Microsoft Announces First Custom Linux Kernel, German Government Chooses Open-Source Nextcloud and More

News briefs for April 17, 2018.

Microsoft yesterday introduced Azure Sphere, a Linux-based OS and cloud service for securing IoT devices. According to ZDNet, "Microsoft President Brad Smith introduced Azure Sphere saying, 'After 43 years, this is the first day that we are announcing, and will distribute, a custom Linux kernel.'"

The German government's Federal Information Technology Centre (ITZBund) has chosen open-source Nextcloud for its self-hosted cloud solution, iwire reports. Nextcloud was chosen for its strict security requirements and scalability "both in terms of large numbers of uses and extensibility with additional features".

European authorities have effectively ended the Whois public database of domain name registration, which ICANN oversees. According to The Register, the service isn't compliant with the GDPR and will be illegal as of May 25th: "ICANN now has a little over a month to come up with a replacement to the decades-old service that covers millions of domain names and lists the personal contact details of domain registrants, including their name, email and telephone number."

A new release of PySoIFC, a free and open-source collection of more than 1,000 card Solitaire and Mahjong games, was announced recently. The new stable release, 2.2.0, is the first since 2009.

Deadline for proposals to speak at Open Source Summit North America is April 29. OSSN is being held in Vancouver, BC, this year from August 29–31.

In other event news, Red Hat today announced the keynote speakers and agenda for its largest ever Red Hat Summit being held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, May 8–10.

Jill Franklin is an editorial professional with more than 17 years experience in technical and scientific publishing, both print and digital. As Executive Editor of Linux Journal, she wrangles writers, develops content, manages projects, meets deadlines and makes sentences sparkle. She also was Managing Editor for TUX and Embedded Linux Journal, and the book Linux in the Workplace. Before entering the Linux and open-source realm, she was Managing Editor of several scientific and scholarly journals, including Veterinary Pathology, The Journal of Mammalogy, Toxicologic Pathology and The Journal of Scientific Exploration. In a previous life, she taught English literature and composition, managed a bookstore and tended bar. When she’s not bugging writers about deadlines or editing copy, she throws pots, gardens and reads. You can contact Jill via e-mail,

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