FLOSS Weekly 442: Hyperledger

Simon co-hosted FLOSS Weekly 442, where Brian Behlendorf explained the Hyperledger Project of which he is Executive Director. An excellent show, with many interesting branching-off points.

Hyperledger is a project to maintain a platform for distributed ledger projects and the toolkits and apps that support and use them. It’s intended for building private systems where everyone participating can be identified, so does not have an associated proof-of-work token or the “cryptocurrency” aura that goes with it.

It may be the tool that finally re-decentralises the Internet. By taking away the shiny gold, people can finally see the power of a distributed ledger whose authority is established by consensus  rather than heirarchy. The book Simon mentions, “The Mystery of Capital” by Hernando de Soto, is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Keyloggers: An Interview With HP

Simon spent time on Friday with Mike Nash, HP’s vice president of consumer PCs, to discuss the keylogger that was found in one of their device drivers. Nash was open, honest, accepted responsibility and demonstrated that HP already had the problem addressed despite the researchers who found the issue being less than effective.

The whole incident shows how vulnerable our Windows-dominated approach to IT is however. Stateful desktops delivered in a cut-throat-competitive market are beyond the oversight of any individual and as the Wanacry worm shows malware can spread rapidly using a defect just like this one.

Simon ends by suggesting “Maybe we need to break that problem apart — stateless desktops, open source code, cloud-hosted statefulness — if we’re to avoid disaster.”

Read more over on InfoWorld.

The results are in, and effective April 1st (yes!) Simon has been elected back to the OSI Board by the Affiliates after a year off due to term limits. His platform statement is here.

OSI Election

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Engaging Open Source Communities

At FOSDEM 2017, Simon gave a well-attended talk explaining many of the things that could go wrong for a company trying to engage a large open source project over legal or governance issues. Based loosely on a mailing list thread at the Apache Software Foundation, the talk highlighted seven things to avoid and gave ideas on how to do so.

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