The Internet Archive’s entire stash of digital videos — that’s more than 500,000 assets — now supports HTML5 as well as Flash.

The Archive, which is best known for hosting older versions of websites, is using technology from open-source video company Kaltura to get the job done.

The Kaltura video player automatically recognizes whether a user’s device and browser need a Flash or an HTML5 player. Then, the video content gets delivered accordingly.

The Wikimedia Foundation is also using Kaltura’s tools in a related project.

The Internet Archive’s video library contains more than 500,000 educational assets, most of which are under Creative Commons licenses. These assets will now be more accessible, particularly on mobile devices, including iOS devices, as well as on HTML5-supporting browsers.

SEE ALSO: How HTML5 Will Transform the Online Video Landscape

And because Kaltura’s technology supports the HTML5 standard for timed text such as subtitles, hearing-impaired and multilingual users will also benefit from the videos.

“As the leading open source video company, our goal is to enable advanced online video functionalities on any device using free and open standards and technologies,” said Ron Yekutiel, Kaltura’s chairman and CEO, in a release Wednesday morning. “Our mission is even more so inspiring and impactful where free educational content is also coupled with these tools, as is the case with the Internet Archive and the Wikimedia Foundation.”

Image courtesy of Flickr, mdurwin

More About: foss, HTML5, internet archive, kaltura, open source, video

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The Free Software Foundation is has launched second editions of two landmark publications by Richard Stallman, a.k.a. rms, “the last true hacker.”

The volumes, Free as in Freedom 2.0 and Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman, 2nd Edition are both now available from the FSF store as free downloadable PDFs and as signed copies. Signed hard copies cost $50 each.

And while you’re shopping, you can also pick up a stuffed baby gnu, the FSF mascot, for $25.

The free-software activist launched the GNU Project in 1983 to create a free Unix-like operating system. He also founded the Free Software Foundation in 1985. The Linux kernel was built on and still supports GNU Project components that came before it and laid the foundation for open-source operating systems.

Stallman is also the main author of several copyleft licenses, including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.

Stallman’s life work revolves around freedom, by which he means four things:

  1. The software should be freely accessible.
  2. The software should be free to modify.
  3. The software should be free to share with others.
  4. The software should be free to change and redistribute copies of the changed software.

These principles underlie and inform the free and open-source software movement, and they also are used in many of the arguments for Creative Commons licensing for art and music.

image courtesy of Flickr, jolieodell

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Paula Hunter is the executive director of the Outercurve Foundation. With over two decades of open source experience, she has served in leadership roles at organizations such as Open Source Development Labs and United Linux. Follow her on Twitter @huntermkt.

Free and open source software (FOSS) is at the root of the most innovative products, technologies and services of our time. The Social Network may have taken some Hollywood liberties, but there’s still a big story to tell about today’s colleges as the hotbeds of innovation, much of it driven by FOSS.

Today’s top entrepreneurs are using FOSS as the building blocks for innovation. Instead of writing an entire solution from scratch, developers can assemble large parts of their solutions from liberally licensed FOSS projects, and focus their creative energies.

FOSS also serves as a training ground for new developers. Good developers have always known that the way to improve is by reading well-written programs. Good FOSS projects in dynamic communities provide a wealth of examples for students to read, understand, and work on.

Free and open source software isn’t just a good way to program — it’s giving students a leg up in their education and job prospects. Here’s how.


Working within a FOSS project community brings new benefits. First, there’s the real-world experience of participating in a distributed team. More and more of the world’s software projects are developed in highly connected developer communities around the globe, regardless of whether they are public and liberally licensed or closed and proprietary. The communications and social skills learned from an experience like this will be essential.

Development skills will also be honed. This is achieved through constructive feedback and the experience of working within a mature, well-run FOSS project team. This experience provides version control, configuration management tools, regular automated builds, and testing and packaging issues. These are essential professional software development skills that are seldom well-taught in formal school settings.

Experience and Networking

Job and career success often come through one’s professional connections. The broader network inherent in larger FOSS projects can yield big opportunities.

Companies want to know what job candidates can do. Participation in FOSS projects can generate a very public portfolio of practical work. This beats a resume any day. It also makes it easier to show your previous work to a potential employer. If you’ve coded for other companies, the work may be locked behind proprietary protections. But FOSS projects are free and easy for anyone to view.

For college student Eric Schultz, FOSS was a way of adding experience to his resume. Even though he said he didn’t know how to program complex projects, working with a team has helped him pick up skills and add samples to his portfolio. “It’s also a really great networking opportunity,” Schultz said. “I think that it’s helpful because you meet people who already are in bigger businesses — people who are at the top of their field — and all of a sudden, you’re on their radar. So purely from a networking standpoint, it’s really helpful.”

A number of universities are discovering the benefits students are gleaning from FOSS work. Rensselaer and Oregon State University have open source centers of expertise for students. UC Berkeley teaches a web-based course.

Employers aren’t ignorant of the relationship between students, FOSS projects and employment opportunities. Several years ago, Google set up the “Summer of Code” program, wherein FOSS project leaders propose summer work, and students bid for the positions, with Google paying $5,000 to each accepted student. Google continues to invest heavily in the program.

University students who actively participate in FOSS projects and communities can create their own job opportunities, whether it’s a summer internship, full time employment, or lining up a job for graduation next year. Companies hungry for new talent have much to gain by engaging with students that have participated in these endeavors.

Interested in more Dev & Design resources? Check out Mashable Explore, a new way to discover information on your favorite Mashable topics.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, track5

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You’ve come a long way, Tux the Penguin.

The Linux Foundation is celebrating 20 years of the famous FOSS operating system, Linux — or GNU-slash-Linux, depending on how hard-line a fossie you’re talking to — with a slew of special events, both online and IRL. Linux enthusiasts can check out the official anniversary site for details.

The Foundation is also sharing a few other exciting news items, including:

  • The new High Availability working group, which will “help define the open-source HA stack and prioritize features.” A range of open-source projects and distros are participating in the working group.
  • The release of the Carrier Grade Linux 5.0 spec. This release addresses high-end data availability and security. According to the Foundation, “CGL is today a recognized standard for telecom equipment manufacturers who need to know their products will run on Linux.”
  • The Yocto Project‘s 1.0 release. This is the Yocto Project’s first major release since it began in late 2010. “Improvements to developer interface and build system are included in this common set of tools for building embedded Linux regardless of hardware architecture,” says a Foundation rep.

The landmark anniversary celebration is replete with digital goodies. If you’d like to pop a Linux Anniversary badge on your site, just use this handy HTML snippet:

You might also enjoy the commemorative infographic and video (titled The Story of Linux and featuring Richard Stallman in a cameo as St. IGNUcius) we’ve included below. Take a moment to look them over, and in the comments, reminisce with us about your Linux experiences over the years. I can still remember my first Red Hat box from early 2000 …

Click to see larger version.

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The Tor Project has been recognized by the Free Software Foundation for its role in the protests and revolutions around North Africa and the Middle East.

This software, which allows for safe and anonymous web browsing, was given the FSF’s Award for Projects of Social Benefit. The award is intended to highlight “a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society through collaboration to accomplish an important social task.”

Without question, enabling the Internet’s role in political revolution has been an important social task, and one that the Tor Project has explicitly supported. In its section on activist users, Tor reps state that anonymous browsing is essential for reporting abuses of power and organizing protests, especially from behind government-sponsored firewalls and ISP blocks.

“Using free software,” the FSF writes, “Tor has enabled roughly 36 million people around the world to experience freedom of access and expression on the Internet while keeping them in control of their privacy and anonymity. Its network has proved pivotal in dissident movements in both Iran and more recently Egypt.”

In Iran, political dissent before, during and after the 2009 election caused a firestorm on Twitter and Facebook; as a result, the government began censoring many apps and sites. The Tor Project allowed users to bypass the blocks and access the web apps they needed to continue to organize.

And in Egypt and other countries in North Africa and the Middle East, a couple months of steady political unrest has been punctuated by periods of site-specific blocks and even total Internet blackouts. Once again, Tor was instrumental for continuing to allow many users to access the web, where they communicated internally and externally and rallied for change.

Andrew Lewman, executive director of the Tor Project, was present to accept the award from the FSF and its founder and president Richard M. Stallman during a March 19 ceremony.

Previous winners of this award include such notable FOSS projects as the Internet Archive, Creative Commons and Wikipedia.

More About: award, Egypt, foss, free software, middle east, politics, tor

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Five open source experts have been proclaimed gurus by the Linux Foundation, a title awarded for outstanding contributions to the FOSS community.

One of the reasons Linux works so well is because of its community — an army of pro bono tech support and IT experts who, via forums and Q&A boards, will get you up and running, help you customize and configure, and be your safety net in the world of OSes without operating manuals.

So when the Linux Foundation decided to pick a roster of true gurus — no social media-style “experts” here — it looked at the users who showed the most participation and contribution in 2010. Between February 2010 and February 2011, these individuals made up a significant chunk of the more than 500 community blogs, 4,500 message board posts, 2,600 comments, and nearly 700 answers to questions posed by the community on

Not only does this contribution show these Linux users are committed to furthering the aims of the FOSS community; it’s also a nice implicit recommendation on their CVs. According to tech job site, Linux knowledge is still a widely sought after skill, with demand growing 47% over the past year.

This year’s Ultimate Linux Guru is Matthew Fillpot, a technology enthusiast that constantly works on new projects for “nothing more than new knowledge.” He’s a development and training specialist at an international travel company and has been a Linux user since 2000. Fillpot has been a moderator since early 2009, and as the Ultimate Linux Guru, he will receive a fully loaded “Dream Linux Machine.”

This year’s other gurus include:

Each of these experts will be invited to attend this year’s invite-only Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, where they will participate in the annual Planning Meeting. Each guru has also received a Guru badge on his profile.

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Fans of Node.js will appreciate today’s finding: NodeFu, a sort of Heroku for Node.js.

The incredible success of Node.js last year was one of the top web-dev highlights of 2010. And the advent of more web-based development tools and more open-source tools was one of our predictions for 2011.

So it makes perfect sense to us that a developer has created an open-source hosting platform for Node.js.

NodeFu is a free way to deploy Node.js applications (here’s the source on GitHub). It’s a cool toy for devs who are experimenting with the hot new framework on the block.

NodeFu’s creators write on the site (which is rather bare bones, as NodeFu is currently more about the API than the pretty packaging), “We started this project because the ‘other’ Node.js hosting services was not sending out coupon invitations. Now anyone can host Node.js apps!”

NodeFu is currently running Node v.0.3.5 and updates all Node Package Manager modules weekly. Git is required to push updates to NodeFu.

Here’s a video explaining the origins of NodeFu and a walkthrough of how to use the site and the service:

More About: foss, heroku, node, node.js, nodefu, open source

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Google has donated two open-source Java tools to the Eclipse Foundation to join the popular IDE suite in 2011.

The tech giant’s WindowBuilder and CodePro AnalytiX were part of Google’s acquisition of Instantiations in August this year. By September, Google had relaunched some of Instantiations’ tools as open-source software.

One of those tools was WindowBuilder, a WYSIWYG code generator. This drag-and-drop, bidirectional GUI designer for Java played nicely with a variety of frameworks, including Swing, XML Windowing Toolkit (XWT), the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) and more. With support for Windows, Linux and Mac, the Eclipse extension was intended to make Java app creation a lot simpler and faster.

And CodePro is another interesting Eclipse plugin for “comprehensive automated software code quality and security analysis.” The toolkit included features from EclipsePro Audit and EclipsePro Test and generally attempted to improve code quality, maintenance and readability.

Instatiations’ execs estimate the software, which is slated to roll out with the rest of the Eclipse June 2011 release train, is worth around $5 million.

Google’s emphasis on Java tools is hardly surprising; the blockbuster success of the Android platform (and sometimes harsh criticism of the Android Market of apps) has practically mandated a focus on Java, which is a big part of the Android stack. Giving devs better Java tools free of charge is an investment in the future of Google’s own platforms.

That’s not to say either of these Eclipse extensions is, in itself, going to be directly used for Android applications; we’re not sure either tool is intended for mobile development. But better tools make better Java devs, who in turn are better equipped to make more and better Android apps.

We would, however, love to see more drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG-plus-code Android app tools — something along the lines of a less-dumbed-down App Inventor. If you know of any such tools, definitely let us know about them in the comments.

Reviews: Android, Android Market, Eclipse, Google, Linux, Windows

More About: codepro, developers, eclipse, foss, Google, java, open source, windowbuilder

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