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Open Sourcing the Hunt for Exoplanets

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Why is cryptocurrency open source? This paper from 1999 explains

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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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  • 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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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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  • 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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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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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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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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Artificial intelligence/Machine learning

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  • 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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Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Purchased a PlayStation 3 Between 2006 and 2010? You May Be Entitled to $65
    PS3 owners first qualified to receive compensation from Sony following the settlement of a lawsuit in 2016. That case dealt with the "OtherOS" feature that came with the console when it debuted. With OtherOS, Sony promised a new PlayStation that would operate like a computer, allowing users to partition their hard drive and install third-party operating systems like the open-source Linux software.
  • Moro – A Command Line Productivity Tool For Tracking Work Hours
    Keeping track of your work hours will give you an insight about the amount of work you get done in a specific time frame. There are plenty of GUI-based productivity tools available on the Internet for tracking work hours. However, I couldn’t find a good CLI-based tool. Today, I stumbled upon a a simple, yet useful tool named “Moro” for tracking work hours. Moro is a Finnish word which means “Hello”. Using Moro, you can find how much time you take to complete a specific task. It is free, open source and written using NodeJS.
  • Twenty years, 1998 – 2018
    curl 4.0 was just a little more than 2000 lines of C code. It featured 23 command line options. curl 4.0 introduced support for the FTP PORT command and now it could do ftp uploads that append to the remote file. The version number was bumped up from the 3.12 which was the last version number used by the tool under the old name, urlget.
  • What’s New in ArchLabs 2018.03
    ArchLabs 2018.03 is the latest release of Linux distribution based on Arch Linux featuring the Openbox window manager as the primary desktop interface. The project’s latest release ArchLabs 2018.03 brings a few fixes and improvements and improve the user. Powered by Linux kernel 4.15 series and based-on latest version of Arch Linux. LUKS and encryption is now working, for those security concious users out there you should be all go on the encryption side. There have been a few installer updates, base-devel is included at install time. Also the mirrorlist is optimised at the same time.
  • [Older] openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018: Call for Host
    The openSUSE.Asia organization committee is accepting proposals to host the openSUSE.Asia Summit during the second half of 2018. The openSUSE.Asia Summit is the largest annual openSUSE conference in Asia, attended by contributors and enthusiasts from all over Asia.
  • TidalScale Software-Defined Servers Now Support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    TidalScale, the leader in Software-Defined Servers, announced today that working in partnership with SUSE, the world’s first provider of Enterprise Linux, TidalScale has achieved SUSE Ready certification to ensure full compatibility with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. TidalScale’s breakthrough scaling platform allows multiple industry standard servers to be combined into a single Software-Defined Server running a single instance of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
  • 8 Best Radio Apps For Android To Stream Online Music In 2018

Kernel and Graphics: Torvalds, Linux Foundation, Nouveau and libinput

  • Which Linux Distribution Does Linus Torvalds Use in 2018?
    We know a sizeable amount of his views on Linux distros, thanks to an interview he took long ago in 2007, but who knows – could he have changed his mind? In a 2007 interview, Linus professed that he didn’t use Debian because he found it hard to install, a statement I find interesting because he’s the guy who wrote GIT in C. Anyway, he buttressed his reason for not using Debian in a later interview from 2014, when he explained that because he is responsible for maintaining his computer and all the computers used by his household, he likes to use an OS with virtually no installation hassle. [...] As far as I know, he uses Fedora on most of his computers because of its fairly good support for PowerPC. He mentioned that he used OpenSuse at one point in time and complimented Ubuntu for making Debian accessible to the mass. So most of the flak on the internet about Linus disliking Ubuntu isn’t factual.
  • Linux Foundation, Intel launch open source IoT hypervisor
    The Linux Foundation has unveiled plans for a new open source project to provide streamlined embedded hypervisors for IoT devices. Called Acrn, the project has been assisted by Intel, which contributed code and engineering. The main thrust of the project is to create small, flexible virtual machines. ACRN comprises two main components: the hypervisor and its device model, complete with I/O mediators. The Linux-based hypervisor can run many ‘guest’ operating systems at the same time.
  • Nouveau NIR Support Appears Almost Baked, NV50 Support Added
    Karol Herbst at Red Hat started off this week by publishing his latest patches around Nouveau NIR support as part of the company's effort for getting SPIR-V/compute support up and running on this open-source NVIDIA driver. Red Hat's grand vision around open-source GPGPU compute still isn't entirely clear especially with Nouveau re-clocking not being suitable for delivering high performance at this point, but it must be grand given the number of developers they have working on improving the Linux GPU compute stack at the moment.
  • xf86-input-libinput 0.27.0 Released
    Aside from a few touchpad issues and other minor random issues with select hardware, libinput these days is mostly in great shape for being a generic input handling library that is working out well for both X.Org and Wayland users.

KDE: KDE Applications 18.04, KDE Connect, KMyMoney 5.0.1 and Qt Quick

  • KDE Applications 18.04 branches created
    Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.04 release to them :)
  • KDE Connect – State of the union
    We haven’t blogged about KDE Connect in a long time, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been lazy. Some new people have joined the project and together we have implemented some exciting features. Our last post was about version 1.0, but recently we released version 1.8 of the Android app and 1.2.1 of the desktop component some time ago, which we did not blog about yet. Until now!
  • KMyMoney 5.0.1 released
    The KMyMoney development team is proud to present the first maintenance version 5.0.1 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. Although several members of the development team had been using the new version 5.0.0 in production for some time, a number of bugs and regressions slipped through testing, mainly in areas and features not used by them.
  • Qt Quick without a GPU: i.MX6 ULL
    With the introduction of the Qt Quick software renderer it became possible to use Qt Quick on devices without a GPU. We investigated how viable this option is on a lower end device, particularly the NXP i.MX6 ULL. It turns out that with some (partially not yet integrated) patches developed by KDAB and The Qt Company, the performance is very competitive. Even smooth video playback (with at least half-size VGA resolution) can be done by using the PXP engine on the i.MX6 ULL.