Voting Software, Prizes for Open Source, and a New BitCoin Protocol in This Week’s Wrap Up

Open Source Wrap Up: October 24-30, 2015

San Francisco Launches Open Source Voting System Development Effort

Following the problems with hanging chads in the 2000 US Presidential Election cycle, the Federal government invested in developing electronic voting system. Since then, little has been done to improve these systems, and the proprietary electronic voting systems that were developed have come under scrutiny for potential security flaws in recent years. The contract between the city of San Francisco and the company that developed their electronic voting will end in December 2016. Now, the city government is signaling support for developing open source voting software in an effort to produce a system that is more secure and transparent, and less expensive. Additionally, they want a system that can be adapted to meet changing voting laws and technology advancement. They estimate this system would take 2 years to develop and cost between $4 million and $18 million.

Read more from the SF Examiner.

Mozilla Launches Program to Support Open Source Projects

Mozilla has announced they are setting aside an initial prize of $1 million to support free and open source software projects. The Mozilla Open Source Support Program is aimed at recognizing and celebrating communities that are leading the way with open source in an effort to improve the health of the web. The company will chose up to 10 projects that can be funded in a meaningful way before December 12. Recommendations can be proposed on the Mozilla Open Source Support mailing list, and the company seeks feedback on the program’s terms and conditions. Finally, as a part of the effort to identify the best projects to support, Mozilla has begun compiling a list of projects they rely on and they invite community feedback to help develop this list.

Read more on the Mozilla blog.

BitGo Launches Project to Help Keep Bitcoin Safe

BitGo has launched an open source protocol and implementation of an open source Key Recovery Service (KRS). This can be used to provision backup keys to be used with multi-signature wallets, and will allow BitGo users to use services of their choice for 2-of-3 multi-signature wallets, with the third signature being controlled by BitGo. This is part of their effort to operate as a trust-less wallet provider and make it easier and more secure for users to use multi-signature wallets. As a part of this service, they have released a white paper that outlines the protocol that is used to facilitate this, as well as an implementation of the protocol on GitHub.

Twitch Installs Arch

In some lighter, more humorous news a new project is being launched to collaboratively install Arch Linux. Twitch is a popular video game streaming platform; following the success of Twitch plays Pokemon, an event where a game of Pokemon was played using the text typed into the chat box of a Twitch channel to control the game, a similar effort is being launched to install the Arch Linux operating system. It will work by relaying the most popular key press typed into the chat over a certain period of time by visitors to the channel, and anyone can join the channel and begin submitting keys to be pressed.

The effort has outlined a couple of goals:

  • Boot Arch Linux from the hard disk
  • Write a python ‘Hello World!’ script
  • Configure a fully working X server
  • Pull up the Twitch screen in the virtual machine!

The effort will start at 12PM PST time on October 31 and the stream can be viewed here.

Other News

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.