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OSS

'Opening' Hardware

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Hardware
OSS
  • Open source reaches processor core

    Whether for budgetary, philosophical, or other reasons, an increasing number of embedded systems are being designed using open source elements. For the most part, these elements are software based, although there are some open source board designs in use as well. Now, the microcontroller that empowers a PCB design is available as an open source design.

    A little over a month ago, startup SiFive announced a milestone product in the development of the RISC-V (pronounced risk-five) open source microprocessor instruction set architecture (ISA). Originally developed for research and education, the architecture began moving toward industry implementation with the creation of the RISC-V Foundation in 2015. SiFive advanced that movement by developing a microcontroller design implementing the RISC-V ISA. The company has now proven that design in silicon and donated the RTL code for the design to the open source community.

  • A $12,000 open-source hardware platform to develop electric vehicles

    The automotive industry has always been capital-intensive and therefore, it has often been difficult for startups to carve themselves a space in it. But the electric vehicle revolution is disrupting the industry enough that it is opening up opportunities for startups to accelerate the pace of innovation.

    OSVehicle, a company based in Italia, is trying to help them to just that with their new platform.

    They released the second generation of the TABBY EVO, an open-source hardware platform to develop electric vehicles and electric vehicle parts. The platform enables companies or individuals wishing to develop parts for electric vehicles, or even full EVs, to leapfrog some of the development and test the parts in an open platform.

  • Renault will release its Twizy EV hardware system as an opensource platform

    The Renault POM represents the first foray by a big automaker into truly open-sourcing its vehicle platform.

  • Renault announces partners for open-source electric-vehicle platform

Why Open Source is Rising Up the Networking Stack in 2017

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OSS

With 2016 behind us, we can reflect on a landmark year where open source migrated up the stack. As a result a new breed of open service orchestration projects were announced, including ECOMP, OSM, OpenBaton, and The Linux Foundation project OPEN-O, among them. While the scope varies between orchestrating Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) in a Cloud Data Center, and more comprehensive end-to-end service delivery platforms, the new open service orchestration initiatives enable carriers and cable operators to automate end-to-end service delivery, ultimately minimizing the software development required for new services.

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Explore climate data with open source tools

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OSS

You can't look anywhere these days without seeing evidence of the changing weather patterns on the earth. Monthly, we are confronted with facts and figures that point to a warming planet.

Climate scientists warn us that inaction could be fatal to our futures here. Military strategists at the Pentagon have recently cautioned President-Elect Trump that inaction on climate change could spell disaster for our national security as shrinking water supplies and meager rainfall cause crop failures will force large numbers of people to migrate to other parts of the world that can sustain them.

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FOSS in Networking

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OSS
  • Kubernetes Helps Comcast Re-Engineer Cable TV

    Comcast cable is undergoing a major technical shift. The company is moving away from an always-on transmission of every single channel to every single customer, with the signal converted on either end by a piece of proprietary hardware, which is how cable has worked for decades. The new system is IP-based, on-demand streaming model where channel signal is sent only when requested by the user, explained Erik St. Martin, a systems architect at Comcast, at CloudNativeCon in November.

  • Keynote: Kubernetes: As Seen On TV by Erik St. Martin, Systems Architect, Comcast
  • IHS Markit: 70% of Carriers Will Deploy CORD in the Central Office

    The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD) combines network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) to bring data center economics and cloud agility to the telco central office. CORD garnered so much attention in 2016 that its originator — On.Lab‘s Open Network Operating System (ONOS) — established CORD as a separate open source entity. And non-telcos have joined the open source group, including Google and Comcast.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • Sweden's Blockchain Land Registry to Begin Testing in March

    A public-private effort in Sweden to record land titles on a blockchain is set to begin public testing this March.

    Spearheaded by the Swedish National Land Survey and blockchain startup ChromaWay, the project was revealed in June to have support from consulting firm Kairos Future and telephone service provider Telia. Now, the project is moving ahead with the addition of two banks that specialize in mortgages, Landshypotek and SBAB, CoinDesk has learned.

    ChromaWay CEO Henrik Hjelte said that the sandbox release would seek to test the platform from a business, legal and security perspective, while allowing the public to test the interface and back-end.

  • VMware Joins Open-O to Pursue its Telco NFV Strategy

    The open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation works to enable end-to-end service orchestration via network functions virtualization (NFV) over both software-defined networks (SDN) and legacy networks.

  • Looking for Some Open Source Virtual Reality?

    For those of you who like your reality virtual and your software open, there are options — such as this nifty headset our Phil Shapiro found while searching YouTube.

  • Eagle Joins a Slew of Big Data Projects Open Sourced by Apache

    For more than a year now, we've steadily taken note of the many projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent times. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support. Recently, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu had graduated as a Top-Level project. Then, the news came that Apache Geode had graduated from the Apache Incubator as well. It is a very interesting open source in-memory data grid that provides transactional data management for scale-out applications needing low latency response times during high concurrent processing.

  • Decisive benefits of a good open source e-commerce

    There was a time when websites were only afforded and operated by big businesses alone. Nowadays you can easily find free basic websites online. If the free version that you are getting is not up to your standards, you can always purchase a premium one or customize the one that you currently have to suit your needs.

  • Why we need an open model to design and evaluate public policy

    In the months leading up to political elections, public debate intensifies and citizens are exposed to a proliferation of information around policy options. In a data-driven society where new insights have been informing decision-making, a deeper understanding of this information has never been more important, yet the public still hasn't realized the full potential of public policy modeling.

    At a time where the concept of "open government" is constantly evolving to keep pace with new technological advances, government policy models and analysis could be the new generation of open knowledge.

    Government Open Source Models (GOSMs) refer to the idea that government-developed models, whose purpose is to design and evaluate policy, are freely available to everyone to use, distribute, and modify without restrictions. The community could potentially improve the quality, reliability, and accuracy of policy modeling, creating new data-driven apps that benefit the public.

  • 3D designer builds open-source Metal Gear Solid inspired arm

    Jackson Gordon is an industrial design student at Philadelphia University. Gordon is the founder of Armatus Designs and was commissioned to make a 3D printed bionic hand. The project’s design was inspired by the character Venom Snake from Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

  • Renault partner with OSVehicle to create an open source mass-market electric vehicle
  • Renault goes open source with next-gen electric buggy you might generously call 'a car'

    Renault is embracing open source with its new car – an electric vehicle named POM.

    As the car industry unveils its latest and greatest at the North American International Auto Show, the French carmaker is pushing the POM – which stands for Platform Open Mind – as the future of cars. The space-age golf cart, pictured above, will be powered by an open-source vehicle operating system that runs on ARM-compatible chips.

  • Improve your programming skills with Exercism

    Many of us have a 2017 goal to improve our programming skills or to learn how to program in the first place. While we have access to many resources, practicing the art of code development independent of a specific job requires some planning. Exercism.io is one resource designed for this exact purpose.

    Exercism is an open source project and service aimed at helping people level up in their programming skills using a philosophy of discovery and collaboration. Exercism provides exercises for dozens of different programming languages. Practitioners complete each exercise and then receive feedback on their response, enabling them to learn from their peer group's experience.

FOSS for Public Good

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OSS
  • Fighting Back Against Unlawful Warrants and Indefinite Gag Orders to Protect Internet Privacy and Security

    Mozilla and other major technology companies, including Amazon, Apple, Google and Twitter, are joining together in an amicus brief filing that supports Facebook’s ability to challenge both a search warrant for nearly 400 Facebook users’ data, and an indefinite gag order which forbids Facebook from notifying users about government requests for their data.

    Mozilla is joining this brief because we believe this type of lengthy, never-ending gag order ultimately infringes on the ability to control one’s online experience. This is part of our fight to protect individual privacy and security online, and to improve internet health by promoting cybersecurity and increasing transparency.

    In this case, the government argued that Facebook has no legal right to even challenge the warrant’s scope or validity, and a lower court agreed. This would mean companies like Mozilla couldn’t challenge unlawful orders we receive. And, because gag orders would prevent us from notifying users, those users wouldn’t know to challenge them either. Unlawful warrants would never see the light of day or be apparent to users. This is staggering and unacceptable.

  • Open medical records community supports new system in Mozambique

    The southern African country of Mozambique suffers under the most extreme challenges for resource-poor countries: economic instability, political strife, civil unrest, corruption and crime, unreliable infrastructure (such as transportation and telecommunications), and a large-scale HIV epidemic that has yet to be declared under control. The United Nations positions Mozambique’s Human Development Index at number 180 out of 188 countries, placing it as the eighth lowest nation in the world for the three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living. Over 11 percent of the adult population is infected with HIV, and approximately one in 10 children will die before their fifth birthday. Compounding Mozambique’s problems is a serious shortage of trained medical staff, with only 64 doctors and nurses per 100,000 people.

  • Clock ticking on open source voting effort as SF extends voting machine contract [Ed: recall this]

    The clock is ticking on the open source voting effort because Arntz said that the current system is becoming obsolete and in two years he plans to competitively bid for the new line of voting equipment if open source voting isn’t finalized by December 2018.

    “If the new open source voting system is not ready in two years, [John] Arntz advises that the Department of Elections plans to conduct a competitive process to lease a new voting system, removing the need for a large expenditure to purchase voting equipment,” the report reads.

    Those who support open-source voting systems argue they bring a greater level of transparency and accountability by allowing the public to have access to the source codes of the system, which is used to tabulate the votes. If The City owns the system outright it could come at a savings to taxpayers as opposed to using a private vendor.

Synfig 1.2.0

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Hardware
OSS
  • Synfig 1.2.0 released

    This release summarizes the results of our work for last 16 months, since the start of new development cycle in August 2015. Much thanks to everyone who supported our efforts by contributing to crowdfunding campaign, purchasing training course, donating via downloads and providing continuous support through our Patreon page! You really made this release happen.

  • Open-Source Animation Software Synfig 1.2 Released
  • Synfig Studio 1.2 Released With New Render Engine

    The Synfig 1.2 release has a complete rewritten render engine developed over the past year and is now better optimized, a new lipsync feature, UI changes, support for multiple threads when rendering via the command line, and other improvements.

Linux/FOSS Events

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Linux
OSS
  • 10 Lessons from 10 Years of Amazon

    Amazon launched their Simple Storage Service (S3) service about 10 years ago followed shortly by Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). In the past 10 years, Amazon has learned a few things about running these services. In his keynote at LinuxCon Europe, Chris Schlaeger, Director Kernel and Operating Systems at the Amazon Development Center in Germany, shared 10 lessons from Amazon.

  • MoodleMoot UK & Ireland 2017

    MoodleMoot UK and Ireland 2017 will be held from 10 – 12 April at Park Plaza Riverbank London.

  • Linus Torvalds, Guy Hoffman, and Imad Sousou to Speak at Embedded Linux Conference Next Month

    Linux creator Linus Torvalds will speak at Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit again this year, along with renowned robotics expert Guy Hoffman and Intel VP Imad Sousou, The Linux Foundation announced today. These headliners will join session speakers from embedded and IoT industry leaders, including AppDynamics, Free Electrons, IBM, Intel, Micosa, Midokura, The PTR Group, and many others. View the full schedule now.

The case for open source software

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OSS

“Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept you should think of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech,’ not as in ‘free beer,’” leading software freedom activist Richard M. Stallman explained via the Free Software Foundation.

Open source software is computer software published under a copyright license where the copyright holder provides the rights for the study, change, and distribution of the software’s source code for any purpose. This is important not just for the advancement of technology but for the freedom of expression as an innate human right.

Currently, developers can release software under a few main types of licenses. The General Public License (GPL) demands any modified software from the product—including source code—must be placed under the same type of license. In contrast to traditional copyright laws, this license—often referred to as ‘copyleft’—allows developers to use and modify other developers’ code.

“The GPL is built on copyright, but disables the restrictions of copyright to allow for modification, distribution, and access,” Dr. Gabriella Coleman, the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill, wrote in an essay published in Cultural Anthropology. “It is also self-perpetuating because it requires others to adopt the same license if they modify copylefted software.”

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Also: What engineers and marketers can learn from each another

4 open source alternatives to Trello that you can self-host

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OSS

Trello is a visual team collaboration platform that was recently acquired by Atlassian. And by that, I mean as recently as today Monday, January 9 2017.

I’ve been using Trello as a board member of DigitalOcean’s community authors and started using it to manage a small team project for a non-profit organization a couple of days ago. It’s a nice piece of software that any team, including those with non-geeky members, can use comfortable.

If you like Trello, but now want a similar software that you can self-host, or run on your own server, I’ve found four that you can choose from. Keep in mind that I’ve not installed any of these on my own server, but from the information I’ve gathered about them, the ones I’m most likely to use are Kanboard and Restyaboard.

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Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Delayed Until February 2, Will Bring Linux 4.8, Newer Mesa

If you've been waiting to upgrade your Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system to the 16.04.2 point release, which should have hit the streets a couple of days ago, you'll have to wait until February 2. We hate to give you guys bad news, but Canonical's engineers are still working hard these days to port all the goodies from the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) repositories to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which is a long-term supported version, until 2019. These include the Linux 4.8 kernel packages and an updated graphics stack based on a newer X.Org Server version and Mesa 3D Graphics Library. Read more