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OSS

4 successful open source business models to consider

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OSS

When I first discovered open source, the idea of building a business around it seemed counterintuitive. However, as I grew more familiar with the movement, I realized that open source software companies were not an anomaly, rather a result of the freedoms open source offers. As GNU project founder Richard Stallman said of free software, it's "a matter of liberty, not price." Open source is, above all, about the unhindered liberty to create. In this sense, the innovation and creativity demonstrated in open source business models is a testimony to the ideals of open source.

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Sri Lanka advised to go for open source software in schools

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OSS

The Asian Development Bank has advised Sri Lanka to go for open source software as opposed to branded software in using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education.

“Software is a prime concern in learning. Therefore, open source is recommended for a developing country like Sri Lanka to achieve international quality standards of ICT education,” the ADB said in a recent study.

“Free and open source software provides a greatly flexible environment - economically, operationally, and technically - to implement ICT applications in education.”

Administrative authorities of the school education system should be motivated and provided with guidelines for the use of free and open source software in the school environment, said the study on opportunities of ICT for education equity, quality, and efficiency in South Asia.

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Open Source “PiTalk” Turns Your Raspberry Pi Minicomputer Into A Modular Smartphone

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OSS

More than a year ago, I wrote about a Raspberry Pi-powered phone called PiPhone, and the readers loved it. Just recently, I came across another similar project on Kickstarter and decided to share it on Fossbytes. Named PiTalk, the project calls itself the “first ever DIY modular smartphone.”

Powered by Python, PiTalk modular smartphone is compatible with Raspberry Pi Zero, Pi 2, and Pi 3. For voice and data communication, it has a 3G module. The basic features performed by PiTalk are:

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AMD open sources its Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
OSS
  • AMD open sources its Vulkan

    AMD's Vulkan Linux driver which was initially going to be closed-source and open-sourced when it was finished, is now totally open sourced.

    AMD has released the source code to its official Vulkan Linux driver, just in time to make the Christmas best sellers’ list.

  • AMD To Deliver On Its Promise Of An Open Sourced Vulkan Linux Driver Very Soon

    If I had to guess, I’d say AMD really didn’t want to begin yet another year with its open source Vulkan driver still in hiding, so here we are: it’s finally happening. As Phoronix notes, AMD promised the world over two years ago that it would open source its Vulkan driver for Linux, but few probably realized it’d actually take quite this long to see the day. We can be thankful that this driver didn’t just wind up like some Half-Life episode.

OSS/Sharing Leftovers

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OSS
  • Chrome 64 Beta: stronger pop-up blocker, Resize Observer, and import.meta
  • Chrome 64 Beta Brings Stronger Pop-Up Blocker, JavaScript Improvements

    Ahead of the holidays Google has pushed out the Chrome 64 beta to all supported platforms.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® Hadoop® v3.0.0 General Availability

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced Apache® Hadoop® v3.0.0, the latest version of the Open Source software framework for reliable, scalable, distributed computing.

  • Open source science: Scientists researching rice plant genetics agree to not file for patents

    The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill with bipartisan congressional support, awarded a $1 million Seeding Solutions grant to University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to study the genetics of rice plants. Together with researchers at the University of North Carolina and collaborators, the team will develop and implement a chemistry-driven gene discovery approach to identify genes that modulate root traits.

  • Lytro could open source their light-field photo sharing platform
  • Lytro considering open source light field photo sharing platform

    Lytro is reportedly considering an open source solution after announcing it would no longer support its sharing platform for Lytro cameras’ ‘living images.’

  • When Waze Won't Help, Palestinians Make Their Own Maps

    If you want to drive the 15 or so miles from Jerusalem to the city of Jericho, in the Palestinian Territories, Google Maps will tell you: “Can’t find a way there.” Waze will issue a warning: “Caution: This destination is in a high risk area or is prohibited to Israelis by law.” If you press “Confirm Drive” nonetheless, the app will direct you, just not all the way.

    When you pass from Israel into the West Bank, part of the occupied Palestinian Territories, Waze’s directions simply end. To keep going, you need to change your setting to allow access to “high risk” areas. Even then, GPS coverage tends to be limited.

  • Using Gmail with OAUTH2 in Linux and on an ESP8266

    One of the tasks I dread is configuring a web server to send email correctly via Gmail. The simplest way of sending emails is SMTP, and there are a number of scripts out there that provide a simple method to send mail that way with a minimum of configuration. There’s even PHP mail(), although it’s less than reliable.

  • Simplicity Before Generality, Use Before Reuse

    A common problem in component frameworks, class libraries, foundation services, and other infrastructure code is that many are designed to be general purpose without reference to concrete applications. This leads to a dizzying array of options and possibilities that are often unused or misused — or just not useful.

    Generally, developers work on specific systems; specifically, the quest for unbounded generality rarely serves them well (if at all). The best route to generality is through understanding known, specific examples, focusing on their essence to find an essential common solution. Simplicity through experience rather than generality through guesswork.

  • What Ruby Needs

    Of all of the questions we receive at RedMonk, one of the most common concerns programming languages. Whether from members of a given community or a commercial entity, the desire is to better understand a given language’s trajectory and the context around it. Is it going up or down, and what are the reasons for that direction? And, of course: can that direction be meaningfully changed?

    Recently, we’ve received several such inquiries around Ruby. For those with an interest in the language, then, the following is a quick public summary of the answers we’ve been providing privately.

  • HTML 5.2 is done, HTML 5.3 is coming

    Today W3C releases HTML 5.2. This is the second revision of HTML5, following last year’s HTML 5.1 Recommendation. In 2014 we expressed a goal to produce a revision roughly every year; HTML 5.2 is a continuation of that commitment.

    This Recommendation like its predecessor provides an updated stable guide to what is HTML. In the past year there has been a significant cleanup of the specification. We have introduced some new features, and removed things that are no longer part of the modern Web Platform, or that never achieved broad interoperability. As always we have also fixed bugs in the specification, making sure it adapts to the changing reality of the Web.

    Many of the features added integrate other work done in W3C. The Payment Request API promises to make commerce on the Web far easier, reducing the risks of making a mistake or being caught by an unscrupulous operator. New security features such as Content Security Policy protect users more effectively, while new work incorporated from ARIA helps developers offer people with disabilities a good user experience of their applications.

OSS: Blockchain, Avast, Predictions, GreenKey

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OSS
  • Startup Aims to Build Open-Source Telecom Ecosystem on Blockchain

    There are 2,000+ mobile network operations in charge of providing communication services at global scale. However, the traditional infrastructure is centralized, inflexible and inaccurate. Common services like 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, BOSS mobile communications solutions and companies that use cloud-based communications solutions are often unable to render accurate content billing and distribution.

    Conventional mobile packages overcharge customers, not to mention that they pose concerns around data transmissions. An alternative solution to average mobile network providers could be Blockchain technology.

  • Merry Xmas, fellow code nerds: Avast open-sources decompiler

    Malware hunting biz and nautical jargon Avast has released its machine-code decompiler RetDec as open source, in the hope of arming like-minded haters of bad bytes and other technically inclined sorts with better analytical tools.

    As discussed as the recent Botconf 2017 in France earlier this month, RetDec provides a way to turn machine code – binary executables – back into an approximation of the original source code.

  • 10 open source predictions for 2018

    With 2017 just about done and dusted, dozens of open source experts have polished their crystal balls and made predictions about what can be expected in the open source space in 2018.

    Now it's our turn. (With fingers firmly crossed) here are 10 open source trends that you may – or may not – see coming to the fore next year. Some are obvious, some are frivolous, and some could just change your life.

  • Stop Calling Everything "Open Source": What "Open Source" Really Means

    "Open source" is an exciting concept in the world of software and beyond. But it shouldn't be applied to contexts where it makes no sense.

  • GreenKey to join Symphony; open source voice software

    GreenKey, creator of patented voice software with integrated speech recognition designed for the financial markets, today announced the firm has joined the Symphony Software Foundation, a nonprofit organization fostering innovation in financial services through open source software (OSS).

  • GreenKey Joins the Symphony Software Foundation; Will Open Source Voice Software

    GreenKey, creator of patented voice software with integrated speech recognition designed for the financial markets, today announced the firm has joined the Symphony Software Foundation, a nonprofit organization fostering innovation in financial services through open source software (OSS). GreenKey will release a Community Edition of its voice software development kit (SDK) that will enable banks and other financial market firms to "voice enable" any web application.

Latest Openwashing

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OSS

An introduction to Joplin, an open source Evernote alternative

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OSS

Joplin is an open source cross-platform note-taking and to-do application. It can handle a large number of notes, organized into notebooks, and can synchronize them across multiple devices. The notes can be edited in Markdown, either from within the app or with your own text editor, and each application has an option to render Markdown with formatting, images, URLs, and more. Any number of files, such as images and PDFs, can be attached to a note, and notes can also be tagged.

I started developing Joplin when Evernote changed its pricing model and because I wanted my 4,000+ notes to be stored in a more open format, free of any proprietary solution. To that end, I have developed three Joplin applications, all under the MIT License: for desktop (Windows, MacOS, and Linux), for mobile (Android and iOS), and for the terminal (Windows, MacOS, and Linux). All the applications have similar user interfaces and can synchronize with each other. They are based on open standards and technologies including SQLite and JavaScript for the backend, and Terminal Kit (Node.js), Electron, and React Native for the three front ends.

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Open Source OS Still supporting 32-bit Architecture and Why it’s Important

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OS
OSS

One after the other, Linux distributions are dropping 32-bit support. Or, to be accurate, they drop support for the Intel x86 32-bit architecture (IA-32). Indeed, computers based on x86_64 hardware (IA-64) are superior in every way to their 32-bits counterpart: they are more powerful, run faster, are more compact, and more energy efficient. Not mentioning their price has considerably decreased in just a few years.

If you have the opportunity to switch to 64 bits, do it. But, to quote a mail I received recently from Peter Tribble, author of Tribblix: “[… ] in the developed world we assume that we can replace things; in some parts of the developing world older IA-32 systems are still the norm, with 64-bit being rare.”

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New Open Source Tools Test for VPN Leaks

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OSS

ExpressVPN on Tuesday launched a suite of open source tools that let users test for vulnerabilities that can compromise privacy and security in virtual private networks.

Released under an open source MIT License, they are the first-ever public tools to allow automated testing for leaks on VPNs, the company said. The tools are written primarily in Python, and available for download on Github.

Originally used to conduct automated regression testing on ExpressVPN's own software, the tools allow users to check VPNs that might not be providing complete protection to users, said Harold Li, vice president at ExpressVPN.

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