In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at a Linux distribution custom-built for the UK’s NHS, open standards in New Zealand, and more.
UK’s NHS urged to look at open source alternatives after ransomware attacks
In the aftermath of the recent Wannacry ransomware attacks, more than a few people have been questioning the widespread institutional reliance on Microsoft Windows. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS), which was particularly hard hit by Wannacry, is being strongly urged to adopt an alternative to Windows. One candidate for that is the recently-unveiled NHSbuntu, a Linux distribution specifically created for the NHS. Rob Dyke and Marcus Baw, two of the people behind the distribution, said it could save the NHS millions of pounds in licensing fees and “be configured to handle the 20% clinical tasks, including secure access to patient administrations systems, patient records, and access to general practitioner software solutions.”
New Zealand tech organizations advocate openness and open standards
There’s an election coming up in New Zealand, and a group of 20 Kiwi technology organizations wants the next government to embrace an open digital future. The group released a technology manifesto and sent copies to members of Parliament and other key government officials. The manifesto, among other things, advocates the government adopting transparent procurement frameworks, embracing open standards, bolstering privacy, and offering a level playing field for all technology and not favoring proprietary vendors. If you’re interested in reading the document you can download a PDF version.
Pressbooks and Ryerson University team up to develop open publishing infrastructure
The growing movement around open academic and textbook publishing just got a big boost. Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada and online publishing platform Pressbooks have joined forces to spearhead “an open publishing infrastructure project designed to enhance and expand eCampusOntario’s planned Open Textbook Library.” The goal is to “provide access to over 180 high-quality, academically reviewed textbooks and open education resources (OER) for Ontario post-secondary students.” A blog post at the Pressbooks website notes that much of the software being developed for the project will be released as “open source improvements to the Pressbooks GPL codebase.”
Google, IBM, and Lyft unveil open source microservices platform
Microservices are all the rage in software architecture. A big challenge, though, is how to effectively manage and secure them. To make that task easier, tech giants Google, IBM, and Lyft unveiled Istio, an “open platform that allows you to create a network of deployed services, and which includes tools for load balancing, service-to-service authentication and monitoring”. One big benefit of Istio is that it lies between a company’s microservices and its network, which gives users more control over both. According to TechRepublic, “Istio will initially roll out to Kubernetes, but will be updated every three months, eventually coming to other environments.”
In other news
Thanks, as always, to Opensource.com staff members and moderators for their help this week. Make sure to check out our event calendar to see what’s happening next week in open source.