Open Source Weekly Wrap Up: April 26 – May 2, 2015

OpenMRS Used to Tackle Ebola

In order to handle diseases like Ebola, it is extremely important to have accessible medical records that are accurate up the the minute. During the Ebola surge in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea in the fall of 2014, ingenious individuals devised a sanitary tablet system that can be used while wearing bulky protective gear to give the doctors the hardware needed to access these records. On the software end, OpenMRS was chosen the handle the wealth of medical records associated with this undertaking. Commercial applications are not equipped to handle the unique problems created by a disease like Ebola, meaning that customization is important in order to fit the specific problem. The customization potential of open source software like OpenMRS is what makes open source much more valuable to people who are trying to solve challenging problems like the Ebola outbreak.

More from Indiana University


Significant controversy has been sparked in the Linux kernel community over the potential merge of kdbus into the 4.1 kernel. An argument that, on the surface, appeared to be centered around the Systemd conflict soon opened up a number of concerns about how kdbus interacts with the kernel. Specifically, much of the debate was centered around how kdbus extends the detection of process capabilities in the user space, something that many developers believe should be handled in the kernel. Currently, the merge of kdbus has been stalled, and it seems likely the decision will be pushed back to version 4.2.

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Critical Vulnerability in WordPress

A 0-day-bug was discovered in WordPress that allows someone to submit malicious code into a site through comment boxes. The bug exploits the methods used by WordPress to truncate long comments and store them in the database and allows the code to be executed whenever someone views a page with the infected comment box. A patch was quickly released by the WordPress core team to address this problem, but it will be an ongoing issue for any sites that have not been updated.

Read More at SecuriBlog.

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Helps Nepal Earthquake Recovery Effort

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap is a group of volunteers from around the world who use OpenStreetMap to produce maps in the wake of natural disasters to help recovery teams. The group rapidly digitizes satellite imagery to produce maps that help humanitarian organizations that are deployed in the affected regions. The project needs help tracing buildings, roads, waterways, etc. so they can be incorporated into OpenStreetMap for use by groups working in Nepal.

More on the OpenStreetMap Wiki.


Author: Ben Lloyd Pearson

Ben is an open source technologist experienced in a wide array of modern IT tools. He's done a bit of everything, from web development, to systems administration, web publishing, and beyond.