Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
In June this year, we launched a new weekly feature on Opensource.com highlighting some of the most interesting open source news from around the web. Each Friday, we share our take on recent open source news from around the globe, including some stories you may know well and some you may have missed.
Open hardware is gaining speed. The appetite for open source vehicles is growing. And while we may not have flying cars yet, we do have Tabby—an open source car design released by Open Source Vehicle this October.
Want to swap out an internal combustible engine for an eco-friendly electric? Tabby can do that. And, this open source vehicle is not just for makers—it’s production ready. Tabby will be rolling off the assembly line in early 2014. Will you see Tabby cruising your streets?
In this interview, we found out more about Tabby and got some insight into the open hardware movement from the team at Open Source Vehicle.
We cover a wide range of open source projects on Opensource.com. From beehives to Linux, from the Netherlands to India, featuring a diversity of open source projects is part of our mission. It's a goal we achieved in 2013 and one we'll continue to strive for in 2014.
Our readers tell us on a regular basis that they appreciate how we branch out and capture stories from open source projects of all kinds. In this Best of Opensource.com, we gathered our top 10 articles on open source projects. If you don't see your favorite, please share it with us in the comments and remind us why it's awesome.
For a recap on this year in open education, it's impossible to ignore the role of gaming, including massively multiplayer open online role-playing games (MMORGs or MMOs). MMOs have created quite a stir in education and are being recognized for their potential for better learning. MMOs differ from single-user games and are a far cry from much earlier video games. First, they are played via the Internet. Second, they enable very large numbers of players to interact with one another in a virtual world. And third, the games continue regardless of whether someone is playing or not.
This year at Opensource.com, we challenged our contributors to give us the best and most useful guides, how-tos, and tutorials they could produce from their experiences and work in various open source industries and sectors. In this Best of Opensource.com, our top guides and tutorials this year fell within the four buckets you see below.
If you can answer YES to any of the following questions, there's an open source way guide here for you!
I've been following the progress of OpenShot, an open source video editor, for the past few years. I think it achieves just the right balance between ease-of-use and a rich feature set. When I heard about the OpenShot Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, I was one of the first to contribute. By the deadline, their intended fund raising goal was more than doubled at $45,000+. This success also meant that OpenShot 2.0 will become available on Windows and Macintosh.
The role of community managers continues to evolve. I started to realize this after attending my first Community Leadership Summit earlier this year. My biggest take-away from it? Community management is an investment and its value is increasing. Heads up to employers: buy, buy, buy, and then invest some more.
Bringing together people with high-energy and motivation to create startups that have the potential to make a positive impact on society is a great endeavour. It takes vision to bring together inspiring leaders on one platform and create an environment where their best skills are put to use for a larger cause. C3 Inspire is one of those organizations and thrives on such a vision.
I spoke with Alim Maherali, founder of C3 Inspire, and that talk put a lot of things in perspective when it comes to building and successfully running an organization based on the open source principles of collaboration, connections, and sharing.
In this interview, he tells me about the new culture of startups where there's a reigning sense of collaboration and the overwhelming use of open source software.
Read more in my interview with Alim Maherali.
The first workshop on "Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experience," was held at the Supercomputing Conference in Denver, CO on November 17, 2013. This meeting was organized by the Software Sustainability Institute at the University of Edinburgh and the National Science Foundation to examine how we can create sustainable software platforms that can best serve the needs of scientific research.
Opensource.com is here to tell the stories of those who use open source—software, hardware, and ways—to work, to create, to discover, and to add knowledge back to the world. And, interviews with these open source gurus are an excellent method of delivering that kind of thought-provoking content to our readers.
We scoured the web for some of this week's most interesting open source-related news stories so you don't have to. Here's what we found:
I never realized how much I rely on open source and public libraries until I started homeschooling last year. When I started to write for Opensource.com, my son was in school. He's nearly eight years old, but he's already been in both public and private schools and in both special needs and gifted programs. I've thus been on both sides of the educational spectrum. As a librarian, former teacher, and homeschooling mother, I am familiar with what formal schools can offer and what homeschooling and open source resources (programs, tools, etc.) can offer.
Homeschooling is increasingly popular due to the differences between what schools can provide and what open source can offer homeschoolers. Even in China, bright children like my son are increasingly being educated at home or having their public or private education supplemented at home. Parental dissatisfaction with a school's environment is now the prime reason given in a recent survey by the US Department of Education for homeschooling, but dissatisfaction with the curricula and academic instruction still ranks high.
A little less than a year ago, I was asked to direct OpenHatch's Open Source Comes to Campus event series. This event is a workshop designed to introduce college students to open source, to teach them how to use tools like version control and issue trackers, and to guide them through making their first contributions. When I joined, OpenHatch was averaging two events a year. I was asked, hopefully, if I could run seven events in 2013.
So you have a great business idea for a wonderful IT product or service, and you want to build your high tech startup around it. Having the idea is a great start, but you will have to build an IT solution/service to get your business off the ground; be it a website, software solution, social network, or mobile app. Which programming language to choose to write these IT products is always the question to get the startup going on a reasonable budget.
The truth is, you can write a great product in any language, if you know what you are doing. And when users are looking at a great product they really don’t know which language was used to create it, or how much code it took, nor do they care. But when it comes to time and budgets, there are unique situations, like getting a startup off the ground, where the choice of a programming language can make a difference between success or failure.
When the US Federal government shutdown from October 1 - 16 this year, a small Drupal shop in the Washington DC area turned a list of freelance gigs for furloughed employees in a Google doc into a website in five hours. Unfurlough.us went live at 1:00 am EST on October 4, accumulating 50,000 page views in a little over a week.
Last year, a third of honeybee colonies in the United States quite literally vanished. Commercial honey operations, previously abuzz with many thousands of bees, fell suddenly silent, leaving scientists and beekeepers alike scratching their heads. The reasons remain mostly a mystery for what is called Colony Collapse Disorder—a disturbing development of the drying up of beehives throughout the industrialised world.
Unfortunately, there's a lot more to the problem than simply running out of honey. Bees are one of the most abundant pollinators in the natural world. They are the unsung, unpaid facilitators of human agricultural practices and have been for as long as we have sewn seeds. Their disappearance would spell disaster for our food supply, with some estimating our species lasting only four years on this planet without them. So, what can be done?
Opensource.com's Jason Hibbets recently had a chance to sit down with Google's Open Source Director Chris DiBona during the All Things Open Conference in Raleigh, NC.
Open source software (OSS), unlike proprietary software, is software that keeps the code open so IT professionals can alter, improve, and distribute it. Although it has been around since relatively early in the history of computers, in the past several years OSS has truly taken off, in what some might see as a surprising example of a successful communal collaboration.
We like to use the analogy that open source is like a recipe. It's a great way to explain what open source is to non-technical folks. Last year, this pumpkin spice latte recipe was popular with our community. So, we thought it would be fun to share more recipes with you this year.
We collected some great ones from a few of our open source friends: Chris Aniszczyk, Erica Brescia, Simon Phipps, and Jim Whitehurst. Share yours with us in the comments!
Sam Beck is the guy behind Blueshift, an open source sustainable eletronics business that is all about building cool stuff. Helium speakers are the company's first product to market and will be the world's the first supercapacitor-powered portable speakers. Not to mention the design files are open source.
In this interview, Sam shares with me his unique business mindset and why he's not afraid anyone will steal his thunder, even while they might have access to his design.
If we build stuff that's cool enough, we'll find a way to make money.
Sam grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and went to college at Columbia University in New York City where he studied physics and art. He got his start with open source eletronics when he moved to Portland in 2008 and began building a bike stereo system that ran off of a dynamo hub (a bicycle part that generates electricity) and used capacitors as backup power. It was a few years later that Sam realized he could use supercapacitors as a primary power source.
Read more about the first supercapacitor-powered portable speakers in this interview.