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Open Hardware: 3D Printing and 'Open' Keyboards

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  • Open Source desktop 3D print smoother

    If you would like to smooth out the 3D printed filament lines on your 3D prints and designs you may be interested in a new open source smoothing machine which has been created by independent engineer and mechanical designer Ismael. What demonstration video below to learn more about the post treatment machine that allows you to improve the finish of your 3D printed objects. The image below is not from the open source 3D print smoothing machine created by Ismael but shows what can be accomplished using similar methods.

  • Three Companies Bringing Innovation to Open Keyboards

    If innovation is stalled on the desktop, it’s thriving in open hardware. Computers with free firmware, cheap prosthetics, the open source RISC-V architecture — name any innovation that has been confined to speculation in the last decade, and chances are someone is trying to realize it with the help of crowdfunding. One of the strongest examples of this trend is the open keyboard community, which is at the fore of the latest developments.

    Although many of us spend hours each day at a keyboard, most users rarely think of keyboards. They use a full size keyboard with a standard QWERTY layout. Unless they happen to be gamers, they use a membrane keyboard, in which characters are typed by bring two pressure points in contact with one another, a cheap technology that wears out quickly. Meanwhile, unknown to most of us, an open source keyboard community has been working for close to a decade to bring more advanced technology into wide use.

    The world of keyboards is a field with jargon all its own. For instance, preload is the pressure needed to activate a key, and bounce how quickly a key is read to use again. Similarly, tactile (quiet) and clicky (loud) keys refer to how much sound keys make to give users feedback. Even more importantly, top of the line keyboards — usually inspired by the demands of gamers — include programmable keys and layers, which allow the same keyboard to support both QWERTY and Dvorak layouts, or one layout for programming in Vim and another for painting in Krita. Among the initiated, there is also a strong preference for mechanical keys, each with its own mechanism or keyswitch, and all of them longer-lasting than membranes and replaceable if damaged. As well, keycaps — the parts that fingers strike — are also usually removable. Keys are backlit. All these terms and technologies are endlessly debated, but most advanced keyboards have all of them.

"IBM PC Compatible": how adversarial interoperability saved PCs from monopolization

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Adversarial interoperability is what happens when someone makes a new product or service that works with a dominant product or service, against the wishes of the dominant business.

Though there are examples of adversarial interoperability going back to early phonograms and even before, the computer industry has always especially relied on adversarial interoperability to keep markets competitive and innovative. This used to be especially true for personal computers.

From 1969 to 1982, IBM was locked in battle with the US Department of Justice over whether it had a monopoly over mainframe computers; but even before the DOJ dropped the suit in 1982, the computing market had moved on, with mainframes dwindling in importance and personal computers rising to take their place.

The PC revolution owes much to Intel's 8080 chip, a cheap processor that originally found a market in embedded controllers but eventually became the basis for early personal computers, often built by hobbyists. As Intel progressed to 16-bit chips like the 8086 and 8088, multiple manufacturers entered the market, creating a whole ecosystem of Intel-based personal computers.

In theory, all of these computers could run MS-DOS, the Microsoft operating system adapted from 86-DOS, which it acquired from Seattle Computer Products, but, in practice, getting MS-DOS to run on a given computer required quite a bit of tweaking, thanks to differences in controllers and other components.

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Open Hardware/Modding: Raspberry Pi, Open Hardware Month, Alibaba/Pingtouge and AbilityLab

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  • Open Source DIY Telescope Prime Features Raspberry Pi and 3D Printed Parts

    While the majority of us are not astronauts, there is a tool that can be used in your home to make you feel like you’re just a little bit closer to the stars – the telescope. Five years ago, a group of UK researchers from the University of Sheffield, including physicist Mark Wrigley, were inspired by NASA’s Juno spacecraft to create their own DIY telescope, the PiKon, using 3D printing and a Raspberry Pi. Now, a pair of Polish scientists have followed in their footsteps with their own parametric, open source, DIY telescope with 3D printed parts.
    Aleksy Chwedczuk and Jakub Bochiński wanted to help popularize astronomy by making their own semi-professional, yet affordable, telescope model for at-home use, for which people can then download the files and create on their own. Chwedczuk and Bochiński call their creation the Telescope Prime, and created the first prototype in just eight hours. The initial prototype was then used to take pictures of the moon, and the final version was finished in less than three months.

  • Open Source Smart Display Takes The Long Way Around

    Thanks to the relatively low cost of the Raspberry Pi and high resolution LCD screens, “smart displays” have become a favorite project of those looking to clear out their parts bins. Just hook the Pi up to the screen, setup some software, and you’ve got yourself a digital bulletin board for your home that can show your schedule, the weather, etc. Build it into a mirror, and you’ve got yourself at least double Internet points.

    But when [John Basista] started planning his own smart display, he decided to take the path less traveled. He’s entered the resulting open source project into the 2019 Hackaday Prize, and we’re very excited to see where it goes from here. Even in these early days he’s already made some great strides, with nary a Raspberry Pi in sight.

  • October is Open Hardware month 2019

    October 2019 will be officially the open hardware month this year and the official website is now taking applications from event organisers. “October is Open Hardware Month! We are providing resources and asking you, the community, to host small, local events in the name of open source hardware. Tell us about your October event by filling out the form below.”

    “The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) aims to foster technological knowledge and encourage research that is accessible, collaborative and respects user freedom. OSHWA’s primary activities include hosting the annual Open Hardware Summit and maintaining the Open Source Hardware certification, which allows the community to quickly identify and represent hardware that complies with the community definition of open source hardware. Host your event in October, then come to the official OSHWA event March 13th, 2020! This Open Hardware Summit will mark our 10 year anniversary of Summits. Your event will be featured on OSHWA’s Open Hardware Month page provided you have followed OSHWA’s rules listed on the “Do’s and Don’ts” page.”

  • Alibaba’s Semiconductor Subsidiary Will Utilize Open-Source RISC-V Core

    The international processor market is complicated, but one inarguable fact is that there is an increasing demand for processors. China's goliath supplier, Alibaba, has just announced that their chip subsidiary, Pingtouge, will utilize an open-source architecture, RISC-V, rather than Arm.

  • Alibaba reveals processor based on RISC-V architecture

    "Pingtouge said its processor achieves 7.1 Coremark/MHz at a frequency of 2.5GHz on a 12nm process node, which is 40 percent more powerful than any RISC-V processor produced to date."

    The new chip was made known at the Alibaba Cloud conference in Shanghai. Don't count on any intent to serve simple devices like home appliances. Instead, taller ambitions are for IoT areas that require high-performance computing such as 5G, AI, networking, gateway, self-driving automobile, and edge server, said reports.

  • Alibaba's 16-core RISC-V is the fastest open source CPU yet

    Over in China, where trade tariffs, restrictions and political moves by the USA are kindling the need for more home-grown or open source computer components, an Alibaba subsidiary called Pingtouge Semiconductor has announced the Xuantie 91 processor. The new Xuantie 91 targets infrastructure for artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and internet of things (IoT) as well as autonomous vehicles, and is based upon the RISC-V open source CPU architecture.

    According to a report published by New Electronics, the 16-core Xuantie 91 processor is built on the 12nm process. Running at 2.5GHz, it is claimed to be 40 per cent more powerful than any other RISC-V processor produced to date. The specific metric quoted to demonstrate its superiority is a 7.1 Coremark/MHz. The previous RISC-V champ (with a score of 5.1 Coremark/MHz) was the SiFive U74.

  • University of Michigan Ann Arbor's Robotics Institute partners to built open-source prosthetics

    The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has partnered with Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to create an open-sourced artificially intelligent prosthetic leg.

Devices: Android Auto, Librem 5, and Aitech Group

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  • Google's big Android Auto update starts rollout: Here's what you get

    Android Auto users should see a new look on their infotainment system in a few weeks, with a new navigation bar, notification center and launcher, as well as a dark theme, and improved screen optimization.

  • What a No-Carrier Phone Could Look Like

    Now that we are in the home stretch for the Librem 5 launch, it’s a good time to start discussing some visions for the future. While the Librem 5 can operate as a traditional cellular phone today, in this post we are going to discuss its potential as a “no-carrier phone.”

    The term “no-carrier phone” is used for a mobile phone that does not get its phone number from a carrier. This can take a couple of forms: a WiFi connection-only phone, or a Cellular Data connection-only phone.

    In other industries, for instance in media distribution, this is called “Over-The-Top” (OTT); the underlying idea is that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be, and are just, “dumb pipes”. Why?, because they provide internet data only–and all the services ride over-the-top of the internet connection. Netflix paved the way for OTT in media when it moved from DVD to streaming (the “Net” part of their name) and offered television and movie-content to any internet connected device. This was done against the wishes of many entrenched media groups and ISPs, of course–but the majority of us have now adopted the OTT model: we call them streaming services.

  • Proven Linux OS Expanded to Aitech’s Multi-core Remote I/O Subsystem

    Aitech Defense Systems, Inc., a part of the Aitech Group, has ported the cost-effective, open source Linux operating system onto its intelligent Ai-RIO remote I/O interface unit (RIU). This modular small form factor (SFF) RIU internally networks up to eight expansion modules – or ‘slices’ – for extremely high density and low power in a compact physical space.

    George Romaniuk, director of space products, for Aitech Group noted, “By increasing the available OS options on the Ai-RIO, we’re providing customers with technology advantages to ensure their systems are developed on-time and on-budget, while incorporating the needed processing speeds and real-time functionality of critical embedded systems.”

Devices: Orange Pi Zero, Avalue, RTL-SDR

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  • Orange Pi Zero LTS SBC Launched for $8.49 and Up

    You can now buy Orange Pi Zero LTS Arm Linux SBC for $8.49 and up. The tiny board is ideal for headless applications with WiFI and Ethernet connectivity.

  • Toughened up embedded PC can run 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs

    Avalue’s rugged “EPS-CFS” computer runs Linux or Win 10 on Intel 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs up to an octa-core Core i7-9700TE, and supplies up to 32GB GB DDR4, 2x SATA bays, 2x GbE, 2x HDMI, and 4x USB 3.2 ports.

    Avalue announced an embedded computer with Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake T-series or the new, but similarly 14nm-fabricated, 9th Gen Coffee Lake Refresh TE-series chips. The EPS-CFS computer, which is built around Avalue’s 3.5-inch ECM-CFS SBC, joins other 9th Gen-ready products including Kontron’s COMe-cWL6 (E2S) and Congatec’s Conga-TS370 COM Express modules.

  • RTL-SDR: Seven Years Later

    When I wrote that article in 2012, the RTL-SDR project and its community were still in their infancy. It took some real digging to find out which TV tuners based on the Realtek RTL2832U were supported, what adapters you needed to connect more capable antennas, and how to compile all the software necessary to get them listening outside of their advertised frequency range. It wasn’t exactly the most user-friendly experience, and when it was all said and done, you were left largely to your own devices. If you didn’t know how to create your own receivers in GNU Radio, there wasn’t a whole lot you could do other than eavesdrop on hams or tune into local FM broadcasts.

    Nearly a decade later, things have changed dramatically. The RTL-SDR hardware and software has itself improved enormously, but perhaps more importantly, the success of the project has kicked off something of a revolution in the software defined radio (SDR) world. Prior to 2012, SDRs were certainly not unobtainable, but they were considerably more expensive. Back then, the most comparable device on the market would have been the FUNcube dongle, a nearly $200 USD receiver that was actually designed for receiving data from CubeSats. Anything cheaper than that was likely to be a kit, and often operated within a narrower range of frequencies.

Open Hardware and Linux Devices

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  • A New KiCAD Tutorial Hits The Scene

    KiCAD has a rightfully earned image problem regarding beginners. The shiny new version 5 has improved things (and we’re very excited for v6!) but the tool is a bit obtuse even when coming from a electronics design background, so we’re always excited to see new learning material. [Mike Watts] is the latest to join the esteemed group of people willing to export their knowledge with his KiCAD tutorial series on GitHub that takes the aspiring user from schematic through fab and assembly.

  • Alibaba’s open source processor targets complex cloud workloads like 5G

    If demanding telecoms workloads like virtualized RAN and 5G core are to move to the public cloud, the cloud providers will need to ensure their infrastructure is based on processors capable of supporting these functions. Suppliers like Intel are already investing in accelerators to surround their processors, for cloud hardware that can cope with artificial intelligence (AI), vRAN and other very high performance tasks. But in some cases, the webscalers themselves are also designing or commissioning their own processors to meet the demands of the new generation of cloud-based services and make sure their clouds are a match for specialized private cloud platforms. Google, Amazon AWS and others have periodically announced such developments, raising new challenges for Intel and other…

  • A digital tally list for hackerspaces

    Overall our plan is to write a digital tally list in two weeks, going from idea to running prototype. This tally list should support donations with a variable amount, drinks with set price, as well as assorted items like the workshop fee. It also needs to support rudimentary user management and some kind of admin interface. All users will be verified by RFID.

    Currently consumption is logged into a monthly log-file, so we can easily handle the payments. Users are managed by the UI itself, we just have to put the initial UID into a json file. Drink prices are read from JSON and a price update requires a restart of the app. The app itself will run on a Raspberry PI with an attached 7" display and an RFID reader attached via the serial port.

    The entire app is written in Python with a QML frontend.

    I'm ordering the RFID hardware and the display this week, so we have a full weekend of hacking ahead of us.

  • Snapdragon 410-based module offers 96Boards and touch-panel eval kits

    Keith & Koep’s tiny, Linux-ready “Myon I” module features the quad -A53 Snapdragon 410 with up to 8GB eMMC, extended temp support, and an optional WiFi/BT/GPS module. The Myon I powers a “ConXM” carrier and “i-PAN M7 CoverLens Touchpanel PC.”

    Keith & Koep, which offers a line of SODIMM-style “Trizeps” computer-on-modules such as the recent i.MX8M-based Trizeps VIII and i.MX8M Mini-driven Trizeps VIII Mini, is introducing a Myon I module with a smaller 48 x 32 x 4.2mm footprint and no edge connector. While the Trizeps line started out with Marvell XScale processors before moving on to Freescale/NXP i.MX SoCs, the Myon I taps Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410.

Devices: Pine64, Snekboard and RISC-V

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  • Raspberry Pi Competitor Pine64 Opens Pinebook Pro Notebook Pre-Orders

    Pine64 opened pre-orders for its Pinebook Pro laptop, which is an open-source project based on the Rockchip RK3399 SOC, on July 25.

    Pine64 is probably best known for competing with Raspberry Pi in the single-board computing market. It released the Pine H64 Model B to developers in March; the board is now available in 2GB and 3GB versions from the Pine64 online store. But it's not exclusively focused on single-board computers: Pine64 has also been working on two Pinebook laptops, a PinePhone smartphone, the PineTab tablet, and devices in other product categories.

  • Snekboard v0.2 Update

    I've got the six v0.2 prototypes that I'll be able to use in for the upcoming class year, but I'm unsure of whether there would be enough interest in the broader community to have more of them made. Let me know if you'd be interested in purchasing snekboards; if I get enough responses, I'll look at running them through Crowd Supply or similar.

  • China's Alibaba is making a 16-core, 2.5 GHz RISC-V processor

    Why it matters: What do you do when the US is threatening to cut off access to every piece of important tech ever? Join the open-source RISC-V Foundation, of course. Unrestricted access to some of the most advanced existing processor technologies, and a guaranteed window to peek at what the other Foundation members, including Google and Nvidia, are doing. Chinese retail giant Alibaba has established a new R&D branch to take advantage of the open-source RISC-V instruction set and their first product is here: the Xuantie 910.

Alibaba's Embrace of RISC-V

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Devices: HypriotOS, Pinebook and Raspberry Pi 3B+

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  • Releasing HypriotOS 1.11.0: Docker 19.03.0 CE from Raspberry Pi Zero to 4 B

    We think that security should be shipped out-of-the-box. We make HypriotOS more secure without you even noticing it. For instance, there is no built-in “root” user. Also, the default user “pirate” (password “hypriot”) is can be customized or removed before the first boot. Just look at the file /boot/user-data. You can add your public SSH key, disable password logins and specify a different user account before you even boot your Raspberry Pi. WiFi can be customized and enabled to have Docker up and running through the air without attaching a keyboard and monitor.

  • July Update: All about the Pinebook Pro

    As I’ve mentioned in last month’s update post, the PinePhone prototypes are currently being manufactured (due in August) and the PineTab dev kits are rolling off the factory line to be shipped out to developers. With both the PinePhone and PineTab currently in-transition to their respective next development stages, I’ll devote this month’s update solely to the Pinebook Pro pre-order announcement, the last unannounced feature of the laptop as well as a hardware and software status update.

  • N-Fuse Launches Raspberry Pi 3B+ LoRaWAN Gateway with PoE Support

    The PoE enabled Raspberry Pi 3B+ based LoRaWAN Gateway as called by n-fuse is a LoRaWAN gateway based on the Raspberry Pi 3B+, the LRWCCx-MPCIE Concentrator, and the SBCPoE RPI Hat. It supports both the Europe 868Mhz and America 915Mhz frequency (you have to purchase the exact frequency you want though)

Devices: Librem 5, Jetson TX2, Raspberry Pi, LimeSDR

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  • Runs on the Librem 5 Smartphone – Round 4

    We’re back for another glorious round of looking at software running on the upcoming Librem 5 Smartphone!

    If you’ve missed any of the previous videos, check out parts One, Two, and Three to get all caught up — then enjoy the 8 videos below (ranging from a music player to running the Apache Web Server right on the Librem 5). And you better believe we’ve got more on the way. A lot more.

  • Jetson TX2 based AI edge computer also available as baseboard

    WiBase’s extended temperature “WB-N211 Stingray AI Inference Accelerator” AI edge computer runs Linux on an Nvidia Jetson TX2. The Stingray, which is also available as a “WB-N211-B” baseboard, joins several other TX2-based WiBase AI systems.

    WiBase, a Taiwanese AI and vision analytics subsidiary of Wistron, announced that its WB-N211 Stingray AI Inference Accelerator will support Nx Witness VMS software from Networkoptix for vision analytics and surveillance. The WB-N211 Stingray, which is based on a separately available WB-N211-B baseboard that runs Linux on an Nvidia Jetson TX2, appears to be fairly new.

  • Historical high-resolution graphics on Raspberry Pi

    Raspberry Pi Trading engineer James Hughes recently pointed out a project to us that he’d found on the Raspberry Pi forum. Using a Raspberry Pi, forum member Rene Richarz has written a Tektronix 4010, 4013, 4014, 4015, and ARDS terminal emulator. The project sounded cool, but Helen and I didn’t 100% get it, so we asked James to write an introduction for us. You can find that below, followed by the project itself. James’s intro is amazing, because, despite this heat messing with my concentration, I understand the project now! That James – what a treasure. And here he is:

  • Drone On Drone Warfare, With Jammers

    One of the LimeSDRs runs a GNU radio flowgraph with a specially designed block for detecting the rogue drone’s frequency modulation signature with what seems to be a machine learning classification script. The other LimeSDR runs another *secret* flowgraph and a custom script running on the SBC combines the two flowgraphs together.

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today's howtos

Databases: MariaDB, ScyllaDB, Percona, Cassandra

  • MariaDB opens US headquarters in California

    MariaDB Corporation, the database company born as a result of forking the well-known open-source MySQL database...

  • ScyllaDB takes on Amazon with new DynamoDB migration tool

    There are a lot of open-source databases out there, and ScyllaDB, a NoSQL variety, is looking to differentiate itself by attracting none other than Amazon users. Today, it announced a DynamoDB migration tool to help Amazon customers move to its product.

  • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

    ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

  • ScyllaDB Secures $25 Million to Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-compatible API

    Fast-growing NoSQL database company raises funds to extend operations and bring new deployment flexibility to users of Amazon DynamoDB.

  • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

    ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

  • ScyllaDB powers up Alternator: an open Amazon DynamoDB API

    Companies normally keep things pretty quiet in the run up to their annual user conferences, so they can pepper the press with a bag of announcements designed to show how much market momentum and traction that have going. Not so with ScyllaDB, the company has been dropping updates in advance of its Scylla Summit event in what is perhaps an unusually vocal kind of way. [...] Scylla itself is a real-time big data database that is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra and is known for its ‘shared-nothing’ approach (a distributed-computing architecture in which each update request is satisfied by a single node –processor/memory/storage unit to increase throughput and storage capacity.

  • Percona Announces Full Conference Schedule for Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019

    The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019 is the premier open source database event. Percona Live conferences provide the open source database community with an opportunity to discover and discuss the latest open source trends, technologies and innovations. The conference includes the best and brightest innovators and influencers in the open source database industry.

  • Thwarting Digital Ad Fraud at Scale: An Open Source Experiment with Anomaly Detection

    Our experiment assembles Kafka, Cassandra, and our anomaly detection application in a Lambda architecture, in which Kafka and our streaming data pipeline are the speed layer, and Cassandra acts as the batch and serving layer. In this configuration, Kafka makes it possible to ingest streaming digital ad data in a fast and scalable manner, while taking a “store and forward” approach so that Kafka can serve as a buffer to protect the Cassandra database from being overwhelmed by major data surges. Cassandra’s strength is in storing high-velocity streams of ad metric data in its linearly scalable, write-optimized database. In order to handle automation for provisioning, deploying, and scaling the application, the anomaly detection experiment relies on Kubernetes on AWS EKS.

Today in Techrights

OSS Leftovers

  • Workarea Commerce Goes Open-source

    The enterprise commerce platform – Workarea is releasing its software to the open-source community. In case you don’t already know, Workarea was built to unify commerce, content management, merchant insights, and search. It was developed upon open-source technologies since its inception like Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and Ruby on Rails. Workarea aims to provide unparalleled services in terms of scalability and flexibility in modern cloud environments. Its platform source code and demo instructions are available on GitHub here.

  • Wyoming CV Pilot develops open-source RSU monitoring system

    The team working on the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program in Wyoming have developed open-source applications for the operation and maintenance of Roadside Units (RSUs) that can be viewed by all stakeholders. The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot implementation includes the deployment of 75 RSUs along 400 miles (644km) of I-80. With long drive times and tough winters in the state, WYDOT needed an efficient way to monitor the performance of and manage and update these units to maintain peak performance. With no suitable product readily available, the WYDOT Connected Vehicle team developed an open-source application that allows authorized transportation management center (TMC) operators to monitor and manage each RSU at the roadside. The WYDOT team found that the application can also be used as a public-facing tool that shows a high-level status report of the pilot’s equipment. [...] For other state or local agencies and departments of transportation (DOTs) wishing to deploy a similar capability to monitor and manage RSUs, the application code has been made available on the USDOT’s Open Source Application Development Portal (OSADP). The code is downloadable and can be used and customized by other agencies free of charge. WYDOT developed this capability using USDOT funds under the CV Pilot program as open-source software and associated documentation. The application represents one of six that the program will be providing during its three phases.

  • You Too Can Make These Fun Games (No Experience Necessary)

    Making a videogame remained a bucket list item until I stumbled on an incredibly simple open source web app called Bitsy. I started playing around with it, just to see how it worked. Before I knew it, I had something playable. I made my game in a couple of hours.

  • From maverick to mainstream: why open source software is now indispensable for modern business

    Free and open source software has a long and intriguing history. Some of its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when Richard Stallman first launched the GNU project.

  • Analyst Watch: Is open source the great equalizer?

    If you had told me 25 years ago that open source would be the predominant force in software development, I would’ve laughed. Back then, at my industrial software gig, we were encouraged to patent as much IP as possible, even processes that seemed like common-sense business practices, or generally useful capabilities for any software developer. If you didn’t, your nearest competitor would surely come out with their own patent claims, or inevitable patent trolls would show up demanding fees for any uncovered bit of code. We did have this one developer who was constantly talking about fiddling with his Linux kernel at home, on his personal time. Interesting hobby.

  • Scientists Create World’s First Open Source Tool for 3D Analysis of Advanced Biomaterials

    Materials scientists and programmers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia and Germany's Karlsuhe Institute of Technology have created the world’s first open source software for the 2D and 3D visualization and analysis of biomaterials used for research into tissue regeneration. [...] Scientists have already tested the software on a variety of X-ray tomography data. “The results have shown that the software we’ve created can help other scientists conducting similar studies in the analysis of the fibrous structure of any polymer scaffolds, including hybrid ones,” Surmenev emphasised.

  • Making Collaborative Data Projects Easier: Our New Tool, Collaborate, Is Here

    On Wednesday, we’re launching a beta test of a new software tool. It’s called Collaborate, and it makes it possible for multiple newsrooms to work together on data projects. Collaborations are a major part of ProPublica’s approach to journalism, and in the past few years we’ve run several large-scale collaborative projects, including Electionland and Documenting Hate. Along the way, we’ve created software to manage and share the large pools of data used by our hundreds of newsrooms partners. As part of a Google News Initiative grant this year, we’ve beefed up that software and made it open source so that anybody can use it.

  • Should open-source software be the gold standard for nonprofits?

    Prior to its relaunch, nonprofit organization Cadasta had become so focused on the technology side of its work that it distracted from the needs of partners in the field. “When you’re building out a new platform, it really is all consuming,” said Cadasta CEO Amy Coughenour, reflecting on some of the decisions that were made prior to her joining the team in 2018.

  • Artificial intelligence: an open source future

    At the same time, we’re seeing an increasing number of technology companies invest in AI development. However, what’s really interesting is that these companies - including the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce and Uber - are open sourcing their AI research. This move is already enabling developers worldwide to create and improve AI & Machine Learning (ML) algorithms faster. As such, open source software has become a fundamental part of enabling fast, reliable, and also secure development in the AI space. So, why all the hype around open source AI? Why are businesses of all sizes, from industry behemoths to startups, embracing open source? And where does the future lie for AI and ML as a result?

  • How open source is accelerating innovation in AI

    By eradicating barriers like high licensing fees and talent scarcity, open source is accelerating the pace of AI innovation, writes Carmine Rimi No other technology has captured the world’s imagination quite like AI, and there is perhaps no other that has been so disruptive. AI has already transformed the lives of people and businesses and will continue to do so in endless ways as more startups uncover its potential. According to a recent study, venture capital funding for AI startups in the UK increased by more than 200 percent last year, while a Stanford University study observed a 14-times increase in the number of AI startups worldwide in the last two years.

  • Adam Jacob Advocates for Building Healthy OSS Communities in “The War for the Soul of Open Source”

    Chef co-founder and former CTO Adam Jacob gave a short presentation at O’Reilly Open Source Software Conference (OSCON) 2019 titled “The War for the Soul of Open Source.” In his search for meaning in open source software today, Jacob confronts the notion of open source business models. “We often talk about open source business models,” he said. “There isn’t an open source business model. That’s not a thing and the reason is open source is a channel. Open source is a way that you, in a business sense, get the software out to the people, the people use the software, and then they become a channel, which [companies] eventually try to turn into money.” [...] In December 2018, Jacob launched the Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities (SFOSC) project to advocate for these ideas. Instead of focusing on protecting revenue models of OSS companies, the project’s contributors work together to collaborate on writing core principles, social contracts, and business models as guidelines for healthy OSS communities.

  • New Open Source Startups Emerge After Acquisition, IPO Flurry

    After a flurry of mega-acquisitions and initial public offerings of open source companies, a new batch of entrepreneurs are trying their hands at startups based on free software projects.

  • TC9 selected by NIST to develop Open Source Software for Transactive Energy Markets

    TC9, Inc. was selected by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop open source software for Transactive Energy Bilateral Markets based on the NIST Common Transactive Services. Under the contract, TC9 will develop open source software (OSS) for agents for a transactive energy market. The software will be used to model the use of transactive energy to manage power distribution within a neighborhood. Transactive Energy is a means to balance volatile supply and consumption in real time. Experts anticipate the use of Transactive Energy to support wide deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) across the power grid.

  • Open Source Software Allows Auterion to Move Drone Workflows into the Cloud

    “Until today, customizing operations in the MAVLink protocol required a deep understanding of complex subjects such as embedded systems, drone dynamics, and the C++ programming language,” said Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion. “With MAVSDK, any qualified mobile developer can write high-level code for complex operations, meaning more developers will be able to build custom applications and contribute to the community.”

  • ApacheCon 2019 Keynote: James Gosling's Journey to Open Source

    At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, James Gosling delivered a keynote talk on his personal journey to open-source. Gosling's main takeaways were: open source allows programmers to learn by reading source code, developers must pay attention to intellectual property rights to prevent abuse, and projects can take on a life of their own.

  • 20 Years of the Apache Software Foundation: ApacheCon 2019 Opening Keynote

    At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, the opening keynote session celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), with key themes being: the history of the ASF, a strong commitment to community and collaboration, and efforts to increase contributions from the public. The session also featured a talk by astrophysicist David Brin on the potential dangers of AI.