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Random sampler: Boy Scouts go free, Mozilla improves email, and more

A random sampler of great technology news, especially as it relates to open source.

You know open source has arrived when the Boy Scouts of America start promoting its principles and adoption and the LDS (Mormon) Church starts hiring open-source developers. This week, we get both and more in today's edition of Random Sampler.

  • The Boy Scouts of America have created a website focused on open source. It's designed "as a place for scouting leaders to go when they need an application for their troop events or when they want to help other troops with their software projects." It's also intended to add some end-user usability to open-source development, which has long been lacking from many projects. Good effort.

  • David Ascher, Mozilla's email guru, went on the record to talk about the future of Mozilla's email project, suggesting that he's not interested in building an Outlook clone, but instead wants to bring "new energy" to email. Let's hope he succeeds.

  • Hyperic keeps getting asked by its customers, "Who can we hire to administer our Hyperic IT management systems?" Among those asking the question? CNET and the LDS church. Nice to see my blogging and tithing dollars going to good use.

  • The VAR Guy notes that Red Hat has set up its Summit in Novell's backyard, and suggests a Novell tea party take place to foil the marauding invaders. Now, to be fair, Red Hat's engineering center is in Boston, so it's not like it is "invading." That said, I agree that it would be good fun to see Novell go on the marketing offensive during the Summit, just as Microsoft used to do at Novell's Brainshare.

  • Meanwhile, Google organized OpenOffice training at its Central Park office. Nice.

  • James Urquhart, Alfresco's newest member of the US team, waxes rhapsodic about the open-source cloud, Eucalyptus:
    This is big stuff, despite the skepticism of some cloud fanatics who can't grep why "private clouds"...are legitimate. I most certainly don't fall into that particular camp, having real experience working with customers who realize that they have to start with an in-house cloud to satisfy corporate and legal mandates. Ideally, though, this infrastructure would allow them to migrate all or portions of their applications out of house when the time and technology are right. If Eucalyptus can pull this off and really provide a killer Amazon clone for private deployments, they may become the core technology for an awful lot of enterprise SLAuto platforms in years to come.

  • While still only hearsay, it's sounding plausible that the US Veterans Administration will be killing its VistA project, a completely open ERP system for hospitals. Perhaps this is an opportunity for Medsphere to drive its development even further?

Back online in a bit, but what a great set of news to start the day.