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Sci/Tech

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

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OSS
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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OSS
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."

Scientific Linux 7.3 Released

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Red Hat
Sci/Tech
  • Scientific Linux 7.3 Officially Released, Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3

    After two Release Candidate (RC) development builds, the final version of the Scientific Linux 7.3 operating system arrived today, January 26, 2017, as announced by developer Pat Riehecky.

    Derived from the freely distributed sources of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 operating system, Scientific Linux 7.3 includes many updated components and all the GNU/Linux/Open Source technologies from the upstream release.

    Of course, all of Red Hat Enterprise Linux's specific packages have been removed from Scientific Linux, which now supports Scientific Linux Contexts, allowing users to create local customization for their computing needs much more efficiently than before.

  • Scientific Linux 7.3 Released

    For users of Scientific Linux, the 7.3 release is now available based off Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3.

The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule

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OSS
Sci/Tech

When programmers at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory set out to develop the flight software for the Apollo 11 space program in the mid-1960s, the necessary technology did not exist. They had to invent it.

They came up with a new way to store computer programs, called “rope memory,” and created a special version of the assembly programming language. Assembly itself is obscure to many of today’s programmers—it’s very difficult to read, intended to be easily understood by computers, not humans. For the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), MIT programmers wrote thousands of lines of that esoteric code.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Foundation: OpenContrail, SDNs, ONAP

  • Juniper Flips OpenContrail To The Linux Foundation
    It’s a familiar story arc for open source efforts started by vendors or vendor-led industry consortiums. The initiatives are launched and expanded, but eventually they find their way into independent open source organizations such as the Linux Foundation, where vendor control is lessened, communities are able to grow, and similar projects can cross-pollinate in hopes of driving greater standardization in the industry and adoption within enterprises.
  • Juniper Hands OpenContrail SDN to Linux Found. Before It's Too Late
    After failing to develop a community around the project and receiving pushback from a major backer, Juniper may be saving Contrail from becoming irrelevant
  • CableLabs Announces Two Open Source Projects for NFV
    SNAPS is an overarching program at CableLabs to facilitate the adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) within the CableLabs’ community. The organization says it spearheaded SNAPS to fill in gaps within open source to ease the adoption of SDN and NFV for its cable members.
  • Bell becomes first operator to launch ONAP in production
    Canadian telecommunications company Bell announced it has become the first company to launch an open source version of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) in production. The announcement was noted by Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration at the Linux Foundation, in a company blog post. According to Joshipura, the news marks a first step toward using ONAP as a common platform across Bell’s network as the company re-aligns itself to follow a multi-partner DevOps model.

OSS/Sharing Leftovers

  • 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.

Games: SteamOS Birthday, Best Linux Games of 2017, Finding Paradise

  • It's Been Four Years Since SteamOS Began Shipping With Not Much To Show
    It was four years ago this week that Valve began shipping SteamOS, their Debian-based Linux distribution intended for Steam Machines and those wanting a gaming-oriented Linux distribution. While Valve still technically maintains the SteamOS Linux distribution, the outlook at this point is rather bleak. For our coverage from four years ago when Valve began shipping SteamOS 1.0 based on Debian Wheezy, see SteamOS Compositor Details, Kernel Patches, Screenshots, Former NVIDIA, Microsoft Developers Doing Lots Of The SteamOS Work, and The First NVIDIA GeForce Benchmarks On The SteamOS Beta.
  • 7 Best Linux Games of 2017
    We take a look at the best Linux games of 2017, ranging from AAA titles to introspective indie hits. So park your gamepad, pop your feet up, and raise a glass of something socially acceptable to what’s been another terrific year for Tux fans with twitchy thumbs!
  • Finding Paradise Available Now for PC, Mac, and Linux
    Canadian indie game studio Freebird Games has released Finding Paradise, a spiritual successor to the studio's hit game To the Moon. You can check out the game's release date trailers below, the first being slightly less of a "serious" trailer:

OSS: Blockchain, Avast, Predictions, GreenKey

  • 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.