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Why is cryptocurrency open source? This paper from 1999 explains

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Sci/Tech

Cryptocurrency's roots go back further than bitcoin. In fact, bitcoin was just the first cryptocurrency to use the blockchain rather than the first cryptocurrency ever.

Other early cryptocurrencies include now venerable names like World of Warcraft (WoW) gold, a digital currency designed for use as a store of value and a transfer medium in the gaming universe of World of Warcraft. It used a proof-of-work mining algorithm in which users would engage with the WoW ecosystem via their computer's graphical interface and complete various digital tasks to be rewarded with gold.

As the fiat currency value of WoW gold increased, it attracted more miners without any corresponding difficulty adjustment, eventually leading to substantial inflation and a collapsing economy.

Today's cryptocurrencies seem to have learned from the problems of the past. For example, bitcoin and many others will adjust mining difficulty to prevent massive inflation when mining power increases.

It's no surprise that almost everything cryptocurrency, from the coins to the exchanges to the wallets, are built on open-source software. This paper from 1999 might be more relevant than ever, especially with a few wallets and coins still being partly or entirely closed source.

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Openwashing Surveillance

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OSS
Sci/Tech
  • Facebook Open Sources Detectron Object Detection

    The way big companies are open sourcing significant AI is both gratifying and slightly worrying. AI is the biggest revolution since we discovered fire and started making tools. FaceBook AI Research has added to the list of what is available by open sourcing its Detectron project.

  • Facebook open-sources object detection research

    Facebook's artificial intelligence research (FAIR) team today announced it would open-source its object detection platform Detectron, as well as the research the team has done on it.

  • Facebook open-sources object detection work: Watch out, Google CAPTCHA

    acebook has brought us one step closer to a Skynet future made a commitment to computer vision boffinry by open-sourcing its codebase for object detection, Detectron.

    Written in Python and powered by the Caffe2 deep learning framework, the codebase – which implements object-sniffing algos such as Mask R-CNN and RetinaNet – is available under the Apache 2.0 licence.

From lab to libre software: how can academic software research become open source?

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Sci/Tech

Academics generate enormous amounts of software, some of which inspires commercial innovations in networking and other areas. But little academic software gets released to the public and even less enters common use. Is some vast "dark matter" being overlooked in the academic community? Would the world benefit from academics turning more of their software into free and open projects?

I asked myself these questions a few months ago when Red Hat, at its opening of a new innovation center in Boston's high-tech Fort Point neighborhood, announced a unique partnership with the goal of tapping academia. Red Hat is joining with Boston-area computer science departments—starting with Boston University—to identify promising software developed in academic projects and to turn it into viable free-software projects. Because all software released by Red Hat is under free licenses, the partnership suggests a new channel by which academic software could find wider use.

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FOSS in Science: Harvard, Xiaopeng, Georgia Tech

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Sci/Tech
  • Making transparency work for Harvard's Dataverse Project

    A culture of transparency permeates the Dataverse project, contributing to its adoption in dozens of research institutions around the world. Headquartered at Harvard University, the Dataverse development team has more than a decade of experience operating as an open source project within an organization that values transparency: the Institute of Quantitative Social Science (IQSS). Working transparently helps the Dataverse team communicate changes to current development efforts, provides opportunities for the community to support each other, and facilitates contribution to the project.

  • Chinese Startup Goes All Out Cloning Tesla Via Open-Source Patents

    Thanks to Tesla’s decision to open-source its patents, Chinese startup Xiaopeng Motors has already manufactured several Model X clones.

  • Open Source Machine Learning Helps the Fight Against Cancer

    Here's an open invitation to steal. It goes out to cancer fighters and tempts them with a new program that predicts cancer drug effectiveness via machine learning and raw genetic data.

    The researchers who built the program at the Georgia Institute of Technology would like cancer fighters to take it for free, or even just swipe parts of their programming code, so they've made it open source. They hope to attract a crowd of researchers who will also share their own cancer and computer expertise and data to improve upon the program and save more lives together.

  • Georgia Tech researchers release open-source AI algorithm to predict effectiveness of cancer drugs

    A team of researchers from Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology introduced an open-source algorithm Oct. 26 that predicts a cancer drug's effectiveness based on a patient's genetic data.

    The researchers developed the machine learning algorithm using gene expression and drug response data from the National Cancer Institute's panel of 60 human cancer cell lines. Their goal was to create an algorithm that predicts optimal drug therapies based on individual patient tumors.

    In a study of 273 cancer patients, researchers found the algorithm to be about 85 percent accurate in assessing the effectiveness of nine drugs. By releasing the algorithm on an open-source platform, they hope other researchers will participate in refining their work.

KStars 2.8.7 Released!

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KDE
Sci/Tech

Another minor KStars release is now available for Linux, MacOS, & Windows. KStars 2.8.7 brings several bug fixes and new improvements!

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KStars 2.8.5 is released!

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KDE
Software
Sci/Tech

So here comes another minor release for KStars v2.8.5 just less than two weeks after 2.8.4 was released. KStars v2.8.5 is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

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Release GCompris Qt 0.80

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KDE
Sci/Tech

We are pleased to announce the release of GCompris version 0.80.

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Fake News From Fossbytes and Techworm

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Software
Sci/Tech

Artificial intelligence/Machine learning

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OSS
Sci/Tech
  • Is your AI being handed to you by Google? Try Apache open source – Amazon's AWS did

    Surprisingly, the MXNet Machine Learning project was this month accepted by the Apache Software Foundation as an open-source project.

    What's surprising about the announcement isn't so much that the ASF is accepting this face in the crowd to its ranks – it's hard to turn around in the software world these days without tripping over ML tools – but rather that MXNet developers, most of whom are from Amazon, believe ASF is relevant.

  • Current Trends in Tools for Large-Scale Machine Learning

    During the past decade, enterprises have begun using machine learning (ML) to collect and analyze large amounts of data to obtain a competitive advantage. Now some are looking to go even deeper – using a subset of machine learning techniques called deep learning (DL), they are seeking to delve into the more esoteric properties hidden in the data. The goal is to create predictive applications for such areas as fraud detection, demand forecasting, click prediction, and other data-intensive analyses.

  • Your IDE won't change, but YOU will: HELLO! Machine learning

    Machine learning has become a buzzword. A branch of Artificial Intelligence, it adds marketing sparkle to everything from intrusion detection tools to business analytics. What is it, exactly, and how can you code it?

  • Artificial intelligence: Understanding how machines learn

    Learning the inner workings of artificial intelligence is an antidote to these worries. And this knowledge can facilitate both responsible and carefree engagement.

  • Your future boss? An employee-interrogating bot – it's an open-source gift from Dropbox

    Dropbox has released the code for the chatbot it uses to question employees about interactions with corporate systems, in the hope that it can help other organizations automate security processes and improve employee awareness of security concerns.

    "One of the hardest, most time-consuming parts of security monitoring is manually reaching out to employees to confirm their actions," said Alex Bertsch, formerly a Dropbox intern and now a teaching assistant at Brown University, in a blog post. "Despite already spending a significant amount of time on reach-outs, there were still alerts that we didn't have time to follow up on."

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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • QMO: Firefox 59 Beta 10 Testday Results
    As you may already know, last Friday – February 16nd – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 59 Beta 10. Thank you Mohammed Adam, Abhishek Haridass,  Fahima Zulfath A. and  Surentharan.R.A. from  India QA Community team for helping us make Mozilla a better place.
  • Bugzilla Triage Helper
    There are an awful lot of bugs filed against Firefox and all it's components in the course of a release. Keeping on top of that is hard and some teams have adopted some policies to help with that (for example see: design-decision-needed). Having a consistent approach to bugs across the organisation makes it a little easier for everyone to get a feel for what's going.
  • Alfresco Founder: Commercial Open Source is more than Old Stuff for Free
    February sees Open Source turn 20 years old. Or the OSI definition at least. According to the OSI, the term was coined in Palo Alto by nanotechnologist Christine Peterson during a meeting on February 3rd, 1998 shortly after the announcement of the release of Netscape’s source code.
  • EOH and LSD Information Technology partner to lead open source in Africa
    By identifying global trends and local needs, EOH is able to proactively source and secure capabilities that will assist with the adoption of the digital revolution. LSD’s offerings across Linux, automation, devops and containers is a great technology fit for EOH to lead open source in the market.
  • Choosing a tool to track and mitigate open source security vulnerabilities
    Continuously tracking your application’s dependencies for vulnerabilities and efficiently addressing them is no simple feat. In addition, this is a problem shared by all, and is not an area most companies would consider their core competency. Therefore, it is a great opportunity for the right set of tools to help tackle this concern.
  • Open source software: to be celebrated or cursed?
    The use of Open Source Software (OSS) has become widespread. The latest statistics show that 78% of companies run OSS, and a number of mainstream software and hardware products are based on the OSS model – for example Android, Skype [sic], Firefox, Amazon Kindle, Tivo and BT Home Hub.
  • Marshall Students Use Open Source Data to Help Stop Sex Trafficking Cases
    The work involved sex trafficking cases in Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Select students in Marshall’s Open Source Intelligence Exchange program worked to provide open source intelligence collection and analysis for law enforcement and other clients. Open source refers to data collection from publicly available sources.
  • Stanford scholar celebrates Western culture’s open-access tradition
    The move toward “open access” to research and scholarship, far from being a modern digital-age creation, has roots in the West that date back to medieval times, writes a Stanford education scholar. John Willinsky’s new book explains how learning has long benefited from efforts to increase its circulation.

Events: OpenStack Summit Vancouver, IBM Index, Eclipse CheConf 2018

  • OpenStack Summit Vancouver '18: Vote for Speakers
    The next OpenStack Summit takes place again in Vancouver (BC, Canada), May 21-25, 2018. The "Vote for Presentations" period started. All proposals are up for community votes. The deadline for your vote is will end February 25 at 11:59pm PST (February 26th at 8:59am CET)
  • IBM Index: A Community Event for Open Source Developers
    The first-ever INDEX community event, happening now in San Francisco, is an open developer conference featuring sessions on topics including artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, cloud native, containers, APIs, languages, and more.
  • Eclipse CheConf 2018 – Join the live stream February 21st at 10 am EST
    2017 was a fantastic year for the Che project, with more contributors, more commits, and more usage – this solidified Che’s position as the leading developer workspace server and browser IDE. Eclipse Che users logged over 7 million hours of public Che usage (plus more in private installs). We’ll discuss the growing cloud development market, Che’s position in it, and the exciting changes we’re planning for 2018.

Kernel News and Linux Foundation

  • Linux Kernel Module Growth
    The Linux kernel grows at an amazing pace, each kernel release adds more functionality, more drivers and hence more kernel modules. I recently wondered what the trend was for kernel module growth per release, so I performed module builds on kernels v2.6.24 through to v4.16-rc2 for x86-64 to get a better idea of growth rates...
  • A Linux Kernel Driver Is Being Worked On For Valve's Steam Controller
    Right now to make most use of the Steam Controller on Linux you need to be using the Steam client while there have been independent user-space programs like SC-Controller to enable Steam Controller functionality without the Steam client running. A new and independent effort is a Linux kernel driver for the Steam Controller. Through reverse-engineering, Rodrigo Rivas Costa has been developing a kernel driver for the Valve Steam Controller. This driver supports both USB cable and USB wireless adapters for the Steam Controller. This driver is being developed as a proper HID kernel driver so it should work with all existing Linux programs and doesn't require the use of the proprietary Steam client.
  • AT&T Puts Smart City IoT 'Edge' Computing On Direct Dial
  • Linux Foundation, AT&T Launch Akraino

Red Hat News and New Fedora 27 Live ISOs