Pandora, the music streaming service, is a customer.

If a million kids show up to listen to a song, they can’t all hit one disk drive, so what this file system does is auto-replicate that song may be 50,000 times so that each one is hit by only 20 people. It can also spool right up on Amazon. When a song goes viral, it can spool up, and when the demand goes down, it can spool down. You can’t do that with a hardware solution.

It’s an open source solution, it’s low cost and modular. Red Hat started with the operating system, then middleware, virtualisation, and now we also have storage. Gluster has 50-60 people, we’ll likely double that this year.


Jailbreaking Is A Right!

1 Feb

Is it really a crime to break your own Android or Iphone, or is it a right? Read this and decide!

(EFElectronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who wants to protect jailbreakers and users creating remix videos againts Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) has went into action. The lawyer of EFF, Marcia Hotffman said that, DMCA actually aims to prevent copy right misuse, but it is misused for  who wants to make their devices more secure and functional.

The rights that EFF won in 2010 for smart phones and remix videos is about to expire in these days. So, EFF invites Copyright Office not only to renew these rights but also extend them. What EFF wants is to protect cell phones, tablets and game consoles from jailbreak. EFF also wanted legal protection for the artists who creat new videos from internet videos or DVDs.Copyright Office wants to get views from public.

The Final Version Of Firefox Is Released!

1 Feb

Firefox 10, the last determined version of web browser which has enhanced its progress speed since Firefox 4 has become downloadable.
In the new version there are innovations like full screen special API support, some progresses in interface, special recoveries for improvers, better grafic support in transforming 2D objects to 3D animations and anti-aliasing with WebGL. The first thing that leaps our eyes about the appearance of Firefox is that the “forward” button on the left side of the address bar now becomes visible just when it is needed.
Firefox for tablets are going to get profit from these updates.Plus to that, it is going to have some spesific updates too. While Firefox 10 supports multiple finger moves, it is going to be easy to setup and equalize Firefox Sync.

A quick demo through a video is obtained through a Mozilla Blog. Have a look to get to know how the new tools can help developers.

Here is Open Source Tablet!

1 Feb

It’s name is “Spark”, in recognition of it being the start to an even bigger flame.

The Spark is a modestly-specced enthusiast tablet that’s just been announced, and it’s aimed at those who want to run applications on Linux-based open hardware. The creators say it’s the first tablet to come with Plasma Active pre-installed — an open-source UI intended for use in a variety of touchscreen devices

It sports an open Linux stack on unlocked hardware and comes with an open content and services market. The user experience is, Plasma Active and it will be available to the general public.
Like the Kindle Fire, the Spark is a seven-inch capacitive tablet running on a Cortex-A9 processor. However, instead of a dual-core processor, the Spark offers Amlogic’s single-core AML8726-M. The 1GHz system on chip (SoC) includes a Mali-400 graphics processing unit (GPU) and full 1080p video decoding, as detailed on this Amlogic AML8726-M product page.

  •     1 GHz ARMv7 (Cortex A9)  processor with Mali-400 GPU
  •     7″, 800 x 480, 5-point multi-touch capacitive display
  •     512 MB RAM, 4 GB Flash, micro-sd slot
  •     WiFi and 3G
  •     1080p HDMI output
  •     335 grams

KDE Plasma Active, a system you may well have never heard of before, running on top of a completely open source Linux build. Have a peek at some hands-on with Plasma Active to get an idea of what the software will hold:


The Spark is quite the niche product, at least in its current form. Fans of open source software commenting on the announcement post seem quite excited about its release, but at the moment, I personally don’t see the Spark getting much interest outside that group of users. But we’ll keep an eye on its development, and see how it progresses. At the very least, it’s exciting to see the efforts of a small community of enthusiasts result in a decent-looking device.

The Spark tablet will cost users €200, or approximately $265 USD, and should be available for purchase soon.


Cep Telefonunuzla Bir Robotu Kontrol Etmeye Ne dersiniz? (In Turkish)

31 Jan

Tech Junkies  bizlere son robot projelerini  ve kendi açık kaynak robot kontrol sistemimizi nasıl kullanabileceğimizi  gururla sunuyor.  Tech Junkies,  bir süredir etkileyici teknik ürünler üretiyor ve bu fikir daha önceden üretmiş oldukları Arduino ve Netduino isimli robotlarının bileşenlerini başarılı bir şekilde yeni işlerine uygulamaları sonucu ortaya çıkmış bulunmakta.

Tech Junkies’den Eric  Barch, robotun yapımı ve aldığı sonuçlarla ilgili şu bilgileri veriyor: “Geçen birkaç ayda Arduino/Netduino robot kontrol sistemi hakkında  birkaç fikir üzerinde  yoğunlaşmıştım. Robotlarımı bir Android telefondan, bilgisayardan ya da başka herhangi bir etkin WİFİ aygıtından kontrol etmek istediğimi biliyordum. Ayrıca sistemin küçük, basit ama aynı zamanda güçlü ve geliştirilebilir olmasını istediğimi biliyordum. Denetim birimi için bir Arduino veya Netduino Plus ile devam etmemin sebebi düşük fiyat, programlama kolaylığı ve tümleşik eternet portuydu. Yerleşik eterneti kablosuz yönlendirici ile eşleştirdim  ve böylece bilgiyi robota kablosuz bir şekilde bağladım ve ilettim. Bu sistemle oluşturduğumuz  ilk robotumuzla ilgili sonuç ortada. Robotun ismi ise Mantis.”
Robot şuan piyasaya sürülmüş durumda ve GoogleCode’da mevcut. Google Code sayfasında aynı zamanda Arduino, Netdino ve Python kodu kendi robot kontrol sisteminiz için kullanımınıza sunulmuş durumda. Tech Junkies, 7. Bölümde sistemin nasıl bir araya getirildiği, kodun nasıl çalıştığı ve Robot Mantis ile ilgili başarılı bir genel bakış sunuyor.

How About Controlling a Robot With Your Mobile Device?

31 Jan

The Tech Junkies proudly shows us the latest robot project and how we can built our own open source robot control system!

The tech junkies have been producing impressive tech goods for a while.  And this idea has shaped  from using the components on new works with a succesfull modification of the robots, named “arduino” and “netdino” they have produced before.

“I’ve been playing around with some ideas for an Arduino/Netduino robot control system the past few months. I knew that I wanted to be able to control my robots from an Android phone, PC, or any other WiFi enabled device. I also knew that I wanted the system to be small and simplistic, but also powerful and extensible. The reason I went with an Arduino (Ethernet Pro) or a Netduino Plus for the controller was the low cost, ease of programming, and the embedded ethernet port. I coupled the onboard ethernet with a wireless router so that I could connect and transmit data to the robot wirelessly. Here are the results of our first robot build with this system. The robot was affectionately named Mantis.”

–  Eric Barch, Crew of  Tech Junkies

It is now in the market for free and available on Google Code. On the Google Code page you can also find the Arduino, Netduino, and Python code for use on your own robot control system. Episode #7 of The Tech Junkies gives a good overview of how the system is put together, how the code works, and a closer look at the Mantis robot:

here is the basic layout of the wiring for a basic robot setup using this system:


also thanks to T.k. Hareendran