Opening government data, new life for Mozilla Labs, a bug bounty program, and more news

In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look making government data open in the U.S., German state funding an open source e-health app, the return of Mozilla Labs, and more

U.S. Congress wants to make government data open by fault

Over the past few years, the government of the United States has made several small steps towards making its code and data more open. This shift is on the verge of becoming something bigger with the OPEN Government Data Act about to become law.

According to a post on E Pluribus Unum, the OPEN Government Data Act, which comes on the heels of similar legislation in France and Germany, codifies the open government data policies, practices, roles and websites that the federal government had adopted over the past decade. It also intends to ensure that public information should be open by default to the public in a machine-readable format.

German state funds open source e-health app

No matter where you live, one common frustration people face is long waits to see a medical professional. According to a post on the Open Source Observatory (OSOR) site, the Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration in the German state of Hesse is trying to improve this situation by funding a smartphone app that lets users avoid queues at their general practitioner and other medical services.

Called “Warts Ab” (“Wait for it,” in English), the app is being developed by the Technical University of Central Hesse. It’s designed to tell users the real time of their visits and when they should be at the doctor’s office. The Ministry is funding it to the tune of €319,000 as part of a €6 million electronic health initiative that also covers four other projects.

Mozilla resurrects Mozilla Labs

You might remember Mozilla Labs, the one-time home of experimental features and add-ons for the Firefox web browser. The original Labs website has been fallow for the past few years, but that doesn’t mean Labs is no more. Mozilla has brought Labs back to life with a new site, and a new mission.

The new home of Mozilla Labs doesn’t just focus on projects related to Firefox. According to the announcement, it’s also home to Mozilla’s latest creations, innovations, and cutting-edge technologies for the greater good. Those include a virtual reality simulator, a tool to mash up 3D content from around the web, and a framework for reusable Internet of Things components.

EU starts funding open source bug bounty program

All software has a few (sometimes, more than a few) bugs. Open source software is no different. While it can sometimes be difficult for open source developers to tackle their backlog of issues, the European Union is giving several projects incentive to do that with a new bug bounty program.

According to an article in Forbes, the program offers rewards ranging from €25,000 to €90,000 ($28,600 to $103,000), for a total offered amount of €851,000 ($973,000) and is being administered by the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) project. The bounties target popular tools on which the EU institutions rely. Those open source tools include 7-zip, FileZilla, Drupal, KeePass, Notepad++, and VLC Media Player.

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.

Posted by Web Monkey